To celebrate, she got a hotel room at Shephard's on Clearwater Beach. We have good memories at Shephard's - that's where we spent the weekend for my bachelorette party back in 2007, and had a blast. I hadn't been back there since then.
Flashback! Heather and me at Shephard's for my bachelorette party. You can't see it, but I'm wearing a veil with my bikini, which caused a couple of people to buy us the pictured free drinks. Pardon the penis straws.
On her birthday, Heather picked me up and we went out to the beach. Her friend Simon was already there, and he directed us to our room so we could get ready for the evening. The room was much nicer than I remembered (not that it was a dump before, of course, but maybe they've updated?), with a nice view of the water and a glorious shower.
Beach, here we come!
View from the room
Once we were properly primped, we headed down to the Tiki Bar for a quick happy hour drink. By that time, Heather's friends Tony and Corey had also arrived. I hadn't seen Tones since before Ellie was born (he just got back from a nearly-year-long stint working at Disney World in Tokyo - wicked cool, right?), and this was my first time meeting Corey, who bought me a beer and immediately gushed about how cute my kid is, so needless to say, he made a stellar first impression!
After drinks we hit up the Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet at the restaurant. Oh boy, was that delicious. We went a little crazy and pretty well stuffed ourselves. Mmmm, crab legs.
A random sampling from the buffet: prime rib, chocolate cake, and rainbow ice cream that looks like it's straight out of the movie Hook. And of course, crab leg remains. Yum.
Heather's friends Megan and Casey had joined us by that point, and after dinner we all went up to the room where her friends had set up her celebration: champagne, gifts, a Hannah Montana balloon, the works. We drank champagne out of gross-smelling paper hotel cups, and shortly thereafter, Heather's surprise cake was delivered. Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but the room service guy knocked on the door and yelled, "Cake! Caaaaaake!" so...I think she guessed what was going on. They also failed to bring plates, silverware or the lit candles as requested, so cake delivery fail.
But, the cake was delish, and quite funny - it was made by Tony's cousin and was a delightful "cake wreck"-style tacky cake. Really, any tacky cake decoration that was available was on there, including pink flamingos, a frightening red-eyed white rabbit and a baby doll head.
Heather with her cake!
Happy 99th birthday, Bairds! You still got "it!"
From what I understand though, they had a great time at the club and even more fun at the beach the next day. I'm so glad my sister got to take a break from work for a couple of days (she's been working so insanely much for months on end) and got the celebration she wanted and deserved. And I'm so glad I was here to attend the festivities for the first time in a long time, even if it was only for a portion of the party! My sister is awesome, so I loved being here to celebrate her. Happy birthday, Heather! Love you!