...but we got the present!
Ok, the plan was to leave at the butt crack of dawn on Friday to head to Clovis for Grandma Barbara's birthday with a minor detour through LA to go get Tenley's passport. However, Jeff's new server at work decided to have an identity crisis on Thursday afternoon, and on Friday at 6pm Tenley and I were still at home watching Dora waiting for Daddy to get home from his non-existent non-day off. I figured that we weren't going to go...but we were...we just decided to leave at 5am on Sat. Ugh. It actually turned out to be a great time for making the trip, and the Tenster politely slept most of the way there.
We arrived and visited with Jeff’s sister, Beth, and brother in law, Bill, got the recap on the previous nights party, feasted on leftover birthday cake and started making plans for the day. Then, while Tenley was distracted outside by Charlie the dog, Jeff and I made our escape. It was a serious escape attempt: Tenley would be staying overnight at her grandparent’s house, and Jeff and I would be a couple blocks away at the Hampton Inn, and we had no intention of being seen until after church on Sunday morning. If we hope to take an adults-only vacation this fall and leave Tenley with Grandma Barbara, it’s only fair to start getting her used to the idea well in advance.
So there we were with a whole afternoon and night to ourselves. We were giddy with excitement- it was hard to narrow down the list of possible Tenley-free activities to something do able.
We started with a proper English afternoon tea in Old Towne Clovis. It was in an old Victorian house with little round tables draped with Battenberg lace table cloths and mismatched sets of china. It was the sort of place I could just see Tenley dipping her fingers in lemon curd and finger-painting the table cloth, or examining the cream pitcher in minute detail (as she spilled it all over herself and the floor) for several minutes and then chucking it and hitting the bride-to-be at the next table right in the head. We immediately decided we were not taking her there until she could understand “sit and behave like a lady”.
Then we headed off to get Jeff a haircut and me a pedicure. An hour later Jeff’s hair was tidied up (although we agreed that she was a little timid and could have thinned the back and top more) and my pigs shimmered in OPI’s “Dress to Empress” with pretty daisies on the big toe.
With that we decided it was time for a nap, and went and checked into our room and got two hours of uninterrupted shut eye. When the alarm went off we could have gone right on sleeping, but we decided that a movie and dinner sounded better.
Well, we missed the showing of V for Vendetta but we did something even better: we spent an hour wandering around the Borders...just looking at magazines and books... listening to CD’s....and going nowhere near the children’s section. The words “Tenley, no! Put that down!” were not uttered once. We actually bought a couple magazines to read back at the hotel.
Then we were faced with an incredibly difficult decision: where to have a childless dinner. Eventually we settled on the Cheesecake Factory. There was a brief 30 minute wait which we passed sitting at the bar sipping cocktails. We sat at a table for 2, and we didn’t have to move the sugar caddy, silverware, butter and candle to the farthest side of the table or floor. We chatted with the nice couple next to us who were celebrating their 18th anniversary, lingered over our food, and had dessert.
We missed the next show of V for Vendetta, so we went back to our hotel read our magazines and enjoyed having “couple time”! Everything was great until about 2 am when I busted in on Jeff using the bathroom and began vomiting in the sink. Apparently dinner tasted good but actually wasn’t good. Jeff confessed that he didn’t feel so great either, and I started feeling much better after I reviewed my dinner.
By morning we were fine, and we joined the rest of the family at the Orbit Cafe for breakfast. After we arrived we discovered that it had been no picnic at the Park homestead either: Tenley was really well behaved but refused to take a nap and wouldn’t go to sleep until 11:00pm. She then decided to get up at 3:30 am...so Grandma & Grandpa got to get up too, and Aunty Beth and Uncle Bill were jarred awake by the screaming as well. Needless to say, Grandma & Tenley slept through church.
So, it was really fabulous to have 20 hours all to ourselves, and Grandma & Grandpa considered our first attempt at leaving Tenley alone overnight marginally successful! We won’t be able to repeat the experiment in May, because we’ll be on a cruise...but we’re looking forward to our next attempt in June!