Sunday, May 29, 2011

Capitol and Arlington

So a few weekends ago we decided to check off a few things on our To Do List so we visited the US Capitol Building and the Arlington National Cemetery.   Both these sights were something we had been meaning to do and finally got around to it.

On a rainy Saturday morning we headed into D.C. to the US Capitol Building to check out the visitors center.  We decided not to go on the tour (this was during spring break so we were in school group over load) but we wondered around the visitors center for a bit.  It was very interesting and I must admit I hope we go back (maybe in September) to go on a tour when it's less crowded.

I must admit I did find it a bit weird that we were being tourists at a Cemetery but was very interesting and educational.  We were a bit late to get a good spot to see the changing of the guard but we did see some of it.  Tavish was not having a very good day as we choose not to bring the stroller (big mistake) and would not go in the Ergo so we did leave early not seeing all the "sights".

 Checking out the map
 Beautiful Spring Day
 Marines Memorial
 View of Washington
 Other Marines Memorial

 Changing of the Guard
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Burgers and Tennis

Well I'm back in the swing of things and I have some catching up to do as we have been really busy.  While this post has nothing to do with Travel, it is some of our adventures.

After Disney it was nice to have a weekend where we could just hang out at home.  We had just got a new patio set that needed trying out so Kyle fired up the BBQ for some burgers.

 Chilling out
 Yummy Burger

After dinner we headed out front to play some tennis.  Tavish will be taking tennis lesson in June (just because I think it will be FUNNY) so I gave him a racket to see how he'd do.
 He has potential
 Time for a quick lesson
 Better before the lesson
Okay eating the racket is more fun

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fixing the Flat - Done

We are finished with the DOC band.  Yeah.  In truth it was not that painful of an experience but we did get lucky catching Callen's plagiocephaly at such an young age (he was just 3.5 months when he got the band).  Callen only had to wear the band for 5.5 weeks and now that we are a month post band, it all seams a distant memory.

Callen officially finished his band on March 31st while we were on vacation.  While the plan was to have a very eventful day at Disney and then retire the helmet this was not the case (we got rained out at Disney) but none the less I did take a few picture of his last day in the band.

 Last Offical Day in the Band - New design too
My Climber
All Done

I must admit I was a bit disappointed that I did not get to take him out in his newly painted band (we switched up designs as I had one more design planned - I did  not think he'd be out of the band so fast) but we did put the band back on him for one last photo op when we got home (I had to take him climbing in his climbing themed band)
 Hitting the Rocks
 Getting Ready for the Big Climb
 Look at that Focus
 Pure Natural
 That's a long way up
Here let me give you a hand
 Tavish's turn to climb - notice his helmet too

Before and After Image
Here is a before and after image for those who are interested

Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Flight

On our way home from DisneyWorld my husband drove our car back and I flew with the boys.  This Callen's first flight and my first time flying with both boys.  I think we did really well.  I was not too stressed even though I had very little time to buy snacks (I did manage to get some, so crisis averted).  I choose to bring both a stroller and a wrap which worked out great and next time I fly in July I'll do the same.  Using both the stroller and wrap gave me lots of options of holding stuff, boys or both.  When people ask me when flying with kids should they bring a stroller or carrier I always say both.  When you are in an airport with lots of stuff it's nice to have a place to hold your stuff or your kids.  The carrier is great for when the stroller needs to be folded (security or pre-boarding), or when the older child decided they want to ride in the stroller.  I found it easier to have Tavish in the stroller while in the long security line as he can play with a book or game while we wait and this way he's not trying to run around or pull on the ropes in the line (one of his favorite things to do, I don't know how many times he's knocked it down).

All in all we had a great trip with very little issues (aside from bad timing for Callen's digestive movements) but the real test come in July when I fly with them both to Alberta.
 Waiting to get on the plane
Ready for take off

Quick flying tips for flying with kids:
  • bring lots of food/snacks - keeps kids occupied and happy (if you can't bring snacks with your make sure that you leave time to buy food while in the airport)
  • bring lots of toys and "special" toys or games - we have a Tag which we only use for travel, we also let my older son play with new cars and games on my iPod Touch (while I'd never buy one for my 3 year old, it makes a great toy while traveling and keeps him occupied for long periods of time)
  • bring a headset - works great for in flight movies (if there are any) and any loud games (iPod, Tag, DVD player)
  • bring new books 
  • let kids run around the airport
  • bring extra clothes for both you and your little ones (especially if you have a baby prone to blowouts and spit-up
  • give yourself lots of time so you can get to your gate, have kids go to the bathroom or changed before your flight and so you won't stress
  • bring both a stroller and a carrier so you have lots of options 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Final Day in Orlando

