Sometimes you just need a few days off. Summer hit, and with our schedules being what they were, we just never got around to booking any out-of-town trips for our week off. And then we realized: we live in an awesome city, have an awesome yard, and really just needed some time to relax. This is what we did.
Saturday July 13
The holiday kicked off a Karin and I awoke in the throes of temporary empty-nest-hood. Claire was a few hundred kilometers away, camping with her grandparents for just a couple more days. So, how do two thirty-somethings, lost in the lack of a child underfoot, cope with all that freedom.
Weeds, Weeds, Weeds
The sun came out for a few hours and we pulled weeds. Exciting, eh?
Instead, I spent a good two hours on my hands and knees troweling the encroaching chickweed from the flowerbeds, pulling all kinds of semi-invasive visitors from between the much-slower-growing vegetables, and meticulously fighting the war of steady attrition I’ve been waging on the never-ending supply of dandilions emerging from the lawn.
Actually, the dandilions give me sympathy for a zombie apocalypse. They emerge from the soil, they are innumerable and seemingly unstoppable, and when their heads explode they spread their evil infection across the landscape.
The day wasn’t all hard work, however. Thanks to a well-timed order from Amazon, I found myself in possession of a brand-spanking-new copy of Lego: Lord of the Rings literally as I arrived home from my last day of pre-vacation work. (The UPS lady followed me up the street and handed me the package as I got out of my car.)
So, thanks to generous spans of time, I’ve been playing. And I think I like it.
Chris had some mixed reviews when I was at his house last weekend, saying something about how the levels were somehow intermixed with these quests and an RPG-like story. I didn’t exactly understand what he was getting at, at the time, but I think I get it now.
But anyone who’d played the second Lego: Harry Potter game would get it. Like that game, the story is not episodic, it’s linear, and you travel through the movies/story not with a central place to hang out, but instead, wandering through an ever-changing world. As you move through Middle Earth, you encounter “levels” that you play as normal, but in that wider non-level world, there are things to do, find, and complete.
I’m still in the single-digit percentage of completion, but I’m enjoying it. And I’m sure Karin is on the brink of picking up a controller too, soon.
And despite acting only a little wee bit like grown-ups over most of the day, we jumped into that role with both feet as the day neared an end and showed up just in time for our reservation at NINETEEN.
The neighborhood we live in, despite being kinda unfortunately known as the rich-snooty corner of town (which it only sorta is) has had a very long tradition of not-very-many restaurants. And part of that tradition has been only a handful of good restaurants.
That’s all changed in the last couple of years. In fact, it almost seems like restaurants are popping up faster than we can try them.
Yet, still, lots of chains and so-so dining experiences: great if you, like us, need to cater to a hungry, impatient kid.
So, out in the blue there is this place called XIX. It’s kinda, sorta, for now-until-more-gets-built in the middle of nowhere. Less nowhere every day, but still most people’s reaction about the place was: there? Really?
Even so, we made a reservation a week in advance and, albeit on a Saturday night, could only get a seven thirty slot. But we dressed up, splurged a little, and enjoyed a nice meal and great service before going back home and hanging out on the couch with our lonely puppy before bed.