Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time for a little Magic!

Ash is all business while working in the water area!

The whole Harrmann gang interacts with an exhibit
based on their favorite book, Goodnight Moon!

Today's adventure involved the Magic House a fabulous place of exploration and adventure in Kirkwood, MO. The place is simply amazing... kids can explore science, careers, imagination, and creativity and so much more. It is one of the most popular places to take kids in St. Louis. We even ran into 3 of our students chaperoning a group of kids from St. Charles while we were there! Asher was in his element, virtually EVERYTHING was geared for the 3-5 set, although we found plenty for Gabriel and Rhylah to explore and enjoy as well.

Rhylah is absolutely entranced by the fish...she'd have stayed right here all morning if we'd let her.

Rhylah loved the fish, the tot lot, and water toys. Ash did it all (as you can see from the photos)
Gabe found anything that involved climbing to be totally cool.The place was packed with kids, but everyone got along quite nicely, taking turns and smiling with joy at one another. I don't think I heard even one kid crying the whole time I was there... although Ed says he may have seen a couple.
Ash tried out his car repair skills.....

... and his construction engineering skills.....

... and his cobbler skills! I think he has potential in all three!

The hardest part of going to the Magic House is getting your kids to leave... ours left quite politely. We followed the visit with Happy Meals and the day was complete. Then home for naps... ahh... sleeping munchkins, every mom's (and grandmom's) secret joy!
The boys climb off the 3 story tall beanstalk, high five their mom, and head for lunch!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Queeny Park Temple of Doom

Indiana Harrmann.... the boy was totally on an adventure!

I have a photo of Katrina at age 6 in EXACTLY this spot back in 1985... wow, was it
weird to shoot this one 24 years later!

My grandsons got in touch with their "inner Indiana" today at Queeny Park. We packed up the kids and a picnic and headed to the park shortly after the rush hour was over. They had a blast. Even with being prepared for how fun the park was, the first word out of Gabe's mouth as we pulled up was, "WHOA!"

They romped about pretending for the better part of an hour and a half. (with frequent water and snack breaks in between). We frequently heard snatches of the Indiana Jones theme or Pirates of the Carribean being hummed as they crawled up "mountains" and in an out of tunnels in their quests of adventure!

Then when it was time to go, we brought 2 little people home to take a LONG nap while big brother floated in the pool to his heart's content. Suffice it to say, a good time was had by all!
Rhylah obviously enjoys red grapes!

Here are the boys "up on top"....

And here is what they were up on top of! (that's them way in the distance and small!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tea for Two

I am certain there are very few things cuter than my grandkids... particularly my granddaughters who have just reached the tea party stage. Today they conducted a joint tea ceremony in my sunroom and what fun it was!

I have also included some adorable shots of Rhylah who took to the pool like a fish on the very first day she arrived in town! Way to swim, Rhy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Build Continues

My kids have been too busy to post much on their new I will share with you what's up on it lately! It now has a roof and inside walls are studded in. By the time I post this they will have finished the electrical and plumbing and already begun the wall board. Things are rolling along nicely.

Exterior view.

This was shot from the kitchen toward the great room. The fireplace is gas.

This was shot from one end of the master suite looking toward the master bath and hallway entrance to the room.

This is the view out Syd's bedroom closet window. It's the little window just over the porch portico on the first photo. It gives you an idea of what the other houses on their court look like!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Bit 'o Boston

Sunnyside - Home of author Washington Irving
Nestled along the Hudson River and was quite peaceful until the state of New York ran a train track through his front yard right along the riverbank! Is no one safe from progress?!? No photos were allowed inside, but it was
very lovely and well preservered with lots of Irving family momento

It dawned on me yesterday as I was sorting through some photos shot this summer that I never completed my postings on my June East Coast adventures. I went on and on about New York City but never about Boston. Hoping to correct that oversight, I thought about my post and then I learned yesterday that the Boston area has only had 3 sunny days since Memorial Weekend. Well, Gretchen and I caught 2 of them. The sunshine was gorgeous while we were there. So here is my adventure part TWO!

On our way out of NYC (June 5) we threaded a path through the Hudson River Valley and stopped in the tiny town of Tarrytown, home of author Washington Irving. Now most think of him only as the guy who wrote the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip vanWinkle", myself included. We learned that he was a diplomat, a man who compiled the first detailed life account of Abraham Lincoln, and that he remained a bachelor all his life while supporting his mildly impoverished relatives. We visited his estate along the Hudson River called "Sunnyside" and it was quite the place. We had a private tour and it was delightful. Just about everything in the house is original to the family and I highly recommend any literary buffs to see it!

