Fortunately our strategy could not have worked better. The weather cooperated, the kids cooperated, the scheduling cooperated -- everything was perfect.
The first thing we did was go out for breakfast at J. Christopher's. We walked right in and sat down. The food and service were great, and the kids behaved beautifully. We did notice on our way out, however, that by then the place was packed and on a wait.
After that we headed for the Atlanta History Center. I'd gotten a family pass for a visit back in February from a school auction and had been wanting to go, but so far we hadn't come up with a free day. Since it was a beautiful day today and we had nothing critical to do, I thought this would be a good time to use it.
Traffic was unusually light and we got downtown about half an hour before the History Center was open. So we stopped at a thrift store nearby and Nate and I ran in while Tim and the girls waited in the car. Nate and I shopped unencumbered, Hattie napped, and Tim and Charlotte listened to football on the radio -- everyone was happy as pie. More about what I got later.
Then we drove on over to the History Center and got there five minutes after it opened. Again, perfect.
We went in and saw a new quilt exhibit (which I highly recommend to anyone in the area -- they are GORGEOUS!) and the 1996 Olympics exhibit. We tried to catch a tour at the Swan House at 1, but we missed it, so we played in the gardens until our tour at the Tullie Smith house at 1:30. Fortunately we'd had such a big, late breakfast that no one was hungry for lunch.
After touring the Tullie Smith House (shown above), the Swan House, and any remaining exhibits in the museum, we were finally ready to eat. It was about 4 pm. We had managed to miss the lunch crowd and we were too early for the dinner crowd.
We drove on over to La Fonda Latina in Buckhead, where we had the whole place to ourselves. Incidentally, this is where Tim and I went on our first date, as it was about a block from the condo I had then. We had a delicious and cheap meal (paella del mar -- YUM), and then we went home via the grocery store, where we picked up a Chocolate Lovers' Delight cake. We ate it about an hour later, after everyone wasn't quite so stuffed.
I opened some presents (check back tomorrow for the report on that), and then it was bedtime. Three baths later and the kids were in bed at about 7:45. Everyone was in a good mood, full, happy, and pleasantly tired. We really couldn't have planned it better if we tried. You can see more pictures from today here.
Oh, back to the thrift store finds. I got two wool sweaters to felt and make into something, and a cute pillowcase, again, for something I haven't figured out yet. But my real find was this:
a classic, lined, plaid wool jumper from Talbots in perfect condition for $1.65. I KNOW! The thing is, it's a size 8 and I wear a 10 (sometimes 12). But I couldn't just leave it there. It would have been sacrilege. I tried to rationalize it thinking that I love the fabric and I could cut it up, but I know I won't be able to cut into it.
Maybe it will be the inspiration I need to lose a little weight. It's so classic that I bet I could even take a few years to do it and I could still wear this. Did you see? $1.65!
Overall, a perfect, perfect birthday.