4:15am: Wake up, wake up, wake up! It's time to eat some oatmeal and run!
5:15am: Holy guacamole, it is cold out here. The temp in the car says it's 42 degrees. Maybe I should have brought gloves?
5:17am: Okay, it's really dark in Red Rock right now. I should have brought my head lamp, too. The phrase "RUNNING TO MY DEATH" flashes prominently in my brain. Running down a lonely highway in the black of night...I think I'll sit at Dunkin' Donuts for a little bit.
6:02am: Day break is 30 minutes away. What the likelihood of dying between now and sunrise? Minimal at best. Looks like it's time to hit the trail.
7:35am: Hey! Burros!
9:40am: DONE! Whew. Twenty miles was not as bad as I thought it would be. Let me just try to sit down...ow...or use my hands...ow...or stretch...ugh...stupid knees...
11:15am: Food? Not going to happen. Stomach is still too constricted. Will try again later. At least the shower felt good.
1:05pm: Cupcake delivery by the lovely Stesha! The design work she did for Brian's surprise party looks amazing; all of the letters from friends and family members looks phenomenal on the gorgeous, creamy linen paper she used. I wish I had her skills.
2:11pm: Time to drag the tables and chairs from Kate and Jeff's house over to ours. Party is tomorrow at 1pm and we won't have a second to spare between now and then. They are also storing Brian's birthday present in their garage, too. I still can't believe we lucked out by having cool neighbors that a.) are super fun b.) watch lots of AMC shows and c.) own four card tables and 20 folding chairs. Amazing, really. They are the best kind of neighbors.
2:45pm: Scotty just blew the birthday present surprise. "Dada, Mom and I went to the bike store and got you a bike!" Damn kid.
3:00pm: Babysitter is here! Bags are packed and have been secretly stowed in the trunk. Brian is ready to go but pouting. He still believes we are doing something outdoorsy for his birthday. Hahahaha...despite lying for the last week, I'm glad I laid this groundwork. He looks really grumpy about the idea of potentially going horseback riding for his birthday. If he only knew.
3:20: SURPRISE! No hiking or horses; just one night at the fabulous Cosmopolitian. Our room overlooks the Bellagio fountains!
5:15pm: Discover there is a "Walking Dead" marathon on AMC. This goes great with the potato chips and Summer Shandy I packed. Best staycation ever!
6:45pm: Admire the view from our balcony. Vegas is a like a glittering jewel at night. Love.
8:15pm: Arrive at Gordon Ramsay Steak. I still need to buy some time. I lie for the 29th time to Brian and slip into the bathroom to check my phone one final time. Tiffany confirms everyone in place. Hooray! It's go time! I reapply lip gloss for safe measure.
8:22pm: SURPRISE! Brian's closest friends jump up from the table. He looks genuinely surprised. I did it! I managed to pull one over on him!! This is AWESOME!
1:05pm: It's fun feeling like a VIP! Everywhere we go, we get more wrist stamps. Stamp to get in the club, stamp to get in the elevator, stamp to go behind the ropes. I wave my arm at everyone. Weeee!
1:45:am: Another red bull and vodka? Sounds great! Also, Brian is still smiling. YAY!
3:15pm: Everyone is still going strong, although Uncle Jay decided to call it a night around 3am. Wise move. Decision is made to leave Pure and head back to the Chandelier Bar for more drinks and conversation. Also, we are out of booze.
4:05am: Dave and I inexplicably get into a conversation about Lane Kiffin's wife. I tell him to bring his dog to the party tomorrow. Brian looks tired but is still smiling.
4:45am: The women's bathroom at the Cosmo is an interesting slice of humanity. One out of every two girls is crying; all of them drunk and some are puking. I'm still relatively sober (attributed to not drinking much until after midnight) and my feet feel good. I feel like I should help these crying, vomiting girls...but I just head back to our table instead. I really don't want to get puke on my new dress.
4:51am: Time to head to bed; Brian looks exhausted but really happy. Did I really pull it off? Feet have not fallen off yet, I'm still conscious, and Brian hasn't smiled this much since 2002. Looks like a win, folks!
Epilogue: We slept until 9am then headed back to get ready for the party at our house. Scotty didn't even miss us; he and the babysitter had a great time drawing sea animals and eating cinnamon rolls. My stomach finally allowed food consumption around 5pm on Sunday and chose to give it about a pound of spare ribs, coated in Lucille's yummy BBQ sauce. It was pleased. My lack of sleep also finally caught up with me and I called it a night around 7:30pm. I am also very relieved I can stop lying to my husband now.
Big thanks to all of our friends and family - near and far - who came out to celebrate, wrote him a kind note, or called to wish him well. Happy 40th, sweetie!!