So, when we last left our heroine, she was holding the wrong cake and being denied access to host her party.
The proper phone calls were made, and the gates were lifted and I was able to come in. Now according to the YMCA webpage - you get one hour of climbing fun and then another hour in the "new party room". Ok, I'm fighting the urge to make air quotes even as I type this. I don't think that title worked - on any level. New - nope - same ol' space that's been around as long as I've been coming to the Y - dingy, dirty, etc. Party - wouldn't that indicate to you that they might have done something to make it look festive? Nope. No decorations, no table clothes, just folded tables and chairs along the walls for me to set up. Room - doesn't a room have to have four walls? This was really an "old, dingy, space you can use to put your crap on a dirty table so it doesn't have to sit on the floor". Ah... truth in advertising.
The kids didn't care - they ran around as more and more of them arrived and were dropped off by their parents.
As of 10:15, I had a "room" full of hyper party-animals, but no rock climbing wall instructor. She did show up eventually, and made her presence known a little later ("Oh, I was over there...") and I herded the children toward the rock climbing wall. Not all kids climbed, but all ran around - played, and had a good time, generally speaking.
Around 11:15 - we lit the candles, sang, and dug into the gooiest frosted cup-cake cake. Again, the kids didn't care - they had a great time. By the time the cake was served up, my dad was back from my house with the cups that I had left behind. (Hey, I remembered to bring milk and punch - couldn't they just swig from the bottle?)
Again, in the long run - the kids had fun, everyone made it through safely, there are some cute pictures, and my son got tons of goodies.
What more could a kid want? It was the bells and whistles that I wanted that were missing.
Oh, and as to the family participants? Not too bad - a little chilly, but I'll save those stories for another day.