Thursday, June 26, 2014

Let's Pretend We Live in the 17th and 18th Century, Shall We?

We took advantage of Grandma's visit to hit up a few of our favorite Virginia historical sites, as well as add a new one to the list.

Colonial Williamsburg

We broke this visit in to a few days, doing the tour of the Wren building and William & Mary campus one day.
Like mother like son...
The Farmer's Market, Bruton Parish chapel (which is still the original building! One of the few, it seems, that wasn't ever burned down by those dang candles) and the Governor's Palace another day.


And then an actual walk through most of the Colonial Williamsburg street, complete with marching revolutionary soldiers and all, another day.


How the heck is this kid going to handle car rides and church without Grandma's gadgets? 

At Monticello, we met Mr. Jefferson himself.

We took a Garden Tour. What an amazing garden Thomas Jefferson must have had! You could smell the vegetables as you walked through. smelled so good.

We took a house tour which was pretty awesome, yet pretty hard for Shae to not touch ANYTHING (we were instructed to touch the floor and absolutely nothing else). I thought it was so cool how Thomas Jefferson was so interested in time. He had beautiful clocks in every room and even had a clock/sun dial on the roof of his porch!

Monticello is beautiful, I can't even imagine how gorgeous it must be in the fall. And how did I not realize that it's Monticello on the back of the nickel? Please tell me that I'm not the only one who didn't know that...

We also participated in the Slavery Tour (which really needs to change it's name to: Slavery Information Session since we were not really touring anything...). While on the "tour," Shae mixed up his snacks with a stick...

...and had his diaper changed on my lap, under a tree. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

Seriously gorgeous view.


As is the case, ohhh...always, Shae started his friendly flirting right when we got to the Indian Village. We learned here that Pocahontas was only 10 years old when the English came in 1607. Good job Disney. Good. Job.

He continued to wave at every soul he passed in the English Village...

 ...As well as aboard the ship. 

"Why do they always feel the need to put  me on these beds when go places?"
 We got our picture taken with a sailor. Shae couldn't stop staring at his beard. Then the sailor said he had to get a picture of us...

So we let him take one.

 Looks like he's ready to set sail.

 This picture was taken right next to the "No Pictures" sign in the museum. Nice one Darin.

Can I just say that it is SO cool to live in such a historic part of the nation? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Saturday Is a Special Day, It's the Day We Say Bye to the Escort

Let's talk about Saturday. 

I was looking forward to this day for quite sometime. We planned to travel up to MD for my nephew's first birthday party. The last time I saw my brother was at his wedding in 2011 and I have never met my nephew before, needless to say, I was excited to see them. Plus, my family was going to be coming down from PA and it's always nice see them. 

Everything was going really well on the drive up. Shae was finally looking like he might fall asleep. Our audio book was entertaining...and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, we saw a huge piece of metal in the middle of our lane. We were driving down a super busy I-495 around D.C. so there was nowhere to go but forward. It all happened so quickly, we saw it, we drove over it, it clanked around under the car for a second before shooting out from under us and hitting the car behind us. We pulled over as quickly and as safely as possible, realize that fuel is pouring out from under the car, get Shae out as quickly as we can and back away from the car. Then it hit us what had just happened, as cars continued to pull over behind us having been hit by the same thing.

We later learned that it was a trailer hitch. A pretty big one at that. It did quite a bit of damage that day.

This was the car that got hit right after us. They said it was a rental that they had just  driven out of the lot.

And there's our little Escort. Little did we know that Saturday would be our last time driving it. 

After what felt like hours on the side of 495 with a toddler who just wanted to get down and play, the tow truck came, Darin's aunt came and saved us and even let us use her car to get up to MD and life went on. 

We may have been three hours late to the party but we made it, and we even had a good time. Here's proof:

After Shae finished his cake, he went after Rylan's but instead ended up getting his forks stolen.

His Uncle's mauled him, and he loved it. 


It was so fun to see the cousin together! Even though they had no idea what all the craziness was about.

Shae really isn't into this sharing thing. Way overrated. 

Picture courtesy of Philip

After the party we took a quick trip to our old house on Misty Lake ct. We went down to the "misty" lake itself and reminisced on all the good times we spent there growing up.

I'm super super sad about our car. I have had it for nine years now. It has been SUCH a good car to me and holds so many memories, from graduating high school to college dance parties/adventures to marriage to bringing home my baby. I'm definitely going to miss it and am grateful for how reliable she has been to me and my family. I'm frustrated that we are going to have to spend so much money buying a new car. I'm irritated that we had JUST filled up our tank of gas. I wish we could go back in time and leave an hour later, or be in a different lane. But through everything I feel about the car incident from Saturday, I really just feel overwhelmingly blessed that we weren't hurt in ANY way. It's moments like those that really make you take a step back and appreciate life. I love these boys to death and I can't imagine how difficult it would be to live without them by my side. Cars and money come and go. They can be replaced, other things can't be.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

We Need a Sandbox

Grandma Sharon arrived on Friday. Shae was ecstatic. Like, seriously. He ran right past all the nice people making their way to Baggage Claim, pointing and squealing at Grandma Sharon coming down the escalator. She smiled, we smiled. "He remembers her!" we all thought. Then he runs right past her for the bottom step of the escalator, still pointing and squealing all the way. 

Once the escalator excitement died down he really was excited to see Grandma again (and I believe that the escalator was only part of his initial excitement...we'll just assume it was anyways).

Grandma's arrival was the perfect excuse to go and explore Norfolk and Virginia Beach, something that I've been wanting to do for some time now. Did you know that Norfolk is home to the largest Naval base IN THE WORLD? 

We first stopped at Nauticus, a really cool interactive museum focusing on the navy and sea in general. We got super lucky because it ended up being the museums 20th birthday so everyone got in free! (We even got free cupcakes!)  Getting in free made me enjoy it even more. 

Shae had a blast pushing all the buttons and switches that could be found all throughout the museum. 

"Get me out of this fake boat!"

Attached to the museum is the USS Wisconsin which is a battleship used during WWII. It was so cool to explore the ship and imagine what it would be like to be in the Navy.

"Get me off of this top of three little itty bitty bunk beds!"

After Norfok we made our way to Virginia BEACH! I was pretty dang excited to go to the beach. Growing up in MD, my family went to the beach often. I have so many family memories of time spent at the beach. We have a few beaches closer to us than the BIG beach, but it sure was fun to see the Atlantic, play in the big ocean waves and explore the boardwalk.

We'll definitely be hitting up the beaches around here often, not only because I love the beach, but because Shae could have entertained himself in the sand ALL DAY. He sat in the sand with his shovel and bucket and was the most content I think I've ever seen him in his life. 

The only way this day could have been more perfect would have been if Wait Wait Don't Tell ME wasn't a re-run full of fundraiser bore. It really was a perfect day. Free museum. Easy parking. No traffic. Great company. New places. Little Cesar's Pizza. Well-behaved toddler. Let's do it again sometime.