Monday, April 23, 2012


Well, that's what I've been calling Brian's birthday this year.  It has been his 40th birthday extravaganza.  Not so much because we did anything that extravagant, but just because it pretty much dragged on through a whole week.  This past weekend, my in-laws stayed with the littles and I took Brian on a little road trip to the nearest big city, St. Louis.  We had a blast!  The best part of the trip was his surprise- his oldest friend and his wife (a newer, but just as dear friend) met us there and we all got to hang out together!  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

First, I gave Brian a few options.  Either a tour of Budweiser, a museum or two, the zoo, or going to one of the historic districts.  To my complete and *utter* shock, he chose to do the art museum and the historic district to go to all the antique stores.  I think he was basically not thinking of himself at all, and choosing what I would like the best.  Our friends, Andrew and Emily couldn't meet us until later that afternoon, so we headed out on our own.
First was the art museum.  If you've never been to St. Louis, there is a big campus called Forest Park that has museums AND a zoo.  We'll be going back with the littles, for sure!  It's a beautiful area of the city.
We strolled around a bit and raced each other up a big hill in front of the museum.  I won, of course.  Stop laughing.  In front of the museum is this massive gorgeous statue.
As I squinted up at it, I asked Brian if it was St. George.
He said, "We'll have to wait until we can read the plaque, but I'm pretty sure it would be St. Louis."  Duh.  I'm apparently not the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Brian graciously didn't laugh too much. 

We're pretty spoiled having lived near the Chicago Art Institute, but this is a very decent art museum with a respectable collection.  And the former art student in me can appreciate pretty much any art museum.
We both really enjoyed it, and then headed over to Cherokee Street, aka Antique Row.  We ate a really tasty lunch at The Mud House, which I highly recommend for the food and really super friendly people.  Plus they have a really nice patio for good weather, which we were lucky to have!  The whole street is really eclectic and fun.
We browsed through a LOT of little antique/retro shops, and Brian snagged a couple skinny ties to wear with his new suit.  There was a mix of the good, the bad, and the creepy.
After a quick pint at an Irish bar (of course) we left to (unknown to Brian) meet our friends at the hotel.  Ok, so we did have ONE extravagance to the weekend, and that would be staying at the Four Seasons.  It was bliss!  As we were checking in, Andrew and Emily snuck up behind us.  Andrew leaned in close to Brian's ear and said, "How much for the redhead?"  Brian spun around swinging!  Luckily Andrew was prepared and jumped back so the punch didn't land.  Lesson to all of you out there:  don't sneak up on anyone in the military without preparing to be punched! 

Brian was so surprised, and I patted myself on the back for getting ONE surprise into the weekend.  We got to all chat and catch up, and have a drink or two on the rooftop bar.
{another birthday Bourbon for Brian!  He was a happy camper!}
We got all fancy and caught a cab to the restaurant, Vin de Set.  What a fabulous restaurant!  It was a pick made by Emily and Andrew who had eaten there before.  And!  I SWEAR I saw Rick Steves leaving the restaurant.  I swear.  I even said, "Mr. Steves?"  And Andrew said he turned around.  I didn't see that part.  I have a really nerdy love of Rick Steves and his travel show on PBS.  Yes, I am a NERD. 
{Emily and Andrew are GORGEOUS, no?} 
Obviously we all had such a good time we couldn't properly pose for a photo.  And we stayed for hours celebrating Brian's 40 years on the planet.
And then stayed up even later at the hotel, chatting and doing handstand pushups.  Not the girls, but it seemed like a good idea to Brian and Andrew so away they went!  It did not go well for them.
Sorry they are so blurry, but they're too good not to share.  They decided to give up the handstand pushups and go back to drinking.
And that went a lot better. 

I have to say that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Emily for arranging the whole weekend- you're a rockstar, Em!  Also special thanks to Brian for taking me to Anthropologie before we left civilization to go back home. 


  1. Haha - handstand pushups, that's such a typical men thing to do! :-D Glad you had a fab time, it looks great! :-)

  2. Oh my God how gorgeous! What a wonderful memory {and really great photos} & and a happy, happy Birthday to your hubby--40 is an awesome age, though 42 is slightly better :)

  3. It sounds like y'all had such a good time!!! That's one of our Cities-To-See-Before-We-Leave-This-Godforsaken-Post-If'n-We-Ever-Actually-Get-To-Leave-That-Is. I am making mental notes of the antique row and zoo. Am I crazy or are those yellow chairs really awesome? I might be crazy. I also love yellow.

    PS. Your hair still looks really great! Are you still loving it?

    1. Yes! I loved those chairs! I wanted to take them home with me. And yes, the hair is good stuff. Mainly because Brian loves it so.

  4. What a fun weekend! The handstand push ups crack me up. Boys will be boys...

  5. That looks like so much fun! What a great city and always good to have some friends to be silly with :)

  6. This really looks like a lot of fun.
    Happy Happy (belated) Birthday, Ruthie's husband!! :)


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