Mom got to get Milly up this morning at about 9:00. After that we went to the same diner we went to yesterday and had the same waitress. She remembered us and was just as sweet with Milly. This time Milly got to choose from a basket of toys to take when she left. It was divided up with little plastic rings on one side and cars on the other. The lady behind the counter presented it to her with the rings towards her, but Milly grabbed a yellow car, as Amanda and I expected.

We drover around some if the neighborhoods near my mom’s apartment after we ate. There were some really nice ones, most of them looking pretty old. After that we drove around downtown a bit. She showed us where she works and pointed out some other points of interest.

One of these points of interest was the children’s museum. The original plan was for Milly, Mom and Amanda to go to that while Aunt Robbie and I checked out the Eastman (of Eastman-Kodak) house and photography museum. When I saw the children’s museum though I decided I’d like to check that out too and go to the Eastman house later, so we all went there.

I didn’t expect much out of the place until I saw it because Andra had told me that there wasn’t much to the one in Wilmington. This one not only looked really cool from the outside, but it was also much bigger than it appeared.

In one aspect it really was a museum. It had different areas of play and had displays talking about and showing the history of play. There was a carousel and a train to ride, a butterfly room with birds and butterflies and turtles. The upstairs, which Aunt Robbie and I checked out after we hung back to look at the comic book section, had a whole wing devoted to the evolution of video games and included an arcade and several other game stations. I saw a grandma trying to figure out how to play one of the Caesar games, which are somewhat complex Roman-themed city-building simulation games.

The upstairs also had a ball of Barbies and I think a doll section that we didn’t see.

Most of the action was downstairs. When you first walk in you see the carousel and one of those diners that looks like a camper. After you pay your admission you see a wall-sized aquarium with Nemos and Dorries and some other fish.

Then there was a recreation of Sesame Street steps and a whole Sesame Street section. They had a kid-sized grocery store where they could put items in their carts and run a checkout counter. There was a little post office, sections for comic books, the Berenstain Bears, fantasy and a whole lot more.

We ended up staying at the Rochester children’s museum for three hours, and if we grown-ups hadn’t been somewhat exhausted at that point we probably could have stayed all day. Milly certainly wasn’t ready to go. When we decided to leave she was busily putting keys in mailbox locks. There were three keys and Milly had put all of them in different slots. A little boy came around the corner, looked at that and said, “You can’t put all of them in at the same time.” So I asked him, “What if you have three arms?” He just kind of looked at me.

We were ready to eat and Mom took us to some of the cute little towns surrounding Rochester to eat, but she couldn’t find a place to find chicken nuggets or fingers and Milly was starting to get cranky, so we just grabbed some Popeye’s chicken. The service was extremely slow, but they had one girl running everything at that moment. She was funny, which made it all better.

From there Mom took us to Pittsford, one of the many small towns around Rochester, and we parked at a former flour mill along the Eerie Canal. We took a little walk up the Canal, which was very nice and calm. I said it reminded me of the Riverwalk in Wilmington, but muted. The Canal was also a lot smaller than I expected it to be.

We got ice cream from a little shop along the Canal, more than most of us could finish, then made our way back to the car.

The rest of the evening was spent at Mom’s apartment with Milly playing with Aunt Robbie and Mom while Amanda packed up for tomorrow. I offered to help but when Amanda’s packing she’s on a mission and I’d have mostly just been in the way I think.

Milly played pretty hard, had a bath then went to bed without fuss. Milly’s done so great on this trip. She hasn’t had a nap in three days and she hasn’t had a meltdown yet. Yes, she’s been a little fussy or whiny now and then, but considering all the flying and driving she’s had to do and how relatively little sleep she’s had, I’m certainly not complaining.

The rest of the evening was filled with us grown-ups sitting in the living room, munching on snacks and sharing memories, thoughts and ideas. We got to bed around 11:30.

Zach Dotsey