Jean-Claude Beauvais, a story
Book 5 - New York Revisited
Chapter 88. No souvenirs
We went through the park, the long way, to 62nd Street, and across 62nd Street to the pier.
Once on board, we changed and went for a soak.
“You see what I mean about it being relative, Monsieur Laurent?”
The boys were in the water for a short while, but their eyes were getting heavy.
“Let’s go to bed, boys,” I said. “I don’t want to hurt myself carrying you, two, up the stairs to bed.”
Without the expected ‘do we have to,’ they got out of the Jacuzzi and dried off. The three of us went up the stairs to their stateroom. They were in their pajamas and in the bed, quickly. I sat on the edge of the bed.
“Will you be able to sleep tonight?”
“I’m almost asleep now.”
“Good night, Louis.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
“Good night, Ollie.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
I turned the light off, and went to bed.
Dashiell was already between the comforter and the sheet.
“How did it go, today?”
“I am tired.”
“Good night, Dashiell.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
A horrendous boom woke me, as if a bomb went off.
I sat up in bed and looked outside. It was light outside, otherwise everything looked normal. I sat there and listened. There. There is was again. I went outside in my pajamas to see if I could see any catastrophe. Nothing. Then the sound repeated, more distant. Whatever it was, it didn’t bother anyone in the city, except me.
I went through the shower and dressed. Silently, Dashiell went in the shower. Certainly the day started too early for his bones.
I went by the boys’ stateroom. Opening the door I announced, “Time to wake up.”
They sat in their pajamas on the bed, hunched over a picture book of New York attractions, discussing some interesting detail.
“Keep all that in mind and bring it to the breakfast table.”
I clapped my hands.
“Into the showers. Time to start the day. We have fun places to go and a lot more fun stuff to do.”
Ollie squealed. They leaped, shedding pajamas, as they neared the shower door.
I commanded, “Don’t leave those on the floor,” and headed downstairs to the dining room.
Two copies of Le Monde and the Times sat at the end of the dining room table. Fresh flowers were a welcomed treat, from being at sea.
I picked up the Times and went to the other end of the table to sit down and start the day.
Macaulay had poured my coffee.
“I’ll be right back,” I said, “I have a couple things to pickup in the lounge.”
I went to the lounge and grabbed the three other New York tourist books, a notepad, and a pen.
I returned to the dining room to organize our sightseeing expeditions.
I wrote ‘PLACES TO GO’ on the top sheet of the notepad and set it, with the pencil in the middle of the table.
I began working my way through a sweet roll, my coffee, and the paper. Everyone arrived, tossing ‘good mornings’ as they approached the table.
I set the paper on the table, sipped my coffee, and looked around. Observant Ollie sat straight up on his chair helper, folded his hands on the table edge, and waited for my pronouncement du jour.
“Listen, everyone. The cars are going to be here at nine. Between now and eight-thirty, if someone is dying to go somewhere in particular, let me know. Otherwise, I will make a calendar of places we expect to go. Nothing is set in concrete. Everything can change. There will be two cars. The drivers speak French. So one car can go one place, while the other goes to an alternative place. As I said, nothing is set in concrete.”
Monsieur Laurent said, “I am happy to go where you and the family go.”
The Tissots nodded, adding, “That goes for us, too.”
“Well. Thank you. That simplifies the transportation for me. Thank you, again.”
I turned to the boys. “Where do you, guys, want to go today?”
Louis said, “The Empire State Building.”
“What about you, Ollie?”
“You really want to know what I want to see? What I want to visit?”
“That’s the question. Isn’t it?”
“Your apartment, by the park,” he said.
I nearly fell off the chair.
“Okay. Do you want to go to the top of the Empire State Building? That’s that tall building you saw yesterday.”
“No,” he said.
His brow furrowed.
“Okay. You and I will go to the apartment, this morning and everyone else can go to the top of the Empire State Building. Take your cameras and lots of film. We will meet at noon in the park, by the entrance near the apartment. We’ll have lunch nearby and then we’ll have a surprise.
After lunch, we walked to Lexington Avenue and took the Lexington Ave Subway to Grand Central. We wandered in Grand Central for a while, stopping the watch the people walking through the Grand Concourse.
We left Grand Central at 42nd Street and walked a block to the NYC Main Library. We spent a couple hours of incredible sightseeing in the library. Before we left, everyone used the rest rooms. Outside, next to the library, in Bryant Park, we took a rest stop on some welcome benches under the shade trees.
