I recently had my birthday and this year decided to celebrate the milestone in style. Initially, I had decided to celebrate it with my family members as I have done in several years but when my friend Roberta called me a week earlier, I ended up changing my mind. The next plan was to visit her in her home town St. Helens in Merseyside. I had not been there for the last three years and I knew I’m going to enjoy the trip. Besides, there are so many attraction sites in St Helens that are worth the visit.

The idea that I shouldn’t be celebrating my birthdays had started to stick on my mind several years ago. No wonder was I going to celebrate my birthday with my immediate family members without doing anything special. However, my friend Roberta would hear none of it. We almost share birthdays and she had already celebrated hers a month earlier. She wanted me to have a blast as well.

Roberta is a dedicated birthday lover and would never settle for anything less. She told me, ‘’I know you don’t like the social scene, but seriously, treat yourself, you deserve it’’. I couldn’t turn down her warm and generous invitation. Plus, I have been extremely busy in the last few months and indeed, I needed a break to reflect on my life so far. My life deserves to be celebrated as well and if it can be celebrated with style, why not.

When the travel day finally arrived, I was all set. I arrived safely and found Roberta already waiting for me. She took me to her place to freshen up and relax before visiting various attraction sites in St Helens. Unfortunately, my joy was cut short by a severe toothache. It was so uncomfortable that we had to look for dental help before anything else. The most impressive thing was that the emergency dentist in St Helens responded right away and took care of the problem. Within a short time, I was back to my normal health. Although the doctor advised me to rest for a while, what’s important is that I was no longer in pain.

After the visit to the dentist, I was free to continue celebrating my birthday. St Helens is a large town with a lot of things to do. Its coal mines closed in the 20th century with some becoming country parks. A good example is the Sutton Manor Park. I love history and so I had to visit the glass manufacturer Pilkington. It is a big industry name operating in St Helens.

My next place of interest was the Carr Mill Dam. Roberta is a water sports enthusiast and so she enjoys her free times with her family members here. Immediately, I set my eyes on this large inland water body, I knew why Roberta insisted we had to visit this particular place on the actual birthday. This is where we spent the better part of that day. Roberta and some other friends who accompanied us were telling me that the dam is more than 400 years old and it began as a pond to power a mill. It was later enlarged to become a reservoir so as to feed the Sankey Canal. The serene is just epic and it gives you a reason to celebrate life.

The following day we had lunch at a farmhouse café at Inglenook Farm. They serve light lunch bites such as jacket potatoes, wraps, salads and sandwiches. After the meals, we had a walk at the farm and learnt that they grow lavender and chamomile for essential oils which are distilled on-site. We also adored the farm animals which included the sheep, a donkey, goats, a pair of Shetland ponies, chickens, peacocks and ducks. We surely had a good time that we didn’t realize the day turning into the night.

The last destination Roberta took me during my visit to St Helens was the Grade II, Taylor Park. The park sits on a 47 acres piece of land donated by Samuel Taylor (VIII) in 1892. It now belongs to Eccleston estate. Immediately when we went here, the first thing that caught my sight was the lovely garden planted in the quarry. The other thing was the sweeping lake and the lovely paths around the lake. The Taylor walk was tough and satisfying at the same time. The rough and sleep ground of the park gave us an opportunity to keep fit. After that, we enjoyed some tea at a popular tearoom as we reflected about the days we have spent together.

It was now time to leave my best friend and head back home. I could not believe I have spent a whole week there. Roberta accompanied me to the bus stop and said goodbye to me before heading to work. Although I enjoyed every minute I spent with Roberta at St Helens, I cannot deny the fact that I was happy to go back home. Home sweet home, my family were glad to see and to hear that I had a good time.