Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Adventure Walk (complete with crappy phone photos)

The other day I decided to do something out of the ordinary with my boys besides the usual stick around the house, go to the gym, go to the park or ride bikes outside.

We were living on the edge that day.  So on the edge that I didn't even call ahead or look up the hours of operation.

We were going to the Children's Museum....

....wait for it.....wait for it..... a different city.

A city not too far from us but quite different than the one we live in.

The first thing Adrian noticed as we drove through the very 'characteristic' downtown was all the graffiti.

And the "cracked buildings".

Seconds later my little one yelled out, "HEART! HEART!" as we passed the 'Love Shop' for Adults only with the O in the shape of a heart.

It's the kind of city that perhaps even in pure sunlight still looks grey though this is just one part of it I've seen.  I suppose every city has darkness and light. It's a place that I could picture my best friend and I road tripping through and deciding to kick it at one of the local dingy pubs and meet some fascinating people with fascinating stories.  Though I tend to romanticize things and we'd probably meet a couple crazies who have less than fascinating stories but are entertaining nonetheless. It seems to have 24 hour convenience stores less than every half a block.  I saw a "High Times" ATM machine with that infamous 5 leaf plant and Jamaica-mon colours all over it.  I'm not sure what the difference is between a 'normal' ATM machine and one that is high on times but I didn't stop to find out.  This city is full of interesting people.  And I mean that in the nicest way.  I'm the kind of person that wonders about people's backstories and I do my best not to judge.  It's one of my truth mantras I speak often to myself.  Everyone has a story.  Tragic or not...this city is full of them.  I saw a girl who looked to be no older than 17 at a bus stop with a stroller.  I'd hoped that she was babysitting but the look on her face and the stoop to her young shoulders told me otherwise.

The Downtown

We arrived to a very scant looking parking lot - we'd been here before a while back and I knew they opened at 10 am.  It was just after 10 so I thought nothing of it.

Until we reached the door and it was locked.  I noticed the hours - open Wed-Sat.  It was Tuesday.

Adrian was SO disappointed.  I felt awful. So much for living on the edge.

Finley, as soon as we pulled in, had noticed there was a playground area with a "Side! SIIIIDE! Sidesidesidesideside" ... I'm not sure where my children get their persistence from but I can tell you it's enough to break a man.  Or woman.

And so that's is precisely where we the 'side'.

Again with the lame phone images...I swear one day I WILL get a great
As we slid and climbed and hung I noticed that despite the area, this was actually a very pretty park with lots of trails and many people walking their dogs. I remembered seeing a sign that there was a Greenhouse nearby.  So off we went on one of our 'adventure walks'.

I was trying to get a photo of them standing together because behind them
is a really cool view of the escarpment...but alas I got this.  Which is
typical of my boys.  And still very sweet.

Gah.  I love these kids.

This was a really cool tree and if I was any kind of photographer
this would be an awesome photo.  But I'm not and so it kinda sucks.

We walked on for what felt like forever and I was pretty sure I could see some sort of building that looked "greenhouse like" in the distance.

There's the Greenhouse AND a Bandstand!
I was more than a little tempted to live out my rock star fantasies but I resisted.
I didn't want to embarrass my kids.

In the meanwhile Finley chased 'kerwols' (squirrels) up trees and Adrian stuck by his Mumma's side as usual.

Poor little kerwol.

We also climbed a really cool tree (well, I put them up in the tree for photography and memory purposes). They loved it and wanted to climb up higher....there may have been some tears at that point.  Sometimes a great idea backfires a little bit.

We eventually made it to the greenhouse and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.  I suppose I just assumed there would be plants and flowers and thought I'd be that awesome Mom that would teach my children about the Birds of Paradise flower and ... well ... other plants, whatever those might be.

Clearly I'm not botanist.  And who was I kidding?  They're 2 and 4...did I really think they'd care about the latin name of Ivy was?

Mostly I just wanted to get warm.

There were parrots!  Named Henry and Meredith (or something along those lines)

There was a lone turtle and massive koi fish - seriously - I swear one was the
size of Adrian.  I ensured they stayed well away from that pond.

Who knew there was such a thing as a hanging Monkey Chia Pet??

The boys thought he was pretty cool (I thought he was a teeny bit creepy.
He had black soulless eyes).
Adrian got over him pretty fast but Fin kept going back for more.
All in all, despite the closed museum we had a really fun and adventuresome day.

We're going back tomorrow.  To the museum this time....and if time and weather permits I would completely welcome another adventure walk.

Especially when the morning ends like this.  OUT.COLD.


Stacey said...

Good for you for turning the day into a wonderful one, even if it wasn't what you originally planned! And I love the photo of you and the boys all squished up together. It's perfect.

middle child said...

How cute. How fun. I miss my kids being little.