New Hope, Pennsylvania…June 28 and 29, 2013

Leaving Chappaqua

Leaving Chappaqua

Lots of traffic on the drive to Pennsylvania!

Lots of traffic on the drive to Pennsylvania!

Hi New Jersey

Hi New Jersey

The kids do a great job killing time

The kids do a great job killing time

The sun was shining and the temperature was warm when we all awoke at 7:30am. With swimsuits in hand we all headed up to the pool for a swim. The kids had fun running and swimming until the rain started slow then poured. I think that is the only way that it comes down around here! We took a break in the “pool house” and the kids warmed themselves by the outdoor fireplace…not spoiled or anything 🙂

After the pass through of rain they were back in and playing away once again. They jumped off the diving board over and over and just had a great time. Benjamin and Scott played some tennis and I made a pot of coffee and enjoyed watching everyone.

We are headed to New Hope Pennsylvania today and we are planning a stop at Costco as well so we had to get on the road. We left just after 12:30pm and said goodbye to our little personal oasis 🙂

The roads were much better heading back to the highway since we took much time researching how to get there. There was some accident or something happening so our 33 minute trip to Costco took us over and hour…but we made it 🙂

The rest of the drive to New Hope was slow and uneventful to say the least. It felt like it took forever but we were able to see the beautiful landscape of New Jersey on our way. New Hope is almost directly on the border of New Jersey. We crossed the river and headed into Pennsylvania and to Scott’s friends home. Unfortunately he is not home but is graciously allowing us to stay at his house. He was a boyhood friend of Scott’s from Bellingham and is actually in Bellingham visiting his family…too bad for us. We arrived at the house and met the neighbors who were so kind and offered to help us find our way around the area.

The kids were particularly excited to come here because they have a big yellow lab that the neighbors watch after while they are away. We met Kobe the dog and the girls were so excited. He is a sweet dog and they loved him up. The bonus was a cat too….oh this is wonderful to them. They have been asking about a cat for sometime and this was good to be able to have one at their feet.

We settled in and enjoyed their lovely home and yard. When the darkness set in it was a light show outside with thousands of fireflies all over their yard!

Off to bed and tomorrow we will be able to explore this area more. We are very grateful to have a nice place to stay!

Washington Crossing

Washington Crossing

The bridge that is in the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River.

The bridge that is in the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River.

The Delaware River

The Deleware River

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This morning we slept in…I slept until 8:15am!! The bed we slept in was super comfortable and the room cool and dark so it was really easy to sleep 🙂 I must have been exhausted. When we all were ready to go we went to explore the local area. Scott’s friend is letting us use his car which is so nice. Normally we just stay put where we park.

We went into a town called Washington Crossing to explore. This is the place that George Washington crossed the Deleware River in 1776 and engaged in the battle of Trenton. They had a little museum that we walked through. We didn’t do the tour (it was 45 minutes) so we weren’t able to hear all about it or go into the old homes and businesses, but we could peek in. They had a lot of information along the route that we were able to read. It was neat to see where he crossed. There is a bridge there now that was built in 1905 (the two covered bridges before that were destroyed in floods) so we walked on it a ways. The river is the dividing line between New Jersey and Pennsylvania so if you crossed it you were in New Jersey.

We then headed to New Hope which is an artsy town with a lot of visitors. It is fun to see all the shops and restaurants along the river. We had lunch there and then an ice cream cone. It is so hot here (87 degrees with very high humidity) that you lose motivation rather quickly. The kids are doing excellent, but they can’t stay out walking around for very long.

After some more exploring we headed back to the house. The girls were missing the dog and cat 🙂 We relaxed most of the evening and watched a movie on their projection television…that was cool! The kids loved it 🙂

Tomorrow we are headed into Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell and explore that area. We are headed in early so we can miss a little of the heat!

We are now officially half way done with our trip! The kids are having a blast and so are Scott and I. This has been wonderful and God has been providing, protecting and blessing us all along the way. We are really enjoying our time as a family and seeing so many things!

A crazy trip from Grandmas to Chappaqua NY….June 27

Our last morning with Grandma…it’s sad that we have to go, but we also look forward to what we have ahead of us.
Once everyone had roused we were able to enjoy one more meal at Grandma’s kitchen. The food was good and Benjamin ordered the usual…French toast  Every time I make French toast from now on I will think of this time at Grandma’s house. All filled up and ready to go we ran a couple of errands and started packing up to leave.
It was nice that we hadn’t brought a lot of stuff into her home so I had little to pack. The kids entertained themselves by burning leaves on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass. Katherine and Ellie begged for an egg to fry on the sidewalk. I said no to that request, it was extremely hot but not that hot.
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We had such fun!

We had such fun!


We had planned on leaving around 11am but with the packing, planning and long goodbye’s we were on the road at 12:45 instead. It was great spending time with family and hard to leave. There were a few tears on our end for sure. We plan on coming back and visiting again, but no RV next time.
On the road to Chappaqua, NY to stay at Scott’s cousin Lex’s home. We were supposed to stay and visit with him for a couple of days. Unfortunately things changed and Lex went to visit his son so we are staying at his home for one night without him. It would have been great to see him but maybe on our next time back east we can connect.
Chappaqua is north of the city and this is the drive that seemed the most daunting by far. Driving in New York is no picnic with a car so we were feeling a bit apprehensive before we even left Hempstead. The problem with a 29 foot motor home and back east is that this area’s road system is old and designed for cars more than big vehicles. Another problem is the sheer volume of people and third and probably the most important is that RV’s are not allowed on ANY parkways. New York has a lot of parkways! I tell you that as soon as I sang the praise of our GPS it decided to throw us curve balls ever since! Unfortunately we can’t set the darn thing up to know that we are an RV (this is quite important) and you can’t see the details of where it is taking you more than a few miles ahead. I am no technical expert but I have tried and tried to find a way to do it and came up with nothing.
keeping themselves entertained

keeping themselves entertained

Good old fashioned fun!

Good old fashioned fun!


So Scott had found a way to go through another website since everything was taking us on Parkway’s or highways with low bridges (we are about 12 feet tall we think). He sent those directions to his phone so I had those written out and the GPS in my hand trying to cross reference things and make sure we were making the right turns.
The other thing about the East Coast is that everything isn’t necessarily far apart, just confusing and long to get there…for us at least. Our destination was only 49 miles. The GPS and the website said 57 minutes to get there….hmmmm…I don’t know about that.
We started okay, made it to the Throgsneck Bridge despite road construction and a lane closure. It was a toll so we paid that and this is where is all went bad…really, really bad. The darn GPS told us to take one road, the phone said that road as well but then it said I-95 as well. We watched the
Big storm brewing over the ocean.

Big storm brewing over the ocean.

Throgsneck Bridge...where is all went wrong :)

Throgsneck Bridge…where is all went wrong 🙂


GPS for which lane to follow (it is super stressful to switch lanes especially to the right at the last second because Scott has a blind spot directly down the side that I have to check but I have to block the mirror for him to be able to see it myself…all way to stressful under pressure and hard to do in an instant) All of a sudden we are off the freeway….where in the world was I-95?!? We thought that this wonderful piece of technology was going to steer us back but before we knew it we were in one big, scary, super crowded mess!!! We were in the middle of the Bronx with every impatient, fast driving person! What…yikes, turn left, rights, go up a street and it tells us to get on a Parkway!!! We can’t go on Parkways you stupid GPS. We turn down another street, then another and find ourselves in the middle of total gridlock. There are people coming in on the sides and it’s one stop light after another that are so close together our RV almost takes the whole lane up. There is an ambulance ahead of us with it’s lights on, people walking down the middle of the lanes of traffic and the stupid GPS is telling us to get on the road straight ahead that has been barricaded with a police car sitting in front of it. Okay…Scott is doing really well, I am freaking out. I have no map to show me the little roads in the Bronx…I never thought I would be in the Bronx…I never wanted to see the Bronx ever! Scott makes the decision to go another way and we find room to breathe. We finally find a strip of pavement that we can pull over to and try to figure out where we are and how to make it to the freeway system. All this technology at our fingertips and it is no use. Back to square one…just drive and see if we can find it. Scott has the most excellent sense of direction. He made it to I-87 and at this point it didn’t matter where it went we wanted off the streets and onto a highway. We saw big semi-trucks so we knew this route was okay in that regard at least. We got onto the freeway which was a parking lot but an improvement! No sudden moves or decisions. Our PAPER map helped us see that this route would work for most of the trip north. Once the traffic broke up we were literally praising God for his provision and direction. We saw two accidents in our one hour tour thru the Bronx.
So we see that there is a service area (rest stop that has more amenities) and we pull in. Scott grabs a coffee and I sit and stare. I was so stressed out and I wasn’t even driving. It is not a good feeling to not be able to figure out where you are and how to get away from such a mess. We regroup and try to get the darn GPS to show us a route that doesn’t use a parkway. It doesn’t seem to exist!!! We get back on the freeway and head north. We only have about 17 miles left but it is daunting. We get to the point that we are either headed over a bridge in the wrong direction or we go on a parkway. Oh man…here we go, we hit the parkway. I see a police car going the other way and we are just waiting to hear sirens behind us. We read one guys blog about driving his C Class RV on a Parkway and getting really chewed out for it. Katherine prayed for us and I felt like I was holding my breath..yeah, we are off, oh no..now we just got on another one and we have to go for 8 miles. This feels like eternity! We are all just praying to get off this road. One guy makes eye contact with Scott and shakes his finger at him…no more eye contact. Look straight ahead, lost and fiddle with the map. I know its’ cheap but we just want to be off this darn road!
We exited and felt an overwhelming sense of joy! The road up to his uncles said 15mph and very curvy uphill. Poor Scott, his driving has been challenged today far more than he ever wanted or expected. Wouldn’t you know that a truck pulling a horse trailer would be coming down around the first hairpin turn. The road had been worn away against the edge so you wouldn’t want the tire to drop off there and there is a huge vehicle on the other side. Scott slowly steered around the curve and made it past the trailer. Please let us get there soon!
Tennis anyone?

