Friday, July 31, 2009

Mini-vacation #4

(After ABVD)

Part 7 (and LAST!)

After the swimming and water play, Jeff and Sarah treated all of us to a meal at the Japanese restaurant. Sammy checked out the Japanese carvings in the waiting area.

Our waiter, James, was a lad from Grafton and who had just graduated from high school.

Our chef started his performance with the juggling of his cooking utensils. The camera may have made him nervous - while juggling his spatula, it landed on a bowl of soup! It was a good thing that his cleaver did not get out of hand! Not a good start - but he improved.

Notice below that the egg is in mid-air. It was time to start the fried rice. Eggs do better, I guess, if they are juggled with the tip of the spatula.

After frying the eggs, twas time to add the rice.

John and Rachael enjoyed the preparation of our food. I am not certain what Miss Flora was thinking.

Now it was time to cook the good "stuff". The chicken, shrimp, and scallops were fixed after the completion of the rice and vegetables.

While Flora was shy and does not eat exotic fare such as vegetables and rice - here comes Lucy! Lucy enjoys all food, and even uses her chop sticks.

Sam became a little concerned when the chef started the "onion volcano".

If you have been to a Japanese restaurant, one of the aspects of the "show" is food throwing! The chef tosses pieces of shrimp and the plan is that it is supposed to enter one's mouth! NOT! The only thing that Judy and I succeed in getting is grease all over our clothes. Jeff catches the shrimp in an expert manner. Sammy is trying to help his Dad by opening his mouth. Sam really is like grandpa - we really do not like someone throwing food at us!

Sarah tries to catch the flying crustacean. She only succeeds in smashing her head into the wall! (Ouch!)

It was a great evening! Thanks to Sarah and Jeff once again for a super meal. Flora is now ready to head back to the house.

Sammy and Lucy also head to the car.

This was the end of our min-vacation #4 (After ABVD). We arrived back in Glenville last Friday afternoon. Tomorrow's blog - the circus come to town!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mini-vacation #4

(After ABVD)

Part 6

We arrived at Sarah and Jeff's house on Thursday afternoon. This was the first time that Nate met Uncle John and his cousins - Lucy, and Flora. Rachael came to Nathaniel's birthing, but the other guys had to stay in Shepherdstown during that period. Do you think that Flora is charmed with her new cousin?

We discovered that Sammy had swim lessons at the Bridgport Municipal Pool in the early evening. Swim lessons for a three year old are just basically water play. Lucy and Flora were invited to attend. They were thrilled. All the grandkids donned their swim suits and we were off once again to a water activity.

The Bridgeport pool is a nice facility. It also has a water park for the kids in addition to a large pool area.

Flora is sitting beside Sam. Sam was not really excited about getting into the water. The water temperature was cool. Sam takes after Grandpa - we both hate cold water!

Dad tried to acclimate Sam to the cold water. I do not think that this technique worked well. He loved his Dad's hugs over the prospect of entering the icy waters.

Nate was taking in all the activities.

Flora and Lucy had no problem with the cold water. Off they went to paddle around with the other kids.

Uncle Jeff helped Miss Lucy jump off the diving board. The life guard was catching the kids that could not swim.

Our feerless Lucy went on the board and off without any trouble. She did it several times!

At the end of the pool experience, the life guards turned on the water to the water park area. The kids loved it! Flora was under the dumping buckets and enjoying every drop of water that tumbled down.

Lucy in action once again!

Sam and Lucy are checking out the water tower.

Wait! What is this below? I will explain this in the next blog and this will be the last installment of Mini-vacation #4 (After ABVD)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mini-vacation #4

(After ABVD)

Part 5

Flora and Lucy love to be in a swimming pool. The Canaan Valley State Park pool is one of our favorites. Who could ask for a more scenic surrounding? Judy and I love this facility especially because they heat the waters for the geratric set (temperatures in the upper 80's). Grandma does enjoy watching the grandkids as they play and demonstrate their water skills.

As you can see, the pool is not crowded and is so much more desirable than the indoor pool in the lodge.

Here is John and Rachael with the girls. Flora is really learning to be comfortable in the aquatic environment. Lucy is fearless. Lucy brings such enthusiasm and energy into the pool for a gal who is 2 1/2!

Flora is getting used to going under the water and feeling good about the experience.

Both girls still love to be transported on the back of a dolphin. The dolphin tends to be one of the grown-up members of the family. Lucy is getting ready to travel with Mommy Dolphin.

Our feerless life guard was this lad who will be a senior at Harmon High School in the fall. Both our girls worked during the summer while in high school as life guards. This is not an easy job!

This is our last day in Canaan Valley. We left on Thursday morning and headed to Bridgeport to vist with Jeff, Sarah, Nate, and Sam.
Tomorrow- the Bridgport water adventure!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mini-vacation #4

(After ABVD)

Part 4

The rhododenron flowers above were taken at the parking area of the Blackwater Falls handicapped accessible trail. My good wife mentioned in the blog of July 16th that I always take photos of the trees that are at the beginning of this trail and whose roots cling to the large rocks.

Guess what? Judy took the picture below of the same trees this week with new models, but the trees and their root systems are the same!

Grandpa checked out the Riverside Park in Davis. This park is located directly across from the Shop and Save. It was my thought to see if this would be a possible fishing spot for Flora.

A gazebo graced the park's entrance.

The Blackwater River with its stocked trout flows gently beside the park. The bank was a little steep, but.....

..... this pond seemed to be an excellent place for small fisherman to wet their line. Grandpa and Flora did not get the opportunity to fish - too many activities and then it rained a couple of afternoons. Maybe next time we will be able to check out the fishing in this spot.

I did mention that we were on the way to a picnic lunch at Blackwater Falls State Park. Grandma prepared all the goodies.

When Rachael and Sarah were small gals, we had many picnics in this area. It is now Lucy and Flora's turn to picnic and check out the forest.

Flora discovered that Native Americans (Well?) had prepared a lodge. All the girls needed were animal hides to finish this shelter. My guess is that animal hides would not be used by our animal loving grandkids - most likely a sheet made of cotton fibers or braided rushes would be used.

Once we had finished eating, a stroll through the forest was on the agenda. This particular area is amazing for its populations of trailing ground pine (club mosses).

There are several species of club mosses in West Virginia. The species below is an upright club moss. Club mosses do not produce flowers, but reproduce by spores.

Most folks are familiar with the club moss below and call it by its common name of "trailing ground pine". This particular species as been used to make Christmas wreaths. It is rare to find in some areas because of this practice.

An interesting note - the spores were once used as baby powder and also utilized during surgery as an absorbent dusting powder. My favorite use was in early photography. The spores were the basis of flash powder. These same spores were used by early stage designers to produce lightning effects for their plays. The spores are really flammable and produce brillant light.

The spore capsules containing the spores can be seen on the tips of the club moss below.

We leave our Blackwater Falls picnic adventure by observing this small yellow flower that grows in amongst the grass. Is this butter and eggs? Check out this critter by using your wild flower references.

Tomorrow the Canaan adventure continues.