Amy (old posts, page 40)

A Series of Disjointed Observations about Japan

crowcat There are hardly any urban animals in Tokyo. I didn't see any wild mammals at all (although I'm sure they have rats) and the only birds I saw were crows and sparrows. There are cats around shrines because the monks feed them.


When you go to a restaurant you get a little towel in a plastic bag. Sometimes it's a disposable wet wipe, sometimes it's a little facecloth (hot or cold). The catch is you don't get a napkin.


hydrangeas growing by
the subway There are hydrangeas everywhere; in parks and gardens, but also growing wild by train tracks. I also spotted daylilies and hostas — it was cool to see my garden friends in their native environment.


July in Tokyo is really freaking hot. Really, and humid too. They don't report a Humidex, which is good because it'd be up in the 40s and it would make everyone feel worse.

facecloths for sale The good people of Tokyo don't suck it up and act all stoic, they hate it and deal with it in a number of ways. Hand fans are very popular and no-one is shy about using them — lots of companies give out fans as promotional material. Everyone carries little schmattes to mop themselves with. You can buy them all over the place.

A lot of ladies carry parasols. These are distinguished from umbrellas by their eyelet lace edging. I assume if you are expecting rain and sun on the same day you have to carry both devices.


manhole All the manhole covers are pretty, and they're different in every area.


They have awesome transit in Tokyo. There are a bunch of different companies which provide subway and train service, but they all work together seamlessly because they use the same payment card system. Yet again the TTC looks like a bunch of bush league amateurs by comparison. (Not that they're dealing with the same size user base. But still. They could suck less.)


sidewalk garden No-one in Tokyo has a garden so some people get their green thumb on by creating sidewalk gardens; pots and planters on the sidewalk. I saw a rosebush in one, and a little fish pond with water plants and actual fish in another.


Most restaurants serve meals as a collection of little dishes; instead of ordering, say, steak which comes with veg and potatoes, you'd order a little plate of steak, a little plate of veg and a little plate of potatoes. And you don't order everything up front, you order a few things, then add some more stuff later if you're still hungry. (You also share with everyone, so if you don't feel like what everyone else feels like, you're screwed. Until dessert, then everyone gets what they want.)

It's a great way to eat - you can order the right amount of food and stop when you're full instead of being tempted to finish a big plateful. And you can order the exactly kind of food you want and the restaurant doesn't get to screw you by serving you a giant pile of cheap carbs and calling it a deal.


child seat in bathroom Some of the bathroom stalls have little child seats mounted on the wall for you to park your baby when you pee. I cannot tell you how much I wanted this feature when my kids were babies!


mango soft-serve
ice cream They have great softserve flavours. I don't know why we stick with chocolate and vanilla here, because mango-vanilla swirl is sublime. I also spotted green tea and black sesame.


Parks and playgrounds in Tokyo run the gamut from lame to non-existent. They have a few big parks, but they're not big on lawns and greenspace. I spotted a handful of playgrounds, but they all featured the same monkey bars, two swings and a metal slide. I also didn't spot any children at the playgrounds. I don't know if Japanese kids play at private playgrounds, or if they just don't play at all and are at organized activities.


They have 24-hour karaoke. (24-hour karaoke!!!)


shoessocks Shoes in Japan are awesome. Okay, plenty of women wear boring shoes, but there are some amazing shoes worn just out and about. And the fancy shoe ladies are dedicated to high heels.

To go with the shoes are lots of fancy sock options; some girls even wear socks with strappy sandals. They have sock configurations for every kind of shoes; tiny socks with lace mary-jane straps and lace trim to wear with ballet flats, socks with a split at the toe to wear with thong sandals, socks with cut-out heels for... when you feel like wearing socks with cut-out heels. Socks in Japan have gone beyond their traditional role as foot/shoe protectors; they augment the shoe.

Great Piles of Crap

I cleaned my purse out today. It had been getting heavier and heavier, and I was quite curious as to what was in there.

Crap from my purse

Some highlights:

  • vast quantities of paper napkins (only some of which were used)
  • Chinese restaurant flyer
  • pirate eye patch
  • pirate map
  • plastic telescope
  • plastic shark
  • yoga studio brochure
  • Ontario Science Centre flyer
  • four lip glosses
  • Licemeister™ lice comb

I've been doing a lot of work-work lately, and not finding time for life maintainance. The state of my purse, before I cleaned it out, was much like the state of my wallet, and the state of my desk, and the state of my yard, and indeed the state of my house. When that much of your life is in disarray it makes you feel like a bit of a failure. I was really glad to get a chance to clean out my purse, and I hope I can get to some of that other stuff soon.

