Monday, October 09, 2006

The weekend highlights

We spent it in Maryland. We met up with friends Saturday & went to the Aquarium, stayed in a hotel & went to the Ren Fest Sunday. It was so rainy on Saturday. We managed to get from the parking lot to Cheesecake Factory for lunch without getting too wet and there was a lull in the rain when we dashed to the Aquarium. We were there about 3 hours. We saw everything in Pier 3 (exhibits are broken up into 4 Piers), which was Australia, the rain forest & reptiles. Derek was on his harness, which looks like a puppy backpack, so he was free to run all over the place & was loving it. We looked down on the area with the stingrays & he was convinced they were leaves floating in the water. Every time we came to a tank of fish he would shout CHIFSES! And point. Drake was enjoying just looking. He was rather quiet, I think he was a little overwhelmed. We gave him our old digi camera to use and he took about 10 photos there. We left to get something to eat (the others had not had lunch, we'd arrived early to eat), intending to come back & visit Pier 4, which is dolphins. We went to this place called Pete's, got soaked to the skin in the rain running there and then waited FOREVER for our food to come. It wasn't like it was that busy at 3pm. But the gap between appetizer and the meal was so long we started helping ourselves to coffee & bread from the nearby server station. (3 people ordered salads, 2 an actual meal & I had ordered an appetizer, which for some reason arrived with the meals) The kids were great for about an hour - 6 kids under 5. They sat & colored & played quietly but by the time our food arrived the kids were bored stiff (so were the adults) so they started running around the table (we were in an alcove) and behaving like normal active toddlers. If they had fed us with any sort of promptness we'd have been long gone before the kids reached hyper stage. We then gave up on the Aquarium as they close at 5 and it was nearly 5 when we finally got out of that lousy restaurant - and the food was not that great & overpriced. Then we went for ice cream for Drake's birthday at Marble Slab Ice Cream. A good time was had by all.

Then we headed to the hotel. Drake loves hotels. He took more pictures of our hotel room than he did in the aquarium. :) It had an indoor pool and we took the kids down to it to swim for about an hour. Drake swam with water wings for the first time, really swam, using his arms & legs, not just sort of kicking around on a noodle like he usually does. It was a late bedtime but the boys were asleep by 9:30 & we joined the others across the hall for Chinese food, but we all crashed by 10:30.

Sunday was the Ren Fest. OMG! The traffic! I guess since it rained Saturday everyone held off going until Sunday. We left the hotel about 9:45 for a 16 mile drive. It should have taken about 20 minutes top. Ren opens at 10 and we figured we'd be there just after it opened. WRONG! The line to get to the parking lot began on I97, 5 miles from the faire site. It took us over an hour to travel those 5 miles. Our friends left the hotel about 15 minutes after we did and arrived at the faire 45 minutes later than we did. It was packed with people inside. Too crowded to really be as enjoyable as usual. When we left at 3:30 there was still a mile long line of traffic waiting to get in to the parking area! We did not do garb for only the 3rd time in 14 years (we didn't in 1992 because that was the first time & we didn't have any & we didn't in 2002 because I was 37 weeks pg & nothing fit). It had been so rainy we just didn't want to deal with mud in garb. We only took about a dozen photos which is an all time low for us & just proves it was too crowded to see anything. Drake had his camera and took about 50 so we have lots of toddler eye view shots (people from the waist down). The boys dropped off to sleep before we even got out of the parking lot & slept about 90 minutes, waking up just as we were pulling into Pizzaria Uno's. We got home about 7pm.. I was bone weary, still am. It was a fun weekend. I'll have to put up a "drake's vacation" collection of his photos. He takes well composed photos, only slightly marred by the occasional finger in the shot or extreme blurriness, but about 2/3 of his photos are good ones. Pity they are almost all of people's legs. :)


Tink said...

We gave the princess her first digital camera at the age of 3 (it was a hand me down); I love looking at pictures that children take. They have such a wonderful perspective on the world and we would do well to take pictures ourselves on their level.

glynis said...

Sounds like fun--Danae's got her own digi camera two and it is so interesting to see things from her perspective. As she grows, we get to see more of people from the waist up :)

loonyhiker said...

Wow! Your whole trip sounds like an adventure. I've never been to a ren faire but I hope to go to one soon. Another teacher and I were talking about it and want to hunt for one. I think you should do a scrapbook page labeled LEGS for your son's pictures. I bet he would love it! (so would I!)