Friday, April 20, 2018

Exploring the Philadelphia Airport

I didn't have to rush to get from security to my gate, and while I meandered along through the "A" wing, I came across a few exhibits. Each was actually quite fascinating, and I'd recommend them for your perusal should you ever find yourself with some spare time in the Philadelphia airport.

First was some crochet-turned-art. Since I had spent many hours on this trip working on my own crochet project, I thought this was quite appropriate.

Next was a display describing how and why Philadelphia was chosen as a world heritage city, the first one in the United States. (The second, and only other one, is San Antonio.) Someone else was reading this exhibit and taking pictures as well. That was comforting to both of us.

Finally, off to the side in its own little alcove, I noticed a replica of the Liberty Bell made out of Legos. I thought my boys would enjoy seeing this, and once again I thought it was quite timely, since I've spent more time sorting Legos in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. I even obeyed the "selfie-spot" sign, so you have proof I was there.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time with Grandkids in Pennsylvania

Ten years ago our oldest son was married. This year, instead of preparing for a wedding, I prepared to spend some time with their children so they could take an anniversary trip together. While not as much work as a long-distance wedding, the anticipation of a wonderful memory-making trip was just as great.

Once I arrived, the first order of business was to show me some of the changes that had taken place since my last visit, which also included letting off some excess energy. Then we watched general conference and made final trip and Easter preparations.

I'm not sure if that's Pikachu or an Easter bunny, but I do know the cute face holding it greeted me Easter morning. You read about the rest of that day's activities here.

Notice the game of Monopoly in the background. I tried getting a picture of Wyatt's face when he put me out of the game when I landed on his three houses on Boardwalk, but it was too fuzzy. He was pretty excited and his attitude toward the game reminded me of his grandpa. I wonder who would win if the two of them were playing together!

I arrived on a beautiful spring day, with trees just beginning to bud.

A couple of days later, I woke up to falling snow! Fortunately, it was the last day of Spring Break (how ironic) so we didn't have to worry about school, and by mid-afternoon it had all melted.

 Springtime is really quite miraculous, and not something I get to experience in our tropical paradise.

Oh, the joys of bus schedules, rain or shine, cold or hot!

Did you know they have phone apps that tell you how close the bus is to your stop? Of course, they don't always work (for example if you have a substitute bus), but when they do it's kind of cool. It brought back memories of doing breakfast dishes so I could see the bus go up the street, and know how long it would take to get to our sons' stop on the return down the street.

We got in the car to go to karate, church and the grocery store. Other than that, it was nice sticking around home.

It was fun to remember routines we had 20-30 years ago. Sleepy mornings and quick breakfasts before school.

Sunday afternoon (and any afternoon!) Lego building.

Lots of activities - inside and out.

Friday Family Movie Night (with a second one on Saturday because grandmas can change the rules if they feel like it)

Can't forget the chores!

Some of them more enjoyable than others.

While we were having a great time doing normal things, Weston and Megan were having a great time doing not-normal things - exploring Italy.

Coliseum, Arch of Titus, Gelato, Sistine Chapel, Catacombs

The weather was warmer in Italy than in Pennsylvania (but it was warmer still in Florida) which meant that Megan's wish to have her favorite flowering tree wait to bud until she got home come to fruition.

Once they were home I learned about a few more family traditions and routines, including the Whitaker Star (and updated family cheer) and visiting Longwood Gardens.

One of the highlights of their trip was a cooking class in Rome. I'm glad I was still there when they taught their boys how to make cavatelli. It's quite fascinating, and I'm looking forward to making it again someday myself. Here's the recipe.

Good-bye until next time (which is only a few months away)! Thanks for some wonderful memories.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Longwood Gardens

I took so many pictures, this activity deserves its own post. The day before I returned home from my time in Pennsylvania, we spent a delightful morning at Longwood Gardens. It was a bit drizzly, so we didn't spend a lot of time outside, but there was plenty to explore in their conservatory, and we had a great time together. We decided that if we had an army of gardeners, our yards could be just as beautiful and manicured as these gardens! This outing also reminded me of a similar one last year with a different set of grandchildren.

The first stop was the Whispering Bench. Apparently the shape allows for conversations to occur from people sitting on opposite ends. We tested it out, and it does work. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures during our experiment.

Just like on our trip to Versailles, there were several fountains here turned off until warmer weather, but it was still fun walking by them.

We made our way to the conservatory. I decided my favorite flower was the clivia. The picture below (upper left) doesn't do it justice.

The orchid room was fascinating as well.

The boys' favorite spot was the area geared to children, where they were allowed to play in the fountains.

Although we don't understand why it has to be hidden down the hallway to the restrooms, one of Megan's favorite spots is the "green wall". Those are living plants. It's pretty incredible in person.

Pushing his big brother!
Finally, we ate a quick picnic lunch before heading home. What a great way to spend a fun morning!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Easter 2018

A couple of years ago I was in Pennsylvania for Easter; I wonder if it will become a new every-other-year tradition? I guess we'll find out in another two years. Anyway, this year we had a great time with the normal traditions.

Dyeing Eggs

Searching for Baskets

Finding Eggs

After finding Easter baskets and eggs, the highlight of Easter Sunday was watching general conference. What a treat that was!

Then, while Wayne enjoyed our traditional lamb feast for dinner at home (with a couple of our sons and their families), mine was a granola bar in the car on the way to the airport (to drop off another son and daughter-in-law), but that's okay, being with family - no matter what's on the menu - is the absolute best way to spend a holiday.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

More Easter Memories

Pulling out a picture to go with the last post motivated me to pull out some more. I thought you might like seeing them as well, so here you go!

1984 - Camping at Zion National Park


1986 - Easter Egg Hunt with friends at Wymount Terrace


1988 - There are the orange mugs for Jeff, even before he was born!


1990 - Maybe he wanted to stay unborn! It didn't matter if he was standing or sitting, poor Jeff was not a happy camper.

1991 - I love the school artwork on the bulletin board!

1992 - There's his smile!
I guess red isn't really an Easter color, but it's definitely a Christmas one, and we didn't have enough money to buy new clothes for each holiday. In fact, most of our sons' Sunday finery was compliments of generous grandparents. Thank you!

Although now that I'm thinking about it, I vaguely remember sewing that striped shirt Brad is wearing in the last picture. That was back when sewing was less expensive than purchasing new clothes.