Thursday, May 31, 2012

Holy Mackerel Batman!: Macomb Park

Macomb Park is one of our frequent go-to playgrounds, so why exactly we haven't posted on it before, we have no idea (surely it's mom's fault).  In fact, the pictures below are from several weeks ago (if not months).  It's not big and it's not particularly fancy, but we think it has a little something for everyone (except water play, which might move it to the bottom of our list this HOT week):  a train, a treehouse, a climbing wall, hills, and some of that new fangled playground equipment that we can never quite figure out.  On this particular trip I found a buddy and was even sharing my superheroes, but said buddy got territorial over his little sister and then my little sister got in on it, too.  Never a dull moment at the playground.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Be a Jubilee: British Paper Cutouts

We are super psyched to celebrate the upcoming Diamond Jubilee for a few reasons: (1) our grandpa D-Rock is British (although we like to "forget" to tell people that and watch their faces when they try to understand him speak); (2) daddy has spent a lot of time in London over the years and we all harbor a small obsession with the city; and (3) well, we love any excuse to party.  We're planning on having our own jubilee party this weekend, but to kick things off this week, mom purchased these super cute paper cutouts from Happy Thought.

It took mom a little time, but she print, cut out and assembled them during Cam's nap (we recommend a sturdy cardstock and a little tape to help hold them together.  in fact, mom said she wished she'd laminated them first.  oh well).  I couldn't wait for Cam to get up from nap -- I wanted at those babies immediately.  I had several story lines going -- the "old queen" was going to jail, the new one was marrying the "beefeater," and eventually I moved them all to a smaller table and built them homes with some see-through blocks we have.  And I decided that Spiderman must be British because if "you ignored his blue legs," his upper body (the red and black lines) looked just like the British flag.  Cam played with them for a little bit when she woke up, but they weren't quite sturdy enough for her play.  And, lucky mom, they've spawned a new game for me: "mom, tell me what else came from London? and what else?  and what else?"

i kept undoing the notches holding together my guys and would ask mom for tape.  she kept fake fixing them because she thought it was hysterical every time i called out "we have a beefeater emergency!" and asked her to fix them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love Those Wildwood Days: Wildwood, NJ

Phew.  We are beat.  We packed a whole lot into our Memorial Day weekend at the Jersey shore.  Lots of beach play, gardening with D-Rock, back yard time with Nona, enjoying some good bbq with our NYC buddy, Aunt Kerri, and just generally running the town (as did mom, dad and Aunt Kerri -- thanks for all the babysitting Nona and D-Rock!).  And we got to take a trip down to Wildwood, New Jersey where our family owns a bike house and where daddy spent a lot of time growing up.  Such a fun time visiting and meeting family, swimming with our cousins, taking a family surrey ride, cruising the boardwalk and eating, eating, eating.  Not that we're biased, but if you're looking for a classic Jersey boardwalk, we think Wildwood is the best.  And if you get a chance to go, check out Green's Bike Rental!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me: Virginia Renaissance Faire

Last year we hit up the Maryland Renaissance Festival and had a very, um, interesting time.  We had no plans to go again this year, but Certifikid struck again.  A coupon for the Virginia Renaissance Faire popped up in mom's inbox and said it was being held at a Virginia winery and it was PIRATE'S WEEKEND.  Before mom had the good sense to check where, she bought it.  It just so happened that this little winery was 80 miles away in Lake Anna, which we noticed when we put the address in the GPS Sunday morning on our way to the Faire.  Hee hee, mom smiled at daddy (who had to go to be back in D.C. by 4 for a flight to London).  And while this was far away and much less of a professional operation than the Maryland festival, which has permanent fair grounds, mom thought it was better suited for kids our age.

As it was Pirate's Weekend, I put my trusty green pirate costume on.  Cami wanted to be dora pirate.  Then just dora.  Then a fairy dora.  Then fairy princess mermaid dora.  You decide what she ended up looking like.

There were the usual opportunities for people sightseeing, but it seemed much more geared towards interactive activities for little kids.  They have an entire kids area that offers different activities throughout the day -- they were making rag dolls when we visited.  And, on a whole, all of the people that worked there seemed very happy to engage the kids in whatever they were doing.  We got a lesson on ship navigation with old school tools on a makeshift pirate ship, learned about ancient weapons, and I got to try my hand at sword fighting.  Mom tried to get me to partake in archery, but dad said no way when he realized they were real bows and arrows.  Instead, he thought it more appropriate to let me take a turn at axe throwing.  Real axes.  Makes perfect sense.  Turns out I wasn't quite tall enough -- next year, man.

The food wasn't quite as spectacular as the Maryland festival and there wasn't a pirate ship playground, but this was a little more low-key and had lots of room to run around.  The highlight for me was likely the fierce pirate duel I got into with another small pirate -- he started it.  I think I finished it.  Cam joined in with her fairy wand, too.  (we were moving so fast mom only got blurry pictures, but it was hilarious).

We've actually been wanting to check out the Lake Anna State Park, so we'll probably head back out that way some day.  On the way there, we also passed by a Civil War reenactment and saw some cannons go off, so you can bet that's on our list of summer to do's.

The Virginia Renaissance Faire runs every weekend through June 10th.

We're taking off a few days for an extended holiday weekend, but if you are in need of ANYTHING to do, check out No Monsters in My Bed's new insanely good compilation of family friendly activities -- wowsers.  Catch you in white next week!