Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Maryland trip part 3

Okay here is the final installment of our Maryland trip. I 've been a little distracted this week because Becca started third grade on Tuesday and Kenzie starts Kindergarten next Tuesday! But that is a whole 'nother post, so on with the last day of our visit to Maryland...

Monday morning we headed back into Baltmore to visit the National Aquarium. They had lots of neat tanks and a really fun dolphin show. They even have several baby dolphins, the youngest being just four weeks old!
After the Aquarium we went back to Jen's house to rest up and wait for Jen to get home from work. After Jen got home we were off to Camden Yards to see the Red Sox play the Orioles!

Yes, it's true, we had to go all the way to Baltimore to get Red Sox tickets. Camden Yards is actually often referred to as Fenway South and it was easy to see why after spending the day in Baltimore the day of the game it was like being in Boston with every other person wearing Red Sox gear! Now we were sitting in the very last row, which was no big deal and it actually ended up being a blessing in disguise because it was 90 degrees and humid when the game started and there was a nice breeze coming through the fence up where we were.

We all had a good time except Kenzie who thought the game was boring until Dom took her to the gift shop. Twice. We actually left during the 8th inning and the Sox won 6-3.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Maryland trip part 2

Saturday morning we were on the road again. This time we were headed into Baltimore to go to the zoo and the children's museum. The girls love animals so they voted for the zoo first. Jen was able to join us and she told us that there was a new addition to the zoo, a baby elephant named Samson. Since Samson was only on display to the public for a few hours a day we made visiting him one of our first priorities. Becca was also on a mission to see an Okapi. An Okapi can best be described as a leftover parts animal-(I unfortunately don't have a picture to share but you can google it if you want.) It has an upper body that looks a bit like a moose (without the big antlers) and the legs are stripped like a zebra. Kinda weird lookin'.

Anyway, Samson the baby elephant was really cute. He splashed around in the water and got stuck in a big tire! Very entertaining. The girls got to feed a giraffe too, but I didn't get a picture because there were other kids in the way but Dom did get it on video.

After the zoo we headed to the children's museum. This had lots of cool things for the kids to explore spread over three floors with a giant climbing structure in middle that included tunnels, slides and a zip line. One of the girls favorite areas was a pretend diner complete with booths and a working jukebox. So Jen, Dom and I sat in a booth so the girls could take our orders and 'cook' for us.
Another favorite for Becca especially, was looking for clues to solve an Egyptian mystery. It was very Indiana Jones.

"It's the milk, it's the milk chocolate..."

Sunday we drove to Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. This seems to be the biggest hit of the trip which probably won't come as a surprise to anyone since the girls, as well as myself are huge lovers of chocolate. Becca loved the tour with the singing cows and Kenzie really enjoyed the 3D movie we saw. We also took a trolley ride through downtown Hershey and learned all about Milton Hershey who was a very cool dude. The Milton Hershey school provides schooling, boarding, clothing, computers and scholarships to underprivileged children all payed for by profits from Hershey chocolate and entertainment. So every time you buy Hershey products you are helping underprivileged children!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maryland trip part 1

Tuesday we got back from our trip to Maryland to visit my niece Jen. We packed a lot of fun activities into five days and I am still struggling to get back into the groove here at home. Because we packed so much stuff in and I have lots of pictures to share I will break the trip up into several different posts over the next few days.
We arrived in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon where Jen picked us up at the airport. This was the first plane ride for the girls and Kenzie got a little nervous after we first boarded the plane. Actually she got a lot nervous. She got 'mom I feel like I'm gonna be sick' nervous. Which made me think we might be in for a long and potential messy ride as the rest of the passengers hadn't even boarded the plane yet. Luckily she didn't get sick and once we were in the air she was just fine. Crisis averted. We arrived at Jen's house and got settled, met her very friendly dog, Reese and spent the evening talking and watching the Olympics which Jen's husband Micah is covering in Bejing, very cool!

Friday Jen had to work but she let us borrow Micah's car and we headed down to D.C. to check things out. Our first stop after finding a place to park was to find a map so we could find our way around. We entered a building that was marked information and had to show picture ID and have our bags checked before we could go in. We quickly learned that having our bags checked was normal procedure for every building we entered in D.C.
The girls decided that they wanted to see the national aquarium which was close by. We saw lots of cool fish from all over the US including a really cute baby sea turtle.

After the aquarium we took a short walk down Pennsylvania Ave. to see the white house from the outside. Then we saw the Washington monument on our way to the Museum of Natural History where Kenzie really liked the dinosaur exhibit and Becca enjoyed the animal exhibits.

We finally ended the day at the Air and Space museum. There was lots more we would have liked to have seen in D.C. but we'll just have to save that for another visit!

Monday, August 11, 2008

You might be a redneck if...

You spend a free afternoon down by the river drinking and using the empty cans for target practice with a pellet gun.

Yes, Dom and I gave onto the rural atmosphere and while the kids were away at Nonna's we spent quite a bit of time down by the river just hanging out. For anyone who doesn't know we have a river that runs through the back of our property and is about a ten minute hike from the house.

Dom did some fishing. I took some pictures and we did some drinking and had a little shooting competition with a pellet gun. Good, cheap fun. Plus, the weather has been pretty crappy with thunderstorms and rain pretty much everyday we didn't really want to take a chance out on the boat or heading up to the mountains to go hiking. The good thing about all the rain was the river which is usually not much more than a trickle this time of year is rushing pretty good making it a nice place to hang out.
I realize the picture above looks crooked but it is actually the top of the stump that is crooked making the cans lean to the right not because I was intoxicated while taking the picture. I am just too lazy to correct it in photoshop right now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Boating with Boomer

A week or so ago we took Boomer out on the boat with us to see how he would do since he loves to go swimming. I admit I was the most reluctant to bring him for two reasons. 1-he has a tendency to get car sick which of course just driving to the lake could mean a mess to clean up. Also if he gets sick in the car there's a pretty good chance he'd get sick in the boat. 2-He is just two years old pretty much still a puppy and pretty much like having another kid, not a huge deal but I like my time on the boat to be relaxing and peaceful and there was a good chance with the dog along it could be loud(barking and whining) and chaotic(pacing and stepping all over everyone) But I finally agreed. We purchased a doggy lifejacket for him mostly so we would have a handle to pull him up out of the water into the boat.

It was very successful. Boomer loved the water and the kids love having him along. He did do some pacing and whining but not too much. As long as the whole family was in one spot, either on the boat or in the water he was fine. But when some of us were in the water and some of us were on the boat he didn't know where to be and got a little anxious. Mostly we stayed on the sandbar and swam and then we took a little cruise around and Boomer lay right down and enjoyed the ride. He didn't get sick on the boat or in the car and that in itself was a relief. I expect we will have many more adventures with Boomer on the boat!