Sunday, June 18, 2017

Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement

We had a leisure day exploring in Virginia....
 we began our day strolling through the historic streets of Colonial Williamsburg.
 Some of us took advantage of the wide open spaces to practice up on their cartwheels!
 The streets were filled with characters and their mule or horse drawn wagons....
 and luckily they had these stops for those who got out of hand - ha!
 The boys were all about trying this out....pretty sure they felt it was super uncomfortable and they will be obedient to the laws in the future :)
 The colonial games were a huge hit with all six in our gang!  They all begged for us to purchase this particular stick/ring toss game and, while it was super fun, I had too many visions of an eye being stabbed during playtime thus leading to my decision to leave that game behind!
 The girls all enjoyed the opportunity to learn about colonial instruments and take their stab at playing a tune!  Even little Chapman danced a bit to the music!
 Life is so simple in Colonial Williamsburg.  Maddox asked me why I was taking a pic of the clothesline...I explained to her that I needed it to remind me of why I am so happy to have the washer/dryer luxury in our 8 person home!
 This pic was for Gran....they served coffee in the colonial era!  Who knew?!
 We came to the end of our time in Colonial Williamsburg and I wanted one.last.pic.  
So thankful for these crazies!
 Jamestown Settlement
 The bigs and the littles had so much fun dressing the part....
 these things were so heavy!!!
 After playing a bit, they decided to pitch in and help....
 some of them did anyway :/  Others had fun trying to take the best pic!
 The girls got a lesson in laundry and they heard why the clothing was stitched a certain way to assist with perspiration....
 laundry can be such fun when it isn't your everyday chore!
 This little one enjoyed collecting rocks....
 the boats...
400 people on one tiny boat and ALL under the deck for four months....
 thankfully my kiddos heard the history and were able to experience history firsthand!
 Hands-on learning at its finest!
 More coffee for Gran!  We loved the size of this mug!
 The girls had a great time checking out the beds on the ships....but this room would not be my first pick with the armor staring down at me!
 A girl and her thumb.  How I love this little one!
 Pryce checking out the front of the ship....
 and a ring toss game in the Indian settlement....this one was a bit safer....feathers and rings instead of sharp pointed sticks and rings!
 Indian housing....
 Big brother showing little sister how to grind corn....
 While the rest of us were exploring the Indian settlement, this little one was busy exploring nature!  She found an inchworm and had the best time playing with him!
 And MK was taught how to weave.....she LOVED this day!
 Our big day ended with Target and ChickFilA....hats for the win!  These girls were loving a good hat minus their standard bows!
 Little one was all sleepy.  This one runs full speed ahead and crashes full force too!  
Our ten day northern adventure ended here.  We slept one more night and we rose early the next morning for a quick departure and we were homeward bound.  The memories we made together are priceless.  We all had such a good time together!  There is nothing more special to me than spending quality, uninterrupted time with my little family seeing new sites and watching them take it all in.  Little Bit traveled so well....everyone was always up for the day and excited to see the next site....the bigs were so helpful with the littles and the littles helped us to all keep in the moment, taking it all in and not rushing through the day to see every.little.thing.  We are all anxiously waiting to see where our next traveling excursion will take us!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Valley Forge

Four nights in Pennsylvania and we were on the road again!
 My sweet girls wrote thank you notes to the ladies that cleaned our room each day....such a treasure to know their hearts are thankful!
 The weather could not have been more perfect for a stroll through Valley Forge....
 the beauty and the history that fills this park is breathtaking.
 Valley Forge was the winter encampment for General George Washington and his army during the American Revolutionary War.
 After a day of big city life, the girls especially enjoyed having a large place to roam and jump and explore!
 Maryn is never at a loss for a good facial expression....
 and the girls are never at a loss in finding something fun to do!
 We all embraced the morning of relaxation....
 and learn a little history in the process.
 Walls are always a good balance beam activity and our little is always, always right behind the bigs trying so hard to do exactly what they are doing.  
 The General's house....
 After our leisure morning, we piled into the car for an afternoon ride to our final destination, Williamsburg, Virginia.  
The special treat came when we found a Bertucci's Italian restaurant along our path.  Bertucci's is a favorite of ours from our days spent in MA many moons ago and it did not disappoint.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New York City

The back story to our day in NYC.....I have visited NYC multiple times throughout my life, the last time being December, 2011.  NYC is a city that I have always wanted to share with the children but the opportunity has never presented itself to date.  When we were planning our trip up north, we went back and forth about taking on the city and ultimately decided that it would be too much to tackle with all six children in tow.  
 Fast forward to our third day in Washington, D.C.  Ryan and I were sitting on a park bench taking it all in....the children were all enjoying the nice weather and having some outdoor freedom.  I had a thought stirring in me about possibly going to NYC for the day....after all, we would be in Philadelphia and NYC is just a short train ride away and we had experienced a successful time conquering D.C.....so I spoke my thoughts to Ryan and he suggested we look further into it.  
 So we changed around our hotel reservations, purchased our train tickets, researched the "must dos" of NYC and off we went!
 Our first official stop off of the train was a pretzel truck for a quick snack....bleck.  That was by far the nastiest pretzel ever.  Maryn had a good time feeding the pigeons so it wasn't a total fail, ha!
 We saw Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes - I thought this would be such an amazing opportunity for MK but she was like, "Who are they???"  Quick lesson on the Rockettes and we were on our way!
 Nine months ago, we traveled around China with this sweet lady, Wendy.  She and her son, Leo, live in NYC and we just happened to be a block away from her office....she took a moment and came down to meet everyone and see a sleepy Chapman.
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 Then it was off to purchase tickets to go up on the Rock....tickets were purchased and we headed out to find the home of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
 Times Square was all things Times Square....
 busy, crowded and advertisements everywhere....LOVE.
 We rounded our way back to St. Patrick's Cathedral, a stroll through Sax...
 and a pleasant walk through the American Girl Doll store....
 Photos in front of Rockefeller Center prior to their top of the Rock experience....
 The ballerina statue changes each year....and the ice skating rink is a restaurant in the less than frigid temps.
 The boys took so much in on this day....they were awestruck and it made my heart happy to know that we were able to do this city as a family.
 Little Chapman spent some time resting on her daddy's back....
 We walked to and fro and all just took in everything our minds could handle....Maryn was a true sport, she danced her way through the city!
 Central Park 
 the park is always full of entertainment....such a beautiful spot in the middle of the hustle and bustle of NYC.
 This little one....she just cracks me up sometimes.  Such a strong, sweet little will she has.  She was not intimidated at all walking amongst the park goers.
 Subway
This little jewel had us all baffled....there are NO instructions, no amounts....it took ALL of us to figure out but we made it work and off to the Statue of Liberty we went!
 Maryn decided nap time was a must on the subway....
 World Trade Center
 The little dot between the boys' arms is the Statue of Liberty....our goal was to see it and we did!
 Because we only had one day in the city, we chose not to take the boat over to the island and actually get up close and personal!
 A big and a little....bestill my heart.  I love the way my boys love my girls!
 On top of the Rock....the children all agreed this was their favorite part of the day!
 The city views were amazing....
 it was may favorite part of the day too....while Ryan took the six children up on the Rock, I sat outside Rockefeller Center and took in the day to day life of New York City....it was fabulous.  People watching is a fav!
 The boys had one last request....Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange....bam!  They walked and the girls and I played in a park....
our day could not have been better!  We saw so much, we all came out with memories and we were all together for NYC.