Sometimes it doesn't take much to become tourists in your own town. Sometimes all it takes is two tickets to a black-tie gala and suddenly there's a reason to spend the night in a hotel and send the kids home with Grandma (of course, we let them jump on the bed first).
And it's only a tiny bit embarrassing when the valet takes your keys, opens your door, and asks, "Where are you folks from?" And you say, shyly, "Uh, we're from here, actually." He'll think that's great anyway and that will make you feel a little less embarrassed.
When the hotel brings you a complementary bottle of Pinto Noir, you'll know it's time for the kids to go home and that you should start getting ready for the party.
You've done this getting-ready-at-the-hotel thing before—proms, weddings, graduations. Always more fun than getting ready at home.
You'll arrive at the gala and it will be very glamorous and sophisticated. Very old-fashioned and movie star-ish, too.
You will be served a plethora of drinks and libations. A plethora.
And then the ceiling will open up with confetti, just like on New Year's Eve, and people will dance and dance and dance.
Soon enough, the clock will strike midnight and it will be time to walk your tired feet back to your hotel room. And quite soon after that, the kids will be returned to you, all smiles and full backpacks, ready to explore the city.
It will be Rose Festival weekend so you'll be able to see the floats from the Grand Floral Parade. You'll get close enough to actually smell the roses.
Then you'll see the fair in action and realize there's absolutely no way you can't stop. The kids will love you for it.
(Anticipation before the ride begins)
(Elation after the ride ends)
After a few more rides, you'll have to coerce everyone back to the hotel, back to the car, and back home.
You will all be ready for home again anyway.
You'll love being a tourist in your own town, and you'll also love that it's only a 10-minute drive back home.
You will be very glad about that.