Today the girls and I started exploring the neighborhood. We went to the playground at Lincoln Park, where the girls got suitably filthy sitting on the ground and drawing with chalk. Spirits were high; but they devolved quickly when I tried to have us eat lunch on a bench near a large, admittedly rather fetid pond: Greta kept running headlong toward the water, and Lucia refused to cooperate with anything. We headed home and recouped during naptime/Quiet Time.
Later this afternoon, I took the girls on a long walk to Chapultepec, a huge park with a zoo and several museums. I should have checked my guidebook, though: it's closed on Mondays. It was a really long walk, and I got turned around on my way back (and had forgotten my map), and it could have been a total disaster if the girls had mutinied. But they didn't; they seemed to enjoy the new sights and sounds. I even walked with them through a small market of food stalls, tantalizing but forbidden. I dredged up some Spanish to ask directions a couple of times.
We ended our long walk back at the playground, where I chatted (in English) with a woman who'd lived in Brooklyn Heights for several years. She gave the girls each a lollipop before she left, thrilling them.
Tonight, after the girls were in bed, Andrew went out to get us some Mexican food. Now I'm ready to lie down, read a book, and then collapse; perhaps we'll get a few hours of sleep tonight...
It really is so amazing to be in a new place. It has been far, far too long. Traveling was such an integral part of my life for a long time, and being here makes me realize how much I missed it during this three-plus-year hiatus--though it's been filled with other adventures of the parenting and house-buying variety. I see bustling cafes out our apartment window; right now I hear a street performer playing a violin. Three years old and one year old are not ideal ages for grand journeys--just the fact that two of our primary concerns were obtaining a crib and a high chair from the corporate-apartment company pretty much says it all. But we managed it, and so far, so good.
A beautiful day at the playground:
Lucia and Andrew, evening swim: