Friday, August 24, 2018

7 Quick Takes #267: Swimming in the rain and other adventures

  1. Another Maine vacation is in the books! As is our usual; we left later than we had hoped and hit more traffic than we would have liked. On the positive we were able to pick up our niece along the way and made it Maine without stopping for the night.
  2. Weather was definitely more challenging this year with rain showers forecasted almost everyday.  Watching the sky we headed to the pool as often as possible. Fun was had by all, Caitie using and not her water wings.  One day everyone already wet we stayed and just decided to swim through the rainstorm, ironically having to pull everyone out as the weather cleared because of thunder.
  3. The beach was definitely the highlight both in its sunny and stormy moods. The waves often cooperated for perfect boogie boarding sessions for the older kids. Caitlin did try on several occasions but ultimately decided 'not yet'.
  4. Trying something new we went to a Food Truck park that has set-up in G-ma's town for the summer. A good variety of options we tried beans & rice, fancy fries, fried dough, soft tacos, and gelato.  Likely if the trucks are back next summer we will visit again.  We also took time to visit our favorite ice cream place several times.  Unfortunately our favorite clam shack closed but we found a decent if more expensive alternative.  Lisbeth and I hunted blackberries for pancakes and as usual Dr Daddy was the brunch master!
  5. Re-entry was made a bit bumpier by us waking our first morning back to discover that our power meter had overheated and the power company had cut us back to half power.  This luckily kept the refrigerator working and most lights on but for warm food and wifi we needed to look elsewhere. Panera to the rescue!! 
  6. As of yesterday we have a new meter and full power so today will consist of doing a lot of laundry and cutting the grass that grew high while we were gone ~ and the kids catching up on some screen time.
  7. With school year a week and half away starting to focus on finding all necessary pieces of uniforms and double checking supply list needs ~ while not letting the panic set in but rather soaking up the last lazy mornings of summer.  

Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Friday, August 3, 2018

7 Quick Takes #266: Road Trippin and Sightseeing

  1. Last Friday I headed south with the kids to visit family in Richmond.  We made a stop along the way to visit Mount Vernon the historic home of George Washington.  Having lived in the area for many years during my childhood, now having the chance to visit the Mansion and see my kids play on the banks of the Potomac meant a lot. 
  2. In addition to the Mansion we also walked through the lower garden and some of the outbuildings including the kitchen where we learned that President Washington's favorite summer dessert was strawberry ice cream!
  3. We then drove by my high school and parish before braving Friday rush hour as we completed our trip south.  
  4. After a wonderful dinner and a good night sleep we were ready for some more adventuring and with my mom, sister and kids we headed to the Metro Richmond Zoo.
  5. A great zoo where we had an amazing time seeing tons of animals. Highlights include feeding and petting giraffes, the bird house, and a sky ride that allowed us to travel above many habitats and get a 'birds-eye view' of many more animals.
  6. We ended the day with a delicious dinner at my sister's where I got to enjoy some quality sister time and my kids enjoyed more time with their cousins. Living far away I really cherish those times when we get a chance to just talk and catch-up particularly with my older niece and nephew as they begin to think about college and the future.
  7. And now many photos!! Please have a wonderful weekend!!

Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Open Book: August '18

The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick is the beginning of her trilogy on the life of Eleanor of the Aquitaine.  This book tells the story of Alienor's (how she was known at that time) betrothal and first marriage to King Louis VII of France in 1137 and follows her on crusade and as challenges cause both of them to seek annulment.  Beautifully written, this is my favorite type of historical fiction with enough detail to expand my understanding while telling an interesting story.  The story moves quickly, with conversations and interactions which feel realistic. I've already hunted down the sequel to read at some point.

Another example of wonderful historical fiction is Helena by Evelyn Waugh, telling the story of Saint Helena from when she meets and marries Constanine and continues as she follows him, and later her son, from military post to post.  Personally this book was a bit too light on facts about the saint but an interesting overview of life during the 4th Century Roman Empire.  Even if this leans more fiction than history the writing is wonderful, particularly as she searches for the True Cross and seeks the intercession of the Magi.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.