Girls, Games, Griffin and (Uninvited) Guests

Laura’s done a roundup of our Spa Girls Week, but I’ll fill in a few details before I continue the adventures of our last night.

First, the house was all Laura said, and so perfect for our needs this year—though we SORELY missed our butlers. The weather struck me as more March than May the first few days, but the indoor space provided all we could ask for. (And a little more than we wanted!)

Kayla had her first spa girls experience, and that was a bonus for all.

The best was just seeing each other face-to-face again after a very long year-plus. HUGS!!! Lots of laughs, lots of catching up, and of course, the annual tournament.

Griffin’s also had a long year-plus unable to socialize, but he got used to a house full of women pretty quickly.

I had bags and more bags of clothes purged from my closet—no chance to see each other since 2019, so a lot of bags.

How Kat managed to load luggage for five women, one toddler, two cases of champagne, two enormous bags of games and prizes, snack food and more as we’d be in a house instead of the hotel, a case of toys, etc into two vehicles remains one of the greatest achievements known to womankind.

Ample room to watch the contest unfold

So the tournament began. Fierce competition, as always, and Elaine, our oft-reigning queen seemed a bit off her game. Youth nipped experience in Just Dance time after time with Kayla taking the lead and holding it. Laura and Nicole proved Bowling For Giggles experts. Nothing made the boy laugh harder than watching the ball roll down the alley, strike or gutter ball.

 And, again Nicole and Laura proved dark horses in Scrabble. Kat unmercifully crushed all comers in her first round, but a steady feed of vowels in her second defeated even her mad skills. In the semis, Nicole looked poised to send Elaine, our other Scrabble Queen, packing, but at the very end, Elaine slipped past her by one point.

One soul-shattering point.

As Laura reported, she faced off with Elaine in the Scrabble finals. Though she went down in defeat, I feel her complaints about the score board now ring hollow. The Cranky Publicist bagged an array of Fabulous prizes this year.

I will say it’s interesting for a nana to play Cards Against Humanity with her granddaughter. Interesting, yet hysterical.

And Reverse Charades is, always, just brilliant. Fave of this year: Sarah bending over, pointing at her butt. And Kat guessing—pretty instantly—Full Moon. It was a moment.

Sarah also shared bacon with Griffin at breakfast each morning. So when we gathered at the dining room table one evening, Griffin reached over took the end of bacon peeking out of Sarah’s bacon cheeseburger, and slowly, carefully, pulled it out.

Plotting his next move to corner ALL the bacon.

He enjoyed the bacon almost as much as we enjoyed THAT moment.

So you have the girls, and you have the games. Now we’ll discuss the (unwanted) guests.

The first morning while Jo and I are doing our workout in the communal living area, Sarah comes out. She’s laughing, but her eyes are very large. As they have just seen the dead mouse in her bathtub.

This, we agree, is A Problem.

We also agree we’re not going to deal with A Problem ourselves. We call for disposal.

A Problem is solved. Maybe not as quickly as a group of women on a spa vacation might like, but it is solved.

Until, a couple days later, the unfortunate mouse’s sibling—alive and well—makes an appearance in the kitchen. 

Ten women, a toddler, and a mouse is A Problem. 

All of us but Laura are country girls. And all of us have seen a mouse in our lifetimes. But we do not want its company. We call for a solution to A Problem.

I have to say the solution didn’t arrive as quickly as any of us liked, and wasn’t solved in a way I’d have chosen. Setting snap traps under the stove isn’t ideal in a house with ten women and a toddler.

The problem solver promised to return to check said traps. But he did not follow through until more calls for solutions. However, the second mouse joined its sibling in the Great Mouse Hereafter.

We had a amazingly fun time at our group paint session. Everyone’s painting was fun and pretty. Kat’s isn’t yet finished as Griffin woke from his nap. But I can already see it’ll be amazing.

All the color! (From l: JoAnne, Kayla, Kat, Pat, Nora, Elaine, Laura, Mary, Sarah, Nicole)

 Nicole taught Elaine how to make other art with dried flowers. Gorgeous!

