Monday, June 1, 2009

A Week in Review

A week goes so fast.  Today the guest room is empty again.  The sheets and towels are in the washer and our full house is now back to its regular roster.

We packed a lot of fun into eight days.  Let's run the highlight reel, shall we?

Tuesday we visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Amazing.  We saw many beautiful pieces of art and a beautiful apple dumpling in the basement cafeteria.  At one point I got asked to leave a gallery whilst speaking on my cell phone.  Oops.

Wednesday we drove around Amish country.  We fell into a stupid tourist trap that offered an expensive underwhelming buffet and a gift shop filled with trashy Amish romance novels.

However, things took a turn for the better when we drove further in and saw many a buggy and horse-drawn plow.  One Amish dude was really flying down the street in his horse-drawn carriage and the sudden sight of him filled us all with a surge of happiness so strong that Jesse exclaimed, "Look at that guy!  He doesn't even give a crap!"

Which, I guess, is the way we can sum up the difference between ourselves and the Amish--giving a crap or not.  Some days I really wish I didn't give a crap.

We stopped by a farm and bought homemade root beer and potato chips from the cutest little Amish boy you've ever seen.  I wanted to take him home with me and make him churn butter while I watch.  And listen to my iPod.

Next, we were thrilled to discover a giant statue of an Amish man to pose with.  Life was officially complete.

That night we attended a Phillies game where I made friends with my seat neighbors, Kristen and Tom.  Kristen and Tom have been dating for two years, four months, and seven (well, now fourteen) days.  Kristen has been separated from her husband George for several years now, but they remain married because George has a good medical plan.  Even though he's a schmuck.  They have four kids together, the girls live with Kristen and the boys live with George on his farm; they are drawn to his John Deere equipment.  The kids don't like Tom, but it's nothing personal--they wouldn't like anybody.  They're still rooting for George.  Even though he's a pathetic schmuck.  Did I mention that already?

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with them and can give you many more details of the Kristen & Tom story if you would like to contact me by email.

Thursday it was back to Philly to see historic sites, except that all the historic sites had been taken over by field trip kids from New York.  Boo.  So we ate cheesesteaks on South Street and bought baked goods at Reading Terminal Market.

Pardon the interruption here, but what is up with my niece?  It should be illegal to be so adorable and well-mannered.  And, unlike my usual style, I'm not exaggerating even slightly.  The child is golden.

Friday it was off to New York City.  We wandered the galleries of MoMA (with much thanks to Alyssa for getting us passes).  I think it's my favorite art museum.  And I was thrilled with how much my kids enjoyed the art.  

If you don't think that art evokes emotion, just take a look at Max in front of this giant Jackson Pollock.

And who doesn't like an artist with a sense of humor?  Nobody I want to know, that's who.

We also spent some time in Times Square where traffic has been re-routed and replaced with lawn chairs.  That's right, lawn chairs.

How about this money shot?  I call it "Pensive Baby Brother."

At Alyssa's suggestion, we kayaked on the Hudson River Saturday afternoon.  It was a blast, and it was FREE!  

And even though we got a little wet, none of our skin eroded or fell off!  Bonus!

One other moment of import was Jesse's french toast.  It was to die for.  Look at Jesse being killed softly by it.

Seriously, I think we all were yearning for it.  Check out Natalie eyeing it during this shot.  I swear I heard her say to the french toast, "How you doin'?"

We spent time in Central Park, rode the Staten Island Ferry (Ryan's favorite!) and had scrumptious plates of carbohydrates in Little Italy where I was mistaken for a Minnesotan by a short Italian tour guide who told us mob stories.

Alyssa was kind enough to schlep around with us all day--often leading us and coordinating subway routes--and even got into an altercation with a cabby on our behalf.  Thank you, Alyssa!

We returned home in the wee hours of Sunday morning and spent a relaxing day before we drove Jesse, Natalie, and baby Abby to the airport and bid them farewell.  

I miss them already.  And I don't even give a crap.  Wait.  How does it go again?


Kristina P. said...

I am coming to NYC in July, for my 6th trip there, and I cannot wait.

Love the pics!

