Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zoey and Freedom Spend Thanksgiving in Ellenboro, NC

My family and I took Freedom on a trip to my grandparent’s house for a traditional Thanksgiving celebration. We traveled five hours from Wilmington to Ellenboro, NC. Ellenboro is in Rutherford County and is located in the foothills of western North Carolina.

My grandmother and I planned and prepared our traditional feast of turkey and stuffing with all the trimmings. I was the sous chef, which means that I helped to prepare ingredients for the recipes. I also made brownie cupcakes with cream cheese icing!

After our big family meal on Thanksgiving day, my aunt, grandmother and I talked about our game plan for “Black Friday” shopping. We got up at 5:00 a.m. on Friday and shopped, shopped, shopped!

On Saturday we had our traditional bonfire down by the creek. We had fun riding four wheelers, visiting with our cousins, and roasting marshmallows!

Sunday morning came and it was time to head back to Wilmington. Only four more weeks until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Disney World Adventures for Liberty, Alyssa, and Wes

We went to Disney World and it was lots of fun!! We stayed at the Polynesian and it was the best hotel that we have ever stayed in, because it had great restaurants and a private beach. The restaurants were very exciting, entertaining, and the food was delicious. We stayed on the monorail so we could get to the four Disney Parks very fast.

My favorite park was the Magic Kingdom and my favorite ride was the Buzz Light Year ride. Wes’ favorite Park was Epcot and his favorite ride was Space Mountain. In Magic Kingdom we also loved the Speedway because we both love to drive cars. I also liked the Presidents Presentation because it taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know. Like did you know that Theodore Roosevelt named the President's house the White House? Before that, presidents called it the Executive Mansion or the Presidents Palace, but in 1901 Theodore Roosevelt came up with the current name that we know today, the White House.

In the Magic Kingdom, Liberty rode with us on the Jungle Cruise. I don’t think she laughed at many of our guide’s jokes, but Wes and I got some of them.

At Hollywood Studios we both enjoyed the Indiana Jones Stunt Show because there was lots of action; something was always blowing up or on fire. Wes also liked Lights, Camera, Action because there were lots of interesting cars. We both loved Test Track because it is fast and you go through testing that real cars have to go though before they can be sold.

In Animal Kingdom, Wes, Liberty and I enjoyed the Animal Safari because it makes you feel like you are in South Asia, the Amazon River and the Nile River; the animals are very exotic. Liberty also liked the Bird Exhibit. It was really neat because there were birds from all different countries and they all had unique colors and designs. I think that this has been the best trip to Disney World yet

Friday, November 19, 2010

Freedom Joined Hunter and Amber in Disney

We left at 5 AM on Wednesday morning to Florida. We drove to Orange City FL and spent the night before heading to Disney World. We went to Animal Kingdom the first day. We saw lots of animals and rode lots of rides but our favorite was the safari ride where we rescued a baby elephant. All the animals were so close to the truck. It was very up closse and personal.

The second day we got to visit the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Freedom loved getting to see a show in front of Cinderella's castle. It started raining when we were riding on the Tomorrowland Speedway. Luckily we had Freedom all covered up so she didn't get wet. We got SOAKED!!

The next day we visited Epcot all day. We rode Spaceship Earth and Soarin'. They were great rides. On our last day we spent all day at the Magic Kingdom. We took Freedom on lots of rides and we even showed her the Liberty Bell. To finish the day off we stayed and saw the fireworks and the electirc parade. Then next day we left and headed home. It was a GREAT vacation!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ms. Froehlich and Freedom Experience a Cultural Exchange in Japan

In June 2010, Ms. Froehlich and Freedom traveled to Osaka, Japan with other teachers and professors from UNCW. They visited many historical and cultural sites and visited several Japanese schools. They participated in classes and were also able share with the students what school is like in the United States.

View Ms. Foehlich's slide show to see pictures and read about her trip.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Vacation in New England for Freedom and Olivia

Freedom joined Olivia and her parents on a trip to New England. On Friday, August 20th, they flew into Boston and walked around the Boston Harbor where the Boston Tea Party took place. On Saturday, Freedom walked along the Freedom Trail with Olivia where they saw the Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, The Granary Burying Ground and Paul Revere's grave.

They also saw The Old State House, The Old South Meeting House, Faneuil Hall where they did some shopping, Paul Revere's House, Old North Church, The USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill. It was a long walk but everyone learned so much about the significant history events in Boston. The weather was really nice so the walk was enjoyable. They also used the subway system to move around the city which was fun.

