Latitude 17N

Monday, August 31, 2009

First day of school.

Julian started Jr. High today--6th grade! He set off for the bus stop at 6:45am. He seemed a bit nervous as he waited and I told him that everyone else is probably nervous too, and if he had any problems, he should ask for help. I am excited to hear how his first day went. The bus should get back here between 2:30 and 3.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Water Country

For Julian's birthday I brought him and two of his friends to Water Country. We set out on a weather-ify day for a fun day and were surprised when the weather ended up being very nice and very hot which was perfect for a day at the water park. We hit most of the slides, me included, even the Geronimo which is a slide that goes down almost perpindicular to the ground. It is super scary but totally fun too. We all went down it. As the boys were going down another slide I ran into Jeremy, Tammy, and Cooper. That was a fun surpise! We opened up the park at 10:00 and stayed until around 4:30. I would have stayed longer but Julian wanted to go home...I'm sure because he knew he had presents waiting there to open. We had a great day and ended up paying a little more for season passes which will be good for the rest of this year and all of next year! So we are set and keeping our fingers crossed for a hot summer next year!

Julian's birthday...

Julian's 11th birthday has come and gone. His celebration began two days before his birthday with a lobster dinner that my parents hosted. Lobster is Julian's favorite meal and my parents were going up north to allow for a fun birthday sleepover celebration. Before they left they gave Julian their present from them. A Nintendo DSi, which is a really cool handheld computer and game thingy. He loved that! The sleepover ended up as a trip to Water Country instead with his two best friends Tim and Walker. The Thursday night before his birthday, Tim ended up sleeping over to allow his parents a night out at the Casino to see Little Feat. The boys were very quiet that night and got to bed early as I had made them promise they would because we had to get up early for Water Counrty. More about that in another post. After Water Country Julian finished opening up his presents. He got a Leatherman pocket knife, which he was just dying for, some triathlon gear, two dsi games, and a Bionicle. His great uncle Ronnie gave him a new watch and Uncle Jer and Tammy and Cooper gave him a fishing pole, and the McCowns gave him a DSI gift card and a book. Oh, and he got Apples to Apples Jr from the DeMarcos. I hope I didn't leave anything out!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hurricane Bill

Hurricane Bill is churning off our coast somewhere stirring up the seas and making for a perfect surfing day. I don't surf but I think it is really cool to watch the surfers out there. New England is not a surfing paradise but with a hurricane in the area it turns into one. These pictures were taken in Rye Beach, NH just south of Straw's Point.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thunder Chicken 5K in Portsmouth, NH

Last Thursday, Julian and I were entered into the Thunder Chicken 5k in Portsmouth, NH. The race started at 6:00 pm and I told Julian to run at his own pace because if he runs with me I'll slow him down. I told him to just stay in the pack and follow the crowd. There was no way he could get lost. During the first couple of minutes of the race, I could see him up ahead a few hundred feet. Every minute that passed, the distance got bigger. Finally, after about 10 minutes, I couldn't see him at all. I was running at an ok pace for me and was happy with my 27:22 finish. When I crossed the finish line I heard Julian call my name. I asked him how he did and he said he wasn't sure, but thought he had been waiting for me for a couple of minutes. We got a snack and waited for the results sheets to be posted. Julian was 5th in his age group of 14 and under, with a 24:52 finish. That's an 8 minute mile! He did so awesome. I was so impressed with him. We celebrated with a trip to Salisbury Beach for some pizza and fried dough! He deserved it...what an amazing race!!!

