Monday, April 11, 2011

LIVING...Calverton Cliffs State Park, MD

We have been here almost three weeks and it's been quite the ride with the weather.  We have had lots of rain, a little bit of sleet, even smaller amounts of hail, spurts of sunshine and a few very hot days (80's).  Today is suppose to be a hot day...thank goodness.

During the week we don't get out much.  Cory is working very long days and doesn't get home until around 7 each night.  This will be his schedule for the next few months while the project is in it's early planning stages.  We try to do all  of our exploring on the weekends.

This weekend we went down to Calvert county.  Counties are a big deal in this part of the country.  People don't usually ask which town you live in, but rather which county you are from or reside.  We are trying to catch on..LOL  Calvert county is south of us and the tip is where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic ocean.  The cliffs are pretty and are close to the site where in 1608 John Smith landed when he arrived at the America's.  The walk was 2 miles out and the cliffs are 30 miles long, but the beach is only about a 1/4 of a mile.

The draw for this beach is the fossils.  They are everywhere.  Shark teeth can easily be found daily.  I found a small white one.  Isabella had fun playing in a small stream that feeds into the bay with other kids her age.

The walk is beautiful, the beach peaceful and the air is so clean and fresh.  Calvert county is filled with rolling hills and lots of enormous homes, many plantation styles and cap code in appearance.

We also checked out a mall in Annapolis.  It was a very welcomed  outing.  We are out in Anne Arundel county and it is often times referred to as "redneckville' by others.  Don't get me wrong, this town is nice but very rural and about 30 minutes from DC.  Annapolis is part of a triangle of cities...the other two points would be Baltimore and DC.  The mall was great with all of the usual stores: Build a Bear, Hot Topic and Game Stop.  This made the kids happy. Oh, it had a Border's that was not going out of business and a Japanese food court restaurant that was really good.  So, YES, we were all happy for a few hours of shopping and walking amongst the city-ites.  (Yes, I just made that word up)

We went to a small town called Cape St. Claire that we all loved and checked out the housing and surrounding areas.  The problem here is that everyone loves where they live and when ever I ask people their opinion of specific towns or counties, they are all different.  But, we do like this area and when we get ready to move into a home will try to find a place in this area.  Our goal is to try and be in the area within the triangle of the three cities.

Here are a few pictures of Cory, Isabella and I on the walk out to the cliffs.  The big kids wanted to stay home and have some alone time.

We thought this was cool to see, they must have beavers or nutria living in the area.

We made it to the Atlantic this picture

So this picture too!  Two of the most important men in my life!

Our 2 mile hike in took a while, there was so much to see.  Isabella is at the age of wonderful discovery.  Everything is amazing, new and inspiring.  If we only all had this outlook in life as became adults.

This is how you come back when you are 4 and hike in 2 miles...poor daddy...poor back.

This bridge and dock were closed to the public for obvious reasons...broke parts but the picture shows you the area as we walked out to the beach.  It was full of so many colors.  You new it was spring, yet it could have just as easily been the end of fall with all of the bare trees and fallen leaves on the ground.

My first attempt at creating this popular look with some of the flowers along the walk.

Not sure what she was doing, but though it was a cute picture.

The trees are so tall and very large around.  We tried counting the rings on some, but they are so close together it's hard to keep track and with old eyes it all started blurring together and we gave up.

Mid jump...we found some water!

Looking away from the beach.

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She just keeps getting cuter and cuter every day!

Looking for fossils...the photo has a texture on it.

This is the broken bridge.  I thought it looked cool.

The beach to the right...

....the beach to the left.  So you can see how tiny it is.

They have installed these plank style walk ways through the park.  It's very wet and muddy in some parts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

LIFE...May 21, 2011 (who knew, not me)

I wonder if this date means anything to anyone else?  Yes, No? Hmmmm.  We had no idea the world is ending on this date until we went downtown this weekend.  Do I believe this? Absolutely not, but it seems that quite a few people do.  They were shouting this on several corners, handing out fliers and even had their van painted with the message.  Of course this was a joke with our family for a few days.  If something needed to be done, the answer would be "Why, the world is soon ending".  We were being funny, of course, but this got me thinking about several things.

