Sunday, April 29, 2012 No comments
We're "ALL IN" as far as go-karting is concerned. Yesterday, we traded our old RV--
For a toy hauler RV-
Complete with living quarters and a garage to house the kart(s) and karting equipment.

I guess its official, we are totally committed to kart racing.

Karting Promotional

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2 comments
The following video is a promotional video for the karting track & for Tim, the owner, where Chloe races. She can be seen in it (look for her in the bright pink race suit and at the end in her cart) as well as Matt.

Loon Lake

Sunday, April 22, 2012 No comments
We spent the weekend with our friends, Bryan & Sue, at Loon Lake in the Adirondacks of NY. The weather didn't want to cooperate, but we still had a fantastic time. Family time at a lake just relaxing with friends is great.

Oliver made Saturday a "pantsless day" refusing to wear pants for much of the day until we insisted he couldn't go down to the lake without them.

Finally, Oliver wears pants and assists Bryan by "carrying" the oar to the kayak.

This is oh so Oliver.

Waving from the shore to Daddy & Chloe on Loon Lake in the kayak.

Chloe takes a feel of the was cold.

Oliver's turn. He sat very still and enjoyed his kayak ride with Daddy.

Everybody out on the lake now.

Matt, Chloe & Oliver in the kayak.

Oliver skipping stones in the lake with his godfather, Bryan.

Oliver could skip stones for hours.

Chloe & Bryan finding good sticks for a outdoor fire.
The rain and cold crept in Saturday afternoon and we spent the rest of the weekend indoors.

The Garden

Friday, April 20, 2012 No comments
While my Dad was here, I took advantage of this "green thumb" to plant the garden. Its been unseasonably warm so I decided to plant the garden well ahead of the mid-May end of frost date. If we do get below freezing one night, I can easily tarp the garden to protect the plants.

Dad tilled the soil and we added humus and cow manure. We then planted three tomato plants, a banana pepper, basil and onions. Dad also planted some radish seeds (yum!). I also added some sunflower seeds at the end of the garden to make it especially pretty.

It was  nearly 90 degrees on Monday so I felt inspired to plant some flowers. The pots that look barren are planted with bulbs or seeds. I purchased some seeds at the Dallas Arboreteum and thought I would give growing flowers from scratch a shot.

My hanging basket. Love lobelia!!

What I Learned on a 3700 Mile Road-Trip

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 No comments
1. It's always nice to have another adult person on a long trip with you. Thanks Dad for flying from Dallas to NYC and then driving back to Dallas with us (and then repeating the trip).

At a rest stop in Tennessee.
2. It's a shame that states are closing rest stops. There is so much safe, green space that the kids could expend their built up energy at a rest stop. You can't have your kids run, chase, cartwheel and ride their bike in the fast food parking lot.

3. You can drive 8 hours with both kids WIDE awake. Thirty minutes before you arrive at your destination they will BOTH fall asleep and be grouchy because you have to wake them.

4. Staying at hotels can be fun, especially if the hotel has an indoor pool. It also makes for a fun time if the hotel is over-booked and upgrades your standard room to their most expensive room---The Presidential Suite.
The Porter Wagoner Presidential Suite at The Opryland Hotel. We got upgraded, just a little.

After the first night on the road, Oliver refused the pack 'n play and slept in bed with Chloe and I.

5. Its impossible to use cruise control on highways anymore.

6. People have forgotten that the left lane is for passing and not just cruising along.

7. To see anything interesting, you have to take a few detours off the interstate. 

8. Its always fun to take a detour and make a mini-family reunion out of a long trip.

9. The iPad is heaven sent in a long car ride.

10. Having your shoes on for 7 hours in a car and then taking them off and placing your smelly, sweaty feet on the side of your mother's seat STINKS!

 11. You see a few things that make you scratch your head and give you pause.

This was at a rest stop located just over the Alabama border, not too far from the location where three civil rights workers were murdered in the 1960s. Flying above this concrete declaration was the U.S. flag, the state flag as well as a variant of the Confederate flag. I didn't find it welcoming.

12. When the iPad battery dies and you let your upset two year-old play with your iPhone, you end up with 156 photos on your phone similar to this....

13. You decrease the flying insect population. Unfortunately, you have to stop frequently to clean your windshield and it takes some scrubbing to remove the carcases from your front bumper.

14. Kids will happily get in a car for a 90 minute drive after riding three days from NJ to TX if it means they get to go fishing at PaPaw's farm.

2nd Round of Club Racing

Sunday, April 15, 2012 No comments
We left Texas a day early so we could make it back for the club go-kart races on Sunday. PaPaw was able to attend with us and see Chloe compete.

Chloe's times are really improving and she had a best lap time of 58 seconds. She's having fun and improving and we are proud of her.

Oliver enjoying race day in the RV. We moved the RV to the racetrack, where it will now stay. Its nice to be able to sit in the RV, chill out and let Oliver nap instead of sitting in the bleachers all day (or the car).

Chloe's kart (on the stand) in the paddock.

Oliver ready to race. He managed to find the toy car with the same race number as his sister.

Matt, Chloe's mechanic, preparing the kart.

On the track.

PaPaw and Oliver talking to some "fans" while Chloe raced kid karts.

There were only two karts in Chloe's class this week. The number of kids racing in the kid kart level is supposed to increase once school gets out in June.
Chloe getting her 2nd place trophy at the awards ceremony.

Tim gave Oliver and honorary 3rd place trophy and a place on the podium--I think he's expecting some big things from Ollie in the next few years.

The OVRP Kid Kart top 3.

After the awards ceremonies were over--I think Oliver felt he deserved 1st place.

Chloe wanted some more lap time after the day was over. She went back on track with her Dad looking on. That's one proud papa.

Back Home

Saturday, April 14, 2012 No comments
Three thousand, seven hundred miles later we are back in NJ. On the way back home we took a different route. We went through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, W. Virginia, Maryland, & Pennsylvania. We stopped for the night in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and then Roanoke, Virginia.

We also made some time to get out of the car and sight see a bit. We made a stop in Chattanooga at the Battle of the Clouds and then we detoured through the Skyline Drive of the Shenandoah National Park.

We made it home on Saturday, just in time for Chloe to go-kart race on Sunday. I leave you with some photos of our return trip.

At the National Battlefield site on Lookout Mountain with Chattanooga in the background.

Chloe reading about the battle. I remember going to this battlefield site as a 10 year old. I hope Chloe will remember it too.

Chloe & PaPaw at the battlefield.

A view of the Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive.