Swimming

So much fun in Florida: Part 1

This past April, we flew to Florida for a few days to visit Disney World and Cocoa Beach. We went to Disney World two years ago for Noah’s 4th birthday. We had a great time then, so we were really excited to go back! (And yes, we’re definitely behind on a few of our vacation posts!)

Here’s Noah on our flight to Orlando…

Then we took a 45-minute bus ride on Disney’s Magical Express…

We got in really late, so we went straight to bed – whew!

Our first full day at Disney World was pretty low key. We spent the morning and early afternoon at the Disney Springs marketplace area. Here are a few photos of our bus ride there…

While at Disney Springs, we ate lunch, did some souvenir shopping, and played at the Lego store. Noah remembered this Lego store from our first trip, so we of course had to visit again! Here are pictures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the Seven Drawfs made out of Legos – very cool!

And here are a few pictures of Noah building too…

Midafternoon we headed back to the Wilderness Lodge to go swimming. We stayed at this hotel on our last trip too. Noah loved the pool then, so he was really excited to swim there again this trip. Check it out!

After swimming we had to quickly wash up because we had special supper plans at Chef Mickey’s! To get there, we took a short boat ride from the Wilderness Lodge across Bay Lake to the Contemporary resort. Here are a few photos from of our trip across the lake…

Another one of Noah’s favorite memories from our first trip was the monorail. Yeah, you know how much he loves trains! We had a few minutes to spare before our supper reservation, so Noah and Ryan hopped on the monorail for a quick trip around Disney World.

Here’s a short video of the monorail pulling into the Contemporary hotel. 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 selfie from their ride!

After the monorail ride, we headed to Chef Mickey’s for supper. Noah got to eat with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald Duck – the whole gang was there! Noah had a great time giving high fives and hugs. He got them to sign his special autograph book too. Grandma Debbie made this book for our last trip; it was fun to use it again and compare signatures.

As Mickey would say, “What a magical day!” Stay tuned to read more about our spring break trip to Disney World. The next few days were filled with rides, rides, rides!

Categories: Disney World, Florida, Legos, Spring break, Swimming, Trains, Vacations | 1 Comment

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 Labor Day along Chesapeake Bay

Over Labor Day weekend, we visited our good friends Dan and Lindsay and their son Thane at their home along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday, so we headed to the beach shortly after we arrived. Noah and Thane had fun swimming and searching for shark teeth.

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And we’re not kidding about the shark teeth. Check it out! If you’re skeptical because of the color, here’s your fun fact for the day: Shark teeth eventually turn black or dark gray because of the minerals in the sediment at the bottom of the ocean. 

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Noah also got to play on a pirate ship – ahoy!

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We worked up quite an appetite at the beach, so we headed back to their house for supper. We had steaks and grilled veggies – yummy! After supper the adults lounged around while Thane and Noah played Legos.

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We spent the following morning playing ring toss and badminton in the backyard.

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We also went for a long walk along the bulkhead near their house. Yeah, it was another great day to be outside!

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The month of August was unbearably hot in DC, so we were so thankful for the nice weather – finally! And we were thankful to have another fun weekend getaway with good friends. We hope you had an awesome Labor Day weekend too!

 

Categories: Holidays, Maryland, Summer, Swimming | Leave a comment

More weekend fun with Grandma Cindy & Grandpa Don

As you probably read in our previous blog post, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don drove over from Ohio earlier this month for Noah’s preschool graduation. If you missed our post about Noah’s graduation, you can read it here. It was a big occasion!

We had lots of other fun with Grandma and Grandpa that weekend too. Saturday morning we picked up donuts for breakfast (so yummy!), and then we went to Barnes & Noble so that Noah could show Grandma and Grandpa the cool train table there.

Later that afternoon we went swimming at the pool in our townhouse complex. It was hot, hot, hot that day, so the water felt great!

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That night Ryan and I ran some errands while Noah stayed home and played games and Legos with Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks for the fun Finding Nemo guessing game, Grandma Cindy!

