Sunday, August 28, 2016

Bar Harbor

Road trip!

We set our sights for New England this summer and decided to visit Bar Harbor, a beautiful town on the rocky coast of Maine. It's located on Mount Desert Island, which is home to a large part of Acadia National Park, a perfect place to explore as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.  After much ado about writing thank you notes and knowing that school started as soon as we returned, I declared our trip a screen free week.  We checked out a few audio books and were entirely entertained by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire during the 13 hour drive over 2 days.

We stayed at the Harborside Hotel which overlooks Frenchman Bay and Bar Island. Beautiful views from our deck and the pool!

Bar Harbor is typical of the New England seaside towns that we've come to love like on Cape Cod - quaint, charming, walkable, friendly.  We didn't have time to do much on our first day there other than explore the town a little before dinner, which had to be "lobstah!"

There's a shore path that starts at the town pier and follows the coast for about 3/4 mile.  I mean, can you even?!  Breathtaking for an evening stroll!

I ran along that path a few mornings as well.  Wish it was longer but then I'm not sure I'd ever want to turn around and come back.

We never got to see a full sunset since we were usually somewhere having dinner, but even this little sneak peak from the back of out hotel was just gorgeous.

Again, the main purpose of our trip was to spend time in one of our National Parks, so stay tuned for much more!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

4th Grade!

I am still not over the fact that school starts so early around here.  August 22nd should still be summer break!!!  Friends in MD and VA still get another week of vacation while in DC we're hitting the books already.

As with last year, I cheated and took the above pictures on the 2nd day of school since I have to be at work at 7am on Mondays.  I was sad to have to leave the house before Joseph was even awake on his first day of 4th grade, but at least I got this cute pic from Brent.

This is how I imagine what 4th grade is going to be like.  This was just writing 2 (seriously, only two) thank you notes for his birthday presents.  He could not think of a single thing to say.  Writing is most definitely not his thing, and there's an awful lot of it this year.

Things certainly did not get off to a great start when he lost his brand new binder with all of its contents on the second day of school.  We searched everywhere but couldn't find it.  Luckily it did manage to turn up the next day.  In his own desk.  Where he left it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Joseph and his cousins loved the BEACH at the National Building Museum last summer, so this year we took them to see the latest installation in the Great Hall, ICEBERGS.

An enclosure of blue mesh represents the underwater world of a glacial ice field, comprised of 30 geometric icebergs made from translucent polycarbonate panels. The water line is 20' high, and some of the icebergs are suspended from the ceiling and appear to float.

Below is one of my favorite "below sea level" pictures, showing the scale of the exhibit compared to Mimi and Leyton.  The largest berg is 56' tall, which has scaffolding and stairs leading up to a double slide as well as a tiny platform that has a panoramic view over the ocean surface.

I should have staged a "king of the world" Titanic moment up there like Leo and Kate, but it didn't occur to me until later.  Looking down, the water is so clear you can see right to the bottom of the ocean ;)  And the tallest tip of an iceberg only reaches up to the 3rd floor balcony!

Selfies are always encouraged.  

ICEBERGS wasn't nearly as fun or interactive as the BEACH was, but it was still super cool - though not literally.  Had they cranked up the AC it would have been a perfect contrast to the sweltering heat of our DC summers.  Can't wait to see what they come up with next year.  I'm hoping it's VOLCANOES!

Monday, August 22, 2016


In our continuing effort to be the best "guncles" ever and make sure the boys want to keep visiting year after year, we treated Leyton and Ashton to their first ever Cirque de Soleil show - KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities.  It was also a first visit under the Grand Chapiteau for Joseph and Mimi as well.  The steampunkish show featured amazing acrobatics and aerial performances along with juggling, yo-yoing, and hand puppetry.

The boys were absolutely riveted and they loved every minute of the show.  As we were leaving Leyton said it was the best 2 hours of his life!  Bonus, pre-show we were treated by Mimi to a fabulous dinner at Founder Farmers with these goofballs.