This weekend was our long-awaited time away from the kids, though obviously it didn't come in the form we expected. We envisioned ourselves gallivanting around Las Vegas, eating great meals and enjoying the weather, but instead we were running around Buffalo reliving some fond memories in a new way.
Craig and Carter spent the day together on Friday. Craig had off and they were long-overdue for a day together. They went to the mall to play in the play area and ride the carrousel, then went to Toys 'R' Us to use his birthday gift card, and then out to lunch. They watched a couple movies, and by the end of the day Jacob and I arrived home to eat a quick dinner, pack up, and head off to Buffalo.
We tried unsuccessfully to sleep in and took off late morning for our 24 hours away. We stopped at my hometown candy maker, Platter's, which is in an amazing new location in the historic Wurlitzer Building. You can now watch them make candy, and there's a full café and a good sized store. It looks wonderful. I wandered past the same molded chocolates I used to get in my own Easter basket and sell to my family, then picked up a couple things for Easter before we headed out.
Our next stop was to the Broadway Market in Buffalo. It's the prime destination for pre-Easter shopping in Buffalo, particularly for those with Polish heritage. I have been there a handful of times since Craig and I have been together. It's crazy busy this time of year, but it's always an experience. We wandered around looking at the Polish t-shirts, sweet treats, and lunch options before eventually deciding on some fancy pierogies (Beef on Weck, Cheese, and Buffalo Chicken for Craig; two Stuffed Banana Pepper and one Buffalo Chicken for me). I picked up a couple painted Polish eggs (my favorite), and eventually we headed out.
Our next stop was the mall, where Craig picked up some dress shoes to replace the ones he forgot at home, so he could dress appropriately for dinner. He got a good deal, thankfully. We did a lap around each floor of the mall before heading out to check into our hotel.
We opted to stay at the same hotel where we spent our wedding night, and to get the Jacuzzi suite, which was a nice bonus. It's a very overdone, rather gaudy hotel--at least in the common areas--but it's charming nonetheless. We relaxed for a bit before dinner, then got ourselves spruced up and headed out. Normally when people stay at this hotel they opt for the dinner package because the restaurant is awesome, but the affordable options weren't exactly what we were looking for, so we opted to go to another place where we could get what we wanted for a bit less in price. But it's a restaurant we used to go to once in a while when there was a location in Rochester, and I used to go there with my parents years ago. The steaks are delicious, and Craig's filet and my steak teriyaki were both wonderful. My side of mushrooms were amazing, and the salad bar and bread were great bonuses. We were pretty full so we skipped dessert with a late-night snack plan in place, and headed back to the hotel.
Clearly I won't go into detail here, but suffice it to say that my pre-Vegas Victoria's Secret purchases got the stamp of approval, we enjoyed having a bedroom without kids down the hall, and the Jacuzzi made for a great place to watch one of our favorite movies, Couples Retreat. Once we were ready to settle in for the night, Craig went out to grab some Blizzards from the Dairy Queen down the street, only to discover that the DQ had closed! We settled for Frosties from Wendy's and made do by dipping some chocolate and candy-covered pretzel rods (from the Broadway Market) into them.
We turned in pretty early and looked forward to sleeping in, but apparently we just stink at it now. I didn't sleep particularly soundly for some reason, and then I had to pee, and then my stomach got a little cranky (too much food, apparently, though I'm wondering if I was slightly dehydrated from the Jacuzzi time and some salty food). I forgot to shut off my usual Sunday alarm, and Craig also made a bathroom trip, so we were up quite a bit before 7:30. But then we seemed to conk back out until closer to 9am. So maybe we're not that bad at it. At that point I decided it was time to get up and get ready so we could make it to breakfast in time. Breakfast was a delicious buffet with all sorts of yummy options, and we got our fill before heading out.
Upon arrival at my parents' house, it became quite apparent that things did not go well. The boys, as usual, could not leave each other alone. Bedtime last night was hellish, and as a whole Carter was a terrible listener. They thought Jacob was a bit better than he used to be, but he still incites Carter a lot and the two of them are such a massive handful. So much so, in fact, that if this Vegas trip ever happens we'll probably have to find alternate plans. And we'll pretty much not get an opportunity for a break like this until our kids grow out of this ridiculous phase, as it's simply too stressful for my parents to have them there together. It's all pretty depressing and solidifies our isolation in this exhausting, frustrating life we live. I love my children, but there's no doubt they're better separate. A co-worker of mine was talking about something she saw about a family with two problem kids that ended up getting apartments across the hall from each other so each parent could live separately with one kid. That sounds like something we need to do, and a less efficient version of that plan has crossed my mind before. It's sad, but it's our reality.
We tried a new place for lunch with great gluten-free options--Anderson's, a Buffalo staple--then headed home. Jacob and Craig had to run off to lacrosse practice, and I felt crappy so I just laid on the couch while Carter watch a movie and played around me. Eventually I felt good enough to get us out into the gorgeous weather, and after dinner Carter and I took a nice wagon ride. It was perfect out there. It was a decent end to an up-and-down weekend, but the loss of our backup plan is a tough one to take. Of course, we head right back there on Friday for Easter weekend, so hopefully we can find some answers quickly. Sigh.