Tennis anyone?

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Pool house

Pool house

What can I say...wow!

What can I say…wow!

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The view from our window!

The view from our window!

Amazing details!

Amazing details!

DSC_0634One more mile up we found our destination and what a destination it was! Absolutely beautiful old home with grounds that go on and on and are fully manicured. There is a huge pond/lake with a fountain and pool with a diving board and pool house. The pool house is a huge and beautiful room with a screened porch, full kitchen, bar, table, seating, sound system and bbq! Posh at the very least. We felt spoiled big time! We were shown our rooms and headed up to the pool. There we swam, the kids and Scott played tennis (did

Our own pool to relax in.

Our own pool to relax in.

Diving board too!

Diving board too!

So fun to play tag here :)

So fun to play tag here 🙂

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I forget to mention the tennis court) and we made our dinner. Corn dogs in the microwave…funny huh? It’s what I had  We finished the leftovers from our time with GG and just relaxed. We headed to the house at about 8pm and enjoyed looking at the sheer beauty of this home. It is a show piece, so lovely with details, furnishings and artwork.
Everyone eventually tucked in we went to bed. The heaven’s opened again and the rain fell fast along with a lot of thunder and lightning! I guess that is what happens around here.
Tomorrow we are staying at Scott’s friends home in Pennsylvania. He is back in Bellingham visiting his family…we are so bummed that we don’t get to visit him either! It is so nice of him and his family to let us stay at his home. They have a big lab that the kids are going to love to see. We have taken great efforts to find the best way there…with no Parkways…we will see 

Point Lookout…June 26, 2013

Point Lookout beach

Point Lookout beach

They are having such fun with one another!

They are having such fun with one another!

Notice the flags :)

Notice the flags 🙂

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Ellie's turn!

Ellie’s turn!

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Today was a pretty relaxing day. The girls were up a bit earlier than usual and woke Grandma up with their giggles outside her window. Not a bad way to wake up 🙂 They love playing in her yard. You can find the girls tumbling on the lawn, playing hide and seek or just being silly and Benjamin is usually running around the house. I am not kidding! He has taken to running laps. He is now up to 117 laps around Grandmas house…silly kid. He says he is trying to improve his time on the mile run at school. I wish I had that motivation. Scott and I had grand plans of how to stay in shape on the road. Let’s see, 23 days of travel and Scott worked out once and I have worked out…none. Oh well 🙂 We are staying fairly active on the touring but who wants to exercise when it is sticky and hot (that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it).
After we were all up Grandma took us to her “kitchen” for breakfast. The owners and staff are so good to her and we have enjoyed meeting them. Benjamin had his french toast and bacon (the same thing every time) and we had our fill as well…working out would be a good thing.
After breakfast we ran some errands with Grandma and she treated me to a couple of new outfits…grandma’s know how to spoil!

Such fun!

Such fun!


Once we were back at her house we had a nice time talking and enjoying the sunny day. The humidity wasn’t as bad as the day before and it felt a tad cooler. We left to go and visit my great aunt Lynn and her husband Paul who live on Point Lookout and enjoy the beach in that area. The drive was nice and easy. The Point Lookout area is a really neat beach community that had access to a private beach. My mom spent many of her summers growing up going to Point Lookout with her family. Her grandma Bakie had a summer place there and mom has some great memories of time spent on that beach and with her grandma. I can see why she had such fun, it is a beautiful beach and the area just has a nice feel. My mom loves the water. She is happy if she is by the sea or a lake (right mom?) and I can’t blame her!!
Burying Ben...that was fun :)

Burying Ben…that was fun 🙂

Happy hearts and sandy toes...we could get used to this!

Happy hearts and sandy toes…we could get used to this!

We found Lynn and Paul’s house and enjoyed talking with them for a while. With some borrowed beach chairs we headed down to the beach access. We found a great spot and settled in until I realized that we were in a restricted area. It dawned on me that the red and green flags mean red=not okay and green=okay. Seems simple right? No big deal, we moved and didn’t get in trouble by the lifeguard 
The kids didn’t care that the temperature of the water was 69 degrees and they were up to their necks in no time! Scott and I had fun watching them jump the waves and run around. At one point Benjamin was buried in sand up to his waist then Ellie up to her chest. They had such fun! After a couple of hours we headed back to Lynn’s house to return what we had borrowed and picked up the car. It was so nice seeing her and Paul. My mom was an only child and grew up on Long Island so this is where her family is. It’s hard for her to be so far but it is also really nice to visit when we are able. It has been 10 years for me and this is the first time for Scott and the kids (besides Benjamin when he was only 9 months old) so it is really great to be able to touch base with them again.
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Ice cream to finish our time at the beach..not spoiled or anything :)

