Posts Tagged With: kids activities


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We got close enough to Warrenton, VA for a reunion with foster daughter Karen, her husband Glen, their daughter Kelly and her four-year old, Adam. The last family reunion Kelly was able to attend in Murphys was in 2004. My first time to meet her son. (Their daughter Sherry and granddaughter, Penny, couldn’t make it on this day.)

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For travelers with children, Winchester has a great spot for kids and adults. The Pedestrian mall in the historic district of Winchester has no cars, wonderful shops and restaurants, tree-shaded walkways and benches.  Adam, under Grandpa Glen’s ever watchful eye, has decided the flowers need watering and he needs a flower in the cup to water it.  He must have seen mom put flowers in a vase.

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Trying to grow big like Grandpa.

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What I thought was really cool about being out and about with a very active four year old and still get to visit, was the discovery center. We girls and Adam headed in one direction while Jim and Glen headed for the Civil War Museum, both on the same street, just blocks from each other.

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The building is kid proof, has a king snake and live fish, art projects, play dough by the bucket full, Indian bark houses, everything imaginable to capture a kid’s interest. Adam loved dressing like a medic, taking his patient in the wheel chair…

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Putting his patient on the ambulance gurney and checking her vital signs.

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Without any instructions at all, he knew to use the radio, make a siren sound and drive his patient to the hospital.

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We were having fun watching Adam and didn’t stop and get Jim to take a picture of all of us. Darn. When we entered the building, the clerk asked if we were sisters. We told him yes.

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Adam climbed this tall ladder to a bunk bed and then realized it is different coming down. It didn’t take him but a few doubtful seconds to figure out he had to turn on his tummy to retreat. A very smart kid.

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Adam climbs a wall.

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Adam was delighted when his mom did too.

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All of us had to see what we looked like in the silly mirror. It takes a kid to get you to play.

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We didn’t know he would need a swim suit, but his cut-offs worked fine to cool off on the Splash Pad. He loved it and didn’t want to leave.

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We rejoined the guys and Adam and I investigated the Do Your Own Pottery at the Polka Dot Pot, but it was not within the realm of a four-year old. The owners were great. They patiently explained to him how they make plates and dinnerware and how they melt a bottle into a dish.

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This is a shot of the walking area of the mall in one direction, it is equally long in the other direction. Just a lot of good stuff to see and do here. We found the Red Fox Creamery and stopped for good old-fashioned ice cream.

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Then we headed back for the car, just a block from the mall, a big covered parking garage that only charges fifty cents an hour to park your car in the shade. Such a deal. And, crossing the country in a Motor Home doesn’t always get you exactly where you want to go, especially in congested city areas in the East. I’m so glad it worked out for us to have a suitable meeting place, like the Moose Club, and one fun day together.

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Angelo is a five-year old and can’t quite grasp the card games the older kids like. His mom helped him with concentration, while the girls and I played Dirty Eight. It is swift moving and everyone likes it.

Later in the day, we visited the Logging Museum at White Pines, which is about 14 miles above Murphys. The logging museum turned out to be a great place for all ages. Toys piled in a corner kept the youngest one engaged with a new-found friend while the rest of us enjoyed the exhibits. Everyone liked the giant pencil and out-door equipment exhibits, but I forgot to bring my camera. For travelers with kids, the Logging Museum is a definite yes and be sure and bring their swim gear.  Afterward, we had a dip in the lake and the kids enjoyed the playground equipment and an ice cream down town Arnold.  I’m looking at my own community with much appreciation. There is much more to engage adults, but kids find much to enjoy as well.

We’ve gotten into a routine, now. I know what foods they like the most, and what they don’t like. And I’m enjoying the card games as much as the kids. Wearing them out on the trampoline seems to tire them out enough to sleep like logs. All in all, it makes for a busy day for me. I cooked rice in the solar cooker and sliced up giant zucchini slices to dry in the sun. They are learning gobs about how other folks do things.

Tomorrow, they travel to Burson and spend a week with their Uncle Clark, my youngest brother.

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From Mary’s desk:

Jim and I left Venice and threaded our way back to civilization. Since Katrina, people who live and work in Venice and surrounds, have to drive one and one-half  hours to do grocery shopping in Belle Chasse. There are no movies, restaurants, bowling allies, bingo games or Community Clubs in Venice. We asked Terri, the attendant at Cypress Cove why do people live here? Jobs, is the answer, and family. The oil rigs are located here and oil riggers are well paid. Everyone else loves fishing and charter operations. If you are married to one…well, you get a job to have something to do or you read and watch television. (No library, but you can order books on-line.)

On the trip back, I smiled at some business names, and signs, along the way.

Madre And Sons Towing. Sounds stronger than Mother and Sons.

Born To Fish Charters. Now that is the one I’d try if I were looking to go fishing.

Along the road, its common to see restaurants with warm and fuzzy names like Country Cooking, Home Cooking,  Just like Moms, or Mom’s Kitchen, or something referring to good old Mom. How about Maw’s Place. Now, that’s “down home” for ya.

At one Katrina wrecked house we saw a home made sign that read: Ronnie Graniers Back. A little welcome note of triumph.

And, speaking of triumph, there is a town with that name, Triumph, LA.

In one of my previous lives, I collected stamps and postmarks. I meant to find towns all over America with interesting post marks, like Why, AZ or  Cut N’ Shoot, TXNorth Pole, AK, Panic, PA, Normal, IL, Peculiar, MO, Waltz, MI, and , Whynot, MS.  It was fun at the time. Now post marks are machine made and centralized to larger towns. You have to write to the Post Master to get the mark of a small local place. Collecting post marks is a good way to get kids  get interested in maps and  geography.  Adults, too.

It rained when we left Venice and the motor home and Bronco are spattered with mud. But, we are parked in Raceland, its gonna be a sunny day, and who knows what’s around the corner?

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