Sunlight filtered lightly through the hotel shears. The girls rustled about quietly, not sure if DW and I were awake yet. Even though we got there around 10:30pm the night before, unpacked and turned out the lights an hour later, we were still rising before 8am. We decided to just get up and enjoy breakfast with the rest of our family in the dining room and start our day.
Family events remind me just how big my family has grown. My father is one of 5 children, all of whom have their own children and some of those children have children. My mother is one of three and of course, her siblings have children as well. Unfortunately we have become more spread out across the country, making it hard to see each other as often. Only a fraction of our family is getting together this weekend for my brother’s wedding. But I am thankful for seeing even this handful of family, creating closer bonds for my children, and hearing about how my cousins are doing as well. In their stories I feel like I will get to take a piece of them home with me anyway.
After breakfast DW and I decided to take the girls and one of my cousins to the aquarium in downtown Boston. It isn’t a very big aquarium, but unique in that it was built like a spiraling tower. You walk along the perimeter of a giant tank filled with over 600 fish reaching from the first floor to the top floor. I am a reader. I like to read all the plaques and fun facts at most of the museums or attractions we visit. So do the girls, which means we managed to fill up two hours in this mid-sized aquarium. Every tank had a list of fish living in that environment, and the girls couldn’t move on until we had found every fish pictured. By the time we left though, there wasn’t much time for anything else before we needed to head back to the hotel. Our stomachs reminded us that lunch was the next attraction.
After a relaxing meal at Cheers, we headed back but was distracted by a beautiful merry-go-round. The colors were still bright and cheerful even though it was clear that there had been years of riders on the backs of these majestic horses. The girls were delighted to take a ride before heading home. The Hare chose a fair-haired beauty decked out in pinks and purples, while The Tortoise sat high on a black mare dressed in glittery golds next to her sister. She was so proud of the fact that she was finally tall enough to finally reach the foot rests, that she kept exclaiming as she circled around and around.
“Look!! Look! I’m so tall now that I can even wrap my legs around the pole at the bottom of my horse.”
We headed back to hotel, needing to make just one more stop along the way. We were headed to a grocery store to buy some chocolate milk boxes for The Hare. About half-way through the parking lot, the Tortoise cried out in a panic.
“My shoes are melting! My shoes are melting!”
DW and I rushed to her in confusion. Both of her ankles and feet were covered in a thick black tar-like substance. I touched her black rubber flip-flop and they did appear to be oozing this mess.
I immediately thought, “She must be right! Her shoes are melting!” and I started to try and remove them immediately. Until level-headed DW stepped in.
“The merry-go-round must have been well-greased where you kept wrapping your legs around the pole!”
Ah – yes, the pole. This was definitely grease. I took her into the bathroom at the grocery store and attempted to clean up the mess. It was with great difficulty that The Tortoise leaned on me while I put a leg into the sink. Of course that was pointless – grease is water-repellent and I only managed to cover the sink in the same black goo. We were going to need a de-greaser and a shower.
Once we got back to the hotel and surveyed the damages, we also realized that it was on the backs of her legs too. She had been sitting Indian Style in the car, which meant it was now on the seats of the car. It took some time, but after a few coats of de-greaser, and a good shower she could sit on the furniture again. I can only imagine what it must be like to clean off a poor penguin or duck that has been swallowed up by a similar substance.
Thankfully DW waited until everything was clean before laughing at us. I couldn’t help but notice, though, that The Tortoise had stayed pretty even-tempered. Normally she panics and cries in situations like this – not sure where she gets that from…wink, wink.
“I must say,Tortoise, I am very impressed that you remained calm. Especially after you realized you had gotten it on the car.”
She smiled sheepishly.
“Well…I figured that since you had already made the first mess melting chocolate on the seat belt, that I was kinda off the hook.”