Tuesday, June 30

Miss M: Nonna's neighbor & Carly's friend

Carly is at her Nonna's house for a few days. While she is there, she gets the opportunity to spend time with her friend Miss M who is Nonna's neighbor. I've heard they have been cooking, playing, riding bikes, and swimming so much they might be growing gills. Celeste emailed me these pictures today of the girls having big summer time fun.

Saturday, June 27


long afternoons at the pool hanging out with friends
doesn't get much better than that

Saturday, June 20

26 hour layover

Picked Carly up from camp this morning. She was all smiles and chatty - both an indication that she had a good time. Before we got on the road we had to make a pit stop at this super cute snow cone stand.
Carly chose cherry cola and I chose fuzzy navel. Both were really good. We sat outside for a few minutes on these cute diner stools talking about all the fun she had and then headed home. Carly talked nonstop all the way home (about an hour). When asked what was her favorite thing this year, she answered canoeing. This was a surprise since last year it was the only thing she didn't like! Carly brought home this huge pile of good camp mail! She said there were 18 pieces of mail. Given the fact there were only 4 days to receive mail, that's a pretty good daily average. Thanks to Finn, Nonna, MamMam & Grandaddy, Aunt Libba & Uncle Beege, Aunt Kacey and even Gabby for taking the time to send mail! She also brought home this huge pile of dirty {stinky} laundry. I already put the sheets and towels in the washer when I took this picture. She wore way more clothes this year than last year and they are all icky. This is not surprising given the temperature has been in the mid 90's this week with a heat index around 105!
She ate a little lunch.
She turned on a movie.
She climbed on the couch.
She promptly fell asleep.
Just enough time to wash clothes, rest up, and re-pack
to leave for MamMam and Grandaddy's house tomorrow!

Thursday, June 18

big smiles from camp

{photos from camp website}
as hot as it is here, I'm thinking that any opportunity
to play in the water will make her smile!

Wednesday, June 17

still more camp

{photos off camp's website}

more from camp

{pictures from camp's website}

Tuesday, June 16

she's smiling

[photo from camps' website this morning]

Monday, June 15

this is not my first rodeo

This morning, I dropped Carly off at camp for the week. We had her stuff laid out on the guest bed and last night we packed her suitcase. She had a running list of what she needed and reminded me when she thought I had forgotten. This morning she was up and ready to go, verifying that I had not forgotten things that we had not talked about last night like money for snacks. She had demonstrated nervous excitement this morning but when we unloaded the car and started to walk toward registration, she changed. I could see the comfort level go way up and quickly she had the look of I'm no rookie. You could even hear it in her voice when her cabin counselor asked her was this her first year - "no mam - I was here last year" and then they started talking about her counselor from last year and group leaders and her favorite things about camp. Next thing I know, I have to ask if I can have a hug before I go...sure mom!

making the ravioli

{here comes the first strip of pasta}
{stuffing the yummy goodness on the inside - I asked Celeste would this work and she said "if you did it right". well that could be interesting}
{Carly thought she was going to just play with extra dough and watch all the fun. nope. Nonna quickly had her set up with her own little ravioli making station.} {ahhhhhhh!}

Sunday, June 14

Monday, June 8

I bet he got a tummy ache

{when we were leaving the Lincoln Memorial, we saw this little squirrel running down the sidewalk. He turned and ran up the side of the tree when we realized he had a dipping sauce cup in his mouth. He ran up to the first branch and went about cleaning it out. If he could talk, he would have been telling us to "Back off! I saw it first. Got get your own."}

Sunday, June 7

dc:day five

{our last morning in DC before catching our plane. Carly and I decided to go to the Spy Museum while Mom and Kacey went to Ford's Theater. We had some extra time before the museum opened so we were sitting on some steps and I talked Carly into a picture or two.}
{We really enjoyed the museum. it has been set up and designed to grab your attention and pull you into it. It made me want to read some about Cold War spies. Carly liked the fake ventilation crawl space that you could look through the vents and spy on others. She was more interested in the section of the museum that had old spy equipment like a lipstick gun, hidden microphones/camera, or the car with compartments for smuggling spies across borders. I really liked the sections with more history.}
{we tried one more time to go to the Eastern Market. This time it was open but not what we had pictured. It was a wonderful neighborhood market with fish, meat, produce but all food no flea market vendors or craftsman vendors. Oh well.} {time to go home. Carly had her own money that she could buy some souvenirs. I did veto a couple of things that i knew would only become clutter as soon as they made it home. She did buy a set of Jackie Kennedy paper dolls but this is what she wanted - a webkin. I told her that if she got it that she had to name it something to remind her that she got it in Washington. She came up with Kennedy. Carly took this picture of Kennedy in the airplane seat on the way home.}

d.c.: day four

{I'm so glad we made the decision to go out to Mt. Vernon. It was well worth it. It was very interesting and informative. I was also a beautiful property and standing on the Potomac River you know why George Washington chose it.}
{Carly just wanted to know where the teeth were. No worries, we found them. And they are not wooden!}
{The public transportation pros we had become called a taxi to take us to the nearest metro stop so we could catch a train back into the city. We headed to the Eastern Market which guide books led us to believe was an outdoor market including a farmer's market and flea market. We were expecting lots of vendor booths with an eclectic mix. After a few blocks of walking we saw no such market and ended up stopping at a pub called Mr. Henry's. We sat on the patio enjoying the wonderful weather, the wonder of no insects, and the yummy food. The owner/manager/possibly Mr. Henry himself kept a watch over everyone and came over to visit. He informed us that the Eastern Market was not open on Mondays - which it so happened to be. Sorry the initial plan had not worked out but glad we stumbled across Mr. Henry's}
{next stop the National Archives. Carly has been talking about seeing the Declaration of Independence since she saw the movie National Treasure. Of course in the movie, Nicolas Cage sits on the Lincoln Memorial steps by himself and he walks straight to the Declaration of Independence.....not quite accurate. 45 minutes of standing in line with bus loads of other peoples children old enough to know how to behave but not was the reality. But we did see the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution which all in all I'm glad I saw because as faint as it was I don't know how much longer they are going to be able to preserve it?}
{why does it seem that no matter where you take your children that the hotel swimming pool seems to be their biggest goal? Well day 4 ended a little earlier than the previous ones so we got Subway sandwiches at the Metro stop (I love the Metro) and took them back to the room. Carly was thrilled to have a little swimming time and we were all ready to prop our feet up}

Saturday, June 6

dc: day three

{We started another gorgeous morning on the National Mall - besides getting drenched the first day, our weather was unbelievable. The view of the capitol on one side and the washington monument on the other were fabulous. It was interesting to us that it was sandy gravel around the mall rather than a paved sidewalk}
{First stop was the Smithsonian Castle - the original Smithsonian building. It is a gorgeous building but it felt a little underutilized. There was this fun exhibit set up in the lobby from the Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian movie that Carly thought was fun.}
{on to the Air and Space Museum...my favorite part was the magnitude of the planes that they had hanging all over the building. Carly wanted to see Amelia Earhart's plane because of the movie. Disappointingly they had that area blocked off for maintenance but we were able to see her little red plane over the partition.}
{We went back down to the Tidal Basin to catch a couple of monuments that we missed the day before including FDR's. It was not what I expected and it was a little chaotic due to a big tour of teenagers. That might have taken away from what I am sure is suppose to be a serene memorial. Carly liked the water fall fountains and seeing Roosevelt's statue with his dog Fala because we had talked a lot about him before our trip.} {I did however love the Korean War Memorial which prior to reading about this trip, I had never heard anything about. I'm so glad we made another trip down and searched it out. It was well worth it.}
{Our one picture of all four of us together. Since we were back in the Lincoln Memorial area we decided to grab another look and see if they had taken down all the barricades from the day before. They hadn't. But, we did get a good photo opt.}
{Next up, Museum of Natural History. Fatigue and trying to squeeze so much into a short amount of time probably prevented us from truly enjoying all this museum has to offer. We saw the Hope Diamond, the dinosaurs, the whale and one of Carly's favorites the giant squid. We also caught Tarantula feeding time even though the spider was not interested in the volunteer (a cricket).}

