Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Staycation 2013

We didn't do the OBX this year for a number of reasons but as the summer was going along Jason and I realized we needed a week off and last week was it.  Overall, it was a good week but the weather was CRAPPY.  But then, this summer has been overly disappointing in terms of weather.  We had a few good weeks of sun and heat but mostly it seemed to have started late and now we're in what seems like a monsoon season.  I should have known when there were days in May where it was chilly that it wasn't boding well for a hot summer.  The only really good thing about it is that our sod has had plenty of moisture to get nice and established and we've hardly had to get the sprinklers out.

Anyway we started the week last Friday night at the O's game:

It was the girls' first game and they were all so excited.  We were treated to a Chris Davis home run along with a Nate McLouth grand slam!!  (Although Bryce, Piper and I missed the Crush HR because they wanted to fill up their water bottles.....classic!)  It was a slug fest which is fun for kids and the O's won so a good night was had by all!

Saturday we went to my parents to celebrate our friend Oliver's 6th birthday.  Unfortunately, the pool party didn't go as well as hoped because of the rain.  But it was a nice afternoon and we went home in the early evening.

Sunday was a beautiful day - sunny and not too hot!  Because some of our neighbors had been away and others were getting ready to leave, we had a Sunday Funday get together.  We all brought food, the kids played and we sat around just enjoying summer.  A really fun day!  We didn't stay out too late though because we had an early start planned to Hershey Park!

The park didn't open until 10am so we figured leaving by 8am would be plenty of time.  Nope.  Somehow we didn't really factor Baltimore rush hour traffic into the equation (because you know, I ride in it every.single.day) and we ended up taking the worst way possible around the beltway (but it did teach me how NOT to go to work when I start dropping the kids off at before-care in two weeks).  It took an hour to get to I-83 and then once we got past Harrisburg, we sat in traffic.  We didn't arrive at Hershey Park until 11am!  Needless to say, this is NOT how I like to do theme parks given our Disney success.  But, there wasn't anything we could do at that point so we scarfed down the lunch we brought a little earlier than planned and went to the park.  Bryce and I went to ride some roller coasters since he was jonesing for one and the girls went to ride a tamer ride with Jason.  However, once that was done they were dead set on getting wet.  Mind you it was sunny but only like 75 degrees.  I took one for the team and rode slides and played in the splash zones with them. They had a great time even if it was a little chilly.  They just loved the tubing slides.  After an afternoon in the wet zone, we dried off and had an early dinner and then went on the little motor cars.  Caroline drove her first car by herself.  She was so nervous but we assured her she would be fine and she was.  (This was the first ride we rode at Disney last year and she was so grumpy about it but driving her own car was exciting for her this year.)  Then we rode a bunch of rides together as a family although Bryce and I squeezed in the Super Dooper Looper - his first upside down coaster.  Caroline is not a coaster girl (just like her dad) but she likes the carnival type rides.  They were so happy to ride the swings and tilt a whirl again.  Although I was surprised that Piper couldn't ride the bumper cars (seriously?) or the regular swings (she had to ride the kiddie ones).  And while they didn't really want to, I made them ride the carousel.  (It was my first chance to take some photos):

It really was a great day.  The kids went all day and there was virtually no complaining.  This was very different from Disney where Caroline complained every other step.  The weather was perfect - we couldn't have picked a better day that week.  Thank goodness!!

Tuesday - we were exhausted from the day before and we kind of just laid around until we had dinner with our neighbors who were leaving for Disney the next day.  I ran an errand in the morning with my other neighbor and had lunch so I was very glad to have gotten out of the house for a bit.

Wednesday we went to Annapolis.  We wanted to do something historic/educational and since Jason had never been, we thought it would be a good day.  Thankfully, it stopped raining when we got there and the day was overcast and not too hot during the whole 2 1/2 hour walking tour.  The kids were really good and patient.  We even had some other people on the tour tell us which was appreciated since we didn't feel like they were being that good but honestly, no one melted down and complaining was also minimal.  Caroline got the most out of it, I think.  They liked seeing the state house and the Naval Academy the best.

At the state house

State Senate Chambers

USNA Chapel

Crypt of John Paul Jones - they loved it!

Bryce and Herndon

Bancroft Hall - largest dorm in the US!

A sample midshipman room

Inside Bancroft Hall

On the city dock in Annapolis at Pusser's for lunch

Had to let them do a crazy shot

Thursday was probably our toughest day of the week since it rained (AGAIN!) and we didn't have any plans as a result. We had hoped to fit some pool days in during the week but they never panned out.  We ended the day watching the original Willy Wonka movie and the kids loved it.  There's just something about that room where everything is candy that is so enchanting to kids.  Glad we watched it together!

On Friday, Caroline was picked up by her friend, Sophia's mom, and went to spend the day/night at her house.  I was glad because I knew Caroline needed some older kids to play with.  So Bryce, Jason, Piper and I headed to Marshy Point Nature Center for a while and then were headed to Honeygo Park for more outdoor time when we noticed how dark the sky was.  Shocking, it was going to rain again.  Mid-drive, we decided to go another route.  Piper and I would get pedicures and Bryce and Jason would go to run an errand at Home Depot.  Obviously, Piper and I were on the winning end of this decision!  Piper got her first pedicure!

Then we had an early dinner at Ledo's and dessert at Yogi Castle.  All in all, a good afternoon & evening, if you ask me!

Saturday morning, I took Piper to Build a Bear Workshop because she had some gift cards from her birthday.  This is probably a place I would never take my kids any other time since they don't need any other stuffed animals and it's at Towson mall (which I loathe).  But we had the gift cards so we got there right as they opened.  She really enjoyed it though so it was a very special treat:

Filling up her bear with stuffing

Putting a wish inside the bear's heart

Giving her bear a bath

Introducing Rosey the zebra striped bear!
We made it home by 11am!  Then a little while later, Lily and Harper came to visit us!  I hadn't seen them in a few weeks and they are getting so big - they were 6 months old yesterday:

Then we headed up to Fallston to see our old neighbors who also just moved and to pick up Caroline.  Bryce was a trooper with all the girls and it was really nice to spend time with Joe and Chrisie.  They were great neighbors and I'm glad we're staying in touch:

Caroline & Sophia
Sunday was a sunny day so after we did our normal Sunday chores, Jason took the kids to my mom's to swim since I had a bridal shower to attend for one of our neighbors.  I really would have rather gone to the pool since it was one of the only truly sunny days but I was glad to have been invited to the shower too and spend some time sans children with a few of my other neighbor moms.  

It was a good week, all in all, I just wish it had been more summer like.  But we made it work and I'm glad we took the time out of our schedule to do it.  We'll definitely be resuming our OBX visits next summer though.  Staycations are hard because it's hard to NOT get into your usual routines and habits when you're still in your house.  (I have a hard time not cleaning and doing chores, as does Jason.)

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