It’s birthday time!

So, last week I told you that I would let you know how my “almost” birthday party went (which was a game night at our house, where friends come over to play cards and eat dinner) on Saturday night… and all I can say is I had a great time with a group of great friends.  Most of the “usual suspects” attended our game night… but we had a few that only attend on occasion.  These goofballs brought me a HUGE card that played this funky little tune.  I had to chuckle.  🙂

My friend Klista spent the night and we woke up Sunday morning to her fixing breakfast for all of us… biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns… the works.  I was having so much fun that I completely forgot that I had turned 40!  BUT, since we stayed up way too late and woke up way too late… it was a dash to get ready to head to Branson for the  “Whiskey Fest”, hosted by 417 Magazine.

It was held at Big Cedar Lodge, just outside Branson.  I’m not a fan of whiskey, so I got the “designated driver” ticket (which means food and non-alcoholic drinks).  Russ IS a fan of whiskey, though… so I’m sure he’s going to be taste-testing all of it (and by all… I mean a LOT!  There are at least 100 brands being featured… it’s insane!).  And eating as well… maybe not in that order, though.  But, honestly, it was a GREAT event… it started right at sunset, and the whole side of the convention center at Big Cedar (where the event was held) overlooks the lake, and therefore the sunset.  Beautiful!  There were “private tastings” (those were right up Russ’s alley)… but there were a few “informative seminars” (Whiskey 101 and Scotch 101… both of which I attended).  The speaker at Whiskey 101 was an absolute riot… we learned quite a bit about how to smell/taste the whiskey (which, trust me… it makes  difference!) and I had the priviledge to taste a few different whiskey’s… but my favorite was the Laphroaig.  It has a very smoky taste (I can only imagine this would be great with BBQ!) and I was rather shocked that I liked it.  At the beginning of the seminar the speaker asked if there was anyone there because they were forced into going because they didn’t like whiskey (I was the only one that raised my hand).  At the end he said, “Did anyone here develop a love for whiskey?” and I was the only one that raised my hand.  When he asked what I liked, and I said the Laphroaig, he cheered… I had to laugh.  At the Scotch 101 seminar I learned more about the making of whiskey and scotch… overall I learned a LOT about both, and have a whole new appreciation for both.

Once that was over (about 9pm), we headed back into Branson to stay at the Branson Landing Hilton.  Russ took Monday off, so we got to sleep in… and then, because I was his DD for the Whiskey Fest (and Sunday WAS my 40th birthday), he took me shopping (which he absolutely HATES to do!).  We only shopped at the Branson Landing, but I still came home with a car full of goodies.  🙂

Next weekend we’re having my “official” birthday party… which has turned into a yearly tradition.  There is a great restaurant in Springfield, called ReRico Grill… it’s a Brazilian Steakhouse.  So each year I try to gather up friends and we head there for an early dinner, then we go to a Missouri State University Hockey Game (which is typically a case of, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”.  We always have fun… so that’s nice.  A few folks have RSVP’d for this… but we still have a week, so maybe more will join us.  🙂

That’s all I have to report on for this week… stay tuned for next week, when I tell you about my other birthday party.  🙂

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