Given the anticipation created by planning our anniversary celebration, it should not come as a surprise that the events of the evening did NOT transpire as intended.
We arrived at the hotel at 2pm for an early check in. There is nothing better than a toddler and infant-free nap in a freshly cleaned, fancy hotel room. So we ordered lunch up to our lair, enjoyed a Sprecher Amber and Usingers sausage sticks and snoozed. Hard.
In readying for dinner, Ryan tested the rain shower ... complete with translucent glass. Interesting.
Here is a stock photo from the hotel. This shower leaves little to the imagination. One can only hope there are other accommodations for individuals staying with friends or small children or Amish folk.
Honestly, I felt that at this point we were in over our heads - kidding ourselves that we (the proud parents of two teeny tots) could pull off a normal romantic moment or several without laughing at some point, or feeling like a couple of imposters.
Once we were primped and proper, cousin Pete and his fiancee Leah met us for pre-dinner cocktails. They live in Milwaukee, we haven't seen them for a spell and we fully intended to use this time to formally ask them to be Mairin's Godparents. We enjoyed a bottle of wine in our room, then a beer at the hotel bar. And, once my mom called, we forgot to ask them anything.
"Mairin hasn't eaten since you left. I've tried several different bottles, different nipples, different batches of frozen breastmilk and even formula. No dice."
Not wanting to: a) Appear overly concerned; b) Foreshadow the fact that this may ruin the whole night; or c) Fail our plan, I told her to give Mairin Tylenol and cross her fingers.
Ryan was jumpy and sweaty and seemingly paranoid through cocktails and the call from my mom didn't help. We hopped a cab to dinner and the pavlovian effect usually created by the ride to Bacchus was nearly impossible to attain.
Other than spying John Malan (local meteorologist since childhood) at the bar, the twenty minute wait for our table was spent desperately trying NOT to talk about Mairin's appetite over our own. Ryan's jumpiness overpowered the voice of reason in my head that should have assured me both girls would be just fine for the evening.
"I wonder why she's not eating."
"Maybe she's eating now."
"I'm sure everything is fine. This meal is going to be awesome."
"I can't wait."
"Too bad Mairin's not eating her dinner."
"I know, right? It's so strange. Poor baby."
"I think I want the filet."
Tick. Tick. Tick. Drink. Drink. Drink.
Our collective worry must have accelerated our collective metabolic rate because at this point in the evening we had each had two beers and three glasses of wine.
We were seated at our corner table and ordered another glass of wine, small plates and our entrees. I ordered the lobster and Ryan ordered the filet. Of course, there was much discussion surrounding menu choices and how "I will order last" and "what two items can we split" and Ryan doesn't think lobster is "worth it" and I'm all "you have to be joking" and blah blah blah.
"I wonder if Mairin is eating yet," we mused over another glass of wine.
By the time my mom called again, Ryan was still sweaty, I was drunk and our entrees had yet to arrive. Service on this particularly important Saturday was sssloooow - overbooked like a United flight out of O'Hare.
By the time we paid the bill and talked to my mom AGAIN about how Mairin now hadn't eaten in eight hours, we decided that we would take a cab back to my parents' house, feed stubborn Mairin and come back.
By the time we made it back to the hotel, we packed our bags and called the valet to bring the car around.
I looked ridiculous waiting for the car having already changed into my yoga pants and other such Lulu Lemon/Athleta wear. I felt my fraud exposed as the valet held the minivan door for me and I hopped inside - Patagonia bag on my shoulder, bronze stilletos in hand - while hipsters and aging bikers filed into the hotel in appropriate attire for a night out. I tried to pretend we enjoyed a lovely stay (of more than a few hours) and were excited to be on our way home, but the absurdity of it all was apparent.
We were ten blocks out when my mom called yet again to report that, "Mairin is finally eating. She was stubborn and wants her mom, but I finally won. Please go back to the hotel. My God, you sound trashed."
Ryan and I argued for two minutes about what to do and blamed each other for getting so worked up. He told me he was worried because this normally wouldn't have freaked me out and I blamed my freaking out on his profuse perspiration and irritability. It's at this point that he admitted to taking TWO 24-hour Claritin because he didn't want his allergies to "ruin our evening".
Ah well, his intentions were pure.
We went back to the hotel at 11pm, gave our keys to the same valet who helped me out of the car moments earlier, took the gorgeous elevator straight up and went to bed ... defeated.
Dinner at a fabulously slow restaurant - $250. Unsullied hotel room - $400. White gold and diamond locket given by husband as a wedding gift left on the nightstand and "not recovered" by housekeeping - $3150.
Jen and Ryan's fourth anniversary memories - PRICELESS.