OUR LIFE IN 3D

The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the tag “aquarium”

Memo: Summer vacation should never be dull!

So how is your summer so far? Have you been able to get out and enjoy some of the great activities outdoors? Our life in 3D has been fairly busy so far although “activities outdoors” turned out to be a bit of a curse. You’ll see what I mean later. When you live on the coast you get a lot of visitors in the summer. This year has been no exception. So I wanted to get you an update on where we have hiding the past month or so, sans WordPress.

Our girl’s summer vacation began with the end of school this year. Their Aunt Sue came down from PA for a week. Aunt Sue is one of the several friends that love to dote on our girls. If I was to guess I would bet she has half of their Christmas presents bought already and part of their birthday gifts. She doesn’t need a reason. If she see’s it, its on sale, and its cute, has something to do with Disney Princesses, cute clothes or shoes she will buy it for them. (Shhh… my wife and I hardly ever have to buy any clothes for our kids the way this works.)

Aunt Sue came down with a to-do list in hand. During the week the kids went to the park  or Chic-fil-a to play every day.

Hang on…. there’s more

Cinderella, you’re soo mav!

They played at home doing one of their favorite activities: Playing “dress-up”.

Knickitty knock-knock Tink!

They went to the nearby water park and then we all went to the beach on Saturday. We left in the morning to avoid the bridge traffic jams, bad leftover parking spots and prospecting for a spot on the beach.

Summer Saturdays in the surf and sand

The down side of going to the beach Saturday however is that it eclipses my gym day. So the first thing I did was try to sneak in a run back across that island bridge. Phew! Do you know how hot and humid it is running outside? That was sarcasm as I spend most of my running indoors on the dreadmill.

You can practically feel the humidity through this picture!

It was a great week and great weekend. Its always like a bit of a vacation for us when people come to visit as there is always plenty of attention to go around to the girls. They are at their best the whole time!

The next weekend the girl’s Aunt Charity came down with our girl’s favorite cousin Nikki. Nikki is two years older than Dylan and the two really hit it off. In fact that’s where she is at right now. Its great to see all three of them together! This time, however, we had to try to fit that ‘summer vacation week’ into a weekend.

Our ‘Heartbreaker’

So once again it was out to the beach. The kids love to play in the water (me included) and we had a great time. Then we hit a great beach restaurant on the way back before naps.

She Luvs the water!

Afterwards,  packed up the car again to go see a the Disney Movie “Brave”. To me, this was not the typical Disney movie. The young heroine actually rebels against her own mother. My wife points out this is nothing new for Disney if you think about the Little Mermaid. But it was a good movie.

I really enjoyed it and a must see for any mother / daughter duo out there. Plus it was set in Scotland with all those wonderful Scottish accents and scenery. (paralleling the movie Braveheart in a sense)

The next weekend was a break at our house. Our neighbors are a couple of loving grandparents. Accordingly they shipped 12 (yes, I said 12) of their closest grand kids in from all over to spend the summer here. They are all great kids. None are older than 10 and so they work out great with our two cherubs. Two or three of the oldest kids have really taken to our two. So I invited those three and my two to our downtown aquarium on Saturday.

We had the best time since I have taken our kids there. The popular favorite was the 12 foot albino alligator. We also saw a 10 foot Nile Croc curl up and scratch his ear like a dog. They are supposed to be sedentary aren’t they? Dylan petted a snake. Skylar grabbed said snake when it was here turn. I had a hard time pealing them away from the exhibit where you pet passing rays and horseshoe crabs.

“We got Fins to the left, fins to the right…”

They enjoyed seeing the jelly fish and sea turtles. Then they all caught their breath in front of the large tank. This time the 4 foot sharks kept making their passes right by our kids sitting on the floor. They swam up close enough to the glass where it was easy to spot their 3 rows of teeth. One time one swam up slow and close, appearing to almost stop right behind an oblivious Skylar, who had her back to the tank. The shark got everybody else’s attention!

The next week was the 4th of July week. Our old neighbors and best friends came back to town to visit and spend time with their family. We met up with them at the mid-week fireworks display. The kids had a great time playing with their oldest as us older kids just sat around and caught up.

The next morning it was back to the movies to watch a free airing for kids. We were lucky to see Dreamwork’s, “Puss In Boots”.  It was quite creative I thought as it wove a story line using practically every story book character around, from little Boo Peep, Jack and Jill (they weren’t so nice) Humpty Dumpty, Jack and the Bean stalk with the goose that laid the golden eggs and many more.

Salma, Antonio and Humpty-Dumpty disguised as the Golden Egg

It was a better than expected flick with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek in the lead roles. Hey, where Mathew McCoughney is to you girls Salma Hayek is to me.

Somewhere I picked up the most tenacious case of poison ivy that past week. I was wiping it with pure bleach. That didn’t even keep it down. It fell nicely into the weekend plans however.

Saturday and Sunday our friends stood us up found other people they needed to visit. We got it but it left our kids hurting as they were looking forward to doing fun times with them again. So how do you distract the broken hearted kids? Take them back to the beach! That was my idea. I remember from my youth how the healing powers of the sea ( they really are!) do great things to cases of poison ivy. That was my plan Saturday morning when I said “Let’s go”. I spent two solid hours playing in the salt water! The only effect the sea had on my poison this time was spread it around to my butt!

