Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The tradition continues...

Unfortunately, my string of having lousy birthdays continues! Not because of my hubby or family (they've been great!), but because of other uncontrollable circumstances.

For example, the original plan was to go on a lunch cruise around the Potomac. First Day of Fall cruise and all that. So what happened last week? Cruise got canceled. They wanted to "upgrade" us to the dinner cruise, but as we have small kids and no babysitter, that didn't exactly pan out.

So far: Birthday Gods 1, Shauna 0.

Next example: The back-up plan was to go on a tour of the US Capitol and have lunch downtown so I could get my history geekness on (and get my husband some culture!). Everything is looking good so far, except for the fact that the lunch place I'd picked out has a "business casual" dress code - not good news for tourist activities. That's ok, we can improvise and just find something, right? WRONG! That would have required that we actually MAKE IT DOWNTOWN. Couldn't find a parking spot at the Metro, and had we driven in, we would have missed our reserved tour time at 1010, and the next one wasn't until 1430. The tour is 1.5hrs, so we wouldn't have been able to make it back home in time to pick up the kids and meet my uncle for dinner (who called yesterday to say he's in town).

Updated score: Birthday Gods 2, Shauna 0.

So, hubby and I decide we're just going to wing it. First attempt at merriment wasn't too bad; beautiful drive (despite the low, dreary clouds) out to Winchester for some apples and a shared apple cider doughnut (YUM!!). Ok, we're doing better! When we finish, we drive through Winchester and stop at a little antique place. We find a teacup and saucer that matches the MIL's china set. Yay!

Visiting team scores! - Birthday Gods 2, Shauna 1.

Aaaaaand that's when tragedy hits. We drive out to Middleburg looking for lunch. First place we try isn't open on Tuesdays. Second place we try wants $8 for a grilled cheese sandwich (!). Third place we try has several outside tables full, so we decide to see what's up. We grabbed a table and waited for the waitress.

And waited. And WAITED.

Finally she showed up to get our drink order: "What do you want to drink?"

No, there wasn't a "Hi, welcome to the Red Horse Tavern! My name is _____, and I'll be your server today. Can I start you off with some iced tea or a glass of wine?" She just went straight to "What do you want to drink?" and tossed the menus on our table (which, btw, was dusty and had cobwebs - EW!). When she returned more than five minutes later with our iced tea in cheap plastic picnic cups (seriously, I have bought better cups at Costco!), she was "ready to take [our] order." Nice.

A little while later (while we were marveling at the women nearby fawning over their dog that was sitting in a chair at their table), she arrives with the daily special of "breaded calamari" that we had ordered. Three words: STALE RUBBER BANDS. As Drew appropriately stated, he would have expected about the same fare from the batch of "fried calamari" that the bowling alley buys in bulk from Sam's Club.

The next disappointment was when our "entrees" were delivered. Plastic shallow baskets, wax paper too small to really fit the basket, and small, pathetic sandwiches accompanied by stale potato chips. Drew's "Cuban" was an insult to the communist country that bears it's name, and my "wrap" was stuffed with lettuce that was, conveniently, not listed on the menu. Did I mention that the chips were STALE?!

The waitress didn't even bother to make any kind of effort to earn a tip - she clearly couldn't have cared less about being there or about having us as customers. Sucks for her, because we are usually very generous tippers (having been a waitress at several restaurants in a past life, I know how hard the work is and how bad the pay can be!). All told, our horrible meal cost us $30.52. In an effort to escape (and hope to avoid getting my credit card # stolen), I paid in cash: $31.00. Drew said that I was overly generous in my tip, but I was simply too lazy to count out exact change from my wallet.

So, the new score: Birthday Gods 3, Shauna 1.

We did have a high point immediately following: In an effort to rapidly remove the taste of the food from our mouths, we stopped at an ice cream shop down the street. It's run by the Middleburg Humane Society, and it was terrific! The ice cream was delicious, the shop was cute and quaint, and the server was very friendly. Super awesome points for the ice cream shop for being a major bright spot in our day!!

Final score (thus far today - it's only 3:30p): Birthday Gods 3, Shauna 2.

I'm hopeful that tonight will greatly improve so that at least I can break even on the score. I think wine and chess with the hubby might do the trick! :)

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