Canoeing and kayaking on the Potomac River

Over Labor Day weekend, we went kayaking and canoeing on the Potomac River in DC. Our good friend Barbara joined us too!

We started at the boathouse under the Key Bridge in Georgetown and we paddled upstream. Noah and Ryan shared a canoe, and Barbara and I had our own kayaks.

When we reached the boathouse again, we decided to continue on and paddle downstream for a while too. We went by Roosevelt Island, the Kennedy Center, the George Washington Bridge, and the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington. Check it out!

Here’s a short video of Noah rowing the canoe. Yeah, he’s definitely getting the hang of it! (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 were on the water for over two hours. Whew! It got a little windy toward the end, but the weather was perfect otherwise. We all had a great time!

This was Noah’s fourth canoe ride. His first canoe trip was earlier this summer, also on the Potomac River in DC. He also went canoeing TWICE with Grandpa Rod when we were in South Dakota in July. He loves it!

We’re hoping to go canoeing and kayaking again before the weather turns too cold. Stay tuned!

Categories: Canoeing, DC, Fun outings, Nature, Summer | 1 Comment

Summer vacation in South Dakota: Part 3

As you probably read in our previous posts, Noah and I recently visited Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod in South Dakota. We still have a few more stories to share…because we of course couldn’t visit South Dakota in the summer without taking full advantage of the great outdoors!

One of the things Noah was really looking forward to this trip was canoeing with Grandpa Rod. Noah went on his first canoe ride earlier this summer on the Potomac River in DC. He loved it, and so he was so excited to go canoeing again when we were in South Dakota.

Noah had fun helping Grandpa get the canoe all cleaned up and ready to go.

There are a lot of great canoeing and kayaking spots by Grandma and Grandpa’s house; we chose Oakwood Lakes State Park near Brookings. And we actually went canoeing twice! Here are a few photos from our first canoeing and kayaking trip…

Here’s a short video of Noah and Grandpa canoeing too. Yeah, Noah had a blast! (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 snuck in some beach time that day too…

And Noah had just as much fun on his second canoe trip. Check it out!

Another thing that Noah was really looking forward to was riding his bike. Since Grandma and Grandpa live in the country, their roads are quiet and long. Their roads are really flat and straight too – the perfect combo! (Our bike trails in Virginia are really curvy and hilly, and congested with people too…so not quite as smooth sailing.)

Here’s a quick video of Noah on his bike too. Yeah, as you can see, Noah had a nice open space to ride!

We went for evening walks on the country roads too…

We spent a lot of time just playing inside too, especially since it was really hot some days and storming some days too. Noah, Grandma, and Grandpa played trains and cars, watched movies, played games on the iPad, and put Legos together.

Oh, and Noah wanted to make sure we mentioned the yummy donuts from Grandpa’s donut store (the Ward’s Store)! Mmmmm…

Our trip to South Dakota went by fast, but we had an AWESOME time! We’ll see you again soon, Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod!

Categories: Bike riding, Fun outings, Grandparents, Nature, South Dakota, Summer, Vacations | 2 Comments

Summer vacation in South Dakota: Part 1

A few weekends ago, Noah and I flew to South Dakota to hang out with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod for the week. Here are a few fun photos from our flights there.

Our first full day there, we met Aunt Jenny and Cory and Wyatt (Noah’s cousins) at Bramble Park Zoo in Watertown. We saw camels, monkeys, jaguars, lemurs, snakes, bears, and more. Check it out!

We visited the barn too and saw llama, goats, horses, and pigs.

Noah, Wyatt, and Grandma Debbie even fed some of them!

The boys also had fun running up and down the sand pile in the playground area.

They panned for gold too but didn’t have any luck. Bummer, right?!?!

After we finished at the zoo, we headed to the state park at Lake Poinsett to camp for the night. Here are a few pics of Noah hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa at the cabin.

Noah had a great time playing with his cousins at the beach.

Noah and his cousins also played soccer, raced cars, and tossed bean bags.

We went for a quick walk by the beach at sunset too. Yeah, what a nice view!

And of course, you can’t go camping without making s’mores! Messy but yummy…

The next morning, Noah and his cousins played at the beach one last time before we packed up and headed back to Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod’s house. We were in South Dakota for a week, and the weather was the nicest on the days we were at the lake. Yeah, we really lucked out!

Stay tuned to read more about Noah’s recent adventures in South Dakota. There’s a lot more to share!

Categories: Animals, Cousins, Fun outings, Grandparents, Nature, South Dakota, Summer, Vacations | 2 Comments

A fun weekend with Uncle Chris!

This past weekend, Uncle Chris flew from Ohio to DC to hang out with us for a few days.

Noah was so excited to show Chris his bike riding skills…

It was hot that weekend, so we spent a lot of time swimming at the pool in our complex too.

We hung out at the house a lot as well. Noah and Chris played with Legos, trains, and airplanes – surprising, I know!

We had some fun outings though too. Saturday morning, we hopped in the car and had breakfast at one of our favorite local spots – Sugar Shack Donuts. We all had different flavors: Noah had sprinkles, Chris had s’mores, Ryan had bacon maple, and I had sea salt caramel. Yummy!

