Tired, Sniffley, and Halfway

Ok, it’s been a crazy week.  I’m tired and sniffley and my head is pounding.  Why?  Lack of sleep caught up to me and a weekend with 12 year olds wore me out I guess.  And maybe the hotel and travel got me sick, who knows?  I just need a tissue every 15 minutes and I’m good to go.

After a down and back trip to Boston on Thursday (thanks to Mom for riding/driving along, and no thanks to Mother Nature – sheets of rain are not ideal for travelling 500 miles in a day), and 4 1/2 hours of sleep (would have been 5 1/2 but we were so focused on getting home we forgot to swing by and pick up Mom’s truck at her school where I had picked her up earlier that day – whoops! We got home and realized her truck wasn’t in the driveway – turned around and drove 20 min to go get it), I headed off to chaperone my cousin’s 6th grade class trip.

We had a weekend jam packed of touristy things to do from dusk to dawn for three days.  So much fun, but so exhausting!
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Came home on Monday to a rambunctious toddler and an annoyed boyfriend – just our luck that the one weekend I’m gone and don’t have cell service to communicate that the wood guy calls and has our load of wood (you know, for the wood stove in the house we don’t have yet) so he had to deal with all that without me.  Mom and Dad ordered wood last year and it came so late that some of it wasn’t dried yet.  So we wanted to make sure we didn’t get it too late this year – well, it’s here and Steve’s already cutting it up (best boyfriend ever) and that means a warm and cozy wood stove heated house this winter, yay!  Wood’s much cheaper than burning oil, so you can imagine this makes me very happy – you know, since we’ll have a nice big morgage to pay come this fall.

Speaking of the house, I’m halfway thru my 6 month saving period and I’ve saved 57% of the down payment…

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I have June, July, & August left to save up the rest – that’s $1417 each month.  Seems very doable since this is the savings breakdown for each of the past 3 months:

  • March $1800
  • April $1500
  • May $2450

I splurged on a new bathing suit for this summer (you know, since the 9 I already have aren’t enough), and I have a race to register for, but other than that (oh and some gifts for three birthday girls this month), it’s serious lock down on my wallet.  Essenials only!!  I was good in Montreal too, only spent $ on two drinks at dinner the last night we were there, oh and a souvenir for Mom and Dad.  I brought Avery back a plush Turtle from a carnival game we (my cousin, his friends, and I) played at La Ronde the last day of the trip, and Avery hasn’t parted with it.  He named it ‘Turdy’… yup, you read that right – bet you can’t say it without smiling, lol.  It’s green and goes everywhere with him.  He won’t leave his bed in the morning without it.

Crazy to think it’s already June!  Where did May go?!  These warm months always seem to zoom by while Jan-March felt like an eternity this year.  Hopefully with the house this winter it’ll be more bearable since I’ll have lots of projects to do inside.  So exciting!

Headed to get Avery and play outside tonight – maybe some soccer, bike riding, and check out the strawberry patch.

Happy Thursday – it’s almost the weekend!!!

❤ Meghan

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Memorial Day Camping Weekend

We are back from a long (and FUN) camping weekend.  We spent last week getting geared up for it – MiMi and Grampy stocked up the camper while Avery and I made some goodies to pack.

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Avery was a big helper making apple chips.  Yes, he took a bite out of almost every one before putting them on the tray.
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That batch of apple chips barely lasted Friday afternoon – Avery devoured them as soon as we got to camp and shared them with his friends.  I’ll make two batches next trip. And if you noticed Avery’s face in the last picture…IMG_6491

He also helped me make cookies and since stirring is hard work, some flour escaped the bowl.

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Friday morning came and Avery was so excited…. that he just kept sleeping and sleeping.IMG_6499

I even tried my ‘mommy tactics on him – opened the window, turned on the lights… but he was still snoozing.  I guess he knew he had a big camping weekend ahead of him and he needed to stock up on sleep!  Friday at noon, we were off!  Grampy and I (Mimi had to work all day and joined us later Friday night) picked Avery up at daycare (which Avery thought was pretty cool since we had the camper with us!).IMG_6501

(Oh, Avery looks like a grump in this picture because he’s making a “Pokey Face”)

Just over an hour later, we pulled into the campground – and we were the first ones there! (first ones in our group – we had 6 sites reserved for my Papa’s side of the family – my Mom’s Dad).  After setting up the camper, we headed off to the railroad track.
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We stayed at River’s Bend, in New Haven VT.  It’s very secluded along a river, but there is a train track and bridge near the entrance.IMG_6506

We climbed up the hill and I snagged a couple good pictures of these two.

