Trips back to the motherland...um, "Maryland"...always involve a lengthy, somewhat complicated Agenda. We must be organized and efficient in order to see all the people we want to catch up with and maximize our limited social time. (Also, of course everyone must be available, which I've gotta say, somehow keeps working out beautifully for us--the Travel Gods have definitely had our backs on this, and we owe them some sort of offering...maybe S'mores would be appropriate?)With that being said, we eased our way into this whirlwind visit by spending time most of Thursday hanging out with our hosts. Well...I left for a few hours to go have lunch with two college girlfriends, but the boys chilled in Walkersville for the entire day.
I was able to slip away for a few hours for a lovely, delicious meal at a downtown Frederick eatery called Cafe Nola (where, when I warned the waiter I was going to be "difficult" and told him how I needed my dish modified to meet my current diet restrictions, he waved a hand airily and assured me "pfft, that was nothin'!" BONUS!). While we chatted and laughed and had an utterly delightful stretch of pure Girl Time, Derek and Riley bonded with their pal J back at Home Base.
Yeah...about that...last Summer these three guys had a little adventure that immediately joined the ranks of Family Lore for Team WestEnders. It was quite a simple event, really: all they did was ride bikes to the nearby Safeway store, and return with...a bag full of limes. That's right....the small, tart green things you use as a garnish, or squeeze into whatever you're cooking (neither of which applies to these guys, as I'm sure you're aware). You're probably asking yourself, as we did at the time, "Of all the myriad items in a supermarket, why on Earth would they buy citrus fruit?" The answer J gave us, with an earnest expression and much enthusiasm was, "They were 4 for a dollar. We HAD to get them!" Ever since then, any time someone so much as mentions that particular fruit, we all hearken back to their shenanigans and crack up.
Sooo...they were at it again this year. The pilgrimage to Safeway. The mysterious bags that came back with them. The big reveal...this time they had spent their hard-earned money on (drumroll): bananas...a 2-liter bottle of pineapple Fanta...ice cream...Double Stuff Oreos...and Scooby Snacks. Ay yi yi. When I pointed out that there was an entire bunch of bananas already sitting on the counter, J (the official Grocery Spokesperson, apparently) retorted, "They were 48-cents a pound! What a bargain!" You'll be happy to know I refrained from pointing out that this is the NORMAL rate for everyone, every day, since he added proudly, "I got the Club Card price!"
Seriously, they were so doggone pleased with themselves, it was hard to rain on their parade. Until we couldn't help but comment on the...eclectic nature...of their selections, and Riley piped up, shaking his head ruefully, "You wouldn't believe what I had to talk them OUT of buying! J wanted to get a whole salmon...and a cake!" I was already shaking my head, when it also came out that apparently, he had spotted a deal where you could purchase two 12-packs of soda, and get 2 free...and subsequently had to be dissuaded from trying to figure out how to carry those home on his wheeled vehicle. To which my beloved son Derek chimed in, "That would have been great...you could mix and match the flavors!"
Derek then turned to me and said with a big grin, "Yeah...Riley's definitely YOUR son, Mom!" The rest of us, you know, "adult-type-people" were still in the midst of disbelief at the sheer ridiculousness of our offspring's behavior when they're sent out into the world unsupervised...amusement at their antics...and confusion about their choices. But if at least ONE of my children felt it his duty to act as the Voice of Reason on this excursion, I have no problem with that, whatsoever! At least they're using their powers for...sort-of good? (Hey, it might be the closest they get to actual Math during vacation--we'll take it, I guess!)
Anyway, that constituted the major excitement for Day 1 of our Maryland Excursion. Afterwards, we got to relax...enjoy some conversation...eat bananas...and drink pineapple Fanta (okay, that was the younger set; I wouldn't go near that stuff with a 10-foot pole...) Only time will tell if this will result in us being well-rested...or sugared up...for our run-around-Montgomery County day tomorrow, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're ready for the challenge!