Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Still Going to be Awhile...

a glimpse into my crazy kitchen
by the way, what you can't see is that Grace is naked

So, where have we been?

Summer is funny in Alaska.
People spend six months holed up in their homes, waiting to get back outside.
Fishing, boating, yard work, gardening, playing at the park, outside house work...
Finally we can do all these things again.
Outside. This is all great. And fun and lovely. And if the sun's out, even better.

However, with all this outside fun (and work), no one is inside, cleaning the inside of the house. Or the clothes or the kids, for that matter.

It makes me feel pulled in a thousand directions.
It's a good thing we have crazy daylight in our favor or else I'd never get it all done.

We just got back last night from a fishing trip.
Lots of fun and stories to share, however, we are having company coming tomorrow and the house needs some sprucing and the boat has to be cleaned and the laundry is calling me and the garden needs weeding and the lawn needs mowing and...

I'll see you next week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Florida


So what did we do on vacation?

Nothing super exciting, although that's just the way I wanted it to be.

First, it was hot.
So hot, just the walk from the hotel to the car made me sweat.

My idea of us going sightseeing was soon abandoned due to the delicate little flowers I was toting. They got pink cheeked too quickly to spend any real amount of time outside with no way of immediate cool off.

So we went to the beach.
Everyday.

I had found a beach called St. Johns Pier in St. Augustine Beach that had everything we could want. Even $2 popsicles. (yes, $2 for a singular popsicle.)
There was, of course, the beach part, but there was also a splash park with a playground.

Perfection.

Our beach day consisted of 1-1 1/2 hours down at the beach, followed by a quick sand-rinse-off and another 2 hours or so of playing at the splash park/playground. It was great.

Everyday, Foreman Grace would enlist all the kids at the park to play one of two games she had invented.

The first was making the slide at the playground into a water slide. Her primary mark of choice was always a boy a couple years older than she was. She would explain how fantastically wonderful her plan was and then demonstrate how one goes about filling one's bucket up with water from the splash park and lugging it over to the playground, up the steps and then how to pour it down the slide. This was immediately to be followed with one shooting down the slick, now wet, plastic slide in wet nylon shorts. After each kid successfully survived the Water Shoot of Terror, they were beyond thrilled to discover such a dangerously fun activity that, up until three minutes ago, they were completely oblivious to. Thus ensuing the parade of kids with buckets full of water to the slide area.

The other game she played was much simpler. Basically, everyone fills up their buckets with water and attempts to dump it on someone.

Frankie on the other hand, was happy to go around between the two parks, looking for abandoned or forgotten sand toys.
One day he found a truck.
Oh joy of joys for Frankie.



There was the day went to Davenport Park, which hosted a completely fenced in area, totally shaded by trees, a lovely playground and an antique carousal from 1929. I bought the kids a 10-ride punch card and we rode four times the first day and two times the second day.
Both of them really loved it.






Every day involved some kind of ice cream treat.
For cooling down, of course...


We named the hotel elevator Rosie.



But I think the very most favorite part of the whole trip, Frank and I included, was our nightly walk around the grounds, Frog Hunting.


The hotel is situated in the middle of a golf course with a lake. Thus the frogs. After the temperature dropped, right around sunset, the frogs would come out. Little, tiny frogs would hop around and the kids, BOTH OF THEM, would catch them. Some nights they would hold them in their hands and others they went into the buckets. Grace was very gentle and easily picked them up. Frankie was a little less concerned. Some of Frankie's frogs didn't hop the same upon their release... We walked around, searching out as many frogs as we could carry and then made the trek back to the hotel playground and let them go. This was followed by ten minutes or so of playground playing, then off to call Rosie for bath and bed. The last two nights, we went out a little later then the previous nights, which resulting in us finding the bigger frogs. So big, that one filled Grace's little hands. She named her Mama Frog. We found Mama Frog two nights in a row. It was such a lovely and relaxing way to end our day. Frank came with us all but the first night. Since he did have to work, this was a great time for us all to be together, share our adventures and to unwind.




We all had such a nice time together.
The trip home was fine.
I was alone with the kids.
I think I made about 27 trips to the bathroom that day.
One even included holding up the plane from backing away from the gate...

