The Bonanza

Being that I’ve taken the last three years off from celebrating much of anything, it.was.on. for my birthday this year. For those of you unaware (I have no fucking idea how you couldn’t if you read this blog very often at all), my day of gracing this planet with my presents presence is exactly three months after Christmas. And frankly, I had so much fun this year, I may just start my birthday countdown December 26. Sorry. Not sorry.

My big time celebrating did start about a week prior to the actual day because my Iowa peeps were in Nashville for their spring break.

Birthday Sandwich.

Sister CBXB, being the foodie that she is, kept saying she was my amuse bouche (which in French literally translates to mouth amuser….It’s OK, I live in the south) to my birthday. Since I frequent more hip chain style casual dining restaurants of the likes of Chili’s, I had to look the term up. Amuse bouche is served at fancy restaurants before any orders are placed to prepare diners of the chef’s style. Next time at Dalts I’m going to ask for an amuse bouche with a side of ranch before my first Skinny Pirate.

The amuse bouche of my birthday!

We went to a fabulous restaurant called Husk, where we were on a three-way (again, fine due to my region of residence) text with my foodie bro-in-law back in Iowa.  He is an expert on ordering, knows what we like to eat, drink and guzzle.

Husk Hooch.

Naturally, when two corn-fed sisters saw cornbread on the menu, it was a must.

We hated it.

Aside from the beyond our wildest dreams cornbread we wanted to stuff into our purses for a snack later, we feasted on fried dilly tomatoes with pimento cheese, chicken, steak and more cocktails, of course. BIL informed us that this was all created under Chef Brock who is on the new season of Chef’s Table on Netflix.

We so fancy.

I carried the fancy on to the Mumford and Sons concert Sister CBXB took me to after supper. I carefully selected my concert t-shirt (a must whenever I see a live show) and then promptly put it on.

Yes. I’m that girl.

My sister put her t-shirt on right away too because siblings stick together. After getting cocktails that cost more than I’m paid per hour, we sat to watch the opening act. As we were chit chatting about how lights and speakers are hung (I used to work in music production) a man in front of us was apparently on a first fucking Match.com date and asked us to be quiet. Then his date piped in and said she, “paid good money for these tickets.”

You can imagine how that went.

Take your shhhh! and shove it up your ass.

Ahmahzing sold out show.

Mumford and Sons not only sold out the Bridgestone Arena, they also broke the record for attendance tipping the people meter at over 19,000.

The following evening, First Mate further assisted me out of my culinary comfort zone and took me to a new Indian restaurant in Nashville called Chaatable. Every time I think of Indian food, I see Ben Stiller sweating (then shitting) his brains out in the movie Along Came Polly.

Beauty and her birthday Beast.

You guys, this restaurant was beyond. I didn’t sweat or shit myself (surprisingly) while dining here. The food was insane good to the point where I wanted to lick my butter chicken bowl clean (I may have).

All. the. yes.

There are 80,000 Indian bracelets used as a central piece of the art in the restaurant. Now I need one of these in the Mini Manse, of course.

Bracelet bonanza.

The eve of my birthday consisted of wine, cats, cuddles and DVR.

Purrrrfection.

On my birthday, I woke up with all four of my pussies in the bed, contemplating having a ‘sick’ day from work since my birthday fell on a Monday. However, that would have been a grave mistake on my part.

Well wishes came in all kinds of styles starting with handmade cards from the twins…

…to insane crazy sweet text messages…

…to appropriate memes sent to me throughout the day.

It looked like Christmas morning at my desk upon my arrival to work. From wine, to pink icing covered donuts, to lunch with coworkers at my fave Dalts to cake in the afternoon, the day did not suck.

Spoiled beyond.

Here I thought it would be a slight bummer having my birthday fall on the first day of the work week but boy, was I mistaken.

After a short work day (I have the best boss), I met First Mate for rosé at 51st Taproom.

Rosé all birthday.

Then it was on to a Mexican fiesta with Mama CBXB and Rasta for more vino, accompanied by some cheese dip and 4,961 chips. And then, my mom’s family famous O’Henry bars for a birthday treat.

Janie’s Junk just for me.

Due to the fact that I had years of celebrating to make up for, I welcomed wishes and reminders all week.

Double DUH.

My TGIF birthday night was another fabulous dining experience for me. Van Waffles took me to the Marsh House at the Thompson Hotel in the Gulch area of Nashville. Another menu for me to text my BIL and sister, who guided me through the ordering process of cocktails, BBQ shrimp (fucking killer) and Mahi.

The Marsh House mania.

The experience was so divine, it was dizzying.

Best photographer ever.

Saturday, Van Waffles spoiled me further by cooking a fabulously kick ass meal at the Mini Manse. I have no idea what all was in it aside from salmon and noodles but it all went into my belly. I also had no idea my kitchen functioned properly for which it was intended (not just extra storage in the oven).

THIS. WAS. MADE. IN. MY. KITCHEN.

Further spoiling came from all over the globe. I woke up on Sunday to this sweet message from my buddy, Stevie, who lives in Australia. We’ve yet to meet in person but it seems like we’ve been friends for years. Because we have been friends on social media. Isn’t that fun?

The awesome didn’t stop, as I made my way to Dalts for a much-needed hair of the dog on my day of rest.

Then capped off by my favorite relaxing ritual.

Birthday bubbles.

All in all, this was one of my best birthdays that I can remember. So much so, that I won’t ever be taking three years off from celebrating again.

Cheers until next year!

Thanks for all of the love. I love you right back.

CBXB

CBXB!

Key West Winks

Leaving Nashville and heading to sunny Key West was no difficult task.  I managed to fit right in with the red necks, gays and high-class folks (well, not really this group) but having a pool boy wait on me hand and foot for days on end was fabulous…

Where's Tom Hanks when you need him?

