26 July 2010

Summer in the City, Pt. 1

This past weekend, Pops and I planned to have a date night. But, as things worked out, we scrapped the baby-sitter plan and decided to make a family event of it.

Naturally, date nights are needed and wonderful. We will try again soon. However, a family day full of purposeful adventure was more delight than we bargained for. Into the city we went and spent the day behaving like tourists. Herewith, part one of our excursion:

First up? Rent a gigantic surrey down at the waterfront. Here you see everyone in excited anticipation ... and Lucette trying not to smile. (Why do kids do that?)

Surreys are fantastical entertainment in the same way I view ferris wheels: old-fashioned fun that is calm and sweet as an observer, but a down-right adrenaline ride once you hop on and really get moving. (I swear I once those ferris wheel carts get a-swingin' way up high, I feel like immanent doom is upon me. Scariest ride at the fair, if you ask me.) Anyhow, besides nearly running over myriad pedestrians, peddling maniacally on the streets ... then sidewalks ... then streets of downtown, and praying that no one toppled out or sliced their feet on the razor sharp pedals ... it was completely safe and lots of fun.

Lucette wrestled with sheer invigorated enthusiasm of the experience and then down-right terror.

Below, you see her frumping as we had just pedaled over one of the city's many bridges to the east side. These are not little bridges, as they span a river that hosts actual ships and barges. She was a little shook up over the experience, and I can't say I blame her. I have a freak-out thing about bridges and I fear she may have acquired my neurosis in this area. Here you see me happy and assured that all is fine. After all, we made it over the bridge and isn't the day is beautiful! However ...

... if you had a picture of us 30 minutes later, you'd see me in a near fit of hysteria. You see, we had to get back to the west side and cross yet another bridge. This one more scary than the first, as you could see through it, down, down, down into the river below. And wouldn't you know, halfway across, alarms started sounding. A colossal barge was coming through and the bridge had to accommodate. An unusual draw bridge, this one has a middle section that separates from the whole and rises vertically.

Being stuck on an active drawbridge terrifies me in a car. But on a giant open car-bike, with small children, and sandwiched between cars and a woven metal railing with a watery grave on the other side? Oh mercy, I was fit to be tied. If the kids hadn't been with us (forcing me to hold it together and quiver and cry silently--pathetic, I know), I think I would have lost it entirely.

But then, Jesus listened to my fervent prayers about death by bridges and surreys and brought us safely to the other side. Phew.

As soon as I had pulled myself together and thumbed my nose at death and it's futile attempt upon our lives ... the happy day could resume once more. Naturally, riding the surrey through the fountain was top on Pops' list. And I mean through the fountain. The family kicked me out after the first run because I kept screaming and laughing and drawing entirely too much attention.

And round and round they went, happy to be drizzled and splashed and just to be together. Pops always knows how to turn on the fun.

Summer day with the family, part one? Adventure found, smiles bright. A much more tame part two to come ...


  1. Family adventures are the best. And I'm sorry, you poor honey, but your bridge fear totally had me laughing.

  2. I love surreys!!!! Beautiful pictures of your girls and your sunglasses are rocking...looks like a great time!

  3. This is what precious family memories are made of... I'm glad you didn't die in the process, Anna. Ya'll are too much fun!

  4. Looks like you had great (if not slightly terrifying!) fun. I can understand about the bridge thing. In Michigan we have the Mackinac Bridge, which links our two peninsulas. Every Labor Day they close traffic on half the bridge, and anyone who wants to can walk the entire length of it - all five miles! My family did the walk when I was in high school. As long as you were looking up and out the views were great. When it came time to walk over the grating in the middle, however, I was less than excited. Add to that a slight sway to the bridge, and you have a recipe for dizziness. I made it, but I don't know that I ever want to do it again!

  5. Sounds like quite the adventure!! I have a very interesting picture in my head of you on the bridge!! I think Pops is funny... I love the played in the fountain, I would have done the same thing!

  6. That, hands down, is my favorite blog post to date!!! I am laughing and smiling right now!!!!