For our last night we were a smaller group as Pat, Elaine and Mary had to leave. Hated saying goodbye, but so grateful we had our time together.

Laura and Kayla had shared the loft bedroom, but that evening, Kayla informed Laura she’d moved her things, and herself down to Mary’s room due to the Big Spoder on the skylight.

I didn’t see said spider, but am assured by those who did, it was BIG. And what’s left of it after Nicole smashed it as it was too high and too BIG to catch and release—remained on the skylight.

Laura also moved down to Mary’s room.

For our last evening, we decide (poor Laura!) to play Hearts.

We’ve enjoyed our dinner. Kat’s on the lower level putting Griffin to bed. We’re enjoying our champagne. While chatting with Nicole, JoAnne knocks over his glass. Broken glass on the carpet. A (new) Problem.

Jo claims there must be a vacuum, but we pay no attention and call Housekeeping. We watch the sunset, and have the array of tiki torches lit. Lovely!!

Housekeeping arrives with a broom and dust pan. No, we said vacuum cleaner because carpet. Come back with a vacuum cleaner please.

Meanwhile Jo finds we DO have a vacuum cleaner in some random closet. We’re stunned, but clean up the glass in case Housekeeping doesn’t return. And in case they do, we leave the chairs pulled out, in innocence.

Nicole discovers we’re out of tequila, and she wants some. Since the intrepid butlers said we could call for any reason, she tries them to ask how we might acquire a bottle of Patron. She leaves a message.

Housekeeping does return, and as Kayla supervises the clean-up, she spots A Problem. Apparently the mice have yet another sibling and this one dashes across the kitchen floor.

Nicole and Sarah begin devising a cunning plan to capture this one as the mouse problem solvers have proved neither efficient nor timely. And the housekeeping guy looks stunned speechless when we suggest he deal with it.

We let him off the hook as Nicole and Sarah are determined they will capture the mouse, removed it and take it out to the woods and release.

Jo turns off the kitchen lights as she thinks this will bring our quarry out of hiding. I think, the lights haven’t stopped him yet, but we try that while Sarah and Nicole finalize The Plan.

There’s also discussion about how the poor mouse will starve after we go as no one will drop crumbs on the floor.

I am long past caring about the mouse’s welfare. But that’s just me.

Brendon the Butler calls back. As Nicole’s asking him the best way to acquire the Patron, Jo—obviously forgetting about the mouse—strolls into the kitchen.

The mouse makes its dash at her feet.

The scream should’ve broken another glass. And her leap was Olympic level.

The scream brings on a chorus of screams, curses, shouts, hysteria, all of which Brendon hears. The screams of six women would alarm even an intrepid Butler who’d just asked Nicole if a half bottle of Patron would do.

Nicole responds: It’s the mouse. Gotta go! And hangs up on him.

And so the hunt begins.

Nicole snaps out orders: Shut the door, move that towel, guard that door.

The rest of us shout:

It’s under the chair. It ran over there! Now it’s under that chair! Under the fridge!

Laura is The Flusher, following Nicole’s or Sarah’s orders to Herd It This Way! Which she does by stomping. There’s chaos, confusion, more screaming as the mouse skitters under one of the small refrigerators.

Sarah is battlefield calm as rear guard, bowl at the ready as Nicole hunts with her bowl and Laura drives.

It’s making for the hallway to the bedroom! Cut it off! No escape!

Laura prepares to pick up the fridge, Sarah and Nicole pursue doggedly with two stainless steel mixing bowls.

I think, I admit it, this will never work.

Laura stomps, they pursue, the mouse streaks across the floor desperate for cover. Nicole tosses the bowl! A miss.

Another toss—missed it by THAT much!

Sarah follows up, tossing hers. It wobbles, wobbles, wobbles over the surely exhausted and traumatized mouse. Then settles.

The mouse is Under The Dome.

Cheers, screams of triumph, wild laughter.

For those who follow me on Instagram, there’s a mouse was the correct caption.

Nicole and Sarah celebrate with a double high five. Unfortunately, Nicole missed with one hand and smacked Sarah in the eye. Sarah deemed it worth it.

