29 February 2016

February Visit to the Colorado Carsons

I took a fun trip to Colorado in February to see Rachel and the kids while Tyler is in Afghanistan. I wanted to try to give her a little break from single parenting, and I had a great time with Andrew and Sylvia. It was a win-win!
Andrew wanted to play with the play dough every day I was there.
 He has an amazing array of cookie cutters and gadgets to shape the play dough.
Photographic evidence of Andrew playing with the play dough on three different days.
 Rachel wanted me to show her how to make cinnamon rolls, and of course Andrew wanted to help.
 All that experience with play dough made him a good helper with the bread dough!
Andrew helping his mommy clean the piano.
The weather was nice enough that we went on some walks.
One day we went to the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs.
 This was taken outside of the museum. You can see it was a really nice day, considering it was the middle of February.
 One of the places in the museum was set up like an old-time photo studio with hats and bonnets to wear. I think this is a fabulous picture of Rachel and Sylvia. Andrew didn't want to be in the picture.
This was in a room that had been used as a courtroom.
 In the children's room there was a teepee that the kids really liked to play in.
 Afterwards Andrew had some energy to burn,
 so he played out in the grass outside of the museum for a bit.
Here's Andrew playing with the car mat I made for him.
 They have a fun play room set up in the basement for the kids.
 I always love reading to the kids at bedtime. Andrew doesn't look too thrilled, does he? He liked being read to, he just didn't want to get his picture taken!
I was able to watch the kids while Rachel had a church meeting, went to some exercise classes, did some shopping and had a dentist appointment. I wasn't there long, but I'm so glad I could go and spend some time with that sweet little family. Rachel is an awesome mother and a wonderful homemaker.

21 February 2016

Valentine's Weekend Trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Kent ended up having a four-day weekend over Valentine's day, since he had Friday off and Monday was president's day. We planned a trip for us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's a resort town (nicknamed the "Redneck Riviera") and we know several couples who go there every year, so we thought we'd check it out.

We headed out on Friday morning. On our way there we passed by the town of Carson, Virginia. We'd stopped there a few years ago on our way to North Carolina. We took some pictures of Kent posing in front of his namesake town.
 We didn't know if this was a home or a business, but we loved this house and would love to own something similar someday.
We drove through North Carolina and then into South Carolina.
 Myrtle Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean and there wasn't a direct road to get to it from the interstate, which surprised us. We took several small, winding two-lane roads.
 We checked into our hotel in the afternoon, and that evening we had tickets to see a variety show at the Alabama Theater. That's one of the things Myrtle Beach is known for, is their big theaters and elaborate shows.
The show we went to was a mix of patriotic, gospel and contemporary music, with some dancing and comedy acts thrown in. It was entertaining and professional.
The next day was Saturday and we headed to the beach area of Myrtle Beach. Below was one of our feeble attempts at a selfie. (Selfies should only be taken by the young!)
 We finally asked someone to take a picture for us. It was sunny, but still cold that day.
 We walked out to the end of this pier,
and took pictures of the resorts along the beach from there.
 On Sunday before church (it didn't start until 1pm) we went to a famous sculpture garden.
 We had a guided tour through the gardens.
 It was another sunny, but cold, day.
 This big old tree was so pretty, and full of Spanish moss. I always think of Spanish moss being found farther south, like Louisiana.
 The garden was full of sculptures collected by a childless married couple, who donated them to the public after they passed away.
 This was the largest sculpture in the garden, set in a pond.
We had a nice trip, but neither of us were overly impressed with Myrtle Beach and have no desire to return there. Especially since neither of us are fond of the beach. We headed back to Virginia after church on Sunday so that we could have the Monday holiday to work on projects at home.