Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Addie's latest adventures

I suppose you could say life is back to "normal" since coming back from our trip. We've settled back into our routine and we're anticipating the holidays and the busyness that comes with them. We're especially looking forward to visiting home but before I jump ahead of myself I'll recap the last week or so.

Last week the kids in Wewa were off for a few days for fall break. The couple that heads up the children's ministry at our church planned a day out for the kids and had asked Sabian to drive the bus. Addie and I loaded up with them and tagged along to Wilder's World for some bouncing and playing.

Addie's first experience with this kind of fun was when she saw Elmo life-sized at a different bouncing venue. She was more interested in the other toys than bouncing but she did like the huge slide. This time around she did love going down the slide - it was especially cute to see her hair stand up on end due to the static electricity - and she did do a little bouncing. But, she was back to the toys most of the time and showed her moves on the dance floor.

When you ask for a "big smile" this is what you get.

We've also been hitting the birthday party circuit and celebrated with Addie's friend, Savannah, who was turning 10.

Several weeks ago we bought Addie a pumpkin but I've really been wanting to take her pumpkin picking. It is times like these when I miss the convenience of Eckert's. Not that I necessarily frequented Eckert's but I have good memories of going when I was a kid and then taking Sabian after we got married for his first apple picking experience. It is nice to have access to a place like that so close and I think it would be fun to take Addie. But, since Eckert's is an inconvenient 12 hours away, we looked for places around here to visit. We learned of one pumpkin patch that is two hours away and just didn't plan to get out there so we found an alternative and went out Saturday night in search of the Great Pumpkin!

In a nutshell, it didn't happen. At a location that shall remain nameless, we arrived to find quite the festival taking place but the "pumpkin patch" that was advertised turned out to be a rinky dink stand selling pint-sized pumpkins and then offering the "fun" of decorating your purchased pumpkin. Um, no thanks. The last time I remembered going to a pumpkin patch it was an actual field full of pumpkins, not a stand selling a gourd that could fit into the palm of my hand.

Needless to say, we were disappointed, especially after paying to get into this place. We decided to make the best of it and we let Addie play a few games, win some plastic prizes, pet some animals and then we were out of there in favor of something more exciting...dinner.

Smart girl walked right up to ring a ghost.

Who doesn't like a plastic fingernail?

 I will say that I politely filled out a comment card mentioning that it might be a good idea for them to be a little more specific in their advertising. Check that - a lot more specific. At least we were able to laugh about it and chalk it up to a funny memory.

Over the weekend Addie was also in charge of taking care of the Miller's kittens. Often they would make their way to our house, hang out for a while, knock on the screen door, meow loudly and konk out in the jogging stroller parked on our front porch. That is, until one of them disappeared and the other contracted some infection in his eyes, almost closing them to the point where he might have been unable to see. Good caretakers, we are, eh? In our defense, the wandering cat has been spotted somewhere in the neighborhood and the sick kitty is currently being treated. And, the Millers aren't too worried about them. They are outside cats being groomed for varmint and snake wrangling. Yuck. Either way, we had fun with them while the fun lasted.

How about a few more photos just for fun?

 Our next "adventure" will take us to the doctor's office this week. What is supposed to be her (late) 18 month old appointment may very well turn into a sick visit. Addie is sporting a runny nose and what is feared to be yet another ear infection. I pray not.

I am thankful for God's grace, mercy and provision. I am learning a lot lately. Maybe I'll post about it sometime.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I complain about the lack of the real change of seasons here but then I get to do things like this in October:

 I am thankful for our good morning at the beach last weekend and look forward to even cooler weather coming our way...someday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm no Martha Stewart...

...but if I was I could see myself going a little overboard with decorations during holidays. I don't do a lot of decorating, but I do love buying new Christmas ornaments. Having been married just four years I feel like we're still building up our ornament collection.

But, I'm skipping ahead. Currently, if I was into Halloween decor, I would definitely be buying one of these:

You can find these at Target in a few fun colors. As much as I like orange I think I might go for the green. That is, if I was a Halloween decorator...

Right now I am excited about the pumpkin cake pops I will be making for the cake walk that will be part of the Fall Festival we are having at church on Halloween weekend. I'm also working up a costume for Addie and dreaming about pumpkin-flavored treats to make. I have yet to make my pumpkin cheesecake but it will show itself soon. In the meantime I have been feasting on pumpkin pie Pop Tarts, Hershey kisses in pumpkin spice, caramel apple and candy corn flavors, and just the other day I had a pumpkin pie Blizzard from DQ.

