Daddy came home early on Friday and took us to dinner at a really fun Moroccan restaurant. The atmosphere was casual and it was surprisingly kid friendly. Low tables, pillows on the floor, rows of low sofas, and the appropriate ethnic instrumental music piped in at a level low enough to comfortably chat over it but loud enough to mask the chatter of our two very vocal little girls!
We got there around 7pm and didn't have to wait for a table. Over the next half hour, the place filled up and there were several other families with small kids.
Dinner was very interesting! The meal is served in courses and there aren't any utensils so you're expected to eat with your hands. They carry an ornate bowl and pitcher to your table and pour water while the whole family holds their hands over the bowl. Then you get a nice hand towel to keep as a napkin throughout your meal.
Maddy isn't a picky eater so she tasted everything. Gwen was only brave enough to lick the powdered sugar off the chicken pastry that came at the very start of our meal. As the meal progressed and new courses arrived, I'd break off a small piece of pop-tart and hand it to Gwen. Yes, I fed my daughter a pop-tart for dinner!
I've never liked lamb but the one they served was just amazing! It was simmered in honey and just delicious! My mouth is watering thinking about it!
At 8:00, lights dimmed and the belly dancer arrived. Her dress was so pretty and the music was really interesting. The girls couldn't take their eyes off of her!
There were at least 100 art vendors and it was fun to see so many different styles. Lots of other things were being sold as well. Gwen and Maddy liked the chair hammocks but really liked the bouncers in the kids area!
After a few hours of art and bouncing, we decided to go look at some Open Houses. We're not looking to sell our house and move. We just like looking at houses and the kids really love it! They beg us to do this every weekend! We looked at several houses ranging in price from 3 to 6 Million dollars and our amazement alternated between how splendid they were and how overpriced they were! I mean, really... who buys a $6M house?
The foot of the slide is littered with scraps of cardboard which serve two purposes:
1. Making you slide faster (the slide is steep but it's concrete so you don't move very fast).
When we first discovered these slides last week, we didn't take advantage of the cardboard right away and ruined four pairs of pants! I also ruined my elbow by using it as a brake the first time I used the cardboard (Gwen was on my lap). I don't recommend using your elbow for this purpose!
This time, we were better prepared. We wore pants and shoes that we didn't mind trashing and we put elbow guards on the girls so they were better protected. Mommy and Daddy stayed off the slides this time but that's just because we ate a big dinner and didn't have the energy to keep walking up that big hill!
By the way, I dated this collage wrong -- it was Saturday - Aug 16.
Sunday consisted of breakfast at Marie Calendars, a trip to Michael's apartment to deliver a Key Lime pie, a romp in a park or two, and several more Open Houses. Then we headed to Oakland to take the girls to their first (and probably last) Circus.
Andrew and I haven't been to a circus in almost 20 years (and didn't like what we saw last time we went) so we did a bit of research just to make sure we felt okay about how this famous Circus is treating their animals. We felt comfortable giving it one more try.
I know some people are passionate about animal rights but I'm really only passionate about animal cruelty. I think it's perfectly okay to use animals for our convenience or entertainment -- as long as we're not being cruel. Nothing about the treatment of any of the animals made me uncomfortable. They looked healthy and seemed eager to perform for the reward of a pat on the nose or a small treat. What DID make me uncomfortable was how incredibly stupid most of the show was! The entire first half was a huge waste of time. Painful to watch. After intermission, the motorcycles, acrobats and animals were presented and it got 200% better! Prior to that, it was just a bunch of lame clown antics and some cheesy singing by the Ring Master.
Maybe we're spoiled because we attended some amazing shows while we were vacationing in China. The caliber of the performance was so much better -- so much more professional! The Circus performers were good (some were great!) but the show couldn't hold a candle to the shows we saw in Xian, Beijing and Shanghai.