Saturday, September 19, 2015


After four weeks of Washington DC, we hopped in the car and headed for Ohio. It's a mere six hours drive, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see family this summer. Ohio always makes the summer bucket list. The drive was okay and when we arrived, the kids went straight for the four-wheelers and jeeps. The backyard is amazing.
The next morning the fun continued with Grandpa giving tractor rides (yes, that's a covered wagon trailer!).
On Saturday, Scott and I went on a date. Our anniversary was on Friday, but we spent that day driving with a car-full of kids! Canoeing and picnicking was much more romantic.
This is before bedtime on Saturday night: having a dance-laser-light saber party. Because it's Grandma's house and that's what we do.
On Sunday we went to church and relaxed. We watched hot air balloons from the backyard.
We celebrated my niece's birthday with a flourless chocolate cake.
On Monday we played with cousins. 
And paddled around the pond.
And the usual.
On Tuesday we went to the county fair. It's a big deal where I come from. 
We milked fake cows...
...swam in dry corn...
...and went to the Demolition Derby. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more - the kids or the adults. Watching cars smash into each other is awesome.
I went for some nice long runs with my brother, Dan. He is running the Akron Marathon in a few weeks, so we had lots of miles to run. I ran into this little guy on my run: a baby snapping turtle. 
We did a fair amount of this. Relaxation. Ahhhhh.
We picked apples...
...and scrubbed every one of them... we could make apple cider. Delicious.
It's Ohio. We got out the bounce house.
We went rock climbing with cousins.
Phoebe did laps on the wall for more than an hour. She never seems to tire.
On Saturday we had a family gathering at a boathouse. We ate lots of food, played games, chatted and teased, and did some boating too.
Ahoy there Bruce.
Had a little grilling incident. The fire
Extinguisher was out but we didn't end up using it. Whew!
I love my family.
On Sunday we drove back to Boston. It was a long drive and our day got longer when our brakes got stuck somewhere around State College, Pennsylvania. The brake caliper was stuck clamped to the rotor, making an awful grinding sound. We stopped and got it fixed, but it took five hours and cost so much that I'm trying to forget the exact number. Ugh.

After so long on the road, it is great to be back. I love sleeping in my own bed and I really missed cooking in my kitchen. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

DC Week Four

Our last week in DC was just as busy and fun as our first. We did a low-key Monday by heading downtown... the splash pad. DC is hot.
Then we took the train to the Air and Space Museum. We saw this lovely vehicle parked outside and the kids wanted a picture with it. Bruce is really into sports cars now. 
We saw the Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to cross the Atlantic. 
The kids sat in a cockpit and steered and tinkered with the rudders.
Phoebe's favorite part of the museum was checking out astronaut toilets. We take gravity for granted; it is very helpful when it comes to the bathroom. Space potties look pretty silly.
We stopped at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial on our way to a playground.
Sometimes we need a break from the museums.
We headed to the National Botanic Gardens. I thought it would be a good place for Oliver to nap in the stroller, but I was wrong. There was a big children's garden where kids could dig and work; the kids worked for hours. Seriously. 
The kids even liked the standard non-kid exhibits. We saw a cool garden with a bunch of plants that make spices: pepper, cinnamon, turmeric.
On our way home we stopped at the NOAA because they had a little exhibit and we walked by it every day. It wasn't too exciting, but the kids are fans of any screen with a button next to it.
The next day we headed to the Arlington National Cemetary. We saw a few processions complete with the horse-drawn wagon, the flag-draped coffin, and the marching band. 
We saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and admired their incredible dedication. They stand watch at the tomb 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's hard to imagine them standing there through nighttime downpours; it seemed brutal enough to march there back and forth in the hot sun in full military uniform. We visited the Kennedy graves and read the names of many other veterans on the zillions of headstones. 
After a long morning at the Cemetary, we headed to the National Gallery of Art. Oliver napped through part of it, but woke up somewhere in the Rennaisance and thought it would be funny to yell "BATHROOM!!" super loud and repeatedly. We ran through the rest of the museum and then headed home.
Thursday was our last full day in D.C. We went to the National Archives and Library of Congress. The building was very ornate and beautiful.
We took a tour of the building, checked out Thomas Jefferson's library, and saw a few interesting items like the Guttenberg Bible, the first map that identifies America by name, and George Gershwin's piano.
We then headed to the children's portion of the library for a little downtime and reading.
We passed the Supreme Court...
...took one last stop at the Postal Museum to sit in the truck. Again.
We ended our day with foosball and packing. We packed the car and headed out on Friday after Scott finished his class for the day. It was our 12th wedding anniversary so we spent a romantic six hours in the car with our kids, eating burritos at a Mexican restaurant for lunch, and ending up in Ohio!!!