Saturday, October 9, 2010

The other Wrides

Summer Reunion 2010 continues. Just off a Barnard family reunion, we returned to VA in time to host a mini Wride family reunion. Adam's uncle Jeff and three of his four kids plus one spouse came out to VA, and we got to play host. We LOVE it when people come visit because it gives us an excuse to get out and do some really fun things in DC and the surrounding area.

We met up at the Library of Congress. WHAT an impressive building. I am embarrassed to admit, after living here most of my life, that it was quite possibly my first time INSIDE the building. Gorgeous. I could spend a lot of time reading there. Here are Spencer and Emma at the fountain outside the library.

Here are Matt and Karen outside the Supreme Court Building.

Emma and Spence took their turn posing on the steps as well.

We found the perfect way to get around DC: load both older kids in a double stroller that is slightly difficult to steer and have Matt push. (Dan - I'm talking with you on the phone about J. Moyle when this picture is taken. Thought it would be fun to make note of that.)

Emma loved the dollhouse at the American History Museum. That is one of my favorite exhibits of all time. The Star-Spangled Banner isn't too bad, either.

Here we are at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum with most of the crew: Mike, Matt, Spencer, Adam, John, Michelle, Marie, Emma, and Jeff. Missing from the picture are Karen and Holly.

There you are, Holly!

Jessica's Wedding

August found us in the Los Angeles area for the wedding of Jessica (Adam's cousin) and Mitch. We absolutely love Jessica and her family. Isn't she a gorgeous bride?

We also loved spending some time with all of these fabulous people (and much of their posterity). The Barnard clan sure is a good one! We spent time relaxing by the pool, decorating for the reception, watching kids, talking, laughing, and eating at In 'N Out.

Finally, a picture of Spencer that just begs to be posted. What a stud.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Love To See The Temple

Video is now working! I stopped blogging last night because there was NO way I could post about our trip to California without this little gem. We flew out for a wedding (more on that later). Before the sealing, we were walking around the Los Angeles temple and all the little cousins spontaneously started to sing "I Love to See the Temple." It was a precious sight.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adam got OLD(er)

Remember how Adam is the great ruiner of all surprises? Well, this time I got him! Some old friends of ours were in town for a wedding. When we saw them at church on Sunday, I made arrangements to have them over the following day for Adam's surprise birthday party. BJ had to be sneaky when Adam tried to make his own plans to see them, but BJ was convincing when he claimed they had other obligations. Adam was surprised (and thrilled) when the Baldwin fam joined us for dinner and the birthday celebration. We love you, Adam! Even if you are hard to surprise.

Meeting Miriam

See this sweet baby? My sister-in-law Katy and her baby Miriam now share a birthday. She's old enough now that she is smiling and showing off lots of personality, but I couldn't pass on an opportunity to show one of her early pictures. Look at all that gorgeous hair! And those cheeks...oh, those cheeks.

Adam Thoroughgood House

One of our days in Williamsburg, we took a road trip to Virginia Beach area to visit the Adam Thoroughgood House. My grandmother, in her genealogical pursuits, discovered that we are descendants of Adam Thoroughgood. (How many great-great-greats is it, Janet?) When we arrived, we were disappointed to discover that they are in the middle of doing some restoration work on the property. Armed with a picnic, and ready to state our genealogical ties and, therefore, our right to be on the property, we braved the construction fencing and meandered around back to explore a bit.

Adam Thoroughgood, the ninth son of a rector in England, came to America in 1622 as an indentured servant to pay for his passage. Upon completing his time of service, he went back to England but returned to America with a wife and 105 men. (Thank you, Wikipedia). He became a leading resident and landowner in VA Beach, and was even a member of the House of Burgess.

The grounds are really quite lovely. They are not the carefully manicured gardens of an English estate, but they have been planned out in a pleasant manner; the wildness and overgrowth of the area was not unbecoming.


Traditionally, we take a stroll down the historic downtown Williamsburg area, taking time to sample the wares and investigate the shops at Merchant Square.

