Monday, August 27, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Well, we made it home safe and sound. It feels good to be home, but boy did we have a great time! Many thanks to Tim, Brenda, Emilea, and Ashlea for making it a great trip. We have many great memories of our vacation together.

A special thank you to Chad, Julie and Heidi for making the vacation happen! We love you all and look forward to seeing you again very soon.

I suppose it's time to get back to reality. Until next time, so long.


And we said goodbye

We'll, Tim & Brenda have to work on Tuesday, so we are heading home
alone. What a great time this has been! Matt's family will be resting
here for a little while.

Cya soon!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Almost missed a picture

At the end of the game (about midnight), everyone was still just pumped...of course...our beloved Twins had just WON THE GAME!
Another nice Twins fan, on his honeymoon, took this picture for us.
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Since Al Gore invented the internet

It's been a while since I was able to really do more than an iPhone post. I like posting with it, but I'm limited to just one picture and typing isn't as speedy as the laptop. Matt and I discovered that downtown Williamsburg had FREE (as in beer) Wi-Fi! Unfortunately, I was unable to do anything that required a that required me to log in.
Friday, the Walsh's went on trip to Colonial Williamsburg. We opted for the shuttle ride through to the Merchants Square and a museum hidden inside a hospital for the mentally ill.. On the left, you see Emilea learning about how kids in the day of colonial Williamsburg earned a living wrapping thead on used playing cards. It was the hottest day of the trip so far, but the museum was air conditioned!

We returned home and met up with the rest of the group. Julie was enlisted to draw our Bert on the "Circle Us Bert" sign. The Walsh's packed their van on Friday night. We were heading to Caroline County to take part in an impromptu family reunion. Aunt Wanda had gotten together all of Brenda's relatives in that part of Virginia. It was really nice to see everyone. Uncle Bobby and Aunt Wanda have a new house sitting on a lot of acres. The house was full of people and much good food was consumed by all.
As it turned out, they new a real short cut to Baltimore that happened to be the road at the end of their drive way. We called the rest of the vacation crew and they met up with us at the Harrie's. Coolers were filled with ice and the two vans were back on the road with Grandma and Grandpa's car now joining the caravan.

We arrived in Baltimore just in time. It was about 6 PM when we pulled into the hotel.

We got the little kids situated and headed over to the game. Tim and Matt were probably more excited than anyone else entering the stadium. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is an amazing facility. The only problem...RAIN DELAY. No problem...the storm blew right by.

Wow...what a game! We moved down to the front row, no one seemed to care. We definitely got our moneys worth! Everyone had a great time!
The guy on the left here did something that one small boy will never forget. This guy was sitting by us and hat caught a foul ball. He was pretty happy with his catch...then...he saw Jared and figured it was going to be more appreciated by an 8 year old.

We told this guy, "You know, he's probably going to sleep with the ball for the next month." His answer, "I was hoping he would!" Thanks again!

We are in Fremont, Indiana. Looks like we should be getting home tomorrow about dinner time. The bittersweet end to a great vacation. It's amazing, everyone is pretty tired, but smiling.
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When you're here...

You're family! Of course we had to stop at Olive Garden.

Homeward bound

Just south of Cleveland...

Allegheny Mountain

Another cool tunnel!

Let the tolls begin!

We just entered the Pennsylvania Turnpike. By my GPS, we have 935
miles to go. If we were to drive straight through, we will get home at

We are packing up

The last scheduled event is done. Twins Win 8 - 1!

We are trying to head out early today. The plan is to drive for at
least 10 hours before we stop for the night. No idea where that will be.

See everyone real soon!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Torii hits 3 run homer!

Oh yeah! Three run homer and...WE WERE THERE!

We moved down...


They are pulling up the tarp!

Rain Delay

Oh man! Rain delay! We are covered by the upper deck. This place is

Nice view

Some like an ocean view, others a greenside view. Me? I'll take the
stadium view everytime.

The last day in VA :-(

Sorry, we didn't post yesterday. The Walsh's went to Colonial
Williamsburg and the Baudoin's went to Virginia Beach.

