Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's Day Weekend...

I treated myself to a special Mother's Day weekend. There was a PANorama Carribbean Music Fest at the beach, and since I couldn't decide which day I wanted to go to the most, I decided I would make an entire weekend getaway out of it. The boys and I (no NS because he's out at sea until mid-June) stayed at a hotel four blocks over and one street back from the oceanfront stage where the music fest was taking place. We got there Friday night, went straight to sleep, and then got up early (earlier than I would have wished) to enjoy a gorgeous day on Saturday. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The sky was blue, and the temperature was warm but not hot.

The hotel had a superb (superb being more because of the price--free;>) breakfast of eggs, hashbrowns, grits, bacon, pancakes, and make-your-own belgian waffles as well as some danishes. After Saturday breakfast, we walked to the beach...well, I walked and pushed the tots in the stroller. We played at the beach for about an hour, then sat in the grass listening to the middle school steel drum bands for about half an hour, and then headed to lunch. After lunch, it was back to the room for a nap. While it took nearly two hours for them to actually fall asleep, they each napped for over three hours, and I slept a little, too;> We headed back to the music fest to watch some of the college/high school/community bands playing and then decided it was time for dinner. I had picked out a place really close that had "real" food (meaning not deep-fried everything and not just pizza and pasta...you know, a green vegetable or two visible on the menu), but when the time came, the place did not seem to exist. So, I walked back to the hotel and we got in the car, figuring we could just drive down the strip and find a place to eat. Well, we did find a place or two, but there was no public parking available. Nearly every parking lot/garage/space in the area was reserved for guests of a specified hotel only. All the metered parking was taken; the one public parking garage near the restaurants was full; and none of the restaurants had sufficient parking to accept more than a handful of cars. So, after an hour of driving back and forth, my standards lowered significantly on what was "real" food, and we ended up at a pizza/pasta place...no green veggies for the boys afterall, although I had a lovely iceburg lettuce salad drenched in ranch dressing;> This place had fantastic bread, though, and I'm pretty sure the spaghetti the boys had was quite good. After a quick bath for the boys, it was off to sleep again.

Sunday was a decent enough day to start...decent weather, chance of rain wasn't too high and was only supposed to be isolated anyhow. The boys were pretty tired, I think, because they just weren't as perky and energetic as they had been the day before. After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we walked along the boardwalk until the bands started playing again. That was around noon, so I figured it was time for lunch. I had decided to get the boys a hot dog, some mac&cheese, and green beans from a couple of the vendors set up in the area. The hot dog and green beans were easy (and they devoured them), but the mac&cheese wasn't quite ready...supposedly another 20 minutes. I walked over to the vendor selling the jerk pork to order that for myself...nope, that'll be another hour. Well, it wasn't too much of an inconvenience since I'd plan to stay until 1:30 or 2 o'clock anyway. I go back after 25 minutes to see about getting the mac&cheese...still not ready and I don't even get an estimate this time. Around 1:15, I decided to get my own lunch and then leave, so that we could go to my grandmother's house. Having given up on the mac&cheese since the boys didn't seem hungry anymore, I still went to the mac&cheese vendor because I wanted sweet tea...no sweet tea, but I finally got the mac&cheese;> The jerk pork was ready, too, and just as they were getting it ready for me, the downpour of rain begins. We ended up huddled under the tent of the airbrush tattoo vendor for about half an hour while the storm passed. They were so enamoured with my boys that they gave them some free tats, an M on M's hand, a J on J's hand, and then a pirate's skull and crossbones on their lower forearms above the initials. M and J actually thought that was very cool.

We finally left when the rain let up to just barely a sprinkle and drove back toward home. I stopped at the apartment to change clothes since I was still wet even after sitting in traffic for over an hour. We then went to my grandmother's house, where my whole family had gathered for Mother's Day and where I left my camera on the table.

It was an oddly relaxing and enjoyable weekend despite being so tiring...oh yeah, I discovered that the boys are deathly terrified of elevators, so after the second attempt at that, we ended up taking the stairs back and forth to our fourth floor room the entire weekend;>

M and J seem to enjoy the soothing rhythms of the steel drums as much as I do. Here are a couple videos (again, poor quality and no sound...not quite sure why I can't get the sound working) of them having fun; M is the feature act of the first one (J's there standing in the stroller, too) and J in the second.

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