Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maple Deliciousness!

While we are off on our next adventure I still have a virtual stack of photos to share from our Maple/Bath County adventure.  When we planned this trip it was kinda exciting we could plan it around the Maple Festival!  Heading to the Highland Maple Festival has been a Pozun tradition for years and James and I figured we'd never be able to schedule a trip around it so hitting the Maple Festival was a pleasant surprise!  For better or worse the weather was sunny which makes the festival far more enjoyable to attend but also makes the lines a little longer and the coveted Mill Gap donuts slightly harder to get!  The kids were ready for the sun though!
The first stop is always the Bolar Ruritan Pancake breakfast, where the buckwheat pancakes, sausage and maple syrup are plentiful and everything is served with real china and silverware.  
 Catherine approved.
 Then we wandered and Catherine soared "downtown" and checked out the artisans while Uncle Matt and Papa took one for the team and waited in line for hot maple donuts, a Virginia food heritage project :-)

 We then headed to the school for more maple goodness (I think this stop included maple milkshakes and some maple candy for later) and these minion hats!
 Next we were off to see how the maple syrup is made at one of the sugar houses.  I had prepped the kids with a viewing of Curious George's Maple Madness before we left the house.
 I don't think it sunk in though because Matthew was determined the maple water was delicious.  We couldn't keep him out of the taps:

 And I'm 99% certain this is Matthew "convincing" Catherine of how delicious it is.

 When we came back we settled in for the evening with some exhausted kids who got a special treat of stories with Mas and Pas:
 Matthew found a new favorite toy to share with Papa in this remote controlled robot:
 And there was some horsing around with Uncle Matt:

 And once the snow was gone, it was time for races and running down the hill:

 Then the kids helped me set up a quick family photo:
 I love this one:
 I left my remote and tripod at home for the trip so it was a one shot deal:
 Well, two shots as we can't finish without a funny photo:
 There were quite a few rounds of Pizza Party played:
 More stories:
 On the way back to northern Virginia we were able to stop in Richmond for a lovely visit with James' godmother.
 Then it was back for more stories with Pas:
 A quick visit with Aunt Jean and Lynn.  No idea why Matthew is making that face though:
 And then some more hill time at Mas and Pas:

 Last hugs at the airport:
We had an absolutely fantastic trip that ended far too soon for our liking.  Very sadly our time in DC was limited and oddly split so we did not get a chance to see any of our friends who live in the area.  I guess we are due another trip soon to make that happen :-)  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

England Escape!

While the kids were out exploring the local parks with their grandparents, James and I were exploring the English countryside in the lake district.  Ed and Georgina were fantastic hosts.  Our first stop was a waterfall to stretch our legs:

 Followed by a hike up along the lake:

 We ran into a lot of these adorable guys along the way:
 And here we stopped at (not so much King) Arthur's Table.  Ed, Georgina and James are standing at the entrance to what was likely a generic gathering place in the totally wrong era to be King Arthur:
 Some castle ruins:
 We also hit Hadrian's wall with a stop at the Roman baths:
 James atop the wall:

 This would have been the food storage area of the Roman fort.  The small doors were to allow dogs in to eat the rats.  Sky would not have made the cut:
 And the latrine:
 Another misty castle:
 After a few relaxing days in the country we headed back to London to take in some of the sights.  We just happened upon a small parade of the royal guard, which we can only assume was out in celebration of National Pancake day.
 We then headed to the Churchill War Rooms which were very cool and where it became very apparent that Churchill was kind of a dick to work with:
 The reinforced concrete walls:
 The map rooms which were found pretty much exactly as they had been left at the end of the war (creepy mannequin excluded I would assume):
 Some more downtown sights:
 On the last night we went out to a fantastic dinner at one of Ed's favorite restaurants on the Thames.
It was a great trip and we were so glad we could finally make it out there and since it seems like the kids and grandparents didn't mind us leaving them at all, we may have to make it a more frequent destination :-)

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...