We sat, a block from Times Square, amid the cacophony of millions of people, pigeons, cars, bicycles, buses, taxis, trucks, sirens, vendors, constructions and destructions, some pleading, some demanding.
Rested we proceeded past Times Square on 42nd Street, past the theaters. We crossed 42nd Street at the Port Authority and came back past the theaters on the other side of 42nd Street, turning at 7th Avenue. We walked around Times Square and then up Broadway to 44th Street, and half a block to Sardi’s for dinner.
After dinner, the cars were waiting. We expected to come out at eight. It was almost nine.
I instructed the drivers to put the tops down and to ride, parade like, through Times Square, so everyone could get a feeling for the ‘Great White Way’.
Ollie spied, “Love Me Tender,” playing on 42nd Street.
“You want to see that?”
“Yes. Oh Please. Yes. Yes. Yes,” wrapping his arms around my neck and squeezing.
“Then you will see it. I promise.”
“Can I see it, too?” asked Louis.
We put our film in the bags and dropped them off at an all night camera shop on the way home. They would be ready tomorrow afternoon.
We arrived home at nine-thirty.
We were tired.
We went to bed, quietly. We did not pass GO. We did not collect $200. We slept.
In the morning, Jacob told me the boys arrived for breakfast at eight o’clock. They ate and went to their pianos to practice.
Dashiell and I woke about eight-thirty. By nine, we were at the breakfast table. Monsieur Laurent and the Tissots were still not awake.
Jacob whispered in my ear, “Most people, Sir, go out for a day, and then stay on board for a day, to relax and plan for the next day out.”
“Good idea, Jacob,” I said.
“You know that’s right,” Dashiell added. “Any more of this and I am going to sleep until Hamburg.”
In came Louis and Ollie. They had been on the foredeck, watching the passing street and water traffic with their binoculars.
“Jacob. Let me ask you. Can we get an American TV onboard? I want to show the boys an American baseball game and explain it as it is going on. Then we can go to Yankee Stadium to see the real thing, once they have an idea of what they are seeing.”
“I will take care of that,” Jacob said. “In the lounge?”
“Good place for it,” I said.
“Before we leave, you can donate it to a charity.”
Dashiell and I looked at each other.
I asked him, “What do you think of every other day?”
“A plan we can survive.”
I looked back over my shoulder and called Jacob. “Please let the captain know we will be changing our schedule. We will be out for dinner every other day, on even days. We will be here for breakfast and lunch every day, and for dinner on most odd numbered days.”
“I’ll take care of that.”
I looked across the table to Dashiell.
“You know what? I was supposed to call Jay Bensen as soon as we got here.”
I went to the phone and called. I had to wait a while.
“Jean-Claude? Is that you?”
“Yes, Jay. How are things going?”
“Okay. I just wanted to check in and touch base.”
“Keep in contact.”
“The telephone number here is Evergreen 7-2221.”
“3872221 in New York. We are docked at the 92nd Street Pier, spelled 92nd S-T-R-E-E-T--- P-I-E-R.”
I called Cyprien, the mayor, too. I had promised that I would, so I did. I gave him the same information, just in case there was reason to call me. Dashiell, he, and I knew what that meant. More importantly, Louis and Ollie didn’t have a clue.
With that business over, I was ready to relax for the day.
“No pressure for the rest of the day.”
I sat back with the paper.
“I’d like to see West Side Story and Oklahoma. How about you?”
“They’re Broadway shows. Aren’t they?”
“Then I’d like to see them, too.”
“You think the boys would like them?”
“I will, at lunch.”
As if I called them, Ollie and Louis walked along the outside of the dining room. They stopped, opened the door, and came.
‘Good mornings’ were exchanged.
“We are resting today,” I said.
“I’m glad of that,” Louis said. “I’m ready to soak in the Jacuzzi.”
I looked at Ollie.
He nodded. He was ready for some Jacuzzi time, too.
Monsieur Laurent passed by the windows and came in for breakfast.
“We are resting today, Monsieur Laurent.”
“Glory Halleluiah,” he said, crossing himself.
“We are going touring every other day, with a day of rest between our adventures.”
“That’s better for an old man like me,” he said.
The Tissots arrived. I said the same thing over for them. Madame Tissot was taken to tears by the every other day change in scheduling.
“You all have a nice breakfast. We are going to soak in the Jacuzzi and loosen up from yesterday. If you want to go someplace, the cars are on the street, ready to go.”
I listened to the boys’ piano lessons. After that, we all piled into the bubbly waters on the aft deck, where Dashiell had a head start on us.
