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!