We start the trip home today. Our fun isn't over though. Last night,
with some fantastic help from Juilie, Matt and I finished the "Circle
Me Bert" sign.

The Walsh's we will be heading out early this morning to visit
Brenda's family in the Bowling Green area, meeting back up with
everyone else in Baltimore.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Water Country

We spent the day at Water Country today. It's very similiar to Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells, but this place is more kid friendly. It is mandatory that younger kids wear life vests on the rides, which is very cool. All the kids were pretty worn out by the end of the day.

The best ride there was the Hubba-Hubba Highway. It's like a lazy river, but on steroids! There are jets that create a current in the river that speed up the flow of traffic. Instead of tubes, everybody just straps on a life vest and floats around in the current. It's very cool! Ashlea was showing off her swimming skills and Colin was loving the water. Wish we would have had the camera with, but unfortunately we did not...
Since the kids were tuckered out and Brenda, Tracy and the Grandparents were fishing, Tim and I decided to venture into Willaimsburg to look for an Internet cafe of somesort, and boy did we find one. The whole city offers free wi/fi to its guests in the downtown area. We are sitting outside on a beautiful night...

Here's a pic of Colin's first trip to the ocean. He was a bit scared of the water, but he loved the sand!!!


A lot of fun without a camera

We are hanging out today a Water Country USA. No camera has made the
journey. We are taking a food break. Everyone is soaked, even Brenda!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Still @ the gardens

Near real time!

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Visiting Julie's house.

Check out this stop the botannical garden.

Emilea's first steps into the sea

Ashlea found sea shells

Opening presents

The beach

We really only have Internet on the iPhone, I can only ship one
picture at a time...more to come!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Emilea's birthday

Here's one picture of her party!

A quiet day so far

Matt and I spent most of the day home with the kids. The girls went
shopping. Much needed groceries are now in the house.
Matt is not having a good day at the card table. He's 0-2 heads up to
me. hehehe!
We celebrated Emilea's birthday with cake and presents and now we are
heading out to the beach. The new version of charolette's web is being
shown tonight. Shhhhh, its a surprise.
I have pictures of the party I'll post later.

Good morning!

We woke to the bright light of the sun. What a beautiful day. It's
Emilea's birthday, she's 8 today.
The view below is what it looks like behind the house. Yeah, it
rough...just kidding, its beautiful!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We made it!

I'm trying to get everyone together for a big group photo, but I'm
losing hope of getting that done.

D.C. traffic

So far, so good in Washington. Gonna do a wiz and go real soon. Trying
to miss the rush hour.

Picnic in Pennsylvania

Stopped for a bite in Pennsylvania. The scenery here is amazing.
We'll be heading towards D.C. next.


Day #3

Well, its not raining in PA today. Gloomy, but we will take that over
rain anyday! We are just leaving the hotel now and expect to be in VA
around suppertime. Gas was only $2.67 here!!! PA is beautiful!

Oh my goodness

I think someone turned the lights on in PA! Oh wait, Matt said that
was the sun! It is gone! It was fun for the 30 seconds we saw it! It
gives us some hope anyway!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A little past Pittsburg

We survived Chicago. We even got out of there unscathed.

Brenda took a few pictures as we were leaving. Here's one of the skyline and the other was of Cominski Park.

We definitely found out why it's a good idea to bring the walkie-talkies. While leaving town, the exit to I-80 from I-90 was a single lane. We didn't realize this until we were almost to the off ramp. Cars were merging and we were running out of time. Well, Matt got his van in the line and radioed our van to tell us to get in front. Worked like a charm!
The best way to sum up the day was...WET!

It rained all day. We heard about Rochester, wow. Thanks to our neighbors, Scott and Janet! We really appreciate your help. We hadn't really planned on August being wet...who knew!

Mom & Dad...thanks for caring too!

Tomorrow, we head to the beach. Next stop is Hampton. We will need to navigate our way past D.C. Hopefully we hit the Capital between traffic jams. D.C. traffic can really suck.

