When she was just a baby Lily received the book "Lily and the Imaginary Zoo" from our friends Shawn and Liz. It is the story of a little girl named Lily who accompanies her Mom on errands through Boston. On their way she befriends a number of animals - sculptures scattered throughout the city. We read it often and it's definitely had it's time in the 'favorite book' seat. Even now, we still come back to it as one that she particularly enjoys reading.
Every since we got it I've wanted to take Lily out to follow the trail of the Lily in the book and find all the animals. Well, we finally got around to doing just that last week on Veteran's Day. Lily was home from school, Gordon had taken the day off to spend some time with Quinn before day care started up for him, and the weather was pretty nice for a November day. So off we went!
We took the T from Porter Square to Copley - Lily was excited because she loves the train. I was VERY happy that Gordon was with us to navigate the times that we couldn't find the elevator (Park Street) or there just wasn't one (Copley). Quinn fell asleep on the train ride, but here he is looking ready for an adventure:
Lily's first stop is the Boston Public Library where she meets a lion. Apparently I wasn't paying attention to the book, because I missed the fact that the lion is actually INSIDE the library. So after circling it looking for the lion, we had to give up and move on since the library was closed for the holiday. Not the best start, but thankfully Copley Square and our next stop is right across the street. Here's a photo of the library - see? no lion there! We've promised Lily that we'll come back to find him another time. (and now she asks me every day - "can we go find the lion today mommy?")
So next stop - Copley Square. Here, Lily's Mom "gazes up at Trinity Church" while Lily races the tortoise and the hare. Our Lily was a little disappointed to discover that the tortoise and the hare aren't real. "But Mommy - how do they race?" She got over it though and had fun playing with them them anyway. Funny side-note - while we were there another little girl came over with her Dad. And we overheard that her name was Lily too! Made me wonder if they had the same book.
All three of us decided to hitch a ride from the tortoise. He wasn't going anywhere fast anyway:
After saying goodbye to the tortoise and the hare we continued along Lily's trail to the Boston Public Garden to visit with Mrs. Mallard and her babies. I've been wanting to take Lily here forever anyway - I'm ashamed she's nearly 3 and it was her first visit! The garden looked really cool in all its fall finery. I also am ashamed to admit that at first we couldn't find the duck statues -what kind of Bostonian am I? (one that lives in Somerville, I guess) We did find her though and Lily was very excited to meet Ouack - her favorite of the 8 ducklings. Here she is sharing a pensive moment with Mrs. Mallard:
And here's Quinn, getting to know Ouack:
Our last stop was the frog pond statues in the Boston Common. I had no idea that there was also a playground here. It was the perfect place to end our little outing. In the book Lily does go on to Old City Hall to ride a donkey statue. Our Lily was not happy that we didn't make it to Mr. Donkey. But he was just a little too far and we needed to eat and get home for nap. So we compromised with some playtime in the playground instead.
As a final treat we ran into our good friends - one of whom happens to also be Lily - at the tadpole playground. The perfect way to end our little Lily adventure.
Our day ended at Honk Kong Eatery in Chinatown where we ate roast duck and roast pig and yummy vegetables on rice. We all had a great time and hope to do it again in the spring/summer when the frog pond fountain is open and we can also find the lion and the donkey. I'm so glad we got ourselves out and into the city. We really don't do it enough - and it's such a fantastic time when we do - yay Boston!