Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 6: outside, FINALLY!

Finally. It was warm today and felt like spring! After breakfast I took the kids to Bladensburg Waterfront Park. We'd been there a few years ago on a bike ride with some friends, but the kids didn't really remember it. Again, the playground wasn't terrific but it was different and there were enough other things to do while we were there.

We played on the playground first. There were some older kids monopolizing the bigger structure - sitting on the top while they fooled around with their iPhone cameras, oblivious that smaller children wanted to play - so we only stayed a few minutes.

We watched a big train go by with hoppers full of coal.

Then we went for a walk. We crossed the bridge and walked along the bike trail for a while. Luke wanted to run down the hill and play in the grass so of course I had to let Caroline out of the stroller and go down too. It was kind of gross - full of goose poo - so we only stayed down there for a few minutes. The trail is up there on the top (see the stroller?) and the river is behind where I was standing while taking the picture. When I walk along this trail I always like to imagine I'm in the Netherlands walking along a dike.

Here's a little 30-second video. Not very exciting but it lets you see how well Caroline gets around. Someone commented to me while we there that she walks very well. I never really think about it since she's been walking for nearly 8 months already! I guess since she's so small people are surprised to see how coordinated she is.


There is an old caboose at this park since Hyattsville used to be a stop along the B&O railroad. I didn't get to read the whole sign in front of it since Caroline is so fast and started climbing the steps to go up, but we went inside and looked around.

It was pretty neat. Luke climbed up to look out the top windows. You could see where the trainmen would have slept - there were places for 4 little beds, complete with hinges where I imagine they could have kept their things (they didn't open up - we tried).

There was a little table where we sat and ate our granola bars.

As we sat and ate, wouldn't you know? A train went by right outside! So here's a picture of Caroline watching a train while she's in a caboose! Neat, huh?

We walked back to the playground then. Luke and Erin couldn't resist going up by the cannon at the Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center. I didn't have time to read the sign, but apparently Bladensburg was the site of an American defeat in the War of 1812 which allowed the British to capture and burn public buildings in DC. Don't we live in a neat area? Historic railroads and battlegrounds at the same park!

We also got to see the park police ride their horses over the bridge as we walked back to the playground. Erin was thrilled. Not a terrific picture but they're almost to the end of the bridge.

When we got home, Alec was in the front yard trying to rake up all the Sweet Gum sticky balls that make our grass look brown (or brown"er" than usual). I gave Caroline some lunch and put her to bed but the big kids wanted to stay outside. I baked some special bread for breakfast tomorrow - it smells so good I want some right now.

We ended up going to the playground down the street when Caroline woke up from her nap. It was so nice and Luke was so excited to be able to ride his bike again. The playground was pretty crowded but we saw some friends we hadn't seen for a while - everybody comes out again when the sun shines.

After chicken curry for supper, which everyone ate lots of (well, everyone except Erin but what else is new?) we watched Rise of the Guardians for movie night. Pretty good movie, just a little heavy on the whole "believe" mantra that revolves around Santa and the Easter Bunny. I'm glad my kids know the truth, which is what really makes this whole week special.

Tomorrow: Easter!

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