Saturday, October 15, 2011

State Fair!

We are having a great first week of school- Monday birthday celebration, Wednesday end of August celebration at B and O Railroad museum, and today- the state fair! It was terrific- everything you think of at a fair: tons of animals, tons of rides, yummy greasy food, the only thing missing was the crowd! There was a crowd as we were leaving but not really until then. We really had a great time. We got there before 2 and headed to the 4H booth first. The kids (and James and I) were really amazed by some of the things the 4H kids made- tables, chairs, neat displays, amazing cakes, ... K is counting down the days until he can join.

Then we saw tons of animals- cows, pigs, alpacas, sweet baby ducks, sheep, chickens, rabbits. We watched sheeps being sheared, cows being showed, but my favorite was the baby animal section. We saw a 2 hour old baby calf. We got to watch him trying to figure out how to nurse- he got to try to learn with C cheering on the sideline- "you missed! That's a knee!"  He finally figured it out so we were able to continue our day at the fair. The kids pet chicks and a baby pig.  K and C even milked a cow. They loved the soybeanbox (like a sandbox with lots of digging tools). The kids each got to do a ride and game. Time to eat! We tried lots of yummy fair food- popcorn, chips, a turkey leg, a lam gyro, a lamb BBQ sandwich, fried nutterbutter,  fried oreos, fried buckseye (PB & Chocolate), french fries, a funnel cake, cotton candy. And on Sunday one nice green leaf.

Washington DC

 we went on a short trip to DC this weekend.  Although this year's Ambleside history isn't focused on the American Revolution, my boys (especially K) and our area (Baltimore) is, so I am too. We've all (especially K) been reading tons of books on Revolutionary War, we've been many times to Ft McHenry and civil/ revolutionary war reenactments, so when James was able to take a day off work, we immediately thought of lots of great places to go- Philadelphia, Harpers Ferry, Valley Forge, ... we finally decided on Mount Vernon and we were not diasppointed. DC isn't very far from here but somehow it seemed harder than a day trip- the traffic can be horrible. when James told me we had enough hotel points for a free night, we were sold.

We decided to get the yearly pass to Mount Vernon and I'm glad we did. Mount Vernon was so pretty and the yearly pass was less expensive than going twice. We spent about 6 hours there- we saw most but not all of the out buildings. We went on the quick, but interesting mansion tour. We really enjoyed the farm area- I knew George Washington was a farmer but didn't know how big a farmer we was. The wool spinning, dying, and barrel making spots were really neat. We only got to see part of the Education center since it was closing time- how did the day go so fast? We did eat a late lunch in the Inn- I wish I had a picture bc it so fit our kids' eating- K ate a hamburger and didn't really want to try anything else, C and T ate everything in sight including their turkey pot pies, James' duck and sausage cassoulet, my salmon patties, and bowls of peanut soup and strawberry soup.

worn out baby girl napped through the end of Mount Vernon
Off to bed after pizza, cookies, and family movie night so we could start early today. It was amazing how empty DC was at 9 am on Saturday. We found tons of empty parking spots and parked right across the mall from the Smithsonian castle. Our plan to learn lots of American history in museums went out the window as our kids were so excited about all the monuments and we had absolutely perfect weather. So off to the monuments- Washington, World War II, Lincoln, Vietnam, Women's Memorial- then the White House, and finally we did make it to the Museum of American History. We got to see the original Star Spangled Banner, a few more history exhibits, and a play spot- Inventions. Then we dragged 4 tired kids back home. What a great trip!

the only picture we got of the six of us (that's my shadow!)