Then the thought: Now what?

Nicole asks for tape. We must tape the bowl to the floor in case Griffin comes up in the morning and picks up the bowl.

I say: It’ll be gone in the morning, and mean it.

I helpfully offer the bottle of Dawn dish detergent (A big one!) to weigh the bowl down. This offer is rejected.

We must remove the mouse from our house. We’ll slide something under the bowl, trap it, carry it out of the house and release it into the woods. We are not murderers!!

A paper plate? But we discover the plates have lips, so won’t do.

The cutting board? The question: What do we do with the board after, is met with: Toss it out.

Fortunately cooler heads prevail, plus the board’s too thick for the job.

Nicole takes the big glass turntable out of the microwave. I think, but….

Laura actually asks: But how will we clean it after?

It’s suggested (Sarah!) we put it back after and turn the microwave on to kill the germs.

Again, cooler heads—and it also won’t work.

Sarah says: Someone’s coming down the drive, and they’re coming in hot!

Brendon arrives—and as we’re a serious distance from the Chateau, he must’ve flown. He says: I heard you screaming. I heard all of you screaming! Every one of you! And he brought Patron!

He volunteers to help dispose of the mouse (impressed by the capture). Maybe we have a box. A box will not do. He agrees the paper plate is also a bust.

While we’re discussing solutions, Jorge—who has been our stand-up guy throughout—arrives. He also came in hot.

The poor guy looks so upset that we’ve had yet another A Problem. He has something rolled under his arm which makes Nicole ask: You brought a tube?

No, he and the guy with him have a piece of FLAT cardboard (rolled up)—exactly what’s needed.

The mouse, cardboard, bowl and all are removed. We see Jorge stop the car at the woods, and so the mouse lives to scamper in the woods—until he meets an owl or hawk. But that’s not A Problem for me.

Tequila shots, relief, ridiculous laughter.

Then Kat, who’s been trying to settle Griffin for the night comes up, with a narrow look in her eye. When the Asian Goddess give you The Eye, you feel it shiver in your bones.

Ringing phones, screaming, stomping, more screaming. But when she hears the story, we are forgiven. She also said that it was a relatively short amount of time. Felt like hours, but there you go.

Kat who rarely has more than a sip of wine, makes herself a tequila shot.

Then we played Hearts.


Thus ends the 2021 Spa Girl Recap — Wait! It’s not official until we have a photo of the winner of the tournament. This year, the crown went to Nicole!

Nicole with her crown, scepter and small dinosaur.

And in another step toward life without restrictions, Nora and family will travel back to Paw’s Up in early June — so stay tuned for the return of travelogues!

54 thoughts on “Girls, Games, Griffin and (Uninvited) Guests”

  1. Love it. This made my day. But I kept thinking of The Tale of Desperaux. Ha! Now that would be another story. 😉

  2. That is absolutely hilarious! And absolutely FUN! What a group y’all must be! And once again, Nora Roberts, proves her writing! No one, absolutely no one, writers like Our Nora! Thank you for a wonderful story!

    1. Hello Cousin. I agree with your statement. LOVE NORA ROBERTS writing, and J.D. ROBB is fantastic.

  3. Absolutely loved hearing about your Mousecapades! Yes, I made up that word because it sums up the high point (or perhaps low point) of your spa adventure. You will reminisce about that story for years to come. And I bet the staff will remember you, too!

  4. This story should make it into one of your books, Nora. The girls prevail.
    So very glad you were able to, finally, have a girls time.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Laura, you rock as well!

  5. This sounds like so much fun! Glad to see the travelogues are back! 💕

  6. Hilarious! And smart to keep Griffin away from the mouse. Years – eons? – ago we had a mouse in our pantry that was gorging on the cat and dog food we kept there. To the delight of our 5 and 7 years-old boys, DH set a trap (the boys thought we were catching the mouse to add to our animal collection). The next morning, shortly before six, we wake up to wails of grief and screams of “Murderers!”

