A few months ago, I got an alert that Guster, a band I loved in college (and beyond) was playing a small acoustic show in LA on a Friday night, so I bought some tickets for Tim and I to go, assuming as I normally do, that my parents would be able to take care of Ellie for us. When I realized they were going to be out of town being snowbunnies, I had to come up with a second plan, and so we called Grandma and Grandpa (note: this is not a comment on anyone's grandparenting - it's just easier for my mom to come over and put Ellie to bed in her own bed at night than it is for Don and Eileen to drive a half hour here and back during the evening-times. And since baby sleep can be a tricky thing, my goal is usually to ensure that E is asleep in her own bed at the end of the night.) Because Friday was a workday, it was a lot easier for us to bring Ellie to their house than for them to come to us in the timeline allotted (Tim and I needed to be in LA, at the show no later than 7:15.) When we were discussing it, Eileen volunteered that we could leave the baby with them and have AN ENTIRE DATE NIGHT TO OURSELVES. It was like she had just handed me a winning lottery ticket. Seriously. There is something so nice about imagining not only going out on a Friday night, but also sleeping in on a Saturday morning.
So we got our wheels turning. We needed to leave early enough to be in LA for a 7:30 show, we needed to have all of Ellie's items packed for the overnight, we needed to find ourselves a place to stay and think about what we'd have for dinner, etc. Thankfully, Grandma and Grandpa (now renamed Mimi and Paw... I know - it's getting so confusing!) went above and beyond, getting a bed rail for the guest bed and a baby gate to ensure that the Peanutty Buddy could not find her way down the stairs. We brought over our stroller and a car seat so they could get out and about as they wanted, and I booked Tim and I downtown at the Biltmore Hotel, where we stayed for our fourth wedding anniversary, low those many years ago.
It was a perfect night. The Guster show was in a tiny little theater and so intimate and fun. They played great songs off their new album and a lot of old favorites, as well as doing some goof ball conversational stuff with the audience. We'd arrived early enough to get some delicious sushi across the street, and then after we checked into our hotel we scampered down to Bottega Louie (my favorite restaurant) for a couple of desserts, and then we had a cocktail back at the hotel lounge. Went to bed late, slept in, and then woke up and laid around for awhile. I will admit, it warms my heart when I wake up and hear Ellie's happy little voice over the monitor asking "mama? Mama? Milk? Mama?" but it also warms my heart to roll over and snuggle into a pillow because I have nothing to do and nowhere to be.
Once we got up and going we hit up the Nickel Diner for good old fashioned diner food, and maple bacon donuts. My sinuses were all wonky and giving me a terrible headache that made food look not so good, which was sad, because everything was pretty amazing. We managed to make good time driving home in the crazy rain, and our little lovebug was only sort of happy to see us - she had slept like a dream and was still in full on Mimi and Paw-loving mode, which is about the best thing ever.
The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a rainy bust, but the clouds parted around 6:30 and we jammed Ellie in her stroller and took a quick spin around the neighborhood. Hopefully she'll sleep good for us tonight, after all the fun she's had. Baby's first sleep over!