We Be Silly In Philly

Last week, my husband came home from the bodega pissed off more than usual.

He said, “Do you know what Mr. Singh asked me when I told him we were going on vacation for our anniversary – he said, what are you doing with the kids? Can you believe that?!”

As he’s huffing and fuming, he continues, “So you know what I told him? I said, they’re coming with us you asshole!”

I’m sure Mr. Singh didn’t mind being called an asshole. He’s a professional bodega man –  they can’t really be that sensitive when most of their customers top buying items are beer and Lotto tickets.

But I do understand my husband’s annoyance with the question.

I don’t understand people who go on vacation without their kids either. First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to leave them home alone if they’re under 10 years of age and even if we did tie them to the radiator like the manual says, I know my boys would still manage to flood the basement or kidnap a three-legged dog by the time we returned.

Besides, kids get priority seating and since we travel like runaways, we take the Chinatown bus.

It’s ten dollars one way from New York to Philadelphia. Considering a subway ride costs $2.75 for getting you as far as Queens to Coney Island sweltering in an underground arm pit without WiFi (or a schedule for that matter), it’s a bargain!

Once we get to Philly, there’s tons of things to do and lots of places to see, but on a Chinatown bus budget, we skip the high admission prices and walk around the city comparing Philly’s homeless to New York’s.

We agreed that the homeless in Philadelphia have better signs. They take their begging a little more seriously, too because they might be drinking a Starbucks but they’re not texting on their iPhone 6 like the homeless hipsters in New York City.

While I looked into the City Pass and the Adventure Aquarium’s after 3 pm special, we decided that for less than the total admission price at the Franklin Museum, we could be enjoying – pub fare!

With boys, given the choice between museums and meat – there’s really no contest.

I have to be thankful that neither of my boys ever had issues eating out. They don’t squirm around, demand only white food or need to have an iPad playing a movie during the meal. The problem isn’t finding something for them to eat, it’s having enough to fill them up without going broke.

In Philly, that’s not hard to do – the restaurant prices are way more broke-ass friendly. Although, we did make the mistake of ordering breakfast sandwiches at a small coffee shop thinking it would be deli prices and came to realize it was in the ground floor of the Omni Hotel.

Six bucks for a bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant. Samu took three bites and sucked out all the bacon, the little prick.

In all, the weekend was about $600, including the Chinatown bus, accommodation that was too classy for us, enough food to produce an inhuman turd by both boys, medicating beer for the parental units, swimming in an actual pool, limitless bed jumping and all the useless knick knacks the boys duped my husband into buying, including a John 5 soda.

This trip we made it to McGillan’s, Monk’s Cafe, Dinic’s, Sonny’s Famous Cheesesteaks, Franklin Square Carousel, Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and CandyBrave New World Comics and stayed at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District.

They. Never. Stop. Eating.

They. Never. Stop. Eating.

 

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The Boys of Summer

The air conditioner in our bedroom is a noisy piece of crap. Every time it kicked on, it woke me up. So, counting on a mild August night, I turned it off and hoped the fan setting was enough. In five minutes, the room was boiling. A far cry from the luxurious accommodation of our weekend in Philly. As I labored for sleep, I remembered walking past a woman on her cell phone saying, “Well, sure but it’s hot as fuck out here!”

The bed started to feel like a fresh pizza. Finally, my feet hit a cool spot that just might remain cool enough to drift back to sleep when the door creaked open.

“Mama?” Said a little voice.

“Go back to bed.” I said.

“My head hurts.”

“That’s ’cause you should be asleep.” I said, and groaned because the cool spot was now – hot.

“And I’m thirsty,” continued the little pecker-head, as he proceeded to climb into my bed.

My limbs were groggy as I ushered him out to the bathroom and when I turned on the light, I was astonished.

Samu must’ve grown three inches in his sleep!

Suddenly, I’m overcome by a wave of melancholia. Or terror. Either they’re growing overnight or it’s an invasion of the body snatchers. But I realize it’s really him and not an alien who busted out of an eggplant when he filled his cup with water – dumped it – filled it again – dumped it again – filled it again and took just two tiny sips.

“I don’t want summer vacation to be over,” he whimpered.

It hit me, too. “Yeah, we had a lot of fun this summer – didn’t we?”

My mind took a brief inventory: Track & Field, Golf, Baseball sleepover and let’s not forget sunburn. Nothing like walking the streets of Philly with Daddy looking like a leper.

Samu and I shuffled our way back to his bed. My steps just as heavy and sad as his. Our fun in the sun – was done.

For me, it was more than that. This summer just might be the last when my boys are “boys”. Next year, Zuki will likely be the same height as me. And Samu – should at least have a butt that’ll hold a pair of swim trunks bigger than 3T.

In the dark, I could hear his tears hit the pillow. I could tell he wanted to sing the theme song he created combining the “Titanic” and “Lord of the Rings”. He’d been humming it all summer when he was sad – when he lost an eyeball for his Mixel, when the frog at the beach got plucked by a seagull.

But his big brother was snoring away. And, that kind of ruined it.

“How’s your head?” I asked as he held my hand.

He sighed deeply and answered, “I want to go back to the hotel in Philadelphia.”

I did, too. The air conditioner was quiet.

Boys of Summer

 

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