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Breakfast of Champions!

Breakfast of Champions!

Golden Grahams cereal with chocolate syrup drizzled on top and then pour on the milk! Yummers, if I do say so myself!

 
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Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Boston: Day 1

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Our hotel is known as The Constitution Inn and is named after the USS Constitution, aka “Old Ironsides”. We had a grab and go breakfast at The American Bakery which is a little pastry and sandwich shop just around the corner from the hotel. We then made our way to the trolley stop to begin our tour of Boston. Our plan was to ride the narrated tour on a full loop and then decide from there what we wanted to see and do. It was a good plan!

We were very thankful that we used the trolley to get around instead of trying to drive through town. Even the trolley drivers assured us there aren’t really traffic laws in Boston but traffic suggestions. It reminded us a lot of our rides through Kazakhstan! The lines on the roads apparently really aren’t all that important.  

We learned a lot by riding the trolley and though we pretty much had a different driver every time we got on a new trolley, they each put their own spin on things and made it entertaining.

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One of the biggest things I enjoyed about Boston was the age of the town and the various buildings that we came across. It made me realize how relatively young our town is in Ohio and compared to the New England states, we really don’t have an extensive history.

Boston is full of tradition. Even though I’m not a baseball buff, Fenway Park was pretty neat to see.

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With temperatures in the mid-90’s, we found our way to Quincy Market and North Market and ended up eating at Zuma (TexMex) in the air conditioning for lunch. It was in the lower level and it wasn’t very busy inside. The food was great.

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Although it was hot, it was a beautiful day for photos of the harbor and the Boston skyline! As part of our trolley tour package, we took a harbor cruise and cooled off on the upper deck of the boat.

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We had to make a mandatory (per Tom) pitstop at the replica Cheers bar for drinks to cool down in the afternoon. I got to sit in Frasier’s seat!

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Back on the trolley… it’s not every day you get to see George Washington in a Boston Bruins jersey!

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A view from inside the trolley (which by this time in the afternoon, Emily was sick of).

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And finally, the walk back to our hotel. In the daylight (and after knowing more about the area) this walk was actually quite refreshing and felt quite safe!

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Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Travel to Boston

The drive from Niagara to Boston wasn’t very bad at all. I’m so thankful for our GPS and our smartphones! I remember taking a trip through the east coast with my family when I was in college and we navigated with the ol’ AAA TripTiks! They were fun and we had the AAA books along for the ride and could pick out sites to visit along the way.

Times have changed and now we simply punch the hotel address into the GPS and let it tell us which way to go and we can sit back and enjoy the scenery as we work our way there! Every now and then we venture off the path and chuckle as our GPS sternly tells us where we really should be going to get back on track.

Emily has been traveling really well and though she doesn’t like to sleep in the car, she likes to watch movies or play on her iPod to pass the time. Me? I prefer to sleep when I’m not driving, but I do like to take my turn at driving!

We spent our time in Boston in the suburb area of Charlestown and stayed in the Constitution Inn. Once we made our way to the Constitution Inn, we were once again met with less than ideal circumstances. The building was poorly marked and there was no parking lot. All of the spots around the hotel were already taken so we parked a distance away and Tom checked in. The parking garage that we needed to park in was a few blocks away and as the sun was going down, the neighborhood was a little questionable.

Our introduction to the hotel was also a challenge. Once we made it inside, Emily and I went to our room and began to unpack our bags and set things up for the night only to find out a little later that the air conditioning in our room wasn’t working (and it was in the mid-90’s outside!) A friendly maintenance man came to the room and determined that we would need to switch rooms. So, within a few minutes, we were given a new room, packed everything back up and moved down the hall! We settled in for the evening and determined to explore our surroundings in the morning!

 

 
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Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Travelin’ Part One

It’s time for a break from our daily grind and we decided to take a family trip. This time, we headed east!

We scheduled a 2-week hiatus, packed up our bags and right after church was over we hit the road. Our goal was to get to Niagara Falls before dark on the first night and we succeeded!

Traffic was pretty smooth on the way in and the toll roads were something new to us! As we neared the city, we could see smoke in the distance and wondered what was causing such a big fire. Later we learned the smoke we saw was actually the mist from the falls rising high above the buildings in the city.

We worked our way into Niagara City, which is on the American side of the falls, found our hotel and found absolutely no parking spots anywhere. I ended up running to the front desk while our family waited in the car to find out there is complimentary valet parking for this particular hotel. (Who knows where our Jeep ended up while we were there!)

The hotel was old and smelly but Emily was thrilled to find there was a box window in our room and she quickly made it into her secret hideout! Since we were only in Niagara for one day, we booked a 3-hour tour with the Niagara Pedicab! (A pedicab is a bicycle-powered mini cab similar to a rickshaw.) Gaelan picked us up at the front door of the hotel and took us on a narrated tour of the area.

I would highly recommend the Niagara Pedicab if you’re looking for a quick way to see the attractions without having to walk forever to get there. He was able to deliver us right up to front entrance of each park and attraction so we saved a lot of walking time. We basically had a “fast pass” to everything we wanted to see!

