Traveling (Days 4, 5, and 6)

Friday, July 24th

With Nana now on the disabled list (spiral fraction of her fibula, in case you missed yesterday’s post), things took a slightly different turn. Normally, we’re a family on the go. We try to do as much stuff as we can with the short time we have together. Now we got some extra visiting time and time to play with cousins.

No trip to the States would be complete without doing a bit of shopping. Especially in the tax free state of Delaware. Friday morning after breakfast we headed out, just DW, Crash, Bang and myself. We hit up Dick’s Sporting Goods first. DW was looking for a specific pair of running shoes. No luck there. But I did find a pair of running shorts and DW got a new kayak paddle to replace one of ours that had broken a few years ago in a hurricane. (She got to use it yesterday. But more on that later). Crash used some of his birthday money to buy a glow in the dark basketball and Bang got a pair of purple (his favorite color) Umbros- the greatest pair of soccer shorts one can buy. We grabbed a quick bite in the food court, which, except for Sabarro, was entirely different than when I was there however many years ago. It now marks the first time Bang tried a new food- deep fried broccoli cheese bites.

Thursday, the 23rd, was supposed to be family picture day. But because Nana broke her ankle, we postponed it to the next day. Five years ago, when we were all together last, we went to a nearby state park and had photos taken. This time we had an extra person, Bang, who wasn’t even born at the last photo shoot. At our last family photo shoot five years ago, DW had just shaved her head to raise money for Relay for Life – a cancer fundraiser. Her hair had been cut and donated then cut as short as the clippers could cut it. This year, Nana was in a boot for her broken ankle. We hid the crutches from the camera. Then it was back home for meatball subs made by my brother and sister-in-law. Mmmm. Delicious.

Saturday, July 25th

Saturday morning was pretty low key. It wasn’t until after lunch we got on the move. My dad had made a bet that he could fit inside the dog’s kennel. The bet was if he fit we had to buy him ice cream and if he couldn’t fit, he’d buy it. He didn’t fit. Or at least he didn’t force it for fear of needing the fire department to come get him out. The video my brother took of dad trying did make to Facebook. So, after lunch we went to get ice cream courtesy of Pop Pop. Afterward, we all went swimming in the pool of friends of my parents, also my former soccer and wrestling coach in high school. While there, my other high school soccer coach showed up. He said that now he’s retired, don’t be surprised if he and his wife randomly show up at our door. We extended the invite, of course. We only live 1,100 miles away! It was great to go for a dip, the kids loved it and I got to play catch up with some people I hadn’t seen for a long time.

Sunday, July 26th

While Saturday was fairly low key, Sunday was not. There was a big family bash planned at my aunt’s house. There was also rumor of a slip-n-slide. However, before that, we met IMG_2330another aunt at church for Sunday mass. Crash picked up on a couple big differences between mass here compared to home – we sung more here than at home and the communion wafers were crunchier. Then, it was home to change and off to my aunt and uncle’s house for the afternoon. First was the crab feast (or hamburgers and hotdogs if you didn’t like crabs).

Since it was the first time we had this much family together in quite a while we went ahead and celebrated every holiday at once. The crabs we just ate were for the 4th of July celebration. There was also crab chowder for Christmas. This was followed by an Easter Egg hunt for the kids.

IMG_2367 IMG_2373

Finally, the slip-n-slide was prepared with water and 4 bottles of baby oil. The kids changed into bathing suits and away we went. Myself included. IMG_2387Then my aunt decided she would try it, too. Why not? It looked like so much fun! Unfortunately, when she stepped onto the slip-n-slide she turned it into a slip-n-fall. She intended to go headfirst, but her feet slipped out from under her and she landed on her tailbone and in a lot of pain. The ambulance came to get her, which really made Bang’s day- getting to see an ambulance up close. The next morning we found out she had a compressed fracture of her L3 vertebrae. Fortunately, there were no floating bone fragments she wouldn’t be needing surgery. Remember, my mom already had a broken ankle. Now this!


There are 5 people in this picture!

Once we got home that evening one of my oldest friends came over with his wife and two kids. I’ve been friends with him for about 32 years now – since 1st grade. It was great playing catch up with them and seeing their two boys who are each a year younger than Crash and Bang. On their way out they surprised us with the news that they are expecting baby number 3 in February!

Sorry for the long posts. I do want to you all about trip to see family and friends without boring you with too many details. We really didn’t travel much once we got there. No fancy sights to see. No big outings. Just some fun times with those we love most 🙂 Thanks for reading!


According to Plan

We made an overnight trip to the city on Monday. We had to get passports done but we had to do it in person so we could get them expedited. Plus, Crash’s had to be done in person because he’s getting another American passport they require children under the age of 16 to be done in person at the nearest US Consulate and they require you to have an appointment. July 7th was the only date open when I checked 3 weeks ago.

So we left Monday to get DW’s and Bang’s passport done at a Canadian passport office. This would be the beginning of amazing trip for two kids who don’t get out much. First, we had to ride an escalator. Bang wasn’t too sure about them. He’d never seen them before, poor soul. But after he was on, he was loving it. DW noticed that he kept moving his hand up as it slid past so she told him to put his hand on the black rail because it moved with the escalator. He was amazed.