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I wouldn’t dare walk over the bridge part – eek too high.  But Grampy and Joseph did.

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Avery and I stayed on the tracks and I almost got a very poetic picture of Avery on the tracks, then the dogs photobombed it.

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We put down pennies and dimes for the train to flatten.  We went back on Saturday and we found them all – smushed.  Avery and Joseph (my cousin) thought it was pretty cool!
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To bring our first day camping to a close, we did popcorn over the fire…IMG_6518

Good thing we brought two bags of it because the first one exploded, haha.  Avery and Grampy enjoyed their usual nighttime snack.IMG_6520

The rest of the weekend was a blur of fun… lots of fishing, playing in the sand, kayaking, playing with family – cornhole and woffleball and some new game called KamnJam.  Avery skipped rocks in the water and rode his bike around with Joseph.  They played soccer and with this helicopter spinner Avery would let off and Joseph or Mia would catch.

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Grampy finally caught a couple fish.  Avery had so much fun playing with his second cousins – ‘my friends’ as he calls them.  He woke up Sunday morning and asked ‘where are my friends?’ since they only came for the day on Saturday and had left that night.  He really loves playing with them.

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Avery, Grampy, and I spent hours looking for fish.  I took this picture a split second before Avery fell in right there.  It was too funny.  He had a soaked pantleg (just one) and a shoe. We were all laughing.  The water wasn’t deep so he didn’t get far and his pants dried before we got back to camp.IMG_6536

The river was so low in places that we walked out to islands like this a couple times.  We found broken pottery, dug holes making rivers and floating sticks and leaves down – so much fun.IMG_6564

And Avery and I went out in the kayak 4 times I think… one time we even took Frasier along!

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I didn’t carry my phone around with me, so there aren’t pictures of every second of the weekend, but that’s what camping is all about – leaving work, and housework, and electronics at home and enjoying the outdoors and the people you’re with – and we sure did that.

We closed the weekend with smores… oh and catching a frog – the second one of the weekend.IMG_6566

Thank you Johnson Family for such a fun camping weekend.  Sunday afternoon while I was baking up a storm for the week and Avery was playing play doh, he says ‘I want to go camping’.  I think he had fun 🙂

❤ Meghan

Time Flies

Time flies when you’re having fun!  We’ve had a busy week.  I can’t  believe it’s Friday already!  Last week I was super busy with work, followed by a weekend in Mass, and a fun week of nightly shenanigans. Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to…

Friday: First Snow!
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On Friday we had our first snowfall!  It has snowed a couple times, but this was the first time it stuck, so Avery went running outside to play before school on Friday.  He was so excited and every morning since has been ddisappointed when there isn’t any new snow.

I was super thrilled the snow had held off until now because I had just got snow boots for Avery the weekend before (Thanks Joayn!).  But I was also a bad mommy and hadn’t got Avery snow pants yet this season, so I sent him to school with his from last year.  They fit, but barely.  So what did I do that weekend?  I found him new snow pants!

Weekend: Visiting friends in Mass
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Avery spent the weekend with his Dad and Grandma in Mass, so I took advantage and made a weekend of it, crashing at my friends Erin & Andrew’s new house.  Steve came with me and we were put to work with a couple projects, did some Christmas shopping in NH (tax free!) and played some fun games Saturday night with yummy hot cider drinks in front of the fire.  After a nice breakfast out Saturday morning and more helping with the house, we headed off to pick Avery up.

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We had such a fun weekend, and it went by too fast.  It’s nice to have those adults only weekends, especially since I can help Santa with his shopping without Avery seeing, but I was very happy to be home with this little guy Sunday night.

