BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

The extended weekend ...

I'm not getting much done these days anyway (my day has become truncated to what I can get done between about 9:30 and 2:30 around getting Daughter #1 to her day camp), but I feel totally like a lump due to the long weekend. Daughter #2 was officially off on Thursday and Friday, and Daughter #1 was officially off today, however, they don't like to have the other have a day off and not have one themselves, so Daughter #1 decided that after their "4th of July" picnic and "parade" on Thursday, that she'd stay home on Friday and Daughter #2 decided that there was no way in hell that she was going to her school today if her sister was off. Add to this that The Wife was "officially" off today, and had been able to wheedle Friday off, and there were 4 days of everybody home together.

Oh, you think that sounds like a nice thing? Mais non! It's been like a box of badgers around here all weekend.

Anyway ... Thursday ... Daughter #2 and I took Daughter #1 up to her day camp and returned home. I got to get some stuff done as #2 watched movies. At 2:00 we headed back up to watch "the parade" and collect #1. Daughter #2 launched into a 45-minute assault on me to get her an ice cream (two ice cream vendors stake out the sidewalk north and south of #1's camp location so you can't escape). The "parade" is finally over and we get #1. They get the (#$%&*%%#@) ice creams. We head over to the El and head up for #1's Dojo. I was happy to discover that Daughter #1 did well enough this month (or maybe that it that I managed to get her there enough times) to have back-to-back promotions (she'd gotten the third degree stripe on her orange belt last month, and got the official "invitation" to get her new green belt this week). This is a big one as she's moving from Kids 2 to Kids 3, which is where she'll be through her Black Belt. In celebration, I got her the special package they had for Kali Sticks (which she'll need in Kids 3) with a nice carrying case and a wooden sparring knife. Since we were making the early class The Wife met us up at the Dojo (which is just a couple of blocks from her work), and we took the El back downtown and got The Girls dinner at the new McDonalds at Chicago & State.

Friday ... The Girls wanted to go to North Avenue beach, so we grabbed the folding chairs and mats and hopped on the bus (we could have walked) up that way. I don't know why they wanted to go there (we live a short walk from Oak Street beach), but that's what they wanted. We had neglected to bring anything to drink, and I got in a very cranky mood about them charging $3 for a soda. I was also in my "beach mode", with every possible inch of skin covered (the sun and I don't get along very well). The rest of the day was spent in various disjointed modes. The Wife took Daughter #1 out to use a B&N gift card she's had from her birthday, and I guess they opted to just go on to do the grocery shopping (much to the irritation of Daughter #2, who was left home with boring old Daddy). When they eventually did re-appear, The Wife whisked The Girls off to the playground (a visit to which they had been pushing for), leaving me home to be here when the groceries came {note to non-urban folks: in the city one typically walks to the grocery store and does one's shopping, leaving the groceries there to be delivered to your apartment an hour or so later}. I was supposed to catch up with them there, but the groceries took a while to show up, and by the time I was done putting things away, it was getting pretty late. Fortunately, I ran into them on their way back, so was able to tag along on the visit to the video store (Blockbuster was having a sale, so I got Pirates of the Caribbean for $5!).

Saturday ... we headed down to Navy Pier to go to the Children's Museum. It was notable in that Daughter #2 was able to do some activities that she was previous "too little" for, so she was quite pleased with herself. One fun thing they did was paper-making down in the "art studio" ... it's a gas when they have these sorts of (big pain in the ass to set-up) projects ready to go there! While we were over there, the promised thunderstorms started rolling in, and we waited for a break in the rain to head out. If you're ever looking for someplace to eat that's reasonable down by Navy Pier ... check out the Flamingo Grill on Grand, just the other side of Lake Shore Drive ... we used to go there when The Girls were taking swimming lessons across the street, but it was nice to hit there again. We had planned to go over to the AMC multiplex and catch a movie, but by the time we were done eating it was doing the "torrential rain" thing, so The Wife opted for grabbing a cab and heading home.

040704-023bSunday ... the Chicago Historical Society does a 4th of July festival every year (this was like the 54th year or somesuch) featuring facepainting and flags and craft projects for the kids (and another "parade") and various "famous speech" things by guys in costume as Franklin or Jefferson. And, of course, the local Congressman there to give a heart-warming blah blah blah. For the first time ever we got there early, so The Girls were the first in line for facepainting (instead of having to wait 45minutes in line!), etc. After the kids' "parade" we opted to leave and not listen to the speeches, and continued up through Lincoln Park to the Zoo. Our first stop was up at the Farm In The Zoo, which has over the past year or so been totally re-born due to the financial support of John Deere (there are green tractors everywhere), this was the first time we' been in the new "farm house" and showed up just in time for a demonstration of old-time ice cream making! After doing the farm thing (and enduring tantrums by #2 ... I've spared you the blow-by-blow on all that) we headed over to the main zoo. First we had to feed the ducks (with what was officially "fish food" for the huge catfish in the lagoon) over by Cafe Brauer (and deal with another tantrum by #2). We then headed over to the new Great Apes exhibit ... they just opened this, and it's pretty cool ... the picture here is one of their outdoor areas, which I thought was pretty cool due to the juxtaposition of the Hancock Center in the background! We then grabbed lunch (and found that the new "lion" Mold-A-Rama machine was inexplicably downstairs beneath the cafeteria ... more tantrums since #2 had gotten the "calf" from the Mold-A-Rama at the Main Barn at the farm, but she now wanted a lion too). and went to see some animals. The Wife had promised them that they'd get to do some rides, so they went on the "Endangered Wildlife Carousel" and then on the new "4-D" Safari Adventure. By this time we were all pretty much dragging so grabbed a bus and came home (oh, with two more tantrums by #2). I had been faked out by the weather reports (it was supposed to have been all stormy, so I didn't bother to bring a hat) and had gotten way too much sun and was feeling pretty sick at that point, so I just crashed for a few hours while everybody else watched a video.

Today looks like a "hang out at home" day, although The Wife had planned (before discovering that #1 was off today and #2 wasn't going to put up with going to school) to spend most of the day on the phone. I suspect that I'll be drafted into taking The Girls out someplace. This afternoon is Daughter #1's "intro class" up at Dojo ... when she was 2 she was gung-ho to get into it, but she'd been off the concept for a while ... recently, though, she's wanted to start in "Ninja Turtles" (their program for 3-6 year olds), so we're giving it a go.

Gee ... TMI or what?

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