Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Picking Peaches

Last weekend, we went to Bluemont, Va and visited this place called "Great Country Farm". Peaches are in season,  so we thought it would be a fun family activity to visit an orchard and pick some fruit. We didn't realize until we got there what an awesome farm we stumbled upon. They charged an admission to get onto the farm, but luckily military got in free. The farm had over five acres full of fun games for the kids.
There were slides, mazes, playgrounds, a huge inflatable bounce thing, gold panning, a corn seed bin and fun farm animals. 

After running around for a couple of hours, we boarded the wagon and drove to the orchards to pick our peaches.

Jonny went a little crazy with his picking and we ended up with eight pounds of fruit.

Oh the peaches were heavenly.

We have not had any problem eating those eight pounds...

I love the countryside of Virginia. Why can't Oly's job be here???

Our dog inside

I thought this was a cute picture of our dog Maui. I haven't mentioned her very much in our blog, so I thought I would make a little post about her. We got her in March, at a local rescue agency in Corpus Christi. The poor girl was on death row at the pound. They rescued her, gave her all of her shots, microchipped her and put her up for adoption. When I got her, she had no idea how to walk on a leash, was terrified of cars and pretty nervous. The rescue agency told me for the first year of her life she was out in a backyard and totally ignored. Since living with us she has come to life. She walks very well on the leash, loves to run next to bikes, is amazing with my kids and is one smart dog. In Corpus, we had a fenced in backyard, which she spend a lot of time in. She would come inside sometimes, but was mainly outdoors during the day. I knew that when we moved to DC, she would have to become an indoor dog, and I was nervous about what life would be like with her. I am happy to say that it has not been bad at all. She has never had an accident in the house, has been very obedient and loves her crate. She actually has been a saint, considering how much she is smothered on a daily basis by Sophia.  

The first annual kid day

A couple of weeks ago, Jonny asked us a question. He said, "We have celebrated Mother's Day and Father's Day, when is it going to be kid day?" We decided to look at the calendar and picked July 18th as kid day. The kids were counting down the days, and very excited when it finally came. They each got a toy, and decided together the days activities would include. They wanted a "staying home day." These two are the biggest homebodies. They stayed home and played together all day long. When Oly got home we ordered a pizza and watched the Lego movie together. They loved kid day so much, they are already counting down until it comes again next year. 

Oly's 34th birthday

Oly turned 34 this month. His birthday fell on a Monday, and we celebrated it over the weekend at Bush Gardens. We met up with our old Hawaii friends, the Ramos' and had a blast. The kids had fun reuniting, riding the kiddie rides and seeing the shows. Us adults managed to go on a couple of rides. I realized that I have never been on a roller coaster ride with Oly, and it was pretty fun. We went on the Griffin, and I felt like I was going to die. Oly loved it, of course.
On his actual birthday, he wanted to have brownies instead of cake. Easy and delicious. Happy birthday, old man!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our Fourth of July

   Our family loves the Fourth of July. It is Oly's favorite holiday, so we always try to make it a fun day. We planned to first go to our church's breakfast party, then mount vernon and finally downtown DC to watch the fireworks. We managed to fit everything in, and it was a great day.
    Our church breakfast was at 8am, which I thought sounded a little too early. I suggested sleeping in and then going to Ihop, but Oly wanted to try and make it. We went, watch the kids sing a couple of cute songs, ate casserole and made small talk.
   After breakfast we drove over to Mount Vernon. We all really loved walking around the estate. The weather was great, everything was amazingly well preserved and we learned a lot about George Washington and his life.

We toured George Washington's mansion. 

Here is one of his carriages he traveled in. We also saw Mr and Mrs Washington's tomb.

   In the evening, we drove downtown and tried to find parking. We ended up parking at the Pentagon. We brought our bikes with us, and figured we could ride wherever we wanted from there. We also bought a couple of little fireworks to light. Oly had the kids light some sparklers, before we were stopped by the pentagon police. (I had a feeling it was a stupid idea to light fireworks in the parking lot,) They told Oly they technically could arrest him... Yikes. The people parked next to us thought it was all pretty entertaining.

We biked about a mile to the Potomac river and found a great spot to watch the fireworks. There were not too many people, and the kids were able to run around and have fun before the show. 

