We spent the July 4th holiday vacationing in Washington D.C. We got to see a lot of sights and enjoyed learning about our Nation’s capital. We toured the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and went to the top of the Washington Monument. We tried to get a tour of the White House but unfortunately you need to arrange that at least 6 months in advance. We watched the fireworks display visited all the Smithsonian museums. But my favorite part of the trip was when we went to Mount Vernon and got to tour General Washington’s residence.
This past weekend we took our annual camping trip. We stayed at the NYS DEC campground “Little Pond” which is in the Catskills in NY. It is a nice place, with well maintained facilities and very picturesque views. This year we chose to camp in a more remote site on the back side of the pond. The site was perfect, nice and quiet and natural. We were situated right up at the edge of the pond and the boys had fun catching fish, and salamanders. Alex spent his time out on the pond in the Kayak and Paula and I just enjoyed the quiet. The only down side was that since it was a remote site all our provisions had to be hiked in. We were about 1/4 mile in from the parking lot so all our gear was carried or wheeled in. And since it was bear season and the rangers had warned us that bears had been seen recently by our site that we should make sure to pack up all our food and put it in the car each night. The weather was a bit of a bummer but we survived and had a good time.
The entire family just returned from a nice cruise in the Caribbean. We left out of Port Liberty, NJ which is in Bayonne and spent nine days enjoying the warm weather and the activities on and off the ship. Our cruise ship was the Explorer of the Seas from Royal Caribbean Cruises and our first port was San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The first two days we were at sea which gave us time to explore the ship and take advantage of all it had to offer. It was amazing, they had a nine hole mini golf course, ice skating, a movie theater, a rock wall and of course four pools and just as many hot tubs. Alex and Nicholas really liked the ice skating rink. I enjoyed the rock climbing and the pools. Paula liked the hot tubs and the fitness center. So, basically there was something for everyone.
Our second port was St Thomas, USVI where we got to visit and swim with dolphins. It was so much fun to actually be up close with the dolphins. They gave us rides and we each got a kiss from them. Even Grandma, who is afraid to swim, got in on the act and got a ride too. It was something we all will remember fondly.
After St Thomas we headed to Samana in the Dominican Republic where we got to spend the day at the most beautiful beach, Cayo Levantado. The water was warm and the scenery was breathtaking. The whole family swam and snorkeled in the ocean. I found a huge star fish and brought it in to show everyone. I think that was one of the best days of the entire cruise.
The final port was Labadee, Hati which is a private resort that Royal Caribbean owns. The resort was nice and had lots to do, but we chose to just relax by the water and enjoy the sun.
The return trip home was another two days at sea. As the weather started getting cooler we spent more time inside on the ship, but that was OK because we already knew the best places to hang out and have fun.
We were sad to have to leave the cruising life behind and return to school and work but we’re already planning our next trip and have plenty to look forward to.
Well, its come and gone. Our 2009 Outer Banks vacation was a success and everyone had a great time. We ran into a small snag just before we left. Our 2007 Honda Odyssey was in the shop the week before to fix a small transmission leak and on the Friday before we left we were told by Honda that it wouldn’t be fixed until the Tuesday AFTER we were supposed to have left. So much for planning ahead!! We ended up driving my Dakota down to NC which was a bit of a squeeze with 5 people but it worked out better in the end. We had the bike rack to bring our bicycles down and we even took the truck on the 4×4 beach twice! The house was beautiful and the weather couldn’t have been better. All in all everyone had a great time. We’ll be heading back next year, that’s for sure.