Tuesday, October 07, 2008

touring buddies

I wanted to just give a quick update on how I spent my weekend. Then I realized that now that it is October, I should probably first tell you a little about how I spent Labor Day weekend a month ago (and perhaps my vacation in August at some point). The two weekends are actually linked because I spent both weekends with these fun people:
Turns out, they are not just an attractive family but they are also great hosts, a lot of fun to play tourist with, have great taste in food and keep me laughing non-stop - regardless of location.


Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend, I got up early and took a train to Wilmington, Delaware where I was greeted by Tiffany and her family. I enjoyed a tour of their home (which I learned was actually in Pennsylvania. . . not sure how I missed that tiny detail) and of Ryan's new office and the campus of the University of Delaware. It really made me miss college. We tried out a local Italian place for dinner and did a lot of talking amongst ourselves. But the highlight of the weekend (aside from the amazing Labor Day bbq which was complete with corn on the cob and other fresh veggies from the farmer's market) was our mini-road trip to Gettysburg. I am constantly amazed at how relatively compact everything is out here on the east coast - especially for those who have ready access to cars!
It was a gorgeous day and I went a little crazy with the camera in a feeble attempt to capture it all. We were all very impressed with the visitor's center - especially that they had food since we didn't really plan too well on the eating side of things other than a few snacks. But the movie introduction at the visitor's center was very well done and got us all excited to drive around to check out the battleground for ourselves. Unfortunately, a lady in line at the bookstore convinced me I had to buy the "reenactment" driving tour cd if we had kids in our car. I recommend buying whatever cd actually imparts historical knowledge rather than the one that occasionally fires off a few faux cannon shots and terribly acted cries of agony. Our best insight came from the fold out timeline Christian picked up at the bookstore which entertained us all with great tidbits of little known facts (at least little known to us prior to the trip). After we wore out our welcome at the visitor's center we set off with a couple of giant snickerdoodles in tow for authentic snacks. Here are a few (seriously, I left a lot out if you can believe it!) photos from our trek:

New York City aka Nur York City

[Tiffany actually beat me to the punch with a summary of this past weekend, but I will recap nonetheless (mostly because I already went to the trouble of uploading all these photos yesterday before I became too tired to actually write anything!).]
This past weekend I was able to return the hosting favor when this favorite family of mine - who I am petitioning to adopt me - came to visit. We endured Times Square to indulge the whimsy of the 5-year old among us . . . who consistently claimed "the toy store!" was his favorite part of New York City. They were only in town for a day but we managed to cram a surprising amount of activities, not to mention food, in their 26 hour visit. Since this was Max's first visit to the Big Apple we tried to cater to him.
We started with a trip to Times Square. . .
that included a stop at the M&Ms store
and Toys R Us
which resulted in Iron Man hanging out on my couch for the rest of the evening
We introduced Max to Carnegie Deli (he opted for chocolate milk over cheesecake)
and I made some special pumpkin pancakes
Max impressed us with his discriminating taste in graffiti art
as Christian cooly looked on - he is clearly not a first timer

Max has a love for trains so we showed him one in near by River Side Park

We took a boat cruise around the harbor

where (in Max's words) the sun pointed at us
stayed dry, despite threatening clouds
and we ate - pizza in Little Italy (where a rather aggressive proprieter literally handled Max's pizza - I don't think I would have eaten it after he touched my food either). At least Christian enjoyed his pizza (and folded his own, thank you very much)
And Tiffany really enjoyed her introduction to Rice to Riches
We saw treehouses in Madison Square Park
and waved to distant relatives on the internet while waiting for food at the Shake Shack (oh the delicious food at the Shake Shack . . .)
But when asked, after reiterating his love for the toy store, Max claimed his favorite parts of New York were the subway

and the cab ride

Can't wait for the next adventure!


katie said...

I need to be a tourist with you all. I'm a really good eater, and picture taker.

Tiffany said...

Thank you for not mentioning the Sea Monster movie, since we all very, very hated it.

Good times! Can't wait for the next weekend trip!

Kami said...

Looks like so much fun! I am so impressed with your hostessness...if that's even a word. Those pancakes...what lucky boys!

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