She drank from a bottle called "DRINK ME"
and up she grew so tall.
She ate from a plate called "TASTE ME"
and down she shrank so small.
And, so she changed while other folks
never tried nothin' at all.
- Shel Silverstein, "Where the Sidewalk Ends"
Today was a great day where I took a vacation day and called it Family Fun Day. We took off from work and preschool camp. First, we stopped at a park that we've passed hundreds of times and always said, "We should go there." We walked along a beautiful walking trail, past the Wissahickon River and collected sparkly stones. The sunshine through the trees and walking in the woods reminded us that we've been so out of touch with nature. This summer has been busy with social events and home renovations; we haven't gone to the beach or the mountains or even local parks.
We had lunch in Chinatown, followed by a visit to the Please Touch Museum. I had never been there, but always though "we should go there. " She went to the Franklin Institute two weeks ago on a field trip and has been talking incessently about it. She wasn't keen on any other museum until I told her that this was the Alice in Wonderland museum. Then she was unbelievably excited, jumping around as soon as she entered the museum. she raced up to an employee and asked, "Where's Alice in Wonderland?" She raced up the ramp. She was shouting, "My wish has come true! I've always wanted to go there!" Everyone laughed.
In our eyes, it looked more like a playground than a museum; Ikea has a lot of these little tunnels and play areas in their store that is just as cool. The Alice section was nice -- beautifully painted, but not much there. The gaps obviously needed to be filled by imagination. To a 5-year-old, this was Wonderland. She had the chance to open tiny doors, run through tunnel (a.k.a. the Rabbit Hole) and sit at a table with the Mad Hatter and pour tea. We went through the Alice circuit 3x. I cracked up because she wanted to do it in order of the story -- we can't play croquet with flamingos until we have the tea party. I think there was more to the story that should've been there, though.
We followed up with coffee at Starbucks in Chestnut Hill. We were excited to check out some of the small shops, especially the cheese shop. We've always said, "we should go there," but it closed. So, we headed home, taking the long route for a change. Earlier, we were at a stoplight and looking at one of the older homes. Philadelphia has the most amazing stone homes. These are 100+ years old, so the architecture is beautiful. Maintenance and upkeep vary from house to house. There was one house and the landscaping caught both of our attention. We were awakened from our reverie by a horn from two cars behind (apparently the car directly behind us was also looking).
To continue our fun day, Annika took the rocks that we collected today and painted them. She wanted to do a project, and after a couple of other attempts (including snipping Barbie's hair), she came upon this idea. So, it's kinda cool that she has a rock collection - sparkly rocks with mica and "one of a kind" purple and light blue rocks.
Today was a day in Wonderland for me. I know tomorrow I will wake up to a day of meetings and a testy client (already checked email and see how much "fun" lies ahead). I've been so swamped and backlogged at work that I've been taking work home for the last 3 months (the first time in 5 years that I'm doing this). Aside from my birthday in June, I haven't taken days off this whole year. I realized the top managers are taking days off (when they should be on site!) and my clients are skipping out for weeks at a time. I can certainly take one day for myself and my family. This was totally worth it!!!