Monday, July 30, 2012

Cape May/Philly...Saturday

Saturday morning we awoke to finish packing and start loading the car.  Andy is such a sweetheart and know how much I love Cape May...and how much I hate leaving...so he offered to let me take the boys to the beach 1 last time while he finished loading the van and cleaning up.  Isn't he wonderful?

Snapped this photo of our beachhouse, as Grant calls it.

 
 It was a quiet morning at the beach...the tide was way out...and there was a tidal pool...Grant loved playing in it...it was the first time it was there (maybe due to some rain that night)

 The boys and I jumped in the calm waves and cherished our last few moments...Seth even wrote in the sand.
 Then...quick showers and loaded the last few things.  We are so grateful to Nana and Oompa for providing the housing for the week...it truly was another week of memories we will never forget.  They have the joy of staying 1 more week as 6 of their friends came up for another week...I'm sure the dynamics and noise level will be quite different.
 We stopped by the Point to see the sunken concrete ship and walk around a little...it was really hot and not a lot of air was moving.  


After lunch at a local spot, we drove about 2 hours into downtown Philly.  We pricelined the hotel and ended up at a Sheraton.   We had a little adventure, as I went to park the van while Andy checked in.   Our family truckster was TOO tall for the parking garages.   I must have drove around for 45 minutes.  At 1 point, Grant and I were trapped inside a gated lot and couldn't get out (had to find security to lift the gate).  Finally, after making 5 trips past the front door of the hotel, the parking attendant said we could just leave it right along the front curb (you know, where the cabs are and where people get in and out of their vehicles)  It made us a little nervous...but he didn't ask to keep the keys so we gave it shot. Luckily it was still there (and made for easy access when we realized we forgot things in there 2 times)

We thought we would have family nap hour...but realized that if we wanted to see the sights, we would need to get going.  So...we put on our walking shoes and headed the 15 blocks to the Historic District.  It was an interesting walk...Philly is a unique city.

We stood in line to see the Liberty Bell


and then got in line to see Independence Hall.  We just had to wait in line for about an hour for a 15 minute abbreviated tour.  Of course it started to rain...Grant was quite the trooper for being exhausted.

Once inside, we saw the courtroom and the room where the Declaration was signed.  It was a good thing we didn't have 30 minute tour tickets...cause Grant couldn't even make it through the 15 minute tour.
Independence Hall
Then...we walked about 4 more blocks and saw Christ Church (where Franklin was buried) and did the tourist thing and had a Philly Cheese steak in Philly!   Grant was exhausted and slept on Andy's lap through dinner!   I must add....sandwiches in downtown Philly are a little pricey...$40 for 3 sandwiches, 4 drinks and a bag of chip.  YIKES!

Since we were all tired and wet we didn't want to tackle the 20 block walk home....found a subway that would at least get us within 4 blocks of the hotel.  Seth LOVED it...he wanted to ride it all night long.

On the walk home we found a courtyard with giant size game pieces...kinda fun!
and the LOVE statue too!

We were all wiped out....we got cleaned up, put on our jammies and layed in bed and watched the Olympics.   And case you were wondering...Grant ate his dinner on the walk back to the hotel!

Cape May...Friday

Friday morning, Andy and I took the Elijah, Lucas, Seth and Grant to the Aviation Museum at the Cape May Airport.  It was actuallyl quite interesting.  There were all types of aircraft...from war craft to modern.  The kids were able to climb into almost all of them.
 This one was flown in "TOP GUN"



 there were helcopters too...including Coast Guard and military.  There were all kinds of simulation activities.  It was a fun morning...and would have been a little more fun if it wasn't so hot in the hanger...there wasn't a lot of air moving.  The boys loved it.
 After lunch at the beach house Seth and I headed straight to the beach, and Grant and Andy came after a quick nap.  Seth played with friend, Edison (whose  parents were staying in the house next door)
 I love these photos of Grant...sinple beach fun with a yellow bucket!