Monday: Tumble, Lowes, PIzza Putt
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Monday night was a busy night!  MiMi had a meeting at the house so we made ourselves scarce.  Grampy got to see Avery in action at tumble class, then a quick stop at Lowes – these two had too much fun driving around!, dinner and games at Pizza Putt – a fun filled night for all!  (Side note, we haven’t been to Great Gram and Gramps for a couple weeks cuz they had a cold and didn’t want to pass it on to Avery)

Tuesday: Girls Night/Santa Shopping
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Tuesday I met up with Michele (Mommy of THREE – no idea how she does it!?), and we had dinner and did some shopping.  We were so cute driving around our carts with our lists.  Avery spent the night with Mimi and Grampy… and all went well until Avery used his pliers on Grampy’s lip… oops.

Wednesday: Avery and Mommy Time
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Wednesday nights Mimi and Grampy go to Gram and Gramps (to watch Survivor, so it’s a late night for them and we stay home), so after a yummy spaghetti dinner, Avery and I played toys and did the nighttime routine.  I would say it was a great night, until SOMEONE wouldn’t go to sleep.  Seriously… still battling bedtime at 3 years old.  I spent over an hour putting Avery back in his bed.

Thursday: Family Time
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Last night we played and ate dinner with Mimi and Grampy.  Avery had fish sticks for the first time in a while and loved them.  Gotta put that on the menu more often.  We tried again to make it a smooth bedtime but Avery was up many many times.  I was busy in the office assembling thank you cards for Avery’s birthday (I know, I know, I’m months late – but I was waiting for the proofs from our photo shoot to send pics with the cards and they came over the weekend), so I kept busy in the 30 seconds between putting him back to bed over and over and over…

Friday: Pizza and a Movie

And today is Friday!  We’re not headed to Boston this weekend, so we’re having our usual Pizza and a Movie night at the house.  Ask Avery what he likes on his pizza… “Macaroni”  (aka, pepperoni)

Happy weekend!!!

❤ Meghan

Me Time

I feel like I am soooo behind on blogging.  I take a ton of pics every day and we’re always out and about doing something, going somewhere.  I will never catch up!  So that my type A personality doesn’t get all stressed out, I’ll wrap up the Summer/Fall stuff I did for ME…. starting with SOFTBALL!

When I moved back to VT, my cousin asked me to join his softball team – I was essentially taking over for my sis, who had been on the team and was now moving away for grad school.  I was thrilled!  I played softball growing up and on our company team at work before Avery was born.  So, one night a week this summer, I was out on the field…

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I had so much fun!  The team was really welcoming… and the league was very casual. Some people brought their dogs, family watched, and we called the shots – there were no refs, so the team fielding made the call.DSCF3084DSCF3077

Since it was co-ed, we had to have so many girls playing, which meant I got lots of time in – played second base and didn’t completely strike out allll the time 😉DSCF3075

The only bummer was the team played 45 min away, so it made for a long afternoon… and when we had rain cancellations, I was always on the road before they called the games.  Boo.

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And special thanks to my cousin Amy, for these great pics 🙂

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Next up… RUNNING!  Running is still one of my favorite ‘me time’ activities.  I try to get out 3 times a week.  Some weeks less, others more.  I have a great out and back 5K route that I just love. I can get in 2-3 miles after work and before picking Avery up.

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Plus, running in this fall weather is soooo nice.  I even treated myself to some cool running gear via a gift card so I wouldn’t freeze my tush off in this chilly VT air.

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I did the Glow run again this year, and dragged some friends along with me 🙂

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It was horrible.  Seriously.  We spent weeks planning our glow gear and outfits (well, Michele and I did – her husband, Andy, invited himself along last minute… and was stylin’, haha) and it POURED.

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It was not only dark, but raining…sheets!  The rain had stopped right before the race so as we stood in line, waiting for the ‘go’… it just started POURING.

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We were miserable the whole run… and then after, what do we say? That was fun, let’s do it again next year… but let’s wait until the weather report before we register, haha.

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Andy got 2nd in his age group, and won a prize… but because we were so hot, Michele and I got prizes too!  We finished 159/160 of 202… not bad.  Our pace was horrible to start, but we were flying the second half – probably cuz the rain let up.  Oh and of coarse the rain stopped just as we crossed the finish.

