Jenna recently went on a field trip to watch the ballet performance of The Nutcracker with her 6th grade class. She absolutely loved it. She has long appreciated fine arts and orchestral music, and discovered a new interest in ballet. I enjoy watching ballet myself, and decided attending a ballet together would be perfect. The Maine State Ballet Theater in Falmouth was holding performances of “The Magic Toy Shop” this past weekend, and Jenna was delighted when I suggested we get tickets for our Festibond date this past Saturday.
Jenna and I about to watch “The Magic Toy Shop”
This past Friday Skye I went out for our annual Festibond date. It is such a treat to spend time with her, especially now as she has approached her teen years and is becoming less available.
Skye and me
Skye enjoyed the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and she was excited when she learned the latest Hobbit movie would be coming out in theaters on Friday. I don’t usually care for science fiction and fantasy; however I did like the Lord of the Rings. Perhaps it’s partly because I have special memories of listening to the story on LP records when I was a kid.
Jenna and I planned to go to lunch and to Dobrá Tea for our Festibond date together. During the drive to Portland I listened to a lovely concert performed by Jenna herself, with her own funny and spontaneous additions to the songs.
Brent suggested I take Jenna to the Armory Lounge at the Portland Regency Hotel. He was certain that Jenna would love it because it is fancy, and she loves anything fancy and sophisticated. When we walked in she commented about the elegant atmosphere and decór. It was quiet and dark, and we had the place to ourselves. Jenna walked around before deciding on the perfect table.
Jenna and me
Skye asked if we could walk around Old Port in Portland together and visit the shops in the area for our Festibond date. I hadn’t explored Old Port very much aside from some of the restaurants there, and I thought it sounded like fun. I had a wonderful time hanging out with my oldest daughter, who has recently passed me up in height. She borrowed my shirt, sweater, and shoes for our date together.
It was cold outside, so we first stopped at Starbucks to get some hot drinks to go. Skye ordered the eggnog latte, and I had a flavored espresso. In retrospect, we should have gone to Bard Coffee instead where the coffee is significantly better, but at least the beverages warmed us up as we embarked on our adventure in the chilly winter air.
Skye and me at Starbucks
When Hayley and I were deciding on what to do for our Festibond date together, I suggested going to the Children’s Museum in Portland. We let our annual membership expire a couple years ago, and Hayley has missed going. Of course when I made the suggestion and told her about some special activities going on there that day, she was ecstatic about it.
I really enjoyed talking with Hayley on the drive to Portland and hearing her perspectives and opinions about various subjects and issues. I am constantly impressed with her understanding and interpretation of complex concepts, and her memory is amazing. It is fun to debate with her; and she often challenges my own way of thinking. She is so much fun to hang out with!
My little Hayley and me
I absolutely love our annual Festibond family tradition. Nothing generates closeness, love, and enjoyment like this holiday we created a few years ago.
In preparation for Festibond, I did some baking with the girls. Each of them picked a treat they liked, and I baked with them each individually. Of course we also spent a lot of time writing our special Festibond letters to each other.
Sweethearts in love!
On year 2010 Festibond on my date with Daddy I first went to the movies. We watched “Gulliver’s Travels.” It was funny and I laughed a lot. We shared popcorn. I got cookie dough bites and lemonade and Dad got Coke.
After the movie we went to Margarita’s for dinner. I had a kid’s taco, and Dad got Margarita’s Famous Taster. My taco was wicked delish! Dad asked if I was going to order fried ice cream, but I didn’t know what that was. I tried it. It was crispy on the outside and just like plain vanilla ice cream on the inside, with honey on top. It was pretty good except it had too much honey. I’m not going to get honey next time.
Our family tradition of Festibond seems to get better each year as we continually improve it, building on the things that make it so great. It is centered around creating bonds and strengthening our relationships with each other.
This year we celebrated Festibond on December 27. One or two days before Festibond we bake treats that we can enjoy on Festibond day. Each of the girls picks something they want to make, and I cook with each of them separately. I purchased the ingredients on Christmas Eve, and we baked our treats on Christmas day because all businesses are inconveniently closed then.
On December 29, 2010, I went on a date with my mom, which is part of our Festibond tradition.
First we went to the Palace Diner and I got a blueberry pancake. When I told Mom that chefs were better than cooks and said that Kyle was definitely a chef, she thought it was funny and put it on the blog she wrote about our date.
My blueberry pancakes at the Palace Diner
Part of our Festibond tradition includes each of us girls going on a date with Mom and Dad separately. At first I suggested to Mom that we go play pool for our date. After finding out I was too young to play pool at the billiard rooms, I decided I would like to go see a movie and go to dinner.
Dad, Hayley, and I drove up to the mall to meet Mom and Jenna after their date together. We met them at Claire’s because that was where Jenna and I were going to get our ears pierced. Jenna and I picked out the exact same earrings to get our piercings. Jenna looked very calm for a girl going to get her ears pierced for the first time. I felt like I was in Hawaii on a hot day because boy, was I nervous. I was aching to get the piercing over with. I had gotten them pierced before, but the holes had closed up. As much as I wanted to seem tough I couldn’t help remembering the painful pinch that made me wince while getting my ears pierced the first time.