Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Pearl

When Noah was a toddler, my best friend Pam had a son the same age and we came up with this ingenious plan to trade free babysitting so we could go out on much-needed dates with our hubbies. When I found out I was pregnant again, I wondered if one more baby would make the trade a bit unfair for Pam. Would we lose date night? When I found out we were having twins, there just was no question of a fair balance. We lost date night.

And so it’s been.

Apart from the occasional quick dinner out or movie, because Mima (Michael’s mom: who often insures we keep our sanity intact) makes sure she comes and sends us out sometimes, we rarely go out for any romantic alone-time.

Then, peering over then fence at my new neighbors and their three small children, I had an idea. Noah and I went over and introduced ourselves and after chatting awhile about the cost of babysitting among other things, I asked if she and her husband ever got out.

They hadn’t, lately.

I suggested that, since it is so difficult to put someone else’s kids to bed (especially three of them!) perhaps we could trade some free babysitting post-bedtime, so that we could take our hubbies out for a night on the town! She said it sounded interesting.

Well, she called on Thursday and suggested we give it a try this weekend!

So, on Friday, Audra came over in time to say goodnight to Noah, while her husband stayed home with their kids, and Michael and I went out! We had never done much of anything in San Diego beyond a meal out, so I had to send out a quickie call for ideas by email to some local friends, and the links flowed in with lots of good ideas for music spots and arts events.

I was in the mood for some cocktails and maybe dessert so we picked the lounge at The Pearl Hotel. This place is like one of those very common two story drive up motels shaped in a “C” around a pool, but the owners have converted it into a swanky lounge and restaurant with retro-modern d├ęcor.

It was so cool and funky that I was just kicking myself for not bringing my camera. (The photos you see here were swiped from the Pearl's web page or stories written in newspapers about the Pearl, so since I am kind of advertising how awesome the place is, I am assuming they won't toss me in the slammer!)

We had some funky cocktails and cheese fondue in some stylish booths by the pool, chatted and enjoyed watching the giant mod beach balls sailing across the pool below the drive-in movie screen playing old Steve McQueen movies. Then we just had to try the Mayan Doughnut Holes with Chocolate Dip. Soooo very yummy.

It was not quite time to head home when we were done eating, so we headed inside to an area where you could recline on pillows and play backgammon. We didn’t play but we reclined and talked some more. It was so nice talking about more than just schedules, appointments and the usual, “how was your day” which is about all we usually have time for amid the chaos.

I think, if we keep up with these late-night dates, Michael and I could get closer, calmer, and less harried in our daily life. That is, if he can stay awake past 10:30.

Which he has trouble doing.


The next night, it was my turn to baby-sit next door while they went out for dinner, but Audra called to inform me that her youngest had been vomiting all day, and she didn’t want to leave him or pass any nasty viruses over to our side of the fence. So, we will postpone until another night.

But I think, as they say, that this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!


JeSais said...

yeah! glad you liked my suggestion. I'd been wanting to check that place out. I would have liked to see your pics

Snowbird said...

Fantastic! I'm so glad you found someone to trade with. How old are her three kids? BTW, Happy Mother's Day.

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Mom, the oldest is younger than Noah, a girl who is going to start kindergarten in the fall. Then, a boy who I think is an older 3, and a baby boy who is about to, or just turned 1.

They are a little off of my kids' ages, which is a big social obstacle now, but if we know them for a couple years will be less and less so.

Thanks for the great recommendation Jen! It rocked!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!

gpc said...

How nice, and how wonderful that you took the initiative and made it happen(that's a lot harder than you made it sound!) I hope it will be a long and happy relationship for all of you!