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Since I haven’t been upping my mileage, I’m backing out of the 10K Turkey Trot, and I’m gonna run the 3K with Avery in the jogger with some girl friends.

Reading!  All those years of mandatory reading for school, then college, grad school, and last year plumbing school.  So… I climb into bed early some nights and read for an hour plus.

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Or, when I get some free time, like when the power goes out in the middle of the workday:)

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Recent reads… Falt in our Stars and The Vow… both were okay.  They had rave reviews, but I wasn’t too impressed.

HIKING! I forgot how many outdoor things there are to do around here – we hiked growing up and there are moutains just 20 minutes away.  The foliage was gorgeous this fall, and I took advantage of it… hiked to Sterling Pond with Steve in Early October.

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The drive up to the trail was so pretty!
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The hike was wet from rain the night before, but it was worth the views.

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The next weekend, Michele and I hitup sunset ridge and made it up to cantilever rock on a Sunday afternoon.

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Sooo excited for next spring/summer and hiking more trails!

YA-YA! Yep, it’s the time of year again – went out with all the Valyou ladies… lunch and a movie.

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We had most of the group… missing only 3 of us.  Gram seemed to have fun, so a success!

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And more girl time last weekend… I spent the afternoon at Labelle Winery in NH with my grad school girls… such a fun afternoon.  Wine tasting, tour, and lunch.IMG_3920IMG_3919

My fave was the cranberry apple…. brought a bottle of that home as a gift 🙂IMG_3921IMG_3927

Avery was with his Dad for the weekend, so I took advantage – spent time with good friends, and had a great time.

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That night, I also went to a Halloween party and dressed up with a friend:IMG_3934

And the next day, helped Andrew and Erin (remember them?!) move stuff around in their new house (yay, guys!)

Soooo busy lately.  But a good busy.  It’s nice to take time to spend with friends and by myself.  I love Avery, and spend time with him every day, but it’s nice to re-discover me while I’m alone or with friends because I’m not just a Mom…

Happy Monday!

❤ Meghan

 

Spooky & Silly Salem Weekend

We’re back from a weekend trip to Mass.  Avery spent the weekend with his Dad and Grandma while we (Mom, Dad, Uncle Mike, Aunt Denise, Joey and I) spent the weekend in Salem.  For the ten years I lived in Boston, Aunt Denise kept talking about taking a weekend trip to Salem (she loves spooky stuff), and of coarse, we never got around to it.  (We did however, have a couple trips exploring Boston (while I played tour guide) and one rainy day Brewery hopping (starting at 9am, hehe)  So, a few months ago I did the research and planned our trip to Salem!

We left at 11am, and made good time (minus the minor traffic jam in Lebanon NH because of construction), arriving at our hotel just outside Salem just before 3pm.  Avery played in the back seat, snoozed, and played some more.
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We checked in at the hotel, and Joey and I hopped back in the car to bring Avery to his Dad’s while everyone else went into Salem.

After fighting glorious Boston traffic, we were finally all in Salem.  What did we do… took a candlelight ghost tour of course!
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And it wasn’t but a minute after the tour guide warned us about catching our cups on fire when Dad caught his on fire!  The tour was OK.  The tour guide wasn’t dressed up and talked way too fast.

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Our next stop (well, after the candy shoppe – yum!) was the House of the Seven Gables.  A book was wrote about this house by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  (Name familiar?  It was for me – he wrote The Scarlet Letter, I read it in highschool) The tour was amazing – my favorite of the weekend.  We stopped in each room of the house, and an actor would play out a character that lived in the house… a ghost, a butler, crazy girl, and a sweet old penny shop keeper.  The house was ‘wicked’ cool – low ceilings, steep winding staircases.  After the tour, we bought the two books 🙂

Day two began with a text to see how my little guy was doing (I missed him!).  He was having fun with his Dad and Grandma.  So, back to the adult only fun – first a workout in the fitness center and breakfast at the hotel, and off to Salem to see a baseball game played like it was back in the Civil War.IMG_3672

A nice guy from the team (his nickname was ‘Pigtail’) gave us a brochure and told us a little about the league.  The ball they used used to be handmade, and the stitching was done in a ‘x’, and the uniforms and bats were authentic.

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They played 8 innings a game, and since they played barehanded (no gloves!!), they could catch a ball off a bounce and it would be an out.
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The teams playing were from Providence and Brooklyn.  Providence whooped butt.

Next up, some walking around – the streets were full of vendors and very festive vistors.  We joined in and I found these two cute hats for Mom and Aunt Denise.  I needed free hands to eat fries before we met back up with them, so I just wore them both for a while…

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And then started our day of musuems… first the Pirate Museum.  Mom and Aunt Denise wore the hats proudly!  (Apparently this is the IN thing down there… mini witch hats – cuz they were so expensive!  These little guys were $10 each.  The other larger ones on headbands were $20+ each, eek!  I need to get in that business!)

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Oh and guess who we ran into… you know, the most famous pirate of all of history… Johnny Depp!

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I’m pretty sure this was the museum that I got spooked.  See, all these museums have fake people, showing the witch trials and the last guy was a real guy… he moved and yep, I jumped and screamed like a little girl, haha!  Next up was the Witch history musuem, and then the witch dungeon.  Did you know they put over 150 people in these dungeons that had cells that were as small as a phone booth!  So sad.  We took some fun pictures when we got out of the dungeon tour.

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In between the museums, we stopped in a few stores for souvineirs, oh and Mom and Aunt Denise and I found a sweet vintage shop.  I almost bought a dress for an upcoming wedding, but I was good.  Mom did however, find the cutest red boots!  Dinner at a fancy seafood restaurant was more silly than proper.  Aunt Denise made good friends with the waiter, which later earned us a free desert!

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Our last musuem was the Salem Witch Musuem in this pretty building.IMG_3670

I was not impressed with the performance/show, but the second half was pretty cool, a history about ‘witches’ and the different versions throughout history.

Our last stop before leaving the spooky city… Salem’s haunted watering hole – The Bunghole!

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We stocked up on some gifts and a few drinks for later that night while we played cards at the hotel.

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Back at the hotel, we played a round of 31 while munching on leftovers.  Oh and we didn’t have a deck of cards so I hunted around and could only find some at this comic book store – so I picked the Walking Dead zombie ones… and man were those a good choice.  They threw everyone off – Aunt Denise was so disgusted and didn’t want to look at them and Uncle Mike was picking out the one Aunt Denise looked like in the morning – good times!

So, no ghost sightings, but we had a great time and I could probably write a book myself about Salem’s Witch Trial history!  If you ever visit, use this website.  It tells you all the events going on. Most tours/museums were under $10, and if you get combo tickets, it’s very reasonable.  And the city is very walkable.  We parked and walked around all day.  Weekend parking is $20 minimum for the day, but on weekdays the lots are only $1/hr for unlimited time.

We headed back home on Sunday.  I did a little shopping to kill time before picking Avery up from his Dad’s – scored some nice cold weather running gear – much needed because I’m doing the Glow Run tomorrow night!

We’ve had a busy week of tumble class, pumpkin carving, playing with Avery’s new toys from his birthday with his Dad, oh and Avery’s Halloween costume came in the mail, so he wore that for quite a while one night.  A busy weekend ahead of us – I’ll be back next week with more…

❤ Meghan

Parc Safari

BURRR!!!! It’s official – It’s fall in Vermont.  It was below freezing when I brought Avery to school this morning, and yet the calendar doesn’t consider it fall until this coming weekend.  Well, we closed out our summer with a CHILLY trip to Parc Safari!  We had been when my sister and I were little (20 years ago to be exact – Mom found a dated park map from our last visit).

We had wanted to go this summer, but all our weekends were booked, and we had to get Grampy and Avery’s passports done (that was a feat in itself!), so we fit it in a little too late this year… we’re going in the peak of summer next year!

We hit the road early Saturday morning: We met up with Nana, Papa, and Joseph (My cousin) and drove north, to Canada!

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It was Avery and Grampy’s first time using their new passports, so exciting!  Just over an hour of driving and we arrived.

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Although it was chilly and there were cyclists zooming past us (um, note to Parc Safari: Your Cycle program is NOT appreciated by us people just walking around.  

