Category Archives: Family

Our Super Trip – Day #3

Day #1.

Day #2

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

Just so you know, we stayed at the beach with my in-laws (mother, father, sister, and brother) and my niece and nephew.

On Sunday, I was the first person up so I could see the sunrise.  It was not as spectacular as it ended up being by the end of the week.  After the kids got up (niece, nephew, the Wee One, and the Imaginative One), the Imaginative One and I went for a walk on the beach.  While we were walking, I talked to a local who was out taking pictures.  He even took my picture.  Then the Imaginative One and I ended up getting rained because of a pop up rainstorm.

I then got ready for church but ended up not going because of a mix up in times.  One place said church started at 9:00 am and the other said it started at 11:15.  I realized the mix up some time after 10.  I decided to walk down to the church anyway just in case.  Since I missed the church service, I continued walking and ended up at Black Magic and ordered a chocolate croissant.  It was delicious but on the day we left, they gave Hubby a moldy cheese Danish so I don’t recommend this place for pastries.

Since we had some time, we took the boys to the Piggly Wiggly to buy groceries.  Hubby was having fun trying to find local goodies to eat.  Every time I turned around, he was putting new items into our I had a list in mind and deviated a little from the list.

We got back to the condo and quickly ate lunch because Hubby and I had a date.  We were going to go to a cooking demo at Charleston Cooks.  We didn’t know what they were going to make so when I saw shrimp and grits and chocolate pecan pie my heart skipped a beat.  Now Hubby was not so happy because he loves grits but is not so keen on shrimp.  He tried the shrimp and actually loved it!  (My mother and father – in – law had the boys.)

After the cooking demo, we walked around the market.  We knew if we did that with the Wee One, he would beg us for everything and anything.

Then it was back to the condo.  As the rest of the family were making dinner, we noticed there was something on the beach because a huge crowd gathered around it.  Since we couldn’t see what it was, I ran/walked fast down to the beach with the four kids to be nosy.  I’m glad we were nosy because it ended up being a live horseshoe crab.  The Imaginative One really loved seeing it.

We were going to have dinner but since I was still mostly full from the cooking demo, I ate a yogurt parfait with the family since we were all sitting down for dinner as a family.

After dinner, the boys went down to the beach with the aunt and uncle while Hubby, my mother-in-law, and I walked on the pier.  We got to see the sunset which was absolutely beautiful.  It was a perfect end to a great day.

Click on the picture of the pier to see pictures of the third day of our Super Trip.

Under the pier


Our Super Trip – Day #2

Day #1

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

On Saturday morning, we got up early and went down for breakfast.  We ended up being early which made our two sleepy children not happy about that.  Luckily there was a lobby with couches so they laid down until breakfast was ready.  Before we left Charlottesville, we stopped at Bodo’s Bagels.  It was jam packed so that a sign of a great place to get breakfast.  We got bagels and honey pecan cream cheese.  The Imaginative One loved the plain bagels so much he had two of them on the ride down to Folly Beach.

Stop #2 was Appomattox Courthouse.  The location of Lee’s surrender to Grant at the end of the Civil War.  This significant even in our history occurred days before Lincoln was killed.  Tears welled up in my eyes as I saw the reconstructed McLean house where the peace document was signed.

Before we got there, we had to drive through the back country of Virginia.  At one point, we even were in the geographical center of Virginia.  Some of the roads reminded me of Oz with the cornfields on either side of the road.  We stopped for gas at this little country gas station.  It was called Duck Corner and every time someone opened the door, it would quack.  The boys loved this.  I had to apologize to the clerk because of them wanting to hear the quacking.

Oh and the Imaginative One complained about his stomach hurting while we were driving down those roads.  Luckily I had packed peppermints so I told him to suck on that.  There was no car sickness that day.  Mommy saved the day.

We only spent an hour at the Courthouse.  I could have spent a lot longer but we were on a tight schedule.  Our favorite things were the living history people.  It was interesting to talk to Corporal Robert Fields from Pennsylvania.  He kept in his character the whole time we talked to him.

