Posts Tagged ‘adventures’

Winter Reprieve

Monday, November 12th, 2012

We’re having some beautiful weather in Connecticut right now, much to my surprise and happiness. Between the time change and the onset of winter-like temperatures I had resigned myself to feeling grumpy and sun-deprived until at least April. The truth is, we don’t go outside more than we absolutely have to when it’s cold. I’ll bundle up the kids for a real snowfall so we can take a few pictures for next year’s calendar but as far as playground time, long walks and adventures go, I don’t have the energy or desire to wrangle two coat-and-hat-adverse children into coats and hats more than absolutely necessary.

So getting a few days of warm, early fall temperatures is like getting a surprise vacation – and not just because we’re not burning through our zillion-dollars worth of heating oil in the tank. We spent 3 hours at the beach park on Sunday, getting dirty and wet and salt-air covered. The kids slept last night like only kids who’ve been at the shore can. Today is less sunny but just as warm, so we’re headed to the park to collect pine cones and rocks for Evan’s treasure chest. If I’m REALLY lucky I’ll talk Caroline into her fairy wings to take some birthday pictures but I’m so excited to be outside and not freezing I don’t actually care if she cooperates or not. It’s a November Miracle!

BlogHer asked me if I’d let you all know about this survey they’re conducting. It’s not an ad or anything, just some research:

Would you please take a few minutes (no more than 5) to take our survey about watching video online?  Your thoughts are so valuable to us and your opinions will help make better decisions about video content on our site.

The Best Weekend Of The Year

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

I think I mentioned this is the best weekend to live in Eastern Connecticut a time or two hundred in the past couple weeks. Last year we were in South Carolina so we missed it (although I wouldn’t exactly say I was missing it, Bob). This year, E had to work all weekend but I was DETERMINED to do ALL THE THINGS with the kids. I’ve spent the summer learning to drag them both around plan fun outings with two kids on my own and this was sort of like the Olympics of solo-parenting. Three food festivals plus a town fair – and for the record, I only cheated on my diet a tiny bit.

The kids did a GREAT job the whole time. There were zero tantrums and only minor threats needed for cooperation. Evan did a ton of walking so I could use the stroller as a single (although I still got stopped at least once every 15 minutes to talk about my City Select) which was like a vacation for my arm muscles after pushing it as a double for 20 months. I feel sort of really actually completely terrible that we had so much fun while my husband toiled away at a job that’s driving him crazy. I know it hurts him that he’s missing so much. But I keep telling myself it’s not the kid’s fault that Daddy has to work so much and they shouldn’t be punished. I don’t even want them to REALIZE their grown ups are stressed and tired and miserable. All they should worry about is how they’re going to have room for ice cream AND funnel cake for breakfast.

Another breakthrough from this weekend: I threw out all my shame regarding hauling my giant camera around and acting like I had a press pass allowing me to shoot whatever the heck I wanted. Which means I took an epic number of photos. I’ll try to keep this post down to a semi-reasonable number but I’m going to add a break after a couple so the page isn’t INSANELY long. And be sure to check Facebook for the whole album – I mean, if you’re interested in gingers and food porn and New Englandy stuff.


Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

I gave the bread to the kids and ate the insides. Go paleo!

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

They both got COVERED in powdered sugar eating cookies

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

Norwich Greek Food Festival 2012

We walked home across the Chelsea Parade (it’s a big empty square of grass where the militia used to muster) and the light was SO PERFECT.


New London Ledgelight Lighthouse Tour

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Spoiler alert: The New London Ledgelight lighthouse’s ghost turned out to be a legend based on legend, not a real person. Although I did get a pretty good picture of him:

ernie the ghost new london ledgelight

REAL PICTURE I TOOK of Ernie the Ghost (replica)

Even an unhaunted lighthouse is better than no lighthouse, and a lighthouse built on a shelf out in the middle of the harbor is awesome. We got to go as part of a charity auction I talked my very drunk husband into bidding on (along with the rest of his command) but it turns out Ledgelight actually allows tours several times a week through Project Oceanology – although kids under 6 aren’t allowed so we won’t be dragging Evan and Caroline out there just yet.

new london ledgelight lighthouse

Basic facts: Built in 1909, the light was manned by civilians, then taken over by the Coast Guard. They left in 1987 after installing an automatic light and foghorn and since then a private charity has been working to preserve the building. Tons of information about Ledgelight here on their website. They have managed to fix up the second floor and put in a TV to show the film about the light created by this guy:

new london ledgelight todd gipstein

Todd Gipstein and his wife were just two people who loved the light and wanted to do a little to help. They ended up taking over Ledgelight’s 100th anniversary celebration and now give tours, do hands-on work, manage the website, create brochures and videos and fundraise to continue their mission. (Todd also wrote a book, Legacy of the Light, set on the other super-cool local lighthouse Race Rock.) Although with two kids hanging around all the time, I won’t be able to volunteer as a railing painter or floor scrubber very often, I’m hoping to find ways to support Ledgelight. Because I’m a dork who thinks lighthouses are super cool.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

It did not. I was kind of disappointed.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Jeeze lady, that skirt’s a little short for a work even with your husband’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Basement steps. They used to store the coal down here before the light was electric.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Basement floor

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Main stairs

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Picture of a lighthouse in a lighthouse. So meta.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Plum Island (Have you ever read that book? Great book.)

