"Laser tag first. Bowling second," I told Cayden in the car. "Trust me. You DO NOT want to play laser tag with a stomach full of beer."
Bowling got a lot of attention for being the only sport you can play while drinking beer. But anyone who believed that had never played on my kickball team.
Apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought bowling and laser tag were a good idea the day after Christmas. Main Event was swarming with screaming kids and groups of teenagers. My competitive side looked forward to taking them down in a game of laser tag.
The lady behind the counter kindly informed us that there was a three-hour wait. Strike two.
Cayden and I had dinner plans with Joyce and Joey later that night at Southlake Town Center, so we decided to give up on family fun day and head to Southlake. We thanked my parents for the presents and delicious meals and promised to meet up again before he left.
"I'm so looking forward to going to Southlake," Cayden said when we got back in my car. "I love the look of it with the Christmas lights."
I agreed. There was definitely something magical about Town Center during the holidays. For those of you out-of-town readers, Southlake Town Center looks a little something like this at night:
Any time I walked hand in hand with Cayden in the Town Center I felt like I was starring in a cheesy romantic comedy. We were bundled up in our scarves and coats and the shops almost looked like fake backdrops in a movie studio. The style of the two-story narrow buildings looked like the shops in Notting Hill. If it were 20 degrees colder, we could have pretended we were strolling the streets of London.
I missed London. I was so sick the last time I was in London, I didn't even get to enjoy it. I tried to imagine how beautiful London would be during Christmas. I decided it would put Southlake Town Center to shame.
"I'm thinking about coming to visit you in February," I said as we walked out of Starbucks with warm cups in hand. "Maybe Valentine's Day-ish."
"Really?" he asked. "I thought you wanted me to fly here in March to be here for St. Paddy's Day."
It was true. St. Paddy's Day in Dallas was my third favorite time of the year, right behind Christmas and Halloween. Oh, and OU-TX. I'd decided I could survive one last Valentine's Day by myself if it meant Cayden could be here for St. Paddy's Day.
"I still want you to come for St. Paddy's Day, but I have that free ticket I can use to come see you." I used air quotes when I said the word 'free.' British Airways Chase Credit Card was running a deal that if you applied for a card, you'd earn one free reward flight to the UK just for being approved. It just so happened that I needed a credit card to pay for my sinus surgery and tonsillectomy, so I fell for it. Sure enough, I earned my "free" reward flight, which after taxes and fees costs a whopping $574. I didn't exactly have $574 to spare, but London was calling my name.
"Well, if you come over in February, I probably won't come over in March if I'm going to try to move here in May. It wouldn't make sense for us to pay to see each other twice before I move here.
I hated his logic. I always thought with my heart before I thought with my head. He somehow knew how to think with his heart and head at the same time. Maybe he'd teach me how to do that one day.
"So you'd miss St. Paddy's Day AND I'd have to wait longer to see you again after that visit?"
I suddenly wasn't liking our new plan. We walked into American Eagle and I held a pair of pants up to his waist to check the length. He was doing a good job not wearing his cargo pants around me, but I thought if I bought him enough new jeans he wouldn't mind if I burned his cargo pants collection.
"Not bad," Cayden said looking down at the jeans. "How about we do this. I'll come over here in March and then we'll visit London together sometime after I move here. Right now, since I live in Reading, you'd be bored out of your mind if you came to visit. It's quite a hike to London from where I live. But if we wait until I move here and we save up some money, we can get a nice hotel in London and really enjoy our time there."
Two points Cayden. Zero points Whitney. Damn, he was good.
"OK, OK," I said, pulling a sweater off the shelf and holding it up to my chest. "It's a plan."
He kissed my forehead and we both headed to the dressing rooms.
Joyce and Joey met us for dinner at Brio Tuscan Grille. I'd only been there once, but I didn't remember it being such a romantic dinner spot. Crazy how the atmosphere of a restaurant can change based on who you're eating with. The lighting was dimmed, the tables were intimate and the red wine was downright sexy. It felt like the whole restaurant was buzzing with love and Christmas spirit.
And later that night in bed, my whole body buzzed with love and Christmas spirit... if you know what I mean :)