Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Last weekend, Allen tried to rally the troops to head to The Building Museum for The BIG Maze - a special exhibit that would only be around for eight weeks this summer. The kids balked. They refused. They said they'd rather live in the sewers (ok, I may be exaggerating there...but not by much). Finally, Owen admitted that he just wanted to wait until following weekend so that he would remember it better, because that's how memories work. Allen relented and the kids pinkie swore.

So this Saturday, Allen got up early to take the car to be serviced (long story), stopped by his office to get his refrigerator and other contraband that he couldn't let the movers take to his new office next week (his division is changing buildings), and made it back to our house by 10 am so we could get to the museum right as it opened.

But then Nora threw a fit. Pinkie swears be damned, she was not going to the Building Museum. She cried. She screamed. She had to be carried to the car.

Once we finally arrived, however, she ran around with a huge smile and when reminded that she didn't want to go, she responded, "I changed my mind."

Owen went through the maze about seven times (Nora probably went about 5) trying various methods to find his way -- using his innate sense, keeping a hand on each wall, and just random luck. There was some pretend baseball while the grownups helped make and arch, some structure building at the Imagination Playground and then a couple of more times through the maze, to get our last licks in.

It was a wonderful way to spend the morning, proving once again that Allen knows best.

(To see all the pics, click here).

Monday, July 07, 2014

OBX 2014


We didn't have a big group for our beach trip this year, so we decided to get a condo, and it turned out the best one we could find was in Duck in the same complex as Don's condo.  We rented a two bedroom place with a loft, and since we had the extra room, Grandpa Fawcett was able to join us (and stay in with the kids so Elaine and I could escape for a few moonlit walks on the beach :-)  The place had a nice beach house feel to it, and a deck with a great view of the Ocean and the Army Corps Research Pier.


We drove down to Duck on Sunday and as soon as we got on the beach and saw the wonderful breakers and dipped our toes in the 76 degree water, we knew things were looking good for a great week at the beach.  Sure enough, the first few days were near perfection, temperatures in the upper 70's and low 80's, and a nice shallow sandbar for ideal body boarding conditions (never mind the makings of a tropical depression down off the coast of Florida).  Owen had a blast in the water, and Nora declared that she's "more of a pool girl," though she did make it out into the Ocean once with Daddy.


When we got back from hang gliding the AC was out in the condo, and despite all of our trouble-shooting efforts, we spent a rather uncomfortable night trying to sleep without AC or fans, and spending a few too many of those waking hours worrying about the storm bearing down on us.  On Thursday morning, with the prospects of waiting out a possible direct hit of a category 2 Hurricane cooped up in the house without AC, we decided the prudent thing to do was to get out of town.  So we booked a room at Great Wolf Loge, drove to Williamsburg and spent the afternoon at an indoor water park.  The water park wasn't the type of thing we would normally do for a vacation, but given the circumstances, the kids had a lot of fun, even if we were forced to spend the night in a place that Elaine aptly described as, "imagine Chili's and Outback Steak House mated and gave birth to a water park."


By Friday morning, Arthur had moved on without leaving too much damage behind, and three new window AC units had been installed to cover for the broken AC, so we headed back to Duck and were back in time for lunch.  The post-Arthur surf was pretty rough, and the no swimming signs were up because of an abundance of rip-currents, so we didn't get much more Ocean swimming in (plus the water temperatures were considerably cooler than what we had become accustomed to), but we did manage to spend plenty of time on the beach building sand castles and flying kites before driving back home on Sunday morning.  All around, despite our first OBX Hurricane, it was a lovely beach trip.


(click here for all the pictures)