As you may recall, when JDubbs abandoned me and went to Chicago for five days for work, I took my kids into Boston for the first time on a trip to the Children's Museum. Jax was amazed by the traffic, lights, sounds, smells, tunnels, bridges, construction, pigeons, you name it of "the big city," as he called it. Now whenever we read a book that has a tunnel or large buildings he says, "Like in the big city!" with excitement. This past weekend I had an errand to run in Vermont's capital city, Montpelier, so we took a family trip up north for a change of scene.
Now, I guess we could call Montpelier a "city." It is the capital of our great state and it does have a Capitol Building with a golden dome on top. So, yeah, I guess that qualifies it as a city. You would imagine that a family of four could pass a morning in a city fairly easily. Apparently, you have never been to Montpelier.
Jax was thrilled to go to another "big city," and talked all about it while we drove close to an hour thanks to the slight snow storm that was brewing. You non-Vermonters may have cancelled your plans to head to the big city due to weather, but we just piled in the mini-van and headed north. We arrived and parked in the world's friendliest parking garage:
I loved being called folks. And we didn't have to pay, on a Saturday. What a friendly city.
Then we set off to the Zutano Company Store (the company who sells my favorite baby bear hats that my kids rock all winter) to make a return. But before we got there, Jax had to take in all that Montpelier had to offer.
Actual traffic, streets with real crosswalks! We had to wait until the WALK signal changed, and that was sure a hard concept to get across to a two-year-old. But the icing on the cake, the most exciting part of our journey to the big city was this:
a sidewalk snow plow!!
Jax couldn't believe his eyes! It actually waited for the WALK signal at the same time as us, so Jax could gawk at it from across the street to his heart's content. The sad part, though, was that he gawked a little too long and with a bit too much gusto, with his neck completely craned around as we passed by it mid-street, because he lost his balance and fell right into the Montpelier muck, soaking it right into his sweatpants. YUCK.
And no, there is no picture because we were in the middle of the road, people!! Do you think I would pause mid-street to take a picture of my son's humiliation? Well, maybe at home, but this was the big city! Too many witnesses.
Anyway, we headed into the nearby cafe and they were so absolutely nice about cleaning Jax off and getting him a paper towel and being so friendly that of course we returned there for lunch as a thank you. It was definitely a Vermont moment--go into a diner in any other state and the jaded, angry waitress would have just flicked a cheap napkin at us and scooted us back out the door. Here they really thought a muddy little guy in a baby bear hat was just the saddest thing they had ever seen and everyone did their best to make him feel better. Chalk one up for Montpelier.
After my errand, we set out to spend an hour or so wandering the city streets, ducking out of the snow, and visiting boutiques and book stores. Hmmm...more like ten minutes and most of that was spent having a big city photoshoot and waiting for the WALK signal again. Oh, yes, the same intersection, over and over, because Montpelier apparently only has two major thoroughfares, and we covered those in about four minutes flat.
But we got some great pictures!
Well, we bought the kids a new toy each as a way to remember the vibrant big city, returned to the world's nicest cafe for lunch, where Em had everyone wrapped around her finger...
...seriously, my kids could have owned that place by the time we left.
And then we headed back to the car, a mere hour and a half after we arrived (yes, we did spend more time in the car than we spent in the big city, thank you for pointing that out). But honestly, it was a great way to pass a winter's day. As mediocre a city as JDubbs and I may consider it, having been to New York and London and Chicago and Athens, Jax couldn't get enough of it. I guess compared to a town with no sidewalks and 500 full-time residents, Montpelier does seem like a swinging metropolis.
And any excuse to photograph my three favorite people is fine by me.
Hey, Mom! Are you coming or what?
Great memories in such a big city! I'm glad we made the time to visit.
(Featured: Zutano Primary Solid Hat, Pool, 0-6 Months)