Monsieur Laurent and the Tissots arrived. The Jacuzzi was the center of inactivity, that morning.
“Tomorrow we are going to the American Museum of Natural History on the other side of the park. We will spend the afternoon there. We’ll have dinner there and after dinner, we will see a special two hour planetarium show, the last of the Summer Solstice Series.”
Dashiell said, “You, guys, will like that.”
“Guaranteed,” I said. “Actually, you, guys, will like the entire day.”
I turned to Dashiell.
“Do you think they’ll want to go back again, before we go home?”
“Tomorrow, bring the cameras and lots of film, flashbulbs, and a set of extra batteries for the flash.”
Louis smiled, impressed there would be lots of stuff to photograph.
“We’ll take the next day off and then we’ll see where we go from there. There’s so much to see. It’s hard to figure out what to visit next.”
Dashiell whispered, “Coney Island?”
“Of course. After our rest day, we’ll be go to Coney Island. You’ll remember that for the rest of your life, too. I promise.”
“What is Coney Island?” Madame Tissot asked.
“Well it’s like a carousel and a Ferris wheel magnified and speeded up.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “May I stay home for that one?”
“Of course you can. You can have dinner at any of the restaurants nearby. The point is for you to enjoy New York. You don’t have to do what the boys and I do. There will be stuff that we go to, that Dashiell wouldn’t want go to, but to make sure the boys don’t get lost, he will go with us. Otherwise, you and your husband, and you, too, Monsieur Laurent, you all can go where you want. You can go out to the car, show the driver where you want to go, in the New York tourist book, and the driver will take you there. Go to the places ‘you’ like. Don’t feel pinned down by what I am doing with the kids. You do your own thing. If you want to stay in the Jacuzzi all day, stay in the Jacuzzi all day. Make yourself happy. Enjoy yourselves.”
We had lunch. After lunch, Ollie wanted to walk with me.
I looked across the table. “Louis. Do you want to walk with Ollie and me?”
I looked at Dashiell. “Sure.”
I looked at the Tissots and Monsieur Laurent, but they gratefully passed on that occasion.
We walked out to the cars and went up 93rd Street to Fifth.
“Louis. Want to see the apartment, where Ollie and I were yesterday.”
“I guess so,” he said.
The car parked on the corner of 92nd and Fifth. We went up to 901.
“Just the same as the day we left it, except Veronica isn’t here.”
Ollie looked out the window at the reservoir and the park. Louis explored the apartment. Dashiell and I sat in the living room.
“Feels like old times. Doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” I said, “but there is a difference, now. The new additions.”
“Makes the place feel more alive,” he said.
Louis found Dashiell’s French books.
“Maybe I can learn English with these,” he said, carrying two books from our old classroom.
“If you want to learn English, we can set you up to do it the easy way.”
“What’s the easy way?”
“We could move here for a couple years.”
“Of course. This is our home, as much as Marseille is our home. Isn’t it, Dashiell?”
“Oh. Yes… except Aunt Gizzie owns this place and I own the house in Marseille.”
Ollie turned to me and asked, “You won’t get rid of us, will you?”
“Never. Ever. You’re stuck with me.”
Ollie still was not sure I would keep him. I put my arm around him and hugged him.
We left the apartment and walked into Central Park.
Louis noted, “This park is not like the park by the library.”
Ollie nodded. We stopped at the reservoir.
Ollie asked, “Can we play in the water?”
“The fence goes all the way around the reservoir. You can’t play in that water.”
Of course, he displayed his ‘I am so hurt’ sad face.
“You can play in the water, when we go to Coney Island.”
The sad face left Ollie and we left the park, picked up our developed photos on the way home, and arrived about four-thirty onboard Mon Grandpapa. We went to the lounge and sorted the photo bags. There were a handful of photo bags for Monsieur Laurent and the Tissots. I send Jacob to deliver them.
Macaulay arrived with wine coolers. We passed the pictures around and enjoyed reliving the previous day from the pictures. I urged Louis and Ollie to go to their stateroom and bring photo albums to store their pictures.
The boys spend the rest of the afternoon sorting and storing their photos. Louis meticulously recorded what was in each photo, and where he took the picture, as best he could remember. I was impressed. I didn’t expect him to detail and organize his photos, that well..
After dinner, at the table, I tried to explain baseball to the boys. That went on for a while. I didn’t know if they had any idea what I was talking about.
I announced, “A television is in the lounge, where we can watch part of a baseball game and you can see how the game is played.”
