Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 6 of vacation

Gloucester, VA

The entire day was spent getting ready for or attending Boppa's great niece's wedding. It was an outdoor wedding, and at the last minute I decided to put Grandson in shorts and tennis shoes as the day was very warm. Granddaughter had a special sundress. They both looked adorable (see photo).

They were very, very good during the ceremony and we got lots of compliments on their behavior. I spent a lot of the day walking back and forth from the house to the reception tent keeping an eye on them. Boppa was engaged in discussion with much of his family for most of the day. Around 4:15 Grandson fell asleep on my shoulder, so I took him to the house and put him on the groom's suite's bed where he slept for about 90 minutes. In the meantime (as I was sitting with him, napping myself), Granddaughter tore up the floor with her dance moves, according to everyone. I had left the camera with Boppa, but he only took one picture and it wasn't of her! Oh well.

The day ended somewhat strangely. As the groom (a member of the Coast Guard) and his bride were getting ready to leave, a Coast Guard cutter zoomed by, and then a Coast Guard helicopter kept circling our area. We didn't know if they were saluting the wedding of one of their own or if there were a true crisis! I jokingly told him that they were looking for him to report for duty, and he grinned and said, "They won't find me!"

This will be the final post until I get back home. I left my download cord (for pictures) at home and luckily was able to borrow one of the niece's cords while in Gloucester. So check back sometime this weekend for the rest of vacation.

Day 5 of vacation

Williamsburg to Jamestown to Gloucester, VA

We said good-bye to Williamsburg and headed over to Jamestown -- the original site (not the re-enactment center). There the kids found a statue of one of their favorite movie characters -- Pocahontas (see photo). They also found John Smith's statue, but were a little put off by the full beard and mustache (unlike the Disney John Smith). Finally, Grandson figured it out and said, "Sissy -- he's old!"

We then headed over to Gloucester where we met up with Boppa's family. Most of the immediately family (brother, nieces and their children) were in the same motel. After settling in, we drove out to Grandview Manor -- a huge house that was on salt water inlet that the parents of the bride had rented to host the wedding and rehearsal at. The kids had a great time, checking out the sea creatures in the water (periwinkles, crabs, jellyfish), making new friends, riding the golf cart, playing tag on the lawn, swinging in the tire swing and being given a little freedom. Everyone was enchanted by them.

Grandson found a girlfriend named Molly -- 18 and a recent HS graduate. Nee Nee knew she'd lost him when he insisted on holding Molly's hand on the dock -- not Nee Nee's. I said, "Molly, looks like you have a boyfriend," and he grinned and said, "Yep!" Then later when I asked him if she was his girlfriend, he grinned and said, "Yeah. Like 'You've got a girlfriend. You've got a girlfriend'." (chanting) (See photo).

Granddaughter found a young teacher to latch onto. He and his wife were related to the groom. He made the mistake of pointing out the crab and the periwinkles to her and of course, she was fascinated. Took a nature walk with the two of them and was absolutely heartbroken when he left for the night. (See photos) "Where's my best friend?" she said with tears in her eyes. I assured her he would be coming back the next day.

It was a great place for the gathering and I'm so glad the kids were behaved.

Day 4 of vacation

Day 4 Williamsburg, VA

We spent the morning checking out Colonial Williamsburg. We arrived in time to see some re-enactments of Colonial life, but most of the time we just walked around. The grandkids found some people who taught them to play some old-fashioned games like hoops, yo-yos, etc. We tried to go on one tour of the Governor's Palace, but granddaughter had an urgent call of nature, so we had to leave early.

The best part of the day was them learning to be archaeologists -- see the first photo. They were shown how to dig softly in the sand and found bones, chips of dishes, pipe stems, and even a piece of old glassware. Some students from William and Mary were their teachers.

We saw a few animals -- sheep and cows, but they weren't allowed to touch or feed them.

Since we didn't have a stroller for them to ride in, we cut the day short. We did eat at Chowning's Garden Tavern but then slowly made our way back to the visitor's center.

We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel.

Day 3 of vacation

All day in Williamsburg

We got to Busch Gardens just after it opened it. It was a nice day to visit. There wasn't much of a crowd and the weather wasn't too hot or humid. This Busch Garden has been voted 'Most Beautiful Amusement Park" 18 years in a row by a historic amusement park society and it is very, very pretty. Lots of shade. Another good thing is that every area (England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy) has several kiddie rides in the area, so you're not confined to one area of the park for little ones. It also has the Land of the Dragons like the one in Tampa, with a water area and several children's rides as well as a "treehouse" dragon's lair for them to climb and slide down. They probably spent an hour there.