Ice cream to finish our time at the beach..not spoiled or anything 🙂

Aunt Lynn told us about an ice cream shop that was good so we just had to stop. You can’t spend time on a beach without a big ice cream cone to finish your time there. Five cones and three messy kids later (crazy how fast it melts in 80 degree weather) we headed back to Grandma’s house.
Grandma has many nice people around her who care for her and watch out for her. One set of neighbors; Jeff and Debbie have been very kind. They helped out Grandma during hurricane Sandy and brought over a generator each day to give her some hot water for a shower and some heat and lights. They are very thoughtful and there for her when she needs them. They invited us, Grandma and Carole over for a bbq and we had such fun enjoying delicious food and fun conversation. They have the cutest dog (next to Gizmo of course) named Misty. She is a mini schnauzer and if we didn’t have our dog I would want one just like her. Totally adorable! The kids have such Gizmo withdrawal that they had a wonderful time playing with her and holding her. It is nice to see how many people watch out for her and care about how she is. Someone even picks up her paper each morning from her walkway and hangs it on her door knob. Some very thoughtful people around her…that is so nice to see.
All tuckered out and ready to go to bed we walked home and said our goodbyes to Carole. It was so nice to see her and be able to spend two nights talking with her. She is a blessing to Grandma and just fun to be around! The kids had a great time meeting her and showing off for her  She even spoiled them with some money for a souvenir when we head to DC…that was very thoughtful and generous.
We got three tired kids to bed and headed to bed for one last night of sleep in West Hempstead.
Our time here has been sweet. It will be hard to leave and I know Grandma will have a quiet house this afternoon. We have enjoyed all the fun, chats, eating at her “kitchen” and having the kids love on her and entertain us all. Thanks for having us Grandma and we will be back again….just not with the big rig  We love you!!!!
We are headed up to Chappaqua, NY tomorrow to stay at Scott’s cousin’s home. Unfortunately he will not be there but is graciously allowing us to stay. Such a bummer that we missed him but we will come back and catch him on the return trip 
Thanks for everyone for continuing to keep us in your prayers. We are enjoying this time immensely and we are excited to see what we have to see left and visit more family. We miss everyone at home!

We made it to Manhattan…June 25, 2013

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Fun on the subway

Fun on the subway

Times Square!

Times Square!

Notice the temp behind me...89 degrees! Hot!

Notice the temp behind me…89 degrees! Hot!

2nd story of Toys R Us

2nd story of Toys R Us

Ferris wheel behind them at the Toys R Us

Ferris wheel behind them at the Toys R Us

So many people with places to go

So many people with places to go

We are so tourists!

We are so tourists!

The morning began hot and sticky just like the two before. We were going to Manhattan no matter the weather so we all slathered on the sunscreen and had some breakfast. Grandma is letting us use her car to get to the train and back which is very helpful! The forecast is saying highs of 92 degrees in the city with very high humidity. If there were a different day for this adventure we would do it but we had no other time so Manhattan it is! We were ready to sweat!

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We left Grandma’s house at 8:45am and headed to Mineola train station. Grandma had taken us on a trial run through the day before (so helpful) so we were doing good with getting there and finding parking. At the station we hung out for about 15 minutes before our train arrived.

The temperature was already creeping up and felt really hot to us at 9am…this is going to be fun 🙂
We had decided the day before that we were going to hit a few highlights and call it good for the city. The kids are going to be walking a bunch and now it’s so hot that we don’t want them to remember the city as a horrible experience. We were going to try two days but decided on one. I think that was best overall. If the temperature would have been less and the humidity not as oppressive then they may have handled it but we felt good with taking one trip in and seeing what we could see.
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Statten Island Ferry

Statten Island Ferry

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Great views!

Great views!

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Worried about Daddy not making it on the subway!

Worried about Daddy not making it on the subway!

On the subway

On the subway

The Freedom Tower in the background

The Freedom Tower in the background

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

The train was nice, air conditioned and the seats were way better than the Boston seats. The ride was only about 40 minutes and we exited the train underground. This was cool to the kids…that was the only thing that was cool because as soon as you stepped off that train it was so hot and stuffy we wanted out of this hole we were in! We looked around and tried to get our bearings. Once we made it up the stairs and to a subway map we planned our route. We thought that we would catch a subway to the World Trade Center and go into where the monument is (you have to get a ticket to get it since they only allow 1,500 people a day) then catch the Statten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty then possibly see Central Park.