If I had the chance to know in advance of my last day on earth, would I want to know? Would I want to know in advance of how things were going to end?  Would I tell anyone else of the day of my departure? What would I change about myself, my situation, my life?

I think that if given the chance to have this knowledge I would pass, but then you really don't know what you would do until you are in that situation.  I am such a planner and list maker, that maybe I would actually accomplish so much more.  I might actually become a better person if this information was readily available.  I might actually "live" knowing that I was soon to "die".  Which we are all going to die, but for each of us this date is always..later, when I am old, peacefully, etc...  We really don't have this information unless you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.  I wonder by then is it too late?  Too late to live, to love, to change, to be.....

I wonder if it would make me love more, judge less, be grateful for those around me, see life as a essence, cherish every second, moment, hour.

This is just food for thought. Although I was moved by these people's passion for something that they said they read in the bible and believed whole heartedly.  For the life of Cory and I, we could not remember ever seeing this particular date written in the bible.

Life is so full of "what ifs" and "wonderment"and because I don't have this information, I then must choose to be those things I want to be and live my life to it's fullest with the full knowledge that I will some day leave this life.  I think of how blessed I am at this moment to know that we have loved and lived. Received and given.  Tried, failed and succeeded.   Travelled.  Too many things to list, but I do think of my life as a spectrum of joy, happiness and love.

I hope that we have many more years to learn, love, laugh and live.  This is just a simple and short thought but I do wonder about things like this.  It reminds me to live life to the fullest, love those around me,  to be grateful for simple things and to not ever forget that life is short, and sometimes we leave too soon.  We should all strive to make the most of the time we have on earth while we still have a breath of air left in our lungs.


Monday, April 4, 2011

LIVING...We Made IT!

WOW, I can't believe it's already April, time is flying by so fast. I thought I should up date our blog and share some pictures of our trip to DC, which by the way is awesome, beautiful and so much fun!

Our trip started off taking us through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. We took Hwy 20 and the feel of  each of these states was the same...tree lined roads, lots of farm land and green,green, green.  Unfortunately we did not spend any time going into the bigger cities on this trip.  We did take the Selma to Jackson route so the kids could see how far the walk was that the civil rights members took...47 miles.  They walked 12 miles a day.  We learned a lot about this time in history thanks to having google on our phones.  Technology is a gift.  We made really good time and so decided to venture off of the beaten path and head towards Savannah, GA.

This is a typical street in downtown Savannah.  The historic section of Savannah is not very large, I think they said it is 2.5 miles by 2.5 miles.

The historical section is made up of one way streets and "squares".  There are 22 squares that are parks with statues, flowers and park benches.  These are surrounded by lots of homes and old buildings used for businesses.

The trees are covered with moss. We were told that the moss does not hurt the trees.  It makes the trees look amazing.

Typical home in Savannah.

You will see lots of iron, brick and painted buildings.  I loved this color combination.  The iron work is  very detailed on a lot of buildings and it has been painted black over and over.

I love doors.  This door was aged by weather and looked to not have been painted recently.  Most of the 1400 buildings in this area have all been restored and maintained perfectly.

This is another square

The historic district boast a lot of different nationalities, this was  in front of an English pub.  I love the red phone booths.

Down by the river walk they have lots of steam boats for dinner tours.  The river walk has some great restaurants.  The stairs are amazing, they are literally straight up and down.  At Mardi Gras they have to close the stairs...apparently green beer and steep stairs don't mix well.

This is the cemetery inn town.  These crypts are more designed to the times and the style of the day.  In Louisiana they have this style more for need.  The water table is too high to have underground burials.

The Pink House.  This is another typical style of the architecture that you will see in Savannah, along with this soft, painted  hue of pink or coral.

There are very few gingerbread houses left in the district.  These are two that were on our tour and the picture is blurred a bit because of the plastic that I had to shoot through.

They have tried to retain the cobble stone streets down by the river walk.  I love this look.