Canobie Lake Park

Rounding out a busy week we went to Canobie Lake Park. I rode over with my sister-in-law Heather and my niece McCarthy. I had Molly, Julian, and my friend Missy's daughter Paige. We also met my other sister-in-law Tammy and my nephew Cooper. We got there at a little after 11 and stayed until after 7. The kids had a blast and all behaved very well. They were of different heights and bravery so there was always someone to go on something with. Julian went on the corkscrew rollercoaster for the first time and was disappointed because it was so quick to be over. We warned him this would happen but he was still surprised at how quickly it ended. He got to ride all of his favorites including the Turkish Twist which is a big barrel that people get in that spins around so you stick to the side then the floor comes out from under you while you're stuck there. I can't ride it! Yuck! I did the corkscrew though which I love. And that big tall ride like an unenclosed Tower of Terror. That is another favorite of mine. I went on that with Molly and Julian. Molly was afraid while in line but really wanted to ride it. She made me sit next to her and we all thought we were going to pee our pants while on the ride! LOL. It was really fun. Like I said we had a great time and made the most of Papa's money. My father sponsored our trip giving us money for tickets and extra money for junk food and stuff. He's the best! By the time I got my last kid dropped off it was 9:30 and I was very tired. Missy was happy to oblige me with a fat glass of wine when I dropped off Paige. We played a round of Phase 10 and then I went home. The next day we went to the beach with Missy and Paige and then went to see Grease at Prescott Park that night. There was NO parking in Portsmouth because the Tall Ships were in port and the city was busy! The play was fun and the kids were tired from being up till almost midnight two nights in a row. Isn't that what summer is all about???

Peabody Essex Museum


On the same day as the Hammond Castle we visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. This is an art museum featuring art of many different cultures. The favorite for the kids was the garbage art. In the picture the big clam shell was constructed from cigarette butts collected from a beach in Massachusetts. Pretty clever way to use such nasty trash. The butterfly was constructed by old bicycle parts, pots and pans, piano keys, etc. Another favorite part of the museum was the Native American Art. I wasn't allowed to use flash in the museum so most of the pictures came out dark. I posted the best of the ones I took.

Hammond Castle

On yet another adventurous day my mother and I took Molly and Julian to the Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA. The castle was built in the early 1900s by an inventor and adventurist. John Hammond Jr., the man who built the castle, was the inventor of radio remote control from which the remote control invented. Without this man we all might have to get off our bums to change the channel on the t.v.!!! So, we love him. His castle was really cool to tour.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Witches of Salem MA and Nathaniel Hawthorne

Another fun day trip we took was out to Salem, MA where we took a tour of the Salem Witch Museum. I'm sure we're all familiar with the Witch trials in Salem in the late 1600s. The museum was interesting but didn't hold a candle to the House of Seven Gables. We also took a tour there and learned that Nathaniel Hawthorne never lived in that house and, in fact, the house did not even have seven gables during his lifetime. When he wrote the book he was going by the memory of stories that he had been told by his cousin who did live there. Nathaniel Hawthorne was actually born a few blocks away in a house that we also toured. The house of seven gables started out as a small home which was added onto and added onto and then some of the additions were removed which is when Hawthorne was alive. It wasn't until a woman purchased the home in the early 1900s that the house was reconstructed and used as a settlement for immigrant families settling in Salem, MA. She sold tours of the property to fund the settlement which is how the museum got its start.

Pawtuckaway State Park, Raymond NH

During Jaime's stay we took a trip up to Pawtuckaway State Park which is a short 30 minute drive from home for a hike. My brother-in-law Sean, and my niece Molly accompanied us on our hike. We started out on a short hike up to the fire tower where we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. We continued around to Round Pond where we found a nice sunny rock perched on the edge of the pond to have our lunch. As we gathered on the rock a big horsefly zeroed in on Sean and bit his upper lip. The bite started out as a little bump and kept getting bigger until his lip looked like Homer Simpson. It was pretty funny! LOL. In some of the pictures you might notice we are carrying some evergreen boughs. The bugs were so bad we had to wave the boughs around our bodies and heads to keep from getting attacked by the thick insect brigade! All in all it was a fun hike. OH, and we hit a milestone on our hike that day. Molly peed in the woods for the first time in her life!!! LOLOL!

Moreno Beach Outing

Jaime made a trip home for two weeks and we had time to spend a day at the beach as a family. It has been a couple of years since we did this and Jaime and Julian spent a fair amount of time in the water enjoying the boogie board. As the tide came in the beach shrank and we ended up on top of the rocks in the background. Not like the Nevis beaches that have no tide schedule! Being busy all summer, Julian ended up taking a nap on one of our beach chairs. It was a perfect beach day. Not too hot and not cold either. It was nice for us to be able to spend time together where Jaime could relax without worrying about what he should be doing.