Sunday, August 15, 2010
Early on Thursday morning I returned from a week of family reunion. It was only partial since four of my nine living children couldn't attend for various reasons. Even so, with nine grandchildren, including one who must be counted as an adult since she is married and attending college, and ten other adults, it made enough of a crowd to require planning. My ex-husband recently purchased a large brick house with eight or nine bedrooms, most with an en-suite bathroom and there are two additional half-baths in various levels. Keeping toilet paper stocked was a minor goal. The cousins had a lot of fun at fairly simple pleasures; sliding down an improvised water slide made of 25 feet of polyethylene sheet, visiting the local pool, running around the vast empty rooms of their grandfather's new house, visiting a puppet show in a local park and playing in the playground that has a climbing tower. The adults mostly visited and watched the children. Early in the week before the younger cousins came I took the older cousins to the Smithsonian where we walked from the Castle to the Air and Space Museum to the American Indian Museum and across the Mall to the East Wing of the National Gallery for a quick tour through the small French paintings exhibit. Then we ate lunch in the Cascade cafe where I introduced them to Gelato before we made a quick tour through the east half of the gallery and down the front stairs and on to the Natural History Museum. After a tour through bones and stones and taxidermy and a stop at the museum shop everyone voted to return to the Castle and end the day. My daughter cruised by and carried us home, replete with visual information to be digested.