Creating an everyday adventure with your children isn't necessarily about going to a museum or driving a few hours away. To me, creating adventures is about building memories through the simple things in life.
Recently, my family and I were staying with my in-laws between selling and buying homes. The projected 10 days turned into six weeks. While we were very comfortable, we felt the need to escape into the world a little more often than usual. On more than a few occasions, we made our way to Diane's, a bakery hidden under the viaduct in Roslyn on a quaint and seemingly hidden street.
Easy enough to miss had you not been aware of what was beyond the name and the bakery sign, Diane's is one of those places that will keep you craving whatever it is you decided to choose the first time you went there.
On this particular adventure, our wants were simple: something sweet as a special treat. Daniel chose a vanilla cupcake, delicately placed on a cake plate. I chose almond biscotti, and we snagged some shortbread cookies for John.
We left the counter, weaving our way through incoming lunch ladies, straight from the gym and still clad in workout wear. The back of Diane's houses a popular salad bar and lunch space. Next door to the bakery is an equally popular restaurant, the flavors likewise as delicious (or so I hope to find out one date night in the near future as kids would not be happy here).
Diane's has a welcoming outdoor space. My boys and I ate under crimson umbrellas surrounded by ornamental trees and foliage. The entire experience was made even more memorable thanks to the unbelievable goodness that butter does in a baked good. The flavor of true butter cannot be matched by the artificial and less costly substituted ingredients often found in baked goods elsewhere.
We sat and chatted as much as possible with a 2 year old and an 11 month old! We enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the company. This time of early childhood is fleeting, and I want to savor every second of it.
After the dessert at Diane's, we headed up the road to Cedarmere, former home of journalist and newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant. The actual home was closed for renovations, which left for us with the beauty of the outdoors. A pond, hidden by the road, lies on half of the property. The area is fairly unkempt as far as parks go, but it highlights the natural beauty of the estate. The boys and I roamed and explored. Daniel ran and John crawled; both of them were happy to be outside on the beautiful day it was. Our stroller wasn't the best for the rough terrain, however, we made our way to an old bridge. Nearby, a greenhouse is in shambles, a skeleton of what it once was, inviting questions about its past.
Cedarmere's gardens are more manicured. The day was gorgeous and the experience unassuming. What made it better was that we were free from expectations and content to simply discover what lay in front of us. Go for the biscotti, stay for the magnificence of the scenic pond, and always think outside the box in your adventures in life with your children.