Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ollie's Trolley, Nutcrackers, Drunks, oh my!

On Saturday night we three girls had a night out. An early Christmas gift from Keith to us. The girls have been fascinated with the Nutcracker for ages. Olivia went to a local production last year with her dear friend. She had such a great time that she told Keith about it recently. She must have mentioned how she wanted to see it again because I think that is where he got the idea to surprise us with this night out. A last minute sort of gift and a way for us big girls to go out and have some fun together. He bought us tickets to the Warner Theatre's Nutcracker performance. A Washington DC tradition which is a big hit with all ages. Since DC is a distance away we needed to leave early enough to park and grab a bite to eat before the show. A great idea. Except for that I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Turning the wrong way in the wrong place in DC is the fastest way to send oneself on a trip of insanity. Thank goodness I have a clue about that area and we were not lost in a web of no left turn roads. I really despise all those no left turns after/before a certain time. It makes for turning around a whole lot more than a 5 second affair. With lights at every block and insane tourists willing to jay walk that wrong turn cost us precious minutes. Nevertheless we prevailed and found our way left to finally get back on track to parking that car.

Given that the weather has been very cold that night was not as cold but when one wears dresses and heels that cold goes a long way. We ventured out to find a place for a quick, very quick something to eat. For some reason most everything down that way closed at 5pm. On a Saturday. 5pm! What?! That's crazy. I was relieved to see that Ollie's Trolley was open. It was the perfect place for us to get a meal. We rushed over there and grabbed a quick bite to eat. Ollie's Trolley is about a block away from the Warner Theatere the perfect distance in that blustery cold wet weather. We gobbled up our food in lady like fashion. Okay so we were in dresses and we looked lady like, but there was no lady like in our eating style. I was so glad we managed to get there for those 15 minutes to eat. I knew the girls would be starving and cranky and if we didn't have the time to eat before it would have made for a very looooong night. Good thing we can eat and walk at the same time. Olivia was the first to finish her burger, she took the fries with her to munch on while we walked back to the theater. I might add that recently the girls have discovered that soda is oky-doky. Before they thought it a dangerous wasteful beverage which was fantastic. Now that they like it getting them to toss those drinks before we entered the Warner Theatre was a bit trying. Olivia was working her charm and negotiation skills while Leah was sucking down that last bit from her cup. I thought we'd come to fisticuffs to get Olivia to drop that soda but she gave up after seeing all the fancy people around us. 


If you have never been to the Warner Theatre you should know that it is an old and charming place. It's rather tight inside leaving little room to wander around. I love it for its old beauty. We had plenty of time to get to our seats and take in the beauty of the theater. Considering that we had 5 minutes to spare before the curtain call those 5 minutes felt like an hour to the very excited girls. Every few seconds one would ask how much longer until the show went on. How does one explain the ways of the theater to little kids who are used to flipping a remote controller? The show was quite close to being "on time" according to the girls starting just a few minutes after 7pm.

For the first Act the girls sat on the edge of their seats in absolute enchantment. They were so pleased to watch the dancers perform. I was torn between watching the ballet and my girls. I did manage to peek at them a few dozen times so that I could remember this very special night. That first Act went by so quickly with all its beauty and action. At intermission the girls were confused. To them the show was over. We talked about what an intermission was and why they still needed to hang around before leaving. After a few minutes they were ready to get up to stretch their legs. Just as I was about to get up a few seats away our drunken row mate came plowing over. Not a word of warning. No excuse me, no pardon, no oops. Nothing. This young woman just came pushing her way out of the row nearly landing in my lap. Clearly she was drunk. Apparently too drunk to communicate. Then I got to thinking about what sort of person gets wasted at a Nutcracker performance. Traditionally this ballet is full of children in the performance and audience. Clearly the sort of person who needs to have a better time than she was having without the booze. I was grateful for the couple of folks between us to keep that lush far away from my girls.

Before the second Act began Olivia become hot. Too hot to sit. Too hot to stand. She complained her feet were too sweaty, her hair was too hot, her hands were hot, her nose. Everything. Yes it was getting warm inside that small theater but not terribly so. She sat down and continued to complain throughout the second act. At first I thought it was annoying all that shifting around and fussing. Then it hit me. She was getting tired. The cranky-cranks were setting in. I remembered her wake up time being 6am which made sense as to why she was slowly starting to fade. We had a few stern words and she settled down. By the midpoint of the second act the girls were tiring. I could see they were trying hard to stay awake. Their interest was dimming, no more on the edge of the seats excitement. They were tired. I was tired. Soon the show was over. The audience applauded and the girls were ready to go. Our walk in the cold made Olivia cheerful. She was no longer hot and grouchy. I was looking forward to being out of the rainy windy night.

This is where I complain. Parking in DC is an adventure. You can find on street parking but most people choose a garage. Choosing a garage means you must find a building that provides that service. We parked at the Regan building because it was close and easy. What I did not like was that we had to go through security to get inside the building. There is only one entrance to access the building after 9pm so walking around to get there is enough to make you weary. Once we got to the door there were 3 guards standing outside chatting. I figured they were breaking or something. They all looked at us but did not discontinue their conversation. I charged inside eager to get out of the cold. Oh was I mistaken. Upon entering (there was a family of 5 behind us) a disgruntled guard in a beat up office chair hollered at me. He said "Did you show them your ID?" I asked who, thinking that I didn't see someone behind me. No one behind me except that family. I was supposed to show my ID to those guys outside. I asked which guy because none of them seemed like they were really working. The guard repeated that guy pointing to the group still making it unclear to me who "that guy" was. Somehow it was my fault I couldn't read his mind. I was supposed to show "that guy" my ID. I looked at the guard and held out my ID toward him. He looked at me as if I were trying to hand him a dead fish. "Nah, you show your ID to him" I followed his finger as it led to this very quiet guard standing off to my left. He gently walked over and inspected my ID. Meanwhile another guard was barking at my kids to get through the metal detector. The family behind me was just as confused. Once through the checkpoint I was eager to leave. I understand that security jobs are not fun. It's a hassle for everyone involved but to be that awful is ridiculous. There was no comfort in that experience. Truthfully I did not feel safe knowing that a lazy grouchy guard was taking out his angst on people by not really doing a decent job. I could not believe he refused to inspect my ID making the other guy do it. Seriously? If this is the Federal government's idea of securing a building I'd hate to see what unsecured is like.

After all that nonsense we were glad to be on the way home. The girls were chatting about the show as we made our way to the interstate. The rain fell quietly and soon all the chatter turned to silence. Both were asleep within 10 minutes. I drove in silence singing to Christmas songs thinking about my girls.

I was disappointed to learn that Adelynn was not a happy baby while I was away. I thought it was going to be a nice time for her and Keith to spend time together. She went on a hunger strike. She fussed and wailed and starved. She wouldn't sleep. Poor Keith. She did so well with bottles not long ago and now she is just refusing. She was pleased to see me her little voice hoarse from crying. Those little red eyes tired from protesting all those hours of my absence. She buried her little face into my neck wrapping those teeny finger around my hair. She was hanging on for good. She was not going to let that Daddy take her away. Poor Keith. He tried so hard to comfort her. I wonder why she was having such a bad time. We have to try another time with bottles, maybe just one, instead of 3 feedings. I don't want her to go the way Leah did and refuse bottle out right. Then again putting her on a sippy cup soon has its advantages. Despite the negatives we encountered the night was nice. I enjoyed being out in the city with my girls and I enjoyed staying up most the night with my littlest girl.

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