  7. I laughed so hard I cried. Thanks for starting my Friday off great. Always enjoy the blogs, but this was the best.

  8. That had me laughing out loud! 😂 (I’m still chuckling). Thanks for that, Nora. I’m really happy that you all were able to get together and enjoy an in-person getaway. Looking forward to the travelogue too.

  9. OMG! I had to stop reading several times because I was laughing so hard the tears obscured my vision. Wish I could see that on film!

  10. I totally get Kat’s being upset. Our oldest daughter was a teenager when our youngest children were born and she would have friends over and I would always make them repeat the number one rule of the house-Don’t wake the babies lol. They always thought it was funny but most of them are married now with children of their own so I’m sure they get it. I was looking for you at the Kentucky derby this year. So glad you had fun with your friends.

  11. Loved reading about your terrific girls vacation. I must have really felt wonderful to hug everyone again. Our family is having a reunion in July in Tennessee and I cannot wait. Because my husband and I live in SC and two of our children live in NY and our oldest in FL, we haven’t seen them since August of 2019! Talking to them and FaceTiming just isn’t the same. I need to hug my children and grandchildren. I know we will have a great time and can’t wait to take our family picture. There will be 3 of us!

  12. We had a family weekend for Mother’s Day (my two kids, their spouses and our SIX granddaughters). We had an uninvited guest as well – a huge lizard and fortunately, my husband, son and the 5 oldest girls captured and released (LOTS of screaming). I wish I knew how to post part of the video for your entertainment!

    Nora/Laura — would you consider allowing a fan or two to join you sometime? 😬🙏


  13. First, let me say I love reading your blogs! They always bring a smile or good laugh to brighten my day.
    But this one? I never laughed so hard about your uninvited mouse guests , loved how you handled that one (been there, done that) and the huge spider (again, been there, done that).
    I’m so happy you all had a great time and thank you for the great laughs!

  14. As I have never had a girls weekend or spa trip, living vicariously through yours is a blast. Except for the A Problem- that I’ve done, and my heart surely raced as yours did through that experience. I do believe JoAnne deserves some bonus game points for the Scream, as it’s yield was great. Salud 🥃

  15. OMG I needed a good laugh Nora. So happy for you to have the week end. A house is the best way to travel when you have your group, far better than a hotel. You would never have that much fun and trauma with a mouse in a hotel so well worth it. What a beautiful home you rented. Fun times

  16. A few years ago, we did a Girls Gone Wild four day weekend. The first night there, one of the ladies came flying downstairs screaming “bat”. The innkeeper went upstairs, but it had disappeared. Those with rooms upstairs all went up en masse.

  17. O. M. G!!!!! Nora you should write something like that for a living 😂😂😂. Honestly I was laughing so hard I nearly wet myself. You know when you’re laughing & you’re skipping through to get to the end? So you have to reread because you missed a bit? Brilliant. Felt like I was there. I bet those guys almost had heart attacks when you all screamed together lol.

  18. Laughing so hard here…you ladies have so much fun! The Great Mouse Adventure would have absolutely done me in!

  19. I absolutely love you ladies. I don’t know any of you personally, but I love you. I’ve had such a crazy work week and decided I should take a lunch hour today and read this post. Made my week reading about your adventure. LOL

  20. Loved the great mouse hunt! And I played Cards against Humanity with 2 sons, 1 daughter in law and a soon to be daughter in law. It was funnier to see how embarrassed my boys were!

  21. So funny, So dang funny, Memorable though! Great story for years!

  22. Thank you for sharing so much loughly and wonderful moments! it is wonderful to have good friends! And to have hugs!!!! and time together!
    best wishes

  23. So enjoyed reading this. We’re slowly coming out of lockdown in the UK. I’m meeting with my girls next month after 16 months of WhatsApp, Zoom and FB. I can’t wait. ❤️❤️❤️. I love my husband but I need face to face girl time.

  24. The mice story was wonderful told by only the way that Nora could do it.

  25. I haven’t laughed that hard in weeks! I’m glad you all had fun, uninvited guests notwithstanding. And as always, thanks for sharing.