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Bikes zooming by and taking up so much space in the park, and having sections marked off for them is NOT appealing to the normal walking on two feet guests) we made the best of our visit.  We had wanted to do the drive thru part first, but it opened much later than advertised (because of the cyclists) so we went thru part of the park first…

On the way, Avery and Joseph found some animals to pose with…

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And onto the REAL animals…

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The lions were first.  They were HUGE.  We walked around, and UNDER them…

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And thanks to our tall Papa, Avery got to size up his paws to the big kitty:

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We even got to see and hear the lions roar!  Next we saw a Tiger!  Avery had been looking forward to this animal the most, so we snagged a picture to send to Joey.

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And oh the animals we saw… lions, tigers, bears, oh my!  And monkies too!

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After freezing our butts off, we stopped for a nice lunch inside…

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And then it was off for the best part… where we got to drive thru the park and feed the animals!  Avery was thrilled to see the animals, but what’s even better than that?  Hanging out the car window while doing it of course!

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First up… the elephant!

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We tried feeding it an orange, but MiMi’s throw wasn’t on par that day 😉  The boys were pretty excited to see the big guy.

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Next up.. camels!

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They were so big… and slobbery!  We had bought the park food to feed all the animals, and the camels walked up to the cars as we drove by and ate the food from our hands!

Avery was very hesitant at first and didn’t want to feed the animals, but he was popping around in the car from one window to the next to look at the animals… and Joseph followed behind us … both kiddos doing this most the ride!

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I think these were donkeys…

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And my favorite part… the ostrich!

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It was taller than the car and poked it’s beak for the food onto our hands pretty hard…

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We stopped and took a potty break halfwary thru (I know, I know, I owe a potty training post.. but just a hint, Avery is in big boy underpants all the time now!) and pet this guy…

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Back in the car, we saw these big fellas!

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And Avery warmed up and fed and pet some animals!

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These deer/antelope things were very calm and fun to feed and pet.

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They really get up close too…

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And to give an idea of just how cool this experience was, driving thru the park, this is what a Papa’s truck looked like behind us…

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Avery was full of giggles and smiles.. such a fun experience!

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Tip: bring lots of baby wipes!  We went thru a ton since these animals slobbered all over our hands, haha.

After the car ride, we walked a raised pathway and saw the Giraffes

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The baby giraffe was the first born at the park in 23 years, so it was fun to see her.  She was 1 1/2 months old.  Avery got to feed a carrot to the giraffe too (Tip: Bring bags of apples and carrots – the animals prefer them over the food the park sells, and the park is OK with it!)

We saw the elephant again…

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And Papa and I stood in Kenya!

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The platform was in the shape of Africa with all the countries mapped out.

Next up, a big Rhino…

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And these two animals…

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Avery had such a fun time with Joseph… these two goofballs…

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Running to see the next animal…

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Checking out some antelope…

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The Chetas woke up (they were sleeping when we drove by earlier) and we watched them for a while…

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With a couple hours left, we hit up the rides!  Avery rode a truck…

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Joseph took Avery on this flying ride!

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Avery cruised in the blue car… of coarse he picked the blue one!

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And took a ride on an elephant… the blue one!131_2217

And the boys went thru a fun ball pit obstacle course…

Then we went to the petting area… first, a camel.

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A pig…

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chickens and ducks…131_2223131_2222

And the last part… the deer path.131_2228131_2232

They came up and ate right out of our hands.131_2242131_2236

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Avery sat down and waited for them to come to him and they ate out of his hand.

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We had so much fun!!!  Avery passed out a few minutes into the car ride home.. he was wiped out!  And he slept 11+ hours that night after such a busy day!

We’re excited to go back next summer… when it’s warm!!!

Happy Friday!  We had a busy weekend ahead of us: A football game tonight, a wedding tomorrow and sleepover with cousins, Joey’s half marathon Sunday, and two birthday parties Sunday afternoon!

❤ Meghan

Family Reunion ’14: Disco

Valyou Family Reunion 2014 was Groovy, Baby!

For our 19th Annual (yea, seriously – next year is the big 20!) Family Reunion, the extended family met up for another fun-filled weekend at the Grange Center in Brookfield, VT.

We arrived Friday afternoon, setup the camper, and joined the usual crew by the fire.

