I just said goodbye to Sis and Lorenz. David was kind enough to use his miles to purchase tickets for Sis and Lorenz for a little winter visit. Looking back on it, it's hard to believe that it was just over two days. I'm surprised Lorenz' head didn't burst after all the activities we threw his way.
They arrived on a Saturday night. Lorenz crashed in the cab ride form the airport and stayed comatose while we caught up with Sis. The next morning, after breakfast, David and I took him to Union Square to play in the park. We gave him the first of his birthday presents: a Fujifilm Instax 210. We told him that it only worked outdoors to help motivate him to leave the house and also to keep it a novelty. There's really just one thing to do: press a button and take a picture. He kept wanting to take pictures of the ground. He got the hang of it and took some really great photos. Of the photos below, there are only two he didn't take.
The rest of that day was largely dedicated to making homemade donuts. Sis had invited some friends over to help eat everything. I was a bit overwhelmed at first, but soon got myself in the rhythm of cranking out donuts: vanilla glazed, cinnamon donut holes, and maple bars. I wish I could make donuts more often, but they just don't fit into a healthy diet.
That afternoon, Lorenz and I spent some quality time playing Lego Star Wars on my PS3. I don't really understand what it means to be 4 years old. He had a hard time understanding the controls and often got too carried away to even work the controls. I tried to keep the video games to a minimum, because it overloaded his system.
For dinner that night, we made use of a present that David got for his birthday: a very nice fondue set. I had gone to Artisanal earlier in the week and got a variety of Swiss cheeses. It was my first time making a fondue, but it's not that hard - especially with really great ingredients. Surprisingly, Lorenz was not into the fondue, which was fine since the adults were all having a great time.
The next day was a big day. We took Lorenz to Hayden Planetarium. I was blown away. The show was fantastic. I forget that I live in NYC sometimes, and that living in NYC means you get the very best. The show, with a voice-over by Whoopi Goldberg, was light years beyond the planetarium shows I had seen as a kid. And I think it's one of those shows that you appreciate more the older you get.
After the planetarium, we wandered through the Museum of Natural History. Lorenz went cuh-razy looking at all the dinosaur bones. And there were so many more exhibits than I remembered. I would have enjoyed staying and looking at some of the more boring exhibits, but we were constantly flirting with (or managing) meltdowns, so short-circuited trip and took him to the whale room. He was in total heaven in the whale room. I think just the calming dark blue light helped significantly.
As we approached the whale room, and he was looking at the hundreds of animals on the walls and ceiling, you could almost see his brain short-circuiting. As an adult, I know when I'm hitting overload time. I know when it's all getting to be too much and I need to sit and let everything sink in. A child doesn't know how to do that though. I don't know how they compensate. Do they start ejecting information that they can't process?
We got one last look at dinosaur bones and then got back on the subway to head downtown. He was having a hard time not being really cranky, and I was tempted to go straight home, but instead we took him to Max Brenner. It was a madhouse, but he was instantly transfixed by all the chocolate. Everyone got something to take out and we walked home.
Most of us crashed except for Sis and Lorenz (I don't know why Sis hasn't instituted nap-time, but oh well). Dinner was relatively simple.
This morning was pretty low-key. I think Lorenz was starting to break down from being away from home. He was pretty cranky in the morning. I gave him his final present, an iPod Nano loaded with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons. He loved it and didn't want to put it away when it was time to go. However, I think he knew that the weekend had been too much. He wanted to go home.
Here are some of the better Instax photos.