It was a big (extended) weekend at the Frenchie house. It was one of those extended weekends that you look forward to for weeks, and while its happening you just know how brutal Monday is going to be once it rears its ugly head.
It started on Wednesday (don't you love weekends that start on Wednesdays??) when B was off work, and I only went in for a couple of hours in the morning. My Mom arrived from China that afternoon, so I wanted time to finish up the obligatory let's-pretend-we're-not-slobs cleaning. B, Mia and I were still able to get some final moments of family relaxation in before we all piled into the car for the airport. Mia put on her best behavior for her Lola's (Filipino for Grandma) arrival, curiously staring at her for an hour or two before becoming smiley and adorable, and fell (and stayed) asleep without a fuss.
My Mom, Mia and I had a jam-packed Thursday. Whenever my Mom comes back to the U.S. after a long absence, there is always a lot of "business" to take care of. We had to go to the Bank, the supermarket, Target, and of course, the yarn store (Mom crochets about as much as I knit). Mia again behaved herself nicely, sitting on the desk at the Bank making smiles at the Banker, making quite a spectacle of cuteness while eating her peaches at Panera, and trying to grab at all the balls of yarn.
On Friday we met up with one of my best friends from high school and her boyfriend (J&J), who were in town for the long weekend. Mia, B and I spent Friday being tourists on the Strip and had an awesome day. We started out with lunch at the Border Grill (made slightly famous by Susan Feniger's appearance on Top Chef Masters) and had an amazing lunch. I had their grilled fish tacos and two hibiscus margaritas, totally worth the fairly elevated price tag. The bill was made slightly easier to swallow when they informed us that there is a 15% discount for locals. Mia sat in a high chair next to me and charmed the waitress into bringing her a complimentary scoop of banana sorbet. We then walked around a couple of casinos and stopped to visit the MGM Lions. Someone had the brilliant idea of visiting the Coca Cola store, which I initially thought would be super lame and a tourist trap, but it turned out to be totally worthwhile when we got to the second floor and say that there was a Coke Bar, where you could order all sorts of Coke products from around the world (B had Mexican coke - made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup) or get flavored Coke (I had a Diet Cherry, J had Diet Chocolate) or Coke Floats (other J had Coke with Vanilla ice cream). Mia, B and I went back to our apartment and left J&J to have kid-inappropriate Vegas fun.
The next evening, Mia stayed in with her Lola and B and I had another instance of hyperactivity from being baby-free for the evening. We started with a drink at Diablo's (have I mentioned how much I love Margaritas?) for no other reason than it was conveniently located in their hotel. Then, we headed to Raku, a restaurant off the strip that J had found on one of his foodie blogs, for another amazing meal. It is in China town, sort of hidden in a strip mall, but apparently very well reviewed. According to J, it's open until 3 am because so many of the fancy Chefs go there after their Strip restaurants close. They serve non-sushi Japanese food in small plates, and each dish came out better than the next. Just to name a few, we had a Sashimi salad with spinash and a spicy dressing, grilled yellow tail belly, friend shrimp (no batter, and unpeeled - when instructed to eat it whole, we complied and were not sorry), grilled mushrooms, grilled duck, and grilled pork cheek. All amazing. We then headed over to catch the tail end of a party, but left once the Terror brought us down from our baby-free-high.
We tried to make the next day relaxing and low key, so the boys headed to a sports bar to watch the Bears game, my Mom, J, Mia and I had a quick meal at a Thai restaurant and bought some cupcakes for dessert. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at our apartment, and B drove J&J to the airport. When he came home we all sort of collapsed in front of the T.V. dreading our return to work. Mia seemed to have maxed our her good behavior for the weekend and screamed for a good 45 minutes, nipping our thoughts of having a relaxing evening in the bud.
Now, I'm at work sans-Mia, and I'm thinking I'll take advantage of this week to rest up for the next, when my Dad and Brother arrive for Thanksgiving and RV-palooza (to fulfill one of my Dad's bucket list items)!