Savannah is beautiful.  It was absolutely one of the prettiest cities I have been in.  The thought that I have is one of gratitude that this city was preserved from the destruction of the civil war and how so many hands have maintained the buildings and spirit of the city.  I have waited a life time to visit this town and on the one day we decide to's freezing and so bitter cold.  I did not let this detour us though.  Cory and I set off to explore this town and we had a great time.  I unfortunately did not get a ton of photographs..bummer.  We took a trolley tour, but the sides were down and so some of the pictures look hazy.  We ate at Hueys on the river walk...soooo goood!   The big kids were not up to more sight seeing and it was too cold for Isabella.  It was nice to have a day together.  We will definitely come back when we have a few more days to explore and hopefully get outside more.  They had some wonderful tours that I would have loved to take..but time was not on our side for this trip.

At Denny they are doing all things "bacon", including their Sundae's.  We ordered one and it was awesome.  Vanilla Ice Cream, maple syrup and bacon...YUMMY.   Of course we ate this first, the waitress thought we were weird.  You can take sandwich in a doggie bag but not ice cream...LOL

Savannah KOA.  We were so lucky to get their last spot.  We had a huge thunder and lightening storm that night and the next morning the park was cleared out.

Roanoke, VA KOA.  The trees are so huge here.  Drake could not get over how tall they all are.

Nothing like a bath in the sink.

I wish that we had taken route 17 up to Myrtle Beach and the by way.  It sounds beautiful but we were ready to get here and be done with long days of driving.  We stopped in VA and camped one night at a KOA in Raonoke.   Our last day was 4 hours and we arrived to freezing cold and rain, mixed with sleet.

Our set up to get to DC

I have to admit, this area is nothing like I expected it to be.  The wide openness of this area is amazing to us.  There are lots of small towns, with lots of open road and forested areas everywhere.  We expected it to be city for miles.

Drake and Rye in front of the White House.  The area to take pictures is not that large and their are a ton of people packed into this small area.

The Castle.  This is part of the Smithsonian.

Cherry blossom's on the pretty.  The couple off to the far right in the very back had just gotten engaged.  I looked over and he was down on one knee, heard the yes, then saw the kiss and a huge hug was given.   I walked over and offered to take a few pictures so they would and could remember their special day.  They were thrilled.  They were in town to celebrate her grandmothers 95 birthday and he wanted her to know they were getting married.  SO sweet!  I felt lucky to be able to witness such a special moment.

This is my "we made it" pose.  Yes, I am dorky...ask my kids.

I think this picture sums up our soon to be life in the city.  I like it, no...I love it!

Being in a large city, you get introduced to a lot of street music and vendors.  We sat and listened to this guy for a minute and he was really good. I think he worked for donations.

In side the Natural History Museum.  This elephant was pretty impressive on the first floor,

Sitting in the mall area, having a snack and resting our feet,

Hope's blue but the glass made it hard to capture the color and you had just a second to take a picture.

Isabella loves giraffes.  This picture is of  her sitting in front of the exhibit on Africa.

In the ocean exhibit they had this coral reef.  The whole thing is made up of knitted pieces.  This picture does not do it justice but it is quite beautiful to see.  The colors are very vibrant,

We did not walk over to the Lincoln monument, but this is it from across the water.  We will when it is not too busy with the festival.  

I think this is a tulip tree.  It was so beautiful and these are on the lawns of the white house.

This is the field in front of the white house, we did walk around the park and get a closer look...the picture below is better.

Cory and I set off to explore the area and to find his work.   He works in two different locations.  One is downtown and one is out in New Carrollton.  Both sites are easy to get to and he is looking forward to his new customer.

We took the kids down to the Cherry Festival yesterday.  The first thing they wanted to see was the white house.  We then ventured into the Natural History Museum.  The place was huge and very busy.  I think the kids are happy to be here and they seem to be adjusting to the prospect of living here.

We would love to have visitors come and stay with us when we get settled into a house or town home.  We are looking at different areas and options.

Maggie made it just fine with the trailer.  We were so relieved to have arrived and found that she is doing great still.  Pulling our large trailer is no easy task and I am sure she is glad to be unloaded of the weight of the trailer.  Now parking the beast is a different story..LOL  She's a big girl and requires ample parking, this is the tricky part.  Fortunately the Metro has parking at the top for larger vehicles.  We are looking into buying a "tuna can' to drive around town in.

Our travels have been an awesome opportunity for us to experience this wonderful country that we live in.  We are grateful for this and feel very blessed!  I know that our time here is going to go by so fast too.  We will be spending our weekends exploring the east coast and learning all that we can.  Love our life!