And this weeekend, we had another lovely weekend together - an extended holiday weekend, even! Friday evening we did some baking - or at least some dough-making in preparation for baking the following morning. We were up at an ungodly early hour to bake, too. This is a new thing for me - getting up early and actually LIKING it. I have long been a night owl, and rather abhor mornings... unless I have to be up for something (like work, appointment, etc), I like to sleep in until 10 or 11 if possible. This generally only happens on the weekends, and not every one either, since I often have stuff going on on the weekends as well. Add to that that I've suffered from chronic insomnia for many years, and my sleep is all kinds of messed up - I'm a light sleeper who typically has difficulty sleeping through the night.
But I've been finding an interesting trend with my nights with Traveler. He, too, is a bit of a night owl, so staying up till the wee hours together is not at all uncommon. But with him, I fall asleep FAST (usually, he reports, he can hear my breathing change to sleep-sounds in 3-5 minutes), I sleep like a rock (he can get in and out of bed or animals can cause a ruckus and I don't stir), and I awake refreshed after much fewer hours of sleep than usual. We typically wake up well before the alarm and talk, snuggle, fool around, sometimes doze some more, but get ourselves from "sleep mode" to "up, around, getting ready for the day mode" in a leisurely, relaxing, energizing, and delightful fashion. It makes getting up and facing the day SO much more enjoyable!
Which is how I ended up kneading newly-risen dough at 8am on Saturday morning. By the time Traveler's house-mate (a friend staying in one of his spare bedrooms for a few months) got up, the house was filled with the cinnamony smell of baked goods. Traveler and I had plans to be gone for the evening, but his housemate was going to have some of their friends over for a little dinner party - so we left half the baked goodies behind to serve as dessert for the party (they were much appreciated), and made our way across town to my place to relax for the afternoon and spend a few hours showering attention on my attention-starved kitten before heading out for the evening.
We spent a very relaxing afternoon at my place, in no hurry, just moseying along in deliciously delightful fashion, before heading out for the evening. I wouldn't have thought a low-key afternoon at the house would be quite so enjoyable, but it really was. For the evening, we decided to go to a swinger party about an hour away. We had no plans on doing any actual swinging, but it's a good opportunity to go out dancing and socializing in an environment where A. there will be good eye candy (women dressed in very skimpy costumes dancing on stripper poles and in shadowboxes and such), B. you can get pretty frisky with your partner without drawing unwanted attention, C. you can have a private hotel room just upstairs from the party where you can go do your own thing if you feel like getting even friskier.
Since it was Memorial Day weekend, the party had a military theme. Traveler left the Special Forces almost 20 years ago, so he no longer owned any military garb. He borrowed some military camouflage pants from a friend to wear with a few other military accouterments, and I planned on wearing a retro dress and hairstyle with a USO badge, to go for a 50's pinup/USO Girl look. When we got to the hotel late in the afternoon, we settled into our things, and then plopped down on the bed for just a moment. I snuggled up to Traveler and mumbled some comment about how we should be sure we didn't pass out for hours. Traveler assured me we wouldn't.
At about 9:15, Traveler nudged me awake. We had, in fact, fallen asleep for several hours, and had intended to start getting ready for the party about an hour earlier. Oops! Not to worry, I can get ready in lightning time for a girl.
I had just gotten out of the shower and was starting to pull out clothes and makeup and such from my bag when Traveler got a look of panic on his face.
"Oh God... please tell me you put my pants in your bag!"
I looked at him in confusion. Huh? What? Um.... no.
Well... crap. Apparently Traveler's camo pants were still sitting on my bed at the house. After borrowing them from his friend, we discovered that there was a 4" long tear in the seam of the crotch, which his friend had unsuccessfully tried to treat with a large rusty looking safety pin that made us both nervous to have that close to his manbits. I made quick work of it with my sewing machine, but apparently Traveler never put the pants back in his bag.
He was crestfallen. He was furious with himself for having forgotten, and had no other pants with him, just the cargo shorts he'd been wearing all day. I tried to reassure him that he looked GREAT in what he had on and would look great at the party and it was no big deal, but he was terribly upset with himself - I could see that he felt like he'd ruined our whole evening, that he was going to look like an idiot, and that he wouldn't look good enough to have me on his arm.
I tried to reassure him several times that it would be fine, that I'd been in his position (even worse!) at such parties before (where I'd forgotten major important elements of a costume or outfit at parties hours away from home), but it didn't seem to be much consolation.
When I emerged from the bathroom again after having finished getting ready, Traveler was still sitting on the edge of the bed with his head hanging down sadly like a kid who just dropped his ice cream cone. I reassured him a few more times that he looked great and would not stand out like a sore thumb out of costume, but he didn't believe me until we went downstairs to find that A. there were more men not in costume and casually dressed than there were men who were dressed in costume, and B. it was so dark in the ballroom that people couldn't really tell what he was wearing anyways.
We hung out people watching at the party for a little while before we decided to go back up to our room for a few minutes for libations. As the doors were about to close on the elevator up to our room, two attractive (and intoxicated) couples stepped in and joined us. They made chatty flirty conversation on the way up, and when they asked where we were headed (i.e. the party's back that way, why are you headed this way so early in the evening?), Traveler said something to the effect that we were headed to our room for libations, and Flirty Drunk Girl #1 said "ooooh, can we come party with YOU?" Traveler said sure, they were welcome to join us. I was thinking to myself "Hmm... based on what she said and the way she said it, they may be wanting to come join us for libations, or they may be wanting to come join us to get naked. What are we getting ourselves into here?"
