32 Candles: Picture Yourself at Jessica’s Birthday Celebration (4 July 2021)

can’t believe we’re already half-way through 2021 and my birthday seems to mark the half-way point of the year.

This weekend I did something I haven’t done since 2012 – I had a birthday weekend and I was super hype. On Friday, I decided to go the Philadelphia Film Society—I renewed my membership and wanted to see AsiaAsia was a favourite in the Israeli Film Festival and it was in Russian and Hebrew. I was thinking of seeing Zola, but Asia was at a more convenient time. I may see Zola next week. Anyway, I took a break from roller skating and decided to treat myself to dessert before dinner. It’s my birthday weekend and I can eat dessert before dinner if I want to!

Asia was playing at the Bourse theater and I decided to go to the Bourse food court. They didn’t have much there, most places were still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Scoop Deville was opened and I ordered a gluten-free vegan root beer float. I chatted with a family visiting from Columbus, OH and I gave them some suggestions for Philadelphia on the 4th. Their son was in first grade and since he just learned about Philadelphia, they decided to take a trip. They appreciated my suggestions.  I mentioned it was my birthday and when I was younger, I used to visit Philadelphia all the time on the 4th. They wished me a happy birthday.

I was the only one in the theater for Asia. Interesting movie that was ridiculous in some parts, weird in others. I laughed at the ridiculousness and I’m glad I was in the theater alone.

When Nan and I used to watch movies, we would chuckle at ridiculous ones. I remember I once rented Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley and we both hated it. Her reaction was too funny: “I’m going to get the wine! I can’t sit through this movie without wine! Would you like a soda?” I would reply, “yes, I need soda to get through this movie!” The things one remembers…

…After, I treated myself to a nice gluten-free pizza meal at Snap Kitchen. I was glad they were still opened at 9:15 pm.

4 July, my birthday, a wonderful day. Aunt Peg had a small get-together and it was wonderful seeing Doug, Brit, and Maddie. Doug and Brit moved to the UK in 2019 to pursue her MBA at the London School of Business. They are back in the States now. The last time I saw Doug was when I was visiting Brighton Beach in July 2019 and he was living in Brooklyn at the time. It felt good seeing both Doug and Brit again.

I hadn’t seen Maddie since Hanukkah/Christmas 2019. She lives in Washington State, her husband is in the Navy and is deployed until 2022. I think in the fall, I’m going to plan a trip to Bremerton, WA to visit Maddie for a long weekend. I’ve never been to the West Coast and I think it’ll be nice to keep Maddie company for a few days. She’s a physician assistant who was very busy during the pandemic; it was really nice seeing her again too.

Mom, dad, and I had a nice dinner at Bonefish Grill and then came back home for gluten-free birthday cake. It was a chill birthday and for that, I am glad. I had memorable experiences and I’m going to make some scrapbook pages for Happiness Box 2021.

On Saturday, I had Synagogue service and Rabbi along with the congregation all wished me a very happy birthday. Towards the end of the service, I mentioned that I was going to Atlantic City on Monday and Rabbi gave me some gluten-free glatt kosher restaurant suggestions. I made reservations for Rainforest Café already, but I made a kosher lunch for me to enjoy. 😊 

I had a wonderful birthday weekend and I can’t wait to fill you all in about Atlantic City.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “32 Candles: Picture Yourself at Jessica’s Birthday Celebration (4 July 2021)”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Your birthday weekend was filled with fun and interesting activities, and you were surrounded by people who care about you. Some of the best times I’ve ever had were those when I went out alone without a plan and simply improvised, went with the flow. Seems everyplace I went turned out to be a “happening.” I love how you were alone in the theater to watch Asia. You could imagine yourself as filthy rich with your own private theater and screening. I agree that anything goes on your birthday including having dessert before dinner. I am fond of root beer and would have enjoyed one of those floats served at Scoop Deville. In typical Jessica fashion, you made a pleasant connection with a family from out of state and served as a goodwill ambassador of Philadelphia. I also love pizza and would have enjoyed devouring an entire pie at Snap Kitchen.

    The pictures taken at the birthday gathering at Aunt Peg’s where you reunited with Doug, Brit, and Maddie tell the tale of a good time had by all. I didn’t miss the pic of the pretty dog. Mrs. Shady and I love the Bonefish Grill and get gift cards to the eatery every Christmas from her daughter. Seeing your happiness as you blew out the candles on your beautiful cake makes me verklempt. To top it off, the Rabbi and the congregation wished you a happy birthday as well, and you didn’t even get to the part about your trip to Atlantic City! You are clearly back in the groove, getting out and about and living life to the fullest, and that makes me very happy.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!


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