Stop The World, I Want To Get Off

Life is coming at me too fast lately.

We're still in the middle of the bathroom reno (basement powder room is done, upstairs bathroom is entirely non-functional). This means I have to find somewhere else to shower.

I just helped publish a book, which is really cool but the work keeps coming; we have a print edition, but we also want to produce various different eBooks (and the giant learning curve that entails), not to mention fixing errata and keeping the website up to date.

The girls' school spring fair is this weekend, which means I will be baking for the bake sale tomorrow, and both Blake and I are volunteering on the day of.

Delphine has had a persistent infestation of lice, for almost two weeks. We've treated with the chemical agent and picked nits for hours, but that didn't do the trick so I treated her again today with some herbal stuff of dubious value and spent another hour or so picking nits.

My brother is getting married in July, which is going to be completely awesome, but I've never been to Japan before and I have a ton of things to do, get, and read about before I go.

Then there's the usual groceries, laundry, cooking, picking up and dropping off, vacuuming, etc, etc.

And, finally, inevitably, I just scratched my head and came away with a live louse. So now I'm off to shave my head. Or something.

Where We Stand and Where We're Going

Yesterday Canada elected a Conservative majority government. Our House of Commons has 308 seats, and the Conservatives won 167 of then with 40% of the popular vote. The NDP is our new official opposition with 102 seats and 31% of the popular vote. The Liberals, Canada's "natural governing party", suffered a huge setback winning only 34 seats and 19% of the popular vote.

My politics lie somewhere around the NDP/Greens, but I'm not partisan. If there was a party that ran on a platform of evidence-based compassionate pragmatism I would vote for it, but there isn't so I do the best I can. This time I voted for Carolyn Bennett, our incumbent Liberal candidate, because she's clever and effective. It wasn't a difficult choice, because I would have been happy to have Michael Ignatieff as Prime Minister.

I'm not happy about this result; I'm pretty miserable, actually. Stephen Harper's faults are well-documented elsewhere, so I won't go into that. I'm not on-board with the Conservative platform, obviously, and I worry that with a majority they will make changes to this country that lead it further and further away from what I value.

I'm also frustrated with our electoral system. Electoral reform makes my head spin but I understand enough to know that our system is broken and our government doesn't accurately represent us. Dave Meslin can explain it better than I can.

So the question remains: As a citizen, what do I do next?

There's a school of thought that says that everything will work out and nothing will go horribly wrong no matter who is in government. I think this is the school of thought that non-voters follow, because if that's true, why vote?: stuff will work itself out, everything will be fine.

If I followed that school of thought I would just carry on exactly as I have been. Of course if I followed that school of thought I wouldn't have been so upset last night when the results came in. In fact, I probably wouldn't even have watched.

There's another school of thought the members of which are rending their garments today: the CBC is going to be dismantled, abortion and gay marriage outlawed, gun control repealed, mega-jails built on every corner. That school is well-represented in my Twitter feed, but it's not one I subscribe to either. I'm not sure what would prevent the Harper government from doing all that: perhaps they mostly don't really want to, perhaps they fear that the electorate would disapprove and not re-elect them, perhaps there are checks and balances in place that would otherwise stimie them. But I don't believe a Conservative majority equals the Hellmouth opening.

If I followed that school of thought... well, I don't know what those people are doing. Drinking, I guess.

This is what I think. I think things don't just work out fine by themselves. I think they work out because of the hard work of thousands of people writing letters and articles, rallying support (or just plain rallying), raising money, going on TV, and doing all the other things besides voting that democracy entails.

And so I'm going to email Carolyn Bennett's office and see what I can do to help. Help immigrants, help families, help seniors. Help make (keep) this country great.

Decorate My Bathroom

The Amazing Two Bathroom Home-Value-Inflating Reno Extravaganza is plodding along nicely. The basement powder room is framed out, the plumbing and electrical are roughed in and the drywall is up. (Oddly enough the guys who hang the drywall are not the guys who tape and plaster it, so we're in between those two stages at the moment.)

But I digress. This post exists to ask for your help. We're totally redecorating the upstairs bathroom and I have exhausted my teeny tiny decorating muscles.

