Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Big 3-0

by Meghann on April 6, 2014

Oh snap! Look who’s turning the big 3-0 this week!

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Fun fact: I met Derek exactly 9 years ago this month. At the time he had just turned 21 and was more than happy to buy us drinks with his shiny new legal ID. Nine years later, and he still gets excited when he’s asked to show his ID (though getting carded does take on a whole new meaning the older you get 😉 ).

Derek’s actual birthday is Tuesday, but we decided to spend the whole weekend celebrating. We kicked off our big weekend of celebrations with a trip to Skydive City, where Derek had planned to say good-bye to his twenties by jumping out of a plane 13,000 ft in the air.

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What better way is there to kick off a new decade, than strapping yourself to a stranger and jumping out of a perfectly fine airplane?

Unfortunately the experience wasn’t 100% what we were hoping for. Skydive City was a total bust thanks to rude employees and an overabundance of way too many people. After two hours had passed – and we didn’t even get a simple “we’re currently on an X amount of a delay” – we requested a full refund and got the heck out of dodge. Both Derek and I were so upset at this point, that we knew neither of us would fully enjoy the jump (actually jumping for him, just watching for me).

On the way back to Tampa I called Skydive Space Center (where both my dad and brother-in-law had amazing experiences) and made a reservation for Easter weekend. We’re crossing our fingers for a better outcome with the next attempt.

Don’t worry, the day got better.

Next stop on the birthday weekend express: Bern’s Steakhouse.

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Bern’s Steakhouse is a Tampa institution. Known for their amazing steaks, wine, and overall upscale experience, Bern’s is a place reserved for special occasions and expensive business dinners. Though Derek and I have been to Bern’s dessert room a handful of times, Derek had never actually dined there (I’d only been once, for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary back in 2007).

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Bern’s is as much about the experience as it is about the food. We were seated promptly at 6:00 and handed an encyclopedia sized wine menu. Our server walked us through the menu, narrowing down the selections to dry cabernets from the Napa Valley region. We found a reasonably priced bottle and ordered two through the night. #DrinkAllTheWine

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All entrees are served with french onion soup, house salad, fried onion rings, vegetables, and a baked potato. Derek has been gluten free since November, and our server had no problem accommodating his allergy. Derek’s french onion soup was served without the addition of the melba toast and his onions were fried without the breading.

I was really impressed with the house salad, this wasn’t your typical house salad with iceburg lettuce, grated carrot, and tomato wedges. This salad was piled high with fresh greens, cheese, sprouts, avocado, olive, onion, tomato, and egg.

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For my entree I ordered the delmonico 8oz steak. It was served medium rare with a juicy pink center and a fabulous crispy crust. It was like butter, it was so tender.

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Collard greens, carrots, fried onion rings, and a baked potato (unpictured) were served on the side. So much food, but so much deliciousness. It’s not everyday I get to indulge in such a great meal, so I made sure I enjoyed every bite of it.

Once we finished our steaks, we headed upstairs, where a handful of friends and family members were waiting for us in the dessert room.

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I may have been full of steak and wine, but there’s always room for dessert at Bern’s! I had the strawberry shortcake with a Bern’s cappuccino on the side.

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A-MA-ZING!

To top the night off, our server informed us UF had lost in the final four. Sweet! Derek’s birthday wish came true! A perfect night.

On Sunday Derek and I slept in before heading to his parents’ house for a quiet family celebration. We feasted on bbq ribs, chicken, and fabulous gluten free cupcakes from Sweet Tweets Bakery.

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I can not recommend Sweet Tweets Bakery enough. They have the BEST gluten free cupcakes in Tampa Bay (Florida? United States?  World?). Their cupcakes are super moist, rich, and piled high with thick buttercream frosting. I recommend the chocolate cupcake topped with peanut butter.

It was a great weekend filled with delicious eats, family, and celebrating. Good times.

Happy Birthday, Babe!

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Thirty is going to be awesome!  

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