Monday, November 3, 2008

Rhode Island

The weekend after our trip to Vermont we were invited to join our friends the Leishman's on a road trip to Rhode Island where Taylor was participating in a marathon in Newport. Rhode Island was on our bucketlist of things to do before we leave the East coast so of course we were up for it. I had been pretty sick and almost cancelled the trip but decided that if worse came to worse I could just sleep in the back of the van while traveling and hang out at the hotel if I wasn't feeling up to doing anything. I just knew if we didn't take this chance to go now we probably wouldn't have the time or opportunity to go again. So after dragging myself to packing our belongings, loading the kids in the car, picking up Chad and after an awful 6 hour trip, which was supposed to be 4, our hotel bed was a pleasant sight and the best thing that had happened to me all day. We woke in the morning and got ready to see if we could find Taylor in his race and cheer him on. I learned a bit about marathons and how they work and how you qualify and I think the biggest thing I learned after seeing Taylor finish was I should never touch a marathon as long as I live! Really, what is fun about running for 4 hours or more and barely walking when you are done?! Ha ha, I think I'm just saying that to make myself feel better cause I'm pretty sure I could never do it. Kuddos to Taylor for training for so long and finishing it. Hmmm, maybe Kaycee might be able to talk me into it some day, but don't hold your breath! Tee Hee!

After the marathon we checked out Newport a little and then got something to eat. We then headed back to the hotel to have some naps and regroup which was very much needed for everyone. Afterwards we decided to walk on a pathway called "Cliff Walk" along the coast and check out some of the famed gilded age mansions. Holy Moly! They were absolutely huge and never in my life have I seen anything like them. It started to get dark so we decided to pack it in and make sure that we took a tour of one of the mansions the next day. We picked "The Breakers" mansion. It is the grandest of the Newport mansions. This summer retreat for the Vanderbilt family was a 70-room Italian Renaissance-style house, completed in 1895. Sits on a 13-acre estate overlooking a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, where the waves crashing on the rocks below gave the house its name. The only pictures we have are of the outside as picture taking inside was strongly prohibited. All I know is that I absolutley loved it! I couldn't get over that this was just their summer home. Oh, and the children's playhouse was so ridiculous because it really could have been someone's home. We were so intrigued that as soon as we got home Chad wanted to find out more about the Vanderbilt family and the history of Newport. Rhode Island was amazing. I loved how it was surrounded by the ocean and it was so breathtaking and charming. I informed Chad that if he was to tell me that he was going to move our family to Rhode Island so he could set up practice there, I'd drop everything and leave immediately. I loved it that much! Too bad he's taking the wrong boards. The boards he is taking doesn't include the east coast to practice dentistry. Yeah, not really sure why we did that. After our mansion tour we decided to take one last drive along the coast in Newport and then head home. It was a really fun trip and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I had been feeling better.

Fall Foliage in Vermont

We've been up to so much that I'm really behind on posting where we have been travelling as of late. During the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving we heard that it was the perfect time to check out the Fall Foliage in Vermont. So we decided to make the trip and we are sure glad we did! It was absolutely beautiful.

One week prior I had tried to book a hotel and to my surprise every hotel was completely full for that weekend. I guess it is a popular time for all tourists. So we decided to drive half way on Friday and stay in Connecticut and got ourselves a 3-star hotel for $50 a night (thank you hotwire!). The next morning we headed out bright and early for the two hour drive to Sharon Vermont, the birth place of Joseph Smith. The drive was breathtaking as we watched tree after tree in bright hues of red, brown, green, orange and yellow. We arrived at the visitor's center of Joseph Smith's birthplace and had a wonderful tour by a senior couple. The Elder was so full of knowledge and history and Chad just gobbled it all up. We then went out to view the granite monument which stands 38 1/2 feet tall (representing each year of Joseph's life) and weighs 40 tons. It was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of Joseph's birth. The shaft was sculpted from a single granite block quarried in Barre, Vermont, and is one of the largest polished shafts in the world. It was an interesting granite monument in that when the sun hit it just right it had quite the reflection.

When we were all done we decided to take the return two hour trip to our hotel through the backroads and see what we would find. We ended up finding this adorable little town called Woodstock and it was packed with tourists. We hit it late afternoon and wished we had known about it before so we could have been their earlier to check things out. I've completely fallen in love with this part of the East coast. I love all the millions of trees, the history, and especially the colonial style homes that New England provides. It really is a beautiful place and well worth a visit. Here's some pictures of our Vermont adventure.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Start of Many Lasts

It's so weird to think that Chad will be done in less than 7 months. We really never thought it would ever get here and now that it is, we are soooooo not ready! It started out on Friday with Halloween being our LAST Halloween in Hoboken. And today was our last trip to the New Jersey Six Flags since this was the closing weekend of the season.

It really is sad realizing that we are now experiencing our LAST of things. I hope that makes sense. Anyhoo, here's some pictures of mostly the kids enjoying their day. Six Flags was still decorated for Fright Fest so it was pretty awesome and we got there right when it opened so the guys had their go on roller coaster after roller coaster before the crowds came. One coaster, El Toro--said to be the best wooden coaster in the world, they went on four times in a row. As we were leaving and walking to our car in the parking lot Chad and I both looked behind us at the amusement park as Chad said "say goodbye to six flags for the last time". And it hit me, I'm not sure if I like this LAST kind of stuff!