This is the only picture of me from the whole trip.
The pictures that Frankie took don't count.



Now it's back to our AK summer: cold, raining and gray....
I hope the weather gets better soon, my new seeds need some sun!
Wait til you see what Frank built me!!





Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Florida Fly Day.

The kids did really good for the big, long flight.

We had the very last row on the plane, which was great because it was right next to the bathroom. I brought their pjs to change into on the second flight. We left Anchorage at 530p and finally got to Orlando at 712a. As expected, Grace curled up and went to sleep, without an issue. The unexpected part was, so did Frankie. The last time we flew, he literally made himself sick because he was so tired and wouldn't go to sleep. But he must have been tired enough, because they were both asleep before we took off. They stayed sleeping for all but the last hour or so of the flight.
Not bad at all.

When we got off the plane, they got into their third set of clothes (new holiday clothes from Nana!) and we were ready to roll. All the bags showed up (thankfully! Again, not the case on our last flight...), got the rental and we were on the road, looking for breakfast. The kids fell asleep right away. I had done some research and found this great little place for locals called Peach Valley Cafe. It was tucked into a little strip mall; the service was good, the food tasted great and was really inexpensive.
Frankie loved the homemade apple fritters.

We were supposed to hit up my Ikea and Crate and Barrel, but because it was Sunday they didn't open until 11a and since everyone really wasn't in the mood, I said we could skip it. Instead we took the coastal roads north to St. Augustine.
On the way, we stopped at Target for the essentials;
buckets and shovels, beach blanket and juice boxes.
After a little driving, we stopped at the first beach.
It was hot + humid, but so nice to feel the sand and the water between our toes.
The kids loved the beach. So much.
Then it was back to the car for the last bit.
Checked into the hotel and settled in.

That's it for today.
More to come tomorrow.
People are calling for oven toast.

{pictures are from top left to bottom right.}

Grace at Anchorage airport, waiting to board.
Frankie endless playing with the tray table.
Grace and Frankie, ready for take off.
Frankie, Frank and Grace waiting to board the second plane in Seattle.
Frankie, Grace and Frank just arrived in Orlando, waiting to get off the plane.
Grace and Frankie on the train between terminals. Frankie thought he hit the jackpot.
Grace on the beach.
Grace and Frankie on their way down to the beach.
Frankie on the beach.

Monday, June 14, 2010

We're Back!



We're back and happy to be home.

The laundry is calling me and we need to make a serious Costco trip.

Florida was great.
We were at the beach everyday.
Shovels, check.
Buckets, check.
Fun in the sun, check and check.

Let me get my life back together and I'll tell you all about it.

Tomorrow!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Back in a Bit.

{image found here}

We are off to Florida today!
I am so thrilled that the only kid gear we have are two booster seats!
Seems so strange (and fabulous!) not to have to lug another entire duffle bag stuffed to the gills with travel beds, diapers, wipes, bathing options, eating options, 17 extra outfits (just in case!).
And no stroller. Wow. This might be fun! Ha!!

The kids each have their own back pack filled with their comfort stuff and I might have a new toy for each of them in my own back pack.

I'm bringing three books with me.
I'm sure this is overly confident that I'll be able to read one book, but I like to be prepared.

Shovels and buckets (and maybe a beach umbrella) will be purchased when we get there.

See you next week!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Anchorage Sunset: 11:30p.


{different camera settings}

The skies have been clear and sunny the past few days which make for some pretty great sunsets, that last FOREVER.

This was taken at 11:30pm.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's Cooking: Orange & Thyme Grilled Shrimp


This is such a tasty, fresh, EASY way to grill up shrimp.
Perfect for summer time.

Orange & Thyme Grilled Shrimp serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 24), peeled and deveined, tails on
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
Directions

  1. In a shallow dish, combine shrimp, 1 teaspoon zest, 1/4 cup juice, garlic, oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours). Soak eight 8-inch wooden skewers in water 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, remaining 1/2 teaspoon zest, remaining 1/4 cup juice, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme; season dipping sauce with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Thread shrimp onto skewers, and grill, turning once, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve shrimp with dipping sauce.
From Martha Stewart, Everyday Food July 2008.



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