We also met Jeff Toalson who has taken letters written during the Civil War and put them in order and in a book.  I got the book called Send Me a Pair of Old Boots & Kiss My Little Girls.  These are letters between husband and wife Richard and Mary Watkins.  I’ve read about a fourth of the book but had to put it down because it was hard to keep putting it down and then picking it up.  When I have time to dedicate to reading it, I will read it.  It’s that good.

After we were finished with Appomattox Courthouse, we traveled to Folly Beach.  When we were outside of Raleigh (Lynnwood), we stopped for lunch and  a little playtime.  Soon afterwards we were back on the road.  When we were at the South Carolina border, it started to pour.  It was so bad that we could barely see in front of us.  We stopped at the welcome center and the boys and I didn’t get out because of the puddles and how fast the rain was falling.  Hubby needed to check on his bike rack so he got out and ended up being soaked.  The rain stopped as quickly as it started.

The boys were restless at that point.  They so wanted to be at the beach but we still had a few hours to go.  At one point, Hubby and I decided to rock out to Pink and put on a performance to Get the Party started.  I even had motions and dancing in my seat to the song.

Finally I saw the Bridge and knew we were in Charleston.  Only 20 minutes were remaining until we were at the beach.  Those 20 minutes took forever especially with the boys being loud in the backseat.  But we made it at about 7:45 pm that evening.  After we got there, the boys got to walk in the sand and dip their feet in the ocean.  They were so happy to be there.  No one went to bed until 11ish that evening.

Click on the picture of the McLean House to go to other pictures of the day.

The McLean House
The McLean House


Our Super Trip – Day #1

We just got back from a super trip because it lasted for 11 days – 6 of which were at the beach.  On the other 5 days, we visited places and traveled from one place to another.  We listened to the boys say “I’m bored!” or “What state are we in?” or “Ohio.  Indiana. Missouri” or “I want to go back to the beach!!!!!!”  The third statement was in reference to the license plate game.  The Wee One loves that game!  🙂  We also listened to books on tape such as Drizzle, Encyclopedia  Brown, and the Henry Winkler Hank Zipper series.  Most of all we made memories we will cherish.

Day 1 was the travel day to Charlottesville, VA (Check out my post about why we chose that city).  We wanted to leave by 6 am in order to be able to do a tour of Monticello.  The official start time was 6:05 so that was a good start to the trip.  When we hit the south eastern Ohio to West Virginia, we hit fog.  In fact, the Imaginative One said the bridge that separated Ohio from West Virginia was like a tunnel not a bridge.

We made excellent time during that leg of the trip.  We got to Monticello (our first stop) by 2 pm.  The Imaginative One loved Monticello.  His favorite parts were where they kept the ice, Jefferson’s reading apparatus that held up to 5 books, the dumbwaiter, and the polygraph machine.  Hubby and I were impressed with Jefferson’s bed in the wall and the closet at the end of the bed and the closet above the bed that had air holes so there was ventilation.  We were also impressed with his front parlor where he greeted guests.  The clock was amazing and the maps were interesting.  The Wee One took away from the whole experience that Jefferson liked to read.

After we left Monticello, we went and checked into the hotel.  Hubby needed a nap and the boys were very loud and squirrely so I took them swimming while their dad took a nap.  Once we were done swimming, we got ready and went down to the University of Virginia rotunda to do a virtual cache (geo caching – Google it).

While at the rotunda, we got a hold of my sister so she could take a picture of us at the virtual cache.  The boys thought it would be funny to stick their behinds out at the camera.  I don’t know if she captured that or not.

After taking pictures at the University of Virginia rotunda, we went to the Pedestrian Mall and met up with Jo.  We were late because of Hubby geo caching and because we got turned around at one point.  We found the Hawaii license plates in the parking lot where we parked.  To read about our adventures at the Pedestrian Mall, visit this blog entry.