We also got to see a few animals, including a grey wolf, bald eagles, and a python (see photo above). Boppa got to go on a big kids ride.

We also got their faces painted (see above). Granddaughter is a bunny and Grandson is "mean and green".

It didn't take much to get them into bed this day.

Day 2 of vacation

From somewhere near Florence, SC to Williamsburg, VA

The kids had a nice sleep and breakfast on board the Amtrak train. We got into Lorton, VA around 9 a.m. and waited almost an hour to get our car. This photo is Grandson and Granddaughter playing with some of their friends on the train.

We drove over to Williamsburg and stayed at the "Indian Sweets" (Embassy Suites). Boppa had to drive to Gloucester to pick up our Busch Gardens passes. so Nee Nee took the kids to the pool and let them swim for about an hour. After we did that, we went to Friendly's for dinner. We got into bed about 10:00, ready for a big day tomorrow.

Day 1 of vacation

From home to somewhere near Florence, SC

Whee! We drove to Sanford, FL and boarded the Amtrak Auto Train at 2:30 p.m. It pulled out a little after 4:00. Granddaughter sat with Boppa and Grandson sat with Nee Nee. They made a lot of small friends in the terminal as well as on the train. Grandson slept through dinner, but both ended up sleeping through the night pretty well.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ready for Vacation!

People tell me that most older folks (like my husband and I) go on vacation to get away from it all. Now, who wants to get away from these sweet faces? Granddaughter, above, is entertained by her new bubble set. Grandson #1 loves to cut dough (by the way, it was so steamy that day that my lens fogged up even though I wiped it before taking the photo). Grandson #2 is the All-American boy, even wearing a Tampa Bay Rays' jersey, and Grandson #3 has learned to play peekaboo. Even though I've never been a "baby" person, I love spending time with these babies.

That's why we chose to take the older two (three and four) with us on vacation! We are taking the auto train from Sanford, FL to Lorton, VA (overnight), then going to Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown (we hope) early next week. Next weekend, we have a family wedding to attend in Gloucester, VA, then we will drive back through the Outer Banks of NC, spending three nights near Cape Hatteras and one night in Ocracoke.

Yesterday we had the two of them over (to give Mommy a break) and showed them their backpacks and had them put a couple things in them. They were so excited (and ready to go)! So were we.

So our next installments should be about our vacation (unless there is breaking news).

An addendum: As I walked Granddaughter through a store at the mall yesterday (bathroom break), she was telling me about her friends. At one point, she was talking about having "skinny friends." I asked her if I was a skinny friend. She turned to me and said, "No, you an old lady." Cracked me up! I think "skinny" meant young by her response.

Number Five on the Way

The big news in the family this week was the fact that my daughter-in-law is expecting again. The baby will be due in February. Although the timing is not good for them, we can't help but look forward to another little one to add to the family. However, this breaks the pattern. I've had grandchildren born in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. This one will be in 2009. I was just thinking the other day that I wouldn't have any in 2008 and really thought that everyone was through! I was thinking of getting rid of the baby stuff I have (high chair, exersaucer, sleepers, etc.). Guess I'll hang on to them after all.

Big sister and Big Brother #2 were very excited. Big Sister got on the phone and announced, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy!" She, of course, wants a sister. Big Brother #2 wants another brother. I guess it will be awhile before we will know.

The photo above shows 3 of the 4 biological grandkids. But of course, you can't discount the steps! So this will make, gulp, eight. Merry Christmas!

Happy Camper

This is my daughter's stepson who is six. He lives in Tennessee with his mom, but he comes down and stays with his daddy during the summer. This summer they were fortunate to find a wonderful (and affordable) day camp for him through the city. The only problem was that they had to leave for work by 7 a.m. and the camp didn't open until 7:30. So Boppa and I have been his 1/2 hour "sitters" for the summer (with a couple of exceptions).

When Boppa was able to, he would pick Grandson up on bike (they live about a mile away) and bike him to our house. Then a few minutes before camp opened, they would bike to the center (about 1/2 mile from us). Grandson loved this and was a little trooper about it, peddling away as fast as he could go. Unfortunately there were a few days when Boppa was gone or it was raining that we couldn't do this.

When I took over the pick up, I had him working on a book about his summer to give to his dad when he left to go back to Tennessee. He would tell me something of interest that he'd done and I would find pictures and print them from the computer. Then he would cut and paste them into the book and either he or I would write on the page (it depended on how much we decided to write). I told him next year he had to write it all! He'll be in first grade.

He is leaving Sunday to go home. I know his daddy will miss him. But I hope the book will help him get through the next couple months until Christmas, when he will visit again.