Big Mario, as we affectionally call our Italian cousin, celebrated his 60th birthday last night with a surprise party at a restaurant near his home in Dover. Jon, the kids and I drove to Dover yesterday at 3 pm in order to be there by 5 and avoid ruining the surprise by pulling in at 5:30 with Big Mario. I was feeling a little “puny” (as Patty calls it) on the way out but the birthday sheet cake boosted my spirits. Ri enjoyed dipping her fried chicken in ranch dressing. Mario enjoyed crooning with Larry, Mario’s friend and the singer for the evening.
Mario was truly surprised and grateful. He went around hugging family and friends. All of his kids made it to the party, which I’m sure meant a lot to him. Jon and I always crack up at Big Mario and how much he wants his kids to stay around him. He would have them all live in his house with him and Vickie if he had his way. On the other hand, Jon and I are dreaming of the day M&M go off to college…. Ha.
Mario was fascinated with Larry’s singing set-up and just stood next to him most of the party. Larry let him sing at one point and Mario chose “Gangum Style.” A little different than Moon River. Maria sat with some older women and listened to them gossip. Her favorite activity at these events. I can just see her gabbing away when she’s 60 years old as she sips her coffee and eats her pie.
We got home at 9:30 and I went straight to bed with M&M. Usually I can sleep off these funks. I felt a tad better this morning. We stayed in and made pancakes and eggs. Ri and I had to improvise on the chocolate chips for the pancakes since Mario ate the rest of the baking chips. We cut up Hershey Kisses into small pieces and added them. Not bad.
Mario saw a dinosaur exhibit at the Convention Center on tv so we decided to give that a whirl. They advertised bouncey houses and dino digs and mining areas. It was $16 admission but I figured we’d be there a good chunk of the day. Maria brought Janira so $50+ dollars later we were looking at mechanical dinosaurs. And that’s all we were doing. It was the biggest rip-off. They had a quarter of the area cornered off with mechanical dinos and the rest was a few bouncey houses and dino digs. The problem was that you had to pay another $20 per kid to play in those areas. Unfrickenbelievable. I was so irritated. So, in the end, I paid over $50 to see ten dinosaurs. We were there less than 30 minutes.
The other parents walking out with me were just as pissed. And I felt for a lot of them who told me they saved up to come only to have their money wasted on nothing. I complained to the people taking money about the false advertising but that was like talking to air. Whatever, I made myself let it go but those dino promoters will get theirs someday.
Ri and Janira had begged to sit in the massage chairs prior to the dino exhibit and I had said no. When we left, that was our only saving grace. Mario treated the girls to a massage ($1 each) and they were in heaven thanking him over and over again.
So, what to do at noon on a winter Sunday? I tried to get them to head to Barnes and Noble but they wanted a bouncey house. The only place I could think of was Galaxy Games and Golf. They were game. I think half of Columbus was there with us and it didn’t help my headache at all but the kids did expend some serious energy. Somehow that still doesn’t tend to equate with an early bed time, however.
And now, a pizza, cookie and coke later, we are heading home for some relaxation and some Spa Science in the tub. I’m hoping that Ri can create an elixir to take all my winter cold aches away, and make my stomach feel better after that delicious meal at Galaxy Games and Golf.