Click on the Thomas Jefferson Statue to see pictures from our first day on the Super Trip.

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Jefferson statue – The Imaginative One is pretending to look through the telescope.

When Foodie Pen Pals Meet

During the winter, we made the decision to go to our favorite beach – Folly Beach, South Carolina.  Ideas were thrown around of where we should go on the way there and the way home.  We knew that we did not want to go to Gatlinburg because we have done that twice before so it was time for something new.  I mentioned Charlottesville, VA and Hershey, PA as possible destinations.  Hershey was quickly vetoed because it would take too long to get there and then too long to travel down. So we decided Charlottesville would be our destination.

When I was a teenager, my mom, sister, and I would travel down to Charlottesville via bus.  We would first go to Washington, D.C. and during our lay-over visit different historical sights.  I’m getting sidetracked fromh my story.

There were 3 things on my agenda for our visit to Charlottesville – Monticello, University of Virginia rotunda, and the pedestrian mall.  About a week before our trip, I emailed Jo.  Jo was my November Foodie Pen Pal.  We had exchanged emails about her motorcycle trip to Ohio and how much she loved Cincinnati style chili.  So I sent her a box with ingredients to make chili.

The reason I emailed her was because she lives in Charlottesville and as a foodie I needed the 4-1-1 on good places to eat there.  She offered to meet us at the pedestrian mall if we had time so she could give us a local’s perspective on great foods to eat.  I warned her about the Wee One and the Imaginative One because I don’t know if she wanted to spend a Friday evening with two elementary age children who had been stuck in a car for 7 hours and then walked around Monticello for 3 hours (almost actual times).  They could get a little squirrely.  She was okay with that so we met up.

She helped us find parking and even find Hawaii license plates.  The Wee One loves looking at license plates and yelling out the different states.  His goal was to find Hawaii and Alaska.  In the parking lot we parked in, there were 2 cars with Hawaii license plates.  Supposedly I owe him Legos because he found one of the rare license plates.

It was so much fun talking to her about foodie topics and other random topics such as running, walking to Monticello from her house, and where Dave Matthews had his first gig.  My Hubby even enjoyed talking to her and loved her accent because she is originally from Quebec.  She even showed us the Coke machine (doesn’t work) at Chap’s ice cream.  The boys loved the place they could draw and write their name in chalk.  They were not so happy about walking around but when you are 8 and 10, parents can make you do boring things.

Here are some pictures:

My travel bag

Today we are leaving for our big vacation. We are traveling to Charlottesville, Va for the night. Then we are traveling to Charleston, SC for the week. Then we are on to Atlanta, GA for 2 days and Huntsville, AL for a day before heading home.

I’m notorious for packing way too much food when we travel. I attempted not to have too much. We have the family snacks and then mine.

I’m going to talk about what I packed in my travel bag.


Snacks for me and Hubby (kids won’t touch them):
Trail mix (2 types)
Pistachio, cashew, and almond snack mix

Snacks for only me:
Wheat thins (small bags spicy buffalo and sundried tomato and basil)
Snack mix (walking taco flavored)
Homemade granola (breakfasts for the trip)
2 containers of individual creamers (for beach house – only thing I put in coffee)
Dentyne Ice gum (lots – love it)
2 go picnic – salami with cheese (lunches for this week)
2 go picnics – hummus (lunches for this week)
Freeze dried pineapple
Freeze dried mango
2 containers of random bars and peanut butter/almond butter packets – even though I don’t particularly like peanut butter)
Instant coffee
Fruit punch (1)

Other stuff:
Books (6)
Folders with puzzles and coloring pages for boys
Folder with puzzles for me
Mechanical pencils
My purse
My camera

Vegan Brownies

My husband has a cousin, J., who is a vegan.  We went to his hand fasting (another new experience for us) a year and a half ago.  The reception afterwards featured Indian food (another new experience for us) and vegan cupcakes.  We were pleasantly surprised on how yummy they were. Continue reading Vegan Brownies