As you can see in the collage above, the floor tile is a kind of stripey grey (it's the "White" colour), in 12" by 24" rectangles.

We're tiling the walls halfway up with elongated glass subway tile (4" x 16"), mainly white with about 15% bottle green, and a few tiles-worth of white square mosaic tiles in there for texture (and because Delphine really likes them).

The bathtub is really plain and rectangular. The sink is Ikea's Vitviken. (Or perhaps I should say sinkS! Whoo!) The vanity is shiny and white and plain, the medicine cabinet is shiny and plain, the faucets are shiny and sleek and apparently not discussed anywhere on the Internet (but here's the box).

So what colour paint is going to work with the bottle green tiles? Find me a shower curtain the softens up all that sleek shininess. Tell me what else I need! Shop for me, my pretties!

Meals We Love: Bacony Rice

Wednesdays are tricky, dinner-wise. Delphine's art class ends at 5:15, which means we're usually not home until 5:45 or 6:00. Dinner is at 6:00. (Theoretically.) If I'm extra clever and don't get distracted by work, I put something in the crock pot and set the table in advance so we can sit right down and eat. Yesterday I wasn't extra clever.

We got home at 5:45 and there was nothing cooking anywhere, but I did have an idea. It started with half a pound of Perth Pork bacon. Any idea that starts with Perth Pork bacon is a good idea.

I cut the bacon into little bits and fried it up. When it was starting to get crispy I (reluctantly) poured off about half the fat. Then I added a cup of arborio rice to the pan and mixed it up. I minced two cloves of garlic and added that, then I poured in two cups of chicken broth, put the lid on and walked away for about twelve minutes.

When I came back, I added a cup of frozen peas and a large tomato, cubed, and also a bit more water since the rice wasn't quite done. I put the lid on, let that simmer for another couple of minutes, and then served it with that cheap "parmesan" in a can.

It was delicious and beloved; everyone had seconds. (Cordelia ate around the tomatoes.) Delphine took some for lunch today. Yay! Dinner victory!

New York Adventure, Day 5

Friday was our last day in New York. (I cleverly planned our trip to provide a weekend at home before the trip and one after. Unfortunately as it turns out, weekends in New York are on the same days as weekends in Toronto, and so Sascha and Leontine and Nina could not hang out with us during the day. Instead, they were kind enough to spend two evenings with us and completely annihilate Nina's bedtime two school nights in a row. If that isn't love I don't know what is.)

Anyway, Friday was our last day. We were flying out from Newark at two, so we had enough time to do a thing before leaving. The thing we did was brunch at M. Wells (Magasin Wells), a little hipster diner a couple of subway stops away from the hotel. The place didn't open until 10, so we had a donughnut for first breakfast while we packed, and then walked over.

It wasn't a nice walk — we walked under an elevated train for some of the way, and it was through a kind of industrial-ish area. Still, the sun was bright and warm, and it was interesting. Delphine picked up a lot of beer bottle caps for her collection.

M. Wells is a super-cool place with a somewhat convoluted menu. Brunch-y things were mixed up with lunch-y things, there were dishes with brains in them, there was clear evidence that they could make bacon and eggs and pancakes, but no bacon and eggs and pancakes on the menu, because bacon and eggs and pancakes are not hip. (I had expected something more diner-ish so I was a little taken aback by the menu.)

Anyway, Blake had tortilla Española, Delphine had a scone with apple butter, and Cordelia and I had buckwheat crêpes with maple syrup, which was billed as "maple syrup ploye". It was delicious — thin, heavy pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Everything else was good, too.

We went back to the hotel to pick up our bags, then began the long trek to Newark: N to Times Square, change to the 1 to 34th station, then a NJ Transit train to Newark Airport. We were not particularly early, so I was all fretty, but I liked the cute little shuttle train from the NJ Transit stop to the terminal at the airport.

We were flying Porter, and they were a helpful and friendly as their reputation suggests. The plane was small but comfortable, and the staff were patient with the girls. It was a bit of a rocky ascent, probably because it was a prop plane, but once we reached altitude it was a smooth ride. We were back in Toronto in about an hour. Porter provides a shuttle bus right to the Royal York, so the rest of our trip home was effortless.

We had been reluctant to come home: we felt like we could have stayed for a few more days. I think that's the perfect way to end a trip. I might even have suggested that we would go back some day.

