The suitcases alone usually take two weeks.
Grab a bag of popcorn and get comfortable. It's vacation picture time. :0
Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center
We started at the top of the museum and worked our way down. This is the view from the top floor. In the center of the picture, right above the 'k', you can see where the trolley goes up and down the mountain. Daniel loves the trolley.
There was a section on the top floor specifically designed for kids aged 3-6. We could have spent hours in there! In this picture, Brenna, Daniel and Ashley (my cousin) were floating balls and boats down the river.
Carrie agreed to a little photo shoot in a tree stump.
Ashley and Carrie - Carrie's hair was in her eyes and I'd forgotten to pack a barrette in our 'Pittsburgh bag'. Ashley pulled an "extra" one out of her hair and asked if it would work. It was perfect!
This was the train room. One word: Amazing! Daniel did this room three times. Not only were there lots of trains running and stunning backgrounds/landscaping, but there were over a hundred animations. Cute little unexpected movements, like a child swinging or a grandma rocking. I think we all really enjoyed this room.
After the trains, we spent an hour learning all about robots and then took a lunch break. Just a few blocks from the museum is Jerome Bettis' restaurant. That's Jerome Bettis of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our waitress was great...the food, not as much. For example, I ordered a linguini bruschetta and could barely eat it because they diced black olives into their bruchetta. The olives were not in the menu description or I never would have ordered it! (I should mention, though, that Michael asked for a discount and they took my meal off the bill.)
This picture is hilarious to me. It perfectly depicts the moment. :0
After a leisurely walk back to the museum along the beautiful riverside, we toured this retired US submarine. It's mind boggling how those guys can live like that.
At the end of the day we entered the sports science portion of the museum. Um...Crowded!!
Michael rode the bike - two floors up! (You can see the track in the previous picture.)
Of all the things we saw online before we got to the Carnegie Science Center, this was the one thing Brenna wanted to do. Jump on the trampoline. With bungee cords. And because I love her so very much, and am slightly off my rocker, I stood in line with her for nearly an hour and a half so she could do this one thing that she really wanted to do and just didn't want to miss. And I videoed the entire 3 minutes of jumping and swinging and barely hitting the trampoline. And I will spare you that video.
But to her, it was worth every minute she stood in line. She loved it. :)
The kids with my dad's parents in their living room.
Wednesday we spent the day with my Uncle Randy, Aunt Tina, and their girls, Emily, Sarah, and Ashley. Randy wanted to take Daniel fishing. Daniel will do just about anything if it's with Uncle Randy.
And since I tagged along too, I got some of my absolute favorite pictures....
Wednesday night Carrie did not sleep well so Thursday morning was a very late start. After breakfast we drove to Amish Country...which is one of my most favorite places. After lunch, Michael drove us over to Charm, Ohio. Home to Mrs. Millers Dry Goods. Brenna and I were in heaven. Never have I seen such beautiful quilts!! I found one I loved and checked the tag. $850. The next one was worse. $1050. In the building next door we were two giggly little girls just oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous fabrics. At one point, Brenna said, "Mama, it makes me smile when you get all excited." We had the best time! Brenna bought a bag of scraps and I got a few fat quarters. Given another hour, we both would have spent quite a bit more....but Daniel was so done.
This is my uncle John.
Brenna and Daniel loved the barn cats. And there were plenty to play with! Michael kept his distance, and luckily neither Brenna nor Daniel appeared to have any allergy.
Daniel and Aunt Gayle feeding the cows.
Uncle John said the kids could climb all over the tractors if they wanted. And believe me, they wanted! He also let them climb up inside of his big rig.
I just love this shot of Carrie that Michael got.
Nana's PoolWe got to go swimming quite a few times. The water temperature was in the upper eighties. It was so much fun ... until.... a neighboring farmer decided to spread liquid manure on his fields.
Dis.gus.ting. I have no words for how foul that smell is. Chased us all inside for the rest of the day.
Right before we left for home, we got a picture of the kids with my mom's parents. Nana and Pap let us stay with them for the week and we had a great time. They put up with all our kid toys, baby equipment, nap schedules, and tears. (Carrie cried when she couldn't sleep, Daniel cried when he'd rather play than come to dinner, and Brenna cried when it was time to go home.) We laughed and visited and enjoyed a very fast moving week together.
We love Ohio and as Brenna said, "When I'm up here I miss everyone in Virginia. And when I'm down there, I miss everyone in Ohio!"