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Grandpa Don had been craving a soft-shell crab sandwich all weekend, so Sunday afternoon we took him to the Del Ray Café here in Alexandria. I had a crab sandwich too (yeah, Don was quite persuasive), and Ryan and Grandma Cindy had steak. Noah had crepes and fruit with Nutella for dipping – delicious!

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After lunch we went home and relaxed on the deck while Noah painted and drew pictures. Yep, he’s a lefty!

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The weekend went by fast – it always does – but we had a great time. See you again soon, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don!

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Categories: Fun outings, Grandparents, Our neighborhood, Summer, Swimming | Leave a comment

Family fun in South Dakota

As you know, we flew to Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod’s house in South Dakota for Christmas. If you missed our previous blog post about Noah’s outdoor adventures in the snow, you can read it here. There was plenty of indoor fun too – and thank goodness since it was cold!!!

We celebrated Christmas at Aunt Jenny and Uncle Sean’s house. Noah had a blast playing with his cousins Abby, Nathan, Cory, Tyler and Wyatt. The whole gang was there!

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Here are a few photos of everyone wearing new SDSU gear. Don’t tell anyone that there is a Coyote hiding the mix…

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And here’s a short video of Noah and Wyatt playing with their trucks. “Backing up! Beep, beep!” 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.

For the next few days, we just hung out at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. When we weren’t playing outside, Noah kept us busy racing cars and trucks, building with Legos and magnetic blocks, playing with trains, and just being silly. Thanks for all the cool new toys, Grandma and Grandpa!

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Later that week we met up with the whole gang again in Sioux Falls to celebrate Grandpa Rod’s birthday. We did a little shopping in the downtown area, and then we went to Josiah’s Coffeehouse for hot chocolate, coffee and treats – yummy!

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Next we drove and walked around the Falls Park area. Yes, good thing our bellies were warm with hot chocolate and coffee! Cheese!

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Then we all headed to the hotel to go swimming. Noah had a great time swimming with the boys!

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Guess whose feet these are?

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The birthday boy! Grandpa Rod flew down that slide!

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After everyone was done swimming, we had pizza and birthday cake to celebrate. Happy birthday, Grandpa Rod!

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We had a great time in South Dakota. We’ll see you all again soon!

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Categories: Cousins, Grandparents, Holidays, South Dakota, Swimming | Leave a comment

Kicking off the holidays with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don

As we mentioned in our previous blog, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don drove to DC from Ohio to spend Thanksgiving week with us. It’s always fun to have family here for the holidays!

Noah spent the first half of that week just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa at the house. They played trains and buses, read books, built with Legos, and did arts and crafts.

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The preparations for Thanksgiving started early in the week. Noah helped Grandma Cindy make her famous nisua (sweet bread) and nut rolls. Mmmm… He loved rolling the dough. Yeah, all of his PlayDoh skills came in handy!

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Our good friends Yvonne and Adam and their kids Isabelle and Ethan joined us for the Thanksgiving feast. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, nisua and nut rolls – yummy. We were stuffed but still managed to find room for cupcakes and homemade cookies for dessert!

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And of course, Noah had a great time playing with Isabelle and Ethan – he always does!

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The next day, Noah rode the Amtrak train to Fredericksburg, VA with Grandpa and Grandpa. If you missed our previous blog on their train ride, you can read it here.

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On Saturday, Cindy and I went to Old Town Alexandria to do some Christmas shopping while the boys watched football at home.

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Later that day, the boys met us in Old Town and we all went out for supper to celebrate Grandpa Don’s birthday – party time! We ate at Union Street Pub, which is one of our favorite restaurants in Old Town.

On our way home, we checked out our favorite local National Lampoon-style light display nearby in Springfield, VA. In previous years, we’ve watched this light display from our car (the music is programmed to a radio frequency), but since this was the opening night – and thus had lots of people – we stood outside and watched with the rest of the crowd.

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Check out this short clip! (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.) Pretty cool, huh?

Once we got home, we continued the birthday celebration with cupcakes from Lavender Moon Cupcakery. Happy birthday Grandpa Don!

