Gymnastics Outing

A friend of mine, Lea, invited me to join her in attending her daughter’s gymnastics tournament yesterday.  Her daughter Lynn is 8, with a dead-beat dad, and no one to attend her tournaments except mom.  (Grandma can’t see well enough.)  I agreed to go, especially since Lea insisted that I needed to “get out of the house”.  We had a great time, except that the uncomfortable folding chairs really did a number on my back. 😦

I’ve never been to a gymnastics tournament (unless you count watching the Olympics on TV) so this was a new experience for me.  I brought my camera and I was able to get some great shots and video of Lynn performing her practice and final performances.  She is such a sweet kid and very grown up for her age.  She likes hanging out with me too, which is especially sweet to me, because I don’t have kids.

So we made a day of it.  We had fast food for lunch (yuck) because time was short.  After the three hour tournament, we went shopping.  Lea is a real shopper and she talked me into buying this incredibly adorable hat (for the grand prince of $4.99!) and I got some shoes and household things at TJMaxx.  Retail therapy at it’s best.  But I didn’t go overboard like I normally would because I am starting to be very conscious of money and my limited supply of it.  (Some days I still can’t believe that I am about to be unemployed.)

New hat!

Then we had dinner at Red Robin.

Now that was an adventure all on its own.  The wait staff was terrible.  I’ll start here.  We get seated, and Lea slips on a squashed lemon rind on the floor.  Fortunately, she didn’t fall.  Our waiter acted all confused and upset that we expected it to be cleaned up.  I told him no lemon in my water.  I got lemon.  I was never asked if I wanted more water throughout the entire meal.  It took two waiters and ten minutes to bring me butter for my broccoli and we never got our extra napkins.  When he brings our tickets, Lea’s is over charged and he drops mine on my bread (I’m still eating at this point).  When he comes back, he picks up Lea’s card to run it and stands there hovering, waiting for me to pull out my card, while I am putting my leftovers into a to-go box. Instead of offering to come back, he just stood there. He probably didn’t want to bothered making an extra trip, but a waiter should never rush a customer into paying!  I finally told him that I intended to pay in cash (which I did) and he could go.

The food tasted OK but the prices are way higher than they need to be.  Lynn and I got essentially the same meal – hers was the kids version and mine was the adult version.  When they brought out our plates, ours were nearly identical: the same amount of mac & cheese and the same amount of broccoli.  Seriously?  And I’m paying twice the price?

Now for the real kicker: cleanliness – or lack there of.  The customers at the table across from us had a toddler with them, who threw food all over the floor.  It was never cleaned up.  There was mushy food and a small crayon just under the table where anyone could slip on it just like Lea had on the lemon peel.  Never cleaned up.  To make matters worse, I watched our waiter as he flicked a stray ice cube onto the floor.  Another slippery mess.  That restaurant is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Despite the dinner fiasco (I never want to go to Red Robin again) I had a great day.  Lea insisted that I stay away from the ice cream place and not to be depressed for the rest of the evening.  The latter was more difficult than the former, but I spent the night catching up with some shows on my DVR.  I felt that staying offline was a better option for me.

So all in all, it was a good Saturday for me.  I hope you had a good one too! 🙂


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One thought on “Gymnastics Outing

  1. Hmm. All of the Red Robins I have been to Where I Live (and there are quite a few, I like to take my girls there because it’s very kid-friendly) have been clean, reasonably priced, and the wait staff has never been a problem. I wonder if they’re franchised, or if you just hit one with an awful store and district manager.

    As far as the table with the toddler goes, while I understand that it is ultimately the restaurant’s responsibility to keep thing safe and clean, I feel very strongly that if you have a small child and you are going to dine out, you have an obligation to keep your child from making an enormous mess (a little bit is just inevitable), and, if they happen to, clean it up! I know that I am not a parent, but I raised two small girls and we went out often. Keeping things mostly clean was never a difficulty, and I always tipped the server a little extra because it was more work for them and the bus staff.

    (I just went off on that tangent because I recently had lunch with a friend and her two young children, and she was letting the baby throw food, and I was the one who was attempting to intervene and then cleaning up the mess. I love my friend, and she is a wonderful mom who is dealing with a lot right now, but yeesh. 🙂 )

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