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Local Treks

Monday, 12 May 2008

Wedding Bells

I think that every Mother's Day since my son was born, he and I have traveled somewhere.  This year our family went to a wedding.  This entailed driving for 4 hours, attending the 30-minute ceremony, chatting over cocktails for 30 minutes, and driving 4 hours back.
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I'm pretty sure that was my son's longest car trip, but he did really well.  I took a tip from TWC author Steph and purchased an iPod Nano, then loaded a couple movies on it.  We didn't use it on the way out, because he was too engrossed in the big trucks and tractors and cows and horses.  It was just the ticket on the way home, though, [...]More

Friday, 09 May 2008

Neighborhood Festivals, Spring Edition

Spring means festivals in small towns and urban neighborhoods. They're worth a peek - especially the ones that support local artists, shops, and organizations. And the funny ones. And the ones that have bocce tournaments.

Last weekend's garden festival outside of Philadelphia required the closing of a very large street - and of course this was the first thing that got her attention - Walking In the Middle of the Street Without Getting Yelled at Is Cool!

After 12 minutes of walking up the middle of the street giggling the whole way at the outrageousness of it, she got her first dose of face painting ("The butterfly costs this many dollars," said the helpful face-painter lady, holding up five (5!!!) fingers), dog parades, and  moon-bounce madness. She and her father split some pizza and orange cicles (both the eating and the wearing of them), and then went out for a turn on the dance floor.

It was a good day. Random, expensive, and hot (we forgot the sunscreen), but very funny and good. With that, I give you video evidence that my husband might dance, if he thinks no one's [...]More

Monday, 28 April 2008

To Stroll or Not To Stroll

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So yesterday morning, grandma & grandkid were at point A, and wanted to go to point B, four blocks away.  It was raining.  There was crankiness.  And the stroller was, as it has been for many, many months, stowed in the closet, 40 minutes away.

See, mostly we walk now.  And usually, that's great.  Those extra-super levels of energy known as Three-And-A-Half that inspire her to yell "NO YOU CAN'T COME TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY MOM!" deserve a little fresh air.  Maybe a lot of fresh air. 

But toddler legs are lame.  They don't go very fast, they're not helpful when running for planes, and their batteries run out in a flash. A stroller would come in handy then - the perfect scoop-and-run save.

On the other hand, even our compacto-MacLaren stroller is about as fun to lug around, when not in use, as… well, as my kid is.

So our current solution - for testing purposes - is to [...]More

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Us & Them

I took some time off to go to a poetry reading and gallery opening for the gobsmackingly good book artist Enid Mark.  I continue to pine for one of her books.  That will be a long time coming.  But that is not the point.  The point is that one of the poets brought her young daughter with her. 

The poet was brilliant in more ways than one.  The room was hushed.  Eyes were closed, people soaked up words and turns of phrase.  And up spoke the toddler.  It was a chirrup.  But the poet/mom smiled, kept her footing, and moved on. Sure, it happened a couple of times.  The toddler was with an older escort, who kept her distracted and moving.  When she became too rowdy, near dinnertime, she was taken on a field trip, outside, before too many heads turned.  No one seemed too bothered.  The other readers were patient and kind.  There was no "Situation."

Still, having been in a couple of situations where even sitting quietly in a [...]More

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Toll-Road Cookies

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[editor's note: Welcome new TWC poster Lisa P! - first up:  a checklist of sorts for long Midwest roadtrips with 1 adult and 2 kids.]

Living in the Midwest means driving. A lot of driving. We used to live in Columbus, OH--a bright, flat city in the center of a wide, fast web of freeways. Visiting our families in Northern Indiana meant jumping into the car and four hours later, pulling in to Nana's house, with barely time for one restroom break.

Now that's all changed. We've moved to Central Wisconsin--which is a lot farther away than the hop and a skip to the in-laws. When you factor in the traffic around Chicago, that translates to a seven to eight hour trip.

If we're lucky. Bad weather plus holiday rush hour traffic can make it ten.

[...]More
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