Last week was the bizarre November break New Jersey kids get. In our school district my children only had 1 1/2 days of school! (Tabby only had one-she was feeling unwell and stayed home on the half day. She was thrilled to come to dog class with me and Willow.) We mostly hung around at home doing normal things but there were two special events planned. The first was a trip to the American Girl Place in New York. This was a super special birthday event for Tabby and it was (not surprisingly) a girls only event-Tabby, me, and my mom. We had a wonderful time! On the one hand, the whole American Girl scene is nuts-outrageously expensive, a giant business that boomed unbelievably, sometimes over-the-top, and so on. I mean, we were going to eat lunch in a restaurant in a 3 story store. But guess what? It was SUPER.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWonderful attention to detail, less shopping, more of an “experience”, and the lunch was charming. I think it will be a very special memory for all of us. Despite the Lincoln Tunnel’s best attempts to thwart us, we managed to arrive just in time for our 11am lunch seating. The restaurant is decorated in pink, white, and black. If you don’t have a doll to sit with you, you can borrow one. If you do have a doll (of course we brought Molly!) they have special seats for them to join you at the table. Your napkin holder is actually a little hairband with a bow that you keep. It’s a prixe fixe situation, so first they bring out tiny warm cinnamon rolls. Then comes a plate of unusual appetizers for the table (some vegetables and grapes, weird pretzel sticks, a couple pigs in blankets, and a cup of cheesy sauce.) Then you choose your entree (they printed the calories for everything on the menu in equal, if not larger, font than the name of the item. MADDENING. I already decided on your quiche, don’t hit me over the head with the fact that it’s more calories than I should have in a day.) The food was actually quite good. We had a nice time and of course enjoyed people watching. Dessert is lovely-a flowerpot of chocolate mousse and a vanilla cupcake with a little shortbread heart cookie. Tabby had a candle and a song for her birthday. (The desserts were super delicious.) //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Even the restroom was interesting because the stalls have special hangers on the wall for your doll!
After lunch it was time to explore the store. We were delighted by the installations for the historical dolls, which included memorabilia, interactive quizzes, music, and more. Of course, we did end up doing a little shopping and now Molly has a sassy Santa dress, sequined beret, jeans, and new glasses. And possibly something will show up at Christmas, too…. All in all, we had a lot of fun.
(Meanwhile Paul and Clark had a nice day together with a couple hours at work and then a nice lunch out.)
The next day was fun for all of us. We used to belong to the aquarium and have been many times, but not for a very long time. Clark’s been asking to go and this seemed like a great time to plan for, so off we went. Clark was quite pleased to get to use a wheelchair while there.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsIt turns out that we hadn’t been there in 3 years and there were quite a few changes. Still, it’s a nice aquarium and we had a good time. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsIn fact, Paul was thrilled by how many kind of exciting things happened: the sting rays were extra splashy and he got to touch them a lot, the octopus (usually sulking in a dark corner) came out and moved around put his suckery tentacles all over the glass, we saw the hippos being fed and they totally looked like Hungry, Hungry, Hippos when they chomped their lettuce, and then there were the mermaids. Weeki Wachee Mermaids! When we found out they were going to be at the aquarium the same day as us we were pretty excited. If you don’t know who they are you can read about it here. It wasn’t quite the same as being in Florida-only one mermaid in the tank at a time, she wasn’t doing a show-just waving and smiling and being beautiful, but it was still fun to see. And also cool that she was in the giant tank with the sea turtles, sharks, and sting rays. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
It was a very nice day!
What else is new? Clark had a follow up visit to the doctor and his foot is healing well. He is now off crutches, but still in the boot. He is very happy about that. We trained Willow to the invisible fence and she was a quick learner and doing great. It makes such a difference for us to be able to do stuff outside and have her out there with us, but not have to actively following her around. We’d all been feeling rather tired and grouchy (and by all I mean me and Paul) because for several weeks now she’s been in a terrible habit of waking up at 4am and 5am. it was frustrating and exhausting. However, just as suddenly as it started it has stopped. She really is a super dog.
This morning I took her to the park and down by the river where I let her off leash. Last time we were there I didn’t and this time I thought it seemed safe enough (far away from the trail) and boy was she happy to be able to just get out there in the river and run through it. A joy to behold.
I also started quilting my Halloween quilt (concentric squares), but have no pictures as of yet. You can all just know that I’m very happy about it. As happy as I am to see my Give Thanks banner up and my little pilgrims and turkeys set out. It’s the start of the holiday season! yeah!