Monday, June 29, 2009

Phewf! I'm a contributor!

I'm Cami. I just moved from Maryland back to Utah where I grew up. This is our first summer here, so EVERYTHING is new. I've already completed some of these challenges, but here is my list. I'm doing Road Trip:

1. Thanksgiving Point Gardens
2. Museum of Ancient Life
3. Living Sea Aquarium
4. Hogal Zoo OR 7 Peaks Resort
5. American Fork Canyon (Do I dare to do Timpanogos Cave with my kids? Probably not this year.)

BONUS: Zion's National Park--this is bonus because I'm not sure we'll get there this summer with all the moving going on, but I'm sure going to try! It may be a fall adventure.

Now, I'm already done with 3 of these places, and there are more to add, I'm sure. So maybe I'll do a giant adventures challenge post with slideshows pretty soon.

Does anyone have any more suggestions for where else we should visit this summer? I can't be TOO ambitious, so let's stick to within one hour of Lehi, shall we?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bradley Fair Concerts

Ever since we moved here, we've heard of the summer evening Jazz concerts they hold out at Bradley Fair, an upscale strip mall on the east side of town. We'd never gone... it always seemed like a good idea, but never happened.

We decided it was about time to go. So, Hubby came and picked me up after yoga and we headed out, getting to the area about a half-hour after the concert started... we parked on the far side of the far (on the other side of the "lake"), and walked around. We could hear the music... but I wasn't expecting what I saw:

Don't know why, but I didn't expect that.

Anyway. I also didn't get the name of the band (though I did catch that they were from Austin, TX). Maybe next time we'll actually get there soon enough to get seats in the "concert area" (as opposed to crashing in the cracks) and find out these things.

We stopped by Marble Slab (not as good as Cold Stone), and picked up ice cream (since it was a bloody hot 95 degrees...yes it was 8 p.m.) and crashed at the fountain in the center of the square to eat it

(or in K's case, watch it quickly melt).

The best part was splashing, though.

We didn't stay until the end... the girls were cranky (too hot!) and tired (too late!) and wanted to go home (turned out that A was suffering from heat stroke or a migraine... she ended up throwing up into a cup on the way home!). So, we did.

It's something to keep in mind as they get older, though, because it looks like it could be a lot of fun (and good music).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hershey Park in Hershey, PA

Adventure #1 for the Summer Adventure Challenge

the story, as I remember :)

*We got there just after it opened but with our huge group, it took forever to actually get in the gates

*even with my $12 off per adult coupon (yes, Sheely was considered an adult!!) it still cost me $140 to get in with my kids. WOW. That's a lot of dollars.

*I made both of my boys wear red AND they had wristbands there where you could write your cellphone number and put them on your kids so they could call you if your kids get lost. I find this a fantastic idea, since I've just been writing my cell number on my kids' hands for years!

*I chose not to drag around my expensive camera - so my pictures turned out kinda lame, but that's what I get. I knew there would be much chucking of the backpack and I didn't want it to
get trashed (I was right, lots of chucking of the bag)

*we convinced my mom to rent one of those awesome electric wheelchairs - and thank heavens, that is a hilly park! it would've been a nightmare on her crutches!

*as soon as we got to the first set of "kiddie" rides, I realized my problem: I had no husband and two big kids and one little kid. I had not thought logistically about how to help everyone get what they needed (i.e. - big rides for big kids, little rides for the Tuft). I started feeling really stressed next to the little dragon ride when my sister Erin hooked up Sheely with Chris and off they went to the huge roller coasters and Xavier was content to stay and do some younger stuff with Tuft. Sigh of relief

*Jordan and I took Emma and Xavey on a spaceship ride that went up pretty high, they liked that

*So many rides for little kids! That was fun - Preston was so thrilled to run from one to the other and back again, OVER AND OVER. His favorites: the Ladybug, the little swings, the little pirate ship, but especially the little kid SCRAMBLER - LOVED it and begged for us to keep walking back over there :) On the ladybug you just keep going around in a loop but there are a couple little bumps along the way, and every time we'd hit a bump, Preston would do his closed-eyes-manic-laugh that slays me.*It got really hot but not really humid, so if you stood in the shade, it was quite pleasant

