Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Philly continued

Friday we went to visit Dad’s office-a huge building downtown with 4 floors. It was originally a very fancy house. We brought zucchini bread for snack and were able to meet dad’s coworkers. Then we went to the Philly Zoo. It was amazing. It was sad that we missed the elephants by just a few days-they are being moved out of zoos into places with more room. Both of the kids (and all 4 adults) really enjoyed seeing all the animals. They have a ton-everything from snakes to huge turtles to giraffes and polar bears. We were able to see the penguin being fed which was hilarious-a few of them have figured out to wait on top of the rocks to catch fish like Snoopy does bones. The others were just waiting in the water and fighting Robert stood and watched and watched and watched. We had a stroller, backpack carrier and a puppy harness and were able to rotate the kids through them (well Robert wasn’t ever in the backpack!) which was helpful-plus having 4 adults! Robert was really captivated by the aviary-he just loved the birds. A lot of the big game were sleeping around-lions, tigers etc so not very interesting in his mind. We stopped at one point and had ice cream for snack which the kids ate as fast as mom and dad could shovel it into them! The zoo also had a petting zoo which was rather hilarious-especially the tractor with a climbing platform to get up into it, they also had some goats, some chickens, pony rides etc. Mary seemed to enjoy it all-especially the parts where she could get up close to animals. She was very chill the whole time. The walk from the zoo to the parking lot was long and hot (Robert’s phrase from all week “I’m HOOOT”). Mom had made supper ahead of time so we chilled out while mom finished it, ate and collapsed into bed.

Sat we got up earlyish and went to the Please Touch museum. It was fabulous. The place is huge. We started in a river room with boats, ducks, water of all types. As kids get older they can do more with them. For the littles there is baby duck pond with water that goes in a circle and little rubber ducks. Then there are streams for bigger kids where you can adjust air, and locks that you can open, or buttons to create bubbles. The café is excellent and not horribly overpriced. In addition there is a vehicle room, again with different stuff for different ages. You can drive a car, fix a car, ride in a bus or a train run in a huge hamster wheel…. There is also a craft area with paints, playdough etc that was doing vehicle crafts which included running a car though paint and then on paper. It was really cool! It was neat to see Robert and Mary painting-Mary especially. I bought some painting stuff at their gift shops. Robert did really well at the easel painting. Downstairs there is a Alice in Wonderland maze and stuff, play store, play hospital, play construction zone (you move these “bricks” to a hand propelled conveyer belt to this upper level where you can move them via wheelbarrow to the shoot to send them back down again. Robert did this for ever. In fact is was in the construction area that I found him after 10 heart stopping minutes when I couldn’t find him. I was going down the ramp after Robert when I saw Wes who mom was waiting for, stopped for just a second and when I got to the bottom of the ramp he was gone. We looked around a few minutes on our own and then alerted staff-but then I went thorugh downstairs again and saw him running like a maniac through the construction zone. And cried all over him. I now know that he doesn’t get scared when he realizes that no one is with him-and that is really freaky. So the puppy harness came back out. Mary and I had a good time in the hospital and the house area (mostly with the stroller). We also saw a puppet show about planes, cars etc which was hilarious. We got there at 9:30 and finally left at 3:30-I was hoping to make it until 5 but we were all exhausted. We did go to the park near mom and dad’s house which was really cool-spraying fountain, 2 different big playsets, merry go round etc. Mary did nap a few min in the stroller but that was it. We ordered in chinese for supper and again collapsed into bed. Robert had some trouble sleeping that night and ended up in bed with us on and off (ugh).

Sun we went to church with mom and dad at Fox Chase Pres Church It’s a small church and very nice. The kids made it through the children’s sermon and then went to the program (run by a preschool teacher and her daughter) afterwards. I don’t think there was any lesson or anything-just free play with a huge room of toys. They had a blast and never looked back when they got in the room. It was fabulous. After church there was a social hour with great snacks and some time with someones service dog (Teddy). Teddy enjoyed cleaning up after our kids! After lunch Mary napped and then we tried to go to the park but the fountains don’t run on Sundays and it was HOT so we came home to play with the hose. Trying to convince the kids that they could only be in a 3 foot radius (mom and dad’s “lawn”) was amusing when they’re used to having the run of 2ish acres! But that went well until Robert pooped in his underwear and we had to get cleaned up (YUCK!)

Mon we decided to take all the forms of transportation available and took the bus to the train to the trolley to the train station and ride some escalators on the way. This is something you only do on purpose with transportation obsessed 3 year olds. The train station was really cool and we had lunch there (and Mary threw up at the very end-she evidently found that the end of the ketchup packet she had managed to eat at some point not very digestible-yuck!). We had cheesesteaks and then nutella banana crepes (YUM). Then we went and did some of the Ben Franklin stuff which was interesting. The tour person played one of his inventions an armonica which is based on running a wet finger on a glass but on a huge scale-it was so cool to hear! By this point the kids had been going, going, going and even Robert sat quietly on my lap for a 20 min movie about Franklin! We stopped and got the kids cheese fries for snack and then went home and took the kids to the (fountained) park where we stayed for about an hour before coming home for supper (pizza from mom and dad's local pizza place).

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