So last weekend, Grandma was so kind as so come and babysit overnight so Jeff and I could get away for like 37 seconds and decompress. It was a fast trip, we dropped the kid off at school on Friday morning and came home Saturday afternoon, but it was REALLY EXTREMELY NICE to just be away. We went to The Lake of the Ozarks, which for anyone not from these parts is a huge vacation area in the middle of the state. When we were kids, we used to go there at least once a summer, sometimes more, and it had that kind of resort area charm that they now only show in movies. The lake area circa 1985 was full of cheesy souvenier shops, really bizarre "Opry"-style shows, hillside go-kart tracks and water slides, questionably safe roller coasters and several places to buy Walnut wood bowls, Chicago cutlery and fudge. There were also tons of shops to buy things that smelled like potpourri, or just potpourri if you're a purist, and there was never a shortage of anything seafoam green or mauve. This was the 80s, people. Anyway, my childhood memories of this place are quite fond but I haven't been down as much as an adult so when we pulled into town and my first sighting was a giant Target next to a giant Lowes, I knew things had changed dramatically.
Gone was pretty much everything I mentioned above, replaced by Walgreens, the aforementioned Target, Walmart, Crapplebees, Panera, etc. Oh sure, there are still a few cute little shops left and we saw two go-kart tracks still operating, but it was nothing like I had remembered. Back in the day, we would drive the three hours to get there, stop at the ONE grocery store they had to buy everything we needed for the week and the rest of the time was spent doing fun things we didn't do at home and eating at places we didn't have at home. That's the point of vacation. Now, it's pretty much like any strip-mall-filled suburb around here but with a huge lake in the middle of it. Needless to say, it's lost something with progress. The bright spot is that there is an outlet mall down there that stretches for about a half a mile and I got some great deals on clothes for me and Max. That and we ate at a restaurant that has been there as long as I can remember but was always too expensive for us to go to as a family and it did not disappoint. We ate lobster and scallops until we almost burst, drank wine and sat by a huge window to watch the sun set. Ahhhh.....that part was really great. Here's Jeff toasting to you. You can tell it's a fancy place because it's so dimly lit.
After our delicious dinner, we went back to the resort and spent the rest of the night lounging around watching The Golden Girls on cable which made me very, very happy. The fun didn't stop there, either. On the ride back, we stopped to pick up our new dog. She did really well on the ride home and didn't pee or throw up anywhere. She's also SO SWEET and follows me like a magnet. Look at her!
So far her transition has gone well, she's settling right in, but we do have one small issue. Her name is Zoe, which is a name I love and you would know this because our current dog is ALSO NAMED ZOE. At first we were like "HA HA, can you believe we found a dog with the same name?! Whatta gas!" It took about 24 seconds for us to realize that this is not as funny as we thought in application. Yelling at the new dog to stop jumping on Max when the other dog is sleeping on the floor and wakes up with a look on her face like "WTF?! I was sleeping. Why am I being yelled at?" makes for a bit of canine confusion and you might be saying to yourself, "hey dumb blog lady, why don't you just name the new dog something different?" that may not be as easy as it sounds. The problem is that we'll still be saying Zoe all the time so she's going to continue to hear it and I'm not sure if her dog brain will understand that we aren't talking to her. So, if any of you have suggestions, please leave them because this shit is getting old.