Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re enjoying the week so far. I feel like I’m finally coming out of a post-celebration and birthday blur. The Pilot turned the big 4-0 on Saturday and P turned 5 on Monday. Since the Pilot was hitting such a milestone birthday, I really tried to brainstorm ways to make it special considering the circumstances. Originally I had wanted to plan a destination party and have our friends from all over meet up with us to celebrate for a weekend. Obviously that wouldn’t be the best idea right now, but figured that the two of us could have a short getaway.
The best part is that it was 100% a surprise for the Pilot! I very rarely get to surprise him – I feel like he knows everryyyytthing lol – and he didn’t know where we were going until we were almost to the airport. (Let me just throw it out here that it took a ton of planning but was so worth it!!) We spent 24 hours in Vegas and it was the perfect low-key celebration before family dinner on Saturday night.
A few people asked me about Vegas during COVID and I did a ton of research before our short trip.
Here are some of the things I noticed/learned:
– We stayed at the Bellagio which is one of our faves and I read in a few forums that they really went above and beyond during this time. The Pilot and I joked that this is probably the cleanest Vegas will ever be. They had hand sanitizer and hand washing stations in the casinos, plastic partitions, masks required inside, the whole deal. When we got up from a small table after enjoying breakfast and coffee, a lady instantly appeared and was sanitizing it.
(A welcome bag in our room with masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and a door opener)
– We flew Southwest, which is what we used to fly to Colorado. They’re still keeping middle seats open and it was totally fine
– We got car service so we wouldn’t have to ride the shuttle (<— our usual Vegas pick because it’s inexpensive and fun) or an Uber/Lyft.
– We did the things we usually do here in Tucson: wore masks when indoors or around groups of people, washed our hands, and favored outdoor activities when possible
When we got into town, we checked into the room and then went downstairs for caviar. It’s one of our Vegas traditions to get caviar from the piano bar downstairs and it didn’t disappoint. We had amazing shrimp cocktail, drinks, and people-watched.
After caviar, we walked around on the Strip for a while and did some damage at the Forum Shoppes in Caesar’s Palace.
After shopping and walking around, we hung out at the hotel for a bit and then got ready for dinner at Eiffel Tower. (Pro tip: call instead of making reservations online! I wasn’t charged and we had an incredible window table.)
You guys. I didn’t know if the food at Eiffel Tower would be overhyped but it was AMAZING. It might have been the best restaurant salmon I’ve had. It was in a savory pinot noir buerre blanc with leaks and a crispy panko topping. The only thing that was a little meh was the chocolate soufflé dessert. (I mean this one will always be #1 in my heart.)
The next morning, we slept in, grabbed coffee and breakfast at the hotel, and headed to the airport! It was the perfect short and sweet trip, and also really special because we haven’t had a night away in years. With our move to Tucson, the deployment, straight into airline interviews, training, and the Rona, we haven’t been able to take a couple’s trip. When we got back to Tucson, we picked up the girls, the Pilot opened his gifts from us, I frosted his bday cupcakes, and we headed to dinner at Tanque Verde Ranch.
We wanted to pick an outdoor spot for his birthday dinner and it was perfect. They had live music and the food was wonderful as usual. We were even greeted by an entire family of javelina who like to hang out for scraps!!!
The birthday guy:
I wanted to thank the lovely person who recommended making a video montage for the Pilot for his birthday. It was a HUGE hit. This is the site I used and he really loved being able to see birthday wishes and videos from friends and family members all over the world.
Sunday morning was P’s birthday party! I wanted to throw a small outdoor get-together for her and her friends from preschool. We had it at the same spot where the girls take horse lessons, and they had farm animals for the kiddos to pet and hold (bunnies, chickens, goats) and they each got to ride a horse during the party.
Since it was in the morning, we had the most amazing breakfast spread from Prep & Pastry: mini pastries, egg sandwiches, bacon, and sausage. I just grabbed cupcakes for dessert from Whole Foods. It was the perfect low-key celebration and the kiddos had a blast.
I also ordered little horse bracelets, horse stickers, and then added some treats like Annie’s gummies, lollipops, and mini stampers.
Last week was pretty insane getting everything ready for Vegas and P’s party but I’m happy to say we’ve made it to the other side. Now we just have Halloween this weekend….
What are you guys doing for Halloween this year? I’d love to hear your plans and anything creative you’re doing to celebrate. What are your kids going to be?