Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Yorktown Experience

The revolutionary war for all intents ended at Yorktown, Virginia on an October day when the American revolutionary army under George Washington with the help of the French army and navy defeated Cornwallis. We drove along the marked trail much like we did at Gettysburg. The first stop was the French cannon positions. At the outer positions.

as the battle went on cannon fire filled the air. The English were fortified behind mounds with spiked logs around the rim to help retard direct attack. The positions called "redoubts" we very difficult to over run.

The next stop was the Yorktown National Cemetery was kept beautifully to honor the soldiers put to rest in this most sacred ground.

the cemetery was bordered with a beautiful brick wall.

the American army moved to even closer positions only four hundred yards from the British redoubts where they blasted point blank. Near the forward positions we met Benjamin a modern day patriot.

the woods the spiked poles used for construction of the positions were stockpiled in an area called "The Deposit" shown on this marker nearby.

American positions were not much more than mounds constructed for maximum protection and ability to fire the cannons.

these positions looked very impressive.

Later along the road we caught a picture of a deer running into the woods near the Augustine Moore House the site of the British surrender.

The Augustine Moore House was beautifully preserved and the grounds were lovely.

Further along the way, in the 91 degree heat the new patriots our U.S. Coast Guard ( or Navy) men were jogging along the trail to keep in shape. I was very impressed as they ran at least 2 miles from where we first saw them and my guess was that was only a short part of the run.

My favorite picture on the drive was a creek running through the grasses a beautiful sight.

Matt and the girls along with Maggi and Nathan were at Busch Gardens amusement park from 8am till their return at 11pm.

Here are the girls at Bush Gardens and another standing on one leg picture - I think they take turns.

Maggi and Nathan were great to help Matt with the girls at Bush Gardens and I think they had their share of fun as well.

Sierra the future terror of the city streets.....

... and finally an owl picture Matt got for Scrabble Queen

Scrabble Score Scrabble Queen 321The contender 299
Quote of the Day
"“We may destroy all the men in America, and we shall still have all we can do to defeat the women."~ British General Lord Cornwallis

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Williamsburg, Lebanese Food and a Belly Dance

Talk about a great day started of with a drive to Hayes and my sister's home. Along the York River between Gloucester Point and Yorktown we saw a cool boat.....

.... Some great marsh land....

... lots of marsh and beautifully green..

We arrived and saw Larry's Bike a British Triumph in great condition. He had a great ride from Texas finding family for the family tree and understanding his roots.

The girls immediately found a hammock

While I found a small open area with a great sculpture by Greg Henry.

We broke out in a water fight just before the food appeared

Then Maggi gave us a wonderful belly dance - she had taken lessons for a few years. Elaine and Doug were wonderful hosts and to have Kathy and Larry there also was very special. Maggi, of course, is the girls hero they can't say enough good things about how great she is.

I have really loved seeing my sisters and Maggi and my brothers-in-law. It's been difficult getting online so I've made this brief. I'll fill in more later.

No Scrabble

Quote of the day - "Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get." ~
Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Swimming, Tuna and the " Big Pencil"

Today was a hang around the RV day. Matt and I ran to target to get the girls a movie (The Young Black Stallion) a really good children's movie with some spectacular photography. While we were at Target and getting lunch at Popeye's and Virginia BBQ, Scrabble Queen took the girls swimming. We all arrived at the RV at the same time and after lunch Matt took the pollywog's swimming again. After swimming again the girls showed up decked out in one of Matt's shirts (Ansley) ....

....and a towel large enough to be a bedspread (Sierra)

We all decided it was time to cook some Salmon Sharyn had purchased earlier...

We marinated it in a mixture of soy sauce and maple syrup and just before cooking sprinkled it liberally with black pepper. Cooked the skin side down for a few minutes after coating the grill with olive oil. Then filet side down for 4 - 5 minutes then basted the filet side once more with the soy/syrup mixture and cooked it about 5 minutes more on low.

Perfection and the meal was enjoyed by all. The girls swim like fish and have loved the Tuna Steaks and the Salmon so I guess the daughters of an Aquarius are fishes for sure.

Finally we watched "The Young Black Stallion" with Sierra cuddled on her dad's lap.

It was the perfect end to a nice day.

No Scrabble today (again)

Quote of the day -"Look there's a big pencil" ~ Ansley Coral Viel (on seeing the Washington Monument

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

June 22, 2005 - Justin, TGI Friday and "The Pool"

We started the day with a trip north to Maryland for a visit with Justin. It's a long explanation I'll not go into other than to say we have known Justin since he was four years old and almost five. There was no more wonderful and bright child than Justin and it has continued through today just 20 days after his fourteenth birthday. Justin is a future Air Force Academy graduate and with luck will get his pilot license within 3 years.

Matt and Justin were particularly close as were all of my children. It was pretty special for Matt to meet his little buddy Shmeekshmo now all grown up and a fine young man.

Justin when we think of our family you are always there standing with us and always in our hearts.

I can't tell you how hard it was to say goodbye for now but seeing the wonderful home and neighborhood his Grandmother EE has given him we did leave with a smile. Justin pointed out the home next door ....

....and that Amanda who lived there was a Teen USA beauty queen and promised that would not distract him from his chosen Air Force Career.

It was a hot day and a long day for the girls especially after stopping at Andrews Air Force Base Credit Union for Matt to do some business we arrived back at camp in pretty good time (Thank you HOV lane on the I95). The girls wanted to swim and I needed some pictures for my daily blog so I volunteered to take them swimming. They practiced synchronized swimming.....

High diving ........

.... and pool posing - Thank you Sierra and Ansley

This has been a great place to camp with a really nice wooded playground for the kids,

WiFi and Satellite TV for the adults (even though we mostly watched children's programming ). It has been a great day that ended with a great meal prepared and planned by Scrabble Queen and a little Thunder, Lightning, and Rain....

No Scrabble Today - Rained out

Quote of the Day - "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ChuckECheese and the Black Lagoon

After suffering the sticker shock of King's Dominion and a slow start we decided on ChuckECheese for pizza and some fun

We first discovered Chuck E Cheese in Ogden, Utah way back in 1978 or so and it was the birthday place for years for the kids. Always fun, loud, and hectic even in the quite section. But plenty to keep the children entertained for a few hours and very colorful.

Of course little girls that would go absolutely berserk if they saw a mouse and happy to sit next to one in a car and have their picture taken. Both Ansley

... and Sierra held on to their cup of tokens for the picture

Sierra humored dad with a ride on the jet ski

They all scored high on ski ball

They left Chuck E cheese with a smile and some hard won prizes

Outside the Chuck E's there was a little lagoon complete with weeping willows,


.......and reeds

Later Matt dropped us off at the RV and took the girls to see Madagascar while we hung out. Matt brought us home a nice dinner of Cajun food and BBQ (yummy).

All in all a loud but relaxing day despite the fact that our bank's debit card was one of the one's recently hacked so that card is toast but we will solve that one creatively if possible or just stay here forever in Walmart parking lots.

No Scrabble Today

Quote of the Day
"Much of the vitality in a friendship lies in the honouring of differences, not simply in the enjoyment of similarities." ~ Anon


©Paul Viel