{hands down my favorite was our trip out to Arlington Cemetery - the grounds are serene, the views of the city are beautiful, the history is so interesting. It says pride, dedication, honor, respect. We saw the flame at JFK's burial site and the Arlington House - Robert E.Lee's home and learned more about the story behind Arlington Cemetery. We experienced the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which words can not describe. Then we got a special treat of seeing the guards lower and fold the flag for the evening.}

Friday, June 5

dc: day two

{We spent 2 days using these double decker buses as transportation around the city. Riding on top of these buses even made Carly's top 5 list especially when we took the night time tour.} {first stop...Jefferson Memorial. This was one of my favorites. It made both mine and Carly's top 5 lists. I don't know if it was because it was a beautiful morning or because it was quiet. I loved the architecture - the rotunda and huge columns, the speeches on the wall, the view of the White House and Washington Monument across the basin. It was gorgeous.}

{surprise, surprise....when we get to the Lincoln Memorial we discover that is is being rededicated in a couple of hours with a ceremony including thousands of veterans AND the President! Needless to say, it was a little chaotic but it was still amazing and Abe was just as magnificent as I thought he would be. And just as great as being on the steps and inside seeing Abe was walking down the reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.}

{Carly at the Vietnam Memorial. It was a little busy but still quite a powerful statement, made even more poignant by all the veterans there and trying to explain it all to Carly.}

{Between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument is the fairly new World War II Memorial. There are granite pillars for each of the states and territories that existed during the war. Story to shake your head at: We were walking around the circle looking for the pillar with Mississippi on it and a little girl came running by us to her mom and siblings. "mom, mom, mom, they have Puerto Rico as a state." and the mom replied without missing a beat "I guess it is, they are in the Miss USA pageant". what?}

{After a morning of memorials and mounting temps, we decided to head to the National Museum of American History. It was definitely my favorite of the Smithsonian museums. Carly has been talking about Dorothy's ruby slippers for weeks and there they were along with Kermit, Oscar, Mohamed Ali's gloves, Minnie Pearl's hat, and much more. My favorite part was the special exhibit on Lincoln. We also saw the First Ladies' dresses (Carly wants to know what is going to happen when there is woman president?...hmmm) and the original Star Spangle Banner.}

{the back of the white house....we went around the world and ended up at the back of the white house. This is one of Kacey's pictures but I love Carly in the foreground at the gate. There was also a small demonstration going on in the street which was completely mesmerizing to Carly. There was chanting and at some point I think they said "save the camels" but I finally had to pull Carly away}

{the front side of the white house...it was a tad bit chaotic at the gate made even worse by the appearance of Bo- the presidential dog showing up. I didn't get a picture because I felt the need to protect my child from others who became a tad bit excited by the tiny furry dot playing in the side yard. I also skipped taking the picture of the scary, dressed-all-in-black, toting the biggest gun I have ever seen man in the trees right on the other side of the gate. I was a little worried that it might have made him testy and I am quite sure that he had lots of buddies who were not as noticeable as he was.} {Mom with her chili dog at Ben's Chili Bowl. After lots of sight seeing and before the night tour on the double decker, we set off on the metro to find the highly recommended dive. It was not a disappointment. The food was good and it was full of character (and characters). There was a sign that said "who eats free? bill cosby and the obamas, everyone else pays"}
{we finished one very long day with a beautiful night on the night tour on top of the double decker bus}