Fun outings

A fun field trip to the zoo!

A few weeks ago, the kindergarten classes went on a field trip to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. I tagged along too as a chaperone.

Noah was so excited to ride the school bus with his buddies!

As always, Noah’s favorite animals at the zoo were the giant pandas. We saw two of them. And yep, it was lunchtime at the Giant Panda House!

Noah also really liked the gorilla in the Great Ape House. The gorilla was huge!

The kids saw lots of other animals too, including bison, elephants, flamingos, an ostrich, and a tiger. Check it out!

Did you spot the tiger? He’s in the lower left-hand corner of the picture above. He was taking a nap…

Tracking down all those animals was tiring! Here’s a photo of Noah and his friend taking a quick break and having a snack.

Yep, Noah and his classmates definitely had a great time at the National Zoo. This was Noah’s fourth trip to the zoo. We still haven’t seen all the animals yet, so we’ll have to go back again soon!

Categories: Animals, DC, Fun outings, Kindergarten | Leave a comment

A fun trip to the National Aquarium

Two weekends ago, we drove to Baltimore to take Noah and his friend to the National Aquarium. We visited this aquarium over Thanksgiving and Noah loved it…and so he wanted to visit again as part of his birthday fun.

Our first stop at the aquarium was the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit. We saw blacktip reef sharks, whiptail rays, angelfish, puffer fish and more.

We learned about shark teeth and what sharks eat too…

But our favorite part of this exhibit was the giant green sea turtle named Calypso. In 2000 this sea turtle was rescued when she was stranded in Long Island Sound. She weighed six pounds at the time and had a bad infection in one of her front flippers. They had to amputate her flipper because of the infection. She could not be returned to the wild, and so she was donated to the National Aquarium. It’s estimated that Calypso is about 20 years old and weighs 500 pounds. Yeah, that’s a big turtle!

We didn’t see Calypso on our last trip to the aquarium, so she must not have been out and about – she’d be hard to miss! Ha.

Next we headed to the “Living Seashore” hands-on exhibit. The boys got to see clearnose skates up close – so cool!

They learned about beaches through this fun interactive digital touch table…

And they got to see moon jellies up close too!

Then we walked through the maze of massive aquariums. We saw anemones, cardinalfish, clownfish (Nemo!), tangs (Dory!), sea stars, eels, sea cucumbers, groupers, creole fish, cowfish, seahorses, and porcupine fish, just to name a few. Whew, so many fish!

In the “Amazon River Forest” exhibit, we saw yellow dart frogs. Can you spot them? Yeah, ewwwww…

One of the coolest things we saw was scuba divers feeding some of the bigger fish in the “Atlantic Coral Reef” exhibit. Check it out!

But as cool as that was, their favorite exhibit was definitely still “Shark Alley.” Of course!

As we walked out, we passed through the underwater viewing area of the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit, and we got an even better view of Calypso and the blacktip reef sharks…

Here is a photo of the boys posing outside of the aquarium…

And here is a photo of them on the car ride home. Yep, they were tuckered out. It was a busy afternoon!

Noah had a great time at the aquarium – we all did! Stay tuned to read more about Noah’s birthday fun!

Categories: Animals, Aquariums, Birthdays, Fun outings, Maryland | Leave a comment

Trucks, Buses, a Helicopter & More!

Last Saturday we went to a Truck Touch event in Burke, VA. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah LOVES these events! This Truck Touch is an annual fundraiser for the Spring-Mar Cooperative Preschool. We went last year too, so we knew it would be AWESOME!

There was a wide variety of vehicles (primarily BIG trucks) for kids to sit in, steer, honk the horn, and flash the lights – pretty cool!

Emergency vehicles from Burke and Fairfax County included fire trucks, an ambulance, a police car, a police van, and an animal control truck.

The Fairfax County Police Department seized this BMW from some really bad dudes, and they painted it to match their other vehicles just for fun for community events like this.

Noah also explored a garbage truck, box trucks, utility trucks, contractor vans, shuttle buses, and a cement mixer. Check it out!

And of course, no Truck Touch would be complete without a school bus!

Noah hopped in a small race car too…

But the coolest thing there was definitely the police helicopter from Fairfax County. We got to watch the helicopter land – so cool!