I was spreading getting the poison in all the worse places to get poison ivy. Think of the worst place to you? Yep, I got it there too. Sunday morning I got it on a place on my bum where I couldn’t see it. It just itched there! I had to stand up on a chair in front of the mirror in the bath to get a glimpse of how and where it spread. Now, imagine the feeling you might get as you innocently turn the corner in your bedroom early one morning and find your spouse standing up on a chair looking at their bum in the mirror? Its never dull around here!

Seizing the opportunity, I hopped off the chair and exclaimed, “Perfect timing!” (No doubt) I told my wife that I had a new batch of poison where I can’t see it and barely reach it. I asked her if she would do me the honors of dabbing the new batch of poison with a cotton ball filled with bleach. She fell to my logic and reluctantly agreed.

Now, going back to the idea of “never dull around here”. I bent over a bit, put my hands on my knees and prepared for the cold sting of the bleach ball. My wife started painting the affected area on my backside with the Clorax. All was quite until Dylan turns the corner and asks, “Whatcha doing mommy?”

“Well I, ahhh….you see., ahhh…because I, ahhh…. Dylan! Shouldn’t you be getting ready for church?

But the party doesn’t end there. You see, in our church they do a children’s sermon where they bring all the kids up in front of everyone and the Pastor tries to tell them a story or lesson. That Sunday’s theme was helping out other people. The Pastor asked if they helped out at home.

Help with the cleaning he asked? Help putting away their toys? He was leading up to when Jesus helped two people, ridding their illnesses, when entering a new town. And so he asked the kids if they ever need help at home when taking their medicine?

Dylan finally chimes in, “Well Pastor, I don’t so much, but this morning, my mommy…….”

Never a dull moment!

I hope the rest of your summer continues to get hotter and hotter…in the fun way, not literally. And that your summer may never rest on DULL.

PS: I went to the doctor that same Sunday afternoon and got a shot in my now infamous bum.You can’t have poison ivy when there are kids around, can you?

What fun things have you done this summer?

What has been one of your more embarrassing moments?

FIELD TRIP!!!

Remember those days in school? When the words ‘Field Trip’ sparked such excitement? Field Trips might have been one of my best classes! Today we have a field trip planned. I am taking the kids to the local aquarium downtown this morning (the official South Carolina Aquarium). I was excited!

Sand Dollars sparkling in the surf

Field Trips just weren’t about getting out of class to me. It was a time for discovery. I love finding things, noticing small animals, seeing why things are the way they are. It is one reason I enjoy going to the beach so much. The discovery of new things, shells, crabs, strange living creatures, mollusks living in shells and so on. You never know what you might find?

Today I was happy for my kids. The aquarium is not a huge place but it does have a lot of interactive things for the kids to draw them in. A new exhibit they offered was the saltwater marsh and feeding the rays, as we put a small shrimp in the end of the stick and watch the rays hover up to it and gulp it up.

We're not going to feed the gator

The aquarium has the always enjoyable otter tank with the little cutties swimming around. Lots of snakes and reptiles. Plenty of turtles that populate our area, both inland and in the sea. Exhibits on the tides and evolution of shells. Even an albino Alligator. Very curious! Let the day of discovery begin!

We entered the aquarium and my girls ran right by the Bald Eagle exhibit, right into the river otter display. Once there they found one or two large puddles to play in! Onward into the swamp and marsh displays, where they darted right by the solitary albino gator, finding much more enjoyment pressing the buttons that replicate all the sounds of the swamp (crickets, owls, etc.).

Next was the outdoors tidal display where my girls could feed the rays. This was so cool! Wait! Where are they? They ran back to the kids play tug boat. Dylan was steering it and blowing the horn. My two year old found a turtle she could climb on and slide off. Those rays will just have to go hungry I thought!

Finally, my kids ran through the outdoor tidal display, scattering the wrens and seagulls. Even the fish hid for their life from this kiddie romp!

These two fish feared they might be found


In the next room was our favorite, the two-story deep water fish display. This tank had the barracudas, sharks, puffers, groupers, colorful reef fish and more. Being an avid diver I couldn’t wait for the girls to see this in hope they’ll want to learn to dive with us as early as possible.

Those are her new red shoes on the carpet

I held my two year old up to the glass as the shark swam by but all the excitement behind her caught her attention. It seems toddlers would rather ‘discover’ the joy of climbing on a fake whale, and sliding off the tail, than the discovery of seeing a real mini sperm whale through the glass. The fish, bigger than she was in most instances, were just no match for the smooth plastic slide off a whales bum. I wondered if they knew these fish were even real?

"Hey! Get back here!"

I herded my kids once again and tried to make my way to the restroom. ~ you know how the sound of running water can affect you ~  Instead, they have the idea of running all the way back to the play tug boat and sea turtle. Help!

We finally make it through the doors, outside into the overcast day where their energy and enthusiasm had no end. Because outside…they could chase more seagulls!

Hold still !

Not even a photo op with Mr. Frog could hold their attention.

Not when there was the supersonic ray gun pointed up to the stars where they could shoot down enemy planes landing at our local airport. Discovery!

Their discovery ended when they found out the ‘ray gun’ needed 5 quarters to make it work.

"Skylar, maybe you could shoot this bird instead"

Is it nap time yet?

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