Friday, July 27, 2012

We Survived: One Family's Story of Their Summer Vacation (part 2)

As promised, the photos of Colonial WilliamsHot.  I mean Colonial Steamyburg.  I mean...well, yeah, that's actually what I mean.
It was 99 degrees and very, very humid.  I heard differing numbers, but with the heat
index it was somewhere between 109 and 115 degrees.  Which felt a little warm.  Especially when you are trying to keep a baby happy.  :(

THANKFULLY, pretty much all of the buildings at Colonial Williamsburg were air conditioned, so we tried to spend as much time as possible inside.

Curtis thinks this photo makes us look like bad parents,
but no one was coming in that door, so Annie was safe.

The Governor's Palace walls were lined with guns and swords.  I'll bet you can guess who thought that was fantastic.

Outside the Governor's Palace.


At the end of the day, waiting for the bus to take us back to the Visitor's Center and parking lot.  We didn't take the bus in the morning, but by 5 o'clock, the air conditioned bus looked miiiighty good to us.

So, yes, it was wicked hot and some of the kids were kind of too young for a lot of what was going on there (so we missed a lot of the buildings and outdoor street theater), but I really, really liked Williamsburg anyway and before we had even pulled out of the parking lot, I was planning our next trip back.  In five years. 

And in, like, October.

We'll have to update this photo.  Williamsburg 2017!

We Survived: One Family's Story of Their Summer Vacation (part 1)

We did it.  We went on a family vacation that involved all five kids, four total days of driving, bazillion-degree weather, and a baby that liked to be held - a lot.

But here's the cool part:  it was FUN and I'd do it again! 

Curtis's parents had been talking about doing a big family trip for a few years now, and it was finally decided we needed to just do it.  We all live so far apart from each other (Hawaii, California, Utah, Maine) and our kids really didn't know some of their cousins at all.  How sad is that?? 

So, we chose Washington, D.C., as our meeting spot (for all but Anthony, who is stationed with the Marines in Hawaii and couldn't come, as he just got married and his wife is expecting soon).  Jim and Lorna rented a big house outside of D.C. that, once kid-proofed by safely moving all the tall glass vases and crystal bowls that decorated nearly every surface, proved to be a fantastic spot for our family reunion.  Tons of space, tons of bathrooms, a pool, huge kitchen - it was perfect for our crew of 18 people.

Anyway.  On to the photos!  (And there are lots - be warned.)

The car, the car, the car.  We are very good friends with our car these days. 

And finally, after two days (and two hotels - the kids were mightily impressed with the Super 8 and could not get over how fancy the Courtyard Marriott was.  I mean, wow!) we arrived.  First up, breakfast with the whole family.
Annie and Grandpa Rice making friends.

Aunt Karen showing Kathryn something on her phone.  Dex,
after observing everyone else's phones, asked if  the ancient
flip phone that Curtis and I still have was a toy phone.  No, kid,
 it's just that your parents are phenomenally uncool.  And cheap.

Our first museum - the Air and Space Museum by Dulles Airport, not the one in D.C. itself.  This is the one with the really big planes and the Discovery space shuttle.  This was super awesome because Curtis's dad, Dr. Carl James Rice, is an astrophysicist who had two projects go up on Discovery.  We tried to impress upon the kids how really, really cool this is and get the requisite shot of Grandpa and the kids in front of the shuttle.
Photo by Marc Rice - thanks for this and a few others here!

Viv and her cousin Conner "flying" a little plane.

Space suits are cool!

Grandma comforting Betty after she was (very gently) reprimanded by a museum worker for going behind a roped-off area.  Betty was so startled and upset she began crying hysterically and then threw up a little.  That was fun.

Cool shot of cousin Conner and the Enola Gay.
 Aunt Stephanie the miracle worker.  She got insanely tired Annie to sleep while I dashed out to the car to get a binky for Annie and vomit-free clothes for Betty.

A few shots of the house here.  The pool was, I think, the best loved spot by just about everyone.

Kids playing the Wii, McKenna playing the piano.

The breakfast table.

On Monday, we took the Metro in (thrilling!) and hit the Natural History Museum. 

The kids loooooved this aquarium. 

(Later on in the week, we also went to the National Aquarium, where I neglected to take photos.  The National Aquarium was, hands down, the kids favorite site in D.C., which is funny because Curtis and I found it to be, by far, the least impressive place we visited.  We are apparently not alone in our opinion, because while we were there, Vivian enthusiastically proclaimed it "the best museum in D.C!"  A man who worked at the aquarium was standing nearby and murmured in suprise "Well that's not something we hear very often."  He took a special liking to our little group, I guess, and showed us some neat things and even let the kids use his flashlight to find hiding fish.)

Dex showing off his newly purchased t-shirt from the gift shop.  He had to wear the t-shirt IMMEDIATELY, which was a good thing, because, as you can see, he had an official Stegosaurus Club meeting shortly thereafter, and you feel so lame if you don't have your official club shirt.  I mean, seriously.

 Also, his shorts had little stegosauruses on them, which was just a happy accident.

Am now feeling tiiired and think I ought to sign off, but there will be more photos to come, and fun little stories about 99 degree weather, one zillion percent humidity and a full day at Colonial Williamsburg.  Oh yes we did.