New York Adventure, Day Four

Thursday in New York was the day I had planned to not plan anything. I knew that in the course of exploring on Tuesday and Wednesday we would come up with something we wanted to do on Thursday, so I left it open, "TBD".

What we decided to do was find a playground. The girls had been gazing longingly at every playground we passed on Wednesday, so we decided to carve out Thursday morning for some quality playing (them)/sitting in the sun (us) time.

Sascha directed us to the really cool playground in Central Park, but Central Park is full of winding roads with no names, and we ended up at the wrong playground. (Luckily Central Park is also full of playgrounds.) The girls played there for a while but then proclaimed it lame, so we set off with a renewed determination to find the right playground, which we eventually did: the Heckscher Playground. It features a cement fortress-like structure beside a giant (like, building-sized) rock, as well as lots of swings and a really tall slide, like I haven't seen since I was a kid.

The girls had an excellent time, Blake got a sunburn, I met a nice Irish guy and his son Finn, and we all watched a drunk girl get taken away in an ambulance (it was St. Patrick's Day).

After the playground we grabbed a hot dog and a pretzel, then walked up to the Museum of Natural History where we elected to pay $40 to get in (did you know it's a "Pay What You Can" museum?) and spent at least an hour in the Discovery Room. The Discovery Room is apparently the Museum of Natural History's best kept secret, because there were, like, five other kids in there. It's bright little room with a well-presented hands-on collection: dinosaur bones, clothes, bugs under a microscope, a cabinet of natural wonders like shells, coral, skulls and rocks. The girls had a great time exploring and Blake and I had a great time sitting.

Our next stop was a bakery at 87th and 1st to get black and white cookies. Now, I swear black and white cookies were everywhere when we were in New York in 2003, but Sascha says they fell out of fashion years before that. To be fair, "everywhere" might just mean "every Starbucks", but they certainly weren't hard to come by in 2003. In 2011, I had to ask Twitter where to get them, and my lovely friend Shawn pointed me at Glaser's Bakery. Not only are their black and white cookies delicious, they also have a fine selection of cupcakes, eclairs, danishes and things I don't even know the names of. It was totally worth the detour.

Dinner was delicious ordered-in Indian food with Sascha and Leontine and Nina, and gulab jamun for dessert, and bedtime was late.

New York Adventure, Day Three

Day three, Wednesday, dawned early but not bright with a drip, drip, drip in the living room. It was raining and the roof of our hotel was leaking into our top-floor suite. It wasn't a disastrous leak, but in the dark it produced the kind of hard-to-identify noise which makes imaginative little girls very nervous. After we had reassured the girls and set up the ice bucket to catch the drips we went downstairs for our daily waffles and doughnuts.

Our trajectory was east that day, into the wilds of Queens and ultimately to the New York Hall of Science, a.k.a. the Queens science museum. (We got in free because we have a membership at the Ontario Science Centre.) The first exhibit we visited was about science in the Muslim World, which was pretty cool. There was an interesting exhibit on light and optics, another on sports science (I believe all science museums are required to have an area devoted to sports science), and a bunch of stuff about space. It was fun but assumed a fairly high level of literacy — Cordelia was reduced to being one of those annoying little kids who runs around pounding buttons because there wasn't much designed for kids at her level.

We went for a late lunch at Tortilleria Nixtamal, a fantastic little place recommended by Sascha. We had nachos (with Mexican cheese, avocado, peppers and beans), tamales with chicken mole, pork tacos, and the girls had fish tacos. I had Mexican Coca-Cola, which is apparently sweeter than American Coca-Cola, but I didn't notice. It came in a cool bottle, though. Blake had a cool drink the name of which I have forgotten. Everything was excellent, but the nachos were my favourite — crispy chips, fresh toppings in just the right proportions. Afterwards the girls and I enjoyed an ice pop, or as mine was labelled, "Artificial Coconut Quiescently Frozen Dairy Confection". So much tastier than it sounds!

By the time we finished lunch the sun had come out and we were on track to be late meeting Leontine and Nina at the Children's Museum of the Arts in Manhattan. We found our way, with some twisting and turning, through the neighbourhood back to 103rd St station and headed west.

