Thursday, June 10, 2010

Valley Forge

Today was our trip to Valley Forge.  Our GPS "Jane" wasn't the most cooperative but thanks to my wife, who isn't too proud to ask for directions, we got there. 

We saw a little fawn in the parking lot and the park rangers came and returned her to her mother.  Apparently there are quite a few of them around and they are used to reuniting them.  The deer here are certainly much smaller than out west.  Mule Deer in the West vs White Tail here in the east.

We hiked up to the the cabins that were built during the Continental Army's stay in the area then I returned to the visitor center and purchased the Audio/Car Tour CD which we used for the balance of the park.  Of course everyone had hiked further on and I picked up Mom and Madelyn about a mile before the others.  It was fun for Liz and Dad and Carter to get some hiking in.

It was so neat to see some of the places that Washington and other early founders had spent time and no doubt prayed for guidance in what they should do to ensure the birth of the country so many take for granted.  There is so much rich history out here and I hope that we will take advantage of it's relative proximity while we live out here, even if we don't ever move back west.

We scurried to get to the church that was later built because Liz wanted to see the organ that was there.  Unfortunately for us there was a wedding so we weren't able to get in to see it.  Liz did however find a couple of really great old books, one about Mozart and the other The Von Trap Family from the Sound of Music.  I love that she is so well read and that literature is so important to her.

By this time I think we had worn out my parents so we started the trip home only to realize too late that we were leaving during rush hour traffic (slow hour as Dad more appropriately called it)  Jane of course tried to hornswaggle us again but we worked through it and then made a stop in Kennett Square where Dad got some snacks for all to enjoy.

Another fun day rich with history.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ft McHenry

Thanks to Elizabeth's careful planning we swapped the days for the beach and Ft McHenry.  The beach was great and the weather was a huge part of it being so wonderful.  We knew we'd get some rain today so we opted for Ft McHenry because a lot of what's there to see is in the old buildings.

I encouraged Liz to stay home and get some rest that she needed and the rest of us went to see where Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner.  It was the second time for the kids and I but I know that Mom and Dad enjoyed it.  Sitting in the room watching the little movie they've made about the history leading up to the "Dawn's early light" is very inspiring, and as they open the curtain during the National Anthem to see the flag waving in the wind is awesome.  Unfortunately because of the weather they had a much smaller flag  and it was hoisted a little late during the song but it was still neat to share it with my parents.  I know that J'Lene and Dallin also enjoyed the visit.

We took fruit and granola bars which were sufficient for the short trip and we made ourselves some lunch once we got back home.  It was a nice little day trip and we've saved some of the other things to do in Baltimore for a future trip.

I'm sure loving having my parents here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Atlantic Ocean and Redemption Beach

Today we made the trip to Lewes Beach in lower Delaware.  Dad wanted to put his foot in the Atlantic and Liz and I wanted to redeem ourselves from taking Mom to that nasty beach at Elk Neck State Park.  Both were accomplished.  It was a bit of a drive but the conversation on the way down and back was stimulating and the time there was fun for all.

We realized of course after we got there that we had not grabbed the right bag with the sun block, but I was able to get some by taking a short walk up the road from the beach.  The kids played in the water and found some more shells.  The water wasn't very deep and the shelf was a good 20 yards out so the kids could romp around in the water and not get knocked over by any really big waves.

Grandpa started digging a hole and then the kids started filling it in their attempt to help.  They would get on the edges and slide down in which put more sand in than they scooped out.  Dad, however, in his infinite patience kept on digging and slowly but surely the hole began to grow as did the excitement of our kids.  I think both Carter and Madelyn were able to bond more with my dad on this visit than any other.  Especially Madelyn, who for obvious reasons hasn't been around my parents as much as Liz's.  I've just really enjoyed their visit and the time they have spent with the kids.  Liz's parents did the same and I'm so grateful that my kids get to know and have a relationship with two sets of Grandparents where I knew only my Dad's parents.

Once the hole was dug we took some fun pictures as you can see.  It was a great day.

On the way home we stopped at a road side fruit stand and Dad was like a kid in a candy store.  The fresh fruit and vegetables made him giddy.  He put this and that into the cart and you could see his eyes getting bigger at the moment and almost salivating and the prospect of sinking his teeth in to any and all of it.

Of course we couldn't pass up an opportunity to get Cream Slushes at Sonic Drive In in Dover.  Mmmmmmm so good.  I think Liz and I need to open a Sonic by our house, like we need one more thing right LOL.  We had a great lunch and enjoyed the food and drinks and actually fed all 6 of us for about $30.  Gas has probably been the biggest expense when family visits, well that and all the extra groceries.  I know that Liz does the best she can to bargain shop and we'd be sunk for sure if it wasn't for her.  If you're still reading these posts sweetheart I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you.

It's just been a great time the last couple weeks with her parents and now my parents visiting.  The kids are having a blast and summer vacation hasn't even started for them yet.