Dani said...

you're so funny. amish dude! makes me laugh!

marta said...

what a completely fun vacation, so many things packed in! what cute photos too. thanks for taking us along. i love the contrast of amish country to the big apple. games and museums and amish smut, i love it. you're talkin' my language!

p.s. the photos in the lawn chairs are so cute.

p.p.s. i love the word Underwhelming.

Leslie said...

You have to be the All-Time-Funnest-Hosts! What an awesome time for you all! I cannot wait until we visit. Just to warn you, Brianna isn't quite the well-mannered angel that her cousin is. But, thankfully, she is also cute.

Becky said...

You truly are the funnest hosts ever! Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing it all with us!

aimee heff said...

My hub makes me sit by the strangers at the game/airplane/any public place because guaranteed it will make for an interesting conversation and night. Please he just hates talking to strangers whereas I eat it up.

Can we take a trip together? You make it sound so fun!

Lindy-Lou said...

Jesse and Natalie (and Abby) were over tonight so we saw lots of fun pictures and even heard the songsters on the subway. What a fun time!!! I can't believe how much there is to do and see. You are the best hosts ever. And your recording with Jesse ... I have to have it. How did you find the time!?!

Kellybee said...

What a fun time. I wish we lived close to so many historical places. Your kids are very lucky that they get to experience all of that! Jesse's baby is beautiful!

Mindi said...

that amish dude will be number one on my list of photo 'MONEY' shots. he rules.

and i must say: that photo of the neice in the backpack--HOLY MOLY!

i happen to have the cutest nieces and nephews in the world. but i think she might have just won the contest. congrats on getting such a great pic. and LOVE the folding chairs in times square.

Soul-Fusion said...

thank you for the forcing me to have a fun-packed adventure filled day on my last non-working day . . . for the foreseeable future. I have a few points:
a) that niece of yours is seriously the best baby I have ever encountered. totally zen 99.9% of the time. Amazing!
b) she is also adorable.
c) I need to stop just giving passes away and actually spend some time in MoMA again, it has been too long
d) I knew you would post the butt shot
e) I still want that french toast - especially when you see the pile of blah I had in the next photo.
f) I will argue with taxi drivers, bike rental agents or anyone else who gets in the way for you anytime.
g) thanks for adding me to the itinerary, I really had a great time and I know Ryan is dying to go back to the Staten Island Ferry again soon . . . but I'm relegating that one to Times Square/Toys R Us status.

Emily said...

Wow, I didn't even know trashy Amish romance novels existed!

Christy said...

I want your life. Totally adventurous. The Kayaking looks so fun! That photo of you reading trashy Amish novels made me laugh! I wouldn't have believed that they even existed without this photo.

Kami said...

little Baby Abby in the backpack is killing cute!

is that sign...OOF -arted? awesome.

Jesse C said...

That was one of the very best vacations I've ever been on. So much fun. You are the best hosts on planet Earth. We had so much fun, and we have so many funny memories from our week together. Thanks again. I bet that Amish kid still doesn't even give a crap.

MiaKatia said...

Wow what a great vacation. Amish smut and heavenly french toast. Who could want more from a vacation!

Omgirl said...

I have three things to say:

1) The Amish have trashy romance novels? by "trashy" do you mean that the couples, gasp, HOLD HANDS before marriage??? Scandelous.

2) I'm still laughing about the "he doesn't give a crap" comment from your son. I love it!

3) I'm not sure you can use the term "money shot" in mixed company.

Angie said...

Sounds like a wonderful week!

By the way - Amish paperback romances? What the heck?

Kate said...

I want to come. Like really bad. If I was brave and had money I would totally buy myself a plane ticket and fly across the country to visit you.

Kim said...

Were there any planes landing in the Hudson River?

rychelle said...

where might one find that delicious french toast???

Annie said...

i think christain and alyssa have the same shorts on. was it a buy one get one half off? just checking.

i'm day! and just for the record, i'd show you around tooele anytime!!!

Token Asian Friend said...

Churning butter is kind of a girl's job. Maybe you can watch him bail hay, or train a pair of oxen...

Shua said...

I. Can't. Wait. To. Come. Back. East.


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