My Birthday at The Ritz

Good morning friends!  Oh, what do you mean it’s 12:30 in the afternoon?  Well, it’s morning for me since I’m just now scraping myself out of bed.  See yesterday was my birthday and hubs decided to go all out in the spoiling me department, which was awesome and made for a very late night.

Because I want to remember every detail pretty forever and ever, and because I know you’re all dying to live vicariously through me, check out my birthday in pictures!

bday sign with champagne

We had a 7:30 reservation at The Ritz Carlton Sarasota.  It was an absolutely beautiful night out there, so when we arrived we were seated a a romantic table for two with a view of the water and this nifty little birthday sign.  I figured they were trying to tell me something so I promptly ordered a glass of Champagne.  Might as well start the evening off right, eh?

bday pic of me with sign

The menu had me absolutely drooling over pretty much everything on it, so hubs suggested we order a few things and share them so that we could have a bite of everything that sounded good.

bday menu

They started us off with fresh out of the oven home made “brown bread,” just like what hubs grandma used to make.  Yum!

bday brown bread

In addition to the amazing food, Jack Dusty is also a craft cocktail bar.  This means super yummy drinks that are totally different than what you would find at your standard TGI Fridays.  One look at the menu and the “Siren” was calling my name.

bday siren

Not only was the drink tasty, it was BEAUTIFUL!  It started with a very lemon-y flavor, but as the flavor infused ice cubes melted it became sweeter and infused with the different fruit flavors that had been contained in the cubes.  How awesome is that?

bday siren drink

Being a whiskey drinker hubs wanted to give the “Smoking Jacket” a try.  The presentation of this drink was so so cool.  It came out with the glass over a bed of warm applewood chips effectively “smoking” the glass before the large hand carved chunk of ice was added and the tasty cinnamon-y whiskey poured over the top.  Yum!

bday smoking jacket presentation  bday smoking jacket

 

 

 

 

For food we sampled the Pear and Blue salad, the Lobster Bisque and the Calamari, all of which were delicious.  The salad was fresh and crisp with enough large slices of pear and cheese to have my taste buds happy.  The bisque had a coconut cream base, giving it an absolutely delicious sweet twist.  The calamari where seasoned and breaded to perfection, and we so fresh they practically melted on our tongues.

bday salad  bday bisque

When it was time to order the entree we were both already really starting to fill up, so we opted for the Beef Short Ribs and asked to split the entree.  These were absolutely amazing.  Served over a bed of real mashed potatoes (that were still a little chunky, I LOVE that) and with a sautéed veggie medley of brussels sprouts, golden beets and carrots, it was the perfect entree to compliment our selections for the evening.

bday entree

As we were winding down from our meal and considering our after dinner drinks (Taylor Tawny 40 year Port?  Yes please!) our server brought us a special dessert sampler hand made by the pastry chef.  Apparently they take your birthday pretty serious at The Ritz.  The sampler included bites of Red Velvet Cake, a Gourmet S’more, a doughnut hole, Fried Peanutbutter and Jelly, and a shooter of Key Lime Pie.  By this time I was so full I couldn’t imagine eating another bite, so I just had one taste of everything.  It is my birthday after all.

bday dessert

After all of that, hubs pretty much had to roll me out the front door and take me home to tuck me in.  What a memorable and fantastic night.

Does any body else have a birthday coming up?  Any special plans?

Since I’m not having children, you get my 30 years of wisdom

alcohol

Hey mom guess what?  I actually made it to 30!  I know, right?  I didn’t think I would do it either.  At least, not with all my limbs attached anyway.

Not only that, my teeth never rotted out of my head from all the candy.

My face didn’t ever freeze that way.

And I totally jumped off the bridge after my friends, and lived to tell the tale.

So really, I’ve had a pretty great time living these past 30 years.

Now I’m not saying all your advice was bunk, mom.  Lots of your pearls of wisdom helped me along the way.   And while you did bestow upon me the mothers curse of hoping I have a daughter exactly like me, I’m not going to give you a chance to spoil my potential little puke rotten and don’t plan to have one.

It’s a shame really, because I could totally be the cool mom who passes along the knowledge that will actually get you to 30.  Rather than let it go to waste, I’ll dispense the most important lessons and advice here to be immortalized in the interwebs.

Be warned, I’m going to give it to you straight, kittens.   Here’s the top 10 pieces of advice that got me to 30 relatively sane and unscathed… hey, I said relatively.  Stop laughing.