Lookout over Niagara

Looking down over The Cave of the Winds

Looking down over The Cave of the Winds

Gaelan (of Niagara Pedicab) with Emily and Tom

Gaelan (of Niagara Pedicab) with Emily and Tom

 

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A view of the Maid of the Mist boat that we were soon to ride on.

 

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A little wet after The Hurricane Deck experience on the Cave of the Winds!

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The gang taking a break while I take pictures.

 

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This rock was tactile heaven for Emily. She kept running her fingers over the smooth parts, then the bumpy parts, then the grainy pebbly areas and then the grout between the rocks. It kept her entertained for quite a while!

 

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A great view of The American Falls and Horseshoe Falls

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A great overview of the falls and in the lower left you can see the walkway to The Crow’s Nest. Emily counted 110 steps to get to the top!

 

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Thanks for the picture, Gaelan!

 

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Our trusty tour guide, Gaelan, of Niagara Pedicab!

 

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Our view of Cave of the Winds from The Maid of the Mist.
This includes the top deck which is also known as The Hurricane Deck. I believe the Hurricane Deck was probably one of our family’s favorite parts of the tour. It’s very wet and windy up there!

 

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Modeling our sexy rain ponchos (and the daughter who WANTED to get drenched and didn’t want her hood up!)

 

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A pause for a photo op! I can’t believe she’s 7 years old already!

 
 

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The Best Cabin Fairy Ever

While we were at Disney this past week, we had a Cabin Fairy by the name of Katie. She visited our cabin almost every day and helped tidy up after us.  She was the perfect match for our family!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Mickey Mouse on the corner of our bed.  (Sorry for the cruddy cell phone picture!)

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We would soon find out our Cabin Fairy adventures would continue!

The following day, we came back to the cabin somewhat late at night and heard the TV playing in the bedroom. I was pretty sure I had turned the TV off before we left and I know Tom is religious about turning the TVs and lights off when we leave. I ventured down the hall and found this:

TV Atlanta

Atlanta the Bear was chillin’ on the bed, remote in hand, checking out the Disney channel!

We left a thank you note (written in soap) on the bathroom mirror to let our Cabin Fairy know how much we enjoyed the treat and were greeted with a note and another treat from her when we returned that night!

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Atlanta the Bear had been busy toilet papering the bathroom!

The following day we came home and discovered Atlanta hadn’t been venturing around the cabin
but had simply stayed in bed all day.  Who could blame her?  (But Em was a little disappointed.)

The next morning, Emily left a note on a the back of our pizza box.

Pizza Note

The note Emily wrote says, “Dear Cabin Fairy, Atlanta the Bear loves to play
hide and seek while we are gone!  Please hide her!  Love, Emily”

We also came up with a Plan B. Just in case our regular cabin fairy was off for a couple of
days, Tom walked at a quick pace while Em and I checked out the Christmas lights and
decorations along the way back to our cabin. Happily, Atlanta found a good hiding place
before Emily and I made it back to the cabin!  Emily was happy to find her hiding in the window
waiting for us to come home.

The next day we had another Plan B in line, but never fear! Our favorite Cabin Fairy was back at it again!
There was a hint left that said Atlanta had found the Purr-fect place to hide. After a few minutes of looking
Emily found Atlanta’s head peeking out of her Hello Kitty backpack!

The next day, we came home to find this:

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Atlanta was primping in the bathroom with Em’s princess hat,
brush and hairspray at the ready! A true princess in training!

A series of notes followed. First, another soapy note of appreciation, followed by:

Cabin Fairy Note

Emily added her own note to the mix:

Em's Note

After our final full day at Disney, we were greeted by the following scene:

Pool Time!

Little did we know, Atlanta was living it up at the pool while we were gone.  This was impressive!

We were very blessed to get to meet our Cabin Fairy, Katie, before we left. We actually got to meet
briefly in the middle of the week while coming back for a quick afternoon break. What a sweet lady.

We were also blessed to get to see Katie one last time before left… and as with all the other Disney
princesses and fairies that we ran across, Emily asked for an autograph for her book and a picture.
Cabin Fairy Katie was happy to oblige!

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THANK YOU for a great week, Katie! You were one of our biggest highlights!

 
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Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Emily, Family, pictures, Vacation

 

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Disney in Summary

We just returned from a week long trip to Disney. I’ll post more pictures later. Until then, here’s a quick pictorial summary of the trip:

The Hypes have landed in Fort Wilderness!

The Hypes have landed in Fort Wilderness!

 

We had to sit on the wall to take a chance at a good Christmas photo!

We had to sit on the wall to take a chance at a good Christmas photo!

 

Thrilled to be at Disney again!

Thrilled to be at Disney again!

 

We HAD to sample one of the Mickey Ice Cream Bars!

We HAD to sample one of the Mickey Ice Cream Bars!

 

It's Christmas at The Magic Kingdom!

It’s Christmas at Magic Kingdom!

 

A quick ride on the safari at Animal Kingdom

A quick ride on the safari at Animal Kingdom

 

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique... this girl loves to be spoiled and get her hair, make up and nails done.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique… this girl loves to be spoiled and get her hair, make up and nails done.