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

There was a toilet in this room that works by burning away the waste. It was kind of terrifying.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

On top of the world

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

I dropped those sunglasses over the side as I was leaving. Only bad part of the whole day.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Every lighthouse lamp has a different pattern, so sailors could tell where they were approaching even in the dark or fog.

New London Ledgelight Lighthouse

Ledgelight’s pattern is three white, one red

New London Ledgelight lighthouse view of New London

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse view

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

The people standing up there are all pretty important, but you don’t care.

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

New London Ledgelight lighthouse

And if you want more information on Ledgelight, you can like them on Facebook or visit their website.

p.s. While we were out there, Todd was listing ways they were trying to raising money for the light, and he said “And if someone wanted to get married out here, we’d charge them a little fee and that would be totally doable.” So now my new Life’s Goal is to find SOMEONE to get married on Ledgelight. It would be fabulous.

p.p.s. Connecticut allows same-sex marriages. Just saying.

p.p.p.s. Although if we’re still stationed here in 2014, we are TOTALLY doing a 10-year vow renewal on Ledgelight. I will buy a big fancy wedding dress and E will wear his uniform and we’ll wrap the railings in twinklelights and tulle and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, let’s do it NOW.

Pot Head

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

(Sorry about the title, I think it’s hilarious. E and I have been catching up on the last zillion episodes of Weeds in the past couple weeks.)

(Also, sorry about the errors and virus warnings and stuff. My host service has double checked everything and the site is now 100% clean.)

On Saturday, we all went down to the book fair in Groton to see what we could see. It wasn’t an elementary school style bookfair with catalogs and huge piles of cheap paperbacks on rolling racks. Instead, the library had arranged for a bunch of local authors to attend and showcase their books. I don’t think my husband or son were very impressed but I sure thought it was cool!

Not impressed. Although he did like the balloon animal turtle. He liked it so much he tried to eat it and we had to take it away.

It was tempting to buy copies of every book available, especially because author signed copies are one of my absolute FAVORITE things but I decided not to go crazy. Narrowing down my choices was actually really easy after I saw this book:

Sir Ryan's Quest

Climbing in cabinets! Playing with pots! That's what little boys are made of.

It turns out the author, Jason Deeble lives right here in Norwich.  He was very nice. He even had a pot Baby Evan could borrow.

He did that to himself. He thinks things on his head is hilarious.

Jason signed the book for Baby Evan and even drew him a little picture.

I love the drawings and the “monsters” Sir Ryan encounters on his quest are adorable. In the end he comes back to his mommy and he knows he has completed his quest. It’s really cute and definitely our new favorite. You can check out Jason Deeble’s website here and even order a signed copy for your little knight. As always, this is not a paid endorsement or product placement. I’m just excited to share our newest story.

A day without snow

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

In New England, as soon as we get that one glorious day of warm above freezing weather everyone goes berserk with spring fever and breaks out their flip-flops and skirts and shorts and starts acting like it’s 85 degrees out. The stores put all their jeans and sweaters on clearance and start selling bathing suits and sandals (True story – about two weeks after giving birth last April I went out to buy some non-maternity jeans to wear until I fit into my old ones. It took four stores to find one really terrible, overpriced pair because everyone was selling SHORTS). No one cares that one 45 degree day in March is usually followed by six more weeks of winter. We could get two feet of snow tomorrow and half my state would still be out in their gardens planting flowers, insisting it’s just a fluke storm and summer is just around the corner.

Having lived in New England for approximately half my life (on and off) I fall victim to this false spring every. single. year. I think it’s a form of self-preservation, since if you don’t fully enjoy the few warm days we get in February and March you’ll be hiding in a dark room banging your head against the wall waaaay before May.

Since Baby Evan is a true New England baby, we took advantage of today’s springlike above freezing weather to take him to the park. I was hoping that since he walks about 75% of the time around the house he’d really enjoy a new space to run. Instead, he threw himself on the ground as soon as he discovered the joy that is mulch. E and I spent the whole time trying to keep him from shoving handfuls of cedar bark and acorns in his mouth. I guess we can add “dirt” to the list of things he probably won’t be allergic too based on early childhood consumption. Already on the list: dog hair, cat hair, lint, yarn, dust, blood, plastic, wood and stickers. Still, I would call our first park adventure a success.

He wasn't quite sure about the swing at first (or maybe he was just COLD, like E kept saying. "Do you think he's cold? He looks cold. Aren't you cold?")

But he definitely warmed up to it (OH MY GOD DID YOU SEE THAT PUN? BAM!)

I don't know if you can even see the baby over my ridiculously yellow sweater. I bought it this morning in a frenzy of pastel colors and tank tops at Old Navy.

"I don't know what just happened, but LET'S DO IT AGAIN"


WHEEEEEEEE!!! (And just in case you're thinking I'm some sort of neglectful mother who's so busy taking pictures she sends her 11 month old down the slide alone, don't worry. I'm sitting on the end and there is NO WAY he's gonna get around me. My butt could keep eight kids on that slide.)

Oh did I say slide was my favorite? I meant stick. STICK is definitely my favorite.

Yes (despite this very questionable caterpillar climby thing - now with more chipped lead paint!!!) I think we'll definitely be back for more park.