Last Saturday night was party-hopping night for the McGlincheys. Don't know what it is about the calendar this year, but events that normally don't coincide are ending up right on top of each other.
But that's okay. When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, and when life hands you conflicting invites, you McGyver a progressive dinner out of it.
Stop 1: Our neighbors' open house. Nice to actually see our neighbors. Nice to ACTUALLY BE ON OUR STREET. We parked in our driveway and walked over two houses. Sad that parking in our driveway was kinda novel?
Neighbors had a jazz trio at their party, which I realize is not outside of the norm during the holiday season, but it's where the jazz trio performed that screamed, "This is an Arlington Heights party." Like us, our neighbors have a carriage house that is entirely inaccessible by horseless carriages but is, instead, marooned at the back of the property line. Unlike us, their carriage house is two stories. (Once upon a time, ours had a second story, but then there was a fire, some time during the 1950's.) Also unlike us, they don't utilize their carriage house for random junk storage but, instead, have turned the first floor into a microbrewery and the second floor into a man cave. Except you can't call it a man cave if it's in the air, so instead everyone refers to it as "The Treehouse." Their adult son lived in The Treehouse when he was in grad school and, as of this weekend, our Big Kid has inquired about rental rates. "You know, not for now, but for in a couple of years - like when I'm fifteen."
Keep dreaming, kid. (Actually, I fear that when he is fifteen the thought of foisting him off on the neighbors may be tragically appealing.)
If the Big Kid wasn't fascinated by The Treehouse before, he is really fascinated now, because that's where the jazz trio performed. Why not? Lots of performance space up there, it was out of the way of the traffic pattern, and they opened all of the windows, so the music wafted out and down over the rest of the party. (It had been raining all day but stopped long enough for us all to congregate out-of-doors.)
They served pumpkin ale from the Wet Dog Brewery (AKA the microbrewery that the host and his next-door neighbor run out of the carriage house), and you had to go out to the carriage house if you wanted seafood. I have no idea why, but that was the buffet dividing line: meatballs and roast beef upfront, salmon and boiled shrimp in the back yard.
Works for me.
After the pseudo block party, we headed west to Friend Melissa's annual dessert open house. We always enjoy her open houses, but this one was especially enjoyable because, over wine and desserts, Spouse and I determined that Friend Melissa's kitchen is EXACTLY AS WIDE AS OURS, and her island is placed roughly where our island will be placed. Yup, you guessed it - the measuring tape came out, and many horrible kitchen re-enactments were staged. It's okay - by the time we party-hopped over there, most of the other guests had gone, so we weren't in anyone's way. They weren't in a hurry to kick us out, and the kids weren't in a hurry to leave, because they were upstairs with Friend Melissa's kids, staging an EPIC BATTLE involving, among other weapons, light sabers and a set of X-Men Wolverine claws.
Please enjoy these festive images of freestyle kid-centric holiday merriment with my compliments.
(Doesn't the above image just SCREAM "Merry Christmas"? Okay, but you agree that it might inspire screaming of some sort, don't you? Screams of terror, or screams of hysterical laughter - the important thing is, screaming definitely is involved.)
Thumbs up to a great night of progressive partying.