Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Two Gals, 250 miles, and a Vampire Slayer

My best friend recently turned, gasp, 50. I still have difficulty getting my brain around that. She doesn’t look like what I used to think a 50 year old would look like. Nor does she behave the way I thought a 50 year old was supposed to behave. I guess I was expecting gray hair, false teeth and a walker. Huh. How ’bout that. That’s good to know, since it’s not too far off for me now! Funny how the closer we get to an age, the younger it looks. Am I the only one who thinks that?

I wanted to have a party for her, but she shot me down. But you can’t let a milestone like that just get by without some sort of celebration, right? I’m so not into the whole tombstones/over the hill crap, so don’t even think that! Since she didn’t want a party, I suggested a girl’s weekend in Dallas. A short 250 mile drive away. We shopped, we ate (a lot) and that was only Friday!

We’d planned our trip for several months. We were both really excited. To be able to have a complete conversation without my dog barking, or a kid interrupting sounds terrific! Until….I wake up on Friday, the day we’re leaving, with a wicked crick in my neck. Pain. Ouch. Ow. Crap. So, rather than being chauffeured to her weekend getaway, my bff, Lisa, ended up driving me. I was wrecked. I had to use two, not one, but TWO travel pillows stacked up to immobilize my neck. I know, it sounds totally weird, I’m pretty sure it looked that way too, but it was better than the collar my chiropractor wanted me wear.

We hit the outlet mall on the way to our hotel. Shopped til dinner time, then went in search of food. Ah, Pappadeaux, how I love you. The hotel is a really gorgeous facility that was all done in hues of blue and green. I’d never been in a hotel that was decorated like that. Normally browns, earth tones, flat neutral colors. This place was all aquatic feeling and very calming.

Saturday was facials, massages and more eating. yes, I know. We practically ate our way across Dallas! But hey, when you’re in a city with the good stuff, you gotta take advantage.  We’d initially planned to spend the afternoon lounging poolside. I had the soft side cooler and insulated drink cups all ready to go. But then we saw the puddle, I mean pool. seriously, I think my husband’s shoes are bigger than that! it was almost a lap pool, for an 8 year old. Oh well.

Dinner and a movie. I love my friend like a sister. We have fun together, we cut up and goof off, but we also give each other the kick in the pants we need every now and then. She’s more of a shoot’em up/blow up movie kinda gal. I like lots of movies, but shoot’em ups are not my favorite. If it had not been her birthday, I would never have gone to see ‘Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer’. She knew it wasn’t my kind of movie. And she knew that the only reason I’d see it was b/c it was her b-day. She said we could see something else, but, it was her trip, so we went. Any other time, I’d definitely pass. And I can say for sure, it’s an awful movie. Well, to me it was. Lisa, well, she sat on the edge of her seat and clapped like my kids watching ‘The Avengers’. So I think she liked it. And that’s what counts.

It was great weekend, minus the cranky neck and the crazy woman banging on the door at midnight. I’m so glad we went. And I’m glad she enjoyed it, most of all.

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A Grape, A Wolf, and Chlorine OD

So, do I have your curiosity up? We had a terrific weekend. And I”m glad because that’s probably going to be our vacation for the year. We just got back from Grapevine, Texas (the Grape). It’s a cute little suburb of Dallas, just north of  DFW airport. Amazingly enough, our little jaunt didn’t involve anyone puking (nearly every vacay we’ve taken for the past 4 yrs involved at least one of my children, and sometimes me too, puking.) or becoming seriously injured. I was thrilled! Unless you count the three times the day we left that my daughter inflicted injuries upon herself: 1. finger smashed in car door. 2. skinned back from standing up too quickly in a Mc Donald’s play area. 3. a bruised shin from falling down at the hotel.

The hubs had to go to San Francisco a few weeks ago for work and I didn’t get to go 😦 . So, we  planned a fun family getaway to just have some fun together.   I don’t know about you, my in my house, every single day of summer starts with the words, ‘Can we go swimming today?”. And since we don’t have the luxury of a pool in our backyard, it involves a trip to the public pool, and the expense of a gate fee to get in. And many times, lying on my towel on blazing hot concrete b/c all the chairs are taken. And let me tell ya, when the heat index is 115, that concrete makes me feel like a pizza baking in the oven!

I saw a story on MSN about indoor water parks. Hmmm. That could be fun. And then it got better! I found out there was one only 4 hours from our house. That’s a day drive, easy. So I booked a room for three nights. next time I know better, two nights would’ve been plenty. The Great Wolf Lodge is where we went. It was a beautiful resort, all the furniture was lodge style, family friendly and lots of fun. They have an 84,000 sq ft (I think) indoor water park that includes a lazy river, a wave pool, a fort with all sorts of water cannons, a kiddie pool, and 5 amazing water slides. Three of the water slides are 4 stories tall and the other two are 5 stories tall! Seriously! And if it’s been a while since you’ve climbed 4 flights of stairs, let me tell ya, it’s harder than you remember! But the upside of climbing those stairs all those times, I didn’t feel a bit guilty for having key lime pie at Pappadeaux!