On Saturday night, Freedom and Olivia met up with Ms. Froehlich at the Boston Red Sox baseball game. The Red Sox won on a walk-off home run in the 11th inning. It was very exciting.

On Sunday, they went to the American Girl Store in Boston before heading into New Hampshire.

Their hotel in New Hampshire was really cool with an indoor waterpark. On Monday, they took a scenic train trip in North Conway, New Hampshire and had lunch on the train. They headed back to Boston driving through the state of Maine on Monday afternoon and returned back to Wilmington on Tuesday, August 24th in time to start the first day of school on Wednesday.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break in Virginia with Alyssa, Wes, and Liberty

For Spring Break we went to the mountains of Virginia. On the first day, we went to the Luray Caverns. There we saw a rock formation that looked like fried eggs, and a white one that looked like a ghost. After that we went to an old car museum. Wes really liked the old cars. That afternoon we went snow tubing. This was one of the most exciting things we did, but one of the coldest. We were all surprised that there was still enough snow to go tubing.

On Sunday we went to James Monroe’s house, the 4th President. The house was named Ash Lawn-Highland. After that we went to Michie’s Tavern, a really old restaurant and hotel. The hotel was built in 1784. We ate lunch there and then got a tour, during which we got to play an old card game that they would have played in the 1700’s. Afterward, we went to Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. His house had many cool features and he had collected many interesting objects.

The next day we went to an indoor water park. Wes went on a ride where there were waves like he was riding a surfboard. My dad and I went on big slides and we all went in the lazy river and the water jungle gym. There was a huge barrel of water that splashed over the gym every few minutes. Once, it poured out on Wes and knocked him down and he was pretty scraped up, unfortunately!

On Tuesday, we drove across Virginia to go to George Washington’s house, also known as Mount Vernon. We got to see slave quarters and lots of buildings from long ago. We got to see all of George Washington’s house, his belongings, and his grave. On Wednesday, we went back to the water park in the morning. That afternoon, we went hiking on a mountain ridge. It was a beautiful view!

Our last day, we traveled to Appomattox, where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the end of the Civil War. There were many artifacts found after the war ended and it was really interesting to learn more about our country’s history.

That was our amazing Spring Break!

Alyssa and Wes

Monday, April 5, 2010

Freedom's Disney Adventure With African Tribal Dancers

Freedom and I went to Disney World's Animal Kingdom and we both went on the ride Mt. Everest and she got blown away (not really). Then when we walked through Africa we saw these African Tribal Dancers and we played wonderful music with them. We had a great time!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thomas and Devin Take Justice Skiing in Boone, NC

Justice traveled to Boone, North Carolina for a long weekend with Thomas and Devin. They left a day early to avoid the four inches of snow that fell over night in Wilmington. On Saturday, they arrived in Boone to a blustery winter wonderland. First stop, the Appalachian Ski Mountain where everyone piled on layers of warm clothing to keep out the winter chill. The boys found a mound of snow where Justice joined in on the fun. Next, was ice skating which was tons of fun but after about two hours their toes started to freeze! Sunday morning was a picture perfect winter day. There was not a cloud in the sky and there was plenty of fresh snow on the ground! Justice was with Thomas and Devin as they prepared to hit the slopes for the first time! Skiing was great and everyone had an amazing time! In the afternoon Thomas, Devin, and Justice played in the snow, had a snowball fight, and built a snowman family. Thomas, Devin, and Justice said it was "the best weekend ever"!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Liberty's Snowy Winter Break with the Hamiltons

Snow! That is the word to describe my vacation with the Hamiltons. First we traveled to Washington DC during the worst blizzard in five years. Our visit was supposed to included a tour of the White House and of the Washington Monument but the 2+ feet of snow that fell put a hold on those plans. The Hamiltons used to live in D.C. (more specifically Bethesda, MD) so we visited with a lot of their friends. That was fun because there was sledding and snowball fights. Once the snow let up we were able to drive to Baltimore to visit the Baltimore Aquarium. Our favorite part was the dolphin show because the dolphins did a lot of exciting tricks. Walking through the shark tank was also thrilling.