We left for the lounge. The television was there. All six of us were ready to see the Yankees tangle with and demolish their opponent du jour.
The color screen blinked a couple times and came to life. I flipped the channels and found the Yankee’s game. The boys fell in love with the game. I still didn’t know if they were sure of the details but they loved watching it on tv.
“We’ll go there and see a game. If you like it, we can go more often.”
We watched until the game was over. The Yankees won, 5-3. I forget whom they played.
When the boys got in bed, they wanted to hear more about baseball. I promised that I would get a book of baseball stuff, so they could look at it. Little did they know that the stadium would provide all the sports ‘stuff’ they could possibly want. That day would arrive. They would be filled with stuff in both arms on the way home.
No story that night.
There was a tender, gentle moment, when we, all three of us realized, that we could be together, and not say anything and still communicate. It was short, that first time, but very sweet.
“Good night, Ollie.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
“Good night, Louis.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
Off went the light. I started to get up. Louis pulled me back to the bed.
“We do love you, Jean-Claude.”
“And I do love you. Both of you.”
I patted them both on the head, and said, “Off to sleep. Tomorrow’s a busy day. Sweet dreams.”
I closed the door and went to my stateroom. Dashiell was in bed, waiting for me.
“They’re going to love Coney Island.”
“Life is good, Dashiell.”
“Good night, Jean-Claude.”
“Good night, Dashiell.”
Wednesday morning, I woke up before seven. I was ready for Yankee Stadium. Dashiell was wrapped around me, and holding me to him.
“Are you awake?” I whispered.
“You ready to go to the Bronx?”
“No. Too early.”
I tried to get up, but he was holding me.
“Let me go. I have to check on the boys.”
“Stay with me a little longer. I miss you… you being here with me.”
He inhaled. I knew he was ‘tasting’ the scent of my hair.
I kissed his hand.
“I love you, Dashiell.”
I wiggled a little to settle in his entanglement of me, I was sure, to his delight.
“You know, when you’re taking the boys someplace, I follow along and make sure no one gets lost or strays away, but I miss being ‘alone’ with you. Not to go anyplace or do anything… just to be with you. To have your to myself and not have to share you.”
“Would it help, if we had a night together? One night a week, when we would have the night to spend together without having to tend to the boys and the all the rest of the world?”
“That would be the answer to a prayer, Jean-Claude. I miss you so much.”
He was quiet for a while.
“I ask myself, ‘How can I miss him, when he is here with me?’ Being with you is not what I miss. I am with you all the time. Sharing you is my trouble. I never really thought of myself as a selfish person, until now… I realize I have to share you with the boys. I used to feel a little selfish when you played the piano at Lake Pennyworth. I had to share you with all the people there, but I knew that was only for an hour or so. After that, I would have you to myself. I could lie in bed at night and hold you to me, away from the rest of the world. I could feel your breath on my hand; your heartbeat; smell your scent. It was wonderful. That’s all changed now.”
“My precious, dear, Dashiell.”
I kissed his hand. He clasped me to him, more securely. He was really serious about missing being alone with me.
“How about we set Sunday nights aside, for you and me?”
I stayed in bed a while more and luxuriated in the loving arms of my dear brother. To be loved… to love… so beautiful.
“I think I hear Ollie squealing,” I said, “I’d better get up and see what’s going on.”
I got out of bed and made my way to the shower, still pondering Dashiell’s sense of loss.
He stepped into the shower and soaped my back. I turned and kissed him on his nose.
“You haven’t done that for months. I almost forgot how much I like that.”
“You big goof. I’d do that all the time, but people would worry about us.”
“I guess so,” he said, rinsing off the soap from my back. He slapped my bottom. With that, I knew he was feeling better.
“What was that for?” I asked.
“Your bottom was just sitting there asking for a little smack.”
“You are silly, you know.”
“Yeah, but I don’t care.”
“Neither do I.”
We laughed. As we emerged from the shower, it felt like old times… just joking around, being a little goofy.
“Good Morning,” a fully clothed Ollie said, as Dashiell and I came into the stateroom. Louis, also dressed for the day, sat beside him at the foot of our bed, looking out the front windows, southward on the East River. They didn’t turn around as we finished toweling the last moisture from our bodies. Dashiell and I went about dressing.
I looked in the mirror, turned, and turned again, saying, “Both sides, anterior, posterior, nails, shoes, and hair.”
Dashiell was right behind me in the mirror as I moved away, “Both sides, anterior, posterior, nails, shoes, and hair.”