The thing with a plan is that everything always takes longer so we were trying to hurry and figure out the subway. Okay…not figuring it out on our own. I know New York has millions of travelers come through and everyone is used to seeing confused tourists but honestly I felt like we stuck out and everyone else was bustling around knowing where they were going and how to get there. No big deal, that’s what the info booth is for 🙂 We were told what subway to take so we headed in that direction. Okay found it…now this Metro Card thing…uhhh, now what. After a few attempts and not getting it I asked a lady (she was super nice and understanding) and she explained it to me. You basically charge up a card and every time you go through the turnstiles to enter a subway line it deduct the fare amount ($2.50 per passenger). We understood but we also were not sure how often we would use the subway to get around. Scott put some money on the card and sent each kid through the turnstile, then me, then he was gong to come through…but it wouldn’t work. He tried again, no luck. The girls started freaking out that Dad was trapped on the other side and wasn’t coming with us 🙂 So funny! Apparently you can only use the card four times per boarding…this is what happens with families of five…everyone does everything for groups of four! Scott had to go back to the machine and put money on another card which was lame since we kind of put a bunch on the first thinking we may take it a few times. Okay he was in and the girls were much calmer about it. We found our subway after another question to a friendly stranger. A walk to the end and up and over to the neighboring track and we were there! Yeah, we did it 🙂 The subway was really clean and pretty nice, the kids liked how jerky it was at the starts and stops.

We exited the subway and made it up to the light and felt that sun beating down on us. Wow, so hot already!!! We made our way to the 911 ticket area and they had it all laid out with a time sequence of how that morning played out. Scott and I were thinking that we were going to see this monument to see it. We hadn’t expected the emotional side of it. It was so very moving and heart breaking to see the pictures, hear some testimonials and see the chaos of that day. What an amazing tragedy. The kids were trying to process it all since we hadn’t given them a lot of the details of why we were going to this memorial and what it represented. Benjamin, Scott and I were close to tears as we walked though the line to receive our ticket.

With ticket in hand we made our way to the site. Long lines and sweltering heat. We weaved back and forth with hundreds of others with no breeze and no shade. Benjamin had beads of sweat rolling down his cheek. The kids did really well! When we finally made it into the memorial sight it was really humbling. To see all the names, thousands of names, that represented all the victims is was heartbreaking. The monument was really nicely done. Behind the pools they have the Freedom Tower which was neat to see as well. We walked around both pools and spent some time explaining a bit to the kids and then headed off.

Back on the street we decided to walk to Battery Park where the ferry leaves from. It wasn’t too far (maybe a 15 minute walk) but with the heat it felt pretty far. The kids were really fading the last few blocks, I ended up giving Ellie a piggie back ride for the last little bit. Benjamin felt that he was going to faint from the heat so I gave him a granola bar and he pepped up a bit. The ferry station was air conditioned and felt great! Once we were in the holding area the air conditioning didn’t feel as cool…probably because there were about 300 other people waiting with us. I wasn’t sure that we would make it on but we did with no problem. We sat on the second deck and there were very few others down there with us. As we got underway we walked to the front and felt the great breeze and saw the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. So great that you can take this ferry for FREE and see these sites! It was nice feeling the breeze and sitting for a while. Once we docked we hopped off walked out and around and hopped back on the same ferry for the trip back. More stunning views and nice breezes 🙂

A little lunch at the ferry terminal and then back to the subway for a ride to Times Square. We asked more questions and found our ride. The trip was a long one so its good that we didn’t try to walk it. Out on the street again with hundreds of other people we made our way to Times Square, just a busy as I expected. Fun to see all the lit up reader boards and businesses and interesting people. After standing for some pictures we were melting!!! I really felt like the sidewalk was on fire and the kids were tired. Great stop next…a FIVE story Toys R Us! The kids spotted it and we decided to go in and take advantage of the air conditioning. This place had rides and toys galore! There were employees demonstrating things and lots of very happy kids 🙂 They had each gotten a bit of spending money from G.G. and this was the perfect place to spend it 🙂 We didn’t have much time left for our NY trip so we hurried them along a bit. The girls each got a stuffed dog with a “I love NY” shirt and Benjamin got some walkie talkies. They were all thrilled with their “souvenirs”. Once again we decided to walk back to Penn Station to catch our 4pm train. It took a lot of encouragement but we made it. We were early so we tried the 3:27pm train but we walked through and found very few empty seats so we got off, then we caught the next one at 3:43pm. Air conditioning was great and very welcomed!

The kids were excited to see G.G. and show her their new toys. Shortly after we were back my mom’s cousin Carol came over…I guess that makes her my cousin. It was so fun seeing her! The last time I was here was 10 years ago and I had only Benjamin who was 9 months old. She was amazed at how big he was and it was fun to introduce her to Katherine and Ellie. We had a wonderful time chatting and enjoying her company. Off to dinner at Grandma’s kitchen where Benjamin had another order of french toast! Funny kiddo 🙂 It was a nice time with family. Back at Grandma’s we were entertained by the kids running around the house…crazy kids! Benjamin did 58 laps which we decided was about 2 miles. His face was beat red and when asked why he was doing this he didn’t know. Apparently the city didn’t wear him out as much as we thought! Must be the french toast 🙂 Some lightning bug catching and cool showers and we off to bed.

