Mom had a training class in Philly at a fancy hotel, so dad and Roxie followed her to keep the family together. Besides the obvious missing the family, I figured it’d be a lot easier for me to entertain her during the days by myself than it would for me to get her to sleep through the night by myself.
The flights were fine, even on one of the ‘budget’ airlines. We even swapped for an earlier return flight since we got to the airport several hours early without any hassles. Roxie was excited in the terminal and in the plane, then mom fed her as we took off, then she fell asleep. A great way to travel – as long as the flight isn’t longer than her average 1.5 hr nap, that is.
The hotel was fairly swanky, and that was where the training class was so it was terribly convenient. We just did Chili’s the first night, since we didn’t have any inspiration and they’re usually pretty good (read: quick service) for families with children. Roxie still had to run around a couple of times before we finished though.
We spent one day basically driving around and trying little bits of things. I planned on the museum, but she fell asleep in the car so I ended up driving over the bridge to NJ so she can say she’s been there. (The real reason was that dad wanted to see BB-62 moored there – but there’s no place to drive near it, oh well).
That night we went to pod, an uber-hip restaraunt we had walked by in University City. Oh, my, my hips hurt after eating there – very good sushi (Roxie only had the plain rice) and actually quite fun decor. Expensive, but worth a try if you’re nearby and want to see and be seen.
Next day we drove up to see some relatives north of the city. I meant to spend a couple of hours and have lunch; we ended up staying all day after it was obvious Nancy, at least, loved having the kiddo around (and after she took a long nap). Then a long drive back and forth to see some of mom’s friends in the area for dinner – which was quite nice. They have a 6 month old, and it’s amazing how you just can’t judge anyone else’s kids (or parenting styles) against your own, no matter what. It just doesn’t work – it was amazing the differences between how they do it and how we do it. I got to geek out with their dad who’s in hardware design, and he actually explained what Six Sigma is all about.
It’s amazing that it’s really not that big a deal – basically just actually following a lot of the measurement procedures everyone says they do but don’t actually do, and then conciously using those metrics to improve. Oh, and some statistics too.
Next day was a half-day class, so dad and Roxie did a short trip to Reading Terminal Market to walk around and shop. Pretty cool – it’s a combination of Haymarket inside a giant Quincy Market (if you’re a Bostonian) or Pike Place Market inside one building (if you’re from Seattle). I think Roxie really liked it: I’d take her by a stall and point out all the cool stuff they had (whatever it was there). Then we’d start walking to the next stall, and she’d be saying and signing “More! More!”. She just liked seeing stuff. Of course things she recognized were coolest: fruits and veggies, fish, and the lobsters (since they moved).
Then we did a short visit to the Please Touch Museum, a place designed for little kids to play with. Pretty cool. We both liked the Alice in Wonderland exhibit – dad, because it was so well done, and Roxie, because they built a hall of mirrors. She also loved the farmyard exhibit, because it had fake veggies you could ‘pick’ (including plastic ears of corn) and a row of chickens in a henhouse that would mechanically peck at the ground – “More! More!”.
Even though we took the back roads to the airport to try to find cheap gas for the rental car (we did: more than 20 cents cheaper than the place by the airport) we still got there early enough to score an earlier flight to get home to see the cats. Whoo-hoo, nice trip!