Wednesday, February 22, 2017

F - Freedom Trail

Our Teen Christian History Trip in 2015 took us Back to BOSTON!  This is one of my favorite trips.  For my "F" post, however, I'm going to focus only on The Freedom Trail.  For those of you who may not know, The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long walk through Boston that takes you to 16 different historical stops.  The very first year we took the teens to Boston, we thought we could make it through the whole trail in half a day.  


This year we spent the entire day in Boston on the Freedom Trail, and honestly, it still wasn't enough!

The trail begins in Boston Commons.  See those feet?  Those are very fresh and eager feet, ready for new adventures!  We'll revisit these feet at the end.

Bri and Aly are my "We want to try that, touch that, climb on that" girls!

The gang's all here!  
Boston is a BIG city, and I'm constantly counting heads.   By the end of the trip I could count to 15 very well!  Though Colin always say we only need to come back the the majority :)
L to R
Lorin, Emily, Wesley, Noelle, Priscilla, Skyeler, Aly, Bri, Colin, Elijah, Abi, Sam, Mitchell

"One if by land, two if by sea."
The Old North Church where Paul Revere left Robert Newman in charge of signaling the advance of the British.

Bunker Hill Monument commemorates The Battle of Bunker Hill where the colonial troops were told "not to fire until you see the white's of their eyes."  You can climb up into the tower.  294 steps.  I did not climb with them (stairs, spiraling, fear of heights and enclosed spaces...NOT for me).  The monument is one of the last things on the Freedom Trail.  This is the place where Lorin told Skyeler that she should climb the stairs "at least once."  So Skyeler climbed 294 steps up to the top of the monument.  By the time she got back down, she was hating Lorin and his "at least once" comment.  It is rumored that Skyeler, on getting down out of the monument, told some younger kid not to do's not worth it!  But, of course, that is just  a rumor :)  Lorin will never live this down!

After climbing Bunker Hill and the monument, and walking all of the Freedom Trail, everyone was a bit exhausted.  The pair of feet between Colin and Lorin is Skyeler.  She is practically passed out LOL! 

Aboard the U.S.S. Constitution, and still trying to get rest where they can!  

Inside the U.S.S. Constitution Museum 

The Old State House.  The building it beautiful.  Right out in front is the site of the Boston Massacre, and across the street is the site of the Obadiah Holmes trial and beating.  

Boston Commons and the Boston Skyline

Remember those very fresh and eager feet at the beginning of the Freedom Trail??  Well, not so much anymore!!  The kids were literally hugging the van at the end.  In fact, they may have been fighting over who was going to get into the van and sit down first.  All in all it was a great day!

Friday, April 8, 2016

E - Exercise

So this time last year, I was exercising.  I go on these kicks sometimes.  I really WANT to exercise but truly I hate it.   So this time last year, I had started on this kick to get into shape before all of those summer trips we had coming up.  

As you can see from just the previous three posts, we did eat well.

I was going along at a good pace when Aly and Skye went to my parents for Spring Break.  When I joined them, it was nice to change up the pace a bit. 

Walking the hill is one of our favorite pastimes at my parents.  It's not possible in the summer ... SNAKES ... but early spring and late fall make it a beautiful, fun EXERCISE.  

Ok it's not ALWAYS fun! Like when I am severely out of shape and gasping for breath while my legs are burning because it is a steep climb.

This particular spring morning I was thankful to be at my parents and thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a more scenic walk than the one around my block in the suburbs!

D - Donut

Not all of my A to Z posts will be about food...I promise!

Universal Studios in Orlando hosts a section dedicated to The Simpsons.  The girls only have a vague idea of who the Simpsons are, and The Simpsons' ride is a bit nausea inducing (according to Aly and Dan who rode it on our first trip), so we don't really spend much time in this area of the park.  On our recent trip, we noticed that they had expanded this area, adding new restaurants and a new ride.  

Enter Lard Lad Donuts!

The shop smelled REALLY amazing every time we walked past.  Skyeler finally caved and decided she had to have a Donut.  Now you can't tell from the above picture but check out the following picture...

Yes, yes, that really IS a quarter in the center of the Donut hole.  Lard Lad makes some pretty large donuts :) 

And yes, it really IS about as big as Skyeler's head!  

We all thought that it would be just a mediocre donut, fun for the size but not very tasty.
We were VERY wrong!  Actually, they make the donuts fresh and it was quite yummy!  The four of us couldn't finish it, but we had so much fun taking pictures of it and sending them out to all our friends :)

C - Cannoli

The fourth day of our Teen Christian History Trip took us to the Freedom Trail in downtown Boston.  

