Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Visit To One of My Favorite Places (In Pictures)

Camping this past summer has enabled us to find areas that we love to visit. Matt, Chloe and I have discovered the Catskill Mountains and would love to have a weekend home there one day. But, it is no secret that there is one other place that I perhaps adore even more than the Catskills and have harbored the secret hope of having a weekend home there--Bucks County, PA.

I discovered this area only a few months ago and knew that Matt would love it too. We made plans to camp in the area and see the sights for this weekend. Earlier in the week when it looked like the weather would not cooperate, Matt was all for canceling the trip. I chose to ignore his request and held my ground that we had to visit.

Because I selfishly did so, I was worried about the weather and if Matt would find the area as adorable and quaint as I did. As the trip went on, I became more worried. Matt was running late on Friday and as I packed the car, it poured rain. Once we finally got on our way and went to hitch up to our RV, things looked like they were going to take a turn for the worse as I got pulled over for not yielding at a light. Luckily, I was given a warning and a lesson was learned.

The drive to the campsite was uneventful and we arrived after 9 p.m., the time the registration closes. To our luck, they waited. All seemed to go according to plan until we hooked up the RV, discovered there was no sewer and only a hose for water. While Matt was trying to connect to the water line, the hose split into two, stopping the water supply to us and the rest of the campsites below. We were able to find the camp site manager and they came to the rescue only after all of our neighbors came out to find out what happened to the water!

We woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful day--no rain. I was eager to show Matt the sights. So we loaded up into the car and headed to:


Our navigation led us down a major highway to get to New Hope and Matt was wondering what I thought was so beautiful about this. After a few miles on the highway we were directed to turn off on a small rural road. At a bend in the road, we came to this site:
Now, that's the charming Bucks County that I am talking about. From there the day perked up. We arrived in New Hope, parked the car and went for a stroll. New Hope is a cute artsy town along the Delaware River, so we headed over the bridge across the river:
and from the bridge, watched two sculling boats race. We also stopped to take the obligatory photos crossing the bridge:


Once across the river, we arrived in...in the town of Lambertville. We walked the Main Street and looked in shop windows. On a whim (and led by Matt) we entered an artist's studio and fell in love with the brightly hued florals on the walls. We looked at all the paintings hanging on the walls, perched on the floors and displayed in the courtyard and purchased two--one titled "Rosey Fun" and another of a tuscan village! We took one with us and we return next weekend for the larger of the two, after it has been signed by the artist--a good excuse to return to the area!

Enjoying the lovely day and the two darling towns, we crossed the bridge back into New Hope and had lunch here along the Delaware. Chloe was given bread rolls to tear apart and throw to the geese and ducks--a big hit with her!

After lunch, we strolled New Hope and then went to ride the steam train:

Chloe was very excited to ride the train.

Maybe a little too excited and worn out. About 20 minutes into the trip up the tracks, she was rocked to sleep by the train and remained that way for the duration of the trip until we got back to the car.



After our visit to New Hope, I drove Matt up the scenic and beautiful River Road... we drove all along the river, admiring the stone houses and towns. Chloe dozed for the drive but was livened up when we returned to the campsite and said we were going swimming:
She loves swimming and is quite the swimmer! She was moved up this past week to the next level of swimming and will be the youngest in the program!

After swimming we sat out by the camp fire, and enjoyed what we determined to be one of the loveliest weekends of the year in a lovely spot. It was a nice ending to a very enjoyable day. Of course, as is typical we were awoken by the tippy-toeing of a toddler into our bed at the wee hours of the morning to roll her rubber balls along the top of our bed. What a way to wake up! We will have to work on that one.

The weekend was fantastic and we are already planning our day trip next weekend to pick up our painting and maybe making a float trip down the river.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Way To Go Aunt Deanna

How my sister and I are genetically related is unbeknownest to me. I guess it proves that sharing DNA does not necessarily make you alike. My sister is athletic and likes to participate in sports that I wouldn't even dare think about. On August 9, she rode in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. You may have heard something about it because the 7-time winner of the Tour de France placed 2nd in the event.

My sister rode the race in under 11 hours a got a gold buckle for the effort. WOW! I probably would have quit after 11 minutes.

