For my sister's thirteenth birthday, my dad surprised her by taking her on a trip to Chicago. It waw just the two of them. And get this- they traveled by airplane. It was her first airplane ride, because my mom is terrified of flying. We didn't take too many big trips as kids, just our annual trip to Florida. The Chicago trip was a BIG DEAL.
My dad then continued on the tradition- all three of us got to spend our thirteenth birthday on plane to Chicago, running around the city and then flying back home.
When it was my turn, I was so excited I could hardly sleep the night before. I could not believe I was actually going to get to FLY ON AN AIRPLANE. Nearly all of my friends had flown dozens of times, but not me. I was a little scared, but for the most part I think I was just amazed at how planes worked. The flight only took about 45 minutes, tops. Chicago isn't too far from Detroit, especially when flying the friendly skies.
When we arrived, my dad ushered me through the airport and toward downtown Chicago. We hit up the aquarium, Hard Rock Cafe, Garret's Popcorn, Navy Pier, and this one place that I can't remember, but it was a lot like a Dave and Busters.
But the best, and I mean the BEST part, was the American Girl Place.
I had been an avid American Girl fan most of my childhood. I had a few of the dolls courtesy of my Grandma, read all the books again and again, and had a collection of outfits. I could not WAIT to go to the American Girl Place.
My dad and I first went to the store, and he let me pick out a new outfit for my dolls back at home. Then we bought tickets for a play in their theatre. I think that the play highlighted each American Girl and told her story. I don't remember. I just remember my dad was the only male in the room. And I was so happy that he was right there next to me as I enjoyed every moment.
It was the best birthday gift I've ever gotten from my parents, and the time I got to spend with my dad was truly special. I don't know if I realized at the time how lucky I was to get such a cool birthday gift, but I do now. It beats any Sweet Sixteen party they show on MTV these days.
What's the best birthday you've ever had?