Saturday, May 08, 2010

Phoenix on Phriday

We've lived in our apartment five years come the end of this month. That's a long freaking time, yo. As a matter of fact, it is the longest that I've ever lived in one place in my entire life. You can probably guess, most people don't stay in one apartment that long, opting instead to move to a new one or even to move into a house. That means that the stuff that usually gets taken care of every year or two before a problem can arise in most apartments and new tenants move in hasn't really happened in our apartment for a while. As a result, things are starting to have problems and having to be replaced. I've already blogged about the nasty almond vinyl that got replaced a few years ago with much nicer faux tile vinyl. I also talked about the carpet that sorely needed to be replaced, well, being replaced. I've scored us a schnazzy stainless steel dishwasher, and just last week, an awesome new stove that not only is level and has TWO full sized burners (the old one only had one), it's freaking self cleaning too. This is one of the perks of being a renter - something breaks, hey, it's not our problem.

Today, we were scheduled for the latest upgrade to our apartment. A couple of months ago, I noticed something funny near the kitchen sink. It seemed that the counter top was flaking away. As I inspected it closer, I noticed that what was underneath exactly matched our bathroom countertops. That's right - the kitchen and bathrooms had different counters, which is usually a no-no in apartments. This also means that our kitchen countertops had been PAINTED.

I talked to the property manager, and she said that I was partially right. The countertops never get replaced by our property management company. Instead, they hire a company to resurface them. The finish is pretty durable, but it only lasts about five years before it starts to chip away. Which, to me, means that my counters are overdue for a refinishing.

This morning, when the woman showed up to redo our counters, we packed up the diaper bag and hit the town. It smelled atrocious in our apartment before she even got started working, just from her equipment being in there! We had been told ahead of time that we would want to clear out. (This is something that usually happens in vacant apartments, so it's usually not a concern to have the tenants there.) We opened all the windows so it could ventilate and headed out to Phoenix.

My husband had asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, so I told him that I would really like to check out some of the antique and thrift shops downtown. I am pretty cheap due to being used to Goodwill prices, so I rarely spend a lot in those places. We hit several stores, from a fancy one with real honest to goodness thousands of dollars antiques, to junky thrift shops. It was awesome. I found an old pretty teal blue Italian typewriter that doesn't work (decoration!) for $5, another milk glass citrus reamer (the heavy Sunkist one) for $12, the cutest little pillar candle holder (to take photos of cupcakes) for fifty cents, and a vintage pastry blender for $5. Best find of the day - a stainless steel toast rack for 99 cents at a Salvation Army thrift store that was holding a 40% off sale! I about peed my pants in excitement when I saw it because I've been looking for one for so long!

Since we knew we were going to have to be out of the house all day, we planned to stay in Phoenix all day. We had dinner at my favorite hole in the wall Chinese restaurant. I've been going there since 1995! It's awesome, because even though I hardly get to eat there anymore, the owner still knows my order. She loved the boy too, and he was all smiles and waving hello to her. If you've met Bubba, you know this is not something he usually does with strangers, so we were impressed.

After dinner, we headed over to the Phoenix Children's Museum because it was First Friday, and that means FREE admission from six to ten pm. Of course, we got there at 6:30 and there was no parking. After trying to find a spot, any spot, for half an hour, we decided to drive up to the art museum and take the shuttles they provide for this event. It was kind of inconvenient, but otherwise we would not have been able to go.

When we got there, it was pretty packed. People love free stuff I guess! They were at capacity in the building so we had to wait outside until some folks left and they could let more in. The museum staff provided loads of sidewalk chalk for the kids to keep them occupied. This was Bubba's first time using it.

At first, he just wanted to collect it. I was pretty proud of him for not trying to eat it! After a while, he noticed the other kids were drawing, so he sat down to draw too. Can I tell you that this child was freaking FILTHY? Oh my goodness, I was trying so hard to not freak out about how dirty he was. He had dirt and chalk dust just covering him all over and it was taking every bit of strength in my being to not whip out a baby wipe and clean him off every five minutes.

I'm terrible.

