O and C turn benches into a new playground

We’ve had quite a busy set of weekends since the last post, filled with friends, fun and some travel.

Think of the idea of twin cities, that concept of two cities that agree to partner with one another even if they’re located far apart? Well, that’s the close relationship I liken to the one Calvin has with his birth year buddy O. Both born in the Big Apple, they’re now separated by an entire continent — us in New York and O in San Francisco. This results in any San Fran reference in our household being connected to O — as in the only reason anyone travels to San Francisco is to play with him. So you can imagine the joy that reigned in our home when O came to stay for the weekend.

Tons of fun was had indoors and out, with O doing a great job of modelling good sharing. The only disappointment was when our plan to have the boys share an inflatable bed with Calvin’s tent over the top was deflated by the deflating bed. There must be a leak somewhere, so we had to re-site the two. (Whether we’re actually going to soap it up and repair or… be environmentally unfriendly and dispose of it remains to be seen.)

Down on a wonderful farm

Then we took a long weekend trip to Little Fox Farm in Charlottesville, Virgina, owned by our friends A, D, E & E. It’s a place we’d been wanting to visit for some time, and finally our schedules worked out. When it came to pricing air tickets for Calvin and I, it turned out to cost more than an economy ticket to South Africa. So…. we looked to riding the rails and Amtrak delivered with a $70 ticket for me and $39 for C. The difference was time — a 1:45 flight versus a 6:45 trip. So I decided to take the “fully loaded” option and booked a cabin.

That turned out to be a very smart move — we got to explore our tiny compartment, test out the upstairs bed, use of in-compartment loo and baisin (the latter needs a redesign as some water inevitably sloshes out.) The best part was being able to convert our seats into a lower bed and stretch out to build Legos, read, do mazes and try to catch a nap… hah!

Life on Little Fox Farm was wonderful. Wholesome country living in a huge and charming, rambling home, with loads of space, many animals, farm fresh eggs and a warm and welcoming family. With a dedicated Lego table (we’ve taken notes for that ‘one day’ when we live in more than an urban shoebox!) there was a lot of Legos going down, with thanks to a very sharing and patient G. The boardgame armoire proved alluring, leading to carpet marbles, Mousetrap and an addictive magnet game.

And then there was the great outdoors! Long walks through the countryside picking daffodils and visiting newborn lambs; ‘helping’ the neighbours load their trucks; and imagining the farm truck into a partly pirate  Titanic.

On the good ship Titanic (Photo: ABS)

The fact that this ship sunk somehow didn’t deter Calvin from wanting to replay a, “Aagh me hearties… an iceberg! Yikes!” G dazzled with the details – lawn chairs, cushions, hats and drinks. To which Calvin embroidered by adding croquet mallets and insulation boards…

Great times: great weekends!

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