Albany Weekend, Days 3 and 4 (plus me when I was 5-years old)

Day 3 – Independence Day

We had great weather yesterday and that helped a lot. The kids didn’t have to linger around the house to wait for the rain to stop. As soon as the local swimming pool opened up, we were there to take part in the aquatic festivities. It had been quite a while since I’d last seen the Little Man swim. When he and Kelly were in Florida this spring, he was jumping into the pool. I finally got to witness that first hand today. He seems to really love the water, although he doesn’t yet know how to swim. He stayed in the pool for a long time, despite his chattering teeth. Finally, we got out of the water to take a break and have a picnic lunch. When lunch was over, we headed back into the pool for a while.

After swimming, we all headed over to the playground just behind the pool. It was pretty warm out and we were all hoping to wear out the kids so that they’d get in a good nap before the evening festivities. Thus, I encouraged the Little Man to run around. A lot. And he did. For an hour or so he dashed around that playground, wearing himself out. I was certain he’d fall asleep as soon as he got into the car. But the car ride back to the house was only about a minute and it took him a little while longer to finally crash. But crash he did and I think he managed to get close to 2 hours of sleep.

That was a good thing, since in the evening, we headed over to Joseph L. Bruno stadium to watch the Tri-City Valley Cats host the Vermont Lake Monsters in Single A baseball. Our seats were along the first base side, second row from the field, and just behind first base. This was the Little Man’s second baseball game, but his first minor league game. I think he had fun, although he was a little impatient with the game itself. (I loved the game, but I’ll save that for another post.)

What he enjoyed most was all of the yummy foods he got to eat: pizza and popcorn and cotton candy and ice cream. And he nearly finished off Kelly’s root beer all by himself.

And when the game was over, the fireworks started. I was surprised at just how well he handled himself. He didn’t really seem frightened at all, once he realized that the noise was not thunder (which he doesn’t like). In fact, the Little Man, at two years old, did far better than I did at five. I lived in New Jersey at the time and my folks took me to the local fireworks display. Even back then, my wont for publicity came through. I got my picture in the local newspaper:

Click to enlarge

The picture appeared on July 7, 1977. The caption reads:

What’s happening around here? Jamie Rubin, 5, is startled by the first trial explosion during the fireworks display last Saturday. After clapping his hands over his ears, he later gives way to a few frightened tears.

The Little Man, I am proud to say, clapped no hands over his ears and shed no tears. He had a blast, Kelly had a blast, and so did I.

Day 4

I think we all slept pretty good last night. We got up a little after 7am and we were on the road by 8:15. We drove back down to Suffern, NY, back to the same Friendly’s we stopped at on the way up. This time, we met Jen and Sadie there for breakfast. The Little Man was very excited to see his cousin again (two weekends in a row!) We had a very nice breakfast, and then ran around in the grass for a little while to give the Little Man a chance to stretch his legs. Then we got back on the road.

I took Kelly and the Little Man past the place where my grandparents lived in Spring Valley for nearly 30 years. Then we got back on the Garden State Parkway and headed home. The Little Man was so good for most of the trip, the only hiccup was when he spit up some milk. But that wasn’t his fault. He was probably sick of being in the car.

We arrived home just after 4pm and I was exhausted, but we’d promised the little fellow we’d take him to the playground, since he’d been so good. Off to the playground we went. It was almost empty there (thankfully) but one of his classmates was there and they were excited to see one another. He spent about an hour running himself ragged.

It was great to have four days off. We all head back to work tomorrow, but it was nice while it lasted.

And we owe a big THANK YOU to Eric, Ryane, Damian, Lucy, and Cali for being such wonderful hosts and showing us such a good time.


    1. The first time I saw Star Wars was at a drive-in theater. Remember those? My folks took me and my brother to see it. I saw it again some time later in a movie theater that same summer.


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