Louis turned around to see what was happening.
“What is that about?”
“That’s what Aunt Odie and Aunt Gizzie taught us. When we get dressed, we look in the cheval, and check to make sure we are dressed properly.”
Dashiell and I explained it to Louis and again in more basic words for Ollie.
“It’s raining,” Louis noted.
“No ball game today,” Dashiell said.
“No ball game? But you said we were going today.”
“They don’t play baseball in the rain.”
Dashiell added, “You have a good rainy day place for us to go, today. Don’t you?”
“Yes. One that the boys will want to visit again and again. I promise.”
“The American Natural History Museum, on the other side of the park. We can have dinner there and after dinner, we’ll have a surprise, you’ll never forget.”
Ollie asked, “You promise?”
Louis was a little depressed.
“I don’t think I’ll want to go see any museum, again and again.”
“I do,” I said.
I set him up so he had to trust me, doing something that he thought he wouldn’t want to do.
At breakfast, I announced the ballgame was ‘rained out’ and that today we would be going to the museum, with dinner and surprise afterward.
The Tissots and Monsieur Laurent took a rain check on the day’s events, deciding to stay home. Jacob assured them the chef would have dinner for them.
After breakfast, the boys went to their instruments and practiced. Dashiell and I had another cup of coffee in the dining room and finished reading the paper.
Louis arrived to have his practice checked.
I checked his work and Ollie’s work.
Ollie and I returned to the lounge. Louis was gone. We went to Dashiell’s studio.
Louis was there with Dashiell. They were not talking. Dashiell sat by a window, busy painting something outside. Louis opened his microscope kit on the big table and was learning to inspect stuff.
“I guess you guys are busy. We’ll be in the lounge,” I said, and started to close the door.
Ollie saw the microscope.
“Go take a peek. Don’t touch anything.”
I grabbed him as he set a course for Louis and the microscope.
“Ask Louis, if you can look in the eyepiece.”
Louis slid his chair from the table, stood up, and lifted Ollie, so he could look in the microscope.
When Ollie looked, he asked, “What’s that?”
I stood back as Louis and Dashiell tried to explain the slide to Ollie. Ollie had no idea what they were talking about and I had already learned that some things were not to be explained to Ollie.
When the three of them exhausted their appetite for pseudo-scientific discussions, I suggested to Ollie that we go for a run. He was ready for some action after his scientific reflections.
“Thank Louis and Dashiell for explaining the microscope.”
Ollie, most politely, turned and said, “Thank you.”
Ollie and I changed and went to the exercise room. We ‘walked’ a few miles and quit.
After showering and redressing, we went to the lounge. He sat down in the recliner, with his feet up. He liked the recliner because he could put his feet up.
I played something of Debussy’s.
When I finished, he asked, “How do you know exactly how to play the music?”
I said, “Well, first of all, the music usually gives an indication of how to play it. Loud, fast, simple instructions like that, most of the time. When you play the music using those instructions, you may get a ‘feel’ for the music. Once you feel the music, everything else follows.”
“I don’t know if I feel the music.”
“When you tell me, that something I played was beautiful, you say that because you feel the music. I can play something for you that is ‘not’ beautiful… you will know it is not beautiful… but you will feel the music. Here. Let me show you.”
“Close your eyes and let the music do its magic.”
I played Saint-Saëns’ Dance Macabre. When I finished, Ollie was in “Wow” mode.
“It was very scary, but I wanted to hear more.”
“You felt the music. It certainly was not beautiful, but you know you felt the music.”
Ollie and I played music and talked for the remainder of the morning.
At one point, I asked him, “Have you ever seen a dinosaur?”
“Silly. Dinosaurs are only in storybooks.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because no one has ever seen a dinosaur.”
“What if I tell you, you will see some this afternoon?”
“Then I would say, ‘You need a nap. You drank too much wine.’”
We laughed. He carefully watched me weighing the honesty of my laugh. He knew, at six years old, he might not know everything and even in stories… dinosaurs are scary.
I played what he wanted to hear, but wouldn’t ask, Jailhouse Rock. He jumped up, stuck his thumbs in his belt, shook his legs, and wiggled his butt. I followed with Hound Dog, and Shake, Rattle & Roll. He was ecstatic. He wanted more, so I played Mean Woman Blues, Blueberry Hill, True Love, and Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
Jacob appeared and announced, “Lunch is ready.”
