For our anniversary this year, we decided to go home to VA and drop the girls off with Mark's folks and just spend a couple of days relaxing. We were going to rent a nice hotel, but it happened to be Tech Homecoming and the hotels were full and the prices jacked up. So we decided to just stay at my grandmothers house (she is no longer there) and have a little more money to spend on food (since the whole point of this get-away was for me to enjoy eating again, right? Just kidding, but not much.)
But first, we had to stop by my parents' house because they just got new kitties and the girls (and I) were ever so excited! Mark took this video on his phone because Abbi was simply hilarious. We have a very loving and tolerant cat that she loves and plays with every day, so we had no idea she would be so amazed at Grandma's new kitty. But she pretty much yelled, "meow, meow, meow!!!!" over and over again for at least a half hour and probably more.
Then we headed out to Mark's folks' house and left the girls super excited about our departure. Karis finally realized that we would be gone two whole nights and excitedly exclaimed, "then I am going to get up really, really early!!!" (Poor Nina is a champ because we totally forgot our beloved Momo monkey clock.)
Mark took me out to a super nice restaurant and we actually took pictures of our food (after eating half of it) to show the girls. We each picked our favorites off the menu and shared.
Brie baked in puff pastry with a raspberry reduction sauce? Yes, please! And I got the better end of the sharing deal because Mark is not a fan of baked brie. I am happy to announce that I ate the entire thing sans the 2 bites he tried. Pretty good for a pregnant Mama who hadn't wanted to eat anything in 4 weeks!
It was a humongous, delicious steak before we ate 2/3 of it :)
And for breakfast the next morning, we decided to join the old(er) folks and eat at the Roanoker. It did not disappoint! It is amazing how much I enjoyed food that I did not have to cook! Mark got the biscuits and gravy and I ordered the pancakes, eggs, and sausage. (No, they did not plate it as a sandwich, but that was the way I wanted to eat it!)
And for dinner, a Japanese Steakhouse!
The best part? Some of our favorite friends in the world joined us for dinner! Funny story: after choosing our restaurant, I thought about it and realized that I had not been there since the night Mark proposed to me! And the funniest part was that Mary and Samy had randomly showed up at the restaurant that special night 9 years ago! So it was very appropriate that we celebrated there together on our 8th anniversary.
And now for the part that you have all been waiting for: the girls! They had a blast with their grandparents and didn't even miss us a bit. Not a single bit. (Although the younger two were super duper cuddly upon our return and I just ate it up! My eldest reveled in telling us all the fun things they did without us and all the yummy treats they ate.)
We met them at the zoo and had a fun morning seeing all the animals. It is not a humongous zoo, but really perfect for a fun morning out without getting too exhausted.
They got to ride on the train! We've been to this zoo about 5 times and the train has never been working so they were just ever so excited to finally be able to ride it! Unfortunately, I didn't get many good pictures because I was riding in it as well.