Friday, July 27, 2012

Vacation Part 6 - Science Center

On Wednesday, July 11, we drove to Cleveland to the Great Lakes Science Center. Gabe and I have gone there before when he got back from Afghanistan when we had spent a few days alone. We figured the kids would like it because it was completely hands on. We liked it because we didn't have to keep telling the kids not to touch the exhibits. :)

We got there shortly after they opened and decided to also buy tickets to see one of their Omnimax (kind of like Imax but the screen is a dome) movies about polar bears in the Arctic. We had a couple of hours before the movie so off we went to play and explore.

making tornadoes

controlling the robot

spaceship simulator

One of the first places we found was a giant playground for kids. There was a really cool vacuum tube that would suck up small plastic balls and toss them into a "claw-like" thing hanging above. Once it's full, you pull a lever and it will drop all the balls back into the pit and onto the people below.

I did not get many pictures for you guys. I was busy chasing the kids from one area to the next or playing with the experiments myself.

After the movie and going through the whole Science Center, we headed outside where they were having a science show. It was a nice 20 minutes of them doing the Mentos in pop experiment and putting liquid Nitrogen in water.

1 Mento in pop

10 Mentos in pop

Liquid Nitrogen in water. You can't see, but there is a man in the pic dumping it.
We also did some walking around the harbor since the Science Center is right on the lake.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Cleveland Browns Stadium

The Great Lakes Science Center

It was past nap time and we were all tired so we headed home. Gabe had more homework to do so we picked up some pizza and took it to my sister's house.

And I thought I'd leave you with a little something funny. As we were driving to the Science Center, we passed a semi truck with this sign on the back.

Classy, right?
How many people do you think he got to flash him?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vacation Part 5

I swear there will only be one or two more posts after this. I just have so many pictures and things to show you and I'm trying to keep the posts short enough that you don't fall asleep by the end. K?

This post covers the Sunday and Saturday (8th - 9th) of our Ohio portion of the trip.

Sunday was the last day of the Ox Roast and also my 7th wedding anniversary (7 years already?! Whew!). Gabe had homework to do so he and the kids went to Rhoda's house while I had to go to the Ox Roast and help my parents at a hot dog stand. Mom volunteered me to work with them (Thanks mom!). No really, I love the Ox Roast and didn't mind at all. Besides, we had a deal with the lemonade stand where we traded food for their lemonade. And I loved me some lemonade! I drank FOUR of their 32 oz drinks! (I was sick as a dog later that day from drinking so much, but so worth it!)

Hi mom and dad!


The lunch line. See how long it is?

I saw some old friends there and also agreed to meet some after I got done working. I didn't have much time since Gabe and I were going to go out for our anniversary but I made the best of it. I had two hours to drive 30min to a local county fair, see my friends, and drive back in time to pick up Gabe and head out. Whew! I met up with my friend, Laurie at the gates and we went in to see our friend Josh, compete in a horse pull.

I did make it back in time to get Gabe and we headed off to the mall first so he could pick up some cigars. We were planning on going to a place called Geneva on the Lake and do all their fun activities but remember me mentioning about how sick I got from drinking all the lemonade? Yeah, I was ready to hurl while we were in the mall. Not to mention, all the lost amounts of sleep we had experienced from this vacation was catching up to me. Poor Gabe. He was pretty upset. (Sorry!) We ended up going to an Asian restaurant instead. I was feeling better after that, but we still went back to my parents' because we were both sleep deprived and needed to rest.

Monday, the weather FINALLY cooled off some and after breakfast, we went down to my sister's house so Gabe could do his homework. We spent a lot of the day there. Since my parents had hardly gotten to see Gabe since we got there, we decided to go to their house for dinner. My dad got the four wheeler out and the kids stayed on that thing all night. They love grandpa's four wheeler rides!

My youngest nephew, Prestin. Such a cutie!

Austin wanted to do his homework with Gabe.

See? I really was there!

He loved Gabe.

We had to go back to Rhoda's after dinner so Gabe could again, do his homework. Poor guy just couldn't get a break.

And I'm just going to throw what we did Tuesday on here too. We went to a park to hike and let the kids play with Rhoda and her 3 boys, and her friend and her 5 boys. Add in Christian and poor Alena was greatly outnumbered!

 That evening we went out with Rhoda and her husband John, my brother Steven, and my friend Josh to one of our all time favorite restaurants... Quaker Steak and Lube! Seriously, the BEST wings. We don't have them in Arizona (insert frown face here) so we always make sure to go when we're in Ohio. Besides, Tuesdays are all you can eat wing night and you can't resist that!

I should have only 2 posts at the most left of this vacation. Then I can start blogging like normal again. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vacation Part 4

Are you getting tired of this vacation yet? :) Today's post will highlight our last day with Gabe's family, then our drive down to Ohio, and our first night with my family. So let's get to it.

We woke up at 430 Friday the 6th and started the drive back from the cottage to Gabe's mom's house. Along the way, we made a pit stop at what Gabe would consider his second set of parents' house. They were on their way out the door so we didn't get a lot of time to spend with them. But it was still nice to see them.

