If you hadn't noticed, birthdays are a big thing for me. Today is Baby B's birthday and she's going to be 3! My poor brother and sister in law don't even know what they have in store.
My birthday took a backseat to Thatbaby's this year. Which is expected. And one of the reasons I didn't want to share a birthday. Luckily my girlfriends and I started a tradition of a girls' weekend in June, which I treat as a birthday trip.
Last year, we had two itty bitty babies in the group, so we stayed close to home. This year, with all the kids over one, we went just a little farther afield - Palm Springs. Or Indian Wells to be exact. Once again Jurisslave hooked us up with a hotel room, Mrs. Pirate did all the planning, and I made the goodie bags.
Since Palm Springs in June/July is hot, I filled the bag with lots of cool off things. Like a mister fan, sunglasses, hair ties, and pool floats. There was also sparkling wine to drink, and popcorn to snack on. And coffee for the morning after.
Mrs. Pirate also happens to be pregnant (yay!) and while she has a shower later this month, this is the only time the whole crew of us will be together, so we decided to decorate the room for a little mini-shower experience.
Jurisslave headed up the night before and spent the day working. I picked Horsewhisperer up from the airport and we were the first to check into the room and get it decorated. We rewarded our hard work by heading down to the hotel bar for happy hour.
And before too long, M joined us too!
When Jurisslave turned up, we decided to stay where we were for dinner, then come up with a plan for the evening.
Our plan was to go to The Nest. Do me a favor and check out the yelp review for this place. The second review. Go ahead. I'll wait.
The Nest is a piano bar. But different than any other piano bar I've been to. Because the piano? It wasn't a piano. It was a keyboard.
And there was only one. And they didn't play any classic songs that everyone knew and loved. But the thing that really made me not love The Nest, was one patron in particular. If you read the yelp review you'll know what I'm talking about. One of the regulars dresses up like a clown and hangs out in the bar, just creepily staring at people.
I'm not a fan of clowns to begin with, and this guy just made that dislike seem pretty rational. After my friends took great joy in my discomfort, we all decided it was time to move on.
And so we found ourselves at Neil's, a karaoke bar.
And of course, by this time of night, we all took a turn with the mike.
We stayed until a bar fight broke out, and then waited until the brawlin' parties were gone before heading home for the night - which was really the next morning. There was very little talking as we all washed up and crawled into bed.
The next morning Mrs. Pirate joined us, and we celebrated the eagerly anticipated arrival of her bundle of joy. We found our way down to the breakfast buffet at the hotel, before heading out to spend the day at the pool.
Those pool floats in the goodie bag definitely came in handy.
We really did spend the rest of the day at the pool, alternating between our floats and sitting in chairs until it became too hot not to be in the water.
As dinnertime approached, we headed back to the room to put on our "fancy clothes" and head out to a nice dinner. Unlike the night before, we ended up just staying and talking, long after the food was gone. We headed back to the hotel and started changing into pajamas, when the fire alarm went off.
So we grabbed our bags and headed back out. With cupcakes in tow. Because if we're going to be stuck outside, we might as well be stuck outside with cupcakes.
Eventually they let us all back in. And we resumed bedtime rituals. Since it was't the wee hours of the morning, we stayed up talking for a lot longer, until one by one, we drifted off to sleep.
The next morning we woke up and said our goodbyes. It was only a couple days, but it felt so much longer without any of our kids. And it was really the perfect break, which made it a nice birthday present for me.
It was like a weekends I used to have with my girlfriends when I was in college. Lite. Because none of us are college kids any more. So everything is a little less. A little more mom-like. Which is true of a lot of my food choices. I can't eat like I could when I was in college. Which isn't a bad thing. It means that I'm very happy with lighter versions of the terrible things I used to eat. I've slowly converted Thatboy too. Like onion rings. While he used to love those heavily battered, thick cut rings, now he's just as happy with onions that are thinner and more lightly coated. These onion rings are even baked, instead of fried and my stomach definitely appreciates the lack of oil. Then again, when crispy rings are loaded with such great seasoning, it's easy to ignore the fact they're missing some of the batter.
Barbecue-Flavored Onion Rings (From Cooking Light)
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 lb Vidalia onions cut into 1/4 inch slices and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups dry breadcrumbs, divided
- Preheat oven to 450. Combine flour, sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and allspice in a bowl.
- Add eggs and beat with a whisk until blended.
- Dip onion rings in egg mixture, draining off excess.
- Place 3/4 cup breadcrumbs in a ziplock bag with half of the onion rings. Shake to coat the onion rings. Arrange onion rings on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Repeat with remaining breadcrumbs and onion rings and place them on a second baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Lightly coat the onion rings with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn onion rings over, lightly coating with cooking spray and bake another 9 minutes.