Being, perhaps for the first time in that seven years upon the date of our anniversary in a position where we could do the whole celebrate - both in terms of child combinations and manana - and in need of an excuse to test said children upon the frontier of babysitting - we proceeded to try and organise ourselves in the general direction of a night out...
(Well, one child - 'Salina would be completely fine now for us to leave her to her devices - those devices being of the i- variety - and in truth, she may well be able to wrangle Paris, but we wanted to not put that responsibility on her shoulders and come home to any forms of sister-cide).
We had sounded out Ms B - a trainee from Paris's school/daycare - on the concept of undertaking such a task, and we were so well organised that by 3pm this afternoon, it was booked.
Unfortunately, our first choice for a foodie date, the newly opened Thai with good reviews, was also completely booked, so we had a babysitter but not a venue.
Still, with the sort of determination that creates a relationship out of a 400km each-way commute, we forged on. We prepared Paris and 'Salina - Paris sang Ms B's praises ("she is quite nice") and Salina was extra cool as only can be pulled off when you are that age and that stage of evolution.
So - after feeding the girls and getting glammed up, Ms B arrived and we handed over total control to her - we hit the road, the
Before driving too far, our minds and taste buds were salivating at the concept of exotic tastes and gorgeous delights, and our sensibilities were busy fist-pumping the no washing up concept.
After driving along the strip a little further, we agreed to settle on not having to travel too far and getting food.
And, upon reaching that resolve, we rounded a corner and discovered the answer to that particular moment's prayers - the Tavern.
We parked as two lovebirds with seven years under out belts do - as close as possible to the entrance and far enough away from other cars as to not get uncalled for damage.
As I walked towards the entrance, I had one of those momentous decisions to make.
You know the one, where you come to the kerb and think "hmmm, should I go the extra short step or just clear it in one?"
At that point, the house orchestra really should have struck up some ominous music or the a bit of a trill on the trumpet, because what came next was really a "wah wah WAAAAH" moment.
Yep - I chose wrong, and therefore V suddenly felt a tug and the few patrons braving the coffee-deck got to witness the not so gradual demise of Jeanie's dignity due to an extended step and a twisty foot.
I think I heard something as I fell - I am pretty sure that my foot swore, and I may have emitted a gasp.
After the major operation of moving my carcass to the edge of the driveway, we sat in the gutter and discussed our options. It wasn't so painful that I needed an ambulance right then and there. We were out, the kids were safe, we were hungry and there was an eating establishment not too far from where we sat. As I
There were enough tables that I could nab an extra chair just for my foot, so I gently advised V of my need for this setup as soon as possible and took stock of the situation.
For the first 10 minutes I couldn't actually see properly - everything was sort of black and white and rather pixellated, which made checking out the blackboards specials an interesting task.
V found a menu that I could actually hold and adjust for the vision issues, and I saw that I would need to move my tastespace from "exotic and dangerous" to "rich and comforting" - luckily it moved with an ease I have to give it credit for.
V went up to order and brought me back a red wine (a medicinal requirement) and I crash-tackled a busboy (busgirl? busperson?) to ask for a bag of ice.
We got a chance to survey our surrounds. The crowd was made up of family parties, groups of old friends and several smatterings of first or nearly first dates. There was a choice of the kitchen/servery, trotting on tele, Keno, people or fish tank views - we actually found a table that offered all of that, so pretty chuffed.
The breads came out - and they were truly yum.
That gravy there? R-I-C-H and totally yummy. The mushrooms were awesome, the chicken cooked just right, the corn so juicy - the only very slight downside was that the veges could have had a little less time on them, but in the grand scheme of things, exactly what this little duck required.
One of the upsides of tavern vs fine dining, is you can do this sort of malarkey and no-one raises an eyebrow - so you CAN slather your pumpkin and gravy over your last bits of bread and explode your buds with the tasty goodness.
I was going to wax lyrical and do a full review of the food, but the appendage at the end of my leg just gave me a hurry up and blew all adjectives regarding taste out of the water. Let me just distill it into HUGE RICH and YUMMY.
We would have given you shots of the desserts, but we were far too full to even think about the Cheesecakes or Mars Bar Cake or Puddings - we might think about them another night.
And really, it depends on your measures.
In terms of Ms B being nice to Paris, it was a success.
In terms of 'Salina and Ms B reading ALL of the library books several times to Paris in 'Salina's bed as she missed Mummy and Daddy and didn't want to go to sleep, well, that would be a tick also.
In terms of the house being quiet and Paris being abed - it was a fail.
Still, we are going to try it again some time soon - perhaps practice will improve her ability to relax into the whole "compliant and go to sleep for other people child" that goes well with babysitting. Apparently.
Happy anniversary, honey - seven years ago, my life was blessed. :)
(and to top off the whole anniversary festivities, we are now contemplating a medical opinion on the foot - because I am pretty sure the signals that it is sending me are in the "you may have done damage" part of the inter-body dictionary)