The next day, June 6th, found us zipping up into Massachusetts in our rental car. We asked the Tomtom to plot us a scenic route as we were in no huge rush and also decided to avoid toll roads. We decided to loop a path that would take us through the historic city of Concord, home of many famous authors and birthplace of the American Revolution.

What a unique city, or rather still a town. We roamed streets once the paths of the ilk of Emerson, Alcott, Hawthorne, and Thoreau and imagined ourselves seeing them around just about every turn. Our luncheon spot was the historic Concord Inn, a dining spot on a crossroads that's been in continuous operation since 1715. (That's about as a far back and old as you can find things in America!)The lobster rolls there are delicious and hit the spot!We visited the historic Old North Bridge where the "shots heard round the world" were fired by the Minutemen and we found the homes and burials sites of all the aforementioned authors.
The Colonial Inn... serving travelers continuously since 1715!

Me relaxing on the idyllic Old North Bridge... it's quite scenic and peaceful - very unlike it was the night Paul Revere made his famous ride! I was surprised how secluded the spot was for such an historic moment!

Here's the bridge in its entirety, the statue in the distance is of a Minuteman. Here is where the opening shots of what would become the American Revolution were fired.

Okay, this is NOT a famous rock wall, but instead more of a typical New England rock wall. I envision myself using it from here on out every time I teach Frost's poem "Mending Wall" to my students. You know it... "something there is that doesn't love a wall".... and "good fences make good neighbors..".

Orchard House, home of the Alcotts... Louisa May and her sisters! I got to walk all the way round it. It looks like one of the "Little Women" could pop out the green front door at any moment! And their nearby neighbors, the Hawthornes would have them in for tea... I just know it!

Louisa and all her family are buried in Sleepy Hollow cemetery... not the Irving version, the Concord version. Story has it that these authors had a spot in the cemetery grounds where they would meet to talk and discuss ideas and that later, they arranged for all of them to be buried in the spot. Within 10 yards of each other you have the Alcotts, the Emersons, the Thoreaus, and some of the Hawthornes! Amazing to think of them all here in the "hotbed town" for literary greatness! Louisa's stone struck me for its total simplicity, not a tall marker or elaborate carved sculpture, just a white stone in the ground near to her mom and dad and sisters.

Here's Henry David Thoreau's final spot in his family group area. Just his first name on his stone, the family marker is adjacent to it. People leave him tokens here... and I found the Obama button to be a delight. I think Henry would approve of it right along with the karma beads, the pens, and the pine cones!

It was a wonderful day full of literature and history. The crowning point for me was our final spot... Walden Pond. Long a fan of Henry David Thoreau, I just had to see it. Believe it or not, there's a public swimming beach there now and on this sunny day in Massachusetts it was being well used!

This is a replica of Thoreau's Walden Pond cottage. It's built to the exact specifications set out in his book but not quite on the exact location of the original. It's smaller than a one car garage but quite cozy. The bronze of him nearby sets you to wondering how better off we'd all be if we had a cottage to run away to and the luxury of jobs that would enable you to do it!

And at last, Walden Pond, it was much larger than I expected. Really, in Missouri, it would be Walden LAKE! Very pretty and tranquil for the most part... if you count out the public bathing beach immediately to the side of where I was standing as I shot this. I will leave out a shot of that, it's more inspiring with out the tourists in the shot!
Tomorrow's post: Boston!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How it's Coming Along...

There's a house being built this summer and we've had some exciting progress in the past couple of weeks. Actually, it's a good bit further along than this photo shows; it even has a roof already on it with shingles and such and the front door is on. But this is one of my photos, and Gretchen and Leon will probably be posting their own on their blog site, so I don't want to "steal their thunder". Anyway, it's cool to see it finally becoming a reality. Right now, they say it's "on schedule" which means that just shortly after school begins our nest will be empty again and the Jamesons will be occupying their new "nest". Exciting, isn't it?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ya gotta eat!

Syd with her mommy; all grins for the Fourth of July!

A little flag-waving fun with daddy!

Red velvet cupcakes with patriotic decorations! See our wiki for the recipe.

Our family LOVES food! In fact, I would have to say that food is one of the very best things we do! We even have our own family wiki site with loads of our favorite recipes on it. On July 4th, we outdid ourselves with food... we even had red, white, and blue cocktails! So here are a few shots of us and some of our latest "creations". Bon appetit!

One of Ed's recent Italian creations... Italian Sausages grilled and served with Orzo Prima Vera.

And the finale.... the Rocket Bomb Pop Cocktail! Happy Birthday America!