Playing in the neighbors sprinkler :)

Playing in the neighbors sprinkler 🙂

New toys :)

New toys 🙂

Front yard gymnastics
The days are going by fast. It is so nice to spend time with Grandma. The kids love it and we enjoy having the time to chat and be entertained by them. Tomorrow we are going to Point Look Out to visit my Great Aunt Lynn and spend some time on the beach.

Another hot one coming but we feel like we can take it after our city experience yesterday 🙂

Super HOT in Hempstead…June 24, 2013

Grandma's kitchen :)

Grandma’s kitchen 🙂

Lightning! Yikes!

Lightning! Yikes!

Fireflies...if you blow on them they light up!

Fireflies…if you blow on them they light up!

Well, we awoke to sunshine and high temperatures right off the bat! I am pretty sure it was at least 75 degrees at 8am. It is super humid too which makes it feel really warm.

The kids got up and we went to Grandma’s kitchen (Venus’s) and had breakfast. The kids eyes were bugging out at the fact that they could “have whatever they want” from Grandma. Smiles ear to ear! So spoiled, although we have never come out east to visit as a family so it is very special time and spoiling is great. Benjamin put down his whole plate of french toast, bacon, sausage and ham! He sure can eat. Katherine and Ellie loved their pancakes and Scott, Grandma and I left full and satisfied.

Laundry day

Laundry day

Great job helping

Great job helping

We took a drive around Garden City and saw all the big and beautiful homes in that area. They are incredible, so big and such neat styles. Grandma showed us where my mom used to go to highschool, when she used to work and how to get to the train station the next day.

We headed back to Grandma’s and the kids had a wonderful time running through a sprinkler and enjoying the backyard. They even started running around the perimeter of the house…for fun. Why do kids find that fun? It is probably 85 degrees with 90 % humidity and they choose to run! They are crazy 🙂

Great picture...fun times with G.G.

Great picture…fun times with G.G.

Sweet

Sweet

We chatted and enjoyed watching them exert all their energy. I was able to do some laundry and hang it up outside on the line (a first for our kids) They thought it was fun to use the clothes pins to hang the clothes…Dad it looks like you have a few helpers when we come to visit 🙂
Wow, all these firsts for them…Grandma’s house, endless gum, fireflies and laundry, it’s a great adventure so far!

Early afternoon and there began some “wicked sweet” lightning storms and thunder. We stood on Grandmas front stoop and saw a bunch of lightning strikes and heard huge claps of thunder! We decided to take the kids to the aviation museum and enjoy some air conditioning and see some great airplanes and history. As we drove away from Grandma’s the rain started and came down with such force and quantity that it was pooling in the roads in no time! We made it to the museum and found that it was closed….bummer. Children’s museum….closed. Walmart…open. We needed a few things for the RV so we shopped around and found a few things and headed back to Grandma’s.

The rest of the afternoon we just were able to spend time with her, watched the kids play and sat directly in front of the fan 🙂 It is supposed to be 92 degrees tomorrow..UGH! We are headed into the city and I know that is going to feel like 115 degrees while we are there. The next few days are all forecast the same so there is no better time to go. It will be a quick trip and we are going to just hit the highlights…the Staton Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, the 911 memorial and Central Park possibly. We will find many places to rest and take advantage of their air-conditioning I am sure!

We headed to the “kitchen” for dinner and Ben had one more plate of french toast…he said he is going to have that every time he goes there 🙂 We all ate way too much and then headed to the neighborhood Carvelle’s for some ice cream sandwiches to go (we had to wait for another hour or so to eat them…had to let dinner digest)

We ended our evening with crazy running children making more laps, finding fireflies, and eating ice cream sandwiches. A great day with Grandma.

Tomorrow we are headed to the city at 9:30am….please make it not so hot!

Through the traffic, aboard the ferry to Grandma’s house we go…June 23, 2013

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Pretty views as we drive

Pretty views as we drive

Great accommodations, we are loving our RV

Great accomadations, we are loving our RV

Our good Samaritan friend

Our good samaritan friend

Beautiful day on the Bridgeport Ferry!

Beautiful day on the Bridgeport Ferry!

This is how tight we were to our neighboring Commercial truck on the ferry...tight!

This is how tight we were to our neighboring Commercial truck on the ferry…tight!

Hicksville...I just found that funny

Hicksville…I just found that funny

We made good time getting up and going this morning to head to my Grandma’s house on Long Island, NY. It is about a 4 hour drive to the ferry in Connecticut and then an hour and half ferry ride then an hour or so to Grandmas from there. We wanted to be sure that we got to the ferry early (they said to arrive 30 minutes in advance) since we are so big!

Cape Cod was so pretty. We had a nice and relaxing time there. Scott and I also decided that no matter what a house looks like, if you put shingles on it with shutters it is instantly cute 🙂 So many little bungalows that were adorable…so beachy.