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Yeah, Grandma and I had a secret agenda for going to Old Town earlier…

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The week’s fun didn’t end there. Grandma and Grandpa also got to watch Noah at his swim class!

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Oh, and we can’t forget that Noah got to open his Christmas presents from Grandma and Grandpa too. He got Legos, clothes, a train conductor’s hat, a remote control car and a Christmas ornament for the tree. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

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Whew, it was a busy week – but we had a blast! See you again soon, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don! Thanks for helping us kick off the holiday season!

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Stay tuned to read more about our holiday festivities. Hint: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas!” Happy Holidays!

Janda holiday card 2015

Categories: Grandparents, Holidays, Our neighborhood, Swimming | 1 Comment

Goodbye for now, summer!

Wow, this summer flew by fast! So now that it’s officially fall, we figured there’s no better way to say goodbye to summer than writing about all the fun we had beating the heat. We had plenty of hot, hot, hot days this summer, but we found many fun ways to stay cool.

One of Noah’s favorite summer spots is the spray park at our local rec center. The spray park has a harbor theme in honor of the Chesapeake Bay and is full of sprinklers, bubblers and water tables – plenty of ways to get wet!

Here are a few photos of Noah playing with his friends Isabelle and Ethan. As you can see in the photos, the kids – yes, the big kids too – got soaked!

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We spent a lot of time in the pool in our townhouse complex too. The pool is fairly shallow, so it’s the perfect place for Noah to splash around in.

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Some of our friends joined us for a swim too. Thanks Max, Jill, Barbara, Uncle Chris, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don! We had fun!

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We also stayed cool by enjoying the breeze on bike rides.

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And of course, the yummiest way to stay cool in the summer is stopping at the local ice cream shop – score!

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Yeah, we had fun beating the summer heat! Noah is starting another swimming class, so even though all of the outdoor pools are closed now, he’ll still get in plenty of splash time at our local rec center. He sure loves the water!

Categories: Fun outings, Our neighborhood, Summer, Swimming | 1 Comment

Summer vacation with Grandma & Grandpa: Part 1

The last weekend in July, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don flew to DC from Ohio to spend a long weekend with us. (Yeah, we’re a little behind on blog posts!) Noah and I met Grandma and Grandpa at the airport that Thursday. He was so excited to see them!

We spent most of the weekend relaxing indoors since it was HOT, HOT, HOT outside! Noah, Grandma and Grandpa played cars and trucks, read books and built with Legos. Ryan even dug out some of his old Lego road plates for everyone to use – score!

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That Saturday night Noah stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa while Ryan and I went to Baltimore to see a Billy Joel concert. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa. We had a blast!

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The next day we all headed to the pool in our complex. Noah had fun showing off his swimming moves. And yes, even though Grandma and Grandpa just relaxed poolside, they were definitely within splashing distance!

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That Monday we all squeezed into the car and drove back to Ohio. Yep, that car was packed! Noah got to show Grandma and Grandpa one of his favorite things: the long Allegheny Mountain tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike – so cool to a four-year-old!

On our first full day at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we visited the Conneaut Railroad Museum that is housed in the city’s original train depot. Noah (and the big kids too!) got to explore a black locomotive and tender, a yellow hopper car and a red caboose. According to the signs, the black Nickel Plate Road Berkshire locomotive was built in 1944 and was used until 1957. It weighs 400 tons and is 100’ feet long – it’s huge!

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Noah loves trains, so the train museum was a perfect afternoon outing!

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On the way back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we drove through Conneaut Township Park along Lake Erie. While we were there, we saw the Roger Blough, a Great Lakes Fleet ore boat. According to Ryan (via Google I’m sure), the boat is 858’ long, 105’ wide and can carry 44,000 tons. Yep, it was huge!

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After we got home, Grandma put Noah to work husking corn. That was our only corn on the cob this summer – it was good!

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The next day we drove to nearby Ashtabula to see the lift bridge on Lake Erie – another one of Noah’s favorite things.

