Final Escapades of 2019

Trigger Warning: This blog post contains photos of spiders and other bugs.

Happy New Year!

This brief blog post is a precis of the last Pict family escapades of 2019, what we got up to over winter break.  We were not overly ambitious or adventurous, choosing to stick fairly close to home and keeping each outing brief, because our focus was on quality family time, enjoying each other’s company, and relaxing after what has been a stressful, chaotic, and busy few months.

The first family event of winter break was a cinema trip to see ‘Rise of Skywalker’.  We are a family of Star Wars nerds.  Mr Pict and I have loved it since we were kids and so we introduced it to each of the boys when they were babies. We, therefore, had to see the latest installment in the saga as soon as we possibly could.

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Mr Pict and I took our youngest son into Philly to see the Christmas lights and wander around the market that sets up near city hall every holiday season.  The light show that projects images onto the facade of city hall is well done, though the accompanying music could have been louder.  I really detest crowds but at least the throngs were all people in good spirits and nobody was in a particular rush.  It did, however, make me appreciate the relative peace and quiet of the adjacent garden space with its antler clad figures and twinkling fairy lights.  We had a wander around the market stalls, just taking in the sights, sounds, and smells.  We were not making any purchases so didn’t have to get involved with any jostling and thankfully we didn’t need any refreshments because the queues for food were astounding.  The whole area of the city had a good buzz to it.  I think maybe sparkling lights make everything feel better.

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We had a lovely Christmas Day, full of fun and feasting.  My personal highlight was receiving a Little Baby Yoda made for me by my 14 year old son.

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Mr Pict took our 12 year old skiing in the Poconos.  I have never had an interest in skiing but Mr Pict introduced all of the boys to the sport a few years ago.  Our current 12 year old is the only one who took to it so a day of skiing has become an annual event for the two of them.

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Finally, we had some tickets for the Insectarium so we took a trip there just before the new year.  Our only previous visit there had been in our first winter in Pennsylvania, almost exactly six years ago.  It was the subject of one of my early blog posts.  Much of the Insectarium was the same but the building has also expanded so it includes a butterfly pavilion.  We enjoyed wandering among the large butterflies, most of which were the same species.  I cannot remember the name of them but they were large with brown patterned wings which opened up to reveal a stunning, shiny blue.  They also seemed to be fond of eating oranges.  The absolute highlight of our time there for my youngest son and me, however, was being permitted to hold a tarantula.  We loved it.  I was completely smitten.


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That concludes my round up of the last embers of 2019.  Let’s see what is in store for us in 2020.



18 thoughts on “Final Escapades of 2019

  1. More fun times for the Picts. Great photo of you in th “pink” and the blue butterfly is nice. I have only skied once but loved doing it but probably past my prime now.
    Looking forward to your new adventures.

    • He loves that fleece! He has had it for years because he has not grown much. As soon as I wash it, it is back on him. His teachers probably think it never gets washed but it’s just because fleece dries so quickly.

    • Thank you. We are too often ships that pass in the night during the working week so we try to balance that out with quality family time, though most of the time that involves board games or watching movies and not anything worth blogging about.

  2. I don’t know how you’re ever going to top 2019 with all your adventures. I didn’t even make it to a movie theater once last year. I like the picture of the lights reflected in your glasses.

    • We have some plans on the horizon. My youngest brother is getting married this summer so we will be returning to the UK for the wedding. That’s the big event.

      As for the cinema, I think I only went four times and one of the movies I saw was the 40th anniversary showing of Alien. I am a movie nerd, as are two of my sons, but cinema trips are just too much of an expense to go frequently so we do a lot of our viewing on the small screen.

  3. I suspect that the blue butterfly is a Blue Morpho. They have been featured in a number of butterfly pavilions that I have visited. A number of different tropical butterflies seemed to enjoy feasting on fruit. As I have discovered from my own adventures, a butterfly’s diet can be varied–some species will get salt from animal droppings. I love the shots of all the colorful lizards. Although I am fascinated by spiders, I must confess that I have never had a desire or opportunity to hold a tarantula in my hands.

    • Thank you so much for your input. I did wonder if they were Blue Morphos but I second guessed myself thinking maybe I was just assuming it was the one large blue butterfly I could name. I have seen butterflies sipping at tide lines and, yes, animal droppings but I cannot recollect having them eat fruit before – though it makes much more sense and seems much more appetising. I have held tarantulas a few times, including one that left my hands feeling itchy for a couple of days, like when you get fibreglass particles on your skin.

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