So, I turned 24 last week. No big deal, I mean, last year was my “golden birthday” and it felt like I celebrated all month long (I turned 23 on the 23rd of April) and next year will be big because hello, 25 is a quarter of century! But eh, 24 is just another year right? So I didn’t really want to do anything big….well, things got a little bigger than even I expected, and well it was amazing!
Things got kicked off right on Friday with Mom and I hitting up a local spa for manis and pedis. Then Jenna rolled in from Otown and we hit up Akins for some classic country cooking (I didn’t take a picture- just chicken tenders, okra and mashed potatoes with white pepper gravy, tasty but not earth shattering) and then trekked over to Christine’s to have a girls night in (well, the girls and Ross!). My Gville bestie is the Bestie and got me this lovely bottle for my bday.
It is another Flemish Red and has that similar sour note that I adore, as seen before in my beloved Dutchess and new luuuver the Vichtenaar! Does the girl know me or what? Thanks again, Christine! 🙂
The next day after Ashley so bravely made the 4.5hour tek up the Turnpike/I75 from WPB to BFE she gamely hopped out of her car and over to mine, and the 211 girls zipped over the Cedar Key to enjoy an Arts Festival that just so happened to be going on. We were successful at picking up a few things for the upcoming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day holidays, and I satisfied my local seafood craving with this tasty Clam Bake:
A steamed mess of clams, sausage, corn and red potatoes. Oh so messy and delicious…just like the birthday girl herself! haha. With a sweet tea, of course!
Check out this awesome hat! I really wish I would have bought it now….oh non-buyers remorse.
After a long hot day by the bay….I mean gulf, we came home and dipped in the very chilly pool (only 71 degrees!) before getting cleaned up for a night out in Gville.
Oh course we had to photowhore a little before leaving, by the said pool.
Now, where else would this crazy 24 year old want to go for her birthday dinner than La Fiesta? So we did!
Started off with a pitcher of 1800 margaritas- and the homemade chips and salsa of course! So goooood on both accounts!
And I know you all have seen my favorite dish at La Fiesta many times before, BUT it was my birthday dinner and this meal is EPIC- so I present to you, yet again, the Vegetarian Chimchanga.
Now, were else would this particular girl want to spend the rest of her birthday night in the “big city” of Gainesville? You guessed it! Stubbies and Stiens!
I started the night off with the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale. You know how I love my Brown Ales and this one hit the spot. It had a sweet smell, but more of a bitter, burned nut taste. It was thoroughly enjoyed!
I was craving something more sweet though and after the bitter, dry hopped nature of the Pecan Nut, I changed gears and got Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager.
Good lord I wish they brewed this year around. It is sweet smelling, but has a wonderfully crisp and nearly dry finish. It reminds me of cream soda, but no one else got that impression. We also found that if you took a sip of the ridiculous Imperial sludge that the boys were drinking before tasting the Strawberry Harvest it would taste like gram crackers- true story.
I finished the night on another fruity note with the Great Divide’s Wild Raspberry Ale.
I had been eying this beer since I had Big HOSS the other week and it was all I could have hoped for and more. Light, refreshing and not sickly sweet like some fruit beers can be.
Of course things got a little silly….here’s just a taste of the fun times!
And who do I have to thank for my wonderful trio of brews? Well the one legged man in the kilt of course!
Thanks again Ryan for picking up my Bday tab and for sporting the kilt in my honor. You are the best!
Now, that sounds like quite a successful celebration, don’t you think? And I would certainly agree. But did we stop there? oh no….well, I mean, we stopped there for the night, but after drinking off the tequila and barley malt there was brunch to be consumed!
The other 2/3rds of my 211 girls had to jet off to other engagements in there respective cities, but Christine and I enjoyed a street side brunch at the Top and took in the wonders of Gville on a Sleepy Sunday Morning, with a side of refreshing rain.
Oh, we had some good food too:
I had the “mess of grits” which was true to it’s name.
Yellow grits topped with onions, peppers, two fried eggs, cheese and faux chorizo sausage (I wasn’t a fan of the fake sausage so I picked that off) with a biscuit and bacon. I ordered the Applewood bacon and Christine got the Seitan Bacon and we each swapped a slice. I enjoyed them both, and am curious to explore more of the “Wheat Meat” seitan uses.
Christine asked that I photograph her colorful “that brie thing” (I love the Top’s dish names!) which was 3 grit cakes topped with eggs, spinach, tomatoes and brie cheese.
I nearly ordered this myself…so many great options. I am looking forward to going back again for brunch soon!
So, that was my crazy “low key” birthday! When this girl celebrates she does it in style I guess? Thanks again to all my wonderful friends for living it up with me, it wouldn’t be a real party with out you!
Love to all,
~the just can’t keep things simple, Jess