  1.  Wear a skirt to keg parties at frat houses.  You have a built in excuse NOT to do a keg stand.
  2. If something on their man bits looks or smells funny, do not put it in your mouth.  Under any circumstances.
  3. Wearing two condoms does not give you more protection.  It gives you chaffage and a rubber band burn inside your hoo hoo.
  4. Never, EVER play “never have I ever” in a room with more than one ex boyfriend.  Double bad if the ex boyfriends have their new girlfriends with them.  Triple bad if their new girlfriends are boring and easily made jealous.
  5. Make a few close friends that you can count on and who can count on you.  It’s not cool to have to call your mom for bail money because you got caught peeing on a wall in New Orleans when you were supposed to be volunteering to build a home for Habitat for Humanity in Pensacola for the weekend.
  6. Oh and don’t pee anywhere publicly.  That’s a big no no.  Boys too.  Whipping it out where other people can see it will go on your permanent record if you get caught.
  7. Go to Mardi Gras at least once.  Preferably when you’re old enough to drink legally but not so old that you’re the old skeezer just there to see perky young boobs.
  8. Find something classy you like to drink.  “Natty Light” might sound cool in college, but in the real world someone who knows their tequila or scotch seems just a tiny bit classier.
  9. Make decisions sober and don’t allow yourself to go back on them once you’re drunk.  I have no idea how many bad situations I’ve avoided by writing down on the palm of my hand “sleep in your own bed tonight you asshole” before leaving for the party, and actually taking my own advice.
  10. Find someone who gets your crazy and put them in your pocket and keep them forever.  I’m not saying go out and get married or fall in love or any of that crap.  But find someone who really GETS you, who vindicates and validates you, and supports you through it all.  Hell that person can be YOU if you’re super duper awesome, or it can be someone you find in someone else.  Either way, find it.  Having someone to make it to 30 and beyond with really does make all the difference in the world.

So what about you readers?  Any advice for how to make you first 30 years great?  What about the next 30?  Somehow I think the fun has just begun for this girl.

Grapes of Wrath strike again

hangover

You know who had the right idea?  George Costanza.

His under the desk nap nook really should have revolutionized the workplace.  I mean, other than the obvious productivity issues, how convenient would it be to have a heavenly safe haven to retreat to and drool in as needed?

Today I am battling the grapes of wrath and the wineo hangover is winning.  I would literally promise to shave my legs every day for a month if I could just get a quick half hour of respite to let the Advil kick in and the cobwebs clear out of my brain.

And yes, I’m typing this at 4 in the afternoon.  For those thinking that it’s a miracle that I even made it to work today when I’m still feeling this bad 7 hours later, you are right.

What can I say?  I’m a miracle child.

Old Time Rock n’ Roll in my underpants

drunk

Evidently, I’m super fun even when I’m not drunk.

At least, that’s what my husband told me last night.

What a relief!  And I mean that seriously.

Before starting this Whole 30 thing, I’m not sure I realized how much alcohol I was consuming.  I mean, obviously, I knew that we are really social and go out 4-5 nights a week.  I also knew that going out meant drinking beer and hanging out with our peeps.  But I’ve got to be honest, I never really sat back and processed just how many beers I was drinking per night, or how important alcohol is to my social activities.

The first few times we went out during the first week of Whole 30 were really hard.  It was instinct to order a beer, or a glass of wine to compliment my meal.  Ordering water or unsweet tea just felt funny, and the fact that the bartenders at my favorite hangout spot looked at me like I had 6 heads didn’t make it much easier.

My friends at first were understanding, but mostly because I made up excuses.  I would say I had a hard workout and was just really thirsty, or that my stomach hurt so I didn’t want to pour beer on top of it.  But after the first week when I continued ordering water with lemon, they knew something was up.

One of the “boys” called me on it while out at dinner this week.  I admitted that I was doing Whole 30 and wasn’t drinking for 30 days.

He surprised the shit out of me when he said, “that’s really cool.”  We talked more, and not only did he respect what I was trying to do (after some serious ribbing and teasing), he left me alone about it for the rest of the night.

I don’t have the juice right now to psychoanalyze the reason why I didn’t just tell my friends I wasn’t drinking for 30 days.  I’m pretty sure I don’t like the idea of being the “girl on the diet” and figured by not saying anything, I wouldn’t end up in that sterotyped role.  I’m sure I also fell into the trap of thinking I am more fun, outgoing, and exciting to be around once I’ve had a few drinks and loosened up.

Over the past two weeks of this challenge, I’ve learned that’s not the case.  In fact, last night my husband and I went out and had more fun together than I think we’ve quite possibly ever had before.  The night culminated playing pool upstairs in our home, singing along to classic rock songs in our underpants.  And laughing harder than I have in my entire life.

Sober kids.  Stone cold sober.

It’s amazing the things I’m discovering along the way.  Maybe part of this is just finding myself.