Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Family Vacation and Non Momish Moments

Warmer weather is here, so that means one thing: we are going to embark on a family trip. I always thought I did a pretty good job at planning these, but at a very informal meeting (right after I come back from BJ's with a fresh arsenal of pizza rolls the kids usually herd around the kitchen island), I discovered there may be some problems with my planning.

Before I begin, let me say that it is very difficult to plan lessons for a long time and not try to weave in some kind of theme when planning trips. I have been accused of making family vacations "like something our English teacher would force us to do" and I've been working on that. I keep forgetting that while I think it's amazing fun to go see Edgar Allan Poe's headstone, the kids are like, "Wait, did he write Twilight Zone?"

So for this year's Easter break, we came up with the idea of getting a Philadelphia City Pass that offers tickets to six attractions. Emma wanted the aquarium, I wanted the zoo, Christopher and hubster wanted the National Constitution Center, Philip wanted the Franklin Museum and everyone wanted the double decker bus tour. For the sixth, we had to choose between the National Science Museum and visiting the Eastern Penetentiary which houses Al Capone's cell. Of course, I picked the museum. They just put in a whole new butterfly wing.

"We knew you would," Christopher said, "because you want us to learn on a vacation."

"There are worse things."

"Nope," Emma said, "there aren't. You also make it so we have no time to relax. It's like every two seconds, we have to go somewhere or watch something."

"What did you want to do?"

Emma rolled her eyes. "Relax in the hotel. Float in the pool. And you're like, 'Philip, show Emma how to do the back stroke.' "

I do remember saying that.

"So we're going to the penetentiary," Christopher said. "It's supposed to be haunted."

I was worried this would be too dark a destination for Emma. She looked right at me. "I definitely would LOVE to see a ghost. That would be the best vacation ever. A very not Momish vacation."

Momish? I make up words, so I guess I can't say anything.

So after a consensus, we are going to visit Al Capone's cell. Here is a picture of it:

I DID find out that the Eastern Penetentiary was the first place that believed in rehabilitating criminals rather than punishing them. It was based on Quaker beliefs that if you isolated prisoners, they would be able to refect on their crimes in the silence. They even put hoods over their heads when taking them out for meals so they didn't interact with other prisoners.

In fact, I found out a lot of facts about the Eastern Penetentiary, including ghost sightings and lots of legends. I did a little research so they might learn something - a very Momish thing to do.


Jemi Fraser said...

A very Momish thing to do indeed. :)

I get that kind of response all the time. I love learning new things - love seeing cool stuff. And I think they secretly do too - they're just not going to tell me :)

Bish Denham said...

I LOVE that, a Momish thing. In our house we were all assigned chores by "the volunteered by Mom committee." A committee of one, Mom.

Anne Spollen said...

I know they like the zoo more than they let on, Jemi. But I was terrible when they were younger - I would give them books on each state we passed through and make them find ten facts (each) about the state before we could stop for lunch. I've mellowed.

Yes, I love that, Bish! A committee of one. I think most houses DO run on that singular committee, but only some come right out and say it.

Shannon said...

I definately think that as much as us kids want to chillax during our summer vacations, it's also fun when there's a plan - you're not going on vacation just to float around. For example, my parents planned an "American History" East Coast tour, and we went to Boston and went to a lot of museums there, then on to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, and then to Cooperstown for my dad, (we all love baseball, but he's a nut.) I guess it also helps that we all like reading and learning about new things - we watch the History Channel for fun - but how my parents would make it better if they knew my sister and I were getting bored was to promise an ice cream in the afternoon. Not every day, just maybe two times during the vacation so that my parents would get to see what they wanted to see and we would get dessert. ^____^

Anne Spollen said...

Well, that's good to hear, Shannon - that you guys like a plan. I tend to like all the educational stuff, and my kids like the bungee trampoline stuff.

And I've "caught" my oldest watching the History Channel, so I'm glad for these comments. Makes me think they secretly do like all my planning and little factoids, but they have to posture like, well, teenagers.

(Are you the Shannon who was "doomed" by the Donne poems - from the email? Sounds like you, but I wasn't sure)

Marcia said...

That's a pretty nice cell. I don't think AC got rehabbed, though, huh? :)

Christy Raedeke said...

Is that cell for real? I would actually pay to stay there in seclusion for a week or so!

Have a great vacation.

Anne Spollen said...

Marcia, I'm not sure anyone, not even the most patient of Quakers, could rehab AC. But according to their philosophy, they would try. I didn't know exactly how "bad" AC was until I just read about him. Yikes. And he is said to be there still, well, in spirit.

Christy, you have a braver soul than I do. I would like to stay at the Hilton with room service. That's way more my idea of seclusion. Of course, you might come up with some insanely good paranormal in that cell...

adrienne said...

Stopped by to say hi...

I've seen one famous prison cell - the one Socrates occupied. I'd say Capone had it a lot better. Have fun on the road, and save time for goofing off.

Anne Spollen said...

You're back! Nice to hear from you again!