We spent the bulk of our time in the dinosaur area, with a quick tour through the mammals on the way out. We stayed 2 hours; the kids would have stayed all day. Monito was willing to listen to everything we had to say or read to him about what he saw, and he asked lots of questions about the things that most interested him. 'Is this one dead? Is that one dead? Are they all dead?' Clearly the museum is missing out on a good thing by not having a live T-Rex there for kids to toss hot dogs to.
Pequita divided her time between admiring the giant fossilized turtles and doing 'magic', her Pippi-inspired gymnastic-like moves she performs on all the guard rails, benches, curbs and ramps she encounters. Other parents glare at us as their kids' eyes light up with envy or ideas when they see our daughter doing a series of forward somersaults down the planetarium ramp or executing a 360 degree twist while vaulting the lower 4 stairs of the triceratops display. She's a force of nature.
After the museum, we picked up lunch at the Fairway market and ate it in the fabulous playground 3 blocks from our hotel. I had arranged to meet a friend from high school there and while the kids frolicked and H-Mama led them through the sprinklers I caught up on the last few years with Melanie. Then back to the hotel for an epic 3 hour nap for all of us.
I woke at 5 pm with one thought in my head - we have 15 mins to get the car out of the parking garage before we pay another 24 hour charge, which in my town is enough to rent a hotel room for a night. H-Mama vaulted out of bed and took care of finding street parking while I made microwave mac & cheese for kids. Hotel rooms are the perfect (only) place for this stuff. We were all in such a good mood, so rested and relaxed, that my wife* and I decided to brave Planet Sushi with the kids. Again, we walked there. I love being able to walk to everything! The kids were super during the meal, and allowed the adults to enjoy ourselves. We all shared the food - edamame beans, tempura udon, sushi combo platter, and miso soup. The nice waiters rigged some training chop sticks for the kids and showed them how to pick up beans with them. Huge hit, moderate success. Then a stroll home through the warm rain, stopping at the West Side Market for ice cream.** We watched Disney's Cinderella on DVD (the kids call it the "Mad Kittycat movie" as Lucifer is the clear favorite) and then retired to bed with a huge stack of childrens books the hotel keeps on hand for guests.
I am so happy we came.
*gratuitous use of term 'wife' just for the thrill.
**lest this sound too idyllic, I will add that at this point we parted ways and I, with Monito trapped on my back in the Ergo carrier, sprinted the 2 blocks to the hotel to take care of my upset stomach. Despite swearing off spicy food and liquor like Dr. Google suggests when on methotrexate, I am unable to reliably process the bland food I am eating. 'Nough said, I'm sure. H-Mama and Pequita bought the ice cream and met us back in the room.