Here is a short video of the helicopter landing. Yeah, we were so close! As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Yep, Noah had a great time at the Spring-Mar Truck Touch…and the big kids did too!


Categories: Fun outings, Trucks | Leave a comment

A fun spring break week with Grandma and Grandpa

As you probably read in our previous blog post, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don drove to DC from Ohio to spend Easter with us. If you missed our post about our Easter festivities, you can read it here.

They also hung out with Noah while his school was out for spring break. Noah always loves having Grandma and Grandpa to himself while Ryan and I are working!

The weather was really nice that week, so they spent a lot of time outside. One afternoon they went to the park at Noah’s school. Here are some photos that Grandma Cindy snapped…

They also spent a few afternoons at the cul-de-sac by our house so that Noah could show Grandma and Grandpa his bike riding skills.

Noah loves collecting and painting rocks, so they created a rock garden in the backyard. Pretty cool! (And yes, a rock garden is our kind of garden – no work required! Ha.)

They lounged on the deck too…

They also spent a lot of time just hanging out inside. They played Legos – lots and lots of Legos – read books, played games (the dice game was Noah’s favorite!), worked on activity books, and did some arts and crafts. They painted these really cool ceramic cars – check it out!

They also played with this super awesome DC Metro bus that Grandma and Grandpa brought for Noah – thank you!

Yeah, they had lots of fun that week. But don’t worry, Ryan and I got in on the fun too. One evening after work, we all went over to the bike trail by Noah’s school. Noah wanted to show Grandma and Grandpa the big trails!

We made sure to find time to go out for supper at the Del Ray Café too. This is one of Grandma and Grandpa’s favorite restaurants in Alexandria – it has an awesome selection of seafood dishes. Noah of course said “No way!” to seafood and opted for crepes with Nutella – yummy.

Noah had a very fun Easter and spring break week with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don. Thanks for visiting! We’ll see you again soon!

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Bike riding, Fun outings, Grandparents, Holidays, Our neighborhood, Spring break | 1 Comment

Another Eggcellent Easter

Noah had another fun Easter season! The weekend before Easter, we visited our good friends Bekka and Joe for an Easter egg hunt with their family and friends. They organized the egg hunt along the walking trail near their house.


Yeah, the kids hit the Easter jackpot – their buckets were full! Their loot included candy (of course!), stickers, Play-Doh, whistles, bouncy balls, stampers, spinning tops and more – score!

This Easter was extra special because Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don came to visit! They drove to DC from Ohio to hang out with Noah the week before Easter while his school was out for spring break.

One afternoon they made colorful Easter sugar cookies. Grandma let Noah pick out the cookie cutters, so there were Easter ice cream cones, gingerbread men, stars, hearts, trains, cars, airplanes, flowers, feet, crowns, etc. Ha! So many cookies!

Another afternoon we dyed Easter eggs. We used two methods: rubbing some eggs with crystal dyes and dunking some in dyed solution. Noah had a lot of fun!

Look at this colorful Easter basket!

On Easter Sunday, our good friends Yvonne and Adam and their kids and our good friend Barbara came over for dinner. The kids had fun playing while we finished cooking and got the table together.

We had an Easter feast: ham, homemade mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, French onion potatoes, veggies and nut roll. And for dessert, we had cupcakes, cookies and jellybeans. Mmmm…. We were stuffed!

Yeah, this photo pretty much sums up the post-lunch activities. Ha!

The Easter fun didn’t end there. Earlier that day, the Easter Bunny brought Noah a Lego airplane and a few Hot Wheels cars. So after all of our guests went home, Grandpa, Ryan and Noah put the airplane together – Noah couldn’t wait!

Yep, we had a very fun Easter! Stay tuned to read more about Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don’s visit – there’s much more to share!

Categories: Fun outings, Grandparents, Holidays, Legos | 1 Comment

Rock climbing!

This past weekend we took Noah indoor rock climbing at the nearby SportRock Climbing Center in Alexandria. This was his first time at SportRock, and he did great!

Noah went on four climbing courses (blue, green, and twice on red). Look at him go! We forgot to ask the instructor the exact height of the wall, but Ryan guessed it was around 30 feet.

