Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving (Atlanta) Part 3

The Big Peach in Gaston.

Joshua and Jack next to the bronze of the inventor of Coca-Cola, Dr. John S. Pemberton.

After visiting the Aquarium, we went to the Coca-Cola Museum right across the park. They had us wait about ten minutes so they could get a good crowd (of about 60 or so) and then let us in to a room that had a bunch of memorabilia. There was the Coca-Cola sign that hung on top of the headquarters for 50 years, an original ad, and some of there old campaigns, including their latest. The host gave us a good amount of trivia about the company, but it was definitely a marketing-based exercise

An Original Norman Rockwell.

Jack, Jacob and Joshua at the Cocoa-Cola Museum in Atlanta.

Coke Memorabilia.

Old Coke Machines.

After going through a room where they had a few dozen samples that you could try of coke products from around the world, you could get your own bottle of coke (hand-picked). After that, you were given the opportunity to purchase stuff from the gift shop.
Jack grabbing his Coke (and a smile).

Some of the artwork (Pop Art) that is on display in the art wing of the museum. Pretty impressive collection.

Thanksgiving (Atlanta) Part 2

On Monday, we went into Atlanta and visited the Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum. Both of them great attractions for tourists such as ourselves.

The Atlanta skyline with overcast clouds.

The Baby Beluga Whales at the Atlanta Aquarium. These were on loan from another Aquarium and so the Atlanta Aquarium got a few younger ones just the day before. Lucky us, we were some of the first to see them.

The Aquarium has many places that you can climb on if you wish, so the boys found a few places they could climb and view the fish.

A rescued Sea Turtle.

Papajohn and the boys at the Aquarium.

A Lionfish at the Aquarium.

The Bubble-Boys (Jacob and Joshua) at the Aquarium.

A Swordfish at the Aquarium.

At one place in the Aquarium, there is a walk-through tunnel where the fish swim over you. It also has a moving walkway so you can stand in place and it will carry you through the whole way. Its really an amazing place to watch these fish swim over you, just feet away from the top of your head. I got a good movie of the young whale shark swim over.

As you walk in, there is a large pool that is open that has a dozen small rays swimming in it along with a baby hammerhead shark or two. You are invited to reach in and pet them (with two fingers) and feel the difference between the two animals. The rays have a silky texture and the shark is more like wet sandpaper.

Thanksgiving (Atlanta) Part 1

We traveled down to Atlanta for the first part of our Thanksgiving vacation to see Karen, the boys and my Mom and Dad. We got there the night before Mom and Dad, so we went to the Mall of Georgia and had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant. The Mall was , of course, crowded with youths all looking for each other, but too shy to actually talk to each other. The food was good and we go a chance to catch up a bit.

Me and Karen in front of the big tree at the Mall of Georgia.

We stopped off at the Carousel at the Mall and watched the kids. Jack didn't want to ride, even when we asked, so we just watched.

On the way down to Atlanta, we passed the big Peach in Gaston, which is in South Carolina. I still laugh at that little thing that hangs off of the bottom of the peach, which they included on the water tower version. I would have left that off and said it was artistic interpretation. I am going to find out what that thing is and report back.

We all had a great chance to bond after not seeing each other for a year. Mom looked great and Dad did as well.
Dad and the Boys.

Josh and PapaJohn.

The second night, we all went out to Olive Garden for a big dinner. Mom (GG) and the boys at Olive Garden.

Jack and Jacob, sitting next to each other at the Olive Garden.

Jacob showing off his shirt I made for him (and his brother).

GG and Joshua.

GG and Jack, sharing a moment.

The boys bonded by playing Angry Birds.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Since it was Veteran's Day, Jack and I had the day off. Kate reminded me in the morning to get out and do something, maybe a quick trip or go to the park since it was going to be a nice day. I decided that we would ride the Metro in to the Airport so Jack could ride the train and see the airplanes while we had lunch.

Turned out to be a good time, the Metro wasn't crowded and neither was the Airport. Lunch was good as well (burgers).