After sitting four hours one day in the 84F humidity that reeks pretty heavily of chlorine, my head was pounding and I couldn’t get it out of my nose! My children spent so much time in the water, my son actually was tired of it and that was a shock! We could’ve spent time in the water yesterday, but he said he didn’t want to. My daughter wanted to go, but was only disappointed for about that long, and got over it. I think we were all ready to come home.

I do have to say though, I felt like a real genius. I had everything packed by the time our kids got home from school on Wednesday.  They didn’t know we were going, so it was surprise to them. We got on the road and two hours later, it hit me. DOH! My makeup bag, including my hairbrush and all my other necessary implements, was hanging on the doorknob of my closet door! Great. My husband was being a smart ass when he asked if I wanted him to go back! Oh well, I’ll be in the water most of the time anyway, and I’m not going to get all made up for that. I had an au naturale weekend.

We visited some of my favorites from my time living there: Einsteins bagels, La Madeleine, and Pappadeaux. And tried a restaurant that I’d only heard about when I was in school there, Babe’s Chicken Dinner House. One of my professors raved about it, but it was a bit of a drive from where I was and I didn’t have the time or the money to go hunt it down. However, since I left there 12 years ago, they’ve branched out and there was a location not far from the Wolf. Oh man, am I ever glad we went! It totally lived up to the reputation! The best fried chicken EVER!!! I never eat the skin of fried chicken, but it was so crispy and so good, I had to! The portions are served family style and the plate of fried chicken they brought out fed my husband, myself and our son for dinner, and then all four of us the next day for lunch!

Now, back to reality. Getting out of bed this morning was tough on all of us, but the kids made it out the door in time, and now it’s time for me to tackle Mt. Pile-o-dirties. I hope you have a fabulous week, I know I’m going to!

I promise, I’ll post some pics soon!

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It’s the Little Things That Make Me Happy!

This may sound silly, but I am really excited about the prospect of having some new restaurants in town. Don’t you already have enough? you say. Well, of course we do! We have our own ‘Restaurant Row’ just like they do in Dallas. Literally dozens of restaurants all within rock throwing distance of one another. Oddly enough they all seem to fit into a very few categories: Burgers, Mexican, steakhouse, Chinese buffet.

So, wanna know what I”m all wound up over? More burgers, in the potential form of In N Out. They haven’t even opened the patty processing plant in Dallas yet (a requirement) and I’m ready for a burger! If you haven’t heard of In N Out, it’s a West coast chain. Started way back in the day and they still only have a few things on the menu: burger, fries, milkshake, soda. What’s the big deal? You can watch them cut the potatoes for the fries. And the burgers. OMG they are so good. I can’t begin to explain. And if you’ve had In N Out, you know why I”m so excited!

La Madeleine is another regional chain that will hopefully be making an appearance here in the not-so-distant future. I know, I know. Aren’t there enough chain restaurants already? Well, I don’t think so! Especially when it’s something totally different, like La Madeleine. It’s a country French themed place with counter service food. It’s very cozy and quaint and they have amazing fresh pastries and bread. Not to mention the potato galette! I can taste it already. Along with a fresh quiche, a cup of amazing coffee and a fireplace, I’m a happy girl.

Beer? Oh yes, I’ll have a pint. The Flying Saucer is the other one that’s got me excited. Once again, regional chain. These people come up with these fantastic ideas for new restaurants but it always seems to be in Dallas or LA! The Flying Saucer is one of those funky, eclectic places. They’ve got German food, bratwurst, knackwurst, hot potato salad and about 100 beers on tap. Yes. An entire WALL dedicated to beers from around the world. the place is decorated with plates. On the walls. On the ceiling. On the posts. Saucers, get it. Small plates. They’re all different, probably collected from hundreds of garage sales. Anyway, during the day, it’s a cool restaurant. But at night, it becomes an even cooler bar with live music. You can’t go wrong!

I’m the geek who emails her favorite places, begging them to come to my town.  I sat here one night last week and emailed all of these places and actually got responses, which not only made me happy b/c someone answered my email. But also at the thought of getting some of them here! My suggestion to you, if you go to a restaurant that you like in a different city, send them a note and let them know how much  you like their establishment and they should come to your town! Who knows, it may work! I’ll keep you posted on when/if they make it!

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