me and my penguin loving family went to Philly
Matt had business in Philadelphia, so I thought, why not go along?
Let me say it was a flipping fantastic time.
First of all, the kids were awesome. A 4 1/2 hour car ride isn’t typically an idealistic time. I wasn’t so much worried about Claire as I was worried about Luca. Being as he still has the attention span of a gnat on his best day, I figured the back of my head wouldn’t serve as much of a source for entertainment. But he surprised me.
How Luca kept himself entertained:
Food, Dr. Seuss, Lady Gaga, Claire and pink lip gloss. In that order.
(Please excuse the blurriness. It seems the roads of Philadelphia are just as bad as the roads in Pittsburgh. However – please note the pink ring around his mouth and the fact that his hair is sticking straight up. Since he’s too young for “Something About Mary” it’s painfully clear that it’s lip gloss.)
How Claire kept herself entertained:
Yup, her shoes. She took off her shoes and played with them.
Neither of them slept on the way out, which was perfect since I had them scheduled to sleep when we got to the hotel around noon. And it worked out perfectly. While the kids napped in the other room (we stayed at a Homewood Suites. Thanks Hilton!) I caught up on last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
After they woke up, we patiently (if by patient you mean “Call Daddy. I think he’s lost. Where’s Daddy? Seriously?”) waited for Matt to come back from work. Claire knew that when he came home we’d all go to the pool.
On this trip, I learned a lot of new things about the kids, and Matt, too. Here’s what I learned about Luca:
He doesn’t like to be cold. (He’s SO my kid.) We brought him into the pool and immediately started to shiver and then look forlorn at the edge of the pool. So I took him out and sat in the whirlpool with him. (Don’t freak out, we sat on a stair so that it was just our butts and legs covered. My belly was protected from the horrible, horrible…amazingly soothing…heat. Dang you baby!) He instantly seemed happy. So my kid.
Claire on the other hand had a blast in the pool.
Then Billy G retired as a Penguin and the Pens proceeded to kick the Devils’ asses.
The night, however, wasn’t so great…the air was really dry, so Claire’s residual cough was amplified and she was up a lot. Luca slept like a log all night, though. Lucky bastard.
Here’s what I learned about Claire:
She’s just like Matt. She even talks in her sleep just like him. Last night, she was in a dead sleep and since I was sleeping so light that if a pin so much as dropped in the next room, I’d have heard it, I was up in a flash when I heard her say, “I like Sparky the pony.” Out of nowhere. Nowhere at all. And we haven’t heard about Sparky the pony in a long time. So this struck me as odd. (Sparky is a pony Claire rode when the kids stayed in a cabin up in Cook Forest with my parents and sister this past summer. I swear, she has the memory of an elephant.)
Sure enough, her eyes were closed and she was in a dead sleep.
What I learned about Matt was that he likes historical stuff. Being as Carly’s my sister this stuff is bound to rub off on me. I’ve been a fan of WWII history as long as I can remember, but anything Revolutionary War and such go way over my head. To be completely honest, I couldn’t tell you what years the Civil War even took place without Googling it. (Sorry, Carly and Ben and Ian.)
So when I mentioned to Matt that I’d love to go to Valley Forge, he was excited, too.
Of course, it was 30 degrees out with super cold wind that was whipping, but he still was excited to go. We took this really cool 10 mile driving ‘encampent tour’ around and saw all the main sights. We only got out twice since it was so dang cold. However, if you ask Claire what her favorite part about the whole trip was, she’d tell you “The camels were SO cool!” (She means cannons.)
Can I just say that Washington’s Quarters has the best view in the world? It overlooks the Schuylkill River and rail road tracks and it looks as if you can see for miles. Miles and miles of hills and trees and river. AND it’s not ruined by Philadelphia structures. For a half a minute I felt as if I could have been there back in the 1700’s.
We went to King of Prussia Mall after and had lunch and so that the kids could burn off some energy, we walked around. This is where Matt did something unspeakable – he made a *gasp!* IMPULSE BUY.
What did he buy you ask?
A helicopter. From Brookstone. There was a guy demonstrating how they work and of course Claire said, “I want!” and Matt said, “I want!” and the demonstrator said, “Buy! They’re on sale!” and I said, “Whatever.”
So he bought two. One for him and Claire and one for our nephew who turns 8 in March.
I just can’t believe he knew how to do such things. Mostly his impulse buys are Starbucks coffee (which I think is a HUGE waste of dolce grande money.)
After we were done there, we all piled in the car and headed for home.
We made one stop because I had to pee.
Matt said, and I quote, “OK, last stop until we get home.”
But WHO pray tell had to pee after buying a Cinnamon Dolce Latte? Yup. Not Miss 31 weeks pregnant. Matt. And he did so on the side of the PA turnpike in the middle of the mountains and a white out wearing Claire’s pink hat.
I laughed so hard I cried.
And that – in short – is my trip to Philadelphia.
I’m glad I didn’t move there, but I will go back to visit. When it’s warmer. Much warmer.