Here are two short videos of Noah rock climbing – pretty cool!

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the videos. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Oddly enough, going up was easier for Noah than coming back down. He had a tougher time getting the hang of rappelling and “walking” down the rock wall. He took the easy way down and “rode” the rope. Ha. We’ll go back and practice – he’ll get it!

Ryan has gone rock climbing before, and he plans to climb with Noah next time. I’ll stay happy on the ground taking pictures. Ha. Stay tuned for more!

Categories: Fun outings, Our neighborhood, Sports | Leave a comment

A fun weekend getaway in Minnesota with Grandma and Grandpa

Two weekends ago Noah and I flew to Minneapolis to hang out with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod for a few days. Here’s a photo of Noah waiting for our flight.


We flew in midday Friday, and Grandma and Grandpa picked us up from the airport.


We headed straight to the Mall of America. We had lunch at the Hard Rock Café, and then we went to the Lego Store – shocker, I know!




Next we headed to Nickelodeon Universe in the middle of the mall for rides, rides, rides! Noah and Grandpa Rod went on three of Noah’s favorite rides from our previous trips: the Big Rigs, the Barnyard Hayride roller coaster, and Diego’s Rescue Rider (or as Noah calls it, “the crazy bus”).







Then Noah and Grandma Debbie drove the large remote control trucks.



Our next stop was the Sea Life Aquarium that’s in the mall – Noah was so excited! We started with a special behind-the-scenes tour. We got to visit the laboratory and learn about how they treat and maintain the 1.3 million gallons of water in the aquarium. We also got to visit the kitchen and learn about how they prepare the food and feed the fish. The best part of the tour was going on the deck above the tanks and seeing the sharks and fish swimming below.

After the behind-the-scenes tour, we headed to the Pacific Northwest Rockpool where Noah and Grandma Debbie got to pet sea anemones. Their tentacles feel so slimy! We also saw sea stars and sea cucumbers in this exhibit.



Next we headed to Ray Lagoon to see the stingrays and skate.



After Ray Lagoon we saw exhibits on Jellyfish, seahorses, blue tangs (the Dory fish), clownfish (the Nemo fish) and pufferfish.




Next we headed to the main exhibit – the giant glass tunnel – to walk through the Rainforest Reef, Shark Cove and Sturgeon Lake exhibits. Noah’s favorite part of the tunnel was seeing the sharks! We saw brown-banded bamboo sharks and sandtiger sharks. He really liked the sea turtles too.










After the aquarium we met up with Aunt Jenny and cousin Abby for supper. They happened to be in Minneapolis that weekend too – great timing!


The next day we headed back to the Mall of America for more fun. We started at the small Minnesota Children’s Museum hands-on play area.




Then we headed back to Nickelodeon Universe for more rides. Noah’s first ride of the day was Swiper’s Sweeper with Grandpa Rod. This was another of Noah’s favorite rides from our previous trips.


Then we tried a few new rides – new to us anyway. Noah rode the Rugrats Reptarmobiles (the small bumper cars) on his own and then went on the Crazy Cars (the BIG bumper cars) with Grandpa.







Here’s a short compilation of videos of Noah going on rides with Grandpa Rod. As you can see, Noah had a blast! I think the big kid did too.

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

And here’s a short video of Noah riding the small bumper cars. Crazy driver!

Don’t worry, I got in on the fun too. Noah and I went on the big Ferris wheel in the middle of the mall. Yeah, we had some great views of all the excitement!



We had a busy few days, so we picked up a pizza on our way out of the mall and we spent the rest of the day just hanging out at the hotel. We weren’t too tired to go swimming though!


We headed back to the airport Sunday morning. Here is a photo of us taking off over Minnesota.


Ryan was tracking our flight on his phone. Here is the screenshot of our flight path from Minneapolis back to Baltimore. It shows that we were going 565 miles per hour at 33,000 feet when we flew over Ohio. Noah thought that this was pretty cool!


It was a quick trip to Minnesota, but we had an AWESOME time with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod. We’ll see you again soon!