We walked to the office/store for a little candy treat for the road and then loaded into the rv for our journey. The girls waved to their new friend as we drove out of our campground…they were pretty bummed. They are doing so great together but they obviously miss just playing with friends.

When we visit my cousin Alison is Virginia her little boy, Nathan will be thoroughly entertained I am sure! They will have such a blast with him 🙂 Look out Zizzo’s here we come!

Oh and on a side note…I appoogize for the spelling and grammar. I know I am a terrible at spelling and grammar, well…not good. This program says it will proofread but Scott is always chuckling at all the spelling errors that get through. Sorry 🙂 That is just the way it is, you get what I am trying to say.

So we are on the road to Connecticut and we are excited to get on a ferry and see Long Island and Connecticut from the ocean. We made good time and stopped for a fill up about half way there. We drove through Providence, Rhode Island and then on to Connecticut.

There are so many bridges and waterways around here, it makes the drive so beautiful! The beautiful sunny weather helped as well! It was getting pretty warm outside. We don’t have a thermometer but we plan to find one soon. I would say it was at least in the mid 80’s. We use our air conditioning sparingly since our gas mileage is not so good and we want to get every mile we can out of it. So far Scott has driven over 4,000 miles since leaving Bellingham, WA. He is doing such a great job!

One of the things that we couldn’t live without is our GPS. What an invention! It makes my co-pilot job very easy 🙂 I just have to plug-in some addresses and we are good to go. Most of the time is steers us in the right direction….most of the time:) We laugh sometimes when we are looking the thing and its telling us to turn, but the signs say it’s straight….we actually question the signs! Funny, so dependent on technology sometimes we forget that road signs were there first!

We were able to put our GPS through a work out when we got close to the ferry terminal. We don’t have the voice on since it gets kind of annoying but sometimes its helpful. We took a turn too early and then wrapped around and kept going the way the GPS told us to go. We drove a little and it told us to turn right into a cement wall…okay. Ummm…technoiogy down, what now. We drove a little further and it was obvious we were not going the right way. At one of the stop lights a guy in a little car was next to us and looks at Scott and says “You lost?” Scott says we are, the GPS took us to here and we need to get to the ferry terminal. “Follow me, I will take you there” he says with his thick NY accent. He proceeds to pull a u-turn at the light. Okay, that’s good for his little Honda Insight that is maybe 8 feet long but for us with our 29 foot RV and the additional bike rack off the back we are pushing 34 feet. Scott goes for it (so thankful there were very few cars in this area) and with one reverse he made it! We followed the guy through a few stop lights and saw where we went wrong. It was so nice of him to lead us all the way there! The kindness of strangers has really been neat as we have traveled. Many times we have thought that we would be experiencing rude people but we haven’t really! We haven’t even been honked at more than a couple of times!

Happy family, notice their cheeks are full of gum :)

Happy family, notice their cheeks are full of gum 🙂

Made it to Grandma's house!!!

Made it to Grandma’s house!!!

So we made it to the ferry and the guys asked us if we were going to go on the ferry. We said we were and they started radioing their ferry guys that they had a “campa…we have a campa” They told us to pull up to the curb then said to pull to the left lane. Scott said “lane 4 or all the way over” His responce…”Go, just go!” Okay, what did I say about rude people? The next guys saying “I got the campa…I got the campa” He gets the response “Give me the campa” They wave us on and we are last..and tight! Scott had maybe 6 inches on one side and 8 on the other. I said I was sorry to him…I would be freaking out. We creeped on and parked. I couldn’t believe how rude they were. We were trying to hurry so we would have time to go slow and figure things out. Good thing I had made a reservation! Last one on! Then I looked at the time…we were on the ferry before the one we were supposed to catch and it was running 10 minutes behind schedule…that explains all the hollering about the “Campa” 🙂 They were not rude they were just thinking we were late and trying to get on the boat! Whew, what an experience! Then it was time to try to get out of our oven of a vehicle…soooo hot! Two of the exits were blocked by being so tightly packed in. My door was okay, we just had to slip out one at a time and then close the door and walk in front of the RV…funny!

Scott made it fit...it makes the house look small :)

Scott made it fit…it makes the house look small 🙂


We were on the boat! We traveled up to the upper deck and watched the land and boats and even a sky writer! It was sunny and warm, so warm that the wind wasn’t even a tad cold! We enjoyed the deck until it was time to go back to your vehicles. Getting back into the RV the same way we loaded up. Scott did great getting us off the boat and onto the interstate to get to West Hempstead. All was good until the GPS told us to get onto the next freeway and all the highway signs said we were too tall (max height of 7’6″ and we are about 12′ tall) Thanks GPS…usually we are super thankful, now we are just frustrated with the thing 🙂 Scott did an excellent job getting us off the freeway and onto a street where we could regroup and figure out which way to go next. We are now about 10 miles away so we figure we can get there just a different way. The funny thing is that the town we stopped in is called Hicksville 🙂 I found that funny.