After D.C. we went home for Christmas then off to the mountains of NC for New Year’s Eve. We stayed on the Rocking B Farm which has tons of cows. The house was up on a mountain and boy was it cold. One morning we woke up and it was seven degrees with a wind chill of -37 degrees. During the day we bundled up and went out to play with the cows and horses. We actually stood in the middle of a herd. You can see Daisy, the girls’ dog, trying to show the cows who was boss. The cows did not even blink an eye. Although it was cold we had a great time. The Hamilton girls were a lot of fun.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Justice's Winter Break in Massachusetts With Jocelyn and Nolan

Justice traveled with Jocelyn and Nolan to Bourne, Massachusetts for the winter break. They arrived after a huge snow storm and found that there was 21 inches of snow on the ground. The kids and Justice were able to go sledding, build a snow fort and have snowball fights.

Jocelyn and Nolan took Justice with them to visit Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts. Edaville Railroad is considered one of the oldest heritage railroads in the country. It opened up in 1947. Jocelyn, Nolan and Justice were able to ride the train at night and view beautiful Christmas light displays on the property. Edaville Railroad also has outside amusement rides, which were very fun, but cold as it was only 18 degrees the night they went. They also got to go into a museum at Edaville Railroad and learned about harvesting cranberries. The area of Massachusetts they were in has many cranberry bogs. Justice, Jocelyn and Nolan got to see and sit in all different types of tractors/harvesting machinery that has been used throughout the years to harvest cranberries. It was interesting to see how harvesting cranberries progressed from using a hand held wooden rake like baskets to the machines that are used in more modern times to pick cranberries.

Nolan and his father went to see a Worcester Sharks AHL hockey game, the AHL teams are like the minor leagues for the NHL. The Worcester Sharks are the minor league team for the San Jose Sharks hockey team. So, the players on the Worcester Sharks will sometimes be called up to play for the San Jose Sharks and injured players for the San Jose Sharks will go play on the Worcester Sharks to help them get used to playing again before they go back up to the NHL.

Instead of the hockey game, Jocelyn and Justice went to see the “Enchanted Village” in Avon, Massachusetts. The Enchanted Village is very well known in the Boston area. It used to be owned by the Jordan Marsh Dept. Store and every year at Christmas time they would decorate their store windows with scenes from the Enchanted Village, which included quaint New England winter scenes with motorized mannequins and folks would come from all over to see it. Jordan Marsh has since gone out of business and the Enchanted Village was put up for auction. A local New England furniture store, Jordan’s Furniture, bought the entire Enchanted Village and had the antique scenes and motorized mannequins refurbished and brought to one of there show rooms (8,000 sq feet) and allowed people to come for free to view the Enchanted Village during the Christmas season. They owners of the furniture store felt so strongly that they wanted to keep up this tradition alive that they didn’t want the set to be split up at auction. It was beautiful and every 10- 15 mins. they made snow, which was really fun to have falling around while you viewed all the scenes.

Justice also joined Jocelyn and Nolan at the Boston Children’s Museum. This was a really fun day. The kids and Justice got to climb in the New Balance Climb, which is a three story climbing sculpture made of curved platforms. They explored the bubble room, toured an actual Japanese house that was 100 years old and was a gift to the museum about 30 years ago. They experimented with putting balls on different raceways and seeing how they moved. Jocelyn and her father also got to participate in a production of The Three Little Pigs at the Kids Stage. After 6 hours at the Children’s museum, they had to leave because the museum was closing, but they could have stayed and played for much longer.

It was a great trip to Massachusetts for Justice, Jocelyn and Nolan. They look forward to having more adventures with the Patriot kids on another trip.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Freedom Cruised to the Caribbean with Claire

During the Christmas Holiday from school, Freedom went on a cruise with me and my family. We got on the Italian Costa Cruise Line in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We were at Sea for two days before we got to our first destination, St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. We went on a tour and got to see the island and many of its landmarks. We even saw a giant Termite nest!

The next day we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Freedom went with me to explore the ancient fortresses and great stone walls of "El Morro" that guard the entrance of the San Juan harbor. We climbed down to the inside of the fort where they used to keep their cannons to shoot at their enemies. While we were there we saw a couple of cats inside a little tunnel.

The next day we were at sea again where we enjoyed many activities on the ship. We swam, went down a water slide on the top deck of the boat and met lots of people that spoke different languages. On our last stop we arrived in Nassau in the Bahamas at a place called Atlantis. We took Freedom to Dolphin Cay were we got to swim with dolphins.

It was a wonderful trip, especially because I had a Patriot Kid along the way!