For the first time in god knows how long, we actually organized ourselves for a day of family fun. We usually spend our Saturdays asking each what we want to do until it's too late to do any of it, but this time an infusion of sunlight helped motivate us to get off our lazy behinds and get out of the house. Our mission? The Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 'cause that's where plants grow. Besides, it's not like it would be crowded like the parks, right?
Fast forward 20 minutes, and I'm aiming our stroller at the Achilles tendon of the woman who won't step out of the subway door we need to get through. Inexplicably for a Saturday, the train we're on is packed tighter than steerage on the Titanic, and this one is actually heading away from Manhattan. At each successive stop more and more people cram on, until I'm practically doing a blowfish against the window (which is about as safe as open-mouth kissing a Cambodian chicken). I'm trying to recall Panzer invasion tactics which could be used to get the stroller out of the train (too bad the Bugaboo doesn't come with a grenade-launcher as a standard feature) when we reach our stop. Shockingly, our stop is apparently where EVERYONE ELSE wants to go, too, so we spend ten minutes calling to each other over the heads of strangers until we can maneuver up the stairs (insert your own Crocodile Dundee joke here).
As we walked into the sunlight, we realized that this mass of humanity was forming a ginormous line that snaked around the block leading to...what else?...the botanical gardens. Unbeknowst to us, it was the cherry blossom festival, which is apparently a very very very big deal in certain well-represented cultures here in New York. Our rare and admirable efforts were rewarded with huge lines of people that weren't moving! We hung our heads and grudgingly walked the 17 miles to the end of the line, assuming we'd get in around sunset....
....until a volunteer walked up the line saying "members and people with corporate ID's can go to the front of the line." Of course, I no longer work for a corporation, but let's just say that I might possibly keep my old unconfiscated ID in my wallet just in case I want to
steal printers and copy machines use it for discounts or access to local attractions (my former company is very generous to museums). Sure enough, she waves us forward and we pass by all the people who had been waiting over an hour for entrance. Membership has it's privileges.
Despite the crowds, it turned out to be a really nice day. All the trees were in full bloom, they had a huge tent with taiko drumming and other entertainment (although we missed the big event), and the weather was spectacular. I'd love to show you all the amazing pictures we took of Cheeky playing in the grass underneath the lilacs, but we had a problem with the camera. We ended up walking home because
we couldn't find a cab the weather was so nice, and were pretty proud of ourselves both for not pissing the day away and for actually doing something culturally and aesthetically enjoyable.
All in all, a grand day out. We may even try this whole "leave the house before noon" thing again some time.