We made it back to Gabe's mom's house later that morning and I swear, this was the most MISERABLE day yet. The humidity was 60% (or more) with temps still at 100! We lounged around all day and we all took a nap that afternoon. I was so ridiculously hot, I could not sleep in bed, but instead, grabbed two fans and positioned one near my feet blowing up my body. And the other fan I put blowing from my head down my body and then slept on the couch. Even then, I was still hot, but at least it was more bearable.

Later that evening, we headed to a place called The Parlour. It's an old ice cream shop with HUGE portions. I got two scoops in a bowl and had trouble finishing it. Don't worry though, I didn't waste any of it. I stuffed myself to the gills getting it all in. :)
Alena and her cousin Emily

Picture courtesy of Alena

Gabe's ice cream concoction.
We headed back to the house and got ready for bed because it was going to be another early morning. (I thought this was a vacation?! Aren't we supposed to be sleeping in?)

The kids were exhausted so they fell asleep in the car. We made a stop to Cabela's because the kids love looking at all the animals and Gabe loves to gawk at everything in there. They even have an aquarium in there! I wish I would have thought to take a picture from the second floor overlooking the store just to show you how large it is.

After Cabela's, we stopped for lunch and continued on our way. We are so lucky to have such great little travelers. The kids once again fell asleep and slept the whole way to my mom's house.

We had a family reunion that night (you like how we're always having these reunions on the days we travel?) but I wanted to stop at the Ox Roast first to get an Ox Roast sandwich and lemonade. The Ox Roast, for those of you that don't know, is held annually in the community park and put on by the volunteer fire department. It brings in the money for the fire department for the rest of the year and is like a giant flee market where you can find all sorts of things. And they have some of the BEST food! It was another hot and humid day (are you sensing a pattern with this weather?) so we didn't stay very long. Just long enough to say Hello to some old friends, grab our food and drinks, and run to the air conditioning of the car. (Oh, sweet air conditioning)

We stopped by my sister's house for a little bit of sitting before heading off to the reunion. It was another great reunion with plenty of kids for Alena and Christian to run around with. Gabe and I teamed up for a game of Corn Hole and won best out of three! As the sun was setting, the adults started up a game of volleyball and played until the sun went down and it got to hard/dangerous to play anymore. I didn't even realize that it was already 10 pm. Ohio has daylight savings while Arizona does not. We get dark at 830 instead of 10 like Ohio. It threw us off on time for the entire vacation!

The kids loved going up the hill and then running/rolling/biking back down.

Austin and Prestin

Grandma and Christian

Then we  headed to my parent's house to rest up for the long days ahead.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vacation Part 3

This post is about our second day with Gabe's dad at the family cottage.

It was another miserably hot day so after a late breakfast and some lounging around, we headed out to swim. We spent the next 3 1/2 hours in the water. I conquered, if that's what you can call it, the floating iceberg (meaning I jumped and bounced off the top, throwing off my balance and slamming into the water on my back. ouch!). Of course, since I'm the only one who was taking pictures or videos, there are none of me. :(

Outside of all the swimming, we pretty much lounged around, rode the long board, and just tried to stay cool.  Both Gabe's dad and ourselves brought along a watermelon. We tackled one the first day and the second, the next day. With 5 grown men, 1 woman, and two kids, we ate them both no problem. We packed up our things because we were heading out super early (5 am early, ugh) the next morning and tried to go to bed early. But it was so hot up there in that little cottage, sleep was hard. It ended up cooling off a lot during the night and I woke up freezing. Christian and I were in the same bed and at some point he wet the bed. Needless to say, sleep was not happening and I was not a very happy camper when the alarm went off at 430. Mama needs her sleep! But we got up and got out the door on time which is a miracle in itself.

I love this shot I got of the kids playing Frisbee.I timed it perfectly to catch the frisbee knocking Alena in the head (lucky timing, huh?). lol Don't worry, she was fine.

Our watermelon pile. Gabe must be contemplating how many of those are his and how many more he will eat.

So delicious!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sunset on the Lake

Growing up, my family would take family vacations in Canada. We would stay on a little island in the middle of a lake. I loved it. And every year I would take a sunset picture as it was setting over the lake. You could get some of the most beautiful pictures!

Well, since we were staying at a lake for a couple of days on our vacation, I took full advantage of the beautiful sunset. I may or may not have taken 69 different photos of the sunset on our first night there. I also took some on the second night but that sunset wasn't quite as colorful.

Here are my favorite photos of the first night's sunset. One of the reason there are so many is because I was experimenting with all the different camera settings and taking them from different angles.

And here are a few from the second night. I was also experimenting with the panorama setting on my camera. I did not capture the full 180 degrees on some (which is a bummer because they were really good photos).

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. Just wish I had gotten the full 180.

Just a few pics, right? Hah! I hope you enjoyed them as much as me. Now the question is... which do I get developed and hang on our wall?