The Big 3-3

It’s not often that you’ll find a photo of me like this on my blog:

Caught in a moment of complete surprise with a green pool noodle in my hand.

But that’s what happens when a herd of crazy women jump out from behind a sofa in a darkened room and yell “SURPRISE!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and I realize that I’ve been gotten.

You see, two weekends ago I turned 33 years old. I had the fantastic opportunity to celebrate it with some of my best friends in the wide world. A group of us gathered in Fort Myers Beach, Florida for some high quality R&R.

Steph, Kelly, Natalie, Peach, Aly, Marcia, Me, Lisa, Allison and Dusty!

They totally got me. I had no idea they were planning a birthday party for me and they lied well enough to pull it off! The surprise party for me was sweet revenge from Dusty for the surprise baby shower I forced upon her last year. I loved it! They gave me a gorgeous picture frame and got me balloons and a sweet cake. Thank you all so much for thinking of me and making my birthday a great one.

Aside from celebrating my birthday, we spent the majority of the weekend just like this:

Snuggled up on the couch, cold drink in hand, soaking up quality girl talk time. The other majority of the time was spent at the pool or the beach or in the hot tub, cold drink in hand, soaking up quality girl talk time. Hence the lack of photos of this trip. There were not a lot of cameras snapping while we were just laid back soaking up the Florida sun. Ok, there were a few, but I won’t be posting them for the whole world to see. We did manage to get this awesome group shot on the way to the beach at Sanibel Island even though some Whiny McNaysayers’s didn’t want to stop in the hot sun and take a pic. After they saw how cute it turned out they changed their tune, though.

Ever since I read about it once in Southern Living, Sanibel Island has always been on my bucket list of places to see. Well, I can mark that off my list! Check out the shells on this beach!

The shells were like gravel, as far as the eye could see… Simply amazing.

While we were in the water on our flotilla of pool noodles we got to see some sea creatures up close and personal. Flocks of pelicans zoomed right past us like a scene from Nemo. We scooped up no less than thirty live sand dollars off the ocean floor with our feet and watched their little mouths open and close. THEN, we saw fins to the left, fins to the right. Not more than 50 feet away from us swam three dolphins!! I will admit that I freaked out just a little bit seeing a big gray fin rising from the waves that close to us, but once I realized it was a school of dolphins I calmed down and enjoyed the magic of the moment. In all my 33 years of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico I have never once seen a dolphin swim that close by while I was in the water. What an incredible memory that was! So cool!

On Saturday night we wound up at an open air restaurant where the hostess sat us right in front of the lounge singer. We sang along with all of his songs and danced to most of them.

Some of us got a little carried away by the songs.

Halfway through our meal we found ourselves surrounded by a HUGE group of grandmotherly type folk who were jamming out with their clams out. They rode in on a trolley bus and gave us a run for our money on the dance floor. They were a group of retired people who do nothing but go around on their party bus and bar hop on the weekends! How freaking cool is that?? They were so much fun! The whole bar sang Happy Birthday to me, then Sweet Home Alabama, which totally made my night!! It feels really awesome to have an entire bar full of folks singing to you!

We met a few other interesting characters, like this dude. Note: Lisa is a pharmaceutical rep for a reputable company that sells the laxatives that people take before they have a colonoscopy. When I saw this guy’s shirt I just couldn’t resist it.

This dude right here was either:
1. Shying away from the camera.
2. Checking out Dusty’s hoots
3. Trying to hold it long enough to make it to the bathroom after slurping down that Super Big Gulp.

Then there was a super talented flame thrower dude on the beach, who made a tiki torch out of Natalie.

Speaking of Natalie, let me take a moment to say how proud I am of this girl. She overcame a HUGE GINORMOUS REALLY FREAKING BIG Fear o’ Flying to attend this get together. I flew to New Orleans and held her hand on the flight. She was so nervous during the first take off that I had to tell her something to take her mind off of things. So I made up a fantastic lie-that-could-almost-be truth and told her that our friend Allison was pregnant just as we were pulling away from the gate. The look on her face was priceless, and the first words out of her mouth were “Why did she only tell YOU, hooker??” And I stuttered and stammered around for a minute while she got even more excited about the news. Then I just couldn’t lie to her any longer because her face told me how happy she was for Allison’s imaginary fetus. When I told her that I was lying she laughed but then we were taxi-ing to the runway and her laughter evaporated into sheer terror. I blabbed my way through the first take off and once we leveled off in the air we ordered a drink and sat back and enjoyed the rest of the trip. She is now able to fly like an old pro, and I’m proud to say that I had a broken hand in that.

Of course I have zero pics of the flights because my hand was in a death grip I am forgetful like that.

This birthday just zoomed straight to the top of the list of Best Birthdays Ever. Like, everever. I love this group of girls so much. We are like family. And no matter how many ups and downs we may go through, I just want to say that I appreciate this weekend more than I can put into words. It was special in so many ways to me. Thank you all for making it a trip to remember!!

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Speak Your Mind



  1. Allison aka Half of VAMH says:

    Love you! Let’s celebrate every birthday like this k?

  2. Aww, I love this… well except for being called a Whiny McNaysayer that is. Grrr. Love you and loved spending your birthday with you. You are a gift. XO, Marcia

  3. One Pork Chop says:

    I’m so glad we got to spend your birthday with you! It was a fantastic time! Love you!

  4. Awwww…LOVED this post Beth! It was so much fun surprising you on your birthday! I hope we get to celbrate together again next year!

  5. Happy Birthday! (belated) I’ve forwarded this post to my friends so they can focus on me in a similar way 🙂

  6. mandie lane says:

    SO fun! You girls all look fantastic, makes me miss the old YH days! Glad you had a great birthday, hope 33 rocks your socks off all year long. 😉

  7. Allison aka Half of VAMH says:




  1. […] many photos printed since 2008. I swear on my next Costco run I’m going to have this one from our Fort Myers girls trip printed to put inside the frame. It’s my favorite pic of my best […]

  2. […] laptop! YAHOO! I miss you, girl! D, if you are reading this, I’m counting down the days until September 17th my friend. […]

  3. No. 34 says:

    […] Since meeting them all online many years ago it’s become an annual tradition for us to get together on my birthday weekend in September.  I like to think it’s because I’m THAT special, but usually it just happens to work out to be the best weekend when everyone can travel freely without husbands and children.  You can read more about our past GTGs in Columbus,  Dallas, Birmingham, Minneapolis, a few times in Atlanta and Ft Myers. […]

  4. […] Along the way, I’ve mixed in Florida vacations that required me to fly- like Fort Meyers, Sanibel, and of course Key West and Port Canaveral for random cruises.  I’ve never been to Miami or […]

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