*Two hours after getting in there, we left again to have a peaceful picnic lunch outside, and after food, bathroom, and more sunscreen, we were ready to head out again

*half way through the day, Chris brought to my attention to the fact that Xavey's shoe broke, like, the entire sole was almost completely detached, fun huh? He was really patient with it, since I was not about to buy some Hershey Park shoes - he just flapped around with it the entire day!*Until about 3pm, I hadn't been on a single adult ride, it was just the way it went. I wasn't feeling frustrated, just a bit bummed, but when we found a shady spot with three great kid rides and a few bigger adult rides nearby, it worked out for me to go on one by myself and one with Lauren before she had to leave, so that was fun - thanks to all my helpful family that made that possible

*it was really fun to see Preston hanging out with his littler cousins - especially the ones closest to his age. He usually just sticks with his big brother, but when Jordan and Chris had both my big kids off on big rides, Preston was so cute with the younger ones, I really liked that

*Emma spiked a fever and Mary was lethargic too, so after lunch Erin ended up renting a double stroller, which worked out awesome and the nice first aid people gave Emma some motrin (after she took a long nap) which perked her right up*Sheely really liked taking Ava on the Frog Hopper over and over more

*around 5, my sisters with really little kids were ready to crash, so we headed to the front of the park for dinner together. We just lucked out that we picked a restaurant where the seats are right in front of a drum show performance. Xavier was SO INTO it, he stood there like a statue and watched the whole thing! Then, when they started doing the limbo, he totally joined in :) THRILLED this mama, let me tell you! I got some video of that, I have no idea if I'll ever get around to posting it :)*Also, Xavey was so cute and helpful with Alex, he wanted to sit by her at dinner

*Since Erin's kids seemed to be good to go, she and I stayed after everyone else left! This was the season of "divide and conquer." To start off, Erin took Emma, Sheely and Xavier on the Comet, a pretty fun wooden roller coaster. While she did that, I took Preston and Mary on the Tilt a Whirl. Then we swapped kids again and I took Sheely and Xavier on the Super Looper something or another roller coaster (Xavey LOVED going upside down!!). Then we just kept swapping in such a fashion so that Erin and I both got to actually go on all the roller coasters! How is THAT for finally getting your moneys worth? My favorite roller coaster was probably the Wildcat - CRAZY PSYCHO fast and long wooden roller coaster. Preston told me that his favorite part with the big ferris wheel with me. I loved that too - the view was incredible! So strange to have big huge amusement park and then farmland :) Sheely loved the Mouse Trap, which I hated because I always think I am going to fly right off that horrible thing. Xavey loved The Claw, which is what we went on last.

*Sheely harassed me about treats for a long time until I finally said - at 7pm, it's treat time - one treat for everyone, talk to me about it before then and NO TREAT FOR YOU :)

*Tufty wanted ice cream (a cone, with sprinkles, of course). When we got there, I saw they made blizzard type confectionery delights so I ordered myself a peanut butter cup one. THE MINUTE that they handed me his cone, he had to go #2 - STAT. OF COURSE. So he did the twinkle dance while I paid and waited to grab my cup and then we sprinted all the way up the hill to the bathroom. Phew, we barely made it. Then I could get Sheely and Xavey their ICEE things and everyone could have treat happiness.

*THEN, more and more and more rides. Rides everywhere and with no waiting and SO MUCH FUN. I am just such a huge fan of the fast roller coasters that it thrills me that at least two of my children are right by my side in that love. This park really does have some good coasters.

*At the end of the day, Erin and I took turns going solo on the wildest rollercoaster of all - the storm chaser or something. It's one that goes from 0-60 in 1 second or something - HOLY COW that ride took my breath away it was so fast! I'm glad I told Sheely she wasn't allowed (even though she was tall enough). It was on the verge of scary for me! While Erin got her turn, Sheely took Xavier Preston and Emma on the frog hopper (a little free fall for kids) over and over and over. They would go on it, laugh hysterically, then run around and get on again - for at least the 20 minutes that I was in charge of them.

