Three Tweens?

42nd Street in New York City (on the trip home Saturday) I needed to pick up a few touristy things)

IMG_2544bb kings WHAT A WEEK!

By one exhausted grandma Lara/Trace (home in steamy western Massachusetts)

Can I repeat WHAT A WEEK!

The Good News: We all survived intact!

Cami, our granddaughter from Philadelphia was here all last week.  Every year we pick her up in New York City and attempt to keep her happy and busy and playing outside. Usually we play Yahtzee and she wins big.  Before bed, we watch the Disney Channel. Plus she swims every day.

(This trip too many times I caught her watching NETFLIX on her cell phone when I thought she was sleeping.) (Me? Not happy.) (Why does she even need that cellphone? My husband then calms me down.)

Out at the pool, ten-year-old Cami (soon to be 11) invites two local tweens Abi and Jenna to play all week. (The tweens grandma’s are my condo pals.) (We’re glad Cami has friends here!)

flavored coconut water was NOT a hit with the tweens

More good news? The three tweens ate almost everything we made. (Grilled hot dogs, more please. Grape jelly on toast, yes please. VitaCoCo apple or red grape juice? No, yuck. Mango ice cream bars? Corn on the cob? More please… My fried potatoes with eggs, cheese, onion and pepper? Jenna and Abi ask for more! I’m giddy!)

The tweens put their dishes in the sink without being asked? I’m super giddy.

(I did feed Abi and Cami Happy Meals on Tuesday – they wanted the prize and ice cream sundae more than chicken nuggets.)

The worst thing to happen was when the tweens Abi and Jenna walked in duck poop during MANHUNT (tag and hide) game on Wednesday. (Duck Poop? I had no idea we had such a big beaver dam in our little creek! By the way: this is causing a swampland in our back-lot and is attracting lots of ducks and geese. The condo gossip here is a loon might be nesting, too.)

A SLEEP OVER? Are you kidding me?

That really really wasn’t in the original plan. Abi was quite the negotiator and instigator of this. I know someday this girl will be a lawyer.

So it happened… Thursday night…

Keep them occupied, my husband says… so the three tweens are putting golf-balls in our carpeted hallway winning a quarter in cash if they made it into the hole. (This golf gizmo is my husband’s and it is electric). The tweens happily take/win $20+ in coin! Cami takes top honors! (Who knew she had golf putting skill.)  Jenna chooses a music channel on TV and soon they are all singing.  My husband gives them hard hand puzzles to solve and his cash prizes are bigger than mine!

Thursday night and then Friday morning? Outside, the girls rolled a bouncy ball gently into a hula hoop for prizes. The bouncy ball game I invented was not electronic and took real skill. Getting that ball into the ice-cream pail (centered in the hula hoop) was nearly impossible yet Jenna did it twice! (She won three prizes for that each time!)

The tweens only seem to care what they can win – money or prizes.

Do you remember being 10 and 11?

Thursday night: 2 a.m., we decide we have to put the tweens in separate rooms so maybe we can all sleep?

No one died or was hurt, my husband says, so we are good for another year.

Friday: Pool Party with pizza. Over by 6 p.m. – then pack up Cami’s stuff for her trip home.

As a parting gift, our granddaughter gave grandpa a yo-yo (which she won) but wouldn’t give him any of her glow-sticks.  I’m still vacuuming up rock candy nuggets I’m stepping on… I guess that’s my prize.

On Friday, sitting outside, I ask the three tweens for a favor, one thing, something I need them to do every day. I want them to do “one act of kindness” every single day for someone else.

They all agree.


We delivered her to Katz’s Deli in NEW YORK CITY on Saturday.  Of course we brought home pastrami and corned beef for the husband. Here’s some photos I shot…



Where they filmed the hilarious scene from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (Katz’s Deli in NYC) …Famous line: “I’ll have what she’s having.”

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