Today the children and I explored a little neighborhood of Washington, DC called Palisades. It is North of Georgetown and South of our city of Bethesda, Maryland. It's a really cute place, with little shops and cafes and restaurants and a curious mixture of personalities.
Having a general sense of where we might find food and the location of the Palisades playground, I parked the car and put Arlo and Elsa in the double stroller and we set off. I was hoping to pick up sandwiches we could take with us to the park, but instead we stumbled upon a little Italian restaurant with a great front table calling our names. The front table was drenched in sunlight and had views of the major road running through Palisades (MacArthur Blvd) as well as the homes across the street. We muched on warm bread with olive oil and yummy sandwiches, and then set off for the park.
There's a quaintness to the neighbohood. There are some homes belonging to people who are obviously well-to-do and there are some rental houses you just know belong to 20-somethings (couches on the front porch being one tell-tale sign). I've not seen so many houses with kayaks leaned up against fences since I've lived in Durango, Colorado, a small town with many, many boaters. It makes sense, because of Palisades' close proximity to water perfect for kayaking.
I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the park and grateful for its shade, as I had forgotten to pack a bonnet for Elsa (9 months). One thing that bothered me about the park was its maze of tree forts that prevented me from seeing my 2.5 year old as he climbed up and down and over bridges and ran through tunnels and slid down slides. Normally I don't have to have my eyes on him all the time, but there was a child of about 7 who was there causing problems (pushing smaller kids, etc) and I wanted to make sure this kid didn't do anything to Arlo.
We rotate through about 6 different parks, and each one has its own personality. Some parks you will find mostly nannies, some will be filled with moms and dads. The nannies are all the same but the parents are different depending on where the park is located. This park was about evenly split between parents and nannies. The two most tuned out caregivers - one mom and one nanny - were in charge of the two worst kids at this park. Both children needed their caregiver to put away the cell phone and teach them how to behave.
We stayed a little later than we should have, but nobody had any meltdowns. The kids snacked on Goldfish and water as I wheeled them back to the car, winding through more streets.
Next week school starts for Arlo, so our morning outings as a threesome will be confined to Fridays. I am actually looking forward to creating a ritual - Adventure Fridays. We'll pick a new spot each Friday. With a diaper bag filled with emergency supplies (snacks, drinks, cell phone, diapers, wipes, wallet) we'll set sail for a new land. I can hardly wait.