A week goes so fast. Today the guest room is empty again. The sheets and towels are in the washer and our full house is now back to its regular roster.
We packed a lot of fun into eight days. Let's run the highlight reel, shall we?
Tuesday we visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Amazing. We saw many beautiful pieces of art and a beautiful apple dumpling in the basement cafeteria. At one point I got asked to leave a gallery whilst speaking on my cell phone. Oops.
Wednesday we drove around Amish country. We fell into a stupid tourist trap that offered an expensive underwhelming buffet and a gift shop filled with trashy Amish romance novels.
However, things took a turn for the better when we drove further in and saw many a buggy and horse-drawn plow. One Amish dude was really flying down the street in his horse-drawn carriage and the sudden sight of him filled us all with a surge of happiness so strong that Jesse exclaimed, "Look at that guy! He doesn't even give a crap!"
Which, I guess, is the way we can sum up the difference between ourselves and the Amish--giving a crap or not. Some days I really wish I didn't give a crap.
We stopped by a farm and bought homemade root beer and potato chips from the cutest little Amish boy you've ever seen. I wanted to take him home with me and make him churn butter while I watch. And listen to my iPod.
Next, we were thrilled to discover a giant statue of an Amish man to pose with. Life was officially complete.
That night we attended a Phillies game where I made friends with my seat neighbors, Kristen and Tom. Kristen and Tom have been dating for two years, four months, and seven (well, now fourteen) days. Kristen has been separated from her husband George for several years now, but they remain married because George has a good medical plan. Even though he's a schmuck. They have four kids together, the girls live with Kristen and the boys live with George on his farm; they are drawn to his John Deere equipment. The kids don't like Tom, but it's nothing personal--they wouldn't like anybody. They're still rooting for George. Even though he's a pathetic schmuck. Did I mention that already?
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with them and can give you many more details of the Kristen & Tom story if you would like to contact me by email.
Thursday it was back to Philly to see historic sites, except that all the historic sites had been taken over by field trip kids from New York. Boo. So we ate cheesesteaks on South Street and bought baked goods at Reading Terminal Market.
Pardon the interruption here, but what is up with my niece? It should be illegal to be so adorable and well-mannered. And, unlike my usual style, I'm not exaggerating even slightly. The child is golden.
Friday it was off to New York City. We wandered the galleries of MoMA (with much thanks to Alyssa for getting us passes). I think it's my favorite art museum. And I was thrilled with how much my kids enjoyed the art.
If you don't think that art evokes emotion, just take a look at Max in front of this giant Jackson Pollock.
And who doesn't like an artist with a sense of humor? Nobody I want to know, that's who.
We also spent some time in Times Square where traffic has been re-routed and replaced with lawn chairs. That's right, lawn chairs.
How about this money shot? I call it "Pensive Baby Brother."
At Alyssa's suggestion, we kayaked on the Hudson River Saturday afternoon. It was a blast, and it was FREE!
And even though we got a little wet, none of our skin eroded or fell off! Bonus!
One other moment of import was Jesse's french toast. It was to die for. Look at Jesse being killed softly by it.
Seriously, I think we all were yearning for it. Check out Natalie eyeing it during this shot. I swear I heard her say to the french toast, "How you doin'?"
We spent time in Central Park, rode the Staten Island Ferry (Ryan's favorite!) and had scrumptious plates of carbohydrates in Little Italy where I was mistaken for a Minnesotan by a short Italian tour guide who told us mob stories.
Alyssa was kind enough to schlep around with us all day--often leading us and coordinating subway routes--and even got into an altercation with a cabby on our behalf. Thank you, Alyssa!
We returned home in the wee hours of Sunday morning and spent a relaxing day before we drove Jesse, Natalie, and baby Abby to the airport and bid them farewell.
I miss them already. And I don't even give a crap. Wait. How does it go again?