ormond & orlando

The perk of being a school teacher = summer vacation!

No sooner did the school year come to a conclusion then I hopped onto a flight to Florida to spend a long weekend visiting with my family in Florida. After a long, tiring, eventful, amazing, challenging, and exciting school year, I was able to decompress on the beach for three days. Ah….such luxury.

We spent most of our time lapping up the sun. It was so much fun watching Avery and Smith experience a number of firsts.  First time in a swimming pool, first time on the beach, and for Avery first time splashing in the waves.  On the first day, she would not even walk on the wet sand as clearly trusting such a thing was scary.  But, by the last day of our vacation, we could not keep her out of the ocean.  She let the waves crash over her legs, sat in a little wading pool, and played and played in the sun. It was precious. Mr. Smith enjoyed himself too and fearlessly floated (with assistance) in the “big” pool.

On the last day as we piled 8 people (including 2 carseats) into a rental minivan on our way back to the Orlando airport we got a crazy idea. Why not postpone our return one day more and spend an afternoon at Epcot! After a few phone calls to our various airlines, we did just that.  While it was brutally hot at a humid 93F, we had a great time. The kids went on all of the rides although the Nemo ride was the favorite and we ate and danced in the German Biergarten. A truly excellent way to kick off summer 2013!


boston blizzard part II

After shoveling a path for the puppies yesterday, we cozied up on the couch with hot beverages and watched the news networks report on the end of the blizzard. Sitting under a blanket together we strategized on how to dig ourselves out of the 30.5 inches of snow that fell on our town. We had two questions: Where do we begin and where do we put all the snow? It wasn’t until the very last snowflake fell at 11:30AM that we decided it was time to face the task at hand…shoveling ourselves out!  I have to admit though that if we had enough food, I would have voted to avoid the shoveling and to just wait for the Spring thaw.  How nice would hibernating be?  Alas, the chances of having work on Monday were incredibly high so we layered our clothes and headed into the powdery white snow for the next two hours. We played, we shoveled, and we laughed with our neighbors who were also out in their yards. It was a ridiculous sight.  We ran through the street, threw snow balls at each other and helped one another shovel out. We decided that later we should all get together over mulled, spiced wine and board games.  From 7:30PM to almost midnight we drank warmed wine together, laughed until tears streamed down our faces and played the ridiculous game of “Cards Against Humanity” all night.  It was seriously an awesome end to our second day of being “snowed in.”  We did not realize this when we bought our home, but we have some really incredible neighbors. Sitting around the fireplace last night, I could envision many future nights like this with them and many future laughs to come…

boston blizzard part I

Thursday was madness. The news networks were projecting white out conditions and a blizzard that would rival the blizzard of ’78. I checked the weather channel obsessively at work.  Could a snowstorm this big really be heading for Boston? The focus in the classroom was nonexistent. What was scientific management and how did it revolutionize how stuff is made? The question hung in the air as the sixteen students turned meteorologists whispered predictions to one another about the “inevitability” of a snow day tomorrow. In that moment, I did not want to be the adult in the room.  I wanted to come around the table and join in the speculations about the inches of snow and when schooled would be called.  Of course, I did not give in to these temptations and played it off as though a blizzard was no big deal. I reminded the students that while a snow day may occur, that we were currently in school now and they had a test next week. This even sounded ridiculous coming out of my mouth!  They knew, and I knew, that while we did work, we were all still thinking about the snow.

The end of the day came and it felt like the day before Christmas or perhaps the day before summer vacation. We said good-bye as though we were not going to see each other for a long time and headed as fast as we could home. I stopped on the way home for groceries.  Whole Foods was wild!  People were snatching everything they could off the shelves. I went in with a set list of snacks, comfort foods, and dinner ingredients we would need for a long weekend snowed in.  But, in the madness of the aisles, I felt my rational, list-centered mind go rogue as I too started knocking items into my basket as though the end of the world were approaching and this would be the last loaf of bread I would ever get my hands on. Avoiding accidents in the parking lot, I got David at the T stop and we raced home…for the next three days.

Friday morning the snow fell slowly and lightly to the ground. We shoveled once and mostly relaxed.  Reading, writing, a little bit of work, and a whole lot of snuggling with hot beverages occupied our day. We were delighted to be snowed in together. It was not until this morning when we woke that the full magnitude of the snow struck. Twenty four inches and counting lay on the ground. Part of us wanted to stay in all morning, let the snow fall and pile and pile up.  But, our little puppies needed to go out.  Gosh, I wish they were potty trained, haha!  So this is what the morning looked like for us….