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[personal profile] shysterb
Not necessarily in that order.

So about six weeks ago, I realized that [livejournal.com profile] ajb47  and I haven't had a time out without kids since July when [livejournal.com profile] chi_editrix , [livejournal.com profile] x_h00ine , [livejournal.com profile] mr_booze [livejournal.com profile] jupiter9  and hPhil came to visit in July.  So I got the idea of hey, let's get a hotel room for Feb. 13th (it's a Saturday, and a three-day weekend with President's Day on the 15th and all) and have a dinner out, and have Grammy come to stay with the kids.  I made reservations at the Ritz Carlton, which is in what was once the Girard Trust building in Philadelphia. Grammy confirmed she was free to baby- and dog-sit that night and wouldn't mind sleeping over.

Then the weekend before we got 20 inches of snow, which wouldn't have been so bad (roads were plowed by Monday morning and school was open and on time), except for the 14+ inches that arrived in a second snowstorms starting Tuesday night.  School cancelled on Wednesday, when we had blizzard conditions, and then again on Thursday.  And Wednesday night, Evan started shivering and couldn't get warm; he woke up Thursday morning not feeling well and not wanting to eat anything.  He spent most of the time on the couch dozing and by bedtime, he was feverish and out of sorts.

We put the kids in our room, Evan on the chaise lounge (which his legs have long outgrown) and Abigail on her sleeping bag, so I could keep an eye on him.  At 11:00, he woke up -- or so I thought -- mumbling about something, and I thought he needed the bowl I had put in the floor for the expected up-chucking.  Instead, he just shook and pointed and stared wide-eyed around the room, and could not be comforted.  It took me a bit to realize he was not, in fact, awake and was probably experiencing some sort of night terror.  Eventually, he half-woke and asked to lie on the bed, where we went through another round shortly before AJ came up and we moved him back to the chaise.  And at 2:30 am, the vomiting started, the first round missing the bowel entirely and getting his comforter and sheet.  Another round about 45 minutes after that (with successful bowlage), and multiple not-wakings.  By the time we got up for the day (Abigail having a two-hour delay for school on Friday), he seemed to be able to keep water down ... until a final violent upchucking at 8:30.  When he later complained about pain in his left side while urinating, we called the pediatrician's office and were advised to see if he could keep down cranberry juice, which he managed to do, along with some baby goldfish and half a soft pretzel.  Friday night was another wakeful, restless one, and he spent another day mostly resting on the couch on Saturday until Grammy came, having less than half a cereal bar for breakfast and 1/3 a slice of toast with jelly for lunch.  (Here is where I do no more than mention the accident he had with diarrhea.)  According to Grammy, his dinner consisted of some dry pretzels in a cup and two bites of a jelly sandwich.  And lots of orange juice.  Meanwhile, Abigail has been thankfully cheerful, healthy and not at all queasy or sick in any way.

So I decided not to cancel the planned night out, and AJ and I made it to the Ritz around 4:00 pm on Friday, to be greeted with complimentary glasses of champagne at the reception desk before settling into our room. Having some time to kill, we went to the lounge for cocktails, where I had a vodka-and-tonic and he had two Gentleman Jacks (minus the bits that I filched from him when he wasn't looking).  I called home to check on the kids before we changed for dinner and I found out that the new dress I had bought (in black) was quite a bit more cleavagetastic than I had expected, and the red sweater fastened at just the wrong spot for drawing attention to "the girls."  So it was that I would spend a great deal of our dinner at Estia checking to make sure I had pulled the edges of the sweater together.

Ah, and dinner, at Estia.  After enjoying nice crusty bread and very creamy garlic hummus, for appetizers, AJ started with chips, crispy fried zucchini and eggplant served with tzatziki sauce and I had grilled sardines with celery and oregano.  The sardines were quite yummy, and had the added advantage of not being something AJ would want to try.  Heh.  For our entrees, he had the "arni piadakia," described as "lamb chops marinated for three days olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs with potato tiganites [i.e., steak fries] and tzatsiki."  I, in turn, ordered kotopoulo, or organic roasted chicken "with carmelized onion and yogurt orzo with a lemon chicken thyme jus."  The chicken was so lush and moist, and the orzo to die for ... and the lamb chops, as I have commented elsewhere, were terrific.  We also had a side order of grilled asparagus with shaved feta that disappeared quite quickly.  By now, we were groaning, but that didn't stop us from ordering dessert -- karidopita, a honey walnut cake, for AJ and ekmek, a confection of layered pistachios, filo, custard and whipped cream, for me.  With the husband bravely ordering Greek coffee, which the waiter warned him not to drain because the bottom half of the cup was nothing but grounds.

After that, we stumbled back to the hotel where we ordered up some sparkling wine and got little sleep.  (Not that I didn't try, but AJ was having problems settling in -- not helped by the fact that we were on a street frequently used by ambulances/police cars with sirens wailing.)  In the morning, we had breakfast at 10 Arts, which is in the lobby of the Ritz.  AJ ordered the brioche French toast, with the best-smelling cinnamon butter I've ever encountered, and I had the poached eggs.  Mine came with a glorious thick slice of roasted tomato with fresh basil.  A side order of bacon turned out to be more than enough for six people, and the side order of country sausage AJ asked for was likewise too much.  But both yummy, of course.  Then packing, checking out, and driving home to see whether Grammy had needed to exercise her beating privileges.

She had slept on the couch in the family room, and put the kids on their sleeping bags on the floor.  In the middle of the night at some point, Evan apparently had decided to go upstairs to sleep in our bed, which had caused her some consternation when she woke up and couldn't find him right away.  After Grammy left, I went upstairs and took my own two-hour nap; Evan has again spent most of the day dozing on the couch, eating another half of a soft pretzel and drinking more orange juice, while Abigail has been writing stories about an eeeeevil kitten named Snoball who is plotting to take over the world ("mwahahahaha!!!" Abigail adds), thwarted only by the efforts of the brave-hearted  Chichiwawa and Chichiwawa's cohort of canine companions.  Somewhere in there, there's also something about Padme and Anakin sneaking in through a vent, but I'm not quite sure how that works out.



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February 2010

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