Ollie had taken to using a candle for a microphone, on the slow numbers, singing his little heart out. I don’t think I had ever heard him sing. Good pipes on my little tiger.
At lunch, I announced we were going to the American Museum of Natural History. We would dine there at dinner time and go to the planetarium afterward.
Louis immediately asked, “What’s the planetarium?”
I said, “Too hard to explain. You’ll see. You’ll like it and want to return for more.”
He knew I was not telling. I didn’t try to hide it, either.
Dashiell rubbed it in. “You’ll love it.”
Louis picked at his lunch. Ollie devoured his lunch, as if he was leaving civilization to battle dinosaurs.
One last invitation to the Tissots and Monsieur Laurent. They were staying home. Jacob assured me that they would have a lovely dinner.
We opened umbrellas and walked in the drizzle to the cars. We went about eight blocks to the American Museum of Natural History.
As we pulled to a stop, in front of the enormous building, Louis murmured something.
I asked the driver, “Tell me in English what he said. I couldn’t hear.”
The driver leaned over and whispered, “Another museum. I hate museums.”
I laughed. “Wait until tonight, when you pick us up. Make a point of asking him how he liked the place. By the way, pick us up about ten. We’re dining here and doing the evening planetarium show, too.”
“Got’cha covered, Governor,” he said in a very British accent.
All of this amused Dashiell. Ollie, with his usual bright smile, ignored it. Louis, feeling stuck in a museum, for the day, displayed his irritation on his sleeve.
We went up the stairs to the main entrance, past the huge bronze statue of Teddy Roosevelt on a horse and an Indian at his side.
Once inside, Louis wasn’t so miserable. Past the ticket place, reservations made for dinner, and seats for the planetarium reserved, we were actually on the second floor. Louis went to the railing and took in the enormity of the building. His mouth was agape; eyes wide. Dashiell was beside him. The game plan was… Ollie was to go with me and Louis was to go with Dashiell and we would meet at six in front of the restaurant on the bottom floor to clean up for dinner. The boys exercised their cameras and we bought a considerable amount of film and flashbulbs and batteries.
Ollie liked the totem pole. I had to take a picture of him standing next to it, and more pictures of Ollie in a desert scene, on top of a camel, complete with lots of sand.
The lion looked ferocious. Ollie stood beside it, posing. We walked through the bird displays. Ollie wasn’t into birds, but enjoyed seeing the variety on display.
We arrived at the floor with the dinosaurs. Ollie’s eyes got very big, when we approached a dinosaur that moved and roared, shaking everything around us. Ollie squeezed my hand, and jumped behind me. He had respect for what he was seeing. He knew it wasn’t real, but he also knew it was really scarey.
“These are the real dinosaurs,” I said.
We could have spent the entire week there. At one display, there were chicken bones, in dirt, and the point was to find the chicken bones. He loved it. So deftly, so carefully, he stripped away the sand, revealing the wishbone in the dirt. Severin and Ollie will have to have a chat and get to know each other. That may be love at first sight.
We left that floor and went to see the bees. Ollie was fascinated with that, too. I explained the cycle of honey making. There was a little theater, where we sat and watched a movie about the queen and eggs, etc. Ollie was taking that all in as I translated.
Everything had to be translated. All the signs and sounds were in English.
Ollie liked the cutaway cow. He remembered the cows on the road to the resort and the day we stopped and went to the barn.
Ollie noticed that the museum scene was missing the sweet smell of the hay and the cows.
I said something like ‘maybe they are adding that next year.’ That was enough information for him….
I must remember ‘Maybe next time’ is an all purpose indefinite answer to most questions.
We saw the vegetable cycle, from seed to table, to making more seeds.
We saw a movie about the Egyptians harvesting wheat, for bread, beer, and seeds for next year.
Suddenly I looked for a clock, it was five-fifteen. I said, “We are supposed to meet Louis and Dashiell at six in front of the restaurant on the bottom floor to clean up for dinner.”
“Can we look, just a little more? At the dinosaurs?”
We ran up the stairs to the dinosaur floor.
Ollie said he wanted to go up the staircase to the face of a giant dinosaur. The stairs went up, and put you, eye to eye, with the monster.
Ollie climbed the stairs and stood there, looking in the face of the dinosaur. He took a picture of the skull. When it was developed, it turned out to be a picture of the eye. He loved his picture of the dinosaur’s eye, anyway.
We left the dinosaurs, stopped at the dinoShop, collected some souvenirs, and went to the AfricaShop. No souvenirs appealed to him. Time was closing in fast.