She'd been planning it for months. Just before supper time we headed to town with our swimsuits, toothbrushes, pyjamas and a whole heap of food and checked into the Dome Cottage #2. Fiona's two favourite don't-live-with-her grown-ups were invited.
Chuck and her guests showed up in time for supper. Things were mighty crowded around the dining table, but it didn't matter. We ate a lot of food and then retired to the loft for gift-opening. Who'd have thought that a stainless steel travel mug could bring so much joy to a little girl? She is my café buddy on Mondays in Nelson and now she can get her peppermint- or toffee-flavoured steamed milk 'to go' without being "bad for the environment." She's thrilled. There were other gifts too, all simple and thoughtful.
The kids spent quite a while knee-walking up and down the stairs to the loft in lotus position, with their feet tucked upon their opposite thighs. I have no idea how they managed this -- or why! -- but they had a blast and no injuries resulted.
And afterwards we headed to the outdoor hot tub. It was hot! Especially because we had to walk through the snow and ice to get to the spa and remove the top. By then our bare feet were thoroughly icy and the contrast of the water was quite something. Fiona did a lot of dog-paddling. We all got hot enough to enjoy rubbing snow on our bodies -- or our bodies on the snow.
After our guests left we spend a lovely few minutes in the sauna and then headed back to the dome cottage. The domes are quite an experience. They seem bigger inside than outside -- I think that's the effect of most round buildings -- and they have bizarre acoustic nodes, such that everyone on the upper level becomes a ventriloquist once they stand in the right place.
We stayed overnight (the kids fell asleep within about 1 minute of their heads hitting their pillows), then packed up our leftovers and Fiona's new gifts and headed home. Total driving time: 4.8 minutes. Birthday fun: 5 stars.