My Real Life

July 16, 2012

Day Trip

First of all…the winner of our Caption Contest!  Thanks to the Random Number Generator at, the winner is:


Congrats, Carla!  I’ll put your iTunes card in the mail! 🙂

Now, onto today’s post!

One of the things I had hoped to do with the monkeys, this summer, was to take them on some day trips.

Things we can’t do during the school year.

So, on Friday, my friend, Jean, and I packed up our 6 kids, hopped in my truck, and headed to Philadelphia.

On the agenda?

The Please Touch Museum and Eastern State Penitentiary.

We packed a lunch, and followed the GPS directions to the Museum.

We found a parking lot, paid, ate our lunch in the back of the truck, and then headed out.

We walked around for awhile, following the directions from the parking attendant, but there seemed to be no museum anywhere.

So, we finally started asking people, and we were met with blank stares and confusion.

Finally, someone told us that the museum had moved and was a 15 minute drive away.

Jean and I laughed, turned around, headed back to the truck and rerouted the GPS.

Then we arrived.

None of us had ever been to the Please Touch Museum before, and when I posted on Facebook that we were thinking of going there, it got mixed reviews.

It exceeded expectations.

The kids loved it.

Even Monkey Girl, for whom it was probably a little young.

Here are some highlights, but please know these don’t even begin to cover everything at the museum.

At the Pit Stop, Tiny “drove” a race car.

Until, that is, he saw Baby Monkey playing pit crew, with the magnetic tires and car parts.

Then, he had to get in on the action.

In the Space room, Baby Monkey donned an astronaut outfit and headed into space.

Each themed area had a space for kids who were three and under, and as a result, Tiny got to harvest some potatoes,

Almost fell in a laundry basket,

and hung mittens for the three little kittens.

He sailed away with the Owl and the Pussycat,

and spun straw into gold.

Finally, he watched over while Monkey Girl napped, at the end of the rainbow, to the tune of some nursery rhyme lullabies.

They loved playing on the big piano, and as he was enchanted with the keys lighting up under his feet, Tiny needed to get down for some closer inspection.

At the end of our time there, we took a ride on the carousel.

Aside from the activities, one of my favorite parts of the museum were the displays of older toys.

Two, in particular, caught my attention because I owned both, as a kid, and played with them until they were completely worn out.

I play hard.

The first was the Family Tree House:

I loved that Tree House.  It went side-by-side with my Weeble tree house.

The other was the Smurf village:

Oh, how I loved my Smurfs.

So, when we finished with the museum, we headed to the penitentiary.

We were all starving, so despite the fact we had already had lunch, we decided all that exercise and movement at the museum had earned us “second lunch.”

Because, you know…we’re Hobbits.

Right down the street from the penitentiary is a phenomenal pizza place.  Seriously some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot, because I’m from Jersey.

At the penitentiary, we took the audio tour, which was self-guided, and I definitely suggest people take audio tours.  The kids listened, were quiet, and were fascinated.

Al Capone’s cell was fascinating to all of us.  Crazy that the guards would allow him to have such luxuries when he was such a bad guy.

Not everyone was thrilled with the prison, but it’s understandable, because while he had been allowed to run and play at the museum, he had to stay contained in the stroller at the penitentiary.

It was a great day of adventuring.

The boys all slept on the way home (I have been asked by Monkey in the Middle NOT to share the photo of them sleeping, and so I will not) and Jean and I got to relax and chat while we drove.

Good friends, good food, good entertainment, good day.

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