The Children's Museum of the Arts has lofty goals but my impression of it from the hour or so I spent there was of an arts-and-crafts oriented drop-in centre. The main floor had various art stations: painting, cutting, that stuff you make out of Borax and glue. Downstairs there was a ball pit stocked not with the usual little plastic balls but with those giant exercise balls, and a dress-up centre. It was pretty cool but I missed the "museum" part. Then again I didn't really look for it. The girls had a great time bouncing in the ball pit, dressing up, and listening to an energetic rendition of Cressida Cowell's "That Rabbit Belongs To Emily Brown". Delphine made a picture of a turtle. Blake and I got to hang out with Leontine, which was fun. She's awesome. (I love it when my friends marry awesome people.)

When the museum closed we peeled the children away and set them loose on the streets of Manhattan to terrorize passers-by with their erratic behaviour and injudicious piggybacking. Also irrepressible adorableness: they made a lovely trio.

Our intention was to go out for dinner, and since Blake was the only person with a preference, and Blake's preference was to go to Pizzeria Uno (why don't we have those here?!) we decided to go the Pizzeria Uno that's right by, I mean mere blocks away from, our hotel in Queens. So close we could almost walk it!

Closeness to the hotel was desirable because before dinner we had to stop by the hotel to deliver this painting by my friend Tanya which I had bought to give to Sascha and Leontine. Buying art for other people is always tricky, maybe even unadvisable, but I think this went pretty well. Leontine and Sascha liked it, or else they were really polite and good actors. Delphine kind of ruined it — or added a level of intrigue — by saying they were evil bubbles...

Our next mission was to get to Pizzeria Uno, which seems simple but was complicated by the fact that it's almost too far to walk, it was dinnertime and we had three small short-legged children to think of. Sascha thought it would be easier to catch a bus, Blake was with him on the bus plan, I was indifferent and Leontine was strongly against taking the bus, which is apparently her usual stance on the issue.

As always when taking the bus, it could have gone either way: the bus could have arrived promptly and taken us where we wanted to go, or we could have waited for ages and ages, getting crankier, tireder and hungrier, until we finally decided to take some other bus which got us slightly closer so we could walk the rest of the way, inevitably being passed by the original bus as we walked. Nobody's mind was changed about the value of buses that evening.

Finally we arrived at the restaurant, where we marvelled at the calorie counts on the menu, and were perplexed at the lack of prices for alcohol and the supreme awfulness of the waitress. The grown-ups all had pizza of various kinds, Nina had macaroni and cheese and Delphine and Cordelia had the exact same dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets they get at The Longest Yard three blocks from home.

Then Sascha ordered a car service to drive us home, and we all collapsed into bed — far too late for the girls and somewhat embarrassingly early for the grown-ups.

New York Adventure, Day 2

While we were in New York we stayed at the comically-named Country Inn & Suites in Queens. It's an incongruous 9-storey building in a slightly seedy area which didn't seem to have much to offer (although we didn't explore) apart from Queensboro Plaza station, from which it's a quick ride to westbound to Manhattan or eastbound to all the cool stuff in Queens which you only know about if you have friends in, say, Jackson Heights.

One of the most important features of a hotel is a free breakfast buffet, and this one didn't disappoint. Well, I suppose if you were looking for high-quality food it might disappoint, but considering the great price we got for the room I wasn't expecting much. There were strange skinless sausage-like objects, patties of that yellow foamy "egg", cheap bagels, danishes, doughnuts and bread, coffee (or hot chocolate or hot water) out of a dispenser, and for the health-minded, bananas and tubs of fat-free yoghurt. But the highlight was the make-your-own waffle station: a dispenser oozed pre-made waffle batter which was then poured onto an electric waffle iron. Two minutes later, uncanny fluffy goodness. The girls and I had waffles and syrup for breakfast every day. (There may have been some doughnut consumption as well.) The "sausages" were savory and sagey, but the egg tasted like the cushion foam it resembled.

After carb-loading we walked down to the station to catch a train into Manhattan. We bought two seven-day MTA Metrocards — that's right: two. The girls rode the MTA all week for free! Not 60¢, not 75¢, but absolutely free. They got to duck under the turnstiles! (Each adult gets to take three children under 44" for free.)

Our first stop was Fifth Avenue, to visit F.A.O. Schwartz and then walk to the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center. Before we got to F.A.O. Schwartz our sight was arrested by the looming glass cube which heralds the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. Well... it was right there; we had to go in! They had the new iPads to play with, and I looked at docking stations for the bathroom (shut up) and Delphine and Cordelia found games to play, but all in all it didn't strike me as any cooler than any other Apple Store, apart from the great glass elevator. The children wanted to stay and play video games all day, but I impressed upon them the utter lameness of that idea and finally dragged them out.

