But then Dakota surprised me and said, "We could go somewhere. They could nap on the way." Oooh! On the way to WHERE, though? How about...Philly?! (And for all of you that are familiar with my love of planned spontaneity and organized chaos, you know this was HUGE for me!).
So we hurriedly fed Maddie lunch, packed the car, and were on our way by 1! (No small feat given that we got home from the party about 12:20!).
Once there, it didn't really matter what we did. We felt we'd succeeded just by making it there!
We stopped by Franklin Square, where Maddie was entranced by the fountain:
And Gavin was too - I had to turn him to face the camera, and he seemed a little irritated:
And then Maddie played at the playground there (where I thought, "Really? We came to Philly for her to go down a slide?").
Maddie watched the Liberty Carousel for a while, and we were pretty sure it was just not quite her cup of tea. But then she announced, "Maddie try it too!" So Dakota bought a ticket, which Maddie gave over with glee:
Dakota tried to put her on one of the horses, but she was emphatic..."No no no!" She was up for the bench on the carousel, though.
"French fries, please," was what Maddie was supposed to order. But instead she tried to order chocolate. We promised her we'd look elsewhere for chocolate, and she seemed pleased with the fries.
Then we flew off to Independence Mall...
...and Maddie practiced her running...
...and then demanded to be carried and taken to, "chocolate. And pizza, too!"
So we went on a hunt for dinner and found Soho Pizza, where we snagged a couple of slices of pizza before they were too busy!
Gavin was really interested in getting his hands on my pizza, and he tried repeatedly to get it in his mouth. Guess whose getting ready for solids?
The people that worked there were SO nice to Maddie. She went to get a straw for her water and they also gave her a bag of chips. She was smitten, because as anyone knows, the way to Maddie's heart is definitely through her stomach.
Before we left, I asked the pizza guy where we could get chocolate, and he directed us down the street to...
Maddie was just starting to lose it as I spotted the line that went from Franklin Fountain out to the street. "Maddie, that's the line for the chocolate." I didn't think that was going to work - in fact, thought she might cry and we'd head for the car. But no. She marched over to join the line.
And she waited. And waited. While Gavin and I snagged a table and waited. And waited. (Apparently Franklin Fountain was just featured today on Man vs. Food)
But soon enough, Dakota and Maddie were inside, scoping out the flavors...
And then...ice cream! Amazing amounts of chocolate and fudge and brownies and whipped cream and malt power...
Maddie took one bite...and another...and another...
And clearly she was pretty impressed.
After we'd all fallen into an ice cream coma (we had to call it - that is...we didn't even finish the ice cream - gasp!) we walked back to the car, and Maddie walked much of the way doing a super goofy walk that would have been at home at the Ministry of Silly Walks. Then we packed ourselves back in for the ride back to Baltimore.
What a wonderful day!