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Water logged

We made it to Pittsburgh tonight around 9:30 local time. No prolems finding a hotel for the night but we are exhausted! The kids lasted just long enough to get tucked in before they were out.

Gas prices have been as reasonable as they can be. I think we paid $2.97 in Indiana and $2.79 in Ohio. Not much else to report, just a long day in the vans today.

Keeping our fingers crossed that the rain will dissipate overnight, even though it's in forecast for most of this week. Should have a lot more to report tomorrow. We should be getting into Hampton, VA sometime in the late afternoon.


No rain 2

No rain!

We just don't see the light

We've made it to Toledo, OH. There just doesn't seem to be a break in
the rain. It's slowing the progress a bit.

We hope to make it to Pittsburg. Let's cross our fingers.

Rain, rain go away

It's still raining and raining and raining. We are about to cross into

Rainy day #2

We are now on the road again! Next stop Pittsburg!

Our Night In Chicago

We got settled into our hotel yesterday in Chicago. We are staying in a Suburb not too far from O'Hara airport. Its the morning after our trip. As usual, I'm up at the crack of dawn and everyone else is sleeping.

The gang decided to head into the city as a group. Parking in downtown is a royal pain and train rides can be fun, we took the shuttle to the airport to get on the L.

Here's the group hamming it up on the platform waiting for the train. I started chatting with a guy on the train. He was playing chess on his Blackberry and carrying around bags from the 'Grammys.' He told us the directions we were given didn't exactly get us to where we wanted to go. So we decided to listen to him and ride the train a couple of more stops. We were headed for the Miracle Mile and his directions made sense.

Our train ride was made really exciting by the fact that it malfunctioned in a tunnel. It had been limping all the way from the airport and just stopped. The engineer, got off, apparently, and was "Fixing" the problem. We really don't know what happened. All we know, it took FOREVER to get downtown. 3 HOURS!

The walk to the American Girl store is a long one from any train stop. It is located in the Water Tower District on Michigan Avenue.

We passed by one of mine and Brenda's favorite restaurants, Harry Carey's Italian Steakhouse. Without a doubt, the best steak I have ever had, and don't forget...I'm a pretty strick carnivore.

The girls found the store, unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of time to spend there. The shuttle back to the hotel from the airport had a cut-off time.

Emilea had wanted to go to this store since she heard we would be driving through Chicago on our way to Hampton. Seems there are only 3 of them in the entire country.
The girls finished their shopping and we headed home. Matt was keeping a good clock and knew how much time we needed to make the journey home. Along the way, we stopped at the McDonalds downtown by the Hard Rock Cafe.

The trip home was far less eventful than the trip to in to town. The train didn't break down. Thankfully, my iPhone service has been excellent here and we were able to contact the shuttle and order our dinner...Gino's East Pizza!

As nummy as I always remember it, we finished eating and everyone went to bed. The day was definitely full of twist and turns and hopefully memories everyone can smile at.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

We're here!

We've made it to the hotel outside of Chicago. I think the kids were
excited to get out of the vans. Man are they wound up. I think we are
heading downtown now. Destination The American Girl Store.

Then dinner!

We've made it to Illinois

Time to stretch the legs in the last rest stop before the toll roads.
And its still raining.

Madison Wisconsin

Drivng through madison wisconsin right now...still raining...gee it going to stop?

First pit stop

We made our first stop in the Dells. Gas is $2.95. The rain hasn't

And we are off!

Let the vacation begin. Here's the whole gang!

We Gone...

Leaving Minnesota early this morning. Our first stop, Chicago, IL. It's raining in MN right now, pouring actually. Hopefully we don't bring this weather with us.

I'm declaring my mom the unofficial sponsor of our trip, she made us breakfast sandwiches for the first leg of our trip! Mom's are the greatest.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Vacation Eve

It's amazing how time slows when you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of something.

For me, the countdown to our trip started months ago, and finally I find myself on the Eve of our trip. Only hours separate us from our departure. Tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-SMASH... I can't wait anymore!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

At the movies

The dads take the kids to the movies!

Friday, August 10, 2007