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Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of Middle School

I am not sure how this happened,  Lon is in 6th grade! This is middle school in South Carolina.  

 

He had a good morning, no rushing around.

Lon was only a little nervous, but he was happy to get it going.

The day went well, he figured out his classes and his locker.  He says he will go again tomorrow.  He even likes most of his teachers!


Catholic Youth Group

Lon is now in the Junior High Group.  The High School Group invited all the Jr. High kids for an evening of slip and slide fun before school started. It was Sunday night bfore the first day of school

Getting ready to start the game.  Slip and Slide kickball. With a beach ball to kick.  Lon told me he had played this game at a cub scout camp out. He was excited to play.  Proud of him for getting in there and trying it.

Playing in the outfield

Making it to base!



Running for third!
SAFE!

He did score, but I was not at the right angle to photograph it. The kids were all bunched up and you could not see him hit the home base pool.

Lon was soapy, and soaking wet on the ride home, it was great!  


Going a Bit Farther North

We took a quick overnight trip up to Connecticut from DC.


We love taking pictures of farms.

We drove up by way of Gettysburg. On the way up, in Maryland is the National Shrine.  We stopped in and looked around, we did not take photos as I forgot the camera in the car.  We will do a little more research, and go back. It was beautiful.


We got to see Godmother! and she had a wonderful box of gifts for Lon!  He received boy scout stuff, a good map compass and a knife! When Emily went to Rome, she brought Lon back a rosary blessed by the Pope.  There were also kinder joy eggs!    Lon was so thrilled!

Lunch with Godmother!  

I had just a little cash left, so I saved that and used the card. Which was one of the best choices  I made all day!


The Peep Mobile! In front of the Just Born factory.   They do not have factory tours

 I programed the phone to take us over the Tappen Zee Bridge, I did not want to go over the George Washington Bridge through New York City.
Well, the GPS does not like me at all.  We got a phone call on the way, and the GPS went back to the fastest route. Which is over the GW Bridge.  I saw a sign that said, GW Bridge 9 miles 10 minutes. I would have no idea where to go even if I could get off 95, as GPS would route me back to the bridge.  SO we did it!
And I had my last 20, which just paid for the Bridge.  It cost 15 dollars for cars, and then it put you on the Cross Bronx Expressway, which cost 1.75 to get off.   It was pretty cool, though, nerve wracking a little bit for me, but still cool.


It was not too crowded.

 Lon was snapping all the photos. I was driving!

And just like that we were in Connecticut!

Traffic was horrid on a friday afternoon.   It wsa moving though.

We had dinner with Grammalyn at Dad's Seafoods.   It was good!

On the way home, I looked at the map and wrote down the directions back to Aunt Karens!  Well, until we got into DC, then the GPS works fine. Never using it again for road trips.

The cranes at the Tappen Zee

Lon liked the way the girders looked.  He was taking the pictures!

maybe he got a little carried away taking pictures

We stopped for gas and saw this little church next door. I can not remember if this was Pennsylvannia or Maryland.



More farms!

We spent another wonderful night with Aunt Karen. I wish we could have stayed longer.


We probably should have stayed another day. There were TWO major freeway closing accidents in Virginia.  Each one lasted over 2 hours, and it was slow after passing the accident sites for a while, just high volumes.   It took us almost 14 hours to get home, gas stops, rest stops, lunch stops.  Next time I trust my instincts and stay the extra day!



One Last Trip of Summer

Lon and I had a chance to take one last trip before school started.  We went up to DC !


We left at 6:24am. A little bit later than I would have liked, but it was okay.

Lon got to go and play with the Gunnar!  He loves playing with Gunnar.

I think Gunnar might be happy too

We got a ride to the zoo with Gunnar, I think he wanted to come in with us!

The zoo!

The ocean trash sculptures. Like the one in Newport, Oregon at the Aquarium.

Lon and I could understand a lure, but pop cans, or razors, no, not really

Our first encounter with animal life.

We did know that since it was so hot, we really would not see too many animals, but we were hopeful we would see some good ones!



The Pandas were not out. They were doing yard work in their enclosure.   Next time we will see them



Elephants!  They were throwing dust over themselves as sunscreen.  Trying to keep cool

The zoo had lots of volunteers around to show people pelts, and answer questions about the animals.  This is elephant hide.




another trash sculpture

The primate house! Gorillas and Orangutans

 You never know what you are going to find in the zoo!

Lon wanted to get a picture of the chipmunks that were running around the zoo.  FINALLY we got one. These guys are fast!



anteater!

anteater information

Playing a game near the elephants. It is a tilt table and the ball represents an elephant, you need to tilt the table and get him to safety.  Lon had fun with this game.

Zoo information!

The last trash sculpture!

The zoo was fun.  We will go back!


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Riding through Tennessee.

We left the skyline drive and made our way south through Tennessee.

These are the beauty shots of some very pretty country.





Cows. These were at a scenic overlook area







At a rest stop.

This was the last photo of our trip to Connecticut. After we crossed back into South Carolina, I fell asleep !

It was good to be home.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

Skyline Drive

Friday we went down Skyline Drive.  What an amazingly gorgeous drive. 109 miles at 35 miles an hour.  We could drive with the windows down and enjoy the air, and hear the birds. It was in the mid 60s. It felt wonderful!
Skyline Drive History Bit from Wikipedia:
Begun as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression, construction of the Skyline Drive was both difficult and dangerous. Large cuts were made into the sides of knolls and peaks to allow for a road wide enough to handle traffic. The work began in 1931, and the final section (from Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap) was completed and opened in 1939. The Civilian Conservation Corps also had a hand in the construction of Skyline Drive. The CCC graded the slopes on both sides of the roadway, built guardrails, constructed overlooks, and planted thousands of trees and shrubs along the parkway.It has 75 overlooks.

Already a National Scenic Byway and on the National Register of Historic Places, the Skyline Drive was designated a National Historic Landmark in October 2008.



It was a foggy morning.

at the Dickey Visitor's Center.  It did not open till 9 am, we got there at 8:35. We kept moving!



Enjoying the view

Gorgeous views



Lon trying to catch the fog and see what it tastes like
He was getting soaked!

The dead tree looks really creepy with the fog behind it













Marys Rock Tunnel

This tunnel was completed in 1932.







Lon got the Jr. Ranger Booklet done, we watched the movie about the CCC.  We both learned a few things about the CCC in the Shenandoah.  One was there was 10 camps! The camps were run by the Army, but the work was run by the Park Service.

There were some poeple just starting on the Jr. Ranger Badges, they were impressed with Lon. As they should be!

Always have to get these!


Jr. Ranger Badge # 86
Back to the view















The last photo from Skyline Drive, it was amazingly gorgeous. Lon wants to go again, soon!

Welcome to Tennessee! Johnson City would be where we spend the night.

Our dinner was at a place called Cootie Browns.  Very interesting place. The food was good.


It was a great day. We all had a great time.