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A Date Night to Remember

July 21, 2017

So, those of you with kids, how often do you really have a date night? I know the experts say you have to carve time out for each other. You have to schedule regular date nights, but c’mon the reality, for many of us is that there is just not enough hours in the day. So last night was a rare date night opportunity for us. The husband’s mom wanted to take the girls and their cousins to see a musical production. She offered to keep the girls overnight too.

This was a bonus date night with the girls sleeping at Grammy and Papa’s. The Husband had to work this morning, so I was relishing the thought of sleeping in this morning and sipping hot coffee in a quiet house. I fantasized about the peace that I would feel. What is it they say about the best laid plans?

So for date night, we typically go out to dinner and then walk on the beach and enjoy the sunset. We figured we’d do the same last night. We try to select restaurants that we don’t take the girls to. I mean really, how many times can you eat at Chili’s or Fuddrucker’s? So I suggested El Torito. Yes, we have many Mexican restaurant choices in San Diego. Is El Torito, the best? Absolutely not! But I do really like their grilled chicken Mexican Caesar salad, so The Husband agreed to try it. He doesn’t remember ever eating there. I am fairly certain we’ve been there as a family, but that’s a different story.

So we pull into the parking lot and I warn The Husband that the parking spaces are teeny tiny in this particular parking lot. It’s really strange because it’s a decent sized strip mall with a Burlington Coat Factory as its anchor so why the spots are so small, I’ll never understand. Anyway, The Husband drives a big ‘ole SUV so he parked in the back nine, like past the Burlington. So El Torito is on one end of the lot then there is the Burlington, then where we parked. (This will become important later in the story!)

We walked in and were immediately seated. It was a quiet night so far. We sat for a while and were finally greeted. Then a few minutes later our orders were taken. Then, considering how quiet the restaurant was, the food seemed to take an exorbitant amount of time (again, this turns out to be okay!)

{Just an aside, the last time I came to this El Torito was on Mother’s Day with my mom, sister, two nieces and the girls. That night the service was terribly slow as well, and we are fairly certain there was a kitchen fire while we were there. I should have known better than to choose this particular location!}

So anyway, our food finally came. We ate and then we waited for the check. Finally it arrived. We were both getting a little impatient by now at the time everything was taking. The server dropped our check off and then bolted to another table. The Husband had his wallet and credit card ready, but he wasn’t fast enough to get give it to our server before he bolted. So at that point, we both reached for our wallets figuring maybe we had enough cash between the two of us to pay the bill and leave. Our server must have sensed that we were getting impatient because he suddenly reappeared. So we put our cash away and went back to Plan A which was use the credit card. It took a few more minutes for our server to return with the credit card receipt and then we were on our way.

Turns out these delays were probably a good things. Funny how things happen and then later, we realize that there was a reason for all of it!

As we were walking out the doors of the restaurant, I casually said maybe we should walk over to Burlington and see what they’ve got. You just never know what you will find at a Burlington. I’m pretty sure The Husband was not onboard with this idea, but before he had a chance to tell me so, we were out the restaurant doors and were confronted with six or seven police cars and a community service officer truck parked all around the parking lot. Most of the police cars were near the entrance to the Burlington, so I quite naturally assumed that the Burlington had probably been robbed.

Remember we were parked in the back nine of the parking lot. Thankfully we were not in the center section of the lot where all the police cars were blocking the entrances to each aisle.

I admit it, curiosity got the best of me. I was looking down the aisles of the parking lot trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. I felt safe with all the police presence. The Husband was a few steps in front of me so he approached the next aisle before I did. As he looked down the aisle, he said, “OH! Don’t look!”

Unfortunately for me, he said it about a half second too late. My eyes had already wandered down the parking lot aisle. There was a person lying motionless in the parking lot. I quickly diverted my eyes and walked towards The Husband’s car. I did not need to see anything else. I did not look down any more aisles. I became acutely aware that this was NOT a robbery at the store. As I went directly to the vehicle, The Husband is bolder than I am. He approached a police officer who was standing close by. There was a vehicle parked diagonally in front of ours. The driver’s door and trunk were open. The officer was standing near it. The Husband inquired about what had happened. The police officer gave a brief explanation of what they thought had happened. (for those of you curious, this is what happened.)

At this point, I am just wanting to get in the car and get away. Then the fire truck rolled onto the scene. We noticed that the fire personnel were not moving with a lot of urgency, confirming our speculation that the man was already deceased. At that point the police officials began putting up yellow caution tape around most of the parking lot. We took that as a very clear indication we needed to leave the area because it was going to be a long night.

