Hello my faithful readers...
I'm guessing right around now you'd like to know how my birthday went. One word. Fabulous.
Now you'll have to forgive me because this is my first blog entry being a tad bit tipsy thanks to one of my best friends in the whole world, Chance, the fabulous staff at Spago and some new friends at a neat little spot called "Rhumbar" recommended to me by my favorite Spago bartender, Peter.
Chance and I spent the day in WoW and playing Starcraft 2, where he's bound and determined to make me a better and faster player. After a great lunch, we sat down, played some more then at around 8:30pm, I let him know it was time for tradition to kick in.
For those of you who have joined me at the world famous Spago Las Vegas know that I celebrate my birthday with a signature event. It's the corner seat at the bar and an order of the fabulous Spago Crème Brûlée and a glass of champagne. Call me spoiled if you must, but there is a reason behind why I MUST have a Spago Crème Brûlée and a champagne every birthday.
The tradition started on my 27th birthday when I was abandoned at a nightclub called Baby's at the Hard Rock Hotel by my then-boyfriend. After I searched for him for a while, I went back to his apartment, only to find him making out with another girl. Heartbroken and in tears, the next day, I went to Spago where my dear friends David and Carlos were working. When I told them what happened and that it was my birthday, I couldn't help it, I broke down into tears. Carlos and David excused themselves for a moment and while I was trying to compose myself. Just when I had dried my eyes, I looked up and around the corner, carried by half of Spago's wait-staff, was a Crème Brûlée with a sparkler on top with David placing a champagne glass next to it and filling it with '92 Tattinger, my favorite. When I was at a low point, the people who had seen me every Friday for five years came through. They visited with me, made me laugh and made me forget that I was in pain. Ever since, my birthday marks another anniversary of survival and it's celebrated with Crème Brûlée and Champagne.
For 10 years I was denied my tradition. Most of you know why, if you don't, let's just sum it up in two words: The Ex. He wasn't into all of my neat little traditions, he found them frivolous and unnecessary. To me, they always marked the fact that I was surviving whatever came my way. Three of those years I was denied because let's face it, there's no Spago in Montreal. The rest were brushed off by someone who had no idea who I was or why I did the things I enjoyed.
Tonight (since I'm writing this right after we've come in the door), I took my dear sweet Hunter coach to Spago. He's 24, he grew up in Vegas, but he was never of legal drinking age to really enjoy the hedonistic lifestyle I was enjoying while I was in the midst of it. So, at around 8:30, I told him it was time to head out for my traditional Birthday Dessert, besides, it was also time for another tradition, my Birthday Swatch.
As you all know, I collect Swatches. Yes, that neat little bit of pop culture from the 80's, the Swatch Watch. Now, over the years, I have collected 20 of them. Tonight marked number 21, with a beautiful name to go along with it, the "Leaf Spectacle".
Isn't it gorgeous?
Well, much less to say, that was my birthday present, which harkens back to when I used to go every two weeks to pick up a new Swatch then sit down for a wienerschnitzel and a glass of Riesling every Friday night at Spago after working at the aquarium. I'd always come in with a Swatch bag and holler "fresh kill!" and have everyone take a look at my new watch. I have amassed 20 swatches over the years and to be honest, they're a true curiosity.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm temporally challenged. Time means nothing to me, so to wear a watch is the ultimate contradiction because I view time not as a constant, but as a curiosity. I love the decoration on my wrist because it marks the passage of time, but at the same time it is a neat piece of jewelry that just happens to tell time and tells me when Spago closes (11pm) and when it's time for school, etc. Otherwise than that, it's purely decoration.
So, after Chance helped me pick out my new 'curiosity', we headed up to Spago for corner seats at the bar. Unfortunately Carlos was off tonight and David has gone on to bigger and better things, my care was left up to the "new David," a wonderful bartender named Peter who has been taking care of me ever since I started going to Spago again not soon after the ex left.
