22 August 2011

Great week last week!! Laura came for a visit with her five girls. They arrived Sunday evening and were all here until Wednesday afternoon. Then, Laura took the three youngest and joined her husband in Hershey, PA (where he was in a class). Holly and Sophia stayed with us the rest of the week. Yay!!

We had a great time at the beginning of the week with everyone here, and, Laura was able to do some back-to-school clothes shopping for Sophia and Holly. Then, on Thursday and Friday we had "Camp Grammy" with just Sophia and Holly. What fun!! We designed fashions, made necklaces, went swimming, planned menus, made cookies, ate lots of fun treats, went shopping, visited the library, finger painted, learned to weave, read books, and, watched way too many Scooby Doo episodes. Good times!

Saturday morning, Aug 20, we drove the girls to Hershey, PA (a 2 hr. drive) to join the rest of their family and enjoy the day at Hershey Park. We played "Going on a picnic with Grandma" on the way there and they did a pretty good job of remembering all the alphabetic things we were taking on our picnic. They did, however, take issue with Papaw's "P" word being psychologist! :-)

At the park in Hershey, we went from ride to ride to ride — and Sophia, Holly and Lucy could hardly get enough of all the twirling and whirling. Alice and Penny were their usual adorable selves, and managed to catch a nap or two in the midst of all the hub bub. We finished our day together with a meal at Friendly's — then our drive home.

After our trip to North Carolina over Labor Day weekend, we will have visited with all of our children and grandchildren within the past couple of months. And, our summer bucket list will be fulfilled. We'll then be looking forward to the fall and winter holidays — and more opportunities to visit.


Finally ate my first soft-shelled crab!

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Tiki Castle

Hide and Squeak

Dragon in the sand


This was the most detailed castle we saw

Breakfast on the Beach - bacon, egg, fruit, and a short stack

Loved watching all the kites flying

6 Aug 2011

One of the final things on our summer Bucket List was a trip to Delaware (since its not that far from us and we'd never been there.) We read about the annual sandcastle competition on Rehoboth Beach, and decided that would be a fun thing to see. Its always held on the first weekend in August, so we set off this morning, heading east through Maryland.

We stopped at a seafood restaurant called Fisherman's Inn, just across the Chesapeake Bay from Annanpolis, for a great lunch of soft-shelled crab and cole slaw. I've been wanting to try soft-shelled crab for years, and finally had one! I had to make a few mental adjustments, trying not to think about the fact that I was eating the whole crab. And, parts of it seemed a little like chewing paper, but overall it was tasty. Also, Bob ordered a cream of crab soup to start the meal and it was amazing!

Then, we were off again, to the beach. We enjoyed a beautiful day with lovely breezes, kites flying, and interesting castles and such built in the sand — all to the sound of waves lapping on the shore. Couldn't have been better.

Side note - When we stopped at a WaWa station on the way out of town, we were surprised to see several Amish men walk in. I had read about Amish settlements in northern Delaware, and didn't expect to see them here. Their clothing, their hats, and the style of their beards was very much like the Amish we've seen in Ohio. The colors of their shirts were different, though. (Laura told us that the local leader determines what colors they wear.)

This summer has flown by!! But, we've done lots of fun things. The only item now left on our Summer 2011 Bucket List — end the summer with a trip to see family in NC over Labor Day weekend!


Statue of soldiers at the Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial - I found the name of one of my High School friends, John Claggett. I wish we could live in a world without war. So many lives are lost in every war - and so many other lives are terribly damaged.

Lincoln Memorial

Us and Abe

Abby was happy to have some time out of the stroller

View from the verandah of the Lincoln Memorial

View from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Sadly, because of some renovations in progress, the reflecting pool was empty and the grass on the Mall was mostly brown.

The Washington Monument, street view


Our Day at the Museums. . .

Abby rides the Metro!

Entrance hall of the National Museum of Natural History

Bob and a Brown Bear

Beautiful Petrified Wood

The Hope Diamond

At the National Museum of American History:

Flag made in 1813 that hung over Ft. McHenry, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner

A peek into Julia's Kitchen

Cool Old Pop-Up Book (Paper Engineering)

John at the Scout Monument (Monument represents the past, the present and the future)


Chinatown Gate

Great place for dinner!

3 August 2011

We took the Metro into DC today and spent time in two of the Smithsonian Museums — The Museum of Natural History and the Museum of American History.

Loved seeing the dinosaur exhibits and the many animals in Mammals Hall at the Natural History Museum, as well as some of the gems and minerals, including the beautiful Hope Diamond. (Their Egyptian Mummies exhibit was tiny and disappointing.) Funny thing at the Mammals Store was that you can purchase small books/journals that have covers made with paper created from elephant or panda poo. They have an interesting natural-fiber look and you wouldn't guess what they're made from just by holding one. See — you can recycle nearly anything! :-)

At the Museum of American History, the first exhibit we viewed was "The Star Spangled Banner." We saw what remains of the flag that was flying over Fort McHenry in 1814 which inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words to our national anthem. Then, as we exited into Flag Hall, we encountered a large group of people holding a replica of that flag and they all began to sing The Star Spangled Banner. It was a very moving experience. Afterward, those around the flag were instructed in how to fold it. (Its a HUGE flag and can't be folded in the same manner that's typically used.)

We also saw the exhibit of the first ladies' inaugural gowns, including Michelle Obama's. This fall they're closing this exhibit and opening a new one about First Ladies, so I'm glad we got to see this one. Then, we went downstairs and saw Julia Child's kitchen; some cool robotic vehicles (that actually steer themselves) at the Science in American Life exhibit; and, some fabulous pop-up books at the Dibner Library. (I've always been fascinated with pop-up books! Every time I see one, I want to look closer to see how its engineered and then, make one myself.)

The National Boy Scout Memorial is just around the corner from the Museum of American History, so we walked over and took some pictures there. Its very near The White House and, while we were there, a helicopter flew in, landed on The White House lawn and, a little while later, flew out again. (We could only speculate about who might have been coming or going. Today is President Obama's 50th birthday.)

Afterward, we hopped on the nearest Metro and rode to Chinatown for a delicious meal at Tony Cheng's Mongolian Barbeque. Yum!! Then, we browsed in a little gift shop and headed back to the Metro for our ride back to Dunn-Loring Station to pick up our car. Tired, but happy, after a long day in our nation's capitol, we sang songs and played with Abby on the way home!


Hershey, PA
They were having a birdhouse contest. These were two of our favorites.


Hershey, PA