weekend bday festivities

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.

(Dress is here!)

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 best cupcake toppers:

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.

Party favors!

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?



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  1. Reenie on October 28, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Happy Birthday to the Pilot!!

    Cute party favors. 🙂

  2. Molly B on October 28, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    I know these are personal decisions, we all have different risk tolerance, and you are taking some measures to be cautious about Covid when you travel. However, since you are sharing your travel and indoor dining so openly on the blog, it might be nice for you to acknowledge that covid is raging across the county at increasingly terrifying rates. The scientific community agrees that the only way we’ll curb this pandemic is making sacrifices and staying home as much as possible (again – I am trying to say this respectfully acknowledge this means different things to different people and I know YOU – and everyone else – have made many sacrifices that your readers don’t know about). I respect you, as do many of your readers, so a few words about this would be appreciated – especially as I bet your younger readers really look up to you when it comes to making these decisions. Thank you so much for considering. Signed, a pregnant physician with a toddler, who is making huge daily sacrifices of her own.

    • Elisabeth on October 29, 2020 at 2:02 am

      I couldn’t agree more. The world is looking on in horror in the US. I live in Singapore – we have a population of 5.6 million on an island that is approx 50sq km. We have had about 57000 cases with 28 deaths. Our kids have been back at school since June. Everything is open. We have had zero community cases for weeks. 20k tests are done in our small city each day going up to 40k in November. Changi Airport is opening its own lab. We cannot meet in a group larger than 5 & masks are worn at all times outside (mandatory) The same in Qld, Australia where my family is – no community cases & they’ve been back at school since end April. But none of us are allowed to travel ANYWHERE. That is what is stopping the spread.

      • Adrianne on October 29, 2020 at 12:12 pm

        Totally agree!! Thank you so much for your comments Elisabeth & Molly B!

  3. Tracy on October 28, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    What a fun weekend! All your scrambling and planning really paid off. I bet they both loved it 🙂

  4. Mary on November 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    While I normally love your blog, I have to agree with the comments above. It left me feeling so jealous of your travels and wondering why I am sacrificing going to restaurants, seeing friends and family indoors, travelling, etc, if others (like you) are not. I know you have made sacrifices but these posts give the impression that we are in a better position than we were last March, which isn’t the case. Maybe just don’t broadcast all the fun you’re having?

  5. Amy on November 2, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Looks like a great weekend 🙂 Happy Birthday to the Pilot and to Penelope! It’s awesome that you were able to get away for a little R&R!

  6. Jenn on November 3, 2020 at 9:53 am

    So fun! Where did you get that super cute black dress you wore in Vegas?? Love it!!

    • Fitnessista on November 3, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      thank you! it’s a few years old from revolve

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