Categories: Airplanes, Aquariums, Cars, Cousins, Fun outings, Grandparents, Legos, Minnesota, Theme Parks, Trucks | 1 Comment

Another Happy Valentine’s Day!

The last few weeks have been full with fun Valentine’s Day activities. Two Saturdays ago we went to the monthly kids hands-on workshop at our local Home Depot. Noah got to build and paint a wooden photo box for his Valentine’s cards. Check it out!











Here’s the painted box with one of Noah’s Valentine’s cards from the “Pets” movie in the photo slot. Pretty cool!


The next day our good friend Barbara came over to make Valentine’s cards with us. Yes, we had paper, stickers and glue everywhere, but we made some AWESOME cards!










This past weekend was full of Valentine’s Day activities too. Friday night we went to a family sweetheart dance at Noah’s elementary school. A DJ played music, and there were treats and arts and crafts too. Our photos from the dance didn’t turn out well since the gym was so dark, but you can still tell that Noah had a great time.



They had a professional photographer there too. Here’s our snapshot. What a fun night!


Then Saturday morning we went to the monthly mini model build at our local Lego Store. This month’s Lego creation was a rose. Noah did a great job putting it together. Check it out!







And here’s the final creation…



Noah’s kindergarten class had a party on Valentine’s Day, and the kids exchanged Valentine’s cards. There are 21 kids in Noah’s class. He had fun addressing all their cards and stuffing the envelopes.





Here is Noah’s Valentine’s loot from school. Yes, he definitely collected a lot of goodies!


We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and we hope you did too!


Categories: Arts & Crafts, Fun outings, Holidays, Kindergarten, Legos | Leave a comment

A fun day at the Washington Auto Show

Last Saturday we went to the annual Washington Auto Show in downtown D.C. Noah and Ryan had a blast at last year’s auto show, so they were really excited to go again this year.

The show featured more than 600 new cars from over 35 auto companies – so cool! Similar to the Truck Touch events that we’ve blogged about, Noah was able to sit in and “drive” the vehicles. The big kid hopped in some of the cars too. Check it out!





























In case you are wondering, yes, all the horns were deactivated! Ha.

We got to see a few concept cars at the show too. This Lincoln Navigator concept car has doors hinged form the roof and steps. Very fun!


Noah’s favorite vehicles were the big cargo vans. Why? “Because lots of toys would fit, and because I can run in the back.” Ha.







We had a great time at the auto show, and we definitely plan to go again next year. Who knew that window shopping could be so much fun?!?! Ha.

Categories: Cars, DC, Fun outings, Trucks | Leave a comment

Museum fun: planes and trolleys!

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah loves all things transportation – and this past month we visited two of Noah’s favorite transportation museums in Maryland.

Our first museum outing was to the Aviation Museum in College Park. The museum is at the College Park Airport, which is the oldest continually operated airport in the world – it’s over 100 years old.


The museum features ten or so large planes that were made between 1901 and 1946. Some of the planes were parked on the ground and some were suspended from the ceiling. While a few of the planes were reproductions, they were all really cool.






Noah’s favorite plane at the museum was this 1939 Taylorcraft that has been retrofitted as a hands-on “imagination Plane” for kids to explore and sit in. While in the cockpit, Noah got to use the controls to move the ailerons and elevator. Pretty cool!


Since the plane is a two-seater, Ryan got to join in too.



In the hands-on area, Noah got to play with flight simulators. As you can see, the big kid did too!



Here’s a short video of Pilot Noah at the controls…

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

We also visited the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville. The coolest thing about the museum is riding the electric streetcar on the museum’s one-mile rail line. This streetcar is from Toronto and was built in 1951.











Next we visited the museum’s Street Car Hall, which houses numerous American and international streetcars. The U.S. streetcars were from New York City, Philadelphia and D.C., and the international streetcars were from Germany, Belgium and England. Some of the streetcars are more than 100 years old – very cool!







Noah also enjoyed “steering” the model streetcar along the tracks and turning on the signal lights…




We’ve written about the aviation and trolley museums before – they are two of our favorite nearby outings. We definitely plan to visit again, so stay tuned to read even more!

Categories: Airplanes, Fun outings, Maryland, Trolleys | Leave a comment

Blog at