Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring Break, part 1

Ben and I have the same Spring Break, and so we headed down to visit with Muz and D for a week, starting in Cornwall, and then going into NYC with them...


Saturday night, we all went over to Torrington to enjoy a fabulous, and entertaining supper at FUJI, a Japanese restaurant where the cook your food at the table with lots of theatrics and FLAME!!!


We navigated over and back using D's Garmin Nuvi, which is lots of fun...we changed the spoken directions component to Australian accent to Swedish to Magyar, and then back to the Australian guy...


Ben looked surprised during dessert for no reason that I can remember, but he looked cute in the hat, so here's a picture...



D read the bedtime story to Ben and Mo...


Ben is quickly becoming a card shark, and Muz is a frequent sucker target for his card-playing...


We got into NYC and had a fun dinner with Anti-Sarah and Uncle Brad, and we played so long that we had to postpone the bath that we had negotiated for until the next morning...he still had a good time...he has slept the first 2 nights of our stay in Maggie's dog bed, tonight he will be sleeping over at Sarah and Brad's place...


Maggie is a sweetie, despite her gratuitously pink nose...she and Ben love each other, although she does get tired out by all of the play...


Yesterday we went uptown to play in some playground on the East side of Central Park, until the zoo opened at 10am...the one picture above was sort of an Aztec Bunker themed playground, and has elaborate water-sprinklers all over the place...Ben and I promised each other to come back sometime in the hot weather to enjoy the wet...


On the way down to another, somewhat asian-themed, playground nearer the zoo, we noted this cool wooden gazebo up above our path, and explored in the rocks at the base for a bit, looking for a way to climb up (going around is for prudent people) until some nosy old ladies shamed me into looking out for the welfare of my son...


The Central Park Zoo was, as always, a blast, even in the light rain that was falling on us by this point...we had fun seeing the beasties in this small but nice pocket-zoo...

video

After seeing the zoo-proper, we went to the Children's' Zoo, which was also fun, and Ben loved feeding the goats...


Last night I left Ben and my parents to look after each other, and headed over to Brooklyn to meet my sister Sarah for some barbecue and (free) bourbon in Brooklyn with Cynthia before heading over to a local bar that has indoor Bocce facilities...they are part of a Bocce team in a Brooklyn league, and although they argued that they love the pleasure of my company, they were also short 1 player for the final game of the regular season, and were aware of my prior petanque experience (petanque is closely related to bocce, so I was able to play with minimal tutoring)...Sarah's team is named the "Liber-Bocces", and we were playing the "Idealists"...a team made up of smart, glass-wearing, hair-receding, earth-tone wearing guys so similar looking as a whole that we kept mixing them up...


In the picture above, you can see Mariann, a soulmate of mine in former life during her warmup...


This is "Team Liber-Bocce", plus 1 stand-in...


Today Ben and I made a trip uptown, by subway and bus, to the Museum of Natural History...it was, as ever, the best museum in the universe...the above is a picture of Ben standing behind the shell of a really large clam...


Ben loves the sea-life exhibit, especially the life-sized blue whale, but this time we also spent some time actually reading and learning about some of the cool beasties living in our oceans, including these awesome tube worms...


We also took a turn through the meteorite and gems exhibit...here you can see Ben peering into a ginormous geode filled with amethyst crystals...


When Ben asked what kind of mineral this was, and I told him Labrodorite, he immediately sat down and patted it...it's a Sheffield genetic trait, and possibly not that funny to those outside of our end of the gene-pool...


Ben was starting to run out of gas a bit as we climbed to the 4th floor...this is obvious by the fact that he managed to look grumpy in front of the giant ground sloth...really...who can be grumpy when faced with fossil evidence of a 20 foot tall ground sloth...Ben, before a snack and juice-box...


Luckily I had some supplies in my bag, so I fueled him up, and we moved on...he seemed much better by the time we got to the hall of really, really, big dinosaurs (that's not the actual name, but it should be)...when I pointed out this huge arm bone of available for touching and comparison by museum visitors, Ben asked if he could sit on it...my initial reaction was to say no, but I couldn't think of a reason not to...everyone experiences, and has the right to experience, the majesty of the ancient in their own way, and in this case, on this day, Ben wanted to absorb the millennia through his butt...


He loves the interactive computer stations, this one was on Carnosaurs...


This one was on geckos, 5 of which live with us in Lake Clear, so Ben was very interested in this one, and how it related to both dinosaurs and the beasts living in his room...


Ben was fascinated by the human evolution exhibit, especially the skeletons and the "loose" bones on display...


We also went to the temporary exhibit that the museum is running on water...it had lots of touchy-feely stuff, which we both love...an experiment that Ben could run on water flow and dams...


This one was on the effects on artesian wells of draining ground water supplies over time...Ben may have missed some of the finer points, but he had fun pumping...


We stopped for lunch in the cafeteria downstairs for lunch before going, and had a great meal...



Ben loved that the subway station attached to the museum was still museum-like...we had a great time in the first few days of our vacation, and there will be more entries in the next 2 weeks...

2 comments:

quazi said...

Bocce is great fun. I should see if my friends want to play this weekend.

Was that giant clam shell real?

City Mouse said...

Great entry and awesome blog! I came across you through Adk Trailhead. I especially wanted to write to say - I think there is a good possibility that we are the alternate-universe versions of each other ... I live in NYC, and we just bought a house right outside Saranac Lake. And - A few of our best friends own the bar you went to with the bocce court on Union in Brooklyn! We're there frequently!

Anyhow. Good to virtually meet you! Glad I stumbled upon your blog.