Don't tell me I don't know how to treat teenagers to a great Saturday night out 😀
Last night I got to spend some time with the niece I was telling you about and her younger brother - I do love them both so much. At 17 and 14 there's not much you can do on a Saturday night at this time of year. We have a funfair near to where we live but it's not open until March again so our options were pubs - full of old teens/young adults out for a drunken good time, or a restaurant which costs a lot more than I can afford. So I had to come up with somewhere to take them.
During the warmer months I'd have headed to the beach with a picnic - they're great in that they don't need to be entertained and are happy to just catch up and chat, last night though it was below freezing temperatures which I thought a little unfair to do to them. So what did I do with them? Took them to ikea :)
Turns out neither of them had ever been there before and I think they quite enjoyed it :) My nephew kept saying how odd it was that a furniture store had a food area, but chowed down on his meatballs quite happily (if you've not had their meatballs with jam then you really should give them a try, and don't knock the jam, you really do need the jam :) ). They gave me lots of ideas for how they want their bedrooms and lounges to look when I finally win big on the lotto and they come live with me :)
They also both said how they'd like to come to America with me - first time they've ever done that which has made me believe even more it's the right thing to be doing. They asked me about it and what my plans are, worked out how nephew could get round taking the time off school and niece would be able to sort out holiday from work - on the condition we travel next April (told them I'm not entirely sure I can come up with the money by then!!!). They loved the idea of horse riding through Little Bighorn which really surprised me as neither of them have ever shown an interest in getting on a horse but they both absolutely loved that idea. Again, if the nephew was to come that would add another flight to the costs unless of course the friend I was planning on traveling with decided not to come then my nephew could just replace him. These are all just summations for now though, until I actually have enough money sorted then I've no idea who really can/will come or what we can/can't do. As with everything in life it all comes down to money, something I have very little of.
After leaving ikea - fancy closing at 9pm - we found ourselves at a loss of where to go next (there was no way I was taking them back home so early). I hopped on to the motorway and we came across a service station with a McDonalds and Costa coffee so we pootled in there where I treated them to a McFlurry (I had one too) and a hot chocolate. While there we got into a conversation about death (not unusual having lost their Mum) which lead us on to ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. This conversation still continued when we ended up on the seafront (sitting in the car because it really was too cold to sit on the stoney beach) and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I don't get to spend as much time with them as I did when their Mum was alive (due to limited funds and their Dad being an arse) so it was really nice to catch up and talk to them about something we all had an interest in - it's nice to be able to share with them their Mum's beliefs on such things also as I know exactly what she thought about such things.
Could I manage both of them for 3 weeks? I think the nephew would get bored at certain places but after chatting with him last night and realising just how grown up he is for a 14 year old I think it could end up being a wonderful trip, for all of us. Yes, I could see myself spending that amount of time with them and all of us coming away with fantastic memories; not sure how the friend I planned to travel with would feel about it, but as I've said before, he's paid nothing, raised nothing and I have no doubt will not contribute in any way other than driving so he'll either come and accept it's the 4 of us, or he'll not and it will be me and them. Either way works good for me and I really do want to be out there doing it more now than I did this time last week - and I wanted to go badly enough back then; I never thought I'd want to go more than I already thought I wanted to go.