  26. I LOVED that story – my sides still hurt from laughing. I can’t wait to find out how (and when) it makes it’s way into a book. I’m sure it will have me howling again when it does. I totally understand A Problem. My family once rented a house on Chincoteague and when someone moved a chair (for a game of charades) the family of A Problems who had been living there were most displeased, raced across the floor and took up new residence under the range. My dad and uncle weren’t particularly happy to be ordered to solve the Problems.

  27. This is sooooooo funny and the words are such a good visual. Thank you so much for sharing.

  28. I’m laughing so hard about “THE PROBLEMS” that I almost peed my pants. Mice and me, no can do!

    Glad you all had so much fun!


  29. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the many adventures of A Problem. I understand perfectly. I had two interesting experiences with mice. The first was when I was a teen and my cat graciously dropped a dead mouse on my bed (I was in it). I petted her, told her she was a good girl, than yelled for my dad to come get rid of the mouse. The second event was years later. My sister and I were visiting in the living room when, same cat, came trotting in with a mouse in her mouth. The mouse bit her, so she dropped it. I don’t think my sister and I have ever moved that fast in our lives. We were on the top of the large partner desk before the mouse could reach us! As for spiders… Again, I understand moving to another room, even after it’s demise. Sounds like a fabulous time was had by all. The sunsets were gorgeous. Looking forward to more travelogues.

  30. Teamwork always prevails! Sounds like another great Spa Girls Week. It is wonderful that Kayla got to experience her first one. Such fun to read.

  31. Love this year’s get together with your friends Nora. I had trouble reading it all in one sitting as I was laughing so hard. Glad you all had a great time.

  32. Oh my! I would have screamed too! Sounds like another great spa week.
    Thanks for sharing

  33. 😂😂😂. I can not stop laughing! Nora, you are the BEST writer ever!!! Loved reading this!

  34. Nora, the tears of laughter haven’t dried yet. Thank you so much for sharing your girl’s trip and mouse adventure! 🤣

  35. Absolutely adore these posts!!! Looking forward to hearing about your next adventure!! xoxoxox

  36. Couple of weeks ago we realized our 2 cats had caught a husband was trying to catch Doc and take the mouse outside. I was lounging in my oversized pit group when Doc jumped up with me. It was like something out of a scary movie. The mouse’s front end was facing out, front legs reaching and it was squealing. I would squeal and try to climb up out of the corner. Doc would jump down and run when my husband would grab for him. He would chase him down the hall only to have Doc run between his feet back to me. I’m still trying to get out of the corner. The mouse would squeal, I’d squeal, and it would continue. Hubby finally got the mouse still squealing and now trying to bite him. Let him loose in my garden.

  37. So funny!!! Made my night! Glad you had a good time. Sounds wonderful!❤️

  38. Absolutely hilarious! It brightened up my day reading this. What a wonderful and fun weekend for all of you.Thanks for sharing.

  39. So happy you all had a wonderful time. The continuing story of the mices, hilarious, there has to be a children’s book out of that adventure. “Surviving Death in a house full of Women” there has to be more relatives of said mouse,so let’s investigate.!!??

  40. Funny stuff!! As an aside you might give the resort a tip for their mouse problem – and ensure you are visitor free next time. We live in the country and field mice are an issue. I got an ultrasonic mouse repellent (Victor brand but there are others)- and it works! It will not get rid of any mice already homed inside (we trapped those) but will prevent them returning. Ours has worked for 18 year now. I didn’t know how well it was really working other than I’d seen no mice until one day I needed the outlet for something and unplugged it forgetting to plug it back in. Within 3 days I had a mouse. Trapped it, plugged the ultrasonic back in and haven’t seen any evidence of one since. And it never bothered the dog or cats which they say can’t hear it.

  41. I could absolutely see and hear this adventure, in living technicolor and surround sound as they used to say! What a wonderful jump start for this windy, wet Tuesday morning!

    Thank you, Nora, for another time out of time moment of reading pleasure! I look forward to another 25+ years of same!

  42. Sounds wonderful even with the A Problems! Glad y’all were able to get away!!!

  43. What an experience! And all of that BEFORE the tequila. I’d say y’all earned those shots. 😆

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