Monday, May 23, 2005

Busch Gardens and Williamsburg, Sith and #9

I'm tired but I'll write anyway. Ian just gave me a guilt trip by stating our hit count is in the toilet this month because I'm such a slacker.

So I'll put aside my deep desire to crawl into bed at 8:30 this evening and make him happy by writing and writing and writing until my fingers bleed.

OK, not really. He's making me an ice cream sundae as I type, so he can't be all that bad, right?

As the title says, much has happened in the past few days. I'll start with the last and work my way backwards... #9.
Wednesday was our 9th wedding anniversary. We successfully survived the First Year Hardships (usually a good year, but tough with an infant and being poor as church mice), the Fourth Year Uncertainties (I know too many people who divorced at the 4-year mark) and the Seventh Year Itch (did we just not itch or did we scratch it just right?). And next year we face the 10 year mark. Amazing and wonderful, I say. This year was our "leather" anniversary, or was it pottery? Anyhow, Ian gave me the most awesome leather carry bag from L.L. Bean called the Healthy Back Bag which has about a dozen pockets to hold my wallet, camera and other assorted items, and room enough to carry the video camera, a change of clothes for Jonathon, a book and plenty more. Even better, it's a bag Ian doesn't mind carrying if my arms are full. I'm thinking that next year I need to pay more attention to the anniversary gift guides, but what are my options since I've sworn off diamonds? Ideas anyone?
The kids were excited about the anniversary and worked together to buy flowers and make dinner for the family. Very thoughtful and well executed, the spaghetti was perfect.
Our anniversary continued on Friday night after we dropped the kids off at grandma's house for the night. Ian and I had dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery before watching "Revenge of the Sith". Our waitress was quite chipper and we had a pleasant meal of foods all baked with beer, though we passed on the discount card that's good at their restaurants "all over". For some reason, I don't think Togo is what she meant. (Speaking of Togo, it seems post has petitioned to have the Authorized Departure status lifted).
Ah, the Sith. I agree it's not for little kids. I also don't want to give anything away for those who haven't seen it yet. We all know that it's the final story that bridges the first two movies to the last three, but I do have one negative thing to say about it. George Lucas should stay far far away from making -any- romantic/emotional/love stories. He can't do it. Contract it out, man, your dialogue is miserable. You ruined a wonderful, strong-willed character and the potentially spark-filled powerful attraction was devoid of life. But Anakin's fall to the dark side was believable (in a Star Wars kind of way) and complete. Since that was the point, and it was done fabulously well, I say the flick was awesome.
I'm sad though, almost to the point of being sappy. Star Wars is complete and it's hard to believe there won't be any more to anticipate.
What will George Lucas do now? And what will we, the Star Wars fans (even those who aren't completely rabid about it.... like me), what will we do now? Will I be reduced to reading those awful Star Wars novels that come out in droves?
I put aside my contemplations on "what happens now" over the weekend.
Bright and early Saturday morning we (us, the kids and my parents) drove down to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. The weather cleared up nicely, the drive was easy and we enjoyed the park immensely. The girls took on the new ride, the Curse of DarKastle, with Ian and grandpa. Nicholas took on the log flume with dad and will never say that he enjoyed it. The picture proves that he didn't, there was terror all over it, but he's proud that he made it. "I goed down" is all he'll say about that. We all watched the Irish dancing show, the boys loved the Land of Dragons and the Roman Rapids was the big hit. Aside from the funnel cake of course. Even better, De Witty came to the park and spent her afternoon with us. She's doing really well and we've made a date to try to get together in August when we're at Sandbridge. De is a college friend of mine and she's such a warm, friendly and outgoing person that no matter how much time has gone by, it feels like none when we see each other again.
The kids were each given $5 to spend on a souvenir as we were leaving the park. Oh sure it was after 9 p.m. and they were beyond hungry and tired but there was shopping to be done. We hunted through stores and were disappointed to see that the favorite price of $6.99 for the smallest gifts. It was a lesson though and the kids -were- successful. The boys each purchased a knight's helmet for $3.99, Katherine found a keychain for just over $1 and then she shared her change with her sister so Rebecca could purchase a $6.99 DarKastle thermos she'd been eyeing all day.
We finally made it to the Embassy Suites, ordered some room service pizza and slept like rocks. Jonathon didn't even make it to the pizza. He'd fallen asleep in the car and nothing was going to wake him up.
We attended church at St. Bede's on Sunday morning, a lovely bright and new church-in-the-round with gorgeous grounds that included a pond filled with tadpoles. Church went long as they asked for funds to pay off the new organ, so Jonathon fell asleep on my lap and missed all the tadpoles. It was almost 1 before we left and made our way to Colonial Williamsburg for lunch. We checked out Berret's first, a seafood place. The hostess said it would be a 15 minute wait and we debated looking elsewere. A lady sitting on the bench, apparently waiting herself, said that a 15 minute wait was great. When I replied that it was a little long with hungry kids she commented she had two kids herself (who I didn't see anywhere around) and that 15 minutes was a blessing, or something along those lines. And that we wouldn't find anywhere else any better.
We walked to the Seasons restaurant on the other side of the block, were seated immediately and had a wonderful lunch that didn't need to be worked around (my dad can't eat fish or many of the other items on the Berret's menu).
I guess you could say we found that "helpful" lady more obnoxious than anything.
The past few weeks we've been reading history books about Colonial Williamsburg including the American Girl Felicity series and Mary Geddy's day. During our walk down Duke of Gloucester street we checked each house we passed to find the Merriman house (sadly, we didn't) and the Geddy house (we did). We passed the magazine where the British loyalists stole all the stored Patriot gunpowder, and the Capitol building where the vote was taken to become an independent state. It was fun and the girls were excited to purchase their very own quills and ink to try out at home. Every since Katherine saw her first Harry Potter movie she's wanted a quill. OK, so it's not exactly American History there.
We were a little warm and treated the kids to ice cream before departing home. My parents left first trying to avoid some of the traffic and we meandered through a store where I picked up an ornament for our Christmas tree. Katherine showed me a beautiful Christmas ball which shattered in her hand, and her as a result. Poor girl, she has the worst luck sometimes. The store wouldn't let me pay for the lost ornament, and Ian took good care of stricken Katherine while I paid for our trinket.
It seemed to take us forever to get back, though it was a pleasant drive. My mom has discovered the joy of texting and since they were so far ahead of us we received regular traffic reports. Jonathon needed a bathroom break at Rt. 17 so we stopped at McDs to let the kids burn off some energy and while there, mom texted that I95 was completely stopped and they were bailing onto Rt. 1. I mentioned that to another lady sitting with her family and someone else overheard and stated it was awful up there and we should all take 17 to 28 instead. Which is exactly what we did, passing farms that give tours, lots of cows, Wat Lao and a beautiful sunset. The kids were great and we all came home tired but happy.
Now this week is Katherine's SOL tests, so early to bed and hearty breakfasts all around.

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