Monday, February 20, 2012

Long Weekend Love

Today is the last day of the kids' 3-day weekend, aka "midwinter break". Many school districts around here were lucky enough to have a 4-day weekend, or even an entire week off. But we got a measly three days. Oh well, I am pretty sure our school year ends earlier in June, so that's something. Anyway, we'll take any break we can get and we definitely thoroughly enjoyed it.

I've been on a winning streak for the past few months, and this past week has been no exception. I won two tickets to the Detroit Boat show from a local news website. I am not actually a boater, nor in the market for a boat at the moment. But I enjoy boats...big boats with bathrooms and kitchens and comfortable seating. So I thought it would be something different to do on a Saturday afternoon. My mom agreed to accompany the kids and I downtown to Cobo Center for the 2012 Detroit Boat Show. Chris said his dad used to drag him to the boat show when he was a kid and it was a snooze fest, so he took a pass. Although I only won two tickets, kids were free so our only expense was $10 for parking.

It was pretty cool seeing all the boats in a huge expo hall, and being able to go on them too. But Chris wasn't totally wrong. The main reason for the boat show is to, you guessed it, sell boats. So salesmen were naturally crawling all over the place and I felt kind of like if I made eye contact with any of them the next thing I knew I'd be sitting there applying for credit on a $100,000 boat. I studiously avoided eye contact with anyone wearing a name tag and pretended to be texting if I had to stop for any period of time to discourage conversation. The kids enjoyed checking out the boats for a little while, and then we headed out to raid the Detroit Shoppe in the lobby for free samples of licorice and chocolate covered pretzels. They were starving so that satisfied their hunger temporarily.

Cobo Center happens to house a People Mover stop, so we headed upstairs to the station for a couple trips around the downtown area. The People Mover is an elevated train that stops at 13 key downtown locations. This is always a highlight of any visit to downtown Detroit for the scenery and also so the kids can stand up during the ride and try to avoid holding onto anything without falling down. That's probably not safe so forget I said that. Rides are 75 cents (kids under 5 are free), which reflects a recent increase from 50 cents. You have to pay for your ride with cash only (quarters, one-five-or-ten dollar bills), so if you plan on riding plan ahead. This is important to mention for people like me who rarely carry cash. Parking also requires cash payment, FYI.

I could not convince my children to do this at the boat show!
After our ride, I was overjoyed to find that the freeway entrance was right there when I exited the parking garage. I don't know my way around downtown very well, so this was a huge bonus for me. I thought I'd have to drive around a little looking for a familiar street but BAM! there it was. Huge relief. We ended our Saturday excursion with a meal of hot dogs and chili cheese fries at National Coney Island.

Fighting stance with Joe Louis
Saturday night Bethany went to a sleepover party at her friend's house. Sunday was all planned out, but since Bethany decided the party would be a good time to stay up all night long, our plans quickly fell to the wayside. She missed her basketball game and we missed the Warren Symphony Orchestra performance I had also won tickets for. I was a little crabby about this turn of events, but she slept all afternoon and I'm glad she was able to do that. All of us went to dinner at Chris's mom's house, and three out of four children ended up staying the night. Bethany came home with Chris and I, and we all watched Doomsday Preppers on the National Geographic channel. Bethany and I fell asleep on the couch until I couldn't take anymore of her feet kicking me every which way and I transferred myself to my bed.

Today the kids and I went out to lunch with my mother-in-law, and then Bethany decided to go home with her for the afternoon (...and the night, as it turned out). We decided it was a perfect day to go Toys R Us shopping with unused Christmas gift cards, plus a coupon Connor got in the mail for his upcoming birthday. Meandering around a toy store is always fun, and I got gift ideas for Connor's birthday, as well as Mattie's birthday, and a cool game I want to get before we go on our big summer road trip. Which is over $10 cheaper on Amazon, by the way.

I love long weekends! I do wish it was longer, but now we have a short week to look forward to, and I'll definitely take it!

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