Since it had been 2.5 years since our last night together sans kids and we know it'll be another 2 years or more before we do it again, Dan and I had a little getaway in Norfolk this weekend. We stayed at the Freemason Inn, a charming old home near the harbor. The boys stayed with Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop - one night at our home, one night at theirs. Everybody had a good time.
At the start of our trip, the cliche "you can never go back" seemed to hold true. The restaurant where we had hoped to go for dinner on Saturday is no longer in existence. Farewell to Wild Monkey and their amazing garlic pasta. That same morning, we discovered that the antique center I had looked forward to visiting - a huge space filled with many booths from many vendors - was mowed under to make room for condos. The condos lack a tenth of the charm of the antique mall. I nearly cried. We rallied, though, and reacquainted ourselves with an independent bookstore that we used to visit, and the Chrysler Museum, and ate our old favorite meal at Fellini's (greek salad and white pizza). Mostly we just hung out and enjoyed having time that was completely our own, without having to think about tantrums or bedtimes or breakable objects. If we didn't finish a conversation, it was purely because we exhausted the topic, and not because we were interrupted. We saw a movie on the spur of the moment, without feeling like we really *should* spend our time alone doing something else. We had too many choices for where to go for dinner, ended up settling on a Thai place where we had never gone before, and then each ordered something new instead of our old Thai stand-bys.
When we moved away from Norfolk in 2000, the city was just starting to put out its first mermaids as part of a push toward revitalizing the downtown area and encouraging tourism. Here are about half the mermaids we saw while driving around town:
We enjoyed our break, but it's nice to be home!