Birthdays, gardens and even more cupcakes

Born in July, I’m used to sweaty, sultry birthdays. I can’t recall a July 18 that wasn’t an assault on my already-frizzy hair, and 2010 was no different — but we still made it work!

Being all into photography and pretty things, we made a trip to Wheaton, Md., to visit Brookside Gardens — a 50-acre destination that came highly recommended by my good friend Erin. I wanted to see beauty! Gardens! Loveliness! And we definitely found it all at Brookside, though the temperatures soared in the afternoon to around 95 degrees. With ten thousand percent humidity.

Mom, Katie, Spencer and I were troopers and managed to walk for a few hours, though. I still managed to grab some decent shots before we just. couldn’t. take it. anymore. After making a circuit around the grounds and visiting the butterfly exhibit — butterflies everywhere! — we headed back to Southern Maryland and grabbed sweet, cold sodas en route.

Did I mention we got a flat tire on our way up — and on the Beltway? On my birthday? We totally did. Luckily, my faith in humanity was once again restored as someone immediately pulled up behind us to help put the spare on — which was awesome, considering I didn’t have a lug wrench. And apparently, lug wrenches are needed to change tires. Who knew? This is why you should travel with dudes. Or, in my case, become less of a female stereotype and figure automotive things out on your own. (Doubtful. I’m too busy reading to care.)

Still, butterflies! Flowers! Macro photography! It was a good day. And yes, I had plenty of cupcakes to celebrate — and a creme brulee at Bonefish Grill, complete with homemade whipped cream and a lit candle. I even straightened my hair with my brand-new straightener for the occasion, so you know it was special!