"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...."
The famous words from the classic Charles Dickens' novel, "A Tale of Two Cities."
And thus describes our weekend....
It was another Freaky Friday - with severe thunderstorms, hail, rain, wind - the whole gamut of nasty weather that leads one to sit inside and thank God for shelter. The lightning got so bad, that we powered off all of our electronics and spent the evening reviewing State Capitals with our Daughter, in preparation of an upcoming test she has. Now - if THAT doesn't sound like an exciting evening, I don't know what does.
Saturday morning, Hubs and Sons went over to our "old" house (the one that is still on the market and hasn't sold yet) to do some yard work...and weren't they surprised to find a giant tree that had come crashing down in the storm the night before?! They got to spend hours cleaning up tree debris - not what they had really planned for the day. Thank goodness nothing was under the tree when it decided to crash.
That evening, Daughter had a sleepover at a friend's house, so Hubs and I took advantage of that and had a date. We had dinner at Habanero's, a great little Mexican restaurant here in town...and then headed to the show to see "Eat, Pray, Love."
Now...string me up by my thumbs if you must, but I really, really, really am NOT a Julia Roberts fan. In fact, it's a toss-up with me on whom I don't like more - Julia or Jennifer (Aniston.) Bleh. Give me someone edgier any day - like Angelina. That's more my style.
However, I AM a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert's book, "Eat, Pray, Love" - and so I enjoyed the movie. I was curious to see how they would take a book and condense it for the screen - and although it was interesting to see what they chose to focus on, it turned out better than I had thought it would.
I REALLY enjoyed the Italy scenes; I left the theater craving some serious wine, pasta and gelato. And some Javier Bardem. Yum.
Sunday...I woke up with eager anticipation for the day, as we had decided to have a Family Field Trip.
We used to do Family Field Trips on a regular basis - where we'd pack up the kids and explore our city and all it has to offer. And then - about a year ago - our life changed when we bought the lake house, and any free time we had was spent remodeling the house, decorating the house, living in the house, etc, etc. Our Family Field Trips fell by the wayside.
About two weeks ago, my 17-year old Son observed, "Mom...I miss Family Field Trip Day. Those were always fun."
Bam. Ouch. Pow. Right in the gut. That hurt. It was a serious wake-up call that we needed to sit back and rethink our priorities. We had let material things get in the way of spending quality time with the kids.
So, with a general plan for the day, I picked up my laptop to do a quick Internet search on operating hours for the venue we wanted to visit that day - when the unthinkable happened.
Not only could I NOT get internet - I couldn't even get the computer. It was kaput. Nada. Nothing. This was ominous. I quickly called Apple and made a reservation for later that day to bring in the laptop - surely it couldn't be serious and they'd be able to fix it in no time. Right?
So, we gathered up the kids (3 of them!) and headed to our first stop - lunch. We went to Gates BBQ - one of Kansas City's finest examples for the barbeque that we're famous for. I had not realized that my kids had NEVER been there! Never!!! That's ridiculous!
We chowed down on some fabulous BBQ beef and pork, and with our fingers and faces greasy and happy from the delicious sauce, we all declared that the BBQ was fantastic.
Our tummies happy, we headed to our next destination - the Arabia Steamboat Museum. In 1856, a steamboat sunk in the Missouri River. The passengers were saved - but the cargo was not. And what a cargo it was...200 tons of brand-new merchandise that sunk 45 feet down. To lay there for over 100 years, until 5 people from the Kansas City area decided to unearth this buried treasure - and it's now preserved in a fantastic museum here in town.
To see the cargo on display now is like visiting a Walmart from 1856...it truly is amazing.
The kids were fascinated by all of the treasures on display - my oldest son loved the historical aspect of everything; my 17-year old son loved the giant paddle wheel; and my 11-year old pet lover was heartbroken to hear that the only casualty of the disaster was a mule...who went down with the ship.
Eventually, it was time to head down to the Apple store so they could diagnose my Mac and fix it up. Or so I hoped. We got to the Apple store, and after waiting an interminable amount of time to get called, the diagnosis was not good. My hard drive had crashed.
And had I backed anything up?
The Apple guru said he'd replace the hard drive on site, and I could come back in an hour to pick it up.
I was heartbroken. And mad (at myself). And sick. Wondering what I had lost. Wondering what it would take to rebuild everything.
Hubs and I went for a walk, and happened to discover a delightful little gelato shop.
How perfectly apropo. After seeing Julia Roberts consume that delightful gelato in the movie Friday night, it was only completely necessary for us to sample some.
And the verdict? A 8.0 for the Reece's...it was light and creamy and very refreshing. The chocolate - meh. Not as good as what I had in Italy...but still good. Perhaps a 6.5.
The new hard drive was ready to be picked up at 6:00 p.m., so we packed it up, packed up the kids, and headed back home.
17-year old son came in last night to kiss me goodnight, and said, "Mom - today was really fun. Well, except for the computer thing. Sorry about that. But the rest? It was REALLY fun!"
Is what it's all about.