Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Always An Adventure

Last night, after my parents and grandfather left for their hotel, it was early enough that we decided to take the kids to Rita's Ice, which is a peanut- and tree nut-safe Italian ice/frozen custard place! I recently read about Rita's from Gina at Allergy Moms and was thrilled to discover a Rita's Ice location in the next town over--about a 20 minute drive. There's one opening soon even closer to our house.

We really had fun. Ryan's Big Peanut Kaboom originated at an ice cream store (with chocolate peanut butter ice cream) and of course, we've avoided all such places since due to the peanut and nut toppings. Morgan had never even set foot in such a place before last night.

So Rita's was quite a treat for all of us. And super yummy, too! I had the frozen custard, a favorite of mine from my days in Lafayette. The kids got Peach and Birthday Cake "cream ice." Brendan got a Blendini with Oreo and my sister got a Gelati. We all shared bites and it was all GOOD.

The place was hopping, too--tons of people! Yay! The proprietor was there, talking to all of the customers in a friendly way, obviously excited about his store. I mentioned that we were there precisely because we have a food allergy that prevents us from visiting other ice cream places. And then he told me that Rita's Ice corporate was really pushing them to add peanut toppings, and he specifically mentioned Reese's Pieces. I really hope they don't change their policy and will be writing to corporate, as well as the franchise we visited last night, to encourage them to work this niche market. I know that the egg and milk ingredients in their products prevent many from going even to Rita's, which is really too bad and I wish we'd had more time to chat because I would have mentioned that and given him ideas on how to accommodate those customers. But even finding a place that's peanut-safe is such a big thing and I do think they could really work that angle profitably if they tried. That's the beauty of capitalism. And the best way for them to learn about customer demand for their products is for customers like me (and you!) to tell them. :o)

But that wasn't all of our adventure! Oh no! After we enjoyed our yummy treats--the baby slept through the whole thing--our car wouldn't start! Remember how I mentioned that the other day? Well, turns out we didn't quite fix that problem after all. It's not the battery--we know now, after taking it in to the dealer today, that it's a bad battery cable. Should be fixed tomorrow.

So I called a friend with a minivan to come and get us, which she was (fortunately for us) able to do. The kids played on the grass while Brendan called Honda roadside assistance and fiddled with the car and cursed under his breath. About 45 minutes went by, when, while Brendan was finally talking to a real live peopleguy at Honda, he tried the ignition again and the car suddenly started!

Since our friend was on her way, we waited for her so she could follow us home--just in case. Amazingly, the baby slept through the entire adventure.

Ryan amazed me last night as well. He was pretty worried when the car wouldn't start and truly didn't want to leave it there (since Bad Guys might come with a Bad Guy Tow Truck to steal it). He started to get upset, kinda whiny, and then looked at my sister (who was sitting in the back with him) and said "I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to take a deep breath," and took said breath, "and then go help Dad. Because I know a whole lot about cars and I think he needs my help." And then calmly got out of the car to "advise" Brendan on where he was going wrong. :o) Those of you who know Ryan in real life (and/or are regular readers of this blog) must surely realize what a Big Momentous Thing this was, this self-calming, this maturity. My baby's all growns up! Well, he's getting there.

And while the whole thing was happening, I reflected about how much I have changed--okay, okay, matured--especially since having kids. There was a time when something like this engine trouble would have made me so angry (because it's out of my control, see) and I would have been anxious and just beside myself. But now I know it's not the end of the world. Growing up, such a thing would have been, and was, treated by my parents as the End of the World. Not the best example to learn from. It wasn't! It was a gorgeous summer night, we had bellies full of frozen treats, we had the Epi-pens and insulin, and diapers and magic boobies (for the baby!). And of course, a friend willing and able to come and get us if need be (thanks, by the way!).

It was actually fun, even though we didn't make it home until 10:00! I'm thinking early bedtimes for all tonight.

By the way, the visit with my parents and grandfather went very well. My grandpa was especially charmed by Miss Morgan, and offered to get her a dog. :o) She really did have the charm button on 11--it was so cute. And Ryan had a great time, even though my dad beat him at chess. And of course, Sean was a big hit, too.

I'm glad I don't have a boring life. !!!


Monica said...

Sounds like fun!

I have to say that you truly scared me, though. Because of the title of the post and then your long intro about peanut allergy stuff. I was waiting for you to say that some accidental peanut exposure had taken place and the "adventure" became a disaster. Well... thank goodness that it didn't. Whew!

Hope you get time to update the FamBlog with pics soon. He's a very cute baby. (Trust me, I really don't say that about newborns very often. heh.)

Anyway, what are your thoughts on a dog? :) That certainly sounds interesting, with all your new responsibilities!

Gina said...

I am so glad you wrote about this because I too will be writing to Rita's.

Little do they realize that it is highly unlikely that they will get new customers simply becuase they add Reese pieces to the menu.

However, if word really gets out through allergy parents that they are peanut aware, they really will increase their business.

Thanks for letting us know!

Kelly said...

That's awesome about Ryan! You must be so proud of him, and proud of yourself, too. I used to be the same way; getting angry when things are out of control. Luckily, I'm married to Mr. Calm and have been able to learn from him (a little).

Jennifer B said...

Good to hear some feedback about Rita's. We are planning to visit one sometime this summer. There aren't any too close, but it'll make a short day trip for the kids. Unfortunate that they're considering Reese's Pieces; hope they do not go that route. Italian Ice and frozen custard are a good substitute for ice cream since there are no truly peanut free and nut free ice creams here in the U.S. And we also have Philly Swirls too--Nice to have options!