*The final ride (after yet ANOTHER sprint to the bathroom for someone) was the aforementioned Claw ride. Picture one of those giant pirate ship type rides that swing like a pendulum back and forth until they are pretty much vertical, but instead of a ship, you're sitting in a big circle in chairs where your feet dangle down and it spins you around WHILE you swing back and forth. WOWEE WOW. We just barely didn't make it on, so we stood in front and watched the one before us go. I could see Sheely and Xavey getting nervous, but they stood their ground and we all had a good laugh when BOTH of some one's flip flops flew off the ride and into the woods beyond the fence :)

*As we got settled into our seats, I asked Xavey if he wanted me to keep my hand on his knee. He said, "yes, so I don't fly away like a lost flip flop." and gave me that silly Xavey smile. I love that boy. We LOVED the ride - Sheely told me she was going to close her eyes the whole time, but she never did once, we laughed our guts out and screamed and while we were riding, the whistle blew for the park to close. A perfect way to close out the day.

*On the walk back, my boys held my hands. Sheely said a spontaneous, "THANKS MOM!!" and Xavey said, "This was a GREAT day." Sounds silly, but those words are what really made the 12 hours and $140 dollars worth it.

*both boys fell asleep, heads leaning against each other, on the tram

*arrived back at the caboose at 11:30, got everyone in bed and took a shower before soothing my poor blistered feet. An incredible and overwhelming and riotous day with my sweet children. Can I recommend Hershey Park? ABSOLUTELY. Wonderfully clean. Great rides. Lots for all ages. It was expensive, but as I've looked around, it seems to be comparable to other big amusement parks. Plus, there are giant chocolate bars that walk around and take pictures with you. It's a winner in my book.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wye Grist Mill

I went to the Wye Grist Mill when I was a small child and I still have fond memories of this trip. It is just a small mill located on a ¾ acre plot of land in the Town of Wye Mills, on the border of Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties, Eastern Shore Maryland, however it is full of milling artifacts and museum exhibits, many of them hands-on. The kids spent a long time using the various grinders and enjoyed looking at all the exhibits. Grinding Days are the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. so we were able to see volunteers demonstrate the traditional stone grinding process. They were grinding corn meal the day we went, but they grind wheat and buckwheat flours on other days. You can also buy sacks of the flour. The timber frame structure was originally constructed on the site circa 1682, with multiple additions and renovations over the last 325 years.
Located just off Route 50 at the intersection of Route 662, 213, and 404 on Maryland's Eastern Shore, 15 miles from the Bay Bridge. The Wye Grist Mill is open from mid-April to mid-November. Friday, Saturday and Sunday - Doors open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. $2 Donation.
If you would like to see more pictures of this trip click here.

Summer 2009 List

Here is my list so far of places we want to go in

2. Frontier Culture Museum

3. Gypsy Hill Park

5. Antique Firehouse Museum

7. Haunted Monster Museum

Here is my list of places I want to visit in Maryland:
Here are the places I want to visit in Delaware:
2. Fort Miles
Here are the places I want to visit in Tennessee:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My 2009 Adventure List

1. Westlands Park
2. Mt. Rushmore
3. Roxborough State Park
4. Cheyenne, WY (Technically, I've been here, but just driving through. Living so close, I'd like to check it out a little closer)
5. The Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, CO

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm in

Gotta write it down if I'm gonna do it

1. Utah Museum of Fine Arts
2. Cherry Hill
3. Valley of Fire State Park, Las Vegas (probably save it for the fall though)
4. Treehouse Museum (Ogden)
5. Living Planet Aquarium
6. Deer Valley Music Festival

Summer 2009!!

FRIENDS! I have been reminded that summer is now in full swing! I am going to start up this blog again for anyone that wants to participate. If you want to join in the fun you can become an author and after your outing, post to our blog! Just email me at newsummeradventures (at) gmail (dot) com

Here's the scoop (same as last year):

So, summer is practically upon us. As many of you know, I am a "go out and do" sort of person and this summer, I'd like to try to do some exploring. Join me, will you? Here is the challenge - go somewhere new in your part of the world. Do something different. Explore a part of your city or town that you've never tried. Maybe a new museum, amusement park, restaurant, playground, nature trail or historical site. Maybe there is a festival you've always meant to go to. I'm a mom of young children, so most of the time I'll be bringing my crazy ones with me, but you certainly don't have to have kids to participate!!