But regardless, they seemed like nice enough folks, we were down with a little socialization, and if things started to move in a more naked direction, well, we'd jump off that bridge when we came to it.
As we all wandered down the hall towards our room, it became apparent that their original destination was directly across the hall from our room. As we scampered inside, I realized that only Flirty Drunk Girl #1's husband, who we'll call Mr. FDG, had come into our room, and the other three people had gone into the room across the hall. I guessed they hadn't wanted to join us after all.
We stood their talking with Mr. FDG for a while, having a very entertaining conversation, until he invited us to join them across the hall. He said that this was their friends' first night out since having a baby, and she was a little freaked out by being away from the little one. I assumed he was referring to the other couple that had been in the elevator with us.
So, imagine our surprise when we followed him across the hall only to find that the New Parent couple across the hall was, in fact, a couple I'd known for many years, Andy and Tina. There were greetings and introductions, and while Flirty Drunk Girl #1 and Tina were holed up in the bathroom, the rest of us stood around chatting. It took a few minutes for Mr. FDG to go "Wait a minute... do you two know each other?"
"Oh yes we do," Andy said.
I agreed. Mr. FDG looked on with interest.
"In fact," Andy said "We've had sex before."
"REALLY?" Mr. FDG asked.
"Yes. Several times, I think." Andy replied, with a wry look in my direction.
"Yes," I said. "We've known one another a looooong time. Let's put it this way: When we met, we were both married to other people."
In fact, Andy and I had met when we were married to other people, and the four of us had become friends and playmates for a while. He and his wife eventually split (and some years after that, my husband and I split), and while I've seen him (and his now-girlfriend) a number of times over the years at parties and such, we've not played since.
Anyhow, it was really nice to catch up, I had fun chitchatting with the 3 guys, and eventually we coaxed Tina and Flirty Drunk Girl #1 out of the bathroom to join the conversation for a while before we all headed back down to the party.
It was just the right amount of socialization for my evening - I really didn't feel like making small talk with folks over the loud music at the party, so spending some time socializing in private upstairs was just what I needed.
When we got back down to the party, the music had improved considerably since the last time we were downstairs, and so Traveler and I hit the dance floor for a good long while until my feet were begging for mercy. He claims not to be a good dancer, but he claims wrong - he knows how to move to a sexy groove on the dance floor, and he knows how to make me feel, in a room full of scantily clad hotties, like I am the only woman in the room. He's kind of marvelous.
Eventually, my feet were begging for mercy and I wanted to get off them, and, well, if I was going to get off my feet, Traveler wanted to see to it that I promptly got on my back. Having gotten ourselves good and worked up on the dance floor, we spent the next few hours expending a lot of energy in our room in private before falling blissfully asleep.
The next morning, we made our way back home, and after a little R&R, decided to take advantage of the beautiful day with a hike to my favorite riverside spot for a little picnic and enjoying the beauty of nature. We decided to spend a low-key evening in cooking and playing games together. We went to the store intending to pick up ingredients for a simple dish we'd enjoyed a few nights earlier, but changed the plans when we were inspired to do something different while at the store. We decided to make a favorite dish of mine, and Traveler had a few fantastic ideas for ways to modify the recipe and make it even better.
And it's things like this that make me a very happy girl. We shopped together and we cooked together, and together we made a meal so delicious my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I love that he loves to cook (and is good at it). I love that he offers great ideas on improving recipes. I love that he really enjoys cooking together, which is something I've long wanted to do with a partner. I've gotten very used to, in my time, being with men who either didn't cook at all, or were either the cooker or the cookee, but weren't much for preparing meals together as a team. I've wanted to do that for a long time, but Traveler is the first person I've dated who's been as enthusiastic about that as me. Cooking and creating delicious food together is... well, indescribably lovely. I can't quite find the words to describe how it makes me feel, so I'll just settle on Happy. Oh, and the fact that he happily does the dishes afterward... um, yeah, I'm still poking him to make sure he's for real.
Sunday morning, we got up bright and early (again - how is it that he keeps inspiring me to be a night owl, a morning person, AND well rested all in one?), and headed to Traveler's place to collect his dog. Then we met up with Mitch and Alice and Maya and her boyfriend and alllll of their dogs for a hike. Six people, five dogs, lots of barely controlled chaos, and we had a lovely hike to a lake where we relaxed, snacked, and enjoyed the scenery for a while before trekking back.
When we returned from the hike, we had some of the previous night's leftovers, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. As I snuggled up to Traveler, I suggested we go up to the bedroom for a nap. He declined, saying he wasn't tired and/or didn't want us to sleep the whole afternoon away. I dozed off on his shoulder, and when I looked up a few minutes later, he was out cold. I asked him again if perhaps we should go to the more comfy bedroom, and still, he said no, indicating he'd be up and about in a few more minutes.
We slept there on the couch for a good 3 hours, while at least 5 people tromped in and out of the living room where we were sleeping (his housemate and a friend came in at one point to collect some goodies for the coming evening celebration, and his niece and her friends, who were visiting for a while, came through too). I vaguely remember lifting my head and waving at the people who wandered through, thinking Traveler would get us up at any moment, but he didn't. Well, not until it was well past when we should have been up and around. But at least we had a nice nap.
We headed out for the evening, the rest of the weekend's baked goods in hand, to a party at one of his friends' houses. Most of his friends live in his neighborhood, and all gather regularly for dinners and such at one anothers' houses. They all cook, so the food was fantastic, and a dozen or so of us relaxed on a lovely shady deck for fantastic food and company for the evening.
It was the perfect way to wrap up a long and delectable weekend. We fell asleep EARLY last night... and had another lovely leisurely morning before heading off to work.