To make this clear -- I have not hit 50 yet. But I have friends who have, and they have funny ways of celebrating it.
Our friend Mark had a backyard party to celebrate his 50th. We drank and ate and laughed like teenagers, while our kids ran around spraying each other with the hose and jumping on the trampoline. Some of the moms took a turn on the trampoline as well, showing off with backflips and somersaults. Gymnasts, those two.
Yesterday a group of us celebrated my friend Janey's 50th with a pedal and pub tour of Minneapolis breweries. Our friend Eric (henceforth known as Eric the Bike Man) organized the tour, with his considerable experience of the bike trails of Minneapolis. We met at their home, close to Lake Calhoun, to begin.
This was probably the most fun I've had on a bike. Ever. Rain sprinkled on us a bit on the way between stops, which made it all the more fun.
We biked to Harriet Brewery in the same amount of time it would have taken to drive and park, minus the hassle of driving and parking. It happened to be Food Truck Festival day, so the parking lot was filled with about a dozen food trucks Chicken wings, burritos, fish tacos, cupcakes, smoothies, pick your palate and enjoy.
Then off to Fulton Brewery, a brewery that started in our neighborhood of Fulton and moved its operations to downtown Minneapolis near the Target Field, where the Minnesota Twins play. Another food truck and an amazing patio, with a view of downtown Minneapolis.
We ran into a group of bikers wearing matching jerseys that read "Liver Strong," with graphics of a liver that is actually a beer tap. They had stickers to share with all.
At one point Janey commented to me that she felt so fortunate to have friends who were up for this adventure. As I looked around at the group, I realized that at age 43, I am the youngest. Everyone would be classified as mid-40's to early 50's. Biking for 12 miles at an average speed of 15 mph was no big deal for any of us.
We talked about moving out of our homes and taking over one of the beautiful condo buildings we biked past. When we get old.
By the end of the evening I had determined a philosophy for turning 50:
Turning 50 should feel like being a teenager again. Only with money.
Just good health, good friends and good times.
I'm pretty sure a classmate of mine wrote that in my yearbook back in 1989.