Before we left on our vacation, Teach and I went to Smith's (the grocery store where she works) and bought $600 worth of restaurant gift cards for placed scattered across the country. That might seem like a weird thing to do except that Smith's has a gas program that allowed us to save $2 on each gallon of gas up to 35 gallons. And the day we bought the gift cards gave us 4X the points and saved us $70. (I know, you can never get over how cheap I really am!)
Anyway, the gift cards worked great! We used almost all of them, but not quite. My sweetie had recommended cards for Buca di Beppo because it is Drama Queen's favorite Italian place. As we got down to the last days of the trip, it became evident that we were going to have to save some of the cards until we got home. Since the Drama Queen's birthday was only a week away, we decided that it would be the perfect place to have a birthday celebration.
So last Friday we took part of the family (I only had $75 in cards, so we only took those who had been on the trip with us) out to dinner. We had already celebrated her birthday on Sunday so that everyone could have dinner and cake so we didn't feel too guilty.
We had to go late because Sport had football practice until 7:30 and Teach didn't get off work until 8:00, but it was a Friday night so we made reservations anyway.
When we arrived, they didn't have our table set up yet so we had to wait in the lobby for a few minutes. The manager came by to talk with us and he offered the kids' menus with the promise that the first one to finish the word search could have a free piece of cheesecake! That was definitely a motivating factor for several of my children. For several minutes we couldn't even get them to decide on what they wanted to order as they feverishly raced to find the huge list of words.
Even I got caught up in it (annoying my sweetie), but I didn't win. Princess was the coolest and the first one to finish and she nicely shared her cheesecake with everyone.
We had a great time! The kids were all so silly, just enjoying each others' company. It was almost like being on vacation again...