This is really just an excuse to post the best picture ever, but I'll go through the charade of a story to post some other, less best, pictures too.
My cousin Bill finally proposed to his long-time girlfriend Maria. And that Friday, we all went to a Bowie Baysox game for Maria's birthday (she goes every year). Minor league games are fun for the whole family, and somewhat less expensive than major league games. But the beer still costs $6. But hey that's what tailgating is for. We got there pretty early. Amazingly enough, the world renowned Washington traffic was fairly light, especially for a Friday. But apparently we just picked the right way, because everyone else was late. That left Ellie plenty of time to run around in an empty parking lot.

This is an increasingly common view of Ellie these days.

Like I said, the parking lot was empty, so she had plenty of room to run, and we didn't have to worry about her getting into too much trouble, so we just let her go.

The concession stand sells cheese fries in a helmet. Almost as good as the helmet sundae, and the helmet was bigger. And like I said before, that's just a lead-in for this:

Best. Picture. Ever. We didn't even realize it came out this good until I pulled it up on the computer the other day. Seriously, you have to click on the picture to see the bigger version. I doubt we'll ever get a picture more perfect than this one. Tickets to the game: $9, Helmet Cheese Fries: $6, Best Picture Ever: Priceless!

On Saturday night, Lisa and I kissed Ellie goodbye, and left her in the arms of her grandmother (aka "Baba"). We drove a couple of miles to the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner and stayed there for the whole night.
Yes, you heard it right. Our first night away from the child since she was born. We've had a few "dates" where we left her with various trustworthy people, but we always came back and were there when she woke up. This time, we were gone all night.
So, how'd she do? She did have a bit of a meltdown not long after we left. She's in a bit of a clingy stage. But eventually she cried it out and fell asleep for a bit. When she woke up she was hungry, and Baba got her some ice cream (I-Keem in Ellenese). Ice cream makes everything better. She fell asleep for the night around 10pm, not far off from her usual, and somehow slept until 6am without waking up in the night. She never does that for us! She was a little confused when she woke up for good in the morning, but when we got home (after watching Star Wars), she was taking a nap, and was apparently dealing fine with us being gone.

We have some good video of this too (which I just need to find the time to edit) where Ellie stops the car, pulls out her cell phone, and has a nice conversation with a mystery person (not a boyfriend already!). But for now, you'll have to make do with checking out the cool lady with the shades.