A video of the duel between Lan*e Armstron* and the 1st place finisher was made. I've posted it for your viewing pleasure here.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Catskills


We went to the Catskills again this weekend for a little R&R. We happened upon a German Alps festival at Hunter Mountain. I left the camera in the RV thinking we were going hiking, so I only ended up with one photo of the weekend---Chloe climbing a rock wall at the festival. She was very determined and climbed up 16 feet in total.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympics


Chloe is very excited that the Olympics start today and easily went down for a nap so she could stay up to watch the Opening Ceremonies tonight. She has been requesting that we watch N*B*C's Universal Spo*rts channel that has been rerunning all of the U.S. qualifiying. She loves to watch swimming and gymnastics.
Last night we were watching the re-runs of the men's swimming and Chloe begins this conversation after we see a interview with Michael Phe*lps outside of the Forbidden City.
Chloe: "Why is he in China?"
Me: "Because that is where the Olympics are going to be and he is competing."
Chloe: "Is he Chinese?"
Me: "No, he is American but he is competing in China."
Chloe: "Where is China?"
Me: "It is in Asia."
Chloe: "No, how far is China? Is it too, too far?"
Me: "It is a long flight. It took us almost two days to fly to China."
Chloe: "I don't want to go to China. It's too far."
Me: "But you were born in China. You don't want to see the country of your birth? You made the trip before, you can make it again."
Chloe: "No, I don't want to go back. Its too far."
Me: "You don't want to go to China to meet Emma Claire?"
Chloe: "Well, I'll be as tall as you then. I can make the trip."
Chloe will return to China to see the land of her birth. I hope she isn't my height when we go to get our referral for Emma Claire!!! That's a little longer of a wait than we bargained for.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Coolest Suitcase on Earth


I have a friend from Newcomers that started her own on-line business--she sells items that make traveling with kids easier. Her store has way cute stuff and you can see all she has here. Last week she had an open house displaying some of her wares and Chloe and I attended. We ordered a new backpack, a lap desk and a the neatest children's suitcase known to man. Today she delievered the items to me.

Chloe and I tore into the packages and are still reeling from the high of discovering one of the coolest suitcases for kids. We are planning on taking some trips this next year and I think this little gem will come in very handy indeed. What a clever idea. Its for kids ages 3-6 and will hold a child up to 110 lbs. Chloe loves it and so do I. Can't wait to use it.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Botanical Garden

It was a beautiful Sunday today. The humidity was low and the skies were bright. A perfect day to be outdoors at the botanical garden.

If there is a stonewall, retaining wall, beam, etc. then Chloe is walking it. Matt calls her the "wall walker". No wall was left unwalked today at the garden.

Chloe and Mommy in the family garden.
Taking time to smell the roses.





Saturday, August 02, 2008

Aquarium

Because the weather did not look like it would co-operate for the pool, Chloe and I chose to go here today-

Matt had an autocross event in southern Jersey, so Chloe and I had Saturday to ourselves. I had originally promised to take her to the pool, but I knew the weather wouldn't hold out--and I was right.

Since we joined the Wildli*fe Conser*vation Soc*iety two years ago, we have used our passes to the Br*onx Zoo and to the Cent*ral Pa*rk Zoo. We had never been to the aquarium. So, with rain on its way, I decided it would be the day to go.

The NY aquarium is on Con*ey Island and I couldn't help taking a stroll down the boardwalk while the weather was nice. I took a photo of Chloe in front of the "Wonder Wheel" ferris wheel as it is the centerpiece of one of her favorite Dan Zane songs.

As for the aquarium itself, its great. We got a sea lion show and all the outdoor sites before the rain. We managed to stay out of the rain for the rest of the time by going into the inside exhibits. Since we are members, its all free, so it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

Other than lunch, this is the only other item I spent money on at the aquarium...it was taken on the way in to the aquarium and since it was just Chloe and I, I had to have a picture to document the event.

Chloe on a model of a walrus. The real thing is to the right swimming behind six inches of glass.


Chloe coloring her aquarium button. It cost $1 to make but a nice lady who brought her 3 kids bought one for Chloe because her kids couldn't make up their minds which button they wanted and took a long time. She thought Chloe waited patiently.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Zoo



I skipped boot camp Thursday (because while I feel like I have more stamina, I am generally so sore after boot camp that I feel like an 80 year old with more stamina) and took Chloe to the Bro*x Zoo instead.

One could easily spend all day here, but we didn't have all day so I made Chloe list the animals that she wanted to see the most. On her list: tigers and lions. Done. We also wanted to visit the new Madagascar! exhibit which opened this summer.

We are members of the zoo and get free parking, admission and access to all the extras, so I don't feel too bad about making a whirlwind trip through the zoo. It has been so hot lately that it wears Chloe out and spending more than a couple of hours at the zoo is more than she can handle anyway.

For spending less than 3-hours at the zoo we managed to squeeze in a lot. We visited the tigers, went through and saw all the animals in the African exhibit (including the lions), managed to drop some money on a stuffed lion in the gift shop, took a spin on the bug carousel, went through the Children's Zoo and did our favorite activities, visited the Madagascar! exhibit and even made it to the feeding of the sea lions. The only disappointment was that we didn't have time to go on the monorail to see the elephants and that the sky ride was closed (as almost always seems to be the case).

I uploaded some of the photos from the day. You can go here to see them close. I did buy a photo of Chloe on the bug carousel-I bought one two years ago when we came here with my best buds and their children. I wanted to compare the two. You can see the photo from two years ago here.
 
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