We parked at the Metro lot garage (which was free today) and hopped on the train, rode it to Rosslyn and switched to the blue line to the Airport. Walked across the hall and we were in the main terminal - bing, bang, boom.

Watched a few planes, one of which was the Philadelphia Eagles plane which, for some reason, had stopped over at National. They play here Monday night, so I didn't know why they would have their plane here, maybe to drop off some stuff? Who knows. Its a hop, skip and jump to Philly, so I am not sure why they would go for such a short trip this early.

We had lunch at TGI Fridays and the burgers were excellent, Jack ate everything on his plate, nothing was left. I think he is gearing up to go through another growth spirt here shortly.

We watched a few more planes and then headed back. The Metro ride was just as much fun back, we switched the lines again and then rode it all the way to Vienna (last stop).

Jack liked his day out and so did I as well. Cheap fun. We got to see Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Hyped-Up for the train ride outside Vienna Metro station.

The overpass walkway at Vienna where you can watch the cars go underneath.

(Reagan) National Airport's main terminal.

Jack at Fridays, enjoying the view, pointing out every plane that took off.

Jack in the Terminal in front of the Eagles plane.

Waiting for the train at the Airport (not long).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bye-Bye Pumpkin 2010

As promised, this years pumpkin was, er, decommissioned, by letting it fall off of a four story parking garage. Bye-bye.

2009's Pumpkin
2007's Pumpkin

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Spidey and Ironman.

The crowd at the pit fire last night.

We hosted a few neighbors at our house for Halloween and dragged the pitfire out to the driveway last night and had a few beers. The kids stated up a little past their bed time and we all had a good time. Didn't get a lot of trick or treaters, but thats OK.

The kids at the pitfire out front.

Ellie dressing up as a Unicorn.

Jack and Ellie enjoying Breakfast.

Jack, Ellie and Nate

Jack and Ellie. Nate didn't want to play along, he had enough of the "Cheeeeeese".

All three on the couch.

To get three kids, all under 5 to sit still for a picture, it takes an iPhone with cartoons.

The Rally

We had every intention of making the hike down to the Mall to watch the Rally to Restore Sanity on Saturday. Abbie, Jason, Ellie and Nate made the trip up the night before so they could attend with us. We got up relatively early, got the kids fed and packed everything we thought we would need. We started out and headed to get some cash from the ATM and then go to the Vienna Metro station.

Not even off of our street and we run into a wreck that happened a few minutes before. Looks like the crumple zones worked on that car. No ambulance was called, so the passenger(s) walked away fine.

We arrive at the Metro station after a few more traffic delays and after waiting in a looooong car line, we see that the line to get in is longer. So long, we decide to abandon the idea of going, since it would be hours to get into DC. We decided to go home and watch it on TV.

The line outside the Vienna Metro station.

Chantilly Football Games

The Friday before last, we attended the Chantilly Football game with Bill and Theresa because Colleen, their oldest, is in the band and it was one of the last opportunities to get to see her play for the season.

Well, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the game, which went down to the last 30 seconds and after a late field goal, the Chargers won. A close game.

The band was great as well, it was hard to spot Colleen with every kid on the field dressed exactly the same. Its hard to tell the boys from the girls in those uniforms, let alone a family member from some shlub with a clarinet.

Jack loved it, he likes watching football, so the next week, just me and him went to the game and met up with Jim, Reet Bill and Theresa to watch Colleen in the final home performance for the Chargers Marching band for this season.

Jack and Bill, watching the game.

I took this with my iPhone from the stands, can't spot her can you? Of course you can't, you don't know what she looks like!

Ice Cream Cones and Motivation

A while back, I blogged about going to the Fall Festival in the City of Fairfax an I mentioned that when we arrived, Jack immediately saw an ice cream cone at the end of the next block. My Mom wrote me an email and mentioned that she couldn't spot the ice cream cone in the picture, so enhanced it in Photoshop so you can see it a bit better, but it illustrates just how good his eyes are when he is properly motivated.

For instance, if you ask him to pick up one of his toys in the living room, he will walk around searching for it for a half hour before finding it right in front of him.