The network has unceremoniously dropped the miniseries currently in progress, and will be playing all of the remaining episodes back-to-back during the night of the basketball finals. They figure no one was watching anyhow, so no one will miss it.
Sunday night, we had our big, family Thanksgiving dinner. I can't remember exactly how we managed it, but we somehow actually played the game of Settlers we had set up the night before, and finished it in time to set the table for dinner. Unfortunately, we did not finish in time for me to make my salt-free white sauce for the green bean casserole, so we ended up just having plain green beans with dinner. Which was just as well, because we had picked up fresh green beans the day before at the farmer's market, and they were delicious without being smothered in sauce. Dinner was incredible, although my mother dubbed it "simple" because of the lack of green bean casserole, even though it had all of the other beloved Thanksgiving fixings. (And yes, for all my American friends, we eat pretty much all of the same things you do at a Canadian Thanksgiving, we just do it six weeks sooner without any pilgrims.) I have a photograph of the set table after Benjie opened the can of cranberry sauce and left it in the can-shape on the serving dish, but before Alana was a party-pooper and sliced it up. Unfortunately, that photo is still on my laptop, which theoretically still works, but has no screen to confirm that fact to me.
So, we woke up on Monday morning, and decided not to go home just yet. I wanted to go shopping at Bulk Barn, my favorite store in the world, of which there is no equal where I live in the United States. And I had a gift card to Value Village, but neither store was open on Monday, because it was a holiday. So we decided that we would leave on Tuesday after I made those two, quick, shopping trips. I was glad we ended up staying, though, because it gave Valerie some quality one-on-one Grandma time.
We said goodbye to Alana and Eric and Nick on Monday, then spent the rest of the day recovering a bit. It was nice.
Tuesday morning, I went shopping. I have been a thrift store shopper for most of my life, and I have mastered the art of finding things on a rack that will fit my size and style. Then I got pregnant, and I grew a belly, but I still did pretty well at finding things that I liked, and fit, at thrift stores. Then I had a baby, and my weight returned mostly to normal, and my belly returned mostly to normal, but other, um, bits of me did not return to normal. And I can't seem to find things that fit me at thrift stores anymore. I tried on 30 or 40 shirts that morning, and anything that looked like it might fit me was either too tight in the chest, too short to cover my belly, or baggy and hideous all over. I had been hoping to find five t-shirts, but I only managed to find one. I finally gave up and headed over to the long-sleeved shirts, where I had a little more luck, but I really prefer short-sleeved shirts, and left more than a little disappointed. I have a large collection of clothing, an eclectic mish-mash obtained over the years through a shopping theory that basically consists of, "Hey, this fits me and is unique/fun/silly/nice, I should get it," and then never getting rid of anything. And now, I am slowly realizing that 90% of that stuff will probably never fit me again. But I'm not quite ready to purge my wardrobe just yet. I'm in clothing limbo.
I had better luck at Bulk Barn, because other than still not liking coffee, my tastes in munchies have not changed. I bought all of my favorite snacks, and a whole bunch of spices that I was running low on. (Seriously, if you can ever find a bulk store to buy spices, it's the best. I can refill my jar of bay leaves about 5 times over for 19 cents.) But my lengthy shopping trip, and our continued putting off of packing, and one last stop to say goodbye to Benjie and Trish and April, and we weren't on the road until dinnertime. Which, for those of you keeping score, is awfully late to start an eight hour trip.
We stopped for dinner just over the border, at a diner chosen in part because I have stopped there in the past and know it's good, and in part because of its proximity to the town where two of our college friends, Ben and Michelle, had recently moved. After ordering, I called 411 and managed to get a phone number for them. Michelle was ecstatic to hear from us. She said that she'd be right over and would let Ben know to meet us there when he was done work. We had a really nice visit over dinner, and sat talking afterward for far longer than we should have. Ben mentioned that their guest room was still full of boxes from moving, but that we were more than welcome to stay with them if we wanted to. We were relieved to not have to finish the trip at that late hour, and happy to be able to spend some more time visiting with friends that we had not seen in far too long.
After a leisurely morning, we hit the road again, and the trip home went significantly better than the trip up. I stopped trying to use bottles while we were on the road, and stopping to nurse her when she needed it made for a much less stressful trip home. Lesson learned. (Although we have since switched bottles to Dr. Brown's, which she seems to take a whole lot better than the Medela ones we had been using, so I might try again on another trip in the future.)
So, we were home again on Wednesday evening, just in time for our Wednesday night game night. We had a nice relaxing evening with friends, although we found that we were a little too tired to actually play in the end. It was a nice way to round out a nice almost-week-long trip, and it was really nice to come home to a mostly clean house. (I love when I clean up before leaving, it's such a nice treat when I get home, and I've forgotten by then how frazzled and stressed I was trying to get it all done.)