On the road again with a new set of directions we made it to Grandmas by 5pm. She was happy to have us and the kids were so excited to run around and say hello. We were able to chat and relax awhile until we headed out for a slice of pizza at LaRosa’s. When you are at Grandma’s house she will spoil you rotten as our kids are realizing and loving 🙂 Within the first half hour their cheeks were full of the 4 pieces of gum that they were attempting to chew! Grandma always has gum. As children Kate, Kurt and I would love that Grandma Bakie would send us packages brimming with gum. Kate and I would pop in at least two or more pieces at a time. I can’t remember exactly what Kurt would do but my guess is that he would portion his out and make it last (he was always better at that 🙂 )

Fireflies!  So cool!!!

Fireflies! So cool!!!

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After the gum, and the dinner we went back to Grandma’s. As we were chatting in the back room Katherine noticed a firefly outside. So exciting…for all of us. We had never seen a firefly! We all rushed outside and laughed as the kids chased fireflies and put them in a plastic container. Fireflies are so cool!

It was a great day of travel and so fun to see Grandma! We are amazed at how stinking hot it is but it’s not too bad. Grandma is happy to have us and we are amazed that we are actually here!

Tomorrow we will hang out with Grandma and go to her “kitchen” which is a restaurant around the corner and just spend time with her. It is pretty sticky and hot but we are having a good time!

Cape Cod…sunny, windy and relaxing…June 22, 2013

On the beach bright and early

On the beach bright and early

Today was a day just to hang out and relax. We all slept until we were rested and started off slow. It was nice! After a breakfast of cold cereal we headed down to the beach. It was nice and sunny but the wind was blowing so it still felt cold. The kids built a sandcastle and dug in the sand for a while before getting all wet in the sea. They were very content to jump over waves and run and play. It was fun watching them.

We walked along the road later to see the area and just love the cape cod style of housing. The shingles, white trim and little white picket fences were so cute. Scott and the kids played some mini golf while I kept score. All of them did really well (some of Scott’s talent…not mine) and we headed back to the RV for some lunch.
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Pretty cute little mini golf area

Pretty cute little mini golf area

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The playground was the next place to check out and they had fun trying all the different toys. One of them you sit on and it spins around and around. It looks like something that I would not recover from easily 🙂

We headed back to the beach for another swim and some sunshine. It had really filled up and the kids had a great time. They had a seaweed fight and ran and ran. The shore here is really nice. The sand looks like light brown sugar especially after they comb it in the morning. Everyone around here has these beach buggies which are basically one of those carts with wheels that you see people toting groceries around in. These ones are supped up with wide tires and a front rack for all your beach chairs. Everyone has chairs, side tables, coolers, umbrellas and floaties. They know how to hang at the beach 🙂 We had our camp chairs (screamed West Coast) and five towels. Everyone has been really friendly that we have met.

The girls made a little friend across from us named Lindsey. She is from Massachusetts and is 8 just like Katherine. They became fast friends and drew with sidewalk chalk, blew bubbles, jumped rope, played frisbee and chased one another everywhere. They ended their evening making human pyramids and being silly. Kids are great at making friends. They stare at them, talk to them, then they are buds. At what point do we lose that ability? I find myself avoiding eye contact or just walking by without a word. We have a great chance to meet all kinds of people on this trip and the kids have inspired me to be friendlier and stop worrying about what others think.

They were having fun on the swing out in front of the office

They were having fun on the swing out in front of the office

There was a cute little restaurant two doors down the road called The Sailing Cow and we decided to grab some dinner there (great view of the water and $10.00 burgers) Scott is loving the opportunity to have some seafood. He ordered another fish and chips and even had a little bit of clam chowder. I thought of you mom, he said it was so good 🙂 We had a nice dinner there and walked back and the girls picked up where they left off with their friend.

Lindseys dad came over to talk since he saw our Washington State license plate and when Scott told him we were from Washington he said “that’s wicked sweet” So funny, it reminded me of our friends the Poons from D.C. Remember when Kari was over that summer and that was all she would say Kate? The accents are so great too. Just fun to hear them talk.

They had so much fun with their new friend!

They had so much fun with their new friend!


Our time at Cape Cod has been great! Pretty windy the whole time so I was never really all that warm but it was nice and sunny. This would be a neat area to come back and explore. We relaxed, played games and even tossed the frisbee around some.

Tomorrow we are headed to my Grandmas house on Long Island. We are taking a ferry from Connecticut to Long Island, NY. We are all excited about that. The weather is supposed to be hot over the next few days. From Grandmas we are going to go into Manhattan one or two days. I think the forecast said 89 degrees…I don’t know how the kids will do with that in the city but we will see 🙂 We are planning on taking the Staten Island Ferry, visiting the 911 memorial and maybe taking a double-decker bus tour to see the rest.

Still having a great time and can hardly believe that we are on day 19 with 23 to go! Thanks for your prayers and calls 🙂