Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

We had a low key Memorial Day.  I taught BodyPump in the morning while TJ took Carol and Brena up to hike the Cascades.  They were successful this time - yay!  Then we went over to the Smithfield Plantation on the Virginia Tech Campus.  The kids have been to the plantation multiple times on school trips, but TJ and I have never gone.  Carol wanted to go to so we headed out.  It was a very cool place!  Learned a lot of history of the area I didn't know.  Bristol was a pain in the neck and TJ took her out not long after we had started the tour.  She just couldn't handle it.

 My cute girls!  And this is what Bristol does when you tell her to smile - haha!
One of my BodyPump class members told me this was her last day of BodyPump until September and wanted to get a picture together.  She hardly ever missed a class and she was always right on the front row smiling away at me.  I love teaching group fitness!  I love meeting new people and inspiring them to get fitter!  I will miss you Goral!

This is some yummy Indian chicken Goral brought to me a few weeks ago.  Another reason I love teaching group fitness - people bring me food :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A hike, dinner and more geocaching

We tried to take Carol to hike the Cascades.  We tried to take her 2 years ago, but it was closed because of rain.  We got up there and there was a HUGE line of cars waiting to get in.  It would have been at least an hour of waiting in the car before we could park and go hike.  We decided to try it another time.  We went over to another smaller hiking place and did some geocaching.  We tried to get Bristol to stay in the backpack, but she was having none of it!  She wants to walk because she's a big girl!

 Waiting for the big kids and daddy to find the geocache in the woods.

After that hike and geocache, Carol wanted to take us to dinner.  We drove out to Floyd and went to Mickey G's, a great little Italian place.  We saw there were some more geocaches in the area and had to find some more!  This was the strangest one we have ever found.  It was a pill bottle attached to a (fake) bone!  Very cool :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pigeon Forge, TN

Since Carol was here for TJ's graduation, TJ and I headed out for a few days of relaxation in the Great Smokey Mountains!  We stayed in Pigeon Forge and had a blast!  The first night we went to the Dixie Stampede - Dolly Parton's dinner show with animals.  The dinner was great and so was the entertainment!
 After eating way too much we took a walk down the "strip."  This place is such a touristy place - we had no idea.

The next day was Dollywood!  We got to the park and I realized I had forgotten my military ID card for our discount.  I was so bummed.  While we were waiting in line a lady came up to us and asked if we wanted a free ticket!  We were like - uh, for real?!  Sure enough, she happened to have an extra ticket!  Lucky us!  Dollywood was fun.  We are roller coaster junkies and love the big, scary rides.  Dollywood didn't really have a lot of those.  There were a couple we enjoyed, but it wasn't like Hershey Park or Busch Gardens.  They did have really good shows and we enjoyed those while it rained in the afternoon.

Our third day was all about shopping and relaxing.  They had a huge outlet mall and we I had so much fun shopping!  Living in Blacksburg the last 3 years hasn't really given me any opportunities to shop.  I made up for those 3 years :)

The last day before heading home we stopped at the Titanic Museum.  I love hearing stories of the Titanic and Brena is obsessed with it.  There were no photos allowed in the museum.  It was an amazing museum!  There were so many artifacts and cool things to read and see.  I could have spent at least a day in there.  One thing they had was a section made to look like the deck of the boat on the night it sunk.  It looked like night out with stars and it was COLD.  They also an "iceberg" you could touch and feel the coldness of it.  They also had a trough of water that was 28 degrees, just like the water was the night it sunk.  You could put your hand in there and feel what it felt like.  After about 5 seconds of my hand immersed in the water my bones were already hurting!

Then it was home to all the crazy kids.  Thank you Carol for watching the kids for us!  This was a MUCH needed getaway!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Geocaching in VA

Our friends had some more baby goats and we decided to go see them and take Carol with us.  On the way out to their farm is a really cool covered bridge from 1916.  We decided to have a picnic there and do some geocaching!  Tyler was on a scout canoeing trip, so we missed him.  It was a gorgeous day!

 The geocache was in the bridge and we found it pretty quick.

 Bristol was OBSESSED with throwing leaves and sticks down this hole into the water below.

 Then it was off to the baby goats.  They are so adorable!

 Bristol and the baby goats have some things in common.  Both like to climb!

 Some of the new babies and some of the older babies we visited last time.

Another great family Saturday!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tj's Graduation

Yay!  TJ finally got his master's!  I am so glad that's over.  Carol flew in for the graduation ceremony. I had a friend that was kind enough to watch Bristol while we went to the ceremony.  It would not have been easy with her there.  The ceremony was long, hot and boring.  They combined the doctoral students and the masters and there was a lot of graduates.  We all enjoyed laughing at the doctoral students in the Harry Potter like robes.

 TJ walking in.

Some of the Corps of Cadets doing the flag ceremony
 Lots of graduates!

TJ in line to finally go up on stage!

TJ up the stairs 

 Walking across to shake President Sands hand
 Pre-graduation selfie :)

Congrats honey!!  We are so proud of you!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fayettville, WV - coolest small town

Wow, it is NICE having TJ done with school!  We have been taking a few little day trips and today we decided to go to Fayettville, WV.  It was about an hour and 45 minute drive from our house.  I finished teaching pump, showered and we headed out.  It was hot!  We got to Fayettville and went over the New River Gorge bridge, heading for the National Park Service Welcome Center.  We saw a little bit of the museum, some amazing views and a little video on the area and the bridge.  The bridge is the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.  We couldn't really see the bridge as we drove over it and I wondered how we would be able to see it.  We talked to the park ranger at the center and she gave us some directions to a hike that would give us the best views.  We were a little worried with having a 2 year old and no back pack for her that this hike would be a disaster.  It was 1 1/2 miles in and 1 1/2 miles back - so 3 miles round trip....with a 2 year old...

(Pictures taken from the National Park Service welcome center of the New River, but you can't see the bridge from here.)

We decided why not?!  We set out and luckily the trail was covered by lots of trees, so that really helped keeping it a little cooler.  Tyler and Brenalee did great and had a good time.  Bristol surprisingly did really well!  The only problem was she was slow!  She had to stop and pick up EVERYTHING.  All the rocks, caterpillars, leaves, took forever.  She wanted to walk the entire way.  Tj would pick her up every once in a while so we could cover some ground.

 The kids kept picking up all the caterpillars.

Bristol was funny with hers, I think it tickled her a little bit and she would shake it off, but she really wanted it on her arm.  Then it pooped on her and she will tell you all about the caterpillar pooping on her arm!

 This is what Bristol spent most the hike doing...squatting and picking things up - or digging in the dirt.

 The views at the end were awesome!  The park ranger warned us that there was no guard rails or anything at the end of the hike and to be careful, that was a little scary - it was a pretty good drop!

This picture and location also got us another geocache find!

 Just taking a quick break.

After the hike we went to the famous Pies & Pints for some famous pizza.  We were famished!  

On the drive home, none of the kids could keep their eyes open!  Awesome day trip - ready for another!