Peter is handsome and dashing, but severely off-menu because he's a part of the Spago institution. The staff at Spago look after you, you don't hit on them. It would be like asking a brother on a date...ewwww. But, what Peter does do is make a shot called a "Chocolate Orange," a mixture of mulled oranges, orange juice, Kahlua, and Stoli Vanilla mixed in proportions that only Peter knows. When Peter introduced me to them, I took one whiff of this splendid concoction and proclaimed it "decadent", hence the name has been changed to "Decadence".
Chance and I had two "Decadence" apiece. But rest assured, this was AFTER my Crème Brûlée had arrived and I was well into my glass of champagne.
For those curious folks out there, Spago has changed their Crème Brûlée, it now has a chocolate custard inside of it. However, knowing of my love of the berry-filled vanilla variety, Peter brought me this:
It originally had two cups of Crème Brûlée on it, but I had already finished one by the time I remembered to take the photo. The chocolate ice cream in the middle? It was flavored, very subtly, with mint.
I don't care who you are, THAT is a birthday dessert. Who needs cake when you can have a berry-filled Crème Brûlée that is made especially for you by people who know you AND know that you prefer things a certain way? Am I spoiled? YES. Thank you Peter!!!!!
Well, after decimating the dessert, well, as we all know, I've not been able to be really social for the last 10 years, so I asked, "Peter, where should we go now?" He responded very politely, "Have you ever been to Rhumbar over at the Mirage?" To which I said no and he knew why... So, he gave me the names of a bartender he knows and the name of the bar manager, Jason and Scott respectively. So, Chance and I made our way over to the Mirage and into Rhumbar. (The link will take you to their website.)
Ok, well, here we go...new feature...Sheri's Pick of the Week!
If you come to Vegas, you WANT to go to Rhumbar. The staff that I met, Scott, Jason and a sweet server named Mallory, were out of this world! The atmosphere was welcoming, the service was fantastic and everyone was SO nice! It took the regular pretension we're so accustomed to in Vegas and tossed it right out the window! Even me, who feels a tad bit still too thick, felt right at home and unjudged.
After being shown to a nice little table, there Chance and I were, outdoors under the beautiful moon, stars and lights of the strip, listening to fantastic music being spun by two very hip DJ's.
Here's the view from our seats:
Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we were treated to a heavenly drink called a "Tatonga". I'm a rum girl. My regular drink is a Malibu Madras. The Tatonga takes my madras to a whole new level. STRONG!!!!!! Wow! One sip and the champagne, Decadence and the Madras I had already drank earlier bowed in deference to this tropical nectar delighting my tastebuds. Oy, did I feel it, but not enough to take me any further into intoxication than I was willing to go knowing that I had to drive home. However, the fun had to end as the Rhumbar had to make last call at 1:30am and with Chance and his dire need to drink a blue concoction known as an "AMF" which is short for Adios, M.F'er...after he drank that on top of the Tatonga it was adios to Chance, he was three sheets to the wind and it was time to come home, but not until after I was invited to the happening after hours that were going to be taking place for the staff who were wanting us to come along. Poor Chance, he's never really seen the hedonism that goes along with taking a ride with Mama Rel, so as I type, he's sleeping it off on my couch while I laugh and write about the happenings of the day.
The day in itself was a blast. One of the best birthdays I've had in a long, long, long, long time.
Thanks to the staff at Swatch for sizing down #21, the new "Leaf Spectacle" so I could wear it out tonight, to Peter at Spago for being so awesome and making my Crème Brûlée just like I love it, and finally to Jason, Scott and Mallory over at Rhumbar for capping of my birthday with such a blast.
Most of all I'd like to thank my favorite little brother and best friend a girl could ever have, Chance. He's my partner in crime and the best birthday present of all is that he was here to spend my birthday with me. He's the main reason of why it was such a blast.
So, that wraps it up for 38 years on the planet.
Hello 39, what will you bring me?