So our final day in Florida was a bright beautiful sunny day and we were heading off to what was suppose to be my highlight: Island of Adventure - HARRY POTTER.  I was SO excited to go here; I love Harry Potter.  So we got up nice and early so we could be at the park at least an hour early.  But things were not to be, I am thinking this trip was cursed.  The line up to get into the park was HUGE.  It turns out that today was the day resort guest get in an hour early (something we try to avoid) and because the weather sucked for most of the week I'm sure every resort guest was in that line.  Harry Potter is a huge draw on the best of days but with the nice weather and early entry today was going to be nuts, not to mention this was during one of spring break.  It was going to be insane.  We always try to avoid the early morning day at Disney and we should have been more organized to avoid it at Universal.  With a very heavy heart we decided to skip Islands of Adventure and head back to Universal Studios instead.  I think this was a good decision as this park was not nearly as busy and we did have a good time.

We rode must of the same rides and then decided to call it an early day.  We went back to our hotel to enjoy the sunny day, the swimming pool and play a round of mini golf.  While it was not my Harry Potter experience but I know I'll go again soon, while Kyle does not want to go back to Disney for a few years maybe I can convince him to do Universal Studios and Sea World instead.

 Up and around we go
 Nana and Papa having fun: they are the first two people in the picture
 Photo's with Donkey
 Tavish sized roller coaster 
 Universal Photo with random girls in it
 Fun in the pool
 Callen doing a back float
 First time under water
 Not too sure
 But now he's having fun
Funny photo of Tavish, not sure why his tummy is so distended.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I have fallen so far behind on this blog.  My youngest son is not much of a napper (which he finally is doing now) so I don't get much time to write.  We also have been super busy with lots more outings and even a few camping trips.  I've also started taking tennis lessons and I've join a moms walking/running group which is decreasing my time drastically but I'm still committed to writing this blog.  Please bare with me while I work out my schedule so I can find time to write and read all your wonderful blogs.

 Some nice spring days - hanging out on our deck
 Tavish giving Callen a lesson in building
 Callen hitching a ride in mommy's new wrap

Disney Hollywood Studios AKA Our Hotel Room

So as many of you have read previously this was not the wonderful trip to Disney that I was expecting, there were some high points but this day was by far the worst at least at the beginning.  The two days before had been really good.  I think this day would no have been so bad had we had an accurate weather forecast, initially there were suppose to be thunderstorms in the morning and then clear up in the afternoon.  Nope, we had major thunderstorms all day and the time for the storms to stop kept being pushed back further and further.  Had we know the day was going to be a write-off we would have planned something to do, like go shopping.  Instead we just waited and waited.  Thankfully we had a two bedroom hotel room but still when there are three bored adults (Kyle had work to do) and only one kid who wants to be entertained it makes for some odd moments.  I just hid in one bedroom with Callen most of the day and while I love spending time with Callen this was not really what I had in mind.  Finally in the afternoon once we put the boys down for a much need nap, we send my mother and father-in-law to go shopping (they had an extra day in Florida so they would not be wasting a Disney day).  Around three when the boys got up Kyle and I figured we'd brave the rain and head into DHS anyway.

We really did not do much, we cheated getting a fastpass for the Rock'n'Roller Coaster (I felt a bit bad cheating the system to get the pass but not that bad).  Karma did get me though as I jumped to the single rider line which I thought was faster but was not and then the ride broke so I went back in the rain to find my boys.  We finally found that the Prince Caspian attraction and it did not have a long line.  We'd never seen it so joined the cue.  This was the biggest waste of time ever, starting with the Cast Member who tried to get us to stand in a waterfall of rain while waiting in line (yum no I won't stand there moron) and then the attraction is just a 15 minute re-cap of the movie.  If I wanted to see the movie I would have gone to a theater to watch it.  So if you find yourself in DHS and you see Prince Caspian DON'T do it, biggest Disney Disaster ever, don't waste your time.  After Prince Caspian is was time for dinner, we had reservations at Mama Melrose, dinner was okay the worst of our dinners at the Parks but it was not terrible.  After dinner I finally got to ride the roller coaster before we decided we had enough rain and headed back to our hotel but at least now I was in a better mood.

 Rock'n'Roller Coaster in the Rain
 At least someone was having fun
 Catching rain on your tongue is fun 
 Our map got a little wet
 Want to share some Spaghetti with me?
Best Ice Cream EVER

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tavish 4 Weeks Old hanging out at the park (2008)

Epcot - A really magical place

I love Epcot and I'm always surprised when people say they don't like it or that it's not a good place for kids.  Alright I will admit that the World Showcase is not that kid friendly but do a lap ride the Mexico ride and Norway ride and go back to Future World and then hit the innovation buildings they are great for kids (and somewhere where I really need to do more exploring.

