The diversity of the guests at the Pfister always amazes me. I knew there were visitors from all over the world, but prior to becoming the Pfister Narrator and spending so much time in the hotel, I didn’t realize how many guests were of different styles and ages, including children.
It’s certainly not Kid Central, but there are enough little people around to remind me how welcome they are at the Pfister. And they are always in awe of the hotel – including the lion statues, swimming pool, ceiling mural in the lobby and the chance to have a juice or soda in such a spiffy setting.
With this in mind, I decided to plan a Pfister birthday party for my partner’s 11-year-old daughter, Olivia.
She invited her dear friend, Indigo, and the girls started the celebration with a manicure at the Pfister Well Spa and Salon. They were thrilled with the massive selection of polish – Olivia picked “blue moon” and Indigo picked a silver sparkle – and they loved sitting next to each other, having their nails decorated and chatting with the really friendly nail techs.
After the manicure, because it was Olivia’s birthday, they brought her a fruit and custard dessert with two spoons and “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate on the plate.
This was followed by a one-hour Downtown carriage ride from Milwaukeee Coach & Carriage that left from the hotel. Coincidentally, I bought this ride as a Groupon prior to even applying for the Pfister narrator position. I’m not sure what the girls loved more: the ride itself or getting to feed and pet the horse, Wilson, after we got back to the hotel.
Then, we had finger sandwiches and pickles – Olivia’s favorite – and opened gifts.
Olivia received typewriter-shaped earrings made from Shrinky Dinks (she loves writing like her father and I), a tie dye kit, mesh Madonna-style gloves, a book of Madonna photos and a birthday book that provides insight into people’s personalities based on their birth date. (Of course she looked up Madonna’s birthday – which, for the record, is Aug. 16.)
I also gave her my skating Girl Scout patch that I earned when I was about her age. I have had the pleasure and the honor of watching Olivia transcend on the ice from wobbly to graceful, and so, as I told her in the card, she truly earned that badge.
At the end of the evening, Olivia gave me a hug and said, “Best birthday ever.”
This meant a lot to me. Being a “bonus parent” – I despise the word “step parent” and a friend suggested this term instead – is a fragile relationship. Much like ice skating, it’s a mix of wonderful and wipe out.
At the end of the evening, I was really pleased to have been able to provide her with a magical celebration for the magical age of 11 at a magical place like the Pfister.
In fact, the magic began on our way to the hotel.
Driving down Humboldt Boulevard, we saw seven or eight green balloons floating down the sidewalk. We had presents, cupcakes, kids’ champagne, cute napkins and plates – but no balloons. So my partner pulled the car over and much to her excitement and surprise, told her it was OK to get out of the van and chase down a few balloons. So she did.
“And green is my favorite color!” she exclaimed, beaming, holding an armful of emerald air-filled balloons.
A birthday present from the universe – on our way to the Pfister.