F.A.O. Schwartz turned out to be right next door to the Apple Store, and also turned out to be closed (it was 9:30 am) so we walked down to the Lego Store, admired Lego and made custom mini-figs for a while, then walked back (with a Starbucks detour). F.A.O. Schwartz was big and toy-store-ish, and they had lots of cool stuff there, but the lines they carry are pretty much the same as the stuff at Mastermind, except more of everything and the occasional sales guy/demonstrator. Delphine was swayed by one of the demonstrators, a sweetheart shilling Myachis. That's what she spent her souvenir money on, and Cordelia bought some Playmobil.

Our next stop was the Second Avenue Deli, confusingly not found on Second Avenue at all: it's the new location! There we met up with Sascha, my oldest and bestest Internet friend and my excuse for the whole trip. We all had matzo ball soup, Blake had a brisket sandwich, I had noodle kugel and Delphine had a meatloaf sandwich. I don't think the matzo ball soup was as good as Baba's, and I don't think the noodle kugel was as good as our family recipe, but they were still very tasty. We took some rugelach and hamentashen to go and they turned out to be delicious indeed.

The Second Avenue Deli was the site of my first kosher faux pas of the day: I asked in great earnest whether Cordelia could have a glass of milk. If you're paying attention, which clearly I was not, you will note that the Second Avenue Deli is a meat restaurant and thus not likely to have handy gallons of milk hanging around for thirsty five-year-olds. I'm pretty good with kosher but I always forget about the meat/milk thing. As we shall see.

After lunch we proceeded apace (I'm trying to see how many ways I can say "went") to the Central Park Zoo. We have a perfectly good zoo in Toronto but it's miles and miles away and not easily reachable by transit, so we never go — this would be the first time Cordelia had ever been to a zoo. The Central Park Zoo is fairly teeny but the animals are all interesting: seals, penguins, polar bears, tiny adorable tamarins (my favourites). The best thing was the Tropic Zone, a building containing a rainforest stocked with a breathtaking number of fantastic tropical birds. Everywhere you looked there was another amazing bird. (They said they had fruit bats too, but I didn't see them.)

We also went to the Tisch's Children's Zoo, which was a fairly small collection of the usual petting zoo critters, along with lots of interesting climable sculptures and a giant spider web made of rope. The girls loved it but Blake and I were freezing in our optimistic spring coats. It was one of those days which are pleasantly warm when the sun shines and chilly and miserable when it doesn't, and as the day wore on the sun's appearances became more infrequent.

We finally dragged the children away on the fairly slim premise of going to Macy's to get Cordelia a pair of shoes. (The shoes we had packed for her were woefully inadequate — they kept flying off when she ran because the Velcro on the fake buckle was shot.) The Macy's turned out to be that store with the cool wooden escalators, which we were on for a long time because the kids' shoe department is on the seventh floor. We finally (not without some testiness all around) found shoes which met my requirements for price and fit and Cordelia's for sparkliness, and then set out in search of dinner.

Blake and I were in that horrible state where you're tired and hungry but too grumpy to decide on a restaurant: everything looks too expensive, too seedy, too weird or too chain-y. Finally after blocks of searching we settled on Mike's Pizzeria on 36th Street, a café-style pizza place that looked clean and nice. I ordered macaroni and cheese for the girls, smoked cheese and mushroom pizza for me, and Blake got a slice of thick-crust plain cheese pizza. When we got to the table it came to pass that Delphine didn't want macaroni and cheese, she wanted pepperoni pizza! Blake said they didn't have any but that didn't mollify Delphine any, so I agreed to take her up to the counter and ask if they had any pepperoni pizza.

Well, I know you've all figured it out by now, but I was tired. Obviously, Mike's Pizzeria was our second kosher establishment of the day (you could tell from the kippah on the guy behind the counter, and the black-hat enjoying his pizza and newspaper) but I once again didn't put it together until it was spelled out for me. Pizza ⇒ cheese ⇒ milk ⇒ no meat ⇒ no pepperoni. Sorry, kid. But the macaroni and cheese was sublime, and Delphine got her own slice of plain cheese pizza.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get the children to bed at a decent hour, and then we watched TV on my laptop until our bedtime. (The girls slept on the pullout couch in the living room, and we had a delightfully huge and comfortable king-sized bed.)

Here are pictures.