Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Great Northern Exposure: Part 3 Bitter Sweet

The last day/venture of our vacay in CT is always bitter sweet. We usually save a visit to Fairfield Beach for one of our last days. We usually go to Martin's Aunt Jean's beach house and have a cookout with all of his relatives/family friends. You would think we would do this at the beginning of the week to exchange welcome home pleasantries but for some reason we do it at the end of the week. I guess as a way for us to say good bye and have a safe send off.........or for us to have that one last moment together for them to let us know that even though they are 800 miles away.....they still love us rednecks!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Great Northern Exposure Part 2: JACKPOT!

Martin's mom is a wonderful mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, and all around a great friend. She is very patient with the kids and even at times with us (meaning Martin and I). She is very generous too and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She loves spoiling the kids, maybe at times a little too much. But we only get to see her four times out of the year and so we just let her do it.  

Martin's mom is also a great cook.  She loves food and loves trying different cuisines. She also loves to travel and see different places. When we are in CT she has our week jammed packed full of things to do, see, and eat. But it is with this love of food and traveling that we always seem to end up at her favorite place the casino. Well at least she tells us this is why we end up there...but I think it is really because of her dirty little secret....she loves to gamble!!!! Let me clarify, she isn't one of these gamblers that is in denial most of the times. You know the ones that say they win more than they lose, but in reality they have the house second mortgaged to cover their addiction. No she is quite aware that she is losing money most of the time and it is not a career choice or lifestyle. You will never find her at the high dollar tables like black jack but usually at the penny slots. I guess it is something about the neon flashing lights that scream JACKPOT or the bells and whistles that go off every ten minutes when some lucky fool has won a whopping $5 that really gets her going.  We often laugh that Grandma is just playing a really expensive video game.

Now don't get me wrong we have a great time at the casino. And one might say...taking kids to a casino for a family vacation are you crazy?! But it is actually very very fun. The pools are always very nice. The food is fabulous (just ask my jeans!) and they have great arcades for the kids (this is where Jackson hits the JACKPOT). Also there has been many of time that we have gone and seen great bands and shows. It is like being on a cruise ship without ever leaving port and getting sea sick!

Thank you Grandma for a wonderful time!!! We love you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Great Northern Exposure Part 1: Bright Lights, Big City

I believe children need first hand experiences to make sense of their world. As an educator, I have read many an article on how to provide and support first hand experiences with young children, and the more first hand experiences they have the better they will perform in math, reading, science, and especially history. So when we travel to CT every year, we have to visit NYC as one of our tourist spots. Because what better place to give the kids those first hand experiences than the Big Apple?!?!

Case in point what other place can you:
*ride the subway and see a bum debating to a neighboring passenger the unethical actions of our government

*observe hundreds of people sunbathing and playing baseball in the middle of the day (Doesn't anybody work in the city during the summer? It's like life stops in the summer for the citizens of the big city!)

*take tour of a famous library that houses an original letter from George Washington, a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and a Klu Klux Klan robe all in one room!!!! Weird and ironic all at the same time?!

*hear and see all the sights and sounds of Broadway (Did you know the ball s.l.o.w.l.y makes it's way back up the pole throughout the year?!?!)

*visit a 3 story toy store that houses a huge Ferris Wheel and a replica of Jack Sparrow made out of Lego's

 *get to see the original Dum Dum statue from the Night at the Museum movie (Jackson was in awe while mommy was frantically searching for Sacagawea!)

 *or eat at our favorite watering hole that is yet wacky but bizarre!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Great Northern Exposure

We didn't travel much this summer due to our busy schedule here at the house and daddy's limited vacation time. But when we did travel we made it count by taking in all the sights and sounds and by enjoying the time we had with each other and our family. We took our annual trip up north to see Martin's family.  It is approximately a 14 hour drive (with stops) to our final destination...Fairfield, CT. Any normal family would probably stop and make this a two day trip (which we have done in the past), but as the kids have gotten older and we have become more anxious to get there we literally do it in one day. Last year, daddy had this grand idea to get up at 2:30 in the morning to start our journey. He believed that it cut down on our travel time and we could avoid some of the traffic through DC and NY. Secretly, I think he was just excited to get there and was experiencing some homesickness.  Of course reluctantly, I went with it and oh how I wish I had went with my gut instincts. If we had only waited a couple of ours, I would have never met the little mouse that had made himself comfortable underneath my seat to accompany us the whole 14 hours. Yes that's right on the camping trip that we had taken a couple of weeks earlier, we picked up the fifth member of our family Fidel. Needless to say, I spent the entire 14 hours with feet in the seat scrunched up like a ball.  And on top of the rodent problem, our transmission in the ole family wagon gave out somewhere in between the Bronx and Concrete City (NY). We were able to get it to CT but it spent most of the week in the shop costing us $4,000 in repairs! But with all kidding and challenges aside we had a great time in CT!  Our week was jammed packed with lots of fun filled excursions and adventures. Too many to put into one blog I have decided to do a three part blog series entitled the Great Northern Exposure to detail and outline our week. So stay tuned for more adventures and pics to come!  

Water Water Everywhere

Let's just face has been blistering hot here in South Carolina! Too hot to do anything especially outside. So on a day to day basis we are faced with the dilema of staying inside and watching hours upon hours of televsion or playing hours upon hours of video games or do we brave the outside.  Nine times out of ten I choose to be outside so I don't have to hear the constant fighting between Jack Jack and P over what to watch or who gets to play on the Ipod next. So when we choose to be outside, it has to be something involving water....whether tubing down a lazy river, chillin poolside, fishin lakeside, or boogie boardin' by the shore....we don't care!  Let it be water water everywhere!!!

Around the riverbend (Helen, GA May 2011)

Splashin' with friends (Nettie's House July 4th)

Chillin' on the lake at our favorite swimming spot (Dreher Island July 2011)

Feet in the sand (Folly Beach July 2011)