 

The final product

The final product complete with “cotton candy hair”.

 

I feel pretty...

I feel pretty…

 

After lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table... we were seated by the windows in the picture

After lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table… we were seated by the windows in the picture

 

Waiting in line for autographs from Buzz and Woody can be a little complicated at times

Waiting in line for autographs from Buzz and Woody can be a little complicated at times for this princess!

 

Polka dot, polka dot, afro, princess

Later that night, she turned into: Polka Dot, Polka Dot, Afro, Princess!

 

We spent a lot of time this week taking in a lot of new textures, but the favorite (disgusting one) was the concrete sealer they use between sections.  She said it felt like Silly Putty. I said, "Here's some hand sanitizer."  :-)

We spent a lot of time this week taking in a lot of new textures, but the favorite (disgusting one) was the concrete sealer they use between sections. She said it felt like Silly Putty. I said, “Here’s some hand sanitizer.”🙂

 

Aren't you done taking pictures yet?

Aren’t you done taking pictures yet?

 

Can't recommend Storytime with Belle enough... this was great!

The new (partially completed) Fantasy Land was great. I can’t recommend “Story Time with Belle” enough… this was great!

 

Some very friendly pirates

Some very friendly pirates after the little one received her pirate makeover.

 

Wow... give this girl a prop and look what happens!

Wow… give this girl a prop and look what happens!

 

Em couldn't get enough of this roller coaster (Expedition Everest).  Glad Dad was willing to be a roller coaster buddy with her!

Em couldn’t get enough of this roller coaster (Expedition Everest). Glad Dad was willing to be a roller coaster buddy with her!

 

This is the happy dance I was greeted with as she ran to me and share how AWESOME the roller coaster was and that they were going on it again!

This is the happy dance I was greeted with as she ran to me and share how AWESOME the roller coaster was and that they were going on it again!

 

Our adrenaline junkie heading to Space Mountain (another roller coaster Mom won't ride).

Our adrenaline junkie heading to Space Mountain (yet another roller coaster Mom won’t ride).

 

Disney was really skimpy on the Christmas lights this year.  (Just kidding!)

Disney was really skimpy on the Christmas lights this year. (Just kidding!)

 

"Planking" at Disney... otherwise known as crashing before brunch

“Planking” at Disney… otherwise known as crashing before brunch

 

 
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Posted by on Dec 3, 2012 in Emily, pictures, Vacation

 

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Our Visit to the Prairie

This weekend we celebrated our 12th anniversary. We aren’t ones to make a big to-do about things like this. We just enjoy spending time together without a lot of schedules and going somewhere that we can enjoy together or as a family.

This year we really didn’t have any plans locked in and a couple of the things that we considered fell through. On Saturday morning, the hubs offered up the idea of going to Prairie Peddler so we hurried and got ready and made it there before lunch time!

About 7 years ago, the hubs was in a band called Water’s Edge. The band had been hired for several years in a row to provide a church service at Prairie Peddler for the vendors before the festival opened up on Sunday morning and then they offered Christian music at the primitive church on site a couple of times throughout the day. They did this twice a year, usually on our anniversary weekend and also on Mother’s Day weekend. All that to say — this was a nice relaxing and sentimental trip for the family to take this past weekend!

Now… for the pictures that tell the rest of the story:

If you visit Prairie Peddler, plan on a lot of walking and wear comfy shoes! It’s a beautiful walk in the woods!

There are 2 different food areas… lots of home cooked, yummy food available and lots of snacks too!

Face Painting – This is always a favorite of Em’s! (This lady was so sweet and did an awesome job.)

Em was so relaxed while she was getting her face painted. I was waiting to hear her start snoring.

Emily had her first sampling of maple candy. Loved it!
(Shoot, now I have to share!)

We ran across Em’s friends Grace and Gabbie while we were there! Fun times!

We waited in line patiently for a hay ride that was pulled by these beauties!

Took a few minutes to pose and show off our face while waiting in line!

We had an excellent view while on the hayride! (Actually, it was much better, I just thought it would be a fun picture!)

There’s a story here. Emily struck up a conversation with the vendor at the jams, jellies, and peanut butter spread booth. He was so kind and like a good vendor, he kept our kid occupied while we sampled and discussed what we wanted to take home. She posed a simple enough question and ask, “Why do all these jars and stuff say ‘try me’ on them?” He explained that they were samples and said he might even have an extra sticker back in the back that he could give her. He brought it out and stuck it on the back of her hand.Not one to like having stickers on her hand, she removed it and started to stick it on her face and then remembered she had face paint on so she looked down at her shirt. She didn’t want to cover up her sweatshirt or shirt so she looked further. The next time I looked over, she had found a resting spot for her sticker… on her CROTCH!Sheesh… can you tell she’s a preacher’s kid?

 

And… because this picture was too cool to pass up, here’s a lion a.k.a “pumpkin” that was carved at some point during the day while we were in the woods!

Have a great week and be blessed!

 
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Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Emily, Family, pictures

 

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