Monday, August 23, 2010
A Trip to the City
Despite getting a late start, we reached the train station around noon and caught the train about forty minutes later. chibiguri and his two comrades loved the train. Since it is a double-decker, of course we had to sit on the top deck, where the seats are singles instead of the doubles down below. But this provided us a little more privacy as well as better views. Not that the terrible trio took much notice of said scenery - save whehn we passed by a train going the other way! Instead they spent the majority of the trip engaged in games - pretending that we were crossing gates and 'paying' money to us for passage, climbing all over us, and pretending that the seats were mountains. The Princess and The Soldier, being a year older than chibiguri were a little better at the climbing aspects, but he held his own. And I must say he was a bit better behaved as well - he listened when Daddy told him to 'Stop'! chibiguri did enjoy the scenery somewhat - he was fascinated by the big train and loved watching the tracks and seeing the equipment. And he liked seeing trains go past the other way too. On the way home, we stopped in the bike car and he was suitably impressed by all the bicycles lined up in that cavernous space.
Once we reached The City, the kids claimed to be hungry, so we stopped at a handy Panera Bread shop. There chibiguri got a lesson in asking questions. the Princess and the Soldier wanted 'bread bowls' So of course chibiguri begged for one too - without knowing what it was! The reality proved to be disappointing, so he ended up eating much of my ham-and-swiss sandwich, while I disposed of his bread bowl. Moral of the story - if you don't know what something is - ask!
After eating, we strolled around the waterfront, enjoying the beautiful weather. We climbed on some shoreline rocks, threw some pebbles into the water, and admired the nearby ballpark. Then we went into the downtown area, where we stopped at a street festival and also rode one of ther City trams. We planned to head toward the tourist-trap area, but we left it a little late, and after standing in line for the streetcar, we realized that we ought to head back. But our adventures were not done.
Upon reaching the car, we found we had a flat tire. This was quickly and efficiently solved by my friend the Twins' dad. Throughout, the Twins were somewhat underfoot, while chibiguri remained very out of the way. I should also add that he was the best-behaved in the City - not complaining about the walking, nor did he whine for food or water (much)! he and I purchased dessert for our hosts from the local restaurant we all like. Might have goner overboard - those carrot cakes are HUGE!
The day ended with chibiguri sharing a bath with the Twins. Since I was not expecting to bathe him at their house, I did not bring any pajamas, but they were kind enough to lend us some. And chibiguri was tired as I well know - he conked out on the way home. Fortunate - he missed seeing Daddy have to drive back to the Twins' place because he left his house keys behind!
chibiguri enjoyed his day, or so he told me, and it was a good experience for both of us - I learned a lesson in packing and chibiguri learned a few things about sightseeing as well. Next time he wanted to go on one of the tours. We'll see- have to bring Amaguri though - she would enjoy it too! All in all it was a good day for all of us.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The Jazz Musician In Training
Now, keep in mind that this particular band plays oldies. No, not the 1970s or any other similar schlock. This stuff is REALLY OLD - much of it dates to the 1920s, 1930s and occasionally we might bust out a tune from the 1950s or 1960s. But the vast majority of our repertoire was published before any of us were born. And to my surprise, chibiguri seems to enjoy it. in fact, his current favorite tunes are Bobby Darin's Splish Splash and Percy Venable's Big Butter and Egg Man. As he sat watching, i saw him slide out of his chair and come quietly to my side, where he whispered, 'Can you play Big Butter and Egg Man'? Naturally I relayed his request to our Fearless Leader, who called the tune just for chibiguri's enjoyment. I love his huge smile as he listened! He even danced a little bit in his chair, although our tempo was way too slow!
chibiguri and Amaguri went home shortly thereafter, but he didn't want to go, begging Amaguri to be allowed to stay. Now I suspect this to be more because he hates going to bed than from any sense of true enjoyment of our music, but it was still quite flattering!