Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cruncher Chronicles: Birthday Boy

by Cruncher

for my birthday, i got ninja turtle stuff. and singing in the rain. and wreck it ralph. and a rosary. and some fishing stuff. the end.

Shannon: That's it? That's all you want to say?

Cruncher: mmhmm.

S: Are you sure?

C: mmhmm. ... say "are you positive."

S: Are you positive?

C: mmhmm. ... say "are  you ositive."

S: Are you ositive?

C: mmhmm. ... say "are you lositive."

S: Are you lositive?

C: mmhmm. ... say "are you waldo."

S: Are you Waldo?

C: mmhmm. ... [cackles with laughter]

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

D.C. Phone Home

by Shannon

We left off in Morgantown. A junior brewer at Morgantown Brewing Company had given us a coffee shop recommendation for the next morning, but we discovered the entire downtown is paid parking. We had no coins, and the coin machines weren't working, so Ryan ended up driving around the block a few times so I could go in and grab us some emergency latt├ęs. The third hotel probably had the nicest rooms out of all three of our stays, but (again!) there was no breakfast included with our stay. Coffee is a must.

Hanging out in the last hotel lobby as Daddy packed the car.

So, we made our way to Charleston, West Virginia. What a lovely place! We had lunch at Pies & Pints, which was absolutely fantastic. Probably top-three pizzas we've ever had.

We walked around their quaint little downtown, enjoying the sights.

DOH! Department of Homer

Before the final trek home, we stopped off at our final destination — Ryan and my alma mater.

Morehead State University, Founded 1887

Ryan and I thought we'd best show Cruncher where his parents fell in love before he gets too angsty and cool to care.

The infamous gargoyle pose, with Cruncher standing in for Paul.

Oh, we actually started out at the Old School House Antique Mall in Farmers, Kentucky, before we headed down the highway to Morehead. Ryan and I spent many Saturday afternoons there back in our courtin' days. While we were there, I picked up Amy's early birthday gift — a vintage purse. Ryan actually found it (he's well-trained). They also had a BEEAAUUTIFUL Our Lady cameo, and I very much regret not making it my own.

Engagement-photo pose reenacted nine years later, shot by Cruncher.

We ate at our favorite Italian restaurant ever, Melini Cucina, where Ryan and I ordered our standard — fettucini alfredo. And then we were fat, happy and ready to go home. (For more Morehead pictures, click here.)

G'bye, Morehead!

And our creepy little guy slept with his eyes open, per usual.

That there ends our D.C. trip recap. It only took me about five weeks to post all six days. Thanks to Jen for the inspiration to write every day this week so I can try and catch up our readers on the summer happenins.

Tomorrow: Cruncher's 6th birthday!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

D.C. Quinque

by Shannon

I've been trying for a couple weeks to figure out how to make a slideshow in Blogger, and I. GIVE. UP. If you want to see pictures of the beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, go to the Facebook page. You might have noticed I posted all the pretties a few days ago.

I could go on and on and on on on about how beautiful/amazing/gorgeous/inspirational/etc. the basilica was, but you can look at the photos with your own eyes.

If you've not visited, you should. It was certainly the highlight of our trip.

We also ate at the cafeteria at the basilica (food was decent but expensive), and we picked up volumes 2 and 3 of The Baltimore Catechism for Cruncher. He's a mini theology-machine! Ryan's doing a really fantastic job with his formal catechesis.

If you remember way back when I first started posting a review of our D.C. trip, I mentioned we were excited to go and experience a St. Francis of Assisi pilgrimage ... BUUUUUT we didn't get to go. You can't tell much from the few outdoor photos we took, but there was a crazy storm system traveling over D.C. that day. We ended up cutting the day short and heading out of D.C. to our third and final hotel. Unfortunately, the storm system never came to a head, so we could have stayed. But I have to admit I was really happy to start making the trek home.

Traveling back to hotel #2 so we could hop in the car and get to hotel #3.
Driving through Sideling Hill for the second time. We conveniently saw a
display on it at the Natural History Museum. 
The beacon of light at our final overnight stop, Morgantown, West Virginia.
What a sad, sad town. 
Cruncher's best souvenir from D.C. — first-time freckles. 
The restaurant/brewery where we ate in Morgantown, one of the few good things offered. Food was great, beer was good, service was fantastic.  
I may not enjoy the taste of beer (typically), but there's something about
photographing beer that I enjoy. Weird?
A study in an expert at work.

