I have no idea where the time went today. I remember driving Jonny to theater camp at 8:25am, taking a super speedy shower, bringing the baby to a well-child visit, picking Jonny up again, going to Target to finish off his costume, finally getting back home, and then it was 5pm. How was that possible? It was like I lost half of a day! Doing what? I have no clue.
What I DO know is that from 5pm on, the kids were making me nuts. Now, I think I have a decent amount of patience, and normally these little buggers can make all the noise they want. But, with the baby sad from his shots, Laura whining as she does at 5pm unless she has fallen asleep on the couch, Melissa "growling" at everyone because she had turned into a monster from playing video games all day while I was gone (this was NOT a pre-authorized parent-approved activity), the neighbor boys ringing our doorbell every 5 minutes (probably NOT an exaggeration), Alex threatening to walk across the highway to get Chinese food for dinner, and Michael pushing buttons on everyone, Bob out golfing until 10pm, AND, I am still feeling yucky from my heat stroke of yesterday......AHHHHHHH! Everyone just STOP IT!
I tried to make one phone call during this time, and my own mother can attest to the craziness and noise occurring. It felt truly insane. So at 6pm, I ordered everyone into the truck. "Where are we going?" they asked. "I don't know," I replied. "Just get in the truck." So, with no plan in mind, my truck filled with all of my kids (even Alex!), we pulled away from our neighborhood, and just started to drive.
The kids continued their questioning, and I continued with my "I don't knows", and honestly, I did not know. As we left Waconia, then passed St. Boni, going north into dried up farmland, the older kids began to worry. Alex looked really concerned, and I think Michael was ready to dial 9-1-1 to rescue them all. I think the thought that their mother had really lost her mind became a real possibility to them. The younger kids just giggled, dreaming up fun destinations like staying at a hotel, or going to a fancy restaurant. Yeah, right...with this crew tonight? Keep dreaming!I finally decided on trying to find this quaint little place we had passed on the way to therapy one early morning. We have yet to go the same way twice, but I was pretty sure I was headed in the right direction tonight. But once again, road construction foiled our plan, and between the detours and an urgent, emergency phone call from my neighbor, I ended up losing my trail and getting us lost in the middle of very small town Minnesota. We drove around for an hour and 20 minutes, stopping once to ask for directions, and then later(after getting lost again) calling the information line. Finally, at 7:40pm, starving and so very sick of driving, we made it to our destination: The Peppermint Twist. "Funny" thing was, we had been within 300 feet of it 3 times as we drove around looking for it!
I had brought the kids here one other time during our first summer. As I recall, the normally 17 minute trip took us more than 40 minutes as we drove back and forth looking for the cute, pink, little place. It is a unique little drive up restaurant as were the old A&W's. But this one includes a great yard for the kids to play in, full of chairs, tables, porch swings, trains, cars, rocking horses, hula hoops, and balls. There is even a jukebox and dance floor where the kids could get jiggy! The kids came across a fun, new addition....a pair of body boppers. These were enormous inflatable tire-like things that you slip around your body, and then go....like safe sumo wrestling for kids. I really hope my kids were not too rough....I was a little afraid that the body boppers looked a bit sad after Michael and Jonny got done with them.
We all found something on the menu to make us happy, Alex even got to eat shrimp, and the ice cream treats seemed to pick up our moods. The kids had so much fun exploring the large yard and playing with all of the unique toys, and we were all sad to leave when the cute little outdoor restaurant closed it's gates at 9pm. But, I had achieved my goal of reducing my stress, and turned what could have been just another annoying evening at home into a fun, memorable outing, enjoying the pleasant summer evening weather. Icing on the cake: it only took us the usual 17 minutes to drive back home.