Saturday, April 10, 2010

Family Vacations

We took a family vacation over Easter break, and family vacations are important because it gives us an opportunity to argue as a family and not in smaller groups of two or three.

And I love my kids' sense of roughing it: you had to walk outside the door of the hotel room to access the microwave. They had a suite with a fridge for their drinks and ice cream, but that microwave...

Emma informed me that there are hotels that leave a chocolate on your pillow after they make your bed. At our hotel, housekeeping actually forgot to make up the room. Poor Emma.

Here are some pix from our trip, beginning with the patron saint of Philly:

That's actually at the entrance of the Franklin Institute (not far from the Franklin Parkway, and that's over the Franklin Bridge -- you start getting the idea as soon as you drive in)I liked this one, also from the Franklin Institute:

and an early aviation engine in a room that Christopher really enjoyed:

The city skyline of Philly looks like anywhere else to me:

But I think my fav is this one of Philip (yes, who else?) on the sky bike, an actual bike you can ride up near the ceiling of the Franklin Institute. He may be over six feet and 16 now, but he's still a kid:

We ended up at the Camden waterfront, at Emma's fav place in the world: an aquarium. She took a picture of this lovely pair:

I think they learn a lot more than they realize on these trips.

At one point, after walking most of the day and using the hotel pool (it was indoor and heated, just wonderful), my kids were, for once, as tired as I was at the end of the day. While the other families were playing friendly games of Scrabble and Boggle, we were lying (all five of us) on the king size bed arguing about points made in a documentary on the Shroud of Turin. Things got quiet until one of the narrators announced that the Resurrection was "the greatest paranormal event of all time" - that was an interesting argument.

Everyone is kind of staying to themselves after getting back. Pretty soon, we will have recovered from all that togetherness.


Cynthia Watson said...

Nice pictures - I especially like the aquarium picture! Sounds like a great vacation!

Bish Denham said...

Funny Anne! I wonder that Philly hasn't been renamed something like Franklinberg.

Glynis said...

It is lovely when a holiday goes to plan and the family fall in love again. How soon it gets back to normal after the return home. LOL

Great pics Anne, thanks for sharing.

adrienne said...

Ack - my daughter got on one of those sky bikes. My stomach does flip flops even looking at the picture!

Glad you had a great time, and your family arguments sound very interesting...

Anne Spollen said...

I liked the vacation, Cynthia. Even if I still view vacations as field trips, I think they had fun. And yeah, the aquarium was great.

Everywhere we went, Bish, we learned or saw something Ben Franklin. Wasn't he the one who named Philadelphia Philadelphia? Cuz he did everything else. They actually charge to get into see his tombstone...

I love the British way of speaking, Glynis. We call them vacations or worse, getaways which always makes me feel like I've just robbed a bank. Glad you liked the pix.

I wasn't worried about him on the sky bike, Adrienne, and I'm kind of a professional worrier about my kids. I did, however, clamp my hands down on Emma's shoulders when she wanted to try...maybe has to do with the 100 pound difference in their weight and the full foot in height -

Jemi Fraser said...

Hopefully you recover from your togetherness soon! :) That's an awesome line that I just may have to borrow one day!

K.C. Shaw said...

That sounds like such a fun trip! Museums and aquariums are awesome. When I was 20, my grandparents took me, my brother, and one of our cousins on a week-long trip to Washington DC. I mainly remember the museums (and refusing to eat anything at the extremely expensive Italian restaurant they took us to one night, because it all "looked gross"--I kind of wish I could kick my 20-year-old self in the butt).

I hope you're all recovering from your trip. :)

Mary Witzl said...

There's one of those sky bikes at the Science and Technology Museum in Los Angeles too. We all took a turn on it and got tee shirts and everything.

I really miss family holidays now -- all that bickering and the long, sultry silences. (sniff)

Anonymous said...

The sky bike looks interesting. I'd like to ride one some day.

Marcia said...

I adore that acquarium picture! Love the colors.

Christy Raedeke said...

I would totally watch a reality show about your family.

Anne Spollen said...

Yes, Jemi, we are all recovering from our bout of togetherness. It's a slow process, but we are healing.

My kids don't eat so much in restaurants either, K.C., but they get really excited about things like the shamrock shake at MacDonalds. I think restaurants are truly one of those adult tastes. And yeah, D.C. for museums and all that stuff is great!

I know, Mary - all the bickering, even over who gets which bed. There must be some reason for it in evolution. I'll figure out when they've all gone I suppose.

Sky bikes are pretty neat, Medeia. Except one girl had some type of panic attack when she got in the middle and her mom had to keep shouting, "Just pedal, Heather, just pedal." Poor thing - the entire place is watching you so it's not for the faint of heart.

The colors in the aquarium were awesome, Marcia. They had this dim lighting that was weird at first, then you realize the tanks are lit so you can see all the colors of the creatures. Very cool.

I don't know, Christie, we're sort of boring. Maybe "Clean House" would be the most apropos!