Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Alone time

During our trip to Oglebay I took advantage of some alone time to walk to the glass museum and tour the gardens. I think I found my new obsession for next spring summer. I know it’s early but my 2011 goal is to start building an “English garden”. I would be thrilled to share my yard with a few of these beautiful creatures.

Here’s a Tiger Swallowtail

This is a Silver Spotted Skipper

This one is called a Painted Lady

I stumbled on a few others but the photos didn’t all come out so great. Either way this next one is by far my favorite.

I’m still not certain of his name. He looks a lot like a Zebra Swallowtail or a Pale Swallowtail but the coloring is off some. I think he is fabulous whatever his name!

Now if I could just find that plant. I think I need to start my garden off with that flower, what do you think?

Back to blogging and Oglebay

It’s been a crazy few weeks here sorry for the interruption. We had a long weekend trip away with Grandma, then home for four days. Just enough time to do laundry and repack for a vacation at the beach. Then we were gone for another 10 days. I came home to a mountain of laundry and just four days to get ready for school. The kiddos still had one more summer activity to attend and I had to shop for school shoes.

Now with one more little birdie out of the nest and off to Kindergarten and the big girl loving second grade I guess I need to get myself back to the blog (among other things). I’m still trying to adjust so be patient with me.

I’ll tell you about the beach trip soon. First let’s go back a few weeks to the resort weekend with Grandma (aka Mimi).

Mimi wanted to have a trip with the kids so after some thought we came up with a plan to go to a local resort. It’s not far from where we live and could be a day trip. Since the kids love the novelty of staying in a hotel and after the fun of our February trip we planned a stay at the lodge for a long weekend and made a mini vacation out of the trip.

We went to Oglebay in Wheeling WV for three nights. I had been there before but not since high school. Boy, things can change in a hundred years. It was the perfect place for a family getaway. Not too long in the car, which is good being that the kids start asking if we’re there 2 minutes into the drive. The whole place was full of kid and adult friendly fun. Never a dull moment.

The whole stay put me in mind of scenes from Dirty Dancing. It was picturesque from every angle and there were events and activities all day everyday. The 1700 acre estate turned resort has a spa, a golf course, driving range, tennis courts, riding stables, hiking trails, an indoor and an outdoor pool, mini golf, a playground, pedal boats, fishing, a mansion museum, a glass museum with glassblowing demos and workshops, and a zoo with a train. On top of all that they also plan daily activities in various locations throughout each day. They offer tiny tot book break for 5 and under, story hour for kids 5-9, art exploration, bird watching, butterfly watch, nature walks, culinary demo/workshop, tea time, wine tasting, a light show on the water fountain and an evening campfire complete with s’mores.

If you stay at the lodge most of the activities are free for the guests and they have a trolley to take you from place to place that runs through the park all day long. And you get to start your day with an amazing breakfast buffet. The rooms were small but had everything we needed. We did have to request a refrigerator but it was delivered in minutes and came to us already cold. The lodge was rather large but the way things are laid out and with so many trees around you really felt like you were in a small country estate. The lodge rooms open inside to the main hall to go to the event rooms, restaurants and the indoor pool. Each room also has it’s own door outside to a courtyard. This was great for the kids. I could open the door and they had so much extra space to run around while we got ready to go or had an evening cocktail on the patio.

Our fisrt day we started things off with the zoo. After checking out the meerkats and the reptiles we went to feed the goats.

Although that was exciting, we moved on to see what else was to encounter.

I have never seen a black swan before.

Yes, they were really that close. I did not need to zoom in for the photos.

There were planty of other animals too. Zebras and Otrich to name a few. After we walked through the zoo we decided to ride the train through for a second look.

Little man was thrilled to be on "Thomas".

The girls were happy to be sitting down.

The next day we hit a few of the other activities. I quickly decided to move the blonde up front with me so I could keep a better eye on her.

Note to self... Never give a long metal stick to a two year old. ALSO, never give a rock hard ball to a two year old.

While Mimi and the little man took a nap Dada took the girls fishing. My big girl caught her first fish like a pro.

My other cutie looks a little concerned with her catch. Nonetheless there were some perturbed fishermen that didn't get such nice trophies. (They did get the left over bait.)

On our last day we strolled the gardens and visited the mansion.

It was a very busy three days.
Thanks for the good time Mimi!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just a brief interruption

Sorry I’ve been MIA from bloggy-land. I’d show you a few pictures of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing but it took me three hours to find the camera today. Now I have no idea where the little thingy is that I put the memory card into so I can get my pictures to the computer. Not to mention that there is a mountain of laundry calling for me and oodles of unpacking and reorganizing to do. I promise that soon I will be re-grouped and there will be a real blog post. BTW… The beach was a blast!!!!
Back to posting and commenting soon!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where to go and what to do???

Summer time is generally when most people plan to take a vacation or an extended weekend trip away. Some like to do the beach thing and others prefer the mountains. So are you a sand and surf kind of person? Do you like the feel of sand between your toes? Does the smell of salt air make you want to jump on a boogie board and hit the waves? Is your idea of relaxation sitting in the sun, flipping through a trashy magazine?

Maybe you would much rather head for the hills. Do you want to be surrounded by trees and listen to the sound of trickling water cascading down the mountainside? Would you like to spend your time climbing over the rocky hills or meandering through the woods or chasing butterflies in the garden?

Maybe fishing or hunting is your game (pun intended). A shopping spree doesn’t sound too painful to me. There’s always Europe. If you like that sort of thing. I mean it’s just a bunch of old building and history. (Yes, that was sarcasm) Some people really enjoy the details of architecture form eras gone by. Some people find history fascinating believe it or not.

So what do you think? What is a good plan for a vacation? Are you a summer traveler or do you yearn to hit the slopes? Do you need to travel far from home? Or do you like to uncover the secret treasure in your own zip code.

I recently spent some time at a resort very close to where I live. Close enough that it could have been a day trip but for the fun of it we went and stayed for three nights. Every since the February adventure the kids have been asking and asking to spend the night in a hotel. It turned out to be the most fun filled, activity packed weekend I can remember having in a very long time. (I promise to dedicate a special post to tell the whole story soon).

Let’s get back to your thoughts for now. What is your idea of relaxation? Where is your dream vacation? Do you have special packing tips? Any helpful hints for the novice traveler???

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mommy's medicine cabinet on the go.

Summer time and kids go hand-in-hand with the occasional “boo-boo”. Summer usually means you're on the go more too. With trips planed and kids unpredictable it gives me a little peace of mind to know I can make “all better” even if we’re not at home.

You know I love to save my wipe bins to organize and I’m sure you’ve seen more than one post about me using google images.

Surprisingly, I found an unused bin. After 2 minutes on the computer I had a first aid kit ready to go.

(Pull up Google, click images, then type in what you need. Right click on that image and “copy”. Then open a word document. Right click and “paste”. Print. Cut out. Tape. All set!)

I pulled my most used items out of the medicine cabinet and I’m ready for the traveling brush burn or other minor injury.

Oh don’t worry I have a bottle of wine to cure Mommy’s boo-boos.
What are your on-the-go tips????