morphed into an alternate tradition...

Holiday Traditions
Holiday Routines

this weekend past was Thanksgiving weekend
we have our Thanksgiving traditions and Thanksgiving Routines

Thanksgiving Tradition... 
Thanksgiving Routine...

for the past many years I have had a standard Thanksgiving Holiday tradition...
that tradition is to visit my in-laws just outside of Pittsburgh in Upper St. Clair PA
it is a nice little holiday
the kids get to see their grandparents and their cousins
and I... well... I come along for the ride

there is a little more FOX and a little more football than I am used to watching
but I have learned to accept it
and even enjoy a little football while holding my breath while Fox News is on the tube

it is the standard situation
a situation where the son in-law balances the reality of guest and prisoner
for the most part my agenda is subject to the agenda of others
but I am used to it
I have learned their patterns and have adapted to try and achieve some of my goals in between their structured activities

bringing the bike and escaping alone is part of that tradition
loading the kids into the car and heading into the city is also part of this holiday tradition

my in-laws are creatures of habit
although there is not an actual print out of the itinerary
things are pretty much scripted
there are various meeting places and set meeting times
we are able to fit in our own mini-adventures in between these various meeting places and the set meeting times

each year every year we drive into the city for some downtown excitement
for years we went to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum
but as the kids are getting a little older we have altered our attention to the Carnegie Science Center


the kids are pretty flexible
they would do well with either option

the boys each had some strong memories of the Science Center from the year prior and had the intention of returning to play some of the same games and try some of the same activities

it is not a far drive from Upper St Clair to downtown
but far enough to hear that requisite, "how much further... when are we gonna be there" from our younger son
if he knew was a record player was I would tell him that he sounds like a broken record

rights of passage
I got to say those things to my parents when on road trips
they get to say these things to us when we are on road trips
just as they step into the role of frustrated child
I get to step into the role of aggravated parent

we were slow out of the gate
a morning brunch with the cousins gave me time to go for a morning bicycle ride in the rain
but had us leaving out for downtown after noon
so... we had to deal with longer lines 

it was crowded... but not that crowded
well... crowded enough
any more crowded... and well...
we would had left for home

the people tend to be pretty civilized
it is just hard to accept that we have to move at everyone else's cattle call pace
groups of six meandering behind their little gift to the world
blocking passage for those of us who have accelerated beyond "gift to the world" pace

mention of the Pittsburgh Science Center

I enjoy the museum.... the Pittsburgh museums are pretty cool
but in the end... it is not about me
my life is not my own
trips like this are about the family
it is my responsibility to go with the flow and to do my best to aid in keeping the kids entertained

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