Victoria, who is very wary of new people, took to S right away. S did present her with a lace parasol (for the desert sun, you know) but this girl is not easily bought. No, she just liked S right off the bat. So did I. Brian is very skeptical about these encounters (he has been along on a couple of them and still thinks there's something wrong with hunting down people I've met online). So when we saw him tonight the first thing he asked was, "How was your friend? What did she look like?" and Victoria answered before I could. She said, "I think she's a fairy godmother."
We met at a restaurant called Carlsbad Tavern. There was a big bat over the entrance gate and Victoria didn't want to go in. Fortunately, S arrived a few minutes after we did, so we had time to walk around the parking lot and tell bat stories until she was ready to face the bat again. The food was yummy and I really enjoyed talking to S.
After lunch we tried to go to a history museum in Mesa. Unfortunately, the only entrance was guarded by the skeleton of a large dinosaur. Victoria got a glimpse of it through a half-opened door and freaked. If I'd been thinking, I would have hooded her like a bird of prey just to get inside but, you know, hindsight is 20/20. No matter, S suggested we go to the children's museum right around the corner and that worked out fine.
There was one problem with the kids' museum--everything was kid-sized. S gamely tried to follow along but the up-and-down thing was wearing her out. Victoria didn't notice, of course, but I was thinking how awful it would be if she had a heart attack or the like. It would be my fault, sort of. I sent S home just as Victoria was settling in to the task of putting everything in the play kitchen back into its proper spot. There was a lot of stuff in that play kitchen, too.
S had found a calendar with things for kids to do and I was looking at it while Victoria separated the plastic breads from the plastic fruits. There was a storytime with craft thing at what I thought was a library on our way home. We left just in time to join them and darn if it wasn't in fact a used book store. Yay! So Victoria listened to a story about a dog with bad breath while I happily perused the stock.
We got back to the hotel and Victoria took a few turns around the veranda with her parasol. Then we went back to our room and the parasol is now serving as a forest for the sheep and pigs. The cows are staying in an Office Max box I found, the horses are on top of the same box, and the tiger* is in the ice bucket. Brian returned late and we went to dinner at one of the restaurants here at the resort.
* He came with the farm animals; it makes playing with them even more exciting. For such a skittish kid, Victoria is rather bloodthirsty at play.