We also went kayaking and canoeing on the Potomac River. Our good friend Lauren joined us too! We started at the boathouse under the Key Bridge in Georgetown. We paddled by Roosevelt Island and the Kennedy Center, and we turned around at the George Washington Bridge. We were on the water for about two hours. Check it out!

This was Noah’s first canoe ride. He had a blast and did great!

Whew, we packed in a lot of activities those few days! We definitely all slept well that weekend. Ha.

Uncle Chris flew home Sunday evening. We had a very fun weekend, and we’re looking forward to his next visit. We always love having visitors – hint, hint, hint!

Categories: Bike riding, DC, Fun outings, Nature, Our neighborhood, Summer, Swimming | 1 Comment

Another fun field trip to the zoo!

Last week the Fishies and Froggies preschool classes went on a field trip to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. I tagged along too as a chaperone.

The kids were so excited to ride the school bus!





Noah’s favorite animals at the zoo were definitely the giant pandas. We saw two of them! Yep, it was lunchtime at the panda house…







The kids saw lots of other animals too, including bison, wild horses, lemurs, foxes, snakes and other reptiles. Check it out!














It was hot, hot, hot that day, so many of the big animals stayed hidden in the shade of the bushes and trees. That’s OK though; that just means we’ll have to go back!

Tracking down all those animals was tiring! Here’s a photo of Noah and some of his classmates relaxing and having a popcorn snack.


This was Noah’s third trip to the National Zoo. We come across new animals each time we visit. I wonder what animals we’ll see next time. Stay tuned!

Categories: Animals, DC, Fun outings, Nature, Preschool, Summer | Leave a comment

A fun afternoon at Butler’s Orchard

This past weekend we met up with friends at Butler’s Orchard near Germantown, MD (about an hour north of Alexandria). Butler’s Orchard is a family farm that hosts seasonal festivals throughout the year (strawberry picking, a pumpkin patch, etc.). The current festival is Bunnyland in honor of Easter and spring.

Here’s a photo of Noah, Stella and Donovan at the entrance.


The first thing they wanted to do was ride down the slides on the potato sacks. So much fun! Noah is in the green hat on the right.



Here’s the view from the top.  Noah is on the black part of the slide, and Ryan is at the end.  Yeah, it was a long ways down!


And here are two short videos as well. 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.

Our next stop was the barn to see the animals. The kids got to see bunnies, lambs and chicks.







They also played in the hay.




Next we headed to the tractors. The kids raced pedal tractors around the track, and then we all went on a hayride pulled by a John Deere tractor – very cool!









After the hayride, the kids explored the wooden tractor, pirate ship and train.




Next we headed to the Easter egg hunt. The kids had a blast gathering eggs and putting them in the big egg return bin. The eggs rolled down a chute and into a basket in the back.





The kids also snuck in a quick game of rubber ducky derby. Little Sebastian even made an appearance in these photos.




We ended our outing with a quick snack of homemade appeal cider donuts – yummy! Thanks Bekka! The kids built up quite an appetite, and I think the big kids too. Ha.


Visiting Butler’s Orchard was a great way to enjoy the sunny afternoon!

Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Nature | 1 Comment


As you all know, last weekend the East Coast got pummeled by Winter Storm Jonas (aptly dubbed #Snowzilla). The snow started Friday afternoon and kept falling through Saturday night. It wouldn’t stop!







Here is a short video that we took from our dining room window. 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.

Needless to say, there was a lot of snow to shovel. Ryan went outside multiple times throughout the weekend to try to keep on top of the accumulation. Noah wanted to help too, but for whatever reason, he insisted on shoveling snow away from the snow pile. As one neighbor joked: “Whose team are you on?” Ha.







All that shoveling created one awesome snow pile though! The Bobcat driver that came later helped increase the pile too. Check it out!






After the bulk of the shoveling was done, the boys were finally able to just enjoy the snow. They built a snow fort!





According to our yardstick, we got about 26 inches of snow. That probably included some snow that was blown off the roof…but whatever the actual amount was, it was A LOT! Even Grandpa Rod joked that he’s glad that he’s in South Dakota this winter. Ha.



Yeah, this family is ready for spring! I guess we’ll see what the groundhog has to say about that on Tuesday. Ha.

Categories: Nature, Our neighborhood, Snow | 1 Comment

Enjoying the great outdoors

We’ve had some unseasonably warm weather lately (it’s been in the 60s!), and we’ve definitely been taking advantage. This past weekend we met up with our good friends Matt and Carolyn and their son Jerome, and we all went for a long hike at Seneca Creek State Park in Maryland.

Noah and Jerome had a great time running on the trails, climbing over logs, jumping in the leaves, and skipping rocks in the small creek. Check it out!














Yeah, you can tell from the pictures that the big kids had a fun time too! You’ll also notice that the photographer (that would be me!) was always behind the action. It was hard to keep up!

We also got to see ten or so deer on our hike – very cool! 


Going for a hike was the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful afternoon! If you’re in the DC area, we hope you’ve been outside enjoying the nice weather too!

Categories: Fun outings, Nature | 2 Comments

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