Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fish and frogs and ducks

When we learned that we would be moving to Connecticut for 2 years, we knew it would have it's challenges. Living in a new place--in an apartment not a house, far away from family, where we didn't know a single soul. Living in an apartment. Transplanting a toddler, removing him from daycare that he loved, and becoming a full time mom. Living in an apartment. You get the idea. So we decided to look at it as an adventure, and try to see the positive side of things. I know, those of you who know Marty are thinking, "What? Marty tried to see the positive side of things?" Yes, believe it or not, he actually is capable of not being a pessimist, occasionally. [love you honey!]. Anyway, so we decided one way to make it fun was to try to travel around the Northeast, and see as many places as we could while we are here. Well, as many places you can see with a toddler. So one night in the month or so before the move, we sat down at the computer and made up a list of all the places we'd want to see in Connecticut and the surrounding states. It's a really long list, and we may not end up doing all of them, but it is nice to have ideas. Some of them are big, like going to Boston or Maine or DC. Some are small, like visiting a nearby zoo or museum.

We decided to start small. Our first outing was to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. It is a very nice little aquarium not too far from us, and we thought Oliver would like it. His current favorite pastime is naming things, especially animals. Well actually, he points and grunts (his way of asking "what's that?"), and we name them. He does know some animal sounds though, and knows that frogs go "ribbit ribbit." He loved it! He is now obsessed with fish (he makes the "kissing" sound) and frogs. Some pics:

Oliver and Marty checking out the Frog exhibit. While he did want to see them, and kept asking to go back to the tank, he was a little scared, but that's what dad's shoulder is for--Daddy will protect me! The only disappointment was that we didn't get to see the "Penguin Walk" where they do a demonstration with some real penguins. We couldn't get close enough to see, it was so crowded.

The next weekend, we decided to go to Manhattan. We figure we'll be visiting there quite a bit, and we know there's so much to see and do there, so we decided to keep it small and because the weather was so nice, just take the train in for the day to visit Central Park and go to the zoo. But first, we had to go to Carnegie Deli, because Marty wanted to get one of their famous sandwiches. Mine is on the left, a BLT. Sorry for the dark pics, they are from Marty's cell phone. The big brown blob is all bacon. Yeah, even too much for me! Marty got the "Woody Allen," which is pastrami and corned beef.

Very tourist-y of us, I know, but we had to do it. Oliver loved the pickles. On an off chance, we decided to give him a piece of a pickle (they put some on the table as an appetizer!), and he loved it. He also apparently now loves onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, and olives! We've been trying all sorts of things just for fun, and those are all the things he now loves. He's crazy.

Then we went to Central Park and walked around and found a place to sit and play for a while.

Oliver loved picking up sticks, of course. Then we tried to go to the zoo, but it was so crowded and the lines were so long. Oliver was already getting tired, so we decided it just wasn't worth it that day, but that we'd come back another time to see it. So we walked around Central Park again and then headed home. Here's some more pictures on the Promenade.

And then finally, this weekend we went to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, CT. It was a warm day, but the zoo is in a nice park, so it wasn't too bad. It's a small zoo, but a nice place to walk around, and of course, Oliver loved naming all the animals. Especially the ducks. Well, more precisely, the swans and geese and ducks, all of which are to him, ducks, or as he says "guh-kuh," which also means "truck." Confused yet? Hey, he's 1! We somehow did not get many good pictures on this trip, but here's one of Marty and Oliver checking out the ducks, and one of the beautiful peacocks that walk around the grounds.

Some things we've learned in our adventures so far: Keeping it small is good, especially for Oliver. He won't nap in a stroller when there's too much to look at, and after every visit, he's crashed in the car within seconds. So we'll have to figure out how to handle this on our bigger trips. Maybe lots of exploring in the car! We also like visiting different restaurants, especially those we've seen on the Food Channel or the Travel Channel. I'll post about those experiences another time. I'm out of steam, and this is way longer than I thought it would be. But I knew you'd all enjoy the pictures! More to come!!

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