Where’s Tom Hanks and a blow dryer when you need him?

I kicked off my trip with a Sunset Colada – Captain Morgan in a pina colada. Hello love at first sip!

Captain Rita

Captain Colada

While sipping on my new favorite beach cocktail, I died and went to heaven, then came back to Earth as I ate fresh stone crab claws.

Stone crab heaven

Is this heaven? No, it’s just a crab claw.

We crossed the longest bridges that I’ve ever seen – it was like the movie Groundhog’s Day, only above water.

World's longest bridges

Have I been here before? Or am I just having a blonde moment?

Meanwhile in Nashville, Teddy was putting a voodoo hex on me with his glowing eyes and ultra scowly face. I received this photo while pulling into the hotel…(don’t let that face fool you. Mom said it sounded like a bowling alley when Ted and his two feline uncles were playing the nights away – he was having fun but just being a bitch about it!).

Hate eyes

Paybacks are HELL.

I quickly forgot about what a grouchy cat I’d be coming home to once I laid eyes on my home for the next few days.

Fancy

Palm trees? Oceanside balconies? Can I stay indefinitely? PLEASE?!

Upon checking into the hotel, I wanted to see what beach rules I could break.

Which one applies to me...?

What? No moonshine?!

Regardless, I was overjoyed to be on vacation and accidentally got ‘happy’ in the hammock.

This is what a crasher looks like

Oh glorious vacay day!

And then on the way to dinner, I then gave my best Cameron Diaz impression from There’s Something About Mary.

There's something about....bad bangs

Ben Stiller bangs.

After a relatively early evening (the hammock cocktail party started way too early), I got up the next morning and did yoga on the beach. There was only one other person, so it was like a private session – score!

I could get used to this…

After the hour-long (exhausting because I was so dehydrated) yoga, I parked it poolside with a mimosa (because alcohol always helps rehydrate, right?).

So...think this could be the way I want to start every day. Mimosa in hand

Yoga and booze. The way every day should begin.

My home away from home proved to be more luxurious and relaxing than the mini manse I share with Ted.

This didn't suck

This didn’t suck.

As I walked the streets of Key West, I realized it should be my new place of residence.  Pink shutters….

Shutter me timbers

Shutter me timbers!

Kit cat mailboxes…(and yes, I was a creepy tourist almost on someone’s front porch. Trespassing, anyone?).

I'm destined for this mail box. I'm not the only cray cray cat lady!

I’m destined for this mail box.

And pink taxis…!

Taxi me..

I wanted to drive this cab back to Nashville to use as my personal vehicle.

After walking the streets of Key West for all of 1/2 mile, it was pool time once again.

134th Skinny Pirate of the vacay.

Walking makes me so thirsty.

While I was enjoying my 139th Skinny Pirate, I came up with a brilliant idea. All on accident…

Nice place to keep a straw when not drinking.  I should probably patton this idea

Hair makes a nice place to keep a straw when not drinking. I should probably patent this idea, don’t you think?

After all of the rum, I balanced out with a little (really, a truckload of) food. Lobster and corn on the cob (not as good as Iowa sweet corn but still good enough to eat like I’d just discovered a new delicatessen) happily kept me grounded (and the room from spinning).

The 32nd time I stuffed my face. Lobster and corn (not as good as Iowa sweet corn but still good enough to eat like I'd just discovered a new delicatessen).

The 26th time I stuffed my face.

Between mouthfuls of lobster and sips of Skinny Pirates, I commented on a fellow bar rat’s Tennessee hat.  Our conversation went as follows (with me doing most of the talking – surprise!):

“OMG! You’re from Iowa? Me too! You used to live in Des Moines?! Me too! You’re a Hawkeye fan wearing a Tennessee hat? Wait, you live in Nashville?! Me too!”  This man was so schnokered up, he would have told me he was my long, lost uncle and I would have believed him. Being blonde is hard work.

Iowans unite!

Iowans unite!

While perusing shops at midnight with an overloaded stomach, I saw this oh-so-perfect for me dish towel.  I wanted to break the glass window of the closed store to get it…hence the reason why I needed the damn towel!

Could this be any more perfect? I wanted to break the glass of the closed store to get it...hence the reason why I needed the damn towel!

Fitting, yes?

Keeping the make new friends tradition alive, I ran into a local Key West celeb (I only knew this after he was pointed out to me, therefore I felt the need to rush right over and become instant besties)- the mayor. So I did what all tourists do and got the camera out.

My new best friend. No I won't be your Deputy Mayor.

No, I won’t be your Deputy Mayor.

Ten hour days of cocktailing is exhausting work.  Below is what I require in order to marathon drink five days in a row…

Please follow the rules and shut the F up!

Please follow the rules and shut the F up!

While a little sad on the way back to Nashville, I snapped pics of the bridges once again. Only this time I was about 2.3 million brain cells short of completing a panoramic shot with my iPhone.

The wizardry of my photo genius. I somehow missed half of the car. Yes, you can hire me but it's going to cost you.

The wizardry of my photo genius. I somehow missed half of the car. Yes, you can hire me but it’s going to cost you.

So was Mr. Bear happy to see my tanned, relaxed face?  I think all of you cat owners know the answer.

He's seriously rolling his eyes.  Seriously.

He’s seriously rolling his eyes. Seriously.

Forced snuggling usually does the trick…

Force snuggle always works.

Not light as a feather but as stiff as a board.

And when snuggling doesn’t work, I use the mauling tactic.

Like he hates being mauled.

Ted loves to hate this.

You can imagine my happiness when I stepped into a nice pile of “F-you Mom” regurgitated cat food yesterday morning. And now I can rest easy, knowing I was missed.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!