Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Steve. As usual, his one birthday wish was to celebrate in Des Moines surrounded by his biggest (or shall I say, smallest) fans, Julia and Lydia. They think Uncle Steve is the greatest and I have to agree.

We arrived in Des Moines on Thursday night, just in time to attend Julia’s soccer game. She promised to make a goal just for us, but alas she didn’t. She did play quite well and we had a terrific time watching her and cheering on her team, the Dragons. After the game we had a very casual dinner of hotdogs and a fresh gourmet salad. Ralph declared no dessert for the girls and we put them to bed and the adults quickly followed. Friday Steve ate lunch with Julia at her school and I helped Ralph with the end of the year birthday party celebration in the afternoon. Later, we got a sitter and the adults hit the town for a real celebration.

Dining with Ralph and Blair in Des Moines is always fun. We all have the same taste and desire for adventure so we’re never disappointed when they make suggestions. We started out with a drink at The Royal Mile, and British pub in downtown Des Moines. It’s dark, dingy and has a great beer selection. The guys got a kick out of convincing Ralph and I Steve wanted to eat at a chain restaurant but they really planned to have pizza at Fong’s Pizza. Unfortunately, Fong’s was really busy so we opted for some great sushi at Miyabi 9. It didn’t disappoint and we were all glad we’d chosen sushi since we now had room for dessert. On to our third and final destination, Alba, an upscale restaurant known for their great food. We talked about after dinner drinks and I contemplated a simple glass on wine until the waitress informed me she had fresh lime syrup for gimlets. I’d never had a gimlet, despite being a gin lover, and decided it was time I tried one. Good thing this was our last stop because I might have gone completely nuts drinking these. It was so fresh and delicious! Ralph ordered a tiramisu martini and it was like dessert in a glass. Steve got his usual, an Old Fashioned, but it had a twist – literally – of lemon, not orange. He decided that was even better and declared he’s order his next one that same way. We all got a couple of desserts to split and went home with a nice sugar buzz.

Saturday, Blair and Steve took the girls bowling so Ralph and I could have some girl time. Julia stated that she didn’t understand why we needed to go shopping “all the time” when we had plenty of clothes. Blair tried to explain to her it was a social thing but she wasn’t convinced. That night, the girls had fun decorating the back porch for Uncle Steve’s party and we chowed on pork/chorizo tacos, fresh guacamole and excellent cheese dip. After the girls went to bed, we went to the basement where Blair became DJ for the evening and we played games, drank beer and talked music. Steve said it was the perfect way to celebrate.

Today I told Steve he could do whatever he wanted. I’ve made a cake (which I almost forgot to do!), his parents came over this morning and gave him his gift, he’s hoping to get a haircut and we have dinner plans tonight. It’s his day and I hope he enjoys it. Happy Birthday, Steve. I love you very much!

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