Friday, September 30, 2016

Big 3-0 Birthday Continued...

After our baseball tour we headed over to Shake Shack right by the inner harbor. I have been wanting to go to NYC so badly so that I could try Shake Shack. I always hear such great things about it! I had no idea that they had other locations outside of the city! And one within 20 minutes walking from Camden Yards! (Thanks Amelia for making my wildest food dreams come true). It was goooooooood. Totally worth the hype. 

When in Maryland...Old Bay Seasoning. 

I definitely didn't appreciate the Inner Harbor when growing up so close to Baltimore. I was kind of shocked walking around there thinking, "This is is SO pretty. Why didn't I enjoy this place more?"
After lunch I may have led us in the wrong direction to the Science Center, but we finally made it and all the nostalgia came at me (not that it hadn't already been hanging around what with spending the morning at Camden Yards). We had passes here growing up and I remember just LOVING this place. I was so excited to find out that our Ithaca Science Center membership could be used there.

Meeting Cal Ripken!
 So brave.
 The view from the Science Center!
 This semi-creepy exhibit called out to us, "Hello, come find out how tall you are." So we did. You guys, I'm not even 5'4"!! Short.

We build things so that we can destroy things.

 What you can't see in this picture is the T-Rex eating this other dinosaur's tail. Shae was yelling, "You stop it T-Rex! Stop eating his TAIL!"
 Loving this "who can smile bigger" tactic. 

And finally...the reason that we even did this whole trip...THE FOOTBALL GAME! The Lukes met up with us for lunch and then Adam came with us to the game. It was really neat to be in an NFL football stadium, even if the FedEx colors were a bit tacky.
 We still can't get over the fact that Amelia came all the way out to do this with us. She's the greatest.

 Shae was sad that he didn't get to meet the Oriole bird, so he was extra stoked to meet Cosmo.
 The only thing that could have made this weekend better would have been a BYU win. Okay, let's be honest, there are a lot of things that could have made it more family members with us, an Oreo cheesecake, family massages...but what I'm trying to say is, it was a great weekend.

Oh! And I almost forgot one of the coolest parts. As we were driving to the game, we took a wrong turn and ended up on the freeway which was kind of annoying at first until we realized that 4 BYU busses were passing us with a police procession. We all kind of freaked out. There was honking and whooping and waving...and some of the players waved back at us (!!). It really was so cool and I was only worried about my safety for a few seconds of it (Darin...the driver...was VERY excited). Really wished I had thought to take video while this was all happening. There the busses go...
Seriously, it was rad. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Big 3-0 Birthday

Darin is 30! 30!!! We celebrated with some friends the night before his birthday since we were leaving the next day for his surprise weekend getaway. It was the last day of summer which made it okay that I made this cake with blueberries and lemons in it. Totally screamed summer, and baby shower or bridal party, but he didn't mind. He loved it (thank goodness). 

Love that Belén is licking the frosting off her fingers in the below picture. It is clear where she tampered with the cake.

I went ahead and let Darin open his birthday present the night before as well since I was dying to talk to him about our trip and I wanted him to be able to pack appropriately. He told me that he thought we were going to Pittsburgh, New York City, Williamsburg, or the DC area for the football game. Clearly the last one was what he was hoping for, but I think I did a pretty good job of convincing him it wasn't that. 

But it was! And he was SO happy and we all lived happily ever after.

We dropped Belén off at my parents on Thursday night because the last thing I wanted to do after going to the baseball game in Toronto with her was go to another sporting event. Sorry girl, maybe next time.

Darin knew there was one more surprise Friday morning but didn't know what it was. As we were driving he was like, "Are you taking me to Gettysburg? That doesn't seem like an exciting surprise..." He had no idea what it was and I couldn't help but smile just about the entire way there, I was so excited. A few minutes before our stop I told him to close his eyes. We pulled in to Penn Station and Amelia walked over to the car. He opened his eyes, looked out the window and there she was! It was an epic surprise. I loved Shae's surprise too, since I clearly hadn't told him. "Aunt Amelia is HERE!" Having her come out for his birthday/football game really was THE best surprise. 

We quickly made room for her in the car and then we were off to Camden Yards for our tour.
Loved teaching this guy about my favorite baseball player of all time. He learned quickly that number 8 is sacred.

 I LOVED being at Camden Yards again. That place is like home to me. 
 Shae couldn't get over the fact that the trash cans wore helmets.
 The Iron Man himself on the Oriole Hall of Fame wall.
 Along with one of my major baseball crushes, and favorite pitchers (still love him even though he left us for the Yankees) of all time: Mike Mussina, aka Moose!

 We went in to one of the suites and the tour guide had us yell, "Let's Go O's!" and we got to hear it echo off the warehouse. The way Shae's face lit up. After she was done with her explanation we asked if we could yell one more time for him and everyone obliged. 
 Hard to hold myself back from taking a picture of every single thing Cal Ripken.

