On Wednesday, the 30th, the plan was to go see Wicked. Since Mr. Frisby and I have already seen (and loved) Wicked, we agreed to watch my sister's youngest (Max, age 4.75, also affectionately referred to as Buster for all you Arrested Development fans) so everyone else could go and enjoy the show. My sister prepped us for the babysitting gig by informing us that the way to Max's heart was through soda (as evidenced by one of Max's favorite Christmas gifts, a 24-pack of Root Beer). That bit of info was duly noted and we were determined to show Max a great time. We picked Max up and headed out while everyone else headed off to the show. Our first order of business was lunch at McDonald's. Max loves McDonald's because they have soda. On the way to lunch, Max asked us about the day's itinerary wanting to know what we would do after McDonald's and all other subsequent activities. I'm quite sure he memorized every activity we had planned out in the order we planned it. At McDonald's, Max ordered a happy meal, not caring which one as long as it came with fries and soda since that's all he would eat. And of course a toy. He quickly ate his fries and some of mine and drank his soda. He left his hamburger for me to eat. After eating, it was time to play in the play place. He seemed to have a great time climbing through the play place and going down the slides.
As we left McDonald's for our next adventure, Max exclaimed, "McDonald's, check!" Then it was off to the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad in Los Gatos. Max seemed pretty excited about the prospect of riding a train, so I was a little worried that he would take it hard when we got to the train only to find that it was only open on weekends during the winter. He took it well, though, with our next activity in mind. He simply said, "alright. Let's go get ice cream." There was a big park by the train, though, so we told Max we could stay and play at the park for a little while before we went to the ice cream place. He was fine with that and we went over to check the playground out. First up was the swings. He anxiously waited for one to open up. As soon as a swing freed up, Max hopped on and had Uncle Mr. Frisby push him. As he swung higher and higher, Max exclaimed, "I'm higher than South America right now. I'm higher than Jesus!" Mr. Frisby and I lost it. After the swings, Max ran around to check out the rest of the playground. There was a little window near one of the slides. One kid was sitting in the window yelling, "cheeseburgers, 5 dollars! Cheeseburgers, 5 dollars!" Max watched him for awhile. Then he ran up to him, said, "I'll take 20,000 for free!", slapped him on the shoulder and yelled, "thanks!" as he ran off. Once again, Mr. Frisby and I lost it. The park was fun and after a slide race between Max and Mr. Frisby, we headed off to get ice cream. As we walked to the car, Max declared, "Park, check!"
We took Max to a gelato place in Los Gatos. He was super excited and informed us that he wanted chocolate in a cone before we even got there. When we walked in the door, Max yelled, "do they have chocolate?" I think the man behind the counter was amused and he quickly responded, "we sure do, buddy." I told Max they could do half chocolate and half vanilla if he wanted and he decided to go for that. Later in the day he informed us that getting ice cream was his favorite thing we did.
After Max finished his ice cream, we headed out the door and Max said, "Ice cream, check!" Next it was off to see some animals. We wanted to take him to Deer Hollow Farm at Rancho San Antonio, but it closed early. So, instead we took him to a little farm at McClellan Ranch Park in Cupertino. It's not as good, but Max was pretty excited to see the animals. When we got there, we learned that there had been a ringworm outbreak amongst the animals, so we could only check them out from afar. While looking at the pigs, I remarked to Max that they smelled pretty bad. He inhaled deeply, then turned his head in disgust making vomit noises and shaking his head. After checking out the animals we walked over to the river where Max was very excited about the propect of throwing rocks in the water.
After throwing a few rocks, we headed a little farther down the trail and Max learned all about Poison Oak. He saw a sign pointing it out and so Uncle Mr. Frisby was kind enough to explain to Max that he shouldn't touch those plants or he would get a rash. From then on, Max kept talking about the dirty rash and not touching the plants. After a few minutes of walking, Max asked if we were going to keep going. I told him it was up to him and asked what he wanted to do. He said he wanted to go home. We didn't have anything else specific planned, but we still had some time to kill before the others got back from the show. So, I asked Max if he wanted to go to the park. He agreed. I took him to a park that I used to love as a kid. We called it the boat park because they have a big "steamship" to climb all over. Max loved the boat and immediately claimed his captain status when he found the wheel.
They've changed the boat park since I was a kid, however. It's pretty lame now. Aside from the giant steamship structure, there isn't much there. And Max quickly wore out his welcome when he wouldn't let any of the other kids touch the steering wheel. I told Max that the park was lame and that we could go to a better one. A little girl playing nearby was quick to inform me that there were better parks we could go to and she would be happy if I took Max to one of them. Max consented and off we went to park number two. The second park was a big hit with lots of new things to play on including a climbing wall and periscope. Max had a great time.
As the sun started to go down, we told Max that we needed to get going. Everyone else would be getting back from the show soon, so we needed to go home. He really didn't want to. So, I told him that we could stop and get soda on the way home. He quickly agreed, so we stopped at 7-11 on the way home to get him some Root Beer. Hopefully Max had a good time. Though we weren't entertained in the same way everyone else was, we were definitely entertained. And when all of his siblings got home, Max informed them that they just had to sit there and watch a show. He had gotten soda and ice cream and gone to three parks, etc, etc. I think everyone had a good time!