I'm gonna hop on Jen Fulwiler's bandwagon and hang on tight for the Seven Posts in Seven Days challenge. I have sooooo many things we've done this summer that still need to put put on the blog, and summer's almost over! Tomorrow, I'll post the last day of our D.C. trip (if you follow on the Facebook page, you've seen pictures from that day). And maybe we'll even hear from our resident adventure writer and birthday boy this week.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cruncher Chronicles: Big Tooth Gap

by Shannon

We now interrupt your irregularly scheduled Washington, D.C., recap for breaking news. Cruncher has ... less ability to crunch (rimshot pun courtesy of BFF Ames).

Before, before, before and after. That tooth had to come out before bed,
for I was certain he would swallow it in his sleep.
Amy and The Artist Formerly Known as Cruncher. I'm glad he likes yogurt. 
Two teeth lost in one week. Four total teeth lost before the big 6th birthday. Something something too big too fast something.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

D.C. Vier

by Shannon

So, really, I'm not blogging. I'm just watching October Baby, Cruncher is watching the four separate amateur firework displays out the front window since it's too noisy to sleep, and Ryan's over at a friend's house drankin' some biers. While I'm completely distracted by the film, I'll load these pictures in and give them crap captions. What better way to celebrate independence than with pictures of our visit to the nation's capitol? I totally waited weeks to post these pictures FOR THAT VERY REASON. Promise.

Clockwise from top left: On the Metro (no injuries sustained), some building,
one of our destinations by foot (Cap Hill), walkin' with Daddy, and posin' suave.
We got there! It was quite a walk. And Cruncher is quite the trooper.
Very few people will understand this photo. I wish I didn't. 
Air and Space museum. Top left is the docent we evaded. 
Things that fly.
By Cruncher.

Then we went to the National Zoo again, where I took amazing photos.
Or not. These pictures were on display at the Natural History museum.
You can see the florescent lights reflecting off the prints. 
Daddy shows Cruncher how it's done.
Dinosaurs and fossils and stuff.
Water in tow. Obama needs to do something about the grass. Sheesh.
Treasury, White House (where he kept all the good grass for himself),
and the beautiful Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cruncher Chronicles: The Dragon and the Superheroes

by Cruncher

once a fire dragon ruled the world. but ironman saved the day. and he said, "Tony! I forgot to blog your post."

"yeah, but this suit that I made had, like, bad news because he said 'I ... I ... can defeat that dragon and I can pick him up.'"

but the hulk helped him. and wolverine helped him. and then they defeated the dragon. but. he defensed him and he got the hang of it.

the apostrophe was trapped in a villain. dragons that were really evil. but he was a fire-breathing dragon, and he's trying to be in disguise, and then only ironman and hulk was trying to get the dragon. and then they got it. and then he got the people that got the dragon got back to the dragon, and then, this is still not the end.

and he forgot to get his armor on. his special armor, and then he almost got killed, but the hulk saved the day. and then he was looking at the hulk and he said, "you're a good superhero. I wish I had you around. but you still don't need to get me. because you could get somebody else on your own with the other dragons. and then you can rule the world, but not this place."

and then he got a nerf gun and shooted him. PEW! PEW! PEW! and then he had a lot of guns and a cannonball. because he had to get that dragon because one of his superheroes was in it and then the dragon got the superhero and got him out of the dragon. and then the dragon got some soup that he ate, but he still didn't eat it all.

and this is still not the end. still. it's gonna be a long time before this ends.

and then. and then. there's a nerf gun that's here like this. *shoots nerf gun* and then he got back wolverine and then wolverine was trying to get a dragoncat. and then soon he's gonna get a horse by defending his self and his army. and then he had to defend all the droids that were really bad.

and then he haded to do graduation and then he was all done with school and then he got to be a superhero. but. he still didn't have luck because he got the powerful guy in the world and his dark lord.

i know i made up this story, but not the characters. except dark lord.

and then Tony said, "can I please see you on Facebook? soon?" but his horse was really just tired so he got the horse back into the cage and he got to get his own space, but he didn't do it all. he did it by himself. so he got some water and then he turned into a real superhero. and then he got to be a superhero again.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

D.C. Trois

by Shannon

Day 3. We'd recovered from Day 2's disasters. I again would be schmoozing and gabbing and learning and eating, and the guys went to the National Zoo. Just so happened that the zoo was in walking distance of our fancy-schmancy conference hotel, plus it's free, so that worked out nicely.