One of these days I am going to buy the 3-day pass and immerse myself in history, but with a brand new baby in a bjorn and hubby on the other side of the country, this was not the time. We did manage to sneak a fun picture with one of the "cast members" least, Heather and I thought it was fun.

We made it all the way down Duke of Gloucester Street and ended our walk at the Capitol - no small feat considering the heat. (Cheesy rhyme intentional).

We stopped on the way back for some refreshment at Gambol's Tavern (the reason for the Gambol's restaurant tradition Spencer and Trina have created). Without those desserts and drinks, I'm sure we would have melted before we got back to our cars. Everyone was SO glad to have made it to the parking lot. They climbed onto this neat tree while Mom and I paid for the parking, and I snapped a picture before the fun of the moment faded.

Busch Gardens

Just after our fun visit with Linsy, we headed down to meet up with the Cummings family in Busch Gardens. My grandparents had a timeshare in Williamsburg that my parents inherited, and we have been lucky enough to join them for several summer trips. It always makes me very nostalgic when we go down to Powhatan Plantation and stay in the same unit Gma and Gpa Cummings always had. They were spectacular people, and they loved being in Williamsburg.

This was a big trip for our family. We were REALLY glad to have the support of my extended family since it was our first time braving an amusement park with 3 kids. We found an AWESOME deal at Busch Gardens that got our 3 and 5 year olds in for free. An added bonus was that the tickets Adam and I purchased were good for the rest of the summer! That meant lots of Busch Gardens days for us! Adam was only able to stay in Williamsburg for the weekend because he had a business trip on Monday, but the kids and I stayed the rest of the week with my siblings and Mom. Thank goodness for that! We had plenty of entertainment and lots of extra hands. Sweet Sarah helped me bathe my kids each night; Trina kept Spencer and Emma engaged as they "played stories" and served snacks out of their "Gambol's restaurant" (excellent pink pie...aka fruit snacks); Joel played soccer with Spence and helped me push the double stroller everywhere we went; Heather kept Emma happy and entertained in extreme temperatures, even if that meant giving piggybacks; Mom held John and watched all the kiddos so I could get a few roller coaster rides in too.

This year, we had lots to do besides just the Land of the Dragons (kiddie area), although we do love it there...

Spencer and Emma wanted to spend most of their time in the Sesame Street "Forest of Fun." There is an excellent splash play area, a welcome reprieve from the record heat and humidity. (Heat index on our first day there was a blistering 110 degrees).

Emma's favorite ride in the area was Prince Elmo's Spire. It flips your stomach again and again as the hydraulics push you up and drop you down. She loves that feeling! Spence thinks it is pretty spectacular too.

I'm SO sad that I don't have a better picture of this and that blogger still refuses to upload my videos. Spencer became KING OF THE COASTERS on this trip. Grover's Alpine Express was just his size. He rode it the first time at the end of our first day there, and then proceeded to ride it another 7 times during the week. Hands up ALL the way!

Another favorite moment that really deserves video...Emma, John, and I were waiting in one of the courtyards while the rest of the gang (including Spencer) did a "big" ride. A performance had just ended, and Emma, moving to the music that was being piped through the speaker systems, took to the stage to put on her own show. She danced and swayed to her heart's content and was pleased to receive applause from passersby. What a charming little LOVIE we have.

And the award for BEST BABY goes to none other than JOHN. He braved the heat, didn't complain when he was dragged around day after day, contentedly napped in the Baby Bjorn, smiled from the stroller, and didn't mind being doused with water periodically as his mother attempted to keep him cool.

All in all, two thumbs up for Busch Gardens.

Lovin' me a Linsy visit!

Linsy, one of my college roomies and best friends, came down with her two boys (Tate and Beau) in July for a quick getaway. Her awesome hubby Darin is doing a medical residency, so we missed having him along for the fun. We beat the 100-degree heat/100% humidity (blah!) by going to Wegmans, the pool, and the fountains...although it was really too hot for even that. Regardless, we had a fantastic time. Tate is a fearless and amazing swimmer, even at age 3, and Beau is all sweetness and smiles. Remember how I said before the was a summer of reunions? Well, this was only the beginning...