Let's go back to a time before Rihanna won the American Music Awards' Icon award. A time before the Minnesota Vikings led by QB Christian Ponder tied the Green Bay Packers led by Matt Flynn. I'm sure that people will remember both of these events for generations. Yes, let's go all the way back to last Wednesday when I wrote about my apprehension of going to a Northern Virginia blogger event. Well, I attended the event hosted by Andrea of the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia at Fair Oaks Mall and had a nice time. All of the bloggers were nice (some had even read my blog post) and the staff at Fair Oaks Mall were extremely generous. Plus, free food and drinks! Let's go to the recap.
I arrived at the mall just in time to be escorted to Champps for the first course. We had chicken tenders and chicken skewers, and I got my first opportunity to mingle. With other men, I can always use sports as a fall back conversation topic. With women, that doesn't always work. However, one of the first person I met was from Western Pennsylvania and is a Steelers fan. I figured this was a good sign.
Despite writing Sean's Ramblings for nearly nine (yes nine!) years, I have a hard time describing this blog. Most of the people I met have specific themes to their blogs like Amy of A Little Nosh, who writes about family-friendly recipes, and Gina of Money Wise Moms, who writes about family finance and frugal fun. My blog is all over the place and always has been. With all of the Mom bloggers in attendance, I felt the need to say that my blog involves fatherhood posts, which it does, but I also write about TV, pop culture, Pittsburgh sports, and so many other topics.
After Champps, we visited the new Michael and Sons Fun Zone and got to be the first people to explore the play area before the grand opening which occurred last Friday.
There seems to be more seating than the previous play area and there's only one entrance making it easier to track your child(ren). I also had the opportunity to speak with the designer who explained that the material used in the fun zone is anti-bacterial. That was a huge hit. In case you're wondering, yes, I went down the slide.
After more free food courtesy of Luciano Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, we saw Santa and the Ice Princess at the mall's Ice Palace. While I was impressed with all of the work put into building the Ice Palace including a cool room with falling "snow," Santa really isn't my thing. I'm more of a Hanukkah Harry guy.*
I didn't sit on Santa's lap or tell him what I wanted for Christmas, so I just wished him a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Then, I approached the Ice Princess and asked her if people visit Santa and then completely skip her. She replied that many girls like to take pictures with her, but most boys pass since they can't get past the princess label.
Our final stop of the evening was dessert at Sbarro. More free food! Overall, I enjoyed the event and was glad that I attended. I met some fascinating people and even got a few parenting tips. The Fair Oaks Mall staff were terrific, and the new Fun Zone is going to be a big hit with kids and their parents. (There's a 100% chance my son will play at the Fun Zone this winter.)
Meanwhile, I'm excited to attend the next Northern Virginia event whenever that takes place, particularly if it involves free food!
* This is now two 1980s era Saturday Night Live references in the past three days. Clearly, I have not watched the show much in the past 10 years.
Fun Zone photo courtesy of Our Kids.