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While we were there, we had lunch at Briquettes Smokehouse – yummy barbecue – and then had dessert at the Harbor Perk coffeehouse down the street. Our bellies were full!

On the way back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, we stopped by Ashtabula’s Lake Shore Park along Lake Erie. The swings and slides were too hot to play on, but Noah had fun just walking around in the sand.

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Stay tuned to read more about our recent trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Ohio. Spoiler alert: Noah’s cousins Jewel and Jenson, Aunt Jill, Aunt Kristen and Uncle Jim all came to visit!

Categories: Fun outings, Grandparents, Ohio, Summer, Swimming, Trains | 1 Comment

A fun weekend with Uncle Chris: Part 2

As you read in our previous blog post, Noah had an AWESOME time with Uncle Chris when he visited a few weeks ago…and we still have a few more stories to tell!

Our next adventure during Chris’ visit was going to a Truck Touch event down the road in Alexandria. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah LOVES these events! The city brought in a lot of their vehicles (primarily BIG trucks) for the kids to sit in, honk the horn, flash the lights, and turn on the sirens. Who wouldn’t love that?

Noah’s favorite trucks were definitely the two fire trucks – shocker! He saw a fire engine and a tiller ladder truck. Noah sat in and “steered” the ladder truck…and he (and Ryan!) got to climb into the cab at the back. Yeah, the ladder truck was the big kid’s favorite truck too!

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Other emergency vehicles included an ambulance and a sheriff’s truck…and we heard the sirens for both!

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Noah, Ryan and Chris also explored a school bus, DASH city bus and backhoe – so cool!

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The Truck Touch was a lot of fun, especially since Uncle Chris was with us. It was HOT, HOT, HOT that day though, so our next stop was the pool in our complex. That felt good!

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We had a busy weekend with Uncle Chris (lots to see and do!), but we definitely fit in time to just hang out in the backyard too.

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What a great weekend! Noah had a blast. Come back again soon, Uncle Chris!

Categories: Fun outings, Our neighborhood, Summer, Swimming, Trucks | 1 Comment

Family Fun in Minnesota: Part 1

The last weekend in May we flew to Minneapolis to hang out with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod for a long weekend. (Yeah, we’re a little behind with blog posts!) We flew in Saturday afternoon, and Grandma and Grandpa picked us up from the airport.

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We spent the first night just hanging out at the hotel. Grandma and Grandpa brought a few presents for Noah’s birthday. He got Joinks building sticks, two pull back cars and a Mickey Mouse beach towel – lucky kid! Grandpa and Noah had fun constructing shapes with the Joinks. Can you tell what this is?

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The new towel came in very handy too since we also went swimming that night. Here are a few fun photos of us in the hotel pool. Thanks for taking the pictures, Grandma…and thanks for the cool pool noodles!

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The pool noodles served another fun purpose – noodle fight! See for yourself in this short video. 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.

The next morning we went to the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. This was Noah’s second trip to the museum – yeah, it’s pretty cool. One of Noah’s favorite things from our first visit last September was driving the “T” Metro Transit bus, so that was our first stop this time.

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And here’s a short video of Noah driving the bus. “Keep both hands on the wheel, Noah!”

Next we headed to the life-size ant farm – another favorite from our first trip. Noah, Grandpa and Ryan crawled in and out, back and forth, and up and down through the giant maze of tunnels. We thought they had gotten lost for a while, but they finally found their way out. Whew!

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Noah even got Grandma to chase him through a log!

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Our next stop was the grocery store.

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We checked out many of Noah’s other favorite exhibits too. Noah got to build with magnetic gears, construct things with wood pieces, move blocks on the conveyer belt, use a crane to move foam blocks onto a truck, tour the garden on the roof and so much more. As you can see, the big kids got in on the fun too!

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Noah had a great time at the museum. Even though we’ve been there twice now, we still haven’t seen it all…so we’ll definitely have to go back again. Stay tuned to read more about our recent adventures in Minnesota with Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Rod!

Categories: Birthdays, Fun outings, Grandparents, Minnesota, Swimming | 1 Comment

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