So much has been happening it’s hard to know where to start. We have had a lot of memory making family times. Trips to Blackberry Farm, a living history museum, lunch at a train themed restaurant where they brought lunch on a model train. Which by the way was a hit with the young and older members of our group. Play time at an awesome park where the oldest members of the group took a turn at the zip line. I will admit it was for little kids but was still fun and spontaneous. Several members of the family played in the alumni basketball game during homecoming weekend. It was fun watching them play.
We enjoyed a family filled weekend when the twins were baptized. We went to a pumpkin farm where everyone tried and succeeded in finding their perfect pumpkin. We had a movie night where all 13 of us gathered together to watch a fun movie. I loved watching the boy cousins, ages 5,4 and 2 years play, roughhouse and enjoy each other’s company. We played ball in the backyard. Well mainly hit the ball but we all took swings at it and it was good for the youngsters to see a different side of their elders. We girls had a “girl time” which is fun and does a lot to strengthen our bonds as the women of the family. We used to be outnumbered by the guys in the family but things are evening out a bit thanks to the addition of Kristina, Maya and McKenna to the group. 🙂 What is special to me is that the others seem to enjoy it as much as I do.
In between these two weekends Greg and I took an 8 day trip to Philadelphia and Washington DC. I was glad that we went to Philadelphia on the way out, we enjoyed seeing the Continental Congress, The Liberty Bell and the Constitution Center. Of course one of the highlights was meeting a 3 year old golden retriever named Baxter and his person. She was told us that they can now leave him alone uncrated in the house while they are gone for a couple of hours and he is just fine. That was an encouragement to us to know that someday we might be able to do that with our pups.
On Monday of that week we went to The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center National Air and Space Museum. It was amazing to walk in the door and look across and see The Discovery. We had an awesome guide who told many stories that brought the many planes ect to life for us.
The next day came the Government shut down and most of our plans had to be scrapped. I sent out a Facebook message that asked friends for suggestions of things we could do to fill our time. Friends and family members came through with lots of suggestions. I searched myself as well but it was good to have ideas from folks that had been to these places. We went to Fredricksburg and had fun on the tour, and going through the many antique stores and specialty shops.
We were very happy to discover that Mount Vernon was not a federal operated museum and was open for business. It was amazing to stand on the back porch and look out at the same Potomic River that The Washington’s so many years ago. An added bonus was seeing the golden retriever, black lab and two yellow lab puppies that were in training to become seeing eye dogs. We had the pleasure of talking to the trainer of the golden retriever while waiting to tour the house.
We went into Washington DC one day and visited the Newseum, it was great, informative and very enjoyable. That evening we took a tour of the mounuments at night and although many were closed we did have the chance to stand at the gate of the White House and see the Pentagon which were only added because of the shutdown.
So while things certainly did not go according to plan it still turned out to be a great trip.
Looking back over the past several weeks I am struck by the feeling of how family bonds were strengthened as we hung out together, played, helped and just spent time together. You can’t beat it.