Once we were finally inside, a friendly volunteer told us that there was a room that was especially set up for children under three, if we were interested. Since we were there for the boy, we headed off in that direction. He LOVED it. He got his hair blown by a vent in the ground...
he pushed lots of buttons...

he played house for a bit...

he worked on his balance and coordination...

he did a few puzzles...

he played peekaboo with his daddy...

and he pushed around a wagon (and crashed into several people - the boy is FAST). He also got to play with big exercise balls, faux flowers, books, and this thing that was reminiscent of Plinko but used balls. He ran around, climbed stairs, played on a slide, went across a little bridge, got shoved over by some other kids, snatched toys from other kids (and then got reprimanded by his mother) and generally had a good time.

We left the museum at 9:30 because we wanted to be sure to get on that last shuttle back to the art museum where we parked. While we were waiting for it, they started setting off fireworks at the ballpark. The ballpark isn't even a mile from the museum so they were really loud. I'm talking they were setting off car alarms and scared the crap out of me! Bubba took it all in stride though, and had a good time watching the light show. Then we went back to waiting for the shuttle. A half hour went by, and the museum closed. We saw the last cars leave the lot and the volunteers all go home. We had asked the security guard if the shuttles stopped before the museum closed, and he said no, there was definitely supposed to be one more coming. Another thirty minutes went by, and I was totally freaking out.

No way was I walking three miles, through downtown, at night, over a bridge (that goes over a park, but STILL, bridges scare me bad) in flat sandals no less. Especially not with a baby! We had no cash so we couldn't just take a city bus or call a cab. There were no atms or banks nearby. The nearest one was over a mile away. I know that doesn't seem far, and had it been daylight and I had been wearing better shoes, it wouldn't have been an issue. As it was, I was not happy. The only thing that was helping me keep it together was the fact that the security guard was still there and he said he had to keep the gates open for that shuttle, so he knew it would be by.

Then, when an hour and ten minutes had gone by and we were ready to give up hope, we saw the shuttle come around the corner! We were saved! We watched it drive toward the entrance to the lot, we watched the security guard flag it down, and then, we watched it DRIVE RIGHT BY.

Cue panic attack.

Full blown, crying, hyperventilating, feeling like someone was sitting on my chest and that something was crawling through my hair, top of my mouth tingling, dizzying panic attack. It. Was. AWFUL. I haven't had one in years, and you know what? I didn't miss that crap AT ALL. Luckily the security guard took pity on us (since we were the only ones who got stuck) and he drove us back to our car. I felt like I was going to bad mom hell holding my baby on my lap in the backseat of that car, but I was so thankful to that awesome security guard. Talk about going above and beyond the call of duty!

Lesson learned - do NOT take the shuttle. Visit the museum in who's lot you parked. If you know the lot will be full, get there EARLY. It's worth waiting an extra half hour in the early part of the day to not have to go through that stress at the end. I had to self medicate with a giant Sweet Tea and fries from McDonald's afterwards. I know. I'm terrible.

For the folks who are reading this and thinking to themselves that we deserved that for taking our child out that late, remember - we're on an offset schedule. The boy and I don't get up until noon most days, and we have bedtime generally between midnight and one am. It's what works for our family because if we did the 7 am - 8 pm schedule that most people do, my husband would never get to see his son. That would be sad. Anyway, being out at 10 pm for us would be like being out at 6 pm is for most folks. Totally okay. :)

Lovely ending to the day - we got to come home to new countertops.

The old ones, if you've seen past photos on my blog, were a speckled off white. Not very pretty. These are a nice dark gray with black and tan speckles. It looks SO much nicer! We got surprised with matching ones in our bathrooms too. We didn't know those were going to get done, since they didn't match before and no one, not even the installer, mentioned it. I'm so embarrassed because not only did we not clear them off for her, we put the dogs in my bathroom so they'd be out of her way. Quelle horreur!

I have to wait until tomorrow to put everything back on the counters. Next, let's see if I can finagle us a new fridge. :)

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Blogger Olivia said...

I'm glad you had fun for the most part and loved your thrifted treasures! Isn't that the best?!? I about burst with excitement when I found my first Le Creuset pot for $3 at Goodwill. I've always wondered about those First Friday events. Good to know that I'll need to plan for every type contigency known to man. Bubba is a doll!

11:11 AM  
Blogger mademoisellechitchat said...

Shit, woman!!!!! I would have panicked too.

The baby is SOOO big and beautiful!

Last Saturday, I attended "le prom"@ the Children's museum. It was really nice.

Happy Mother's Day!

6:03 PM  

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