 And of course, there is always time for a drink break!
 The four of us stayed really late at the beach...it is always calming...but really calming after the crowds leave.   We came back to find the gum drop tree had bloomed AGAIN!

 Oompa does an amazing job cooking for us each night.  He rides to the fish market and picks up fresh seafood each night!  On Friday night, everyone gets to pick what they want.
 Andy had lobster tail and some sirloin tips!  Amy and Doug had swordfish. Nana had crab claws.  Oompa had steak and crabs and fish.  And I had crab soup and some shrimp!  YUM YUM

 After dinner, we attempted the annual cousin picture on the porch.  This is the best we got!  Too much other exciting fun things going on!
 My two boys...love them so much!
 and here they even appear to love each other!
 Then it was time to load up the tickets and head down to the arcade to cash them in.
 Sitting on a bench....exploring their loot!
 Grant picked out a bubblegum machine
 Seth picked out a model ship.  (I'm not going to think about how much those 2 things really cost....just remember the fun they had playing the games)  Every night, Grant would tell us that he wouldn't cry when he ran out of money.
 Daddy bought the boys a special treat from the candy store...chocolate anyone?
 We then went back and had some cake to celebrate Nana's retirement with the Vollmers.  Their whole family was in the house next door...so we were able to see them and spend some time with them each day at the beach and around the houses.  

Then...back to pack up! BOOO!  It's always so sad on Friday night...especially after a great week with amazing weather and countless memories.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cape May...Thursday

 Thursday was another beautiful sunny day...we have totally lucked out with the weather.   We headed to the beach after a leisurely morning at the house and got in a few hours before coming back for lunch and a break from the sun.

 The waves were really rough...made it a little hard to play in the waves...so lots of beach playing was done.


 The best thing about the beach is the outdoor shower...I LOVE IT...and so do the boys.   For one, it keeps all the sand out of the house...but it also is just a fun way to gt cleaned up after a full day at the beach.
After getting cleaned up...Grant and I went with my parents to see my cousins who were in town visiting my Aunt.  I saw my cousin John 2 years ago after not seeing him for years...but may have been only the 2nd -3rd time I ever met Ken.  

 It was "date" night...which basically means every family was on their own for dinner.   We went down and had some pizza on the boardwalk...and then walked along the beach as the sun was setting...it was a beautiful time to be on the beach.




We then got some snacks and watched a little of the movie that was playing on the beach.  It was Lord of the Rings, which really excited Andy...but didn't do much for Grant and I.  Oh yeah, that was of course after our nightly allotment of arcade money was gone.

Back to the house late...but then mom and I stayed up and played cards.  Love having that time with my mom....especially when I really beat her!

Cape May...Wednesday

Wednesday morning was picture day...we all headed down to the beach, in our coordinating outfits to hopefully catch some pics before the crowd poured in!


 That's a lot of people to get looking in the same direction!



 the reason we are here (in more way than 1)  Love these two!



 After pictures...Seth went shopping with the cousins....Andy went shopping and Grant and I stayed back and made cookies.  I had brought like 4 dozen...but we had those polished off early in the week.

Then...we rode our bikes to the Fisherman's Wharf.   Seth was still with the cousins, so Andy, Grant and I explored some of the boats...and found this 1,000 lb fish.



'




 The lunch was super yummy...I especially loved the crab soup!  Everyone was able to get some of their favorite dishes...and we got to watch them pack scallops and watch some pretty cool boats.
 Then...off to the beach again..Oompa and Seth had some serious conversations
 Got a new sun hat...my head and lips were FRIED!   Guess it kinda blocks my whole face!

 We stayed super late and the beach really quieted down....it was a calm evening....absolutely beautiful on the beach.
  Back to the house to check the gum drop tree!

After dinner, we headed down to the mall to get our shirts and ice cream for the night...and then of course, a quick stop at the arcade for our nightly games!