Saturday, August 29, 2009

Renaissance Festival

We went to the opening weekend of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, or as I like to call it - the Cleavage Festival. Many-a-women leave their inhibitions at home and feel the need to wear lung popping, cleavage boosting corsets when they should'nt even dream of it. The odd balls seemed thicker this year, but thats our fault for going on opening weekend I guess.

Anyways, Tiffany couldn't be there as she was in New York City with my mother and relatives. I only braved the sweltering heat with three kids because my father came as backup, both physical and mental. We chose to go that day because it was "Pirates and Princesses Day" - where kids get in for free and are encouraged to dress up. It was mostly fun aside from one typical Samara melt down over the wrong ice cream flavor.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tiffany's Trip to KA & MO

Tiffany's mother flew in to DC the same day we return from the beach and then they left two days later to drive to St. Louis and Kansas City to visit her brother and sister. She had a great time seeing her family again and her younger sister's new home (it only hurts a little). There are plenty of cousins the same age to keep all the kids happily playing together. Aside from the nightmarish trip through West Virginia our GPS told Tiffany to take on the ride home, they had a great trip.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Outer Banks 2009

Ahhhhh, our favorite vacation destination. This time around we were able to get all of my brothers and their wives to come. Incredibly, almost all of us are now scuba certified (only 3 of the 5 women aren't) so we had a group of 7 go on our scuba trip. This year we dove to the first German U-boat that was sunk off the east coast during WWII, the U-85. It was in 95 feet of frigid water, but what a site it was. Unfortunately, Rory and I got sea sick yet again and had to sit out the second dive (I didn't want to throw up underwater anymore!)

There was some rain this year as well that put a halt to some of our plans and the mosquitoes flew around in attack squadrons, but everything else was fantastic.

The kids had a great time playing together as usual. As they get older they get along better and find fun ways to entertain themselves. We did a fun treasure hunt again this year. Tiffany and Sonya made some awesome tie dye shirts for the kids with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. After much debate, I brought my XBox 360 and Shawn brought his guitar hero game. It was fun seeing Dad and the little kids rock out on the guitars.

We all had a good time playing around in the ocean of course. The first day out, Dad, Rory, and I went for a cliche beach run. We ran about 4 miles and all I got for it was two nice blisters on each big toe - scratch that idea off the list next time.

For some reason this year we were always stepping on fish under our feet, so I decided to grab some snorkel gear and investigate. Turns out they weren't fish, they were stingrays! Everywhere!! (I know, I know... stingrays are fish, but you get the point.) I caught about a dozen blue crabs as well while snorkeling. At night time the fiddler crabs come out on the beach by the hundreds and we had fun grabbing some of them as well. Skates were swimming up and down the beach and Rory managed to net one with a big fishing net. Dad hooked a skate while shore fishing and after trying to fight it for over an hour we pulled so hard the knot on the hook came undone (trust me, as hard as we tried we weren't giving it much of a fight). While we were snorkeling we could hear the dolphins clicking off in the distance. Pretty cool!

Hopefully we'll be back there in 2011 (if not sooner!)

Here are some videos (btw, Gavin is crawling like a champ now)