Well. It’s 7:48 on Friday night and my husband has been asleep for an hour and a half. I don’t think he’s prepping for a wild night. I think this is our Friday night.
Being old and married and having a husband with craz-o all night on-call shifts is doing wonders for my blogging.
Let’s talk some more about Staunton, mmkay?
By Saturday, our last full day, we were spent. We didn’t set any alarms Friday night and figured breakfast hours be damned. We just wanted to sleep off the soreness of hiking, kayaking and squinting at fictitious celebrities.
After we stumbled out of bed around 10:30, we decided to check out a restaurant that had been packed the night before. Byers Street Bistro was delish; I had a wacky, non-traditional, kitchen sink kind of lunch and Clayton had a classic cheeseburger, and we both loved our meals. Plus, waffle fries came in to seal the deal.
When we couldn’t really stand up straight from being impregnated by frying oil, we took to the streets. I’d had my eye on this one adorable store from our very first night. Honestly, it’s the only reason I threw on hiking clothes and tore through rapids in a kayak—I knew Clayton would owe me big time. Dude paid up with two hours in a boutique and some yummy nude pumps. My love for them is as explicit as that description. A staple, no? Especially because they’ll complement my pajama pants and oversized t-shirts during my phone meetings.
Afterwards, when I was fat, well soled and perfectly content, I tried and tried to convince Clayton that he could splurge on any mantastic item he wanted. Even with a cigar shop, a theatre showing at least one movie sure to have poor acting and cars exploding, and a reminder of the brewery that was thirty minutes away, he swore he, too, was happy if I was happy. (A couple of weeks ago someone shared with him the saying “a happy wife means a happy life” and he took it as solemn, prophetic life advice. Mainly because he’s spent more than two seconds with me when I was less than happy.)
So we walked around and snapped pictures.
Ten minutes later, we realized Staunton’s not exactly a booming metropolis and were back to square one. Clayton was breathing in way too much of that mountain air, so when we got into the car, he yanked out the GPS and just started driving. I was mildly terrified of the sudden change in personality but also thought we might end up somewhere that served ice cream. I love road trips!
The tractor on the main road slowed us down a little, but we didn’t mind because the drive was absolutely stunning. Grey-blue mountains rising out of the horizon behind acres of rolling green farmland and bright red barns. We were happy, aimless campers.
I was slightly less impressed with Waynesboro, where we ended up. I humored Clayton by actually getting out of the car at a park, but we both knew it was time to get the hell out of that nowheresville when a grown man with his elementary-aged daughter began screaming at a punk teenage kid. I think the kid may have thrown something at the man when he walked by, but I can’t be sure. All I distinctly remember is being on the verge of tears and begging Clayton to drive away as the man got inches from the kid’s nose saying, “Hit me. I want you to do something.”
You know that whole fight or flight thing? My response is on the utmost end of the flight spectrum and typically involves repeated apologies, assuming responsibility for everything negative that’s ever happened in the world, a healthy outpouring of tears and a handful of inappropriate sarcastic comments that make the situation infinitely worse. So yeah, I probably need life coaching.
Clayton’s guilt at the social awkwardness that was Waynesboro manifested itself in the form of an iced caramel macchiato. It was like National Husband Bonus Points Day.
For me, one of the most luxurious feelings in the world is to get ready without a stopwatch. The restaurant we chose for dinner didn’t take reservations, and since my husband had made it clear this was a non-GPS type of day, I had no timer on my get-pretty prep time. Isn’t that fabulous? If you have kids, you’ve probably forgotten that such a thing exists, but I encourage demand you to request this very indulgence for Christmas, your birthday, Mother’s Day, Columbus Day or whatever random holiday is next on the calendar. I hear Sunday is Pioneer Day in Utah, so there you go.
You have the freedom to wait until you look exactly the way you want to look before leaving. Within reason, of course. Ninety minutes of staring into the mirror did not do much for my wackadoo-shaped nose, but you get the idea. Underwear not working with those jeans? Change ‘em! Eye shadow turning goth rather than smoky? Re-do it! All it takes is a free NC-17 television station included in your hotel room to occupy the husband, and you’ve got nothing but time, ladies.
(I’m totally kidding. “Despicable Me” was the distraction of choice. I told you about those bonus points.)
All I need to say about the dinner experience was that when I asked the server (who also happened to be one of the bartenders) if he could make me a mojito, he said, “Sure. I’ve got fresh mint in the back.” Yes, and yes.
After a delicious dinner, Clayton read the chocolate frenzied look in my eyes and took me to get some ice cream/gelato. Staunton has some seriously good eating. We had to burn off all those empty calories, as well as drink some more of them, and we found ourselves sneaking up to a rooftop restaurant that had live music.
The only person on that roof who enjoyed Bryan Elijah Smith and the Wild Hearts more than my husband was the lady sitting directly to our right who’d obviously gotten a 100-yard head start to those liquid calories. She was somewhere in the neighborhood of her early fifties, and she was smashed. All night long she talked way too loud, in the way people do when they think they are making complete sense and hiding their inebriation so well from everyone else. Except everyone knows you’re gone and they’re only talking to you so that you respond in that funny loud voice that you think is totally normal. And then everyone laughs at you.
She yelled. She danced. She screamed at the lead singer to take his shirt off. She repeated to her husband that she had just screamed at the lead singer to take his shirt off. She made her way to the top story of the building and called out the window to her husband. She kept hollering when her husband ignored her. She tried to get strangers to dance with her. She sat on a cowboy’s lap.
I thought of her and her splitting headache often the next morning.
As for me and Clayton, reveling in a few hours that felt deliciously like those dating days was the perfect way to spend our last evening away from things like all night on-call shifts.