I love pumpkin.

I am thankful for today's beautiful weather and Addie's long nap. She needs to gear up for all the bouncing she'll do tomorrow with the kiddos from church!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chaney Vacation Take 2 - Savannah, GA

The next stop on our trip took us to Savannah, GA. We spent a full day and part of the next day in Savannah on our way to the Smokies last year when we were on vacation but we knew that that wasn't enough. We wanted to go back and do some more exploring.

When I was looking for a place to stay in Savannah I was really excited when I came across the Thunderbird Inn. Not only is it affordable, but it looked like a unique place to stay and it was within walking distance from all of the things we wanted to do in the city. The staff was very, very friendly and helpful and the toiletries, oh the toiletries! I have a love for things like these and had seen a photo of their packaging on their website. As silly as you might think it is, it was a draw for me when I booked the place. They did not disappoint! I brought them all home with me. Later on I realized I should have packed them before our room was cleaned in the middle of our stay because they might have stocked the room with more, but I suppose that would have been a little greedy. It was really, really nice to be able to park the car and leave it, not having to worry about parking. I'd like to think that getting all of that exercise by walking balanced all of the eating out!

Since the drive from Charleston to Savannah is only two hours, once we checked in we headed right out for a walk. Addie fell asleep so we hung out in one of the many awesome squares that the downtown area of the city was designed around. When she woke up we visited some of the places we'd seen before and figured out what we wanted to do with our days there. Initially we had planned to take a trolley tour like we did last year but already having been on one tour with Addie we decided we probably remembered most of what we learned the year before and decided against the guided tour.

 Again, much of our time was spent walking around the city and stopping and letting Addie roam around the parks and other areas. It pays to wander around the streets and check out the homes there, just like Charleston. It was nice to take our time and not feel rushed. We went back to Forsyth Park to visit the famous fountain there and spent quite a bit of time on the playgrounds, especially going down the slides.

Last year at Forsyth Park!
One day we visited the Jepson Center for the Arts and the rest of the Telfair Museums. We were actually able to get a pass that was good for one visit to each of the three locations but the pass was good for a week so we didn't have to see all three in one day. We visited the Jepson Center first and saved the other two for the next day. The Jepson Center was showing some cool exhibits and also houses a children's area. Addie met a friend and enjoyed building and destroying with the blocks, playing with the magnetic walls and being able to run around in general. It was nice to have something for us and for her, too.

Always in motion. On the rooftop deck at The Jepson.

Interactive exhibit.

We also checked out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (you can't really go wrong with an old, huge, beautiful church) and did a lot of walking along River Street and the shopping areas in town. We had to re-visit a jewelry shop we stopped by last year and, of course, GAP, since those are so few and far between these days. We agreed that one of our best meals was the night we went for pizza at a local place, Vinnie Van Go Go's. We saw it but didn't eat there last time and it was recommended by one of my sister's friends so we had added it to our to do list. We sat outside on a cool night and had some really good pizza.

On our last day we drove out to Tybee Island. With living close to the beach already we had not planned to visit the beaches in the area but we had already knocked off most of what was on our list and thought it would be fun to take Addie out there. We didn't stay long, but ended up there an hour or so before sunset and enjoyed an almost deserted beach. It's weird when going to a beach with brown sand - not that it isn't pretty, but I have to say, I prefer the white sand of the gulf coast!

After we packed up the car and checked out the next morning we made a quick visit to Bonaventure Cemetery. We'd heard that this cemetery was worth visiting and we didn't want to wish we'd gone and not visited like we did last year. While cemeteries with a lot of history can be cool, I think we were a little disappointed and didn't spend much time there. Not that it wasn't cool to see but at that point we might have been a little ready to get on the road. 

I'm so glad we took the time to explore Savannah. Like Charleston, it harbors a lot of history and is a beautiful city - one of the prettiest I have seen.  It also is home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and other schools so there are many people out and about all of the time. It is a busy city, but somehow all of the awesome squares and trees and Spanish moss seem to close it in and make it quieter than it really is. And yes, there are many dogs, too, although I'm sure we saw and met more in Charleston.

I am thankful for our vacation. While it wasn't the most relaxing trip we've ever taken, it was good to get out of town and be together, just the three of us. Vacation 2010 is history - what will next year bring?!