Friday, August 14, 2009

Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, August 3, 2009

After our excitement at the track, we picked up KFC, then headed to Congress Park to enjoy the vibrant green that is the payoff for a cool and rainy summer. The main road through the park was blocked off at the Canfield Casino, so Jim and Jeremiah went to park the car in the public lot while Annalise and I set off to explore.

She spent a few happy minutes with the resident ducks, then asked me to take her to the World War Memorial, which is in the middle of the pond. She didn't know (or really care) what it was, but she loved the structure of the building, its fountain, and the walkway that led to it all! =)

Jim and Jeremiah returned while we were exploring, and, while Jim stayed with the food as a squirrel-deterrent, Miah, who was finally waking up, came and joined us.

I caught the end point of Jeremiah's big leap down the stairs. It would've been cooler to catch him midflight, but there will certainly be other big leaps to capture.

A sharp eyed, very observant Miah noticed what I thought was a bluebird house on a post. He informed me he'd seen an article about it on the news and knew what it really was, and it wasn't just a birdfeeder - it hid a security camera underneath!

When I looked more closely, it was clear that he was right. It brought to mind one magical, forbidden night with a boy from Dublin, and the realization that many other close encounters won't be going as unnoticed as ours was...can't help but feel as though something of Saratoga's magic, or the park's anyway, was lost when those cameras went up...

Hangin' out on the grass...
Jim and Lise scopin' out the bucket...the drive-through forgot the grilled chicken, and the honey and butter for the biscuits. That was a little disappointing, but we managed to make do! =)

Jeremiah refuels with some water, then perks up and shows us what a beautiful boy he truly is.....oh, that smile!

And here is the one and only Man In My Life...smiling that little-boy grin that just flat-out melts my heart...I love you, Johnnie!

Jeremiah snapped a rare picture of Jim and I, together, in the same place and at the same time. I might have wished for a more flattering angle, but it is the body I'm in, so I guess it'll have to do...

Jeremiah, after about half an hour at the park, was sufficiently fed, hydrated, and awake to shine as his amazing self...I knew I could find his inner ham, if I was patient enough!

My once-little boy isn't very little anymore, but he does still give us glimpses of his younger self...

I took advantage of the lull in the action to practice nature photography and using my camera's macro feature....

The way these duck feathers were floating over the rock-bottomed pond looked very Zen, in the moment (the only way, maybe, for anything to ever be Zen...), but they didn't translate well to digital. Still, here they are, so I can at least hold them in my memory.

The kids only needed a few minutes to recharge, but Jim and I needed a bit longer, so we sat together on the grass, and the kids went up to get some water from the spring near the park's entrance, although I don't remember its name.

It was a bit of a trip for them to make alone, but they are independent and know what to do if they encounter problems, and they were within sight. So I swallowed back my inner NervousMama, and they were back in about three minutes.

The Canfield Casino, first in its own glory, but, then, even better, with a pretty running girl in front of it!

Jeremiah ambled a bit...

Annalise found two sisters who had a ball, and, after a rocky period when they weren't sure they wanted to include her, they formed a temporary friendship and had grand fun kicking and chasing the ball.

Jeremiah and Jim, meanwhile, found a ticklefest much more to their liking!

Jeremiah Burton, master of the Great Escape!

There's nothing special about this sign; I just like the way it looks.

Annalise loves carousels, and a highlight of going to Congress Park is this one....unfortunately, it was Monday....

She was disappointed, when we found out, but I promised another trip before summer's end, and to take pictures. It was a very sunny day, and the carousel is in a glass building....I really like the way these pictures look almost ethereal...even more Saratoga magic than I expected!

Jim had parked the car right next to the Hathorn Spring, and Lise wanted to taste....seeing the mineral deposits on the spigot, I predicted what her reaction might be, and was ready.....

Her expression says it all - blechhh!

It was a fun and sunfilled afternoon, stretching lazily into evening. We loaded ourselves into the car and took the leisurely drive around Saratoga Lake, coming home on the back roads. We all grazed on KFC and hung around various screens in assorted places, watching a variety of things, until, one by one, we all fell asleep...

Another glorious, ordinary unschooling day.

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