Monday, June 15, 2009

All Good Things Must Come to an Abrupt End

After two weeks of having Nicole around morning, noon and night and two weeks of jet-setting between such vacation hot spots and Florida, Sesame Place and Long Island, I have returned to my solo, homebound status. Nicole’s work vacation has come to an end, and it will certainly be a rude awakening for the girls, and for me. I feel sorry for me now.

Let’s talk Sesame, or, as we call it here, Abby’s House or Elmo’s House or Big Bird’s House. It is a small and very manageable park for kids. Not overwhelming at all. After one quick walk-thru I had the layout down pat. Happy Sesame music is piped through loudspeakers. Everything is painted in bright primary colors. People are running around in bathing suits, even when it is misting out, as it was for almost our entire trip. Happyland indeed.

Our first day there we brought the girls over to a giant bounce castle and waited on line for twenty minutes only to find out the neither Madeline nor Avery would step foot onto this giant yellow marshmallow when it was their turn. They screamed like we were throwing them to the lions. And since adults are not allowed on (I was pretty sure if I showed them what to do, they would love it) we were out of luck. We then walked over to a couple rides and found out the rides weren’t “open” yet. The park isn’t run with the sort of efficiency that I would have liked to see. We were there at ten each morning, when it opened, but I was surprised to find out that many of the rides didn’t open for another hour or so. I asked one employee when one particular ride would open and she said “Around 11 or 11:30,” with a shoulder shrug, which indicated that even that estimate may be wrong. Are the employees aware that the park opens at ten??

So we ended up at a mini playground and I couldn’t help thinking we spent all this money so the girls could run around a playground in a new Sesame location. And a wet playground at that: Everything was slightly damp and puddle-y because it has been raining for at least forty days now, with no end in sight. We then ventured into one of the stores, filled with everything Sesame. We left with a handful of plush toys and books. It was hard dragging the girls out of there. Even I was seduced by the commercialism of it all.

The Merry-Go-Round saved half the day, emphasis on half: Madeline loved it, and perched on her horse with the posture of a seasoned rider. Avery, on the other hand, was scared out of her mind on the horse, and wrapped her arms around Nicole’s neck for the entire ride and screamed. The characters come out around noon, and immediately are surrounded by excited adults who were thrusting their terrified kids into The Count’s arms for a photo op. Madeline loved the giant fuzzy things but Avery was reluctant to look at them, touch them or accept hugs from them. Are you seeing a pattern here? What one loved, the other didn’t. Just as I expected. They both agreed on the shows: They loved the Big Bird show and the Elmo show, and even though I scoped out the exit in case we had to make a fast break if the girls lost their minds, we didn’t need to leave during the shows.

In a year, I think, this will be Nirvana for them. While there are lots of great things there for two-year-olds, they lack the wow factor of what they will be able to do in a year. Sure, there is a Merry-Go-round, but there is one in Central park. And there are slides and playgrounds, but we go to those every other day or so. And giant fuzzy characters: We have those in the city too. But next year, we can do the water attractions (we could have done wading pools and sprinklers, but we resisted) and the above ground obstacle courses and I think by then the girls will love doing all the nauseating rides that go in circles.

One of my favorite parts: The soft pretzels are in the shape of Elmo! Score! We avoided the rest of the food, though, mainly because I am so very picky, and ate instead outside of the park. Also, we skipped the character meals because I didn’t want to spend all that money for bad food and maybe terrified kids. (I think it was about $20 per adult and $18 per child for a buffet.) Next year, if the girls ask for it, then we can do it.

We also did Adult Things and went to New Hope and Doylestown, which was amazingly charming, and drove trough Pipersville to try to find Dorothy Parker’s old farm. We couldn’t find it, but I took a picture of the local library, saitsifed that Dorothy must have been to it at some point during her years there. All this in three days. We even checked out of the hotel a day early (we decided to leave on Friday, instead of spending the night and leaving Saturday) and headed back to the city.

And now it is Monday morning and this week is all about routine and nap schedules and getting back into the real world.


Denise said...

Don't you hate that? I always cry when I have to come home from a vacation. It's like the day after Christmas. Not to mention all the shit that you have to unpack and put away!

K J and the kids said...

I LOOOVE that feeling. Shared mommy time. Not only do you have adult interactino ALL day but another set of hands to help. aaaaaahhh.
Your trip sounds wonderful. Glad you got to go. Sorry it had to come to an abrupt end.

ms.bri said...

That whole twin thing does complicate matters like this, what with the one loving/one hating thing. Sorry it wasn't as Nirvana-ish as advertised by Sir Beckett.