Although we were in fine form with the Sperm Shack medley, the heavens were still conspiring against us. We had trouble getting a strong enough signal to call Jen’s mom and find out where exactly the restaurant was, and the few times we got through, we got no answer. So we were left to drive around Wolfeboro (which, thankfully, is not that big) trying to follow the vague directions given by Jen’s mom in the earlier phone call. Finally we gave in and asked for directions, which Jen isn’t keen on doing in general, but especially not when she is going to have to ask for directions to “that French restaurant that starts with something like ‘Meez,’” (French being a language that she cannot speak, spell, or pronounce to save her life and that she therefore despises. Cait can speak some French, but she was not on the phone with Jen’s mom, and was therefore useless in trying to help figure out what the name might be.) The cheerful New Englanders blinked once in confusion and then deciphered the garbled request enough to say “Oh, Mise en Place! It’s right down that road. You can’t miss it.” Only we had. And continued to for at least two more attempts.
When we finally walked through the door, almost two hours after talking to Jen’s mom (at which point they were ordering dinner), and already at least an hour later than we had hoped to do the second insem, they were only JUST FINISHING dinner and had not yet ordered dessert. Mentally throwing our hands up in the air, we sat down and ordered the most intensely chocolate, decadent item on the menu, and a glass of wine. Both, of course, highly off limits for both of us.
Eventually, the wine and chocolate were consumed, and Jen’s mother was convinced that it was TIME TO GO, as the wait staff had cleared and reset every table and were waiting, mop in hand for us to JUST LEAVE, and we set out for the cabin. As some of you know, there had earlier been debate as to where we would sleep (with significant insemination ramifications). We had been offered a sofa bed or two twin beds. Jen had thought that the sofa bed was in an open loft and the twin beds were in a private room, but she was incorrect on all counts. What we got is difficult to describe or imagine, but we’ll give it a shot.
The owner of the cabin wanted to add sleeping space, and had recently decided to convert the space above the garage to another bedroom. Key word being “recently”. Wires between renters and rentee were apparently crossed, such that the construction was hurried along such that it was somewhat habitable. With great trepidation, we headed up and dropped off our luggage and the all-important cooler. Other than critters, we were the first occupants of the new – unfinished – room. Complete (INcomplete?) with plywood flooring, raw drywall, and beautiful, heavy antique cast iron twin beds on opposite sides of the room. Oh, and no heating. Whatsoever.
As soon as we could make our exit from the family gathering, claiming not untruthfully to be exhausted, we set about preparing our primitive insemination clinic. Cait removed the vial from the dry ice and put it in her pants to warm up. (If you know Cait, you will wonder why in hell SHE tried to warm up the goods, as she has been known to shiver at high noon in the Gobi Desert. Don’t ask me.) She was already numb, so the fresh-from-the-dry-ice vial was only moderately uncomfortable. Jen, meanwhile, attempted to push the beds together. Hercules would have been unable to move one of those beds single-handedly, so with much cursing and grunting, we worked together and got them close together. More or less. As it was approximately 33 degrees in the loft, henceforth to be known as the Sperm Shack, we began to make the bed, layering quilt after quilt upon the bed until it began to resemble the Princess and the Pea. Jen found a cozy looking wool blanket and Cait added it to the pile, asking, “What’s this?” as she spread the last corner into place, noticing an odd substance on the blanket. To our horror, we discovered a suspicious hole in the blanket with telltale droppings in great quantity surrounding it. “EEEEW! Get it off!” Jen shrieked, ripping it from the bed.
The rodent-scarred blanket. was quickly forgotten as we hastened toward the final squirt. Remarkably, the vial had thawed in Cait’s pants, and we burrowed under the pancake-like stack of blankets for insemination, Arctic-style. Jen flipped once or twice, and then we drifted off to a cold-headed sleep, where Jen’s dreams involved a wildlife expert examining the blanket and pronouncing the culprit neither a mouse nor a rat, but in fact a loon. Apropos, since we’ve been nothing BUT loony for the last week or so!