Love when she explained the Sports Illustrated covers..."Chris Davis was the first Oriole we've had on the magazine in years, then there is this player, then Cal Ripken, Cal Ripken, Ripken, Ripken..."

 So cool to get a peek in to all that goes in to broadcasting and announcing a game.

 Where all the journalists watch the game (aka: my dream job of my high school years...after playing ball for the Orioles that is).
 They have a pretty sweet view. 
 I was suuuuuper bummed that we didn't get to go in the Clubhouse, but loved being in the dugout and right next to the field. 

 Pretty sure I am sitting where Cal Ripken once sat....I mean, he must have, at some point or another, right?

After going on the tour Darin and I clearly wanted to go to the ball game that night as well. It just so happened to be student night so we got 4 tickets for $28! Woo! It was also free t-shirt night and firework night! So yes, I was a little bit excited. It's been 3 years since we've gone to a game at Camden Yards and we should really make sure to never go that long between visits again.

I loved seeing Shae's enchantment with the Oriole bird...especially because I was right there with him as a kid. Watching him totally brought me back to my first O's games (granted I was a little older, but we were the same in that we watched the bird more than the ball game). Here the bird is throwing out some pitches:
Holding up his Hyun Soo Kim free t-shirt .
 Shae wanted to get on the jumbroton so badly. He would dance around between innings and look for himself and then sulk and say "they didn't show me." I realized a little too late that they would show instagram pictures with the hashtag #birdland, so we snapped a quick pic to see if we could get up there. No luck. I guess waiting till the 7th inning and taking a semi-boring selfie wasn't jumbotron worthy.

 Have I ever mentioned that we always seem to go to games that go in to extra innings? Happened again Friday night. The 9th and 10th innings were so exciting. Packed with action and highs and lows. It felt good to be SO in to a ball game. After the 11th, we decided we should probably head out (poor Shae was just done by this point...but he was so good during the game!) You just never know if there will be 1 more inning or 7 in an extra inning game so we left. Kicking myself hard on that decision now because Mark Trumbo hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 12th to finish it off. I was SUPER bummed we missed that, but still had such a wonderful evening enjoying my favorite team (and location) in the world. 

More birthday celebration to come...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

One Last Family Visit to Finish off the Summer

After Philly we spent Sunday and part of Monday with my parents for Labor Day weekend. It was fun to watch Belén with River. They loved each other. Belén's little squeals of joy whenever she saw the dog!! I couldn't get enough of them together.

 We may or may not have snagged a big bag of these tomatoes to take home with us. There were SO many!

 Grandma is so brave. Painting with the kidlets.

 We left Monday afternoon to get daddy back for school the next day. Me and the kids turned right back around and went back on Wednesday so that we could see my brother Scott and his family who were visiting from Texas. It was kind of a bummer that they couldn't have come a few days earlier so that Darin could have been with us too, but glad it worked out so well anyways. 

The kids loved each other. Rylan is such a sweetheart. It was so nice to get to know them all (since we hadn't seen them in 2 years, and that was only for a few hours, and right after we had totaled our car, so yeah, lots of things filling our heads that day).

We tried to get a fire going on Wednesday afternoon so that we could make some s'mores, but it started to rain about 10 minutes after we got things going.
  Belen's excitement with her little hands on her knees in the corner of this picture, she kills me. (Also, these boots that grandma got her are what started her boot obsession. She had to be wearing them at all times).

 Since the fire didn't work out, the boys tried to break some geodes that grandma got them while Belen played in the rain.

 The boys watching Paw Patrol while we play some grown-up games. They were just so cute squeezed in this little chair together!
After Labor Day everything shuts down during the week which put a damper on our plans of going to Lake Tobias (which is actually more of a zoo, not a lake at all). Then we thought that going to Colonel Denning State Park would be fun because they have a great beach, but they were also closed. So we went out of our way a little bit, but found this other state park in Lewisbury that ended up being a perfect third option.

 My dads usual way of entering the water. He goes all in from the start.

 He's just the best grandpa in all the land. He knows how to make them laugh like no other.

 There wasn't sand leading up to the water, but they did have this sand pit. Thank goodness, because the kids really love the sand more than the water when it comes to the beach.
 What a photogenic kid! 

These silly kids found a bunch of hats up in Ammon's room and were running around the house in them. I loved watching Belen running around behind these two, always trying to keep up with whatever they were doing.

She refused to take hers off for dinner and I was too cute to say no to.
"Who can smile bigger?" Well, now I know my secret weapon to get Shae to smile at the camera. (Although with my luck it was just a one time thing).
After getting home from the lake we tried out the fire/smores plan again and this time succeeded. Mmmmmm...s'mores have a special summery place in my belly.

 So glad that these guys could come out to visit! We had such a blast! Can't wait till we get to do it again.