Cruncher is still talking about the panda, but Ryan said he wasn't too friendly. 
This guy wanted to make friends, though. Ryan said the otters looked like rats, but were still oddly cute.
Other dudes. Bottom right: The bird is perched on his sign.
Where they ate lunch. Some random "Irish" pub. It was somewhat north of good food.
Riding the Metro to our second hotel.

Actually, before the zoo excursion that morning, Ryan loaded the car and drove up to our second hotel in Rockville, Maryland. Then the two of them rode the Metro back to the zoo so we could all ride on the Metro after the conference closed. We didn't want to drive in D.C. during rush-hour traffic and figured this was a good solution.

We arrived at our second hotel at around 6 p.m., checked in, and grabbed our keys. Ryan went to unload our stuff, and Cruncher and I headed up to the room to settle in ... where I opened the door to a trashed and inhabited room with soft music playing and clothes all over the floor. Yeah. The front desk clerks were floored when I told them what happened, and by the time we checked out Thursday, management still hadn't figured out what went wrong. The manager apologized and let me know next time we're in D.C., he'll take care of our stay. Not quite sure what that means, but I don't see us coming back soon.

Three days left in Family Trip Review 2013!

Monday, July 1, 2013

D.C. Deux

by Shannon

Basically a photo dump from Day 2 in D.C. I spent the first couple days in seminars, eating free food and schmoozing, so this post is just the guys, perdy much.

The view from our hotel room. You can see the Washington Monument off on the left,
in scaffolding due to earthquake damage. 

While I wasted away in seminars, Ryan and Cruncher walked to the
Capitol Building, and then off to the Newseum

The view from the Newseum balcony (Canandian embassy on the one side, Pennsylvania Avenue in front).

Ryan TOOK PHOTOS in the bathroom because he got a kick out of real (goofy) newspaper headlines on tile. SO HE TOOK PICTURES. WITH A CAMERA. IN THE BATHROOM. Weirdo. 

Some stinkin' cute kid on TV.

TV broadcast antenna from Ground Zero.

Unabomer's cabin. Yeah.

Top down: part of the Berlin wall, looking up into Checkpoint Charlie,
sign at Checkpoint Charlie, view of Checkpoint Charlie.

This picture warrants a story, not a caption. Those are Cruncher's shorts. And the pocket of Cruncher's short's. When I met Ryan and Cruncher in the hotel room after seminars, eating free food and schmoozing on Day 1, I was told a jaw-dropping story about how my son almost perished on one of those three-story Metro escalators. One second, he's standing there like a good 5-year-old. And then the next, Ryan is ripping my screaming son off of the moving death-stairs, which ate the pocket right off his cargo shorts. After filling out an incident report with the perplexed Metro workers (Cruncher escaped with only scrapes on his ankle), then Ryan almost died/lost Cruncher when the Metro doors slammed shut on Ryan's forearm — with Ryan standing on the platform while holding Cruncher's hand, who was inside the Metro train. Two strangers helped Ryan pry open the doors so he could jump on before losing our son for eternity. Sigh.... Cruncher eased my worries by saying not only did Daddy handle all of these tragedies remarkably well, but Cruncher was also relieved I wasn't there. What a thoughtful boy.  Moving on.

Crazy-long escalators. You'd think a small child would be fearful of escalators after such an incident,
but he seems to love them even more. He lived to tell the tale, I guess. 

Churchkey, where we met one of Ryan's Internet beer friends for dinner.
And beer. Duh. We ran/walked through the rain for about 15 blocks to get there.
Luckily, the food was tasty. We caught a cab back to the hotel, and the fare wasn't
much more than Metro tickets for all three of us. I was pretty tense the whole
eight-minutes cab ride, though, since it was Cruncher's first car ride
without a carseat or booster. Okay. I was a wreck. We all slept well that night.