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Local Treks

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Gotta Go Now!

One moment, you are strolling down a quaint cobblestone street.  The next, you are yanking at a locked door and begging for divine intervention.  Or a lock pick.  Something, anything.

The fragile weeks after becoming  - woo-hoo! - potty trained! are times when adventurous moms and dads scope out likely nearby restrooms with the same focus as international double-agents looking for back exits and escape routes.  You can prepare all you want; have doubles of everything in the backpack; say it's time to go potty! in your cheeriest voice every hour on the hour, but still you will find yourself caught out at least once… rushing through a busy coffee shop (sorry Starbucks people) chanting "you can do it! Just a little while longer!" and arriving at breakneck speed before a door where the 'Occupied' sign is halfway turned.  Wearing every single layer of winter clothes you and she own. 
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#@$$#@!!! - this Starbucks has single-rooms, not stalls!  And just how long [...]More

Monday, 03 December 2007

Model Trains at the Morris Arboretum

The G-scale model trains run year-round in the outdoor railway garden at the Morris Arboretum.  They cross overhead on miniature bridges and trestles, pass by waterfalls, and wind through a village of historic buildings. 
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During the holidays, they are dressed up in holly and evergreen - and we're a sure bet to bring her grandfather back for a visit. Because, you know - grandpas + model trains = happiness.

The railway garden is part of the vast arboretum, one of a number of gardens and walks.  The weather was good and, as the railway garden became a little more crowded (there were at least 5 strollers parked in a row outside the garden by the time we left), we walked on and went to play for a bit in the sculpture meadow. 
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The arboretum is part of [...]More

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

National Air & Space Museum (The Udvar-Hazy Annex)

I'm not a big airplane geek, but I appear to be related to 4 or 5, and hey, who can pass up a chance to see the Space Shuttle?  We took a weekday and went to the Smithsonian's Air and Space annex, at Dulles airport in Virginia.  This is a brilliant museum - the curators did a fantastic job of creating a three-dimensional display space for airplanes, helicopter, hangliders, and spacecraft.  The hardcore military history buffs were enraptured, and so was the two-year-old boy…for 4 hours.  FOUR hours, people!

The weekday lack of visitors meant that the kid had room to stretch his legs and burn off some toddler energy, but the stroller was very nice to have also.  He loved looking up and down at the aircraft, and getting close up to things he's only seen in pictures.  The "virutal cockpit" kiosks were placed at child height and operable by a toddler, but the displays of model aircraft were more interesting to him.
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In the cockpit
[...]More

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Posts delayed because she refused to leave

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Swinging with the wild things.

Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum. Seriously.  Would. Not. Leave.  Kept asking to go back.



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Full-size city bus.




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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Can't Get Enough

Sunflowers; organic vegetables; Amish baked goodness; used books; chocolate dipped onions, potato chips, strawberries; oven mitts; walls of honey bears; apple cider; spices; brisket; gourmet sandwiches; baklava; pretzels (of course); live lobsters; live crabs; baskets; creamware cow-pitchers; cheeses; chickens; every cut of meat imaginable; tablecloths; wreaths; baguettes; crafts…

All of this in stall after stall at downtown Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market; plus a weekend lunchtime crowd that has every one of the numerous tables filled. Somewhere in the back, there's a beer garden. 

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I hate going to the mall - something about the lighting, the you-could-be-anywhere-air, and the .really. .energetic. .smiles. that you get sometimes.  I love a good, busy market.  They're what malls aspire to.  They're what malls could be in about 100 years, given a good smack to the head and a backhoe.  Reading Terminal Market is still a thriving market, and, being close neighbors with the Hard Rock Cafe and [...]More
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