Sunday, January 12, 2014

To infinity and beyond!

We knew we only had a few days to fit in all the things we wanted to see while in Florida. I'm happy that a trip to the Kennedy Space Center made the list. We were all exhausted from our day of walking at the end, but it was worth the long day.

Our first stop inside the gates was the rocket garden. She's saying, "AAAAH ROCKETS!"  

If only the door was still on. Sayonara kiddos! Say hi to the moon for me!

Our next exhibit was Angry Birds Space Encounter. Most of the activities were too old for our crew, but they enjoyed the real life slingshot game. I couldn't get a good picture of the whole set up, but there were two teams, a bunch of slingshots and piles of stuffed angry birds to sling up at the pig targets on the wall.

The only other angry birds activity that we tried was the maze.  Inside there was slightly ominous music, and a maze of mirrored walls.  Your mission is to find the exit.  My kids were a little apprehensive, but we kept assuring them it was just a maze, nothing scary.  We made it to the exit easily, or so we thought.  When you get to the exit of the maze you are suddenly blasted with air and  a loud horn goes off.  Well, this frightened the living daylights out of all of us, but especially my children.  With a shriek they both took off in the opposite direction, trampling everyone in their path.  Tata and I had the job of chasing after them and basically fireman carrying them out of there screaming and crying.  She and I were laughing so hard we were crying too, at the hilarity of it all.  For the rest of the day Cam would randomly shudder and say, "I don't like them angry birds".

Explorers wanted? I think R is the only one of this crew that would make the cut.

We stopped for an IMAX movie about life in the space stations which was the perfect chance for Cam and Gammy to take a nap while the rest of us put up our feet, cooled off in the a/c and ate some snacks.

Our last stop and my favorite part of the trip was the Atlantis exhibit.

The experience begins in a domed theater where we watched a short video about how the shuttle Atlantis came to be.  At the end of the video the screen slowly went up and revealed the shuttle.

The kids were underwhelmed by the shuttle, I blame it on their youth, but they loved this set of space tunnels suspended from the top of the very tall warehouse we were in.

The tunnel path made a large square back to the start, but in order to make it back to the beginning you had to crawl through a see through tube that let them see just how high up they were.  It took Cam a minute to accept that he was not going to plummet to his certain demise.

From there we discovered these racing slides.  The kids took at least three turns.  Even Gammy, who's perpetually young at heart, got in on the fun.

We made a quick visit to the souvenir shop before we called it a day.  The only part we missed was the bus tour that takes you to the launch pad site, but we didn't think the kids could last for two hours out and about on a bus.  We had a great day at the space center.  Thanks for all the memories and education NASA!


Flo-ridin' to Florida - Days 1-3

In July, my mom, Gammy, called me and said, "I'm going to Florida with Tutu.  You should come and bring the kids."

Following our M.O. for the summer of 2013 travel and adventures I said, "Sure, why not?".

So very early in the morning on July 21st we kissed TG goodbye and headed south. My kids are awesome in the car.  I gave them both their own cloth bin full of new coloring things, stickers, journals, small toys and games and other diversions.  They also shared our small portable DVD player and took turns picking movies to watch. We made it pretty far into North Carolina before our first stop for breakfast and potty breaks.

I love their morning faces.   I also love that even though they usually scarf down cinnamon rolls, both of them refused to eat these Cinnabon treats.  Weirdos.

Our first planned stop for the day was in Charlotte, NC.  I left enough time to stretch our legs on a playground, eat lunch and pick up some precious cargo at the airport.

At the last minute, Tata and R decided to join us!  They flew into Charlotte, we grabbed them at the airport and then continued south.

We went as far as we (mostly the kids) could handle before stopping for the night in Savannah. I got as much sleep as possible sharing a bed with both my kids. They of course were fresh faced and ready to go.   Florida, here we come!

I'll admit the second day of driving was a bit rougher than the first.  We had a narrow escape with a major accident, tons more requests for potty breaks and just a longer drive than we thought ahead of us.  We did have some fun moments stopping just past Jacksonville for lunch and making a random pit stop in Sanford to stock up on supplies for the week at Walmart.

We finally pulled into the hotel that evening and were immediately heavily loved on by all the family that was waiting there for us.  After the long day of driving, we wasted no time in eating dinner and heading to bed.

The next day we got down to our tourism business.  Cocoa Beach or bust!

We somehow randomly found the pier and this beautiful stretch of flat sand and shallow water for the littles.

Name in the sand take two for 2013.  Same ocean, much further south.

I tried to get a sweet cousins shot of them all sitting in a heart drawn in the sand. Fail.

We meant for this to be our only adventure of the day, but after seeing signs for NASA on our way to the beach we realized we were closer than we thought. We made a quick decision to save ourselves the same drive the next day and just head there from the beach.

Little Summer Moments

In between our travels we had some sweet summer moments.

TG took the kiddos with him to Home Depot early on Saturday morning and discovered the kids workshops. Riley LOVED the little orange Home Depot apron and pin she received.

While visiting this summer, Gammy bought her a toy Merida bow and arrow set.  She proved to be a good shot.  TG decided to upgrade her to a real kids set and target in the backyard after we learned how straight and accurately she could shoot the toy set.

We spent lots of summer evenings, barefoot shooting in the backyard.  She's got scary good aim.

It was very hot this past summer. Most days it was too hot for us to even think about venturing outside. We spent a lot of down time playing family games and entertaining ourselves indoors.   Toy Story memory is a crowd favorite.  Easy set up and quick play.  Riley and Camden learned and loved Go Fish this summer too.

We had a few Panera lunch dates.  TG was teasing Riley by wearing her sunglasses so she took this photo as evidence of TG in Barbie sunglasses.

This pic was the last one we took before our big, impromptu trip to Orlando and Disney this summer!  Followed by a last minute visit to Gigi and Papa and LKA before settling back into our school year routine.

Low Key Fourth

Summer of 2013 was full of traveling and random adventures so we had a low key Fourth of July this year.

A little yodel-yodeling and ukelele during the heat of the day.

Trampoline sprinkler park and Baskin Robbins in the afternoon.

Sparklers and fireworks at the neighborhood park that night.