What's better than a birthday? A birth-month.
Let me start off by giving you an insight into the mind of Ryan Crampton; he is a lot like Buddy the Elf - simple, compassionate, innocently clueless & crazy about holidays. Also, Ryan believes his birthday is a holiday.
After celebrating his 21st birthday, he felt he had reached a birthday peak - and he needed something more. So, for his 22nd birthday, he conjured up the concept of a birthday week: a week long celebration of all that is Ryan. Each day would be a celebration or something fun, with the highlight being his actual birthday (September 9th). What would he do this year for his 23rd birthday? A birthday month.
Ryan's logic behind this concept is that his birthday is the holiday that kicks off Holiday Season - Halloween, Thanksgiving and the mother of all holidays in Ryan's eyes: Christmas. As each of those holidays have a "season" around them (ie Christmas time), Ryan's birthday would also have its own season - birthday month. The first of the month would need to go well to kick it off, birthday week would remain, each weekend would be a celebration and each Wednesday (since his birthday is on a Wednesday) would be a celebration. Typical Crampton. What's next? Birthday life?
Anyway, we did indeed celebrate in style. We began the month on our last night in Paris. Birthday week kicked off with the Lantern Festival that the city of Florence threw for Ryan - complete with a parade, children's choir, church open house, a concert, carnival food & a speech by the mayor. The funniest part of the night was watching little kids shoot spitballs at people's paper lanterns - a good shot could knock over the candle inside and burn the lantern (above).
For Ryan's actual birthday, I took him to lunch at Osteria Pepo near the mercato after class and then our group of friends went to dinner at Trattoria Pizzeria Nerone (above), which had a great atmosphere and good food. Afterwards, we surprised him with the cake we had baked - complete with Nutella frosting, oreo bits and wafers shaped like an "R" (good idea Beth!). After enjoying the cake (it was DELICIOUS), we headed to Dublin pub (right) for a few drinks, darts and some good fun. We'll see what the rest of birthday month has in store for Ryan (Viareggio & Cinque Terre this weekend!)