Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberries and Stairs


We ventured downtown today for one sweet reason: the Strawberry Festival. Every year our family makes the pilgrimage downtown knowing our journey ends with a spoon in one hand and a whopping portion of decadent strawberry shortcake in another.

After camp today, the boys and I hit the downtown streets. Once upon a time, the hum of the city was background music to me as I worked and lived among the hustle and bustle. Urban living was divine; I only needed to place a foot out my door to experience it all. Life was so much easier then!

Taking four boys downtown is a wee bit more challenging, but we arrived at the festival with empty bellies and great anticipation. After a spell in line, the boys and I clutched two orders of the "works." The "works" includes: syrupy strawberries, home cooked flakey shortbread biscuits, creamy vanilla ice cream topped off with a mound of fluffy whip cream. We had barely sat down when I noticed one of the orders had been consumed. Gripping their spoons, the boys barreled through the treats with gooey streaks of white and red streaming down their faces. They were in heaven and the "works" soon transformed into a sweet memory.

After scarfing down their treats, the boys begged to ascend the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument. Reflecting on how little we travel downtown, I agreed to the adventure (and an adventure it was!). We took the elevator up the monument to reach the structure's apex. At the top, Connor kept saying, "I love going up the Eiffel tower." I corrected him a few times and then made a mental note to provide him with a geography tutorial in the future!

The line for the descending elevator was outrageously long, so the boys decided they wanted to take the stairs. Wow, that was a workout! I ended up holding 27 pound Collin as I journeyed down 331 steps. The other boys were great sports about it and seemed to thrive on the activity. Cooper found the darkened stairwell a wee bit spooky and kept saying, "I don't like the Indiana bat cave!"

We made it to street level and eventually our car with full bellies and sore muscles. The day holds fond memories of sweets, stairs, strawberries and smiles.

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