Well, we had our first Elder gathering of the new year last night at a local hotel to celebrate Christmas and exchange the home-made gifts we had each made for each other. What fun we had. Everyone was so creative. I made photo boards for everyone (with creative consulting and help from DD) full of great pictures and quotes applicable to each of the girls. Polly made us homemade candles with sand and seashells in little drinking glasses. Tiny Sun matted and frames cards we had collected at the art fair in October (that started this whole "let's make each other something" debacle), and Aunt Cracker painted each of us a painting (who knew she painted!) that was focused on our personality. Mine is red with a cleft note and signed Love, Elvis.
How creative all us girls were! Hopefully, we'll do something like this again. I think everyone really surprised theirselves with how creative they can be.
Our hotel was spectacular. Thanks to Polly for organizing that. We had lots of chatting, drinking, a delish meal at a local restaurant, and then headed to the casino. This was where our evening took a turn for the worst. Did I mention we were drinking? And a lot!
Well, we had pre-cocktail hour drinks in the room while opening gifts and catching up, then free drinks at the hotel cocktail hour, drinks while we were waiting an hour for a table at the restaurant, and drinks with dinner, and when we arrived at the casino, we found a marvelous martini bar and settled in for drinks.
Polly really enjoys gambling. That is the reason we were at the casino. The rest of us could care less about it and myself---I find casinos extremely depressing. Just people-watch at one some time and you'll see what I mean. That's me and my opinion and I don't think less of anyone who enjoys gambling. I'm probably the only one who's been to Las Vegas and didn't gamble (except two tries at the penny slots while I was waiting for Papa who was in the restroom), but I met Elvis (tee-hee). Don't get it, don't really want to get it. I guess I'm just more materialistic and want something concrete for my money.
Anyhoo, we are enjoying extremely delicious martinis right outside the casino itself and kept urging Polly to go ahead and get her gambling over with, we would just stay put because we had no interest in going in. But she kept hanging out with us until we discovered it was 11:30. Marty from the hotel shuttle service, who had been driving us to and fro all night, said the shuttle stopped at 12 and we needed to call before then to get our last ride back to the hotel.
So we told Polly she had about 15 minutes to go gamble, we were calling the shuttle for our pickup in a few minutes. So Polly left...ALONE...OUR FIRST MISTAKE. We know better than that. We always use the buddy system and never let one of us take off alone ANYWHERE. All I can do is blame our poor judgement on the many cocktails we had consumed.
The remaining three of us finished up our last drinks, had a restroom break, paid our tab and called the shuttle for our pickup. While Tiny Sun went to meet the shuttle, me and Aunt Cracker headed into the casino to retrieve Polly. There were thousands of people in this huge room and it was quite overwhelming but Cracker and I searched from one end to the other while she was calling Polly's cell phone every few minutes trying to reach her, with no luck.
We were starting to panic, couldn't find Polly and knew the shuttle was probably waiting for us. Our thought was that Tiny Sun was having her own issues so to speak after the last two martinis she had downed and we probably shouldn't have sent her off alone either. We really didn't know what to do but swiftly decided we needed to get on the shuttle to get back to the hotel, regroup, and if needed, we would have access to our cars and be able to drive back to the casino and look for Polly some more. (I know very poor judgement after our vast amounts of beverages, but we were starting to panic.)
So we made MISTAKE NUMBER TWO....we left an Elder behind! And we felt horrible about it. Both Cracker and Sun were calling Polly repeatedly and no answer. We were just sick about "misplacing her."
We got back to the hotel and up to our room and had a minor catostrophe when we realized that Sun, who had the other room key card, was totally looped, and couldn't find it. Cracker and I searched her purse and pockets and finally found it laying in the hallway by the elevators. We went into the room and to our astonishment found MISTAKE NUMBER THREE....Polly's cell phone on the table. We had no way to contact her and worse, she had no way to contact us.
So we did something we had never done before during an Elder gathering. We had to call a husband for advice. Cracker called The Toxic Avenger (formerly known as The Carpenter) to ask for advice. He was not pleased with us for one thing, reminding us of our buddy system and why did we not follow this. And he was worried about Polly but suggested we call the casino and have her paged. Good idea. We did that but were told they don't page but they checked her gambling card and said she was "not in play" on a machine.
Well, while this was happening, Tiny Sun and I had changed into our pajamas and were settling in for the night because we were thinking that Polly, who is very familiar with cabs, was just going to find us gone and get into a cab and would be there any minute. I believe, this just was a matter of trying to convince ourselves that all was going to be fine and Polly was going to walk in the door any minute. But we weren't very convincing and when Cracker got off the phone, we decided that we would leave Sun at the hotel to wait for Polly while Aunt Cracker and I would drive back over to the casino and look for her some more. We talked to the shuttle drivers at the hotel before we left and they suggested we contact the casino security if we couldn't find her.
So me in my pj's (with a jacket and boots) and Aunt Cracker headed back to the casino. Since I wasn't dressed, I was going to park by the door and wait rather than trying to park and go in (no one would have probably noticed how I was dressed anyway but I knew what I was wearing). Aunt Cracker went in to have another crack at the casino, check any bars that were still open, and talk to security. While she was on her mission, she was calling me every few minutes with updates and discussion of her next action and in between calls, I was calling Tiny Sun at the hotel---who failed to answer as she was down for the count unbeknownst to us!
Finally, after an hour and a half, Aunt Cracker, who was on the phone again with a worried Toxic Avenger, located Polly, snatched her by the arm and marched her to the front door and into the car. What a relief. I watch entirely too many true crime shows on tv and just knew the local serial killer had snatched her and we would never see her again. I believe Aunt Cracker was starting to think something bad had also happened to her because she had simply vanished. Polly said she had been at a roulette table (not using her gambling card) the whole time and didn't realize how much time had gone by since she left us in the martini bar. She thought it was only about 12 when it was actually closer to 1:30 a.m. by this time.
So we headed back to the hotel with Polly apologizing the whole way. But our night wasn't over...oh no! We got back to the room and it seemed to be empty. Tiny Sun was missing and we immediately went into another panic. We were calling her name and going from room to room---we had a suite, so had three rooms to check. We found her purse, wallet, cell phone, and one shoe so didn't think she had left but where was she? We did notice that the sheets and blankets on both beds were a wreck and piled up on each bed and we starting unraveling those and in the second bed we searched, there was Tiny Sun buried in a pile of blankets at the foot of the bed, passed out cold!
But all our Elders were now accounted for and we were very thankful. The rest of our time together was uneventful. We had a marvelous breakfast, swam, sat in the hot tub, had a mimosa, showered, and packed up about noon to head back to our regular lives. A nice time (excluding about 2 hours in the late night) was had. Project Martha was a great success. And we are already thinking about our next gathering.
Signing off....Grammy, headed to the bubble bath to try to recooperate from her visit with dear friends!