We started our morning with a few Character photos at the Photo Spot (near the fountain, go early and there is no line and if you are the first group there you get a photo will all the characters) while Kyle and Papa got some fast passes for Soaring and Test Track (not everyone was rideing and we could use kid swap so we were able to double up on fastpasses).  After the photos we rode Nemo a few time (a favorite of Tavish's) before Turtle Talk with Crush (super cute).  The weather was remarkably good and Test Track was open so we decided to ride that (Kyle stayed with the boys while the rest of us rode).  Kyle and the boys hung out in the test track building while the rest of us went for a second ride (Kid swap rules, always use it even if someone in your group is not planning on going on the ride).  Inside the building there are lots of interesting concept cars that can keep young kids happy while the older people ride.  Test track is one of my favorite rides but it can be really unreliable so get a fastpass for it early and make sure you ride it early (after it shuts down even the fastpass line can be long. Another tip for this ride is when things are running smoothly this is a good ride to go into the singles line as the ride sits 3 across which lends itself well to single riders).

We moved from test track to Mission Space while Kyle took the boys back to Nemo.  I don't know why but I suck at mission space I alway fail to press my button at the right time, I guess that is why I'm not an astronaut.  Kyle also had quite the adventure with the boys as Callen was having digestive issues and Kyle learned the hard way why it's important to always bring a spare shirt for the adults.  Good thing that Disney has lots of gift shops as we were able to find him a new shirt.

Next we decided that it would be a good time to ride Spaceship Earth but the line was really really long.  I remember from last year that this ride gets really busy in the morning because it's the first ride people see when entering the park so they want to ride it first. But later in the afternoon the line is almost empty because people have either already rode it or forgot about it.  So we decided to try again later.  Our fast pass for Soaring was coming up so we headed to the land and rode Living with the Land boat ride (quite interesting really) before heading to Soaring.  This was my first time on the top level of Soaring and it really does make a difference not have someone feet dangling above you.

It was getting near lunch time so we decided to find some food.  Tavish loves sushi so we headed into Japan for some. Tavish loved the sushi but I had the Udon noodles which were not very good (I had a sausage from Germany instead).  At this point we decided to split up from Nana and Papa and spend some alone time with the boys.  We headed towards Norway so we could ride the Maelstrom but the line was really long we we picked up a fastpass and headed into Mexico.  The Mexico ride was quite short and I must say that it was nice to just be inside away from the humidity for a bit.  We ran into Nana and Papa while we were there so Tavish rode the Mexico ride again with them while Kyle and I took a break.  After Mexico we headed back to Norway, Maelstrom is a great ride and it was too bad that the line was so long or we would have rode it again.

Tavish's highlight of the Day was Ellen's Energy Adventure this is a long ride (45 minutes) but if you have kids that like Dinosaurs than this is a great ride.  While I don't think he got much of the energy talk he sure loved the Dinosaurs.  Next, we figured that it would be a good time to check out Spaceship Earth and see if the line and had died down and we were right there was pretty much no line at all.  This is another interesting ride and Tavish did much better than the last time we had gone when he cried the whole time (not for kids who don't like the dark).  Our final ride before heading to dinner was Figment in ImageWorks.  While the ride is a bit hokey the activities they have after are really quite interesting, as long as there are not lots of people (hit either early in the morning or late in the afternoon).  But we sure did have bad timing with the weather as a huge thunderstorm soaked our stroller (even though it was covered - DisneyWorld could do with some more covered stroller parking).  We all got a little wet on our way to dinner.

Dinner was at the Coral Reef Restaurant.  I must say that I was quite annoyed that we had to wait more than 30 after our reservation time to eat but we did have a good dinner (not the best in Disney but okay).  Tavish really enjoyed watching the fish and we even got to see some scuba divers.

I love Epcot, and while writing this I realized how much of it we missed.  I am really looking forward to going back as long as I can convince my husband.

 Callen sure like Mickey and Tavish was so excited he had to pinch himself to make sure he was not dreaming
 Giving Pluto some love
 But Minnie is his favorite 
 Group shot with Donald
More hugs for Goofy
 I don't like this car
Tavish did NOT want this hat - he loves Cars and we would have bought it for him but he hated it so we saved ourselves $20 
 This is where they grew Cinderella's pumpkin

 We just love Nemo