Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekend with a Traitor

Last weekend, the kid and I headed out of town to volunteer at a pet expo (held about two hours south of where we leave). We headed down a day early so we could make a weekend of it.  We went to the farmers' market, did some Father's Day shopping, stopped for ice cream, and just generally had a good time. My still-swollen foot held up better than I feared it would. I would like to have done more shopping after the ice cream but by then my foot was over the whole scene.  I decided that we'd just head back to the hotel and the kid could go swimming.  We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way there. I don't have a TJ's nearby so I have to go when I can. My youngest sister lives in the middle of nowhere and said she'd give up her firstborn for an hour at Trader Joe's. I'll be sure to mention this to my nephew when he gets a little older.

I'm still on track with my plan to go vegan for a week later this month. Now, as a side note to my vegan friends . . . I know that being a vegan is more of a lifestyle and not something that you try on for size. I mean, I get it. I just don't think I'm ready to go for it full-bore quite yet. However, I've been buying more and more vegan products with the aim of reducing animal products in my diet and in my home. I switched to Vegenaise for sandwiches and stuff and I do like it. I also switched to Earth Balance spread, which is a vegan alternative to butter. Also very good. I am trying to buy only vegan cereal now. A couple of items have been less of a hit with my taste buds. I bought some frozen vegan pockets a couple weeks ago. While the pastry itself was okay (perhaps a little dry), the contents tasted like sawdust. I have never eaten sawdust, but I have to think this must be pretty close.  I also tried a vegan Kashi meal - Black Bean Mango. It's edible but I wouldn't buy it again.  So, it's been hit and miss so far. Conveniently, Trader Joe's makes a list of vegan foods available on its website so I printed that and took it with me. I picked up some goodies and then we headed to our hotel room.

After we got checked in, the kid immediately fired up her iPad and tried to get online. I didn't see any information about WiFi in the guest guide so I told her that maybe the hotel doesn't offer it for free. Well, let me tell you . . . she put her shoes on and marched straight down to the lobby to ask. God forbid she should live for five minutes without internet access.  She bitches at me all the time about my failure to install WiFi in my van (yes, I know I could use my phone to create a hotspot but she doesn't know that and, if I have anything to say about it, she never will).

We spent a fairly quiet evening at the hotel. A fellow volunteer was staying at the same hotel so she
was nice enough to sit by the pool with me for a couple hours while my kid befriended various strangers (I asked her not to invite anyone back to our room this time). We ate our Trader Joe's snacks and whatnot. Later, I watched a really dumb movie on HBO GO while A played Minecraft.  The next morning, we got up and headed to the pet expo. While I was unloading bins and setting up our booth, my kid disappeared. I could not find her anywhere. I thought she would turn up after the expo opened to the public at 10:00 a.m., but she didn't. I wasn't super worried because she's old enough not to run away or get into a stranger's car, but still, I thought she would at least turn up to ask for money.

Eventually, one of the other volunteers spotted her a few aisles away (the festival was held in a park and the rescues and vendors were set up in rows).  "She's volunteering for Shih Tzu Rescue," she told me. What the heck?  She was supposed to be in our booth, handing out flyers and running a kids' game.  I limped on over there to see if I could find her. Sure enough, she was standing next to the Shih Tzu booth, holding a leash with a little fuzzy dog at the other end. She loves small dogs, so I guess I wasn't that surprised.

One of their volunteers came over to me. "Oh, she has been SO helpful," she told me. In my head I was thinking, wow, she can't even flush the toilet at home. Anyway, I dragged her back to our booth and gave her some spending money . . . on the condition that she would agree to hike to my car to get my sunglasses for me.

I keep telling her that we are "big dog people," but I guess she just prefers the little fuzzballs. Later in the day, I found her spending all of my money at a kissing booth run by a French Bulldog rescue. She kept paying buck after buck to make out with a little dog. Once again, I rounded her up and brought my little social butterfly back to our booth.

All in all, it was a good weekend. We stopped at Johnny Rockets on the way home for some dinner.  She waved to a guy behind the counter and the next thing I knew he was bringing her ranch dip for her fries (blech). And you wonder why I am worried about the teenage years????

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