Saturday, August 18, 2012

Family visit part 1

When I heard my sister and her kids were planning on being in NJ this summer, we worked it out so we could go down and spend some time with them and with my parents. The 4 cousins had a great time together. The oldest was just so patient with the youngest. I was just so impressed with her sweet and helpful spirit. Plus she's a ton of fun. The boys are vastly different in so many ways and yet they have an absolute blast together. They get along so well. I really wish they could get together more often but California is kind of far from Nova Scotia. 

Even though the kids did great at entertaining themselves, my mom had different activities to amuse them. She organized a candy hunt and it's pretty easy to see they got into the spirit of the hunt.

Grammy and Grampy with half of their grandkids.

Me and my mom.

My mom is far away from her grandkids and because she doesn't get to see all of their birthdays, she always organizes a GIANT birthday party for all of us. Complete with decorations and lots of presents.

A party wouldn't be complete without candy.

Peter and Joseph getting into the thrill of the presents. My mom doesn't just pass out presents, she makes it an event. We have official present passer outers and then some kind of game is involved with the presents. This time the presents weren't marked. We opened our gift and then had to guess who it was for. Hilarity ensues when Grampy is given the princess tiara meant for the 6 year old girl. 

In Nova Scotia our beaches are beautiful but the water is usually cold. There are a few times when the currents are just right and we are treated to nice swimming water, but all too often, the water is ice cold. So I wanted to take the kids to the Jersey Shore to swim in warm water. It's not bath water, but it's pleasant. 

The sand was just right for digging and playing.

Grampy did his best to not get burned by the sun.

We went to Sandy Hook which is a beautiful national park, but the beach we selected was different from other Jersey beaches I've been to. The shoreline took a pretty drastic drop and there was really only one crashing wave instead of a set of them. But when the waves came, they were powerful and fortunately all the kids did well with it and didn't get scared by the force. 

We also chose Sandy Hook because of the historic sites. We took a tour of the oldest working lighthouse which was fascinating. And we could see the old military village where in WW2 there were 12,000 residents. Hard to believe. 

The light was working and it was warm up there. 

Apparently the boys counted the steps all the way down. 

Another activity we did with the kids was the Turtle Back Zoo. Robin really wanted to take the kids to the Bronx Zoo but we decided the smaller closer zoo would be preferred by the kids. It was a good choice. There were numerous water sprays throughout the zoo to cool the kids off. 

There was a canary house where the kids could feed the canaries with see on a stick. The birds didn't really want to eat until they were sitting right on the stick. 

Grampy and the boys soon learned the secret of getting the birds to climb on their sticks.  

Just a quick break to rest from the heat.

One nice thing about this zoo was the volunteers who walked around the exhibits and talked with the kids. Here we are at the Gibbon enclosure learning the difference between monkeys and apes. We all enjoyed our trip to the zoo and I'm glad we were able to share family time together. 

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