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Although we hadn’t seen most everyone for a year, Avery wasn’t one bit shy.  He made his rounds around the fire visiting with everyone, especially his buddy, Jim.

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He played a little cornhole…

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Oh, and hydrated!

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When the sun went down, Avery was sooo excited to sleep in his camper bed:

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Avery had his camo sleeping bag he got from Uncle Michael Eyes and Grampy thought to make him a cozy bed like this, and was Avery thrilled!

Saturday was a busy busy day!  We started the morning after breakfast… we took a walk down to the old floating bridge (it’s now under construction.  You can see it in its glory days in years past reunions here and here).  When we got back, the slip and slide was out, so we joined in!
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We had so much fun!  Avery was really into it.

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He had on his serious face every time we went down….

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But as soon as it ended, he jumped up and asked to do it again!

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After we were covered in bubbles and grass and mud, we took showers and enjoyed some games around the field…

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We played and watched cornhole.

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Then we joined the group at the campfire…

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Avery played peek-a-boo with my cousin Amy (she’s very animated, as you can see) – Avery was in stitches laughing at her.

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Then it was off to the duck race!  If you aren’t familiar, we put ducks in a river, they float down and the first to the finish, wins!  Everyone buys their ducks ahead of time, winner gets 50% of the pot and the rest goes to our reunion fund.

Avery was so excited for the duck race….

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He actually passed out in the car on the way there and missed the whole thing!

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This year, we added 100 more ducks, making 300 available to purchase.  I think 100 kids ducks and 250 adult ducks took the ride down the river this year.

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Joey and Grampy helped catch them as they came in.

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The rest of us watched from above.  The winner of the adult race gets to bring home a trophy too… I was lucky enough to win it two years ago and it sat atop a shelf in my living room for a year and since it was a gold spray painted wine bottle with a duck on top, it was a good conversation starter.

Back at the grange, Avery had some snacks while he was groggy from his nap and I played cards with my cousins.

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Avery, in the meantime, tried some badminton…

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And crocket…IMG_2432

Then it was time for the big Saturday Night Dinner…

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They had food that was popular in the 80s: SpaghettiOs, Doritos, Hamburger Helper, and Pudding Pops!

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We all changed and came back for the disco event!IMG_2438

I spent a couple nights the weeks prior making our costumes…

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I hadn’t touched a sewing machine since highschool.. so over 10 years!  I raided my Nana’s sewing room and found the perfect pattern for a shirt for Avery.  I just used one of his T shirts as a guideline.

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The hardest part was the vest, with fringe!

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I used a vest pattern from my Nana that was too big and sized it down a bit.  It took a while, but it was real suede, so it looked really nice when I was finished.

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I love dressing up for our reunion themes, but it can be pricy, so my goal was to make something cheap (it was actually free!), and something Avery would actually wear… and he did!

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I made my costume from the same material, so we looked kinda cute.

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We only spent $20 on Joey’s wig, $6 on his sun glasses, $5 on his retro shirt (a GoodWill find), and $5 on peace sign necklaces (that we shared with all the little kids).  Three costumes for under $40 total, score!

Here’s a group shot of all of us dressed up.

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Avery won a goodie bag of prizes and  candy for his costume!

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Then it was time for games… we played Hollywood Squares.IMG_2452IMG_2453IMG_2454IMG_2455

And the final event… the piniata!IMG_2457

As always, my mom made it…. a disco ball!IMG_2466

The kids each took 3 shots at it, and after going thru everyone 3 times, it finally broke.

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Avery had fun hitting the piniata (he was the youngest again this year) first, and scrambling for candy.

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We ended the busy day by the fire.  Avery and Jimwere real good buddies.  Well, you would expect that after Jim took him on a bug hunt that afternoon!IMG_2484

We had a great time, especially Avery.  He was all smiles and laughs all weekend.IMG_2487

Next year is our 20th reunion… and I’m on the committee – so excited to start planning it!

We’re off on vacation next week in Lake George, NY.  We’ll be camping, going to Great Escape, and Joey and Sarah are coming too!  Yay vacation!

❤ Meghan

P.S. I mailed out Avery’s birthday invitations this morning… you’ll see them in the mail soon!  More details here.