Summer Vacation – Part I

I just spent the last two weeks putting over 4000 miles on my car by driving to Texas, then Virginia, then back to Michigan, then nearly to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and back. For the second part of our vacation, we were invited by my friend Patty and her husband Dave to spend a week in their Virginia condo in Williamsburg. It is located in the heart of the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. It is also located near Water Country USA and Busch Gardens, where the kids wanted to spend most of their time.

We took tons of pictures, but I wanted to share these. At the entrance to Water Country USA and Busch Gardens are, well, really nice gardens with cool flowers, birds and butterflies. Arianna spotted this large Tiger swallowtail and urged me to try and take a picture of it. Here’s what I got:

Once inside the park, I turned the boys loose and they disappeared, taking in all the water rides. Arianna was less adventuresome and ‘bored’ until we spied this little tiny bunny hill of a slide that she got on and rode over and over and over. Wanting to ride it but not get wet(this is Cyndi’s daughter?!), it was amusing for me to watch her as she got spit out of the slide. Here she is planning her ‘wince’:

The Wince:

Later, I dragged the kids with me to see some of the history of the area by visiting Colonial Williamsburg. There are old shops performing the work of the period with period technology and tools. We visited all the Smiths(gunsmith, blacksmith, and our favorite, the silversmith). At the silversmith, we were the only ones there, and got a private lecture and demonstration. By pure chance, Cyndi took a silversmithing class a couple of days later, and we knew exactly what she was doing. We also visited the village cooper, the person that makes barrels and buckets from slats and rings. Here she is, planing a piece before fitting it into a new barrel. You can see all the shavings on the floor from all the planing, some finished buckets and tubs, and the barrel with only four slats in it so far(two in the picture):

I couldn’t help take this shot of Slash, our resident bass shredder, with the baseball hat Adam had custom made for him, holding a map and trying to locate the next smith. Reminiscent of 80’s guitar heroes taking in the local tourist spots…

Of course, we can’t go anywhere without crayons, but we tried. Arianna kept begging me to get crayons because she forgot to pack them, but she didn’t want them to color with. She brought an origami book, and made a sort of lily pad thing with Aaron’s help. But you are supposed to apply wax to the bottom of it to help it float in water, hence, crayons. Eventually, she figured she might as well color with them. Patty’s oldest, Ian, brought his water colors, and they made lots of pictures together for Arts and Crafts:

One day, I decided to give Patty and Dave the day and evening off, since I know that sometimes a vacation with the kids is not always a vacation. So on Friday, Dave returned the favor and let Patty and me go explore the area while he took the kids to Busch gardens. We ventured out to Yorktown, where we discovered that the reason it is important is that this is where the French and American forced the British surrender. This is a cave where some took shelter from the incessant shelling about 230 years ago:

We took a walk along the beach and explored the shops. I ventured into this one to try and find some cool local threads and yarn for Cyndi. Alas, we decided that these shops were too ’boutiquey’, filled with expensive stuff made, not locally, but imported from China:

We brought swimsuits, but the water was too cold for me to do anything more than ceremoniously dip my feet into the Atlantic Ocean, or rather, this bay that was connected to it. So we relaxed for a while, and spied this really cool schooner that had just set sail from the nearby pier. It would have been really nice to buy a ride on it, but the boutique price was not appealing, so we settled for just watching it from the sand while we tanned:

Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip without someone saying, “Hey, look, flowers!” but because Cyndi was in Boston, I thought this one was deserving of a place on our blog. I don’t know what it is, but it looked like a miniature version(less than an inch across) of those larger flower thingys whose name also escapes me:

I’ll try to post the Texas pics later.

Wild Hernandi migrating northward

Eddie and the kids are headed to Williamsburg, VA to spend a few days with Patty and her family.  In addition to texts from Adam each time they enter a new state, I received this beauty from a rest stop in Alabama:

Big hair, baggy pants, goofy grin.

Wild Hernandi sighted in San Antonio

Both the swimming and the musical species of Hernandi were spotted.  The younger Hernandi especially seemed to be “in their element”.

Wild Hernandi take over local pool.

Musical Hernandi

The whole group

The youngest Hernandi  (Kristian, Niko, Arianna)