Twenty-two years ago today, my maternal grandfather took me on a road trip. Within a few weeks he was dead, and on the anniversary of the trip I celebrate the spirit of the day by spending the day with a loved one.
Today, the whole family made the trip.
Our first stop was the cemetary, where we introduced Parker to his great-Grandpa and placed wildflowers (grown and cut by the Mrs.) on the grave. Yes, I know, kinda odd to be smiling at a gravesite, and I look like awful to boot, but there ya go . .
We then headed over to Betty Brinn's Children's Museum on the lakefront. YaYa stated a preference for the Art Musuem down the road, but the words "I already have an annual family pass and I'm broke" decided the day. We listened to a story, hunted for seashells, did an art project, watched a Curious George movie, and camped out in the hands-on exhibit area for a bit.
Then it was on to the local firefighter's museum - which was closed for the day.
This follows a long string of failures - YaYa's stated desire to be a "firefighter, and a doctor and maybe a mommy" had elicited a promise from me to see a firehouse over the summer. Unfortuantely, we've been foiled at every turn. After the latest letdown I made a stop at a firehouse that had its garage door open. My only idea was to get within sight of the fire engines, but one of the firefighters came out and agreed to a tour. Success!
YaYa was taken aboard the firetruck, given a chance to 'drive' the rig and try on a mask, and was taken through an ambulance and given a tour of the firehouse itself. She was awed and strangely quiet - until she got back in the car!
From there we ran errands to the mall and post office, then picked up fast food and had a picnic in the shadow of Miller Park, where a little league game was being played on the field where County Stadium once stood. The kids played on the neigboring playset for a bit, and then it was on to home.
Not a bad way to spend any day, but truly a great way to spend Grandpa's Day.