Our friends were arriving at different times and at different places.  The first group, Andy, Angela, Matthew, and Whitney, went straight to my brother’s house.  I decided to meet them over there with Ellie.  After the general hellos and all, we needed a plan because it was getting close to Ellie’s nap time.  It was perfect, we could all go mallwalking!

Before we headed to the mall for some mallwalking, we were going to stop at a Coney Island restaurant for lunch.  Matthew and Whitney asked, “What’s a Coney dog?”  Oh no, they are from Kentucky aren’tthey?  We told them about Coney dogs and Coney Island restaurants and that they had to get a Coney dog!  But after all the hype about it, no one ordered a Coney Dog.  No one!  While thumbing through the menu, Whitney asked what a Michigan salad was.  I explained that it had dried cherries and nuts and things in it.  She made a face.  Not a good face.  Coney dogs and Michigan salad; you’re a long way from home aren’tyou?

The next stop was the mall.  Most of them had read about my mallwalking experiences before, but Matthew asked, “So what is mallwalking?”  I explained we were there to kill time and it was an opportunity for Ellie to nap, because I knew for sure she wouldn’t fall asleep at my brother’s.  Mallwalking was an excuse to be out, but we had no specific purpose as far as shopping went.  But we didn’t want to look like mallwalkers, we wanted to play it casual and cool.  That’s how I roll.

Just as I was explaining to Matthew what a real mallwalker looked like, and that we probably wouldn’t see one at 2:00 in the afternoon, we saw one!  Matt, look look!  She was wearing jogging shorts, running shoes, and t-shirt darkened with sweat, and the real giveaway, she had headphones on.  Not to mention, she was speed walking.  Wow, Matthew’s first mallwalking experience, during off peak hours, and within five minutes, he got to see a real mallwalker!  I was so excited for him.

We did have a purpose for this mall trip though.  We were going to a Detroit Tigers game the next day and our friends wanted to get some Tigers gear to show support.  You know, T-shirts and hats, that sort of thing.  While they shopped, I looped around… and around… and around.  And it worked, Ellie was passed out in no time.

After the T-shirt stop, the girls needed to make a pit stop.  And as they said, the person before them “tore it up.”  I can only assume that it really was the person before them that tore it up.  Then I had to change Ellie’s diaper, and luckily, she did not tear it up.  She has poop anxiety where she doesn’t like to take care of business out in public.  I’ve never had to change a poop diaper in a public bathroom while at the mall, or a museum, or any other place like that.  As soon as we get in the car, it’s a different story though.  That’s when she feels comfortable enough to tear it up.

While we were determining what our next move was, we got word that the next group of people arrived at my folk’s house.  It was time for our mallwalking adventure to come to a close and head to a new location.  One that would include food.

How do you coordinate a meal for 16 people?  Two words: Pizza buffet!  There is this place called Stevie B’s by my parent’s house and it’s exactly that.  All the pizza you can eat for $6.29 a person.  They make crazy flavored pizzas too!  Baked potato, spinach alfredo, chicken wings, mac n cheese, BBQ chicken, taco, cheeseburger, and the list goes on.  If you can think it, they can make it.  My brother was grossed out by the cheeseburger pizza because it had ketch-up and mustard on it. He was grossed out!?  This is the same guy who will spread cold, left-over KFC gravy over bread and eat it.  He also likes tartar sauce on bread and eats sour cream plain out of the tub.  But nooo, a cheeseburger pizza is gross.  We calculated that between all of us, we ate a gluttonous 102 slices.  Twenty percent of that was consumed by Aya and me.  I think I’m proud of that.

When we got back to the house, we discovered that Ellie had a new best friend, Sara.  Ellie wanted to climb on her, hold her hand, play with her, chase her, and kiss her.  Sara didn’t want to kiss her back but Ellie wouldn’t take no for an answer.  “Kiss me please… Kiss me… Come on! I said KISS ME!”

And before the night was out, Aya taught Max how to say, monkey, poop, and fart, in Japanese.  At his request.  So yeah, the visit with our friends was already shaping up to be a great trip.  I couldn’t wait for the next day of activities.  Eat em up Tigers! Eat em up!

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3 thoughts on “ALL IN STRIDE

  1. HAHAHA! We were just telling our family from Chicago about the “Eat ’em up Tigers” guy this weekend. They all looked at us a little weird… Too funny! My husband took our daughter Emily to see Paul McCartney last month (she is a crazy-huge Beatles fan) and I guess the guy was out there with his cup yelling “Eat ’em up Paul. Hehe! ;o)

      1. Yeah, I gotta admit, my kids are pretty darn spoiled when it comes to concerts… in fact, Emily said to her daddy as they were sitting in the rain waiting for the show “These seats aren’t quite as good as we usually have…” (she wasn’t complaining, just making an observation…) and she was only about half way back in the front section on the lawn at Comerica… ;o)

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