Jul 14, 2011

The Road Trip

7/14/2011 — cori
It appears that our new past time is to drive across the United States. Last year we drove to California (22 hours), this year we drove to Minnesota (15 hours) and our last conquest has been our most recent drive to the East coast, Virginia specifically (20 hours). We must love our car. And we do...but there's something so alluring and fun about being stuck in a car with your favorite people for long periods of time. We totally enjoyed just talking, playing car games, reading, listening to books on tape, listening to cds, watching the changing scenery and taking in the country-side around us. How can that not be fun? Well, I can think of a way...if any or all of your kids are under the age of 3, then I don't recommend it. That is one of the advantages of having your kids get older. That...and they can do more chores. But then they also eat more and need more stuff. But you also get into some awesome conversations and don't have to pick up paci's every 2 minutes. But you might still smell interesting odors in the car, especially if you have boys.

But I digress....So, The Road Trip started at 3:30 in the morning. Crazy, huh?! Actually, it was supposed to start at 3:30, that's when our alarms were all set to go off so we could leave at 4 am to get a head start on our 12 1/2 hour driving day. But Gavin, Mr. Sleep's The Day Away any other normal day, decides that he is going to set 4 of his alarms (he was afraid he wouldn't hear just one) for 3:15am. He comes running up stairs turning on lights and yelling, "Time to get up. Time go on our trip!" Excited is an understatement. Thanks to him we were out of here on time.

What would be a road trip without some beautiful sunrise pictures? I will not disappoint. We were in Wisconsin by time the sun came up the first day. The second day, we were in Ohio.

We were lucky enough to get to visit both sets of Grandparents on his trip. Our first stop was in Ohio to see Nana. We spent the day out and about their small town. We enjoyed walking around the old downtown square, admiring the late 1890's architecture.

We also had fun at one of our favorite parks, Tawawa Park. We love to play. Playgrounds are a must! We find them every where we go.

Chuck and his Mom

We leave bright and early the next day (early enough to get another sunrise picture) and make our way across the Appalachian Mountains to Virginia. Boy am I glad I wasn't a settler. I wouldn't have made it very far. One look at those mountains and I would have preferred to stay put. They're big. And the road is very curvy. And scary. But that's just me. Thankfully, Chuck was driving through most of the mountainous regions.

After greeting my parents and moving the entire contents of our car into their house we ate and then proceeded to light sparklers (outside, that is). I was shocked! Never in my life have my parents allowed us as kids to play with or even entertain the idea of playing with fireworks. Look what happens once you have grandkids! They threw caution to the wind and we had fun with sparklers. Actually, they did. Among many of my oddities, we can add fear of fire to the growing list. I heeded my parents warnings in my childhood years to stay away from fire. Thus, there was no need for me to hold a metal stick with fire blazing at the end of it. But if my offspring thought this was a fun idea, who was I to limit their fun?

The one thing I love about my parents (there are numerous things, but this sticks out) is that they LOVE to play. I love that. I love that age isn't a factor. Having fun together is the most important thing. And having fun involves playing. We weren't there 15 minutes before Dad drags out the bean bag toss game.

We hit at least two playgrounds.

We played Frisbee.

We played a board game called Spy Ally (very apropos).

We played in the pool and we played tennis. It's a little humiliating for two thirty-somethings to get beat in tennis by two sixty-somethings. But they have played tennis many more years and at a competitive level and are awesome. So, it was a fun match whenever Chuck wasn't trying to hit a homerun and I wasn't trying to duck out of the way of the ball (because that's something else I'm scared of, balls coming at me at a high rate of speed).

Virginia and neighboring D.C are full of beauty and history. It's always a fun place to go. We went to the Great Falls on the Potomac River. There we enjoyed the hot and humid day with a picnic and walking some trails.

We saw an old Civil War battlefield/national cemetery called Ball's Bluff.
The South won this battle.

We visited the amazing National Holocaust Museum, a favorite of mine.

We also enjoyed seeing a monument we hadn't ever seen before:
the F.D.R Memorial.

Can you get a more picturesque photo while in D.C? I think not?

We also went to an amazing place in the countryside called The Great Meadow (I know, it sounds like something out of Narnia) where we celebrated the 4th of July. We also got to watch a polo game. Pure beauty - it truly was a great meadow.

Surprisingly, nothing crazy happened to us. I know that's hard to believe given our track record, but we were pretty normal this time around. Unless you want to count the time we stopped in downtown Chicago to eat lunch where the mob lives. We were literally watched by a man at the door the entire time we were eating. I guess that's what happens when you want to go to an 'authentic Italian deli' in Chicago. And then there was the time we had to stop on the southside of Chicago to buy me some sinus pills. I have never been so scared while inside a Walgreens with bars on the window. But the mission was accomplished and my headache relieved. So, it was still a success.

HGTV Inspired

7/14/2011 — cori

Not even 5 minutes after watching House Hunters with me, Chloe has a new "game" idea.

Chloe: "Mom, would you like to play HGTV with me?"

Me: "How do you play HGTV Honey?"

Chloe: "Well, I want to play House Hunters. You be the one looking for the house and I'll be the realtor because I have the right stuff to be a realtor."

Me: "Oh really? What's that?"

Chloe: "I have a notebook and a checkbook."

Me: "Hmmm. What's a checkbook?"

Chloe: "I don't know, I just made that up. But I've got what it takes to be a realtor and I think it will be fun."

Me: "You're on!"

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