Our friend from college (the one who told Cute W I had a crush on him) and her family came to visit for a few days. We love these friends. Sometimes you have a terrific friend and then the friend gets married to someone who’s annoying. Or dreadful. Or not so bad, but just not as fun as the friend alone. But we love our friend’s husband! And then sometimes, you think the couple’s great, but the kids can be annoying. Or you think the kids are great, but your kids don’t get along with their kids (two girls, 10 and 14). But we love their kids, and our kids love their kids. And their kids love our kids (or are very good at faking it). So it’s a love fest. A beautiful, beautiful love fest. Except that they live in Madison, Wisconsin, so we don’t see them much. So Cute W took Thursday and Friday off from work and we all went into slightly-lazy-tourist mode.
On Thursday we took a hike on the Indian Ladder Trail at Thacher, then headed over to nearby Thompson’s Lake so that the kids could frolic while the grown-ups chatted. Then we headed home and ordered pizza for the kids and we left them for a double date at Tara Kitchen. The kids were thrilled to receive permission to walk a few blocks to get ice cream by themselves. We had a delicious dinner and arrived home early enough to drink excessively, college-style, until late into the night.
On Friday we were lazy in the morning (wonder why?), headed to Jumpin’ Jacks for lunch, and then played at the park and at home in the afternoon. Then we headed to Troy for Troy Night Out. Which was a bummer because it was raining, but we’d already had our heart set on checking out the free performance of Twelfth Night by Troy Civic Theatre, partly because our friends’ kids are hugely into theater. Also because we love free. First we ate at Muddaddy Flats Quesadillary, chosen because it was kid-friendly and vegetarian-friendly (the 14-year-old is a vegetarian and did a great job of not telling us how terribly the rest of us are, which we all appreciated). It was pretty tasty. The kids were all happy, and M was rhapsodic about her choice, the “Tanya,” with chicken, cheese, bacon, and avocado. My favorite was my friend’s choice, a special called the “Mediterranean” that was packed with plenty of vegetables, feta cheese, and olives:
The quesadillas are made from 12-inch tortillas that are folded in half and then cut into quarters, and for future visits I’d definitely take advantage of this to buy a variety and share around. They have gluten-free tortillas and vegan “cheese,” too, so that’s helpful.
The Shakespeare in the park was relocated to a church space that was slightly less fabulous, and the truth is, I think that at least 3 out of 4 of the adults were considering aborting the mission. Instead of a pleasant and casual park setting, we found ourselves filling the second row of a very small theater space, making any later attempts to flee (if the kids weren’t quite feeling it) a bit rude at best and emotionally scarring to thespians at worst. There was also a Punch & Judy puppet show that was barely audible, and it was difficult to determine if that was something for which we should feel regret or gratitude. J was probably the most attentive to the puppets, although she didn’t quite grasp the historical significance of the traditional 18th-century script that the puppeteer was loosely following. Later she commented, “They’ve really got to work on a better plot.” We were all concerned, especially because none of us had read the play and the advertisement that the play is “often described as Shakespeare’s most sophisticated comedy” didn’t exactly bode well for bringing all the kids along. We reviewed the plot summary with the kids and hoped for the best.
I’m glad we stayed. The kids loved it. When J heard that Malvolio was going to be tricked into doing all sorts of silly things just as we paused for intermission, she clapped her hands and said, “Oh, I hope, I hope we get to see that!” Sometimes it was hard to watch the play because it was so entertaining to see all four girls in a row, laughing uproariously. I was surprised at how well they followed the plot, and at the end, they all chattered over each other, weighing in on their favorite characters and favorite actors. So Twelfth Night with the Troy Civic Theatre turned out to be an excellent introduction to the Bard, even if it wasn’t outside. And the show continues, although the rest of the performances, alas, will require a ticket.
We said goodbye this morning, and at our house, it’s been a rainy day full of seriously lounging.