Thursday morning, we drove up to Jon's Aunt Janet's place in Hamilton, Ontario. We stopped at "our" Wal-Mart at the two hour mark for a bathroom break and to buy some snacks. (I think we've stopped there every time we go that way - it must just be at a good break point.)
Going through customs was a breeze, he didn't even ask for ID. What are you supposed to say when they say, "Are you bringing anything in?" though? Jon said "nope" but he thought, "Well, myself, my wife, my son, my car..."
We arrived at the Acocellas' just as Tony and Catrina were getting home from their tutoring session, so it was perfect timing.

Catrina put the stuffed shells in the oven and we talked and played until Aunt Janet and Uncle Frank got home from work, at which point we had dinner. Aunt Janet makes the best Italian food outside Italy (well, I've never been to Italy, but my tastebuds melt with delight every time we visit them) so it was a lovely dinner.

Jon left quickly for a sort of interview/info session he had that night, and the rest of us played, or watched Tony and Catrina play with Jonathan. Jon came back at bedtime with a headache. Jon said it was unlikely that he would want to work for the company because it's not as rosy as they painted it. He wishes they had been more up front about some things.

In the morning, Jonathan popped up and asked for "Aunt Jant" (don't worry, I'm sure he knows the difference now, it's just a pain to say "great Aunt Janet" every single time.) but they had all left for work and school. It rained all day, but we had a leisurely breakfast and then drove to a bank to get Canadian cash and continued on to the Children's Museum.

It's much smaller than the Pittsburgh one, but it kept Jonathan busy for several hours, so it really did not need to be bigger. In fact, he didn't see the dress-up room at all. First there was a science room, with tempermentally working microscopes, and hourglass, fossils, etc. The popular object was an old manual typewriter (no ink or paper.)

Then the "muck-about" room with a giant "recycle" tree in the middle, made of all sorts of random rugs, computer keyboard, shingles, bubblewrap, fabric, wood, etc. There were giant foam blocks to stack, abacuses (abaci?) to work, puzzles to do, a canoe with a paddle... Jon occupied himself with a clear tube construction project. There was a funnel about four feet high at one end of the wall, in which you place a wooden ball. Then the ball rolls through the tubes (afixed to the wall with velcro) until it falls out into a bucket or the floor. Jon really made it an engineer's obstacle course, not actually connecting all of the tubes, but having the ball jump out over a gap to land in the next tube. A small boy was helping him and was quite thrilled with the results.

I had put sweatpants on Jonathan because it was damp and chilly outside, but I should have put on shorts. Sweat was pouring from his head during this play time, so I decided it was better to take off the pants.

There was a checkers board there, which Jon and I played. After a while of being about even, I made a few silly moves so that he was starting to cream me. But then when I started moving to end the game quickly, Jon did the same so we ended up with two kings chasing each other around until I got in his way and he had to jump me.

Then we saw some fish and some turtles, played with some squishy urchin balls, and made a craft pinecone turkey. Jonathan stuck one googly eye facedown, then the "beak" on top of that and the other eye face up on top of that. It was a nice cyclops-looking turkey, with colorful feathers, and it varied from the cookie cutter about as much as it could considering the same starting materials. He got tired of gluey fingers, so Jon finished it off by glueing the head on and twisting on the pipe cleaner legs.

Then we went home, buying milk on the way. We were later than expected, but the cousins were not yet home. It turns out that Tony had mistaken Jon's inquiry about the time that school got out for an invitation to pick them up, so they waited at the school and missed the bus, finally calling their mom at work to say "Jon's not here," So then they had to walk home.

That was a crazy work day for Aunt Janet, at the end of a busy week, so it was pizza night, but she still did make a salad. We played some Mille Bournes, which we had brought along, and Catrina really liked it.

I'm going to have to stop here, because it's almost midnight. What am I thinking? I feel like I'm Janet now, and I completely sympathize. This is why most of our posts are short. Long detailed descriptions take a lot of time! I'm not even going to proofread yet. So let me know what mistakes you find.
Posted by Heather Daley on October 11, 2005, 11:24 pm | Read 4949 times
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I wish I could write that well without proofreading! (I see spam prevention is back; it didn't take long without it for a spammer to find you.)
Posted by SursumCorda on October 12, 2005, 6:27 am

Yeah, we got our first spam comment. Anyone interested in online casinos?
Posted by jondaley on October 12, 2005, 9:53 am

About the checkers game: I think it isn't quite clear what happened - as Heather tried to end the game quickly, by trying to force me to jump her, I kept backing out of the way, and forcing her to jump all my pieces. It was kind of interesting, all the normal moves that follow when a certain pattern is on the board were all wrong, so it was hard to make my brain think in that mode.
For the clear tube construction project, the reason I made the tubes not connecting is because there weren't enough connecting pieces, just lots of tubes, so if you did it the "right" way, you would have a fairly short tunnel, but getting the tubes lined up, so the ball jumped through the air, you could make a much longer tunnel.
Posted by jondaley on October 12, 2005, 9:57 am
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