We really only saw Julie on Saturday morning when she was able to join us for breakfast, and we didn't get to see Keith at all - both of them were busy with the wedding they were in town to attend. But we got to spend a whole lot of time with my sister Mary Ellen and her husband Patrick, and with our little great-niece Penn. We don't get to see Penn very often, because even though she and her family live in Brooklyn, which is not that far away, Julie and Keith have crazy work schedules, so finding a weekend when everyone is available is nearly impossible. So this was our chance, to quote The Tim, "to make sure that Penn realizes that we're really fun." I think we may have succeeded.
The cats were a HUGE attraction for her, which was a bonus for us. Of course, they are extremely fond of anyone who keeps giving them treats (who wouldn't be?), so I think on Friday after we got back to our house after dinner, they had more treats in one evening than in their lives so far. ;-) And the game of laser toy was quite exciting for Pip and Jack (Milo is afraid of it, the little wimp), so that was definitely a win. Of course I forgot to take a single picture.
Saturday morning, we all met for breakfast, and then walked through Rittenhouse Square on our way over to Macy's. She wanted her picture with some of the sculptures in the Square.
She is the funniest little kid - she likes to get her picture taken, but will seldom smile, unless she is already doing something that makes her smile or laugh.
We were going to Macy's, the former John Wanamaker department store, to see one of the most cherished Philadelphia traditions: Wanamaker's Christmas Light Show. When Macy's was taking over, it was with the understanding that the Light Show would stay. To their credit, not only did they keep it, but they freshened up the lighting with LED lights, so there are no random dark spots when lights die during a show. It's corny, and cheesy, and one of the best things to do in the city at Christmastime. I took LOTS of pictures, so I'm going to show you only one here, and save the others for a separate post.
Santa! Rudolph! Reindeer! A Christmas tree! What's not to love? Penn thought it was great, and told us that she liked that Rudolph showed up before the other reindeer, and she also liked the "singing" (there is a recorded background for each segment of the show). After that we headed outside, and went to City Hall to see the Christmas garden and the city's Christmas tree.
Uncle Tim and Penn had a good time checking things out.
Uncle Tim was a big hit. (Uncle Tim is ALWAYS a big hit.)
She liked this reindeer sculpture, and told us that this was "Rudolph's mommy."
Here is the Philadelphia Christmas tree, with a Liberty Bell on the top.
She thought that was hilarious.
I thought the ornaments were really cool, and liked this wooden
old-fashioned snowman inside the branches.
Later we all met for dinner at a local pub, and then headed back to our house. More treats for the kitties, and then a game of Kitty Tease (one of those fishing pole type toys with a mouse at the end to chase). Pip and Milo tired out pretty quickly, but Penn and Jack did not run out of energy at all!
As you can see, it requires concentration on the part of both parties ...
but it's worth it at the end
They all headed home on Sunday. The original plan was that we would all have brunch together (though The Tim had to work), but as it turned out, I got called to go to work at the last minute for a few hours (don't ask), so I missed seeing them all one more time. But on Saturday night when they were leaving, Penn did tell us that "I'm coming back to see you and the kitties and sleep over." So I think she enjoyed herself.
When I got home from my few hours at work, I decided that I *really* needed to do something Christmas-y, so I made these:
A perfect decision - making some Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music! I'd seen this recipe on Facebook, and wanted to try it. Let me tell you - these are really easy, and incredibly yummy! In the recipe of course they have you just using one kind of sprinkles but you are probably not surprised to see that I pulled out every kind of sprinkle I could find!
Someday, I would love to be able to be off work, or even just work part-time, during Christmastime, but in the meantime, I try to make all of my own time - especially on weekends - make up for it. This weekend was an excellent start!