As we exited the parking lot, the ambulance arrived and I said a silent prayer for the victim’s family and friends. We opted to continue with our plan to walk on the beach. Goodness knows we need some beauty after what we’d just seen. My tummy was a little urpy and I was feeling a bit uneasy. I called my sister and talked with her as we drove to the beach. So the goal was to just get to the beach, inhale that salty ocean air and just enjoy the rest of the evening as best we could.

Often as soon as we get within range, The Husband will inhale deeply and exclaim, “Smell the air!” He loves, loves, loves the ocean. So last night just as we turned into the parking lot at Mission Beach, he inhaled deeply and … the whiff he got was NOT ocean air! But it was something that would probably have calmed my nerves had we just stopped the vehicle!  Instead we drove through the cloud of dope and found a parking spot.

We made several inappropriate jokes about second hand smoke vs second hand-dope as we made our way to the boardwalk enjoying the ocean air. For those of you who don’t live near the beach, at sunset time the smell in the air is different. You still get that salty, sticky ocean smell but it’s mixed with the aroma of sunscreen and fire as the bonfires are being lit. The mood shifts from giggly, shrieking kids splashing in the ocean to the calmer quiet that comes as the sunsets and the tide rolls in lapping against the sand creeping ever closer to those concrete fire pits. {Depending on which beach you go to, you also do experience the other smells! I was surprised to smell it so profusely at Mission Beach though!}

It was cloudy so the sunset, while beautiful, was not spectacular but it was enough to calm my nerves and help me get away from the scene in the parking lot. My stomach was still feeling urpy so we didn’t stay too long at the beach. We decided to head home. I was feeling more calm and relaxed until we got on the freeway.

We entered the 8 eastbound to head home. As we got on the ramp at W. Mission Bay Drive, we were following three motorcycles. No big deal, really you just have to watch for the slap happy morons leaving the beach while also dealing with the tourists who don’t know which way the all the different lanes split off. It’s a little hairy most of the time, but it’s a bearable hairy interchange most days.

Then you have the days when complete asshats on motorcycles think they are invincible and begin doing wheelies as they weave in and out of the lanes of traffic. What in the actual hell is wrong with people? Why on earth would you be so freaking stupid? If you want kill yourself doing wheelies find a less congested spot to meet your Maker. There is no need to do it in front of me. I had already seen on dead body, I certainly did not need to see another one.

This stuff is amazing!

Needless to say, the calm that I have achieved through watching the sunset was now gone and I was a big ole ball of stress again. Thankfully the morons on motorcycles did not wipe out in front of us. Even more thankful they exited on to N805 as we continued on towards home. Then we did the only logical thing there was left to do. We drove to our local Vons (hell on earth according to my niece!) and I sought out some of Ben & Jerry’s One Love ice cream. Have y’all had this stuff? Holy macaroni, it’s amazing!! It’s a limited edition that I have not been able to find anywhere else. So in my stress filled-stomach-urpy madness, I confess that I paid $4.99 for a damn PINT of Ben & Jerry’s. Who in the heck can afford to buy this stuff regularly? I usually pay $2.49 for a half gallon of Dreyer’s. But $4.99 for a dang pint?? Oy very.

Our date night to remember ended with a session of stress-induced, over-priced ice cream eating.

Next date night we are having pizza delivered.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Large permalink
    July 21, 2017 12:07 pm

    Your stars were out of alignment along with the planets and the universe. Next date night has to turn out better, could not get any worse.

    • fixitmommy permalink*
      July 24, 2017 1:05 pm

      Who knows when we’ll get another date night, but we’ll think long and hard about where we go, that’s for sure!

  2. July 21, 2017 7:20 pm

    Or the stars and planets were aligned to protect you from harm. Either way, pizza delivery sounds like a good idea. A word of advice” buy the ice cream in advance. 😉

    • fixitmommy permalink*
      July 24, 2017 1:05 pm

      I know, right! Pizza it is for sure! I told my husband, no more complaining about slow service ever!

  3. Cheryl Merriweather permalink
    July 24, 2017 9:41 am

    SO glad you guys were not outside when the incident occurred! Enjoy every moment of every date night! By the way….it cracked me up when I read “dope”. That’s such a old skool term. 😉

    • fixitmommy permalink*
      July 24, 2017 1:06 pm

      LOL! We’re old remember! 😉

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