One of our fun stops is a couple blocks off the Freedom Trail ...
Mike's Pastry!

Why Mike's Pastry?
This is why...


Mike's is famous for them!
In something like over 15 flavors!

The line is always ridiculously long (because it is so delicious), you have to know what you want or they take someone else ahead of you, and they only take cash!  

I was a little concerned about the "you have to know what you want" part of our plan.  This particular group of ours excels in NOT knowing what they want :) 

We were supposed to get our Cannoli's after our dinner, but dinner ended up not working out and  we had to backtrack many blocks to get our treat.  Now normally "many blocks" would not be such a big deal, but after walking the whole Freedom Trail.  Well, we were all pretty worn out.  The kids love eating local fare, however, and were not too put out :)

We sat down and enjoyed them in the middle of a park in downtown Boston because Cannoli's are best fresh!

Monday, April 4, 2016

B - Butterbeer


Hang on just a moment while I drool a little ... Ok, I think I have some semblance of control now. 
I'll be honest here...this stuff is Beyond Belief amazing! 

Frozen - my personal favorite
Ice Cream!

And yes I tried them ALL on our latest trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando!

How to describe Butterbeer?  Well, Cream Soda mixed with butterscotch mixed with caramel all frozen or bubbly.  I had the frozen first since it is my favorite.  Dan really enjoyed the hot Butterbeer.  I'm one of those strange folks who doesn't really like hot drinks in the summer, but Dan drinks hot tea or coffee year round.  Aly had the Ice Cram Butterbeer from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour (just a side note here, though I cannot eat ice cream in large quantities anymore, the family tried four unique flavours ... Butterbeer, Green Apple, Earl Grey & Lavender, and Chocolate Chili ... and all were delicious). And of course  we had plenty of the regular sort with our refillable Butterbeer mug.  

A trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just not complete without this sweet treat!

Friday, April 1, 2016

A - the Adventure Begins

I think this picture Adequately describes our year last year :)

Traveling is Always an Adventure and we did plenty of both!

Our itinerary covered at least 10 states (at least 10 since we are having some controversy as to whether or not we drove through Connecticut this time...that's what happens when you don't write things down right away).  And we drove to Florida twice.  I didn't count how many hours we spent in the car ... Hmm that would be an interesting fact to keep track of ... but as I mentioned we drove to Florida, twice.  We also drove to Boston where I KNOW we sat in over 6 hours of traffic.  Those are some long trips!

What drives us to travel?  Family usually.  But also we have found that once we started seeing the many wonders and beauties that our country has to offer, and the history that is all around us, well, it is kind of addictive and makes you want to see more!  Though I will admit that I LOVE revisiting the places we have already been which is counterproductive to seeing more LOL!

January - Cheryl and I met in Columbus for a Girl's Weekend - shopping & scrapbooking!

March - Skye and Aly headed to Granny & Papa's for Spring Break.

April - I joined the girls in Kentucky for a night.

May - Universal Orlando!
Memorial Day Weekend in Kentucky!

June - Back to Florida ... Dan's family celebrated Christmas in June.

July - Our Teen Group's Christian History Trip to Boston!

November - Thanksgiving in Kentucky!

As I try to complete this A to Z Challenge, I hope to share some pictures and stories from our Adventurous 2015.

April's A to Z Challenge

"My poor blog!"  I usually make this lament at least ONCE a year as I look back at all I have NOT blogged about and look forward to blogging a new year.

Those poor January and February posts that start out the year with great intentions and then fizzle out.  This year I did not even make it to the annual January and February posts thanks to my next lament, "Our life is just crazy right now!"  

UM...that seems to be the new NORM, I'm just refusing to see it!

Sooo, I have all of these wonderful pictures that I took last year from all the traveling we did, and I've never gotten around to sharing them, plus normal life, and a co-op where the pre-schoolers outnumber the rest of us...  Not really, it just seems like it sometimes ...   And enter an interesting challenge I ran across this week

Blogging from A to Z

A Challenge to blog through the alphabet in the month of April.  What a great idea!  So I'm going to give it a go.  I doubt I will be able to keep up, but it's always good to have a goal, right?  I don't have a "theme" so I can go wherever the mood takes me :)  

Away we go... (that could be "A" but I'll start somewhere else).