Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Maryland

The stockings were hung by the .... armoire with care. But then Santa Claus came, and laid them right there (on the floor).

Stuffed stockings

Santa did good by these girls. The stockings were stuffed with art supplies ... such as crayons, paint brushes, stickie notes, erasers, a label maker for Q6, a pencil sharpener and tape dispenser for C8. And the traditional toothbrush, socks, and chocolate orange, of course. Milk chocolate for C8, dark for Q6.

Opening stockings and then first presents:

Opening StockingsFirst presents

And just in case you think C43 and Pep weren't there because they've not been in photos, here is photographic evidence that they were there AND have empty stockings on their heads. 

Stocking hats

And if you look behind them you'll see we have the fireplace going. The Netflix fireplace.

Tree and fireplace

Lovely time, we'd do it again, anybody who can stand the basement guest room is invited to come and share holidays with us!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve in Maryland

MEME and Pep arrived on Dec 23, and we immediately fell to making a final gingerbread house. I needed to use up the dough and the candy. I hadn't made a gingerbread house with my mom since 2007, I believe, when Q6 was Q1 and C8 was C3 ... and Q1 ate a LOT of candy. And C3 is saying -- I think -- "I make Santa's face Chocolate!" Here is the exceptionally long video.

But here we are this year:

Making another gingerbread house

The next day we hit the National Mall and went to the Botanic Garden. Lovely, as always, crowded, as it can only be at Christmas time. We skipped the fairy exhibit, and just went through the gardens. I don't know why, but Q6 was fine outside, and turned sour inside, although I'm not sure why. However, she hadn't wanted to go at all, so it shouldn't have been so surprising when she said she just wanted to go home. Over and over and over.

Look at our first picture, the girls really wanted a photo with the water feature ... and we've got real smiles on everybody. Yes, C8 IS wearing her sun hat. She takes the threat of aging seriously.

C8 and Q6 with MeMe

Then we head inside. It was PACKED. So crowded. Maybe the noise and crowds did Q6 in. We took this photo for C43, who couldn't make it with us. But her smile is getting forced, I think.
Bear at botanic Gardens 2012-12-24 10.46.55

And it went downhill from there. Here they are sniffing:

botanic gardens 2012-12-24 10.51.18

C8 sniffing

C8 in front of tree

And then ... even worse. I recall being six and having a similar momement -- or three or four -- so I feel bad that Q6 will remember the outing this way. C8 tried really hard to get a nice photo of all of us, but we just couldn't do it.

smile grouch Smile smile grouch E42 and Q6 MEME, E42, and Q6

But one person who loved every minute of it was C8, who took a ton of photos, and just loved every plant she saw.

2012-12-24 C8 botanic gardens

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Final thoughts on Williamsburg 2012

After saying goodbye the the giant nutcrackers in the hotel, Sunday morning we did a few more things around town.
Q6 and nutcracker againQ6 and giant nutcracker

We visited the Magazine, which neither child showed much interest in. However, behind and under the Magazine was a small little harnessmaker's shop where two leatherworkers were working. They were working on a sheath for a sword and a sheath for a hatchet for another historical site with which CW has ties.

The leather shop

C8 loved this place, and she took a lot of photos of stuff in the shop.

Girls at Leather Workers

shoes and a pot  Tools of the leather trade

One of the last thing we did at Williamsburg was take a carriage ride. Both girls were interested and wanted a closed carriage. I can, however, safely advise you to take an open carriage ride if you have a chance, since it is REALLY difficult to hear your driver in a closed carriage. You miss out on their commentary in a closed carriage.

We went in the Carter Carriage, which made C8 crazy excited, of course. AND the emblem was a dog. They both really enjoyed petting the horses after, as well. Luckily we had a set of horses who didn't mind.

C8 in carriage Q6 getting out of carriage

Carter Carriage Emblam  C8 and horses

And then lunch at Chownings Tavern. They had a great pretzel roll wreath that I'd like to replicate some year.

Chownings  Josiah Chowning

Bread roll wreath

Monday, December 17, 2012

Williamsburg 2012 - Candlelight concert

After a dinner outside, where both Q6 & C8 lodged some heavy complaints (we should have made reservations earlier!) we headed to the palace for a concert.

Q6 saturday night dinner B&W

We had bought tickets to a candlelight concert that we thought would be fun. Well, it was fun. Except that Q6 was so tired she complained the whole way there, and then fell asleep during the first song, if not the instrument warm up.

The concert inside:
Palace Concert by Candlelight

C8 absolutely LOVED it, but she, too, fell asleep about half-way through, although she valiently tried to stay awake and would clap withe the crowd as appropriate. But her eyes were shut.

The palace outside, they had torches everywhere, which was quite cool. It was a nice end to the day.
Palace outside

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Williamsburg 2012 - Day 2

The next morning we got up, had breakfast, watched the trains and gingerbread houses, colored, played cards, played with dog. C43 got some photos of them with this brass dog in the lobby that they tried to ride:

C8 and the brass dog 2 Girls and the dog

Until finally it was opening time at 9:00. After a little mishap over our tickets (they'd been printed out the night before and were at the front desk) we got out and essentially the first thing we saw was the stocks. This time C8 refused to get in, but she did take photos. I look miserable because I WAS miserable. It turns out it was a sinus infection or something else that needed to be taken care of by antibiotics, and rest and fluids hadn't cut it yet. But I was trying to make the best of it, even if it doesn't look it. Q6 is on my lap there because she couldn't reach the leg stocks while sitting on the bar.

c43 in stocks C43 more stocks  q6 in stocks Q6 in leg stocks E43 in stocks

We decided to head to the gaol at the recommendation of a friend who'd been there last week and said her children (4 & 6) had really really enjoyed the gaol. Plus, I think we'd missed the gaol last time we were at Williamsburg. While on our way there we stopped at the cabinet makers shop. 


The cabinet maker also would have also made ... harpsichords! And they let you touch and play them. 
C8 sitting at the harpsichord

I can't tell what C8 is playing, but Q6 is playing "Rodeo" her favorite piano piece. C8 spent a LOT of time at the harpsichord. I loved the harpsichord ... so quiet and tinkly.

We also visited the cooper, where C8 got piles and piles of shavings, but we failed to take any photos. C8 proceeded to write notes on those shavings for the rest of the weekend.

We eventually did reach the gaol, but it wasn't fun for C8 for some reason, but Q6 did enjoy it moderately. It wasn't the gaol extravaganza that our friends experienced, but it was worth it, if only because to get there we must have passed 5 dogs.

q6 in jail q6 goig into jail

girls at house

We were really on the wrong end of town, but we set off for the maze, stopping when things looked interesting. But the most fun WAS the maze. You go through gardens to get to the maze, which we zoomed through.


c8 on way to maze e42 on way to maze

How many times did we do the maze? I'm not sure. We all did it together, then we each did it on our own, and we tried to guide those in the maze while we sat up above the maze ... but the maze is tall enough that you really can't see anybody in the maze, and Q6 and C8 kept cheating by going through the hedges.

in the maze

The maze from above!
maze from above

After this we walked along the little lake, saw a blue heron up close, and decided to head to lunch.

blue heron 3

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and ran into a cookie-decorating event, and then went swimming at the spa for two hours. Lovely and warm, and the kids had a great time. Just the break we needed.

making cookies