Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Nealons Take on Georgetown

This past Sunday we had no where to go until 5:30 for basketball. We don't get too many weekend days like that. On Saturday we had a morning basketball game in Maryland, horseback riding, and then three football games. But today was wide open. I was hoping to go apple picking or pumpkin picking, some kind of fall activity, but it was cold and gray and damp and dreary. The kids really wanted to go see Chris' new office. He has been at his new job for two weeks. He didn't move far, just across the river from Arlington to Georgetown. The kids pleaded and Chris looked at me, "Are we really going to my office?" I said, "Why not?" It wasn't nice enough to go apple picking but it wasn't the rainy day that I thought they had predicted. So we headed out.

This is Chris' view. I love the new update for the iphone with the panaroma option. 

They are in the process of converting the fountain into an ice skating rink.

That's Timmy leaning over the balcony.

Ryan checking out Chris' desk.

After we saw Chris' office, we went downstairs to explore. First, the park right outside his office building. Chris said it used to be wasted space, an old unused parking lot or something like that. But now, it's a beautiful space with fountains, and grass, and flowers right along the river.

The building right above Ryan's head is where Chris used to work.

Fountain, Nealons, Fountain, Nealons...No, it's 59 degrees, it's damp and cold and...


And there he goes...

And there goes the next one.

Molly just took it in from the edges.

The boys throwing a ball they got from Chris' office.

After, admiring the view of the river, running through the fountain, exploring the park, and just spending time together because we weren't on a time schedule, Chris looked at me and said, "I never thought this little park could be so much fun!" At his old job, at the end of the day, Chris would go for a run. He would cross the river and sometimes run down through the park. But when you are running, you listen to your music, you are thinking about your pace, and don't always see what's right in front of you.

After the park, we headed towards Georgetown. I haven't been there in years. For Chris and I, it turned into a "remember when..." game.  Chris and I, long ago, before kids, would go into Georgetown, especially when we had New York friends come down to visit. It really is a great place to walk around, shop, and get a bit to eat. It has a certain energy that you don't get out in the suburbs.

"Mom, what is this? Is this a mailbox?"

"Yes, it's a mailbox."

"Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a real one before. I mean, I've seen them in the movies, but not in real life. So how does it work?"

"Well, when you have to mail something, you make sure you have a stamp on your envelope and then you put it in the mailbox. Then, once or twice a day, the mailman will come and take all the mail to deliver it."

"Wow, that's a great idea," he said with complete sincerity.

Really, is this the conversation I'm having with my 7th grader? But then after I thought about it, whenever I need to mail something, I tell one of the kids to put it in the mailbox at the end of the driveway. My mom always asked me to walk to the corner and put it in the box.

But look at this handsome boy! Absolutely love him.

At this point, the kids were hungry and they wanted to go to Johnny Rockets. It was crowded but there were six stools right at the counter.

We had such a great time just having silly, goofy fun. Chris said to me, "It feels like we're on vacation."

So after lunch, which was almost dinner because it was so late, we walked around a little bit more. The girls and guys split up. The boys ended up in a hat store and they both got a new hats. Molly, Shannon, and I ended up in Antropologies. There was a book section and Molly wanted to go look. I told her that I didn't think they had any kid books but of course she comes running back to me with book in hand and it is the book that she is reading now. Unfortunately, I think someone lost this book because it was a library book.

Eventually we met up with the guys and we started to head back to the parking garage and then we saw Teddy from the Washington Nationals.

Teddy was giving Timmy the stop signal since he was wearing his new Red Sox hat.

Teddy wouldn't even let Ryan keep his Yankee cap on, which historically speaking, Teddy is a New Yorker and we visited his house just a few years ago on one of our summer trips to my mom's house. Maybe Teddy forgot. 

But in the end, he let us take a picture with him. The Nats guy that was with Teddy couldn't believe that two brothers would root for such rival teams. Yes, it can get heated but it makes life more interesting.

So even though I am a planner by nature, and I believe that most of the time it's good to have a plan, sometimes it is the unplanned, the unexpected, and the little surprises that make for the best days. And have I mentioned how much I love these four kids? Because they wanted to see their Dad's office, because of their silliness, their fun loving spirit, and a genuine love of being with one another (well most of the time), we had a great unexpected family day.

Oh, and we never did make it back in time for that 5:30 basketball practice. Sometimes you have to throw the plan away.

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