Friday, August 05, 2016

What we actually did

Lest we think the summer was empty, simply because I got whiny...

We closed out the school year by saying goodbye to our awesome school, Helping Hands Academy. Joey is moving on high school, and new adventures in learning and growing.

My graduate.

We were ready to begin our summer adventures. Yes, I had big plans. Jamestowne. The mountains. Pennsylvania, maybe even New York- we didn't need to be back at 3 every day, so why not? We would just post to Facebook when we were headed out and if folks wanted to join us, great! But our first adventure, Jamestowne, got cancelled, and so the rest of that... well, fizzled out. 

But we had video games, and popcorn, and we aren't big fans of the heat, anyway. 

We had kitties to hug, too. Kitties are always good. Unless they sleep on you with their hot, fuzzy bodies and the A/C isn't keeping up. Then, well, at least they are cute. 

We had a few pool days, trying to keep cool and have some water fun. 

Colonial Beach is always fun, too, so we took a quick trip over to splash in the water and build some sand castles. We even met some other kids and played some water games. Then we had an awesome lunch at Ledos with pizza and chicken wings and cheese fries and everything!

But the BIG adventure lay ahead: a quick trip to Pigeon Forge! We had planned to go all the way to Granny Ann's, but those plans didn't work out. We had so looked forward to the trip that we decided to go ahead and take the boys to the fun stuff and introduce them to Pigeon Forge, where we had originally planned to stop overnight.

So handsome. 

We had an awesome dinner at the Mill, after a VERY long drive.

Everybody even let me go play in the Christmas shop. Joey braved the shop with me, and we looked at all the sparklies.

I think the boys preferred the WonderWorks, though. Lots of fun stuff to see, and play with. They got to pretend to be astronauts, look at stuff about magic, and even got their photos taken as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker!

We got to play pacman together as a family! Joey won the most games, but Andy ate the most stuff.

Andy also loved blowing super big soap bubbles!

There was even a little game arcade at the end, so they got to win some prizes. They also got to try Dippin Dots. They approve.

We were back in time for the Fourth, so there were fireworks and fruit salad (and a bit rain).

We heard the new Speed exhibit was open at the Science Museum, so we braved the heat and headed out to see the fun. Joey got to play air hockey against a computer (the computer won), and there were races to run (are you faster than a bear? Um... no. No we aren't.) and even a wind machine that simulated the wind of a hurricane! People were really nice, even when we got a little tired and had to walk around the rest of the museum looking for some quiet space, but it was SO exciting.

Then it was time for STEP-VA Theater Camp! Joey got the lead role this year, Milo the Monkey!

If you aren't familiar with Joey's favorite summer camp, they get kids together for a week and put on a big play. All the kids get parts. This one was specially written for the group. Joey loves to wear costumes and silly hats!

Joey's character Milo won the Golden Banana for being helpful. Andy won the Best Brother award for just being awesome.

My Milo Monkey!
We celebrated the success with another Ledo's lunch, and Dad even got to join us! The boys love it when Dad can come!

Another big adventure for the summer: Pokemon Go! Yep, Andy and I play. We are on Team Instinct. Gotta catch 'em all!

We had so much fun with Dad, we insisted he also come to our favorite Japanese place with us for a dinner. Joey still loves the "magic show."

But to be honest, much of our summer still looked like this. Well, not in this super-nice car. We rented this because all of our cars were in the shop for about a week. But in cars. We liked to visit Miller's Farm, and Grandma, and Cici's Pizza.

Joey also found a sport coat he liked, because he loves to look dapper and snazzy. A great Goodwill buy- another of our favorite places to hang out (well, we also like ReTail, because... kitties!) He picked out the tie to go with the jacket.

The porch is another favorite spot. SuperGoose still stands guard against impending llamas. Joey bought some large letters and painted them, they are his favorite summer toys.

We discovered a lot of the local farms also have ice cream! We like Miller's Farm's ice cream, and Braehead Farm's ice cream, and Yoder's ice cream...

Yep, stopped at Yoders on the way back from seeing the doctor in Charlottesville. Because ice cream! And goats! And yummy sandwiches!

Our summer also had some nice visits. We got to guinea pig-sit for a friend. This is Bacon Bits, or was we liked to call him all week, "Mister GUINEA PIG!!!"

Best of all, we saw some of our school friends. Joey was so excited for his friend N to come see him.


With all the excitement, we have spent most of August being quiet. Trying to stay out of the heat. Getting ready for school to start on Monday. So none of the wild and woolly adventures I had dreamed of, but summer nonetheless. Pizza, popcorn, RoBloks, Minecraft, and kitties. Can't really complain, now, can we?

Just When You Thought It Would Be Forever

.. And then suddenly, just like that, it was over. All the plans you had, all the dreams and expectations of fun and joy, never happened. All the experiences you had planned to share, all the trips and activities, all for naught. The craft kits lay scattered in the kitchen, where they never even gave them a glance, unmade and unwanted and unloved. Perhaps they are too old for them now. All the people you wanted to visit, but you got to see none of them. You had plans and back-up plans, but nothing fit the reality of your life. Even with the delays and extensions and no need to be back by three, none of it happened. 

Summer is over. Joey goes back to school on Monday.