Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last Day in Williamsburg

With one day left of our mini vacation, we headed to Duck Donuts for a morning snack.  These are the best donuts and it is a chain in the OBX that we have been to while on vacation.  We did not realize they had one near here until we were driving home from dinner the night before.  They are so good!
Next up was the Virginia Living Museum, which was mix between a museum and a zoo.  I absolutely love this picture of the boys inside of the turtle:
Evan finally worked up the nerve to go inside the turtle:
And then he was loving it:
Outside there was a 3/4 mile boardwalk trail that brought us by all sorts of animals, including these impressive bald eagles, which we were so close to:
After we returned back to our hotel, Eric and I took a nice 2 hour nap.  We then took a walk around the grounds of the hotel and played on the playground, played tetherball, played shuffleboard and took a little walk on a trail through the woods.  After dinner, we went swimming at the indoor pool, followed by a smores night out by the fire pit.  We'll be up and on our way home around 8:00 AM tomorrow and I wish we could stay longer.  When it came time to pack up to drive down here on Sunday (after being on the road for much of the last week), I was second guessing our decision to do this trip.  But I am so happy we did.  The kids loved being somewhere new and it felt like we actually got to relax and have a real vacation.  But we'll be back home tomorrow to celebrate New Year's Eve and then it's back to work/school on January 2nd.  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg

We woke up this morning to a forecast of rain all day long.  In the morning, we went to an indoor play area called Beyond Bricks.  It featured Legos and a bunch of other toys.  The highlight of the day there was when Eric jumped off of a mat and somehow injured his privates . . . upon which he walked up to me in front of the other moms and asked me if I could kiss it.  He asked repeatedly and then got very angry when I refused.  Ha ha!  After we all snuggled in for a nap in the early afternoon, we headed out to Colonial Williamsburg as the forecast was only calling for showers at this time.  The temperature was dropping steadily and the showers came and went, but we did a short tour of the area without paying the $50/person entry fee (which meant we couldn't go into most of the buildings).  The first one we saw from the outside was the Governor's Palace:

Into a shop where the boys tried on colonial hats and held wooden guns:
This picture sums up how the boys got to tour colonial Williamsburg.  Brian is in front of the Capitol while Evan's head is popping out from behind an umbrella.  This was during a period of more steady rain:
We finally got them out of the stroller for a few minutes when it lightened up to a drizzle:
We were fooling around outside of Raleigh Tavern:
There was a little stage in front of Raleigh Tavern and Evan didn't mind posing for some photos:
As you can see, the streets were pretty empty and Eric was happy to walk holding Brian's hand and jumping puddles:
We plan to take the boys back when they can appreciate the history of it more.  But, for now, this was enough of a tour.  We managed to go out to a dinner and came back to play in the game room for awhile before they took a bath in the big jacuzzi tub.  One more day left :(

Jamestown Settlement

We decided to take a small post-Christmas trip to Williamsburg, VA just to get out of the house for a few days.  We headed first to Jamestown Settlement, which is a re-enactment of the very first visitors to America back in the early 1600's.  There were lots of interactive exhibits for the kids and it was 60 degrees, so being outside there was perfect.  Here we are in the museum, which didn't last too long because these kids had been sitting in the car for 4+ hours and walking quietly through a museum wasn't in the cards:
Testing out the slave sleeping quarters in the museum:
We moved outside to take a look around the Native American village - here they are in one of the huts:
And testing out sleeping again in the hut:
Here is Evan grinding the corn:
And Eric helping to smooth out a deer hide for future clothing use:
Now Eric's turn at grinding the corn:
Testing out a canoe on land.  They were pretend rowing, which was very cute:
I love these next two photos:
Here is an Indian game where you throw an ear of corn with a turkey feather through some hanging hoops.  Evan got a bulls-eye!
Next it was onto the the boats which were replicas of the boats which carried the English settlers to Jamestown. Testing out the sleeping quarters yet again:
Checking out what's ahead:
Another great photo:
The boys are steering the boat here:
Onto the English settlement, where Eric was trying on the armored helmet:
Evan and I:
Eric "carrying" the water:
We headed to our hotel for a swim (which we were actually able to do outdoors and then indoors) before hitting up the game room and settling in for the night.  What a nice change of pace!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 was a whirlwind as usual.  It began the weekend before when we celebrated with Brian's family.  Here are a few family photos in front of Janet & Vinnie's Christmas tree:
And a photo of the full group where almost everyone looks good (Evan looks like a deer in headlights):
Cousins in front of Nana & Papa's Christmas tree:
Morgan and Caylee:
Trying to get a photo with the Nana & Papa . . . but Eric did not want to cooperate:
We returned home and Brian took the boys to the pool on Christmas Eve.  Lily sleeps on these steps all of the time so the boys decided to take a rest with her while they waited for their dad to get ready for the pool:
Fast forward to Christmas morning. I snuck downstairs while it was still dark to get these photos after Santa came:
Eric's pile:
And Evan's pile:
The full tree, though we had a small patch out of lights smack dab in the middle:
All Evan wanted from Santa was a soccer ball and Santa came through:
Eric opening presents:
After he opened Olaf, he said "Olaf likes warm hugs" and gave him the most genuine hug:
Evan & Brian after the presents were opened:
And the big surprise gift was their very own gator.  I couldn't get a good picture of both at the same time, so the first photo perfectly captures Evan's joy, while the second one shows Eric's:
The aftermath from above:
After everything was opened and they had some time for indoor play, we moved outside to test out the gator:
I love this next one.   Eric still needs to work on his steering because he ended up in the bushes when he was driving and has been afraid to try driving again.  
After this, we headed to Cranford to celebrate with my family.  Unfortunately, much to my mom's dismay, I forgot to bring my camera there.  So I don't have any pictures - oops!  We had a great time celebrating with the Smisco side on Christmas day and then opening presents with my family on the 26th before returning to West Chester later that night.