When last we met our heroes, they were huddled on the beach, trying to bear up under chilly, windy, and rainy conditions whilst the third member of their triumvirate convalesced back in New York with pneumonia.
I forgot to mention that upon our arrival at our beach house, we were greeted by country music blasting from our next-door neighbors, a group of college students who had parked their many Jeeps all over the lawn of their house and were engaging in spring break-type behavior around their pool. I am not ashamed to say that I picked up the phone post haste and called the rental company to mention the window-shaking volume of the music next door. Within ten minutes, the music was off, and by that evening the Jeeps had scattered off into the dark night, never to return.
Yes, I am that person. I am completely ok with it, too.
Toward the end of the week, the weather looked somewhat more encouraging, but the temperatures remained well shy of swimming-friendly, and beach time was limited to a few wind-blown moments in our pajamas.
We did make it to a beautiful historic plantation that had lots of animals and artisans showing their 18th-century style craftsmanship. The highlight for me was petting a newborn lamb, which I had to refrain from running away with in my arms. They can have it back when it's no longer cute and tiny, but I really think I need a wee lamb to cuddle with at home.
In another life, or perhaps in my retirement, I would like to work on a living history farm-type place, dressing in period clothes and making pottery or cooking over a hearth or tending to the animals. I am guessing my romantic notion of this type of work would be quelled to some degree in the less temperate seasons, but on that sunny spring day with all those baby animals about it seemed like an awfully nice alternative to racing around the grimy city, iPhone always in-hand, on high alert for work emergencies.
(She ran up and down that hill about a hundred times. Then she said, "I'm going to run up and down this hill two more times, and then I will be tired!")
That afternoon, lulled into a false sense of security by the inland plantation, I promised Felicity that we could go swimming in the pool. Upon our arrival back at the house, I realized this was a foolish move. But follow through I must, so I risked death from exposure and got in the water with her for an invigorating 20 minutes or so, until her lips were blue and the novelty of splashing around yelling, "We're swimming in the freezing cold like CRAZY people!" had worn off. Getting out of the water into the wind was even worse, and we scuttled up into the house like startled crabs, then jumped into a blessedly hot shower.
Another day, my parents took one for the team and did the cold-air swim with her. They are champions of grandparenting. The water was even less heated that day and again the breeze was more than brisk, so the session was mercifully short.
All in all, it was a wonderful time with family, which is the most important thing, so nevermind the weather. But I think next year for spring break, we will try somewhere equatorial to guarantee that we have some warm sun. And hopefully Joe will get to join us.
Meanwhile, since we returned, we've had quite the busy few weeks. Maggie and Allison came to visit the weekend after our trip, and it was everything we wanted it to be and more!
The girls wore matching dresses on arrival day, of course. Felicity took maybe two minutes to warm up to them (it's been a while!), but by the time we walked from her school door to the corner to get a taxi to Shake Shake (OH YES), they were hugging and chattering like no time had passed. And so were their mamas!
After our delicious lunch (which we got to eat in a prime booth, thanks to Allison's stalking/hovering abilities -- "Oh, were you about to leave!?" ::sits down::), we strolled through the park and checked out the Turtle Pond and Belvedere Castle. The girls held hands just about the entire time. Best ever.
We had some down time at home before dinner and got out the art supplies at which point Felicity draped herself over Allison to do some coloring.
Maggie read Felicity both her bedtime story and her morning story. Also best ever.
(There was some...uncertainty on Felicity's part about having Maggie sleep in her room, so the first night I slept on the air mattress in there, but after that the girls got to have their sleepover time. Not without further noise on Felicity's part, but...well, she's four. She also created some high drama over Maggie holding the leash when we walked Miles and other such nonsense. Maggie handled it all beautifully and I managed not to lose my cool (well, maybe one time...), but this gave me newfound admiration for people with more than one child. All that squabbling would wear me RIGHT. OUT.)
On Saturday, we did a LOT. We hit the Bryant Park carousel, had lunch at 'wichcraft, and then headed to the American Girl store. Oh, yes we did. Felicity got to pick out an outfit for her Bitty Baby first, and there was MUCH deliberation and consternation over that (of course, five minutes after we left the store, she burst into tears because she actually wanted the OTHER dress that she hadn't chosen). Then we perused the rest of the store for some new clothes and accessories for Maggie's Ivy. Laden with packages, we decided to go check out the Plaza and have a treat in the food halls (with a brief detour to the Trump tower en route for a pit stop -- egads, so much pink marble and gold). We of course swung by the Eloise store and wanted to buy every single thing in there, and then the girls each chose a treat at a different spot. Felicity, given the option of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, frozen yogurt, and a host of other delights, chose a tiny box of Hello Kitty jellybeans. Okay, then. She ate all but two of them, because she wanted to save those for later.
Next we let them run amok in the Heckscher Playground and managed to extricate them just moments before it started to pour. We did have to run through the deluge after exiting the subway, but everyone and their dolls survived.
On Sunday, we went to the Central Park zoo and had lunch shivering in the courtyard. After we ate, we went into the tropical rainforest exhibit to warm up. I was holding Felicity at one point and I accidentally called her Allison: "Allison, get down so you can see better!" and Allison started to crouch down like, "umm...ok." You had to be there, but oh, we laughed!
I can't remember what else we did that day! Oh, the Central Park carousel and another long stroll through the park. We wore those girls (and ourselves) out. We met up with Joe at Ditch Plains for dinner and for some reason our food took about 1000 years to arrive. Felicity was about to fall asleep at the table, but for two really tired hungry girls, they did great. We were so sad to say goodbye to them the next morning! Hooray for girls' weekends! Or as Felicity said, "It's so much fun when it's just girls!"