One beautiful weekend, we hopped on our bikes for the first time since last fall. I put Elijah in my handlebar carrier and Brian pulled the bigger boys in the trailer. I made sure to bring the diaper bag, because it seems we always go farther than intended. We half joked to each other that, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we ended up in downtown Newnan?” I knew right then that we had both taken that as a challenge and our certain destination. So, we made it the three miles to the square, paused to regroup and smell the local chocolatier walk by, before deciding to ride a little further to the playground. We didn’t feel right being the only ones to want a nap when we got back. We let the kids play until we started feeling nervous about beating the sunset, and headed back home. Only one motorist felt the need to blare his horn about his apparent road superiority.
The next weekend was rainy, and we decided to explore a museum near down town that we hadn’t been to. When we arrived, they weren’t open yet, so we went to the square and parked. We let the kids explore the newly-renovated court house, and then went to a Thai restaurant we love. This is the part that started really tickling our local bone. We walked in and the hostess greeted us like we were friends, and waved us to our “usual” table. She knew our typical drink and meal orders and double-checked them with us. During the meal, the chef came out and made the boys special child-style chop sticks. Other members of the family-run business would swing by and admire the boys’ interest in Thai food or swoop Elijah up for a tour around the restaurant, to play with the various fountains and statues. Then they’d come back with a paper rose, handmade by “mom.” We chatted about travel, while the boys played with some small drums. As we were wrapping up, Phyllis, the wife of the chocolatier next door popped in for a chat. Her husband playfully observed that we had “no bikes this time?” As we left the restaurant, Ian bee-lined for the toffee shop next door, where Phyllis greeted me by name. We ordered a couple samples of their latest cookie-dipping experiment and some small talk and then returned to the van.
That afternoon was so much fun! Brian and I love the small-town feel of walking from shop to shop and getting to know our neighbors. The boys had a blast with all the attention and exploring neat historic places in their town. And, of course, the most fun of all for us is watching them have fun!