So, the Things were told to be ready to leave the house at 1 p.m., not told where they were being taken, only that it involved arts and crafts. It wasn't too long before the resulting Q&A session broke through the barrier of secrecy and they guessed that we were going to go paint pottery at a place in Raleigh. Biff and I had done this once before and found it to be a lot of fun with some really nice results that are useful as well as ornamental (see: "beggebowls," which are big bowls for holding chopped veggies, useful during dinner preps. They have vegetables painted on the outside to clue in the naive user as to their purpose.).
We trundled the 30-minute ride down to the place, confident that we were well within the 'open 11 to 6 on Saturdays' hours posted on their website.
Imagine our surprise when the shop was dark and sported an "Available" sign on the front window.
Well now, time to back up and punt. What to do?
Why, go visit the nearby Whole Foods store, that's what. I've been in a Whole Foods about twice in my life, both time to eat lunch from their stupidly awesome food bars. This was my first time shopping there, and everyone else's first time, ever. Well, it didn't take long to come to the conclusion that one kid LOVES the Whole Foods and the other wanted nothing more to get out of there. Also, we bought small amounts of expensive cheese and meats while the 10 million hipsters in the store pushed around their carts of kombucha tea and organic free-range Captain Crunch (with scary moneys on the box!). Me, I liked the store, and could have spent a LOT more time there, but half the party was ready to leave and so out we went.
Straight to the nearest (in the same parking lot!) Panera Bread. Which neither Thing has been to, ever. Clearly we need to get out more. Seriously - they've NEVER BEEN to a Panera! Well, the roast beef and asiago cheese sandwich on sourdough bread convinced them that Panera not such a bad place after all, and this their worldliness quotient increased just a little.
Not content to sit on those laurels and just head home, we hightailed it to the Best Buy so Thing 1 could pick up a game with a gift card that's been burning a hole in his pocket. Well, next to the BB there's a Mediterranean food market so natch Biff and I headed there to peruse and perhaps purchase. Kids, the perusing didn't take all that long - the market smelled like a diaper genie (I blame the butchery in the back) but we did score some great mocha wafer cookies and a huge bag of couscous for 6 bucks total. Being as how couscous in other stores is apparently going for the same money as gold, ounce for ounce, it was worth it to brave the stink for a few minutes.
Not content to let the day end there, we headed toward another place closer to home that I thought MIGHT do the bisque painting thing, but no, that store was not where it should have been either. Therefore, the only sensible thing to do was to call in technology and have the kids locate the store on their smart phones.
The shop that does bisque painting and then glazes and fires the pieces for you? FOUR MILES FROM OUR HOUSE. Not an half an hour - 10 minutes. We spent 3 hours riding around looking for sh*t-all to do when the dang place of our intent was 4 miles away. Karma? Kismet? Who knows, for surely missing our first place of intent opened us up to several new opportunities, and that's noplace I expected to be today, so either one would explain the upset in plans.
We then did the next sensible thing a rational adult would do after chasing a dream for a fair chunk of the afternoon: we grabbed some substrate, glazes, brushes, and assorted other paraphernalia; sat our butts down; and started painting. Sure, it was already 4:15, and sure, the place closes at 6, but who CAN'T paint a cereal bowl with glaze in 90 minutes or so?
Half of us, that's who. I only got mine done because my vision and palette was simple, and I wasn't stymied by the actual process. Because, you know, I'm a pro having done it once before. The Things focused on so much on getting the inside of the bowl (our little family's agreed-to 'similar style' area) correct that very little time remained to even think about how to go about finishing the outside. Fortunately, we can return with their bowls and finish up what are sure to be lasting memories in the form of tableware.
Therefore, tomorrow after I get back from church, the Things and I are going back to the shop so they can finish up their first pottery glazing experience, and then I shall call the weekend good and go back to what I excel most at.
Because really, all this 'making memories' stuff is exhausting.