The weather was beautiful and sunny for the most part, except when it wasn't. Saturday started nice so we visited the annual Tribeca Film Festival Family Fair. It's a fun street fair that we went to last year that focuses on film making. The kids got to do some fun activities and we enjoyed wandering around Tribeca with the streets closed to traffic.
Then it started to rain. So we headed home and spent a fun afternoon warm and dry inside, playing Uno and my family favorite, Qwirkle, and continuing with the Cosmos series.
With my cough a little abated on Sunday morning and the sun back out, we wandered down to the Farmers Market in front of the American Museum of Natural History. It's as though an invisible force of nature pulls us inside whenever we're within a half block of the museum because of course we couldn't be that close and not peek inside. But what amazes me is that after dozens of visits we still manage to find new rooms that we haven't seen yet.
This time we made sure to find the Costa Rica section in the Latin America hall. This would be a good time to tell you of our summer plans. The kids will be going to a Spanish language summer camp in Costa Rica for three weeks! The kids and I will fly down first and then Kevin will join us for the last 12 days. We are all beyond excited. The camp has a couple hours in the morning of classroom Spanish time, and then the rest of each day is filled with various fun activities such as surf lessons, soccer matches with local kids, visiting a local school, field trips to the rainforest. I'm told that the camp counselors and teachers all only speak Spanish with the kids, so I'm hoping this will really bring their Spanish to a new level.
While at the museum we also tagged along with one of their hourly free tours, which is always fun. They are called Highlights Tours and each docent gets to decide where they want to go and what they want to talk about, so it's different every time.
On this week's tour we learned about the tragic great bison slaughter of the 1800s. You can (and should) read more about it but basically the railroad companies wanted to lay their railroads through the west which until then had been left alone by the white man. The Native Americans who inhabited that land were in their way so someone had the brilliant idea that if they could get rid of all the bison (upon which the Natives depended for just about everything - meat, hides for clothing and tipis, horns and bones for tools) that that would solve their "Indian problem". So shockingly, the US government encouraged the slaughter of American Bison. There were contests to see who could kill the most and even special train rides where passengers could just lean out of the window with a rifle and kill as many bison as they could. The American Bison population went from the hundreds of millions to about 800 in just 15 years! I don't know the numbers of Native Americans that died as a result of the bison slaughter, but it must have been devastating. This is tantamount to the Holocaust as far as I'm concerned and can't believe I hadn't heard of this before.
Again, we spent a leisurely afternoon at home, me drinking large amounts of tea to try to get my voice back, and the kids doing homework and practicing piano with Kevin.
Here's a duet Kevin and Ella have been working on.
The Big Test is upon us again this week. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be the math portion of the dreaded state tests for Ella. She's been struggling a little with fractions (specifically, putting a bunch of them in order), so we played with Legos for a while.
It seemed to help.
I also forgot to post photos of our impromptu visit to Kevin's office last week. I realized while out on Ellis Island that I had forgotten our apartment keys and we had our piano teacher coming over before Kevin was to get home. So that meant a trip to midtown to see Kevin's office and get his set of keys.
Frankly, I don't know why Kevin ever comes home. His offices are absolutely gorgeous. His company just moved into new digs a couple months ago that were designed by a famous architecture firm. There is a beautiful fully stocked kitchen (the kids found the drawer filled with gummy bears) and a large screen TV with the most comfortable couch. From his desk you can look right out onto the Chrysler Building next door.
As Holden said on our way home, "He's so lucky to work there!"
And finally, I just wanted to share two quick things with you.
First, this brain fart I had this week when I was about to pour out a half pot of leftover coffee: coffee ice cubes.
I've been tossing them in the blender with milk for latte smoothies. I add some ground flax seed for some extra Omega-3s and occasionally a banana for some potassium and extra flavor. Delish.
And this was my walk home this morning from school drop-off.
Today is a beautiful spring day although the forecast for the rest of the week is rain. But with 70 degree temps... Not sure if I'll ever get used to the weather here.