Sophia caught a firefly. I love watching them light up.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Biking the C & O towpath

My mom and I had such a great time biking the towpath last year, and we decided wanted to do it again. This time we invited my dad, sister and brother in-law to come along. It was a great time, but a totally different experience doing it in a larger group. 
My parents flew in Monday morning. We spent the whole day looking for bikes for everyone. We found out too lat that rentals from the base were sold out, and everywhere else in town charged about 45.00/day to rent a bike. Everyone decided that it would be smarter to just buy bikes, and try to resale them after the trip on craigslist. After searching through many stores, they all bought bikes. We thought that my dad and Kody's bikes were the nicer of the four, but our trip would show us otherwise.
We spent the next day packing and driving to Cumberland, MD. My parents, myself and my kids took the metro and train to Cumberland. We didn't realize when we started exactly what we were getting ourselves into. It was pretty expensive to get there and the kids were not fun to take on the train for four hours. It would have been much smarter to just rent a one-way car rental. While we were battling the train, Oly, Kody and Chelsea drove up in our element with all of the bikes. We met up late Tuesday night, ate dinner and a little restaurant along the towpath and planned to get up early to start the next day.
We woke up at 6:30 the next morning, and met at the beginning of the path. Here we are ready to start our 184.5 journey.  Oly rode with us for about 10 miles pulling the kids in the bike trailer. 

At mile post 166, we stopped at the Old Town school cafe. This is the same place my mom and I stayed last year. It was so fun to see the school house again and laugh at our old memories. 

This is pretty much what all of the towpath looks like. It is a shady dirt path, sometimes muddy, covered in trees. 

We stopped at mile post 140, Little Orleans MD. Everyone was REALLY tired after the first day. My dad had the sorest butt, and was really complaining about his pain. We were looking forward to staying at our bed and breakfast. Oly met up with us at the end of the trail, and was considering staying at the bed and breakfast. After talking to the owner, he changed his mind. They are not a fan of having kids stay. Despite being annoyed about this, I loved this bed and breakfast. It was so cute and quaint and the breakfast the next morning was out of this world. I am going to call and order their cookbook!

This was our view looking out from the bed and breakfast.

The next day, we started late. We had to wait for a shuttle to the towpath, and didn't start riding until 9am.

At mile post 124 we arrived at Hancock, MD for lunch. We ate at this diner last year, and had to revisit it because of its awesome name and delicious bakery. 

Here is one the locks along the trail. There are about 80...

This is the beginning of the bike problems. Well.. not the beginning. Kody had been riding with limited brakes the whole time, but it had not stopped up. My dad's bike petal kept falling off and we didn't have the right tool to fix it. My mom, Chelsea and I had to ride to the next town, ask door to door for help and ride with the tools back to fix it. 

Finally, we got the petal on and continued on our way towards Williamsport. (My dad butt is really killing him in this pic)

Williamsport, MD is at Mile post 99. We arrived once again tired and hungry. We stayed at the same bed and breakfast we stayed at last year, the Candlelight Inn. (Which I also really like.)  In this picture we are eating pizza at the restaurant across the street.

We woke up at 6:30 the next morning, planning on getting a lot of miles in before lunch at Harper's Ferry.

We didn't get more than three miles, when my dad's bike petal broke again. Luckily, this time we were right next to some people's homes and one man was nice enough to drive my dad and Kody to Harper's Ferry to try and get it fixed. My mom, Chelsea and I biked 40 miles and met up with them for lunch. We were very hungry and tired, once again. While we were there, we realized that my dad's bike wasn't fixable and Oly drove up to meet us. We stayed the night in Harper's Ferry, and the next morning everyone expect for Kody and Oly woke up early to ride the rest of the trail.

Oly and Kody met up with us on mile post 35 with lunch. My dad decided to go back to DC with them, and try to return his bike. So, once again, it was only us girls. We finished the last 35 miles, without any stops. 

My mom did get a flat tire along the way. Chelsea, knew how to fix it, and we had a nice couple stop to help also.

Along the path, there are water pumps. The water is treated with iodine, and kind of tastes like you are drinking pennies. I was so thirsty most of the time, I didn't care.

We were pretty proud of ourselves when we finally made it to mile 0. 

Chelsea and Kody came to visit

My sister Chelsea and Kody came to see us and explore Washington DC. They rented some bikes, and we rode around to see the sights together. It was nice to have family stay with us.
I think this is one of the only pictures I have with all of us together.

We really wanted to tour the Washington monument,but every time we checked the tickets were sold out.

My kids like to photo bomb all of my sisters pics.