We were still getting ready when they arrived, so I went downstairs to meet them and was helping carry some things they'd brought up when Vogon brought Laurel down, who was thrilled to see everyone and take them upstairs to show them 'her' cat and her latest drawings on the patio while we talked and made plans for the night -- dinner reservations at Magic Time Machine and maybe miniature golfing afterward. Laurel wanted to go with them to run errands before dinner, so I saw them off and enjoyed a good two hours of much-appreciated time alone with Vogon.
Laurel arrived to dinner dressed in a completely different outfit from earlier in the day and proudly told us she'd gotten a ballerina outfit too. She was thrilled with our server, Hercules, and he got a kick out of my mom, calling her the best comedic assistant he's had. Dad got a kick out of the menu, frequently asking if anyone wanted a Roman Orgy, and my older sister kept suggesting I get a martini, but we had a fun time and she confused her husband when he called while we were at the salad car (a 1952 MG roadster -- he wanted to know where the driver sat. As expected with their enormous servings, almost everyone took home leftovers and as we were boxing things up, Hercules came by one last time to ask if anyone wanted dessert and if we minded if he brought out cookies for Laurel, spelling out both 'dessert' and 'cookies', which I found hilarious. (:
After dinner, we were enjoying the warm weather while retrieving Laurel's carseat and stuff from my folks' car when we spotted a USGS benchmark on the side of the building. Whee! (I really should start geocaching here so Vogon can see why my family's so hooked on it.) I'll have to keep my GPS receiver in my bag so the next time we're down there I can note the coordinates and take a better photo since the one I took has some flash washout. Mom and Amy were looking pretty tired since they'd been up late the night before twisting balloons, so we agreed to get together in the morning and go from there.
Despite my older sister's threat to call at 0830, Laurel and I were actually up and ready when I called her at 0845 -- and Mom answered because my sister was still getting ready. Goof. We agreed to meet at Denny's and Laurel had a ball there, eating the whipped cream off Mom's hot cocoa and sharing her pancakes while trying to crawl over her to play with Sarah. We went over the park near our house and Laurel played on the playground while the rest of us enjoyed the sunshine and talked.
They left for the drive back to Austin (their flight left around 1900) just before noon and we all got teary-eyed, then Laurel asked for some 'Dora soup' (Campbell's chicken noodle soup with Dora the Explorer shaped noodles) for lunch and I went into the study to watch the end of Puni Puni Poemy with Vogon. Apparently the front sitting over us held off on kicking my butt until then, because I spent the entire afternoon sleeping and was sick all evening, but Laurel behaved very well for Vogon and was thrilled with the "long, long, long bubble bath" he let her soak in before bedtime.
The upshot: Vogon thought my folks were exactly like he expected them to be, everyone seemed to like him, and Laurel is wearing the ballerina skirt and dancing around as I type.