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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Surprise Visit!

We LOVE surprise visits! No really we do.    It is so much fun to have guests.  This weekend, Bill came to visit.   We are so happy he did.
We hung out, and talked. On Monday we went for a ride to Folly Beach down the Ashley River Road.

Lon brought his kite and had fun flying it on the beach.  We are planning on coming back to do that again!

We then drove through Charleston.   It is always a fun thing to do

On Wednesday, we drove up to Fayetteville to deliver Bill to my brudder, Adam.  It is always good seeing him.

 We hope it is not so long between visits the next time.


I got a duck, a hand carved beauty.  I am so happy. I have always wanted a duck! Lon will eventually get it, but not anytime soon. I love my duck!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Turtle Release!

On Tuesday I found out the Charleston Aquarium was going to release seven rehabilitated turtles back into the wild.  This was going to happen on Wednesday.  We did not have anything else scheduled that day, and this sounded amazing!   We packed up the car with beach stuff and off we went. We left two hours before the event. We should have left three.  There was a big bottle neck at the paypoint to get into Folly Beach County Park.  We did make it in time to see the turtles, but we were pretty far back in the crowd.
The weather was looking like it was going to rain.

Shrimp boat on the horizon

The pelicans were flying over, in straight lines.

Dolphins came to play right up close to the shore! It was so fun to watch them

It looks like this is about to get started!

The Coast Guard even did a fly over.

The tide is starting to come in.  My pants are not longer dry.

Can you spot him? the big loggerhead turtle ? He is making his way to the water!

I did not take this photo. It was taken by a friend of a friend.  He did not have far to walk to get into the water, they might move slowly on land, but in water, they are quick and graceful.

Isn't he beautiful?

I got a much better shot of this little guy. He seems so happy to get to the water!  The next wave that washed over him, he was gone.
The last three turtles to be released



They just let them go plop into the water!

The turtle van

Lon had a great time, watching the turtles

He blew up his 4 foot donut, he was having lots of fun with it until it started raining.  We decided to head for home.  Sort of, we stopped at a few places I just don't get to very often.
We stopped by Sweet Belgium, for waffles! So good, and the Belgian Iced Coffee is amazing!
Our next stop was Euro Foods, for some yummy Eastern European treats.  Our last stop before home was Easterby's seafood place. It was good, well the shrimp were very good, the sides, eh, not so much.

It was a fun day. I am glad we got to go see the Turtle release.  They are going to do this again! Just not sure when!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Congaree

Congaree is the last of the 7 National Parks in South Carolina that Lon needed to visit.  Today was finally the day!
The Park is about 2 hours from the house.

Wiki Bit: Congaree National Park, in central South Carolina, is a 26,276-acre (41.06 sq mi; 10,633.52 ha; 106.34 km2) United States national park. It received its official designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign launched in 1969. The park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. The lush trees growing in its floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern United States, forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 57 percent (15,000 acres or 61 square kilometers) of the park is designated wilderness area.

Working on his Jr. Ranger Badge at the Harry Hampton Ranger Station.  We thought it might rain so we went out to the boardwalk to get that part done.  
It was about 88 degrees, overcast and cool.  A very nice time to walk the boardwalk

This is one spectacular mushroom

Checking out a spider web.

We ran into a very nice lady, she wanted to take Lon's photo when he was all kitted out with all his badges.  We said okay. She was taking 79 4th graders from Sumter to Congaree for the first time.  She said most of them had never heard of Congaree or had ever been to any national park!
She wrote a grant to get more kids into the park.  All those kids got Jr. Ranger Badges today.  They were thrilled!  The news article is in the Sumter Item. But you have to be a subscriber to read it.
On the boardwalk. There was one section that was in need of repair, so we did not do the entire loop.

Deer! We really saw a deer!  How cool is that?

And a cardinal!

So pretty, and the bugs were not terrible today

WOW.  That was the most gorgeous dragonfly I have ever seen

One of the items Lon needed to check off was a tree taller than his house. I think this qualifies.

The visitor's center is named after him.

Getting his badge!  

It was the perfect time to go to the swamp.  It was a fun day.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Awards!!!

Tonight, Thursday, May 25, we went to the Alston Middle School Awards Ceremony.  Lon did not tell us he was getting any awards until Tuesday.   I thought it was something like the A/B honor roll all four quarters. Nope, that is not an award at all.
There are lots of awards up there

Lon's first award was for being the outstanding 6th grade boy in his core elective class. There is one boy and one girl chosen from each core elective by grade.  This is really big.
His core elective is visual arts.  This is the elective path they will keep all through middle school and probably into high school.  Lon chose visual arts because he could learn a lot of different art techniques.  Things like drawing, sculpting, photography, graphic design, etc.

His next two awards were for Robotics, making the team and his third place award for the Reflections competition.

We are very proud of him!


Concert!

On Friday, May 19th we skipped school and drove up to DC!

Lon got to hang out with this bestest dog buddy.
 The dog just got his wild west theme Bark Box. He was not really into the hat.  Lon liked it.

On Saturday morning we were able to see Lon's amazing cousin's ballet recital.   It was wonderful to see her dance.


Lon's first real concert.  We went to  Jiffy Lube LIVE! in Bristow Virginia to see Jimmy Buffett. Keeping a promise I made to him when I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert, without him in Seattle.
The weather was cool and overcast, but no rain in the forecast.

Yes, Lon's shirt has parrots all over it.

The view from our seats. Nice!

The beach balls were flying!  Lon was having a great time hitting them around the seats.

I had to get him a sweat shirt since he was so cold.

So far so good!

Here we go!

A reminder of where we are!

SO much fun!
Lon was given one of the beach balls.

Lon just barely made it back to the hotel room before he fell asleep.

We had a great time.   Lon and I would love to do it again. !

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sheep Shearing

On May 6th Middleton Place has their annual sheep shearing!  We always enjoy it

My magnificent parking job!  

I did take lots of scenery pictures, but I won't post many of them. I have posted a lot of them before!



He was posing for pictures, but he would not flare out his tail.  


The entire fleece. They try to get it off in one piece.

I think all children look at their mothers like that.

Sheep Shearing as it was done in colonial times. They are using shears!  The sheep were not fighting it too much.

The ladies at the end of the Stable Row were dying with Indigo.
The fire had gone out and they were not sure how to start up another fire.
Lon, the boy scout,  to the rescue!  He gathered kindling, made the log cabin with the bigger pieces of wood.
The fire was restarted, the temperature in the kettle got up to the optimal temperature to dye wool.
A good deed done for the day


We love the goats.  The brown one, we have known him since he was born, and the black one was new to us this trip.

This one never moved from this spot.

I did not get pictures of the cashmere goats I like so much. They were a bit miffed that the sheep were getting almost all the attention.  One of the girls stayed in her shed, the friendlier one did come out when I talked to her.  Petting the cashmere goats is a wonderful thing, our hands are so soft!

Only 4 gators spotted this trip.

The mini rice field is starting to grow.

okay, one beauty shot

The sundial was correct with the time!  Lon was impressed.

It was a fun afternoon at Middleton Place.


If you are wondering if I got out of the parking spot without damaging the car, I did. No scrapes or bruises on the car. Whew!