If you want to join the challenge, here's how we'll do it. The challenge will run from June 1-Sept 1. You get to decide what is an adventure for you - if it's the same places you always go during the summer, probably it doesn't count. If you can't think of anywhere you haven't gone, call friends. Google "places to go in____" . I check out travel guides of my area from the library or go to a hotel lobby and pick up some of their brochures.

Here are the levels:

Level 1: Walk around the block
explore two new places this summer

Level 2: Road Trip
explore five or more new places this summer

You decide what level of challenge and how far from home you are willing to travel :) Make a list of places you want to try on your blog (you can add to it or change it any time). Then come back here and sign up by commenting with your list post (after your name, put where you're from, will you?? Oh, and please be sure to put the link to the actual post, not just to your blog). Even if you find this after June 1, it is not too late to sign up!!! You can sign up until its over. If you want, you can also just post your list on this blog, if you prefer. You can put the little button on your blog to show that you're making an effort to spice up your summer!

Then you must have fun! See new places!! Post about the quirky details and what you loved or hated about where you went, then come back here and post your review. Then we can all read about everyone else's adventures and maybe get some ideas of places to try some day. Leave a comment if you want to sign up, spread the word and see you around!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Adventure 2009!

Since we had so much fun doing it last year, I thought we could do it again....

So, places and things we want to try (aiming for the Road Trip option):

1. There's this park south of town (can't remember the name) with a lake and playgrounds and such. I've been meaning to get down there for three years!
2. The splash park by the south Y
3. Something in Dallas, since we're going down there over the 4th
4. Something in Salina, Kansas since M has a dr's appointment there
5. a jazz concert out at Bradley Fair (it's a local shopping center that has a free concert series in June)

That's a decent list. Any suggestions about Dallas?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bear Mountain State Park - New York

Tom and I took the girls to Bear Mountain State Park, something I've been wanting to do since we got here. It was a lovely day so out came the bug spray and the map and we were off. Our first stop (after getting a few extra maps) was the playground. It was so lovely right on the water. The kids couldn't get over how many people were fishing (Hessian Lake is fishing and rowboats only).

After a bit of fun there we headed on the trail to take us to the Zoo and the Trailside Museums. It was a nice walk...lots of shade, lots of people but there was so much room it didn't feel all that crowded. We had to go though a tunnel under the road and we walked past a big huge beach entry pool! It's not open for a few weeks still but that is going to be some good times. I forgot to mention the snake we saw just off the path...Emma screamed but it was all good. Just past the pool was the entrance to the zoo. When I say entrance, I mean a box that says "one dollar donation per person suggested." So we put our money in the slot and began our walk. The Trailside museums were these plaquards everywhere describing trees, animals, and other information about Bear Mountain. Emma loved reading them and Mary actually kept asking her to read more. The zoo is really small...but cool. Almost all of the animals were raised in captivity or injured. In fact, by each animal it said, if applicable, how the animal was hurt. Most of them were car and gunshot wound. In the zoo we saw porcupines, a bobcat, coyotes, foxes, bears (3 of them!) all kinds of frogs and snakes, an otter, owls, turkey vultures, and a bald eagle. Man is that bird beautiful. This one has a permament wing injury and can no longer fly. It makes me so sad to see that amazing bird, so powerful and grounded.

One nifty little sidenote, the Bear Mountain Zoo is actually on the Appalachian trail which is marked by a white rectangle. In fact, the Bear Den at Bear Mountain Zoo is the lower point on the whole 2000 mile trail (120 feet above sea level). I have photographic evidence to prove it but I won't trouble you all with it.

After walking the trail, we ate lunch at an awesome snack bar and rode on the lovely indoor Merry-Go-Round. Emma rode the bear but Mary insisted on a horse. Then the girls ate those crazy huge rocket popsicles and it was back to the car.

The last thing we did was drive up to Perkins Memorial and seeing the Hudson from the top of the mountain from this huge tower. Then we headed back down. By this time Emma had passed out in the car and Mary was close. Such a fun day. Highly recommended!