Birthdays on Vacation

The View from Assisi

Image 2Today’s not  my birthday. Is it yours?  Someone you love?  Well, then, Happy Birthday!!  As Americans we have certain traditions we’ve come to expect on our birthdays. Cake. Check. Flowers. Check. Table decorated with goodies. Check.  Presents. Check.

Maybe you’ll have a party.

Maybe you’ll have a cocktail or two.

Maybe you’ll go out to dinner.


When we are away from home, some traditions just can’t be upheld.  For instance, every year on my birthday, for over thirty years, I play the Johnny Crawford song, “Cindy’s Birthday.”  Every.  Single.  Year.

I don’t always wear my tiara.  (Doesn’t everyone have a tiara?)

Birthdays on vacation are different.

One of my very favorite birthdays did not come with a cake. It had no ribbons or wrappings. No one other than my traveling companions said “Happy Birthday.” I did not blow out any candles at all.

Assisi, Italy: My Birthday

  • Arrived by train to see the Umbrian Hills overlooking the horizon.
  • Wandered the cobblestone streets.
  • Stood at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi and said a special prayer for all my loved ones.
  • Had the rosary ring we bought at the Vatican blessed by a priest at The Basilica of St. Francis.
  • Ate dinner on a balcony overlooking the town square.
  • Watched the sunset from the walls of the basilica and ate pastries.

When you expect nothing is when your receive something so much more.  If you are away from home on your birthday, embrace this change of pace.  Remember, no expectations.

Happy Birthday!