Monday, April 16, 2012

Carnies, Civil War, Ricky Nelson, Swings, Kite, Picnic

The weekend started with a visit to our local dead mall to visit the carnies who come through twice a year...well, really to go on their rides and eat their food on a stick. We were successful on all counts. We started on the Dutch Wheel...don't call this one a Ferris, no, no. There was some big sign explaining the name, but I didn't go to the carnival to read a history book, so who knows what it said.

We almost ended on the Dutch Wheel as well, since they left us on it for about 37 hours. Even the kids were begging to get off. I'm not sure how we got off, although there might have been some bribery involved and 3B might have had to go back at midnight Sunday night to help tear down the carnival.

After that there was some climbing, bouncing and sliding in the Indiana Jones adventure and some nose banging in the mirror maze. We also rode the carousel, with Jewel marveling over the cam shaft that made her horse go up and down and 3B congratulating his horse, Old Paint, for doing a great job, even though they came in second. We wrapped up with some pink (for him) and blue (for her) cotton candy. The few pics I took in my twitter feed. Look for April 13.

Since we had the kids good and tired, and since Mama and I were tired and cranky from being bread-deprived, we decided to start off Saturday with a trip to a Civil War battlefield. The kids got in the spirit by sniping at each other the whole way there. Once we arrived, however, they spent a long time talking with some Confederate soldiers who were there...OK, reenactors, but don't tell the kids.

OK, so 3B spent a long time talking to the soldiers while Jewel mostly hid her face and walked away. He got to hold a gun and learned how to load it, learned about their spotted papers, and heard all about the food they ate.

We met friends there who live nearby and they told us that they've never seen reenactors there before, so it was special for all of us, especially at noon when they did a rifle demonstration. Before that, however, we inspected cannons, marched over to the railroad cut and inspected and found sticks and other scientific samples. 3B and our friends' boy were on the same wavelength in regards to science and war...and probably parents, although we didn't hear those discussions.

The two-year-old girls were on the same wavelength about being two.

On our way back to the farmhouse, we hear the rifles, and were able to see a volley through the trees and one up close. Then it was time to have a snack--actually, lunch for the kids and wood chips and small stones for those of us still on the South Beach Diet--and head home for (a late) nap time for Jewel, so she could get rested up for a friend's birthday party. Theoretically, the party was supposed to happen inside, but when we arrived, our friends' kids were outside and we agreed to keep them all out there where we had a fair chance of wearing them down before the did the same to us.

The next morning, after a few running battles between 3B and Jewel, we again packed up the clown car and took our show on the road. This time it was a short trip across town to what we call the sand playground. We met another friend there, tried to fly a kite, successfully swung and generally frolicked about for several hours.

Now that we were all exhausted, especially Mama and I, who were still subsisting on wood chips and small stones, it was time for them to go home and me to go walk through strangers' houses, opening their kitchen drawers and closet doors. Yes, we're looking to move, so I was going through open houses.

On the one hand it's sort of fun to imagine what it would be like to live in a new house, and on the other hand it's terrifying to think of moving. Overall, though, we're all looking forward to having more space and a yard--which means the kids can finally get a dog and a cat.

So far, we've narrowed our search from the tri-state area down to a few neighborhoods that have the commute time and the quality schools we want. Now we're looking more closely at what kinds of homes are in each 'hood and what sub-hood exist within each. We're hoping that when Mom's place sells, we'll be locked and loaded and ready to buy that dream house when it finally does appear before us.

Or, you know, the one next door that needs some work, but that we can afford.

While I was out chatting about square feet and nearby grocery stores, Mama packed the kids up and took them out for a picnic dinner. What can I say? She has far more energy than I do. Then again, she's much younger. And while they were finishing that off, I bought some suits, which was also probably a punishment for sins of a past life, although this was a mercifully short trip.

Now I just have to wait three weeks while they tailor them. Three weeks? Can't you just tweet them to me?

After that we all took a nice long winter's spring's nap...until midnight, when I had to drive 3B over to help tear down the carnival.

Papa Bradstein will ride 200 miles across Massachusetts in two days to help fight cancer. Please support his ride.

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