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The Big 3-0

by Meghann on April 6, 2014

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


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 πŸ˜‰ ).

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.


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.


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).


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


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.


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.



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.

dessertroom friends

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.



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.



I can not recommend Sweet Tweets Bakery enough. They have the BEST gluten free cupcakes in Tampa Bay (Florida? United States? Β 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!


Thirty is going to be awesome! Β 

1 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Sounds like a great weekend! Happy Birthday, Derek πŸ™‚
Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..Weekend Links

2 April April 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Happy birthday to Derek (I’ve been gluten free since November due to a wheat allergy…thank god for gluten free cupcakes).

Glad you two were able to celebrate in style. =)
April recently posted..New York, New York!

3 Misspinkkate April 6, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Totally going to Bern’s next time I’m in Tampa!

4 Hildy April 6, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Happy Birthday to Derek!!!

I love Bern’s! Sounds like you had a great meal!
Hildy recently posted..Best Damn Race Orlando Race Recap

5 Becky @ Olives n Wine April 6, 2014 at 10:10 pm

Happy birthday to your husband! That’s a huge bummer on the skydiving place but honestly, you probably want to jump out of a plane with a nice, trustworthy stranger so I’m hoping you’re next trip is successful!
Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..A spring weekend!

6 Emily @ The Swallow Flies April 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm

What a wonderful birthday (minus the skydiving fiasco)! Dinner looked uh-maze-ing!
Emily @ The Swallow Flies recently posted..Because 9.2 Would Be Silly

7 Jojo @ RunFastEatLots April 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Happy birthday Derek! That meal looks delicious πŸ˜› and so do the desserts!
Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..Training Log 4/6- Bricks and BBQ

8 William Charles April 6, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Glad to hear you guys didn’t go through with the SkyDive, whenever it comes to semi extreme sports (scuba diving, sky diving, rock climbing etc) it’s extremely important to follow you gut and do what you think is right. No point in following through with it if the staff are no good, otherwise they will never learn.

9 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun April 6, 2014 at 10:58 pm

My birthday is this week too! I think my celebration will be a little more low key though πŸ™‚ Happy Birthday Derek!!
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10 Mary April 7, 2014 at 4:11 am

That house salad does look awesome!
Happy birthday Derek! Such a shame about the skydive. Fingers crossed you have a better experience next time. I turn 30 in October and have left the planning of the day to my fiance (will then be husband)…not sure this is the best of ideas!!!
Mary recently posted..A Jantastic review

11 Meghan April 7, 2014 at 4:52 am

We jumped at Skydive Space Center and had an amazing time. We had a huge group but they were still efficient and super sweet. I hope you got the photo package, I love my photos from my jump.

12 Runner Girl Eats April 7, 2014 at 6:49 am

Happy birthday Derek! I have only been to Bern’s once. I am not a huge meat fan so obvi it was all about the dessert room for me. SO GOOD. Glad he got his bday wish! I had the same wish Saturday πŸ™‚
Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Wedding: The dress

13 Amanda Elizabeth April 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

Happy Birthday to Derek!!!! Berns is my absolute favorite place to go to! The wine tour and dessert room is the best! What a bust about skydiving but I’m glad you got a full refund!
Amanda Elizabeth recently posted..How To Bargain Shop Like a Boss

14 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner April 7, 2014 at 9:33 am

Happy Birthday, Derek! Sorry to hear about the bum skydiving event. I’m sure the next one will be better!
Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..Uncharted Territory: Roast Beef

15 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} April 7, 2014 at 9:45 am

Happy Birthday Derek! Sounds like a really fun weekend full of birthday celebrations!
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16 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

Happy bday to your man! Looks like an amazing weekend. I bought a livingsocial deal for a local skydiving place and tried to jump 3 separate times and the weather never cooperated. My fiance and I decided that maybe it was a sign from God and gave up on it lol. I just tried gluten free pizza crust for the first time and was extremely disappointed. I supposed I won’t give up on all of the gluten free options since it seems like there are actually some good ones out there.
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..Handstands & a Sick Day

17 Kelly April 7, 2014 at 10:00 am

I have been reading your blog from just about day 1! My daughter is gluten free and we are heading to Florida in a week, I was so excited to read your thoughts on a couple of GF food spots we can try!

18 Sara@RunningInPinkProject April 7, 2014 at 11:10 am

Ill be spending some time in Tampa this fall and just might have to check out that steak joint. YUM! That strawberry cake looks out of this world!
Sara@RunningInPinkProject recently posted..Give-Away: Relays by Sol Republic Active Headphones

19 Kelly April 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

Any GF tips would be awesome! We are staying in Orlando for a few days and then in Daytona Beach for a few days as well!

20 Allison April 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Happy birthday Derek!

21 Natalie @ Free Range Human April 7, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Happy Birthday, Derek πŸ™‚ My hubby celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday. Now he’s older than me for eight months, and that’s very fun to point out!
Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Mental Game: A Race Recap!

22 Ashley April 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

My hubby turns 30 this week too! Looks like you all celebrated it right πŸ™‚
Ashley recently posted..Beauty is an Expression of Health: A review and Giveaway!

23 Jen @ Pretty Little Grub April 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

What a bummer that the skydive didn’t pan out. Hopefully the easter weekend one turns out better. A big Happy Birthday to Derek!
Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted..Makeup Monday – Spring Has Sprung Makeup

24 Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily April 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Happy Birthday Derek! Sounds like a fabulous birthday weekend, that house salad looks fantastic!
Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily recently posted..38 Weeks

25 Krystle April 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

I jumped from Skydive Space Center a few years ago, for my 23rd bday! Best birthdayexperience, EVER! I live less than a quarter mile from the skydive place now, and enjoy watching (and listening to the screams) from my back yard!!

26 Kirsten April 7, 2014 at 10:13 pm

My husband and I love to go to Bern’s when we visit Tampa. Such an amazing experience. Every time we have been it is always packed – and they have 8 or 9 dining rooms. Amazing! Did you do the wine cellar and kitchen tour?

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