Many thanks for all of your anniversary wishes, my friends. Rob and I had a great day together.
Of course, we didn't spend it alone together because we gave all that up about nine years ago. Now our anniversaries are more like a school field trip than anything else. Lots of snacks, lots of potty breaks, lots of herding small bodies through crowds. (Although this year, we did get to see an awesome concert a few days before our anniversary. I'll share later.)
We don't mind a group anniversary celebration; after all, it's because of the wedding that we even have a group anyway. The employees are the best way of reminding ourselves about the start of The HomeFront Corp.
This year, we went to Lancaster and we took the kids on the "Day Out With Thomas" train ride.
If you are not familiar with Thomas, well, I don't even know what to say. It is sort of like a train cult that has held my son in thrall for about four years now. I see no prospect of escape in the near future.
We didn't tell the kids where we were going; we have learned the hard way that Fiver really cannot handle any build-up. Unless we wanted to be interrogated to the point of insanity, we knew that packing them in the car and calling it a "surprise" was the best option.
Of course, that meant big fun for us as we listened to them guess where we were going for the whole 2.5 hour trip. Everything we passed became a possible destination. Are we going to the mall? Are we going to Target? Are we going to the Days Inn? Are we going to Wendy's? Are we going to the highway rest stop?
Obviously, my children are well-traveled. And klassy.
At one point, after being asked for the third time if we were going to McDonald's, Rob said, Yes. You guessed it. We drove 2.5 hours to go to McDonald's. I heard the fries are better here.
In addition to trains, quilts, antiques, and the Pennsylvania Dutch, Lancaster is home to some sweet shopping. Outlet shopping, my friends. As we passed the stores, I saw all kinds of places I wanted to visit. Like a Pottery Barn Kids outlet. I told Rob to just slow the van and I would jump out. He could come back for me after the train ride. Surprisingly, he didn't go for the idea.
The closer we got to the train, the more signs we saw for it. Finally, after passing huge billboards with Thomas' face on them, Fiver looked out the window and said, Hey! There's Thomas! And that was the end of that. He guessed that we might be taking him to a Days Inn, but could not possibly conceive of the notion that we might be taking him to see his most favorite thing EVER. You've got to love this kid.
We were almost at our destination when Fiver actually saw the train on the tracks. Oh. My. Lands. If a child could levitate from sheer excitement, Fiver did it. He started to unbuckle his seat belt while we were still on the road. I think he was preparing to jump, much like his mother at the sight of the outlets. We are not a patient people.
The ride itself was hot and short, but there were many Thomas-themed activities at the train station that kept the kids busy. And with our crew, shorter is better anyway. Besides, we had to wait for the loan approval to come through before we could put cash on the barrel head at the Gift Shop.
On the way home, we pulled into a Sonic Drive-In for dinner. Fast food heaven, if you ask me. We don't have one close to us, which is absolutely fantastic for our arteries and waistlines, but still. When Rob pulled the van into the parking space, he said, Only the finest restaurants for you, my dear. It's our anniversary after all.
I may have squealed with glee and clapped my hands. Don't judge me.
The kids, who are Sonic neophytes, were so thrilled that someone brought the food to our car! and that they were allowed to unbuckle themselves!! and walk around the van while eating!!!
I just sipped myself into a Sonic Slush stupor and called it a day. A great day.
(Although next time, I really feel like we could squeeze in a little outlet time. I'm just sayin'.)