The weekend went by in a blur.
On Friday our plans to see the Orchestra were rained out. Though a thunderstorm hit early and ended long before the scheduled free performance on the Festival Pier, when we arrived we found out that the show was cancelled because the stage had suffered some storm damage. I suggested we stroll down Delaware Avenue so we could take a walk by the river. We started walking, and walking, and walking, and walking. And while Martin, Sylvia, Mark and Noah seemed to be enjoying themselves I was getting more and more frustrated. I hadn’t realized how far a walk it was between the Festival Pier and Penn’s Landing, and the farther we got from home the more I worried that the long walk back was going to make Noah upset. (Who the hell decided it was a good idea to block off access to the river instead of utilizing it as an attraction? City planning morons.) Also the humidity that had briefly dissipated as a result of the storm came rushing back in. So I was getting hotter and hotter, and frizzier and frizzier. When we got to Penn’s Landing we still couldn’t gain access to the river promenade. The storm had caused some flooding and damage there as well and access was gated off. I got more frustrated. Then I suggested we walk back through Old City, but we couldn’t figure out a way to get over to the other side of Delaware Avenue without scaling a bunch of steps with the stroller. (So the city planners decided to screw the handicapped too. Have I mentioned they’re morons?) Finally we just carried the stroller up the stairs which wasn’t too bad with our new lightweight stroller – just a pain really. By this time sweaty, frizzy me had acid reflux, a huge blister and a hell of an attitude. I don’t know if it was hormones or what – but I was stewing for no good reason. Normally I would shrug off the change of plans and enjoy the walk, but for some reason I was disappointed and pissy while everyone else, including Noah, was pleasant. We ended up walking all over town – with a break for me to nurse Noah in a church courtyard. All in all we walked around for two hours. I wish I would have just chilled out and enjoyed it more.
Saturday morning I was in much better spirits. We got up and out of the house for our Live8 excursion. We got the 15 bus down Girard at 8 am and got off at 24th. We walked to the Art Museum and along the Parkway to City Hall. It was nice to see the Live8 setup in person and feel the excitement of the crowd even if we couldn’t stay for the show. Everyone seemed in good spirits, excited for a historical day. As we walked away from the stage the constant flow of people walking the opposite direction was remarkable. We got on the subway and were home by 9:45am. We started watching the Live8 coverage on MTV – and couldn’t believe how miserable it was. They’d show half of a song and then interview Jimmy Fallon. Show half of another song by another act and then show MTV “personalities” talking about how cool it was to be there. All between about a billion commercials. It was SO frustrating. Luckily Janette called and said she was watching the show on AOLmusic and said the coverage was uninterrupted live feeds. So we headed to the office where we watched the rest of the show on the computer. Not only were there no commercials and no annoying hosts, but you could switch between the different cities to check out the other locations. The added bonus was that for some reason while it’s hard to tear Noah’s attention away from the TV – he pays no mind to the computer monitor. It was a nice afternoon. I was a bit scared there would be some sort of incident that would make the city and the event look bad – but all went well and I’m really proud of Philly for the excellent turn out and the positivity
In the evening we headed to Penn Treaty Park to watch the Two Cities fireworks display over the Ben Franklin Bridge. We kept Noah up way past his typical 7:30 pm bedtime to see the fireworks at 9:30 pm. I was worried that an overtired Noah would be scared by the noise – but once again I worried for naught. (I guess this would be the theme of my blog. Every day.) We were far enough up the river that the sound wasn’t overwhelming, and we couldn’t even get Noah to take much notice of the fireworks despite having a great view. He was too captivated by all the families, turning his head to see adults oohing and children bouncing around in excitement.
Sunday we hit the road at 9:30 am for a quick visit with my mom and then an all day picnic at my Oma and Dad’s place. My brother Jim’s kids kept us all entertained while my Dad barbecued burgers and hot dogs for lunch and pork chops and London broil for dinner. I had anticipated the surprise 35th birthday celebration for Jim, but hadn’t expected Jim’s family to give me two beautiful huge house plants as an early birthday gift. I remain 30 for two more weeks so it was really thoughtful and a nice surprise.
It was a fun afternoon – with highlights courtesy of the four year old twins James and Julius. Jim left the picnic for half an hour to take his daughters back to their mom’s place and because he knew he’d be right back he didn’t say goodbye to the boys. When he returned Julius scolded him. “What if when I got growed up I just left without saying goodbye? How would YOU feel?” But even funnier was when Julius had a bit of a meltdown because he couldn’t get his birthday cake to stand up. Ofelia explained to me that Julius wanted his cake to stand up so that he could put his fork down through it and get some icing and cake in every bite – but because the icing made the cake top-heavy it was laying on it’s side. As a result he was really distressed and refused to eat it. Ofelia was incredible at acknowledging his distress but not over indulging him. Julius is a bit sensitive and overly chatty while James is the king of the pratfall – purposefully tripping over things and throwing himself down on the ground. They’re both endlessly entertaining.
After three crazy busy days, yesterday we rested. Thank goodness. Our 4th celebration consisted of burgers on the grill and a pitcher of Margaritas. Oh- we finally watched Vera Drake after having it from Netflix for a month. I really loved it and totally recommend it. If you aren't good with heavy English accents I suggest watching it with subtitles. And don't forget to put the kettle on.