Then came the elevator ride. They’ve been on plenty of elevators before, but none like this one. It had a tall, vertical window so we watched ourselves rise to the 15th floor. They were amazed.

An hour and half later we were back on the elevator and then back down the escalator with two passports set to arrive next Monday. Bang was looking for more escalator rides, but we just headed to the boy’s cousin’s place (technically, it’s DW’s brother and sister-in-law’s place) where we would be visiting and spending the night. The boys got to have a sleepover with one of their cousin’s in his bunk bed.

By 8:15 we were up and at ’em and back on the road to attend Crash’s 9:00 U.S. Consulate appointment. Getting into the consulate was no easy feat. It very much resembles crossing the U.S. border. We needed to prove our identities and Crash’s. Then, two at a time, we proceeded through security. He scanned our bags (or he would have had we brought any) and we walked through a metal detector. He kept our truck keys because they had a fob on them (the remote to lock and lock the doors). The boys were unusually well behaved. Crash sat and read books while Bang played quietly with a matchbox truck we had brought. 45 minutes later we were walking out of the Consulate having completed the application process. Badda bing, badda boom. Everyone’s passports were completed with no hassle!

Before leaving, the boys wanted to ride the elevalator to the top floor to look out a window so we went up to the 19th. No window in this elevator. The 19th floor was a bank and a kind receptionist overheard us looking for a window to look out and she offered to take us into the bank to a conference like room. From there we had an awesome view of the the city and harbor.

We had parked in a parking garage before going into the Consulate. Once we were back in the garage we noticed a sign that said “Please pay inside”. Slightly confused, as there was no where to pay inside the building we had gone into, we asked a few gentlemen where we should pay. Apparently, they were working on the gate that lifts up after you insert your paid ticket. He told us, “We’re working on the gate so it’ll be free for you today. Just drive down and we’ll lift the gate for you.” This made the beginning of the day a bit surreal. No hassles at either the Canada passport office or the US Consulate and now free parking in the city? Could our trip really be going this well?

Then we went to the mall and this is where the real fun began. DW needed a bathroom, but the first bathroom had a big line up and DW couldn’t wait so we headed up to the bathrooms on the 2nd floor. ESCALATOR! Upon reaching the 2nd floor, DW spotted some friends. So while we chatted with them for about 10 minutes, Crash and Bang rode the escalator like it was an amusement park ride. Up one, down the other. They did that for the entire 10 minutes.

Of course, this is all Bang now wanted to do. Our main goal at the mall was to find burnt orange shirts for the boys to wear during family picture time when we go to visit family in the States. After a few stores and not finding anything, we opted to change colors since we found nice pastel, lime color shirts for Crash and Bang. Now we just needed to find that color for DW and I. Into Gap we went. There was a Children’s Gap attached as well and we found ourselves there even though we already had shirts for them. Good thing we went in there… we found exactly what we were looking for. AND they were 1/2 off! Win, win! So we returned the green shirts.

After lunch at the mall we headed over to another mall, more like a HUGE strip mall. They boys had gift cards to spend at Toys R Us from their aunt and Uncle and cousins. We split up, me taking Crash to look and DW taking Bang to look. Crash picked up a few small things, not wanting to spend all his money one big item. Bang apparently wanted one big item because when we caught up them he had a large marble race. He later changed his mind when he spotted a large garbage truck. Nevermind that he already has nice garbage tuck. He wanted this one. Crash found a coloring book that, according to the cover, “Comes Alive” with a free app on a tablet, a small lego set, and a Wolverine mash-up. We also picked up new sunglasses for the boys. We finally found boys purple sunglasses for Bang (his favorite color) and grey one’s for Crash. Their haul cost us a grand total of $8. Thanks Uncle B and Aunt Sara and KK and Owen!!

Then I spotted a Sport Check and I’m glad we decided to go because more hilarity ensued. We weren’t in the door 2 minutes when Bang pulls down the shorts of a male mannequin and loud enough for the surrouding area to hear says “That’s his pee pee”. We had caught Crash earlier looking up the dress of a mannaquin in a women’s clothing store. Ugh… the embarrassment!


Things don’t usually go so according to plan for us. Our plans are often thwarted by hassles, lost luggage, getting us lost, not finding what we’re looking for or any other numerous other things to cause hiccups in travel plans. This trip went smoothly with a few lucky bonuses besides. And Bang is still telling everyone about the “moving stairs”.

Have you ever had a trip go exactly as you planned it? What were you expecting to go wrong that didn’t? 

The Grocery Store Adventure

SHopping cartI’m not one to judge. Not verbally, anyway. I’m sure I’ve been judged a few times. I’m okay with that. Last night at the grocery store would be a prime example. Sure, some people saw Crash and Bang following their dad along aisle by aisle pushing their short carts and thought how cute. I know others were wondering why I was raising such heathens who would climb the shelves and scream like howler monkeys. Continue reading