Saturday, September 2, 2017

150 Days Really Going Down the Proverbial Drain Into the End of Summer: Volume 16

August 4, 2017 -- Day 125:

Today begins the weekend celebration extravaganza to honor Pap's belated birthday, as well as my upcoming birthday, and the married Polings' 17th wedding anniversary. Whew. Get ready to party!

Pap, Gram, and Auntie arrived in the afternoon. Pap and Gram experienced their first Uber experience to the North Shore so we could tailgate prior to the Buccos game. We ate dinner in a private room at our old favorite, SoHo, which was a complete accident. (Also, a perfect place to stow this crew for a few hours.)

After food and libations, we headed across the street to PNC Park. Once there, we reveled in an over two-hour-long rain delay. (And I mean "reveled" because we had club seats inside and could literally hang out, warm and dry, and wait. And. Wait. Plus "some" of us drank IC Light drafts like a boss.)

The first pitch happened around 9:00-ish, and the Pirates actually played a great game under the lights. Franco made it well past the seventh inning before just pooping out on us. Pretty impressive.

After the game, we stuck around for the real highlight of why we picked this particular night to celebrate Pap's birthday -- the Chicago concert! Even after midnight, it rocked. And we loved it.

They just rolled that stage right onto the field!
We took an Uber back to the South Hills, and in the wee hours of the morning, we all fell into bed. Good stuff.

August 5, 2107 -- Day 126:

Happy Anniversary day to Franco's Mummy and Dad! I decided it a good idea to shop at Burlington with everyone except my husband to begin the celebration. (My leaving Scott out of this trip is probably the best gift I could give him. He's welcome.)

After some good bargain-hunting (and of course a new pack of play tools for Franco courtesy of Gram and Pap) we dined at another local fave, Piacquadio's, in Mt. Lebanon. Truly delicious and fun. Once sufficiently stuffed, we drove downtown for the evening performance of Mamma Mia! at the Benedum Center.

"Mamma Mia! Here we go again...."
We all thoroughly loved the show. We laughed, we cried, we sang along, and Franco fell in love with the music.

We got home to have a late-night early birthday party for Franco's ol' Mummy. We ate cakes, and I got a whole pile of gifts. A purse, new sunglasses, jewelry, tons of books, and seasons 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Beverly Hills 90210. (Be still my heart. Do these people know me or what?????)

Franco got sooooo excited that we can continue our "Idea-Toady-Oh" binges, even if I have to sometimes explain why Dylan's not always around. (Drugs, his wife blew up in that car, Brenda in Europe. You know how life can be.) Scotty P. informed me that, since I now have all these books and DVD's, I can resume "playing to my strengths." (Translation: being lazy and wasting time. He really does still love me, after all these years.)

Also, did I mention cake??

Night fell on a truly joyful evening.

August 6, 2017 -- Day 127:

Auntie, unfortunately, had to head home early. Gram and Pap, luckily, decided to stay another day. We lunched at Atria's, then came home so Pap and Franco could finish their Lego project. We laughed, ate, and talked all day.

Before bed, Franco, Pap, and I headed to the basement to watch Kennywood Memories and talk about our favorite rides at the park. As you do at 1:00 in the morning after a great weekend.

August 7, 2017 -- Day 128:

Since Gram and Pap hung out an extra day, Franco and I agreed to drive them home. On our way, we stopped for lunch at Denny's and Franco tried to win stuffies from the crane game in the lobby. (But, only Auntie can successfully do this. We collectively failed him.)

We dropped off Pap and Gram, and headed back to the city, exhausted and overjoyed at our wonderfully fun-filled long weekend of partying.

August 8, 2017 -- Day 129:

Franco woke me up with, "Happy Birthday Mommy! But, I didn't get you anything....."

I reassured him that I don't need any gifts, and his warm wishes for me suffice for everything I could ever want. But, he vehemently disagreed, and vowed to remedy this situation.

We got dressed and headed out to meet our dealer in the Robinson Costco parking lot for our yearly exchange: cash money for extra Steelers tickets. (Happy Birthday is right!!) Afterward, we drove to the mall. Because it's my birthday, bitches!

First you get the tickets. Then, you shop.
We stumbled upon a still-open FYE store. I handed Franco $20 cash money to spend on movies however he liked, as long as he could get a steal of a deal. We scoured for a long time before we came out of there with a pile of entertainment. (His haul? Two Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD's, one Smurfs movie, and Hop on both DVD and Blu-Ray. I am proud of the young patewan.)

He had plenty of change left over, so he decided to buy me a present at one of my super favorite places, H&M. He walked right into the clearance section, picked up a cute black dress, marched to the counter, and paid for it. (It cost $5.00. No joke.) He walked out of there with $2.00 and some change in his pocket from the original $20 I gave him. I feel secure that my legacy of frugal cheapness will carry on.

We met Scott at home and walked to our local Primanti's for dinner and the baseball game. We sat outside, I drank Stella(s), and we enjoyed a laid-back, wonderful evening together.

Franco ordered cheese pizza and french fries. Something else from my past that will outlive me.....
Once we walked back home, Franco played his original Birthday Ballad for me.

As far as birthdays (and birthday ballads) go, I consider it classic.

August 9, 2017 -- Day130:

Today, Franco participated in his big show at True Gymnastics. He enjoyed it over the summer, and completely adored being in a performance.

Medals for everyone! This is why we can't have nice things!
August 10, 2017 -- Day 131:

Today, Franco practiced his future gig as a famous rock star. His performances include both covers and original compositions. If you ever find yourselves in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, stop by for a musical treat. He loves to give away tickets to hear his band, The Right Rock Quiz (sometimes known as Open Chord) and will regale you with some serious awesomeness.

August 11, 2017 -- Day 132:

This is a real new one. We went to Kennywood as a family so Franco's dad could join him on some roller coasters. Among other things. We tricked Scott into staying longer than we ever thought he would. We all rode the Pittsburg Plunge and got wet as the dickens. Then, Franco and his dad stood at the wall for the extra splash, and got super duper soaked. Everyone enjoyed the Racer, Jack Rabbit, and Log Jammer. We tried new snacks. The day turned out to be wonderful.

August 12, 2017 -- Day 133:

Kenny and Naomi joined us for a fun-filled dat at The Pittsburgh Zoo. Contrary to our wishes, we had not made it to the zoo all summer. And we were jonesing. It turns out, when you don't visit for roughly nine months or so, things change for the better!

We enjoyed the new dinosaur addition, as well as the fabulous idea to sell beer before you head to the aquarium. The kids played on all the different playgrounds, and we all left tired, sweaty, and fulfilled.

One must always take a picture with the turtle.
Once home, Kenny made a delicious dinner and the kids played until they could play no more. The end.

August 13, 2017 -- Day 134:

Once the company departed for home, we set about eating snacks, watching the ball game, and napping all afternoon. Sunday adventures can be like that sometimes.

***To Be Continued......

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Steph's days are complete with little Franco/Mr. Buddy Pants, Pittsburgh Steelers football, Penguins hockey, all things WVU, cold beverages, new handbags, shoe-shopping, pups, and lots and lots of movies. And, of course, her glorious, nutty family.