Blog Archives for category Toys & Games
It was our turn to host tonight and we had a small group as two families couldn’t make it… But we made up for it in craziness.
The group selfie…
And then we had Katie take a picture!
And then one of the kids mentioned Pie Face and we had whipped cream for the dessert, so… There was lots of this.
We finished it before vacation but never got around to taking the photo.
We always take the grandparents out to dinner to thank them for letting us stay with them…and this time, we went to McGuires Irish Pub just down the road in Destin. We happened to be sitting right at a Pokémon gym so of course we had to take it over.
The tradition at this place is to leave a signed/decorated $1 bill stapled to the wall. They have over $1 million hanging throughout the place (see lots of great pictures from RoadTrippers). This was the wall behind us (in the natural restaurant lighting):
And the same picture with a flash:
This is the bill we did. Gramma drew the heart with the year and signer her name; Owen wrote his name on the very left, going up from the O; Katie die her KAtie on three lines; Grandpa David did his GD between Owen and Katie; Major Tom left his mark; and since no one took good ol’ George, I did that plus left our JTOK.
Gramma stapled it to the wall.
Can you see it?
Grauntie Rose and Gruntie Jim also stay down here during the winter, so they came over for lunch. We had hoped to be able to take the kids to the pool or the beach but it was cold and rainy…so there were a few games of Katie’s new favorite: Go Fish!
I belong to the birthday club for the kids so when mail came with Owen’s name on it, he was excited. It was a $3 coupon and a certificate for a crown and birthday balloon. When we turned it in, he also got a plush and a book!
He knew exactly what he wanted so it didn’t take long. He looked so grown up waiting in line…
Unfortunately we were one day early for the coupon (of course!) so daddy bought it for him and he lucks out with an extra birthday present.
He’s such a good sport v2. I asked if he remembered what he was doing in the picture, thinking he wouldn’t have a clue…and within like three seconds he said “Those are Lego hands from Indiana Jones [xbox game].”
We got the kids the LEGO City Advent Calendar Building Kit so after they had opened all the doors and built everything we asked if they wanted to do it again next year…because if they did, we had to sort all the pieces and take everything apart. They said yes. So I tasked Katie with that job to keep her out of my hair while I started putting away Christmas decorations. She did amazingly well!
Touring the white house has been on my bucket list for awhile but I’ve been too lazy to do anything about it…so through a chance encounter, we met someone (a friend of a friend) who had two openings for New Years Day. At the time I was even MORE geeked because I thought the holiday decorations would still be up and Christmas is totally my thing…but unfortunately, the decorations were already down. The only slightly bad things were that 1) we would have liked to take the kids, but I wasn’t going to pass this up and 2) we had New Years Eve plans in New Jersey that would be cut a little short. But again we couldn’t pass this up. Uncle Rob was staying with us over the holidays so he watched the kids for us.
First stop: The Ellipse…and The National Christmas Tree.
“The walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree features 56 state and territory trees decorated with handmade ornaments that are unique to each tree.”
Workers were maintaining the trains…
Vacuuming the tracks (I thought this was funny but if you think about it it has to be done).
There were so many people milling about that it took a few minutes before we could get in front of the White House with no one else in our selfie. It was also hard to get the White House lined up between us because it was VERY bright and we could barely see the phone screen.
See? White House placement fail.
I just had to.
Potty break. We sent it to Owen and told him it was a Pidgey (Pokémon) nest.
Starting the queue to get to the tour.
First ID and ticket checkpoint.
Through that building was the dog who sniffed everyone one at a time.
We couldn’t take pictures in one building, and then we were spit out here.
Entering the White House!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so much a tour as a regular museum experience. There were lines and hordes of people just like every other museum so you had to wait your turn to poke your head through a doorway for 10 seconds or wait for people to get out of your way to see something on the wall.
I like that you can see my reflection in this one.
Gift shop at the start of the tour! We got a White House ornament.
This was literally a 3′ doorway to poke your head in to take a sweeping look around.
And look what was in the middle of the tour… We each caught a few Pokémon and hoped they’d be good ones (they weren’t) but I now have a few I caught in the White House.
We opted not to wait in the huge line to take a picture directly in front of the Presidential Seal and doors so we got this instead. Had we not been trying to hurry, we could have tried to move to the side ever-so-slightly and hidden people behind Tom’s head.
And then it was done! They weren’t kidding when they said it only takes 45 minutes or so. I’m glad we did it, of course, but it wasn’t what I expected (though I don’t know why I was expecting an actual TOUR, like with a few people at a time—this is DC! Nothing happens without hordes of people!). The other bummer is that all the Christmas decorations were down. You were also encouraged to ask the guards about the house and the individual rooms and whatnot, but with as many people as were there and how crowded most of the areas were, you almost felt guilty if you held up the line just to chit chat with the guard.
We quick had someone snap this before more people walked out and ruined the shot.
See? The lady took a minute to reframe the shot and…people.
Fun with photoshop.
So, since we were in DC, we had to pick somewhere cool to eat—the Old Ebbitt Grill was on our way back to the parking garage!
The French Toast Breakfast Club (bacon-wrapped ham sandwich, apple compote, pecan butter, Vermont maple syrup) was DIVINE.
And then it was back to the car and off to New Jersey where we were going to be surprise guests!
She did it! She finished Rapunzel’s castle!!
One museum down, 43 to go.
Original Cookie Monster and Elmo!
It called to me.
Julia Child’s wall-o-cookware.
A model of the cruise ship we first cruised on—the Holland America Zuiderdam.
Three attempts at a family photo in front of the presidential hall.
Our little DJ.
Three hours and done!*
* I’m just not a huge museum fan (or history in general, which is why being in the DC area is pretty pointless for me). This was probably my first choice of all the museums and while I think some of the stuff is cool I just don’t care enough to read about all of it. I probably could have spent a bit more time in the First Lady and Presidential halls but most of the rest was easily done with a quick walk-through. I also very much dislike hoardes of people and being crowded and not able to see things easily so that’s a huge issue here. It wasn’t too bad when we were some of the first 500-1000 people in when they opened but after a few hours when the entrants have doubled? No thank you. The kids also weren’t very interested so they would have really been bored to tears if we took any longer.
Also, Uncle Rob was supposed to have been with us, but he wasn’t thinking and had a pocketknife with him…and since these are federal buildings everyone has to go through security and he could not bring it in with him. He tried to go back and put it in the car, but he would have had to go back through security to get to the car…so unless he wanted to toss it or hide it, he was out of luck (we entered through the parking garage so the car got a cursory check but we didn’t get personally checked and we didn’t have to exit through security so it passed—but to re-enter the building to get to the parking lot, you had to pass security). So he wandered the area seeing the sights and taking pictures.