Not the Newport Flower Show + Playground Fun + Lickety Splits = A Weekend of Fun!

We headed off to Newport again this weekend, our last visit before August. I had wanted to take the kids to the Newport Flower show because I know they would have loved it, but my cousin was there with her newest baby and we all just had to see him. So we decided an afternoon at the pool would be perfect -- especially my aunt's pool with their newest cousin and her spectacular flowers... I mean with gardens like these who needs a flower show?!

Above and below.... pinks, lavenders and periwinkles... all my favorite colors!
I wrote about my love for the sea (here) now imagine how truly relaxed I am when I get these wonderful flowers by the sea!

Dee also has a fabulous vegetable garden... I'll be back in August... 1st weekend... in case you have too much of something... in case you are reading this! Or in case Alex is reading this!!

Ahh yes, the stresses of the day have melted away...

The husband took this picture... I actually like it!

We headed to town early to brave the crowds which were not bad at all for a late June weekend... we poked around some of the shops and had dinner at one of my favorite places, The Brick Alley Pub... great for families... good food in a fun and casual setting. This is definitely a place worth bringing the kids to if you are in town. Make a yourself a reservation or else you could be waiting for hours. This is a hugely popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

After dinner we walked around some more. After a while the boys headed back to the car and Rebecca and I kept going. We stopped in at Island Outfitters to check out their stuff. Noticed the Tretorns.... OMG what happened to them? Tretorn, you will be hearing from me. You have completely ruined your sneakers! These are not the Classic Tretorn but a cheap imitation and I still have the original to prove it. Bevy, you are soo right in being dissatisfied!  I did spy a gorge pair of turquoise crock Jack Rogers and I think my cousin Ashley ought to stop in for them because she isn't ever ever ever going to get my pink ones!

I didn't buy myself anything... or Rebecca, for that matter, who was begging and pleading for me to do so! We continued on our merry way... I texted the boys as we turned on to Wellington Avenue... We had no idea where they were and thought for sure we were going to end up walking all the way home!

We stopped to take some pictures of the harbor and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club where I learned to sail. Er, perhaps I should rephrase that... I took sailing lessons there. Poor girl never learned how to sail. Tennis was much more my thing. I can't believe I actually got Rebecca to smile for me here!

The boys finally caught up to us in front of the New York Yacht Club which was good because I was very close to getting a blister!

The next day we took Alexander to his favorite playground, Morton Park.

The older two went exploring and decided to take the path less traveled...

while Alexander got the chance to be a kid.

On the way home I spied this house for sale from the Newport Bridge...
This one might just be in my budget!

One final stop before we hit I-95 and all the horrendous traffic...
In the 30 years that I have been going to Newport I have never once stopped here. Oh man, what I was missing!!

Alexander had fallen asleep and was too tired to get out for ice cream. He got a little something "for later."

A nice weekend was had by all... and now back to the grind!

just another ordinary day in paradise

If you've ever been to Rhode Island you're most likely familiar with the yellow and green cup with the lemon on the front. This beverage is an Ocean State icon. Made from pure high fructose corn syrup, fresh lemon, lemon rind, sugar and crushed ice, this lemony sweet beverage is addicting. My kids love it and we can't seem to go to the beach without getting one at least once over the summer. Recently they've added a new flavor. Watermelon was added last summer, I believe. I didn't think I would like it. Of course I had to try one... it's fabulous! The only thing we seemed to need with it was a little vodka and perhaps a wedge of lime... or a sprig of mint!

I was so excited to go to the grocery store in Newport today to pick up a powdered version of this drink that requires just ice, water and a blender. My friend Heather told me about it after I mentioned the wee little bit about it being great with vodka. Well, imagine my surprise and delight when I learned, just minutes ago, that there are many flavors and even better... I just learned that Del's is available in other states. AND there's a store less than 5 miles from where I live. Do you have any idea how happy this makes me? If you love Del's and you don't live in Rhode Island you have got to go to their website! These slushy drinks simply make the best cocktails! Cheers Fluffy! And thanks for the tip ;)

There's a little playground called Morton Park that I used to take the kids to when they were younger. How they loved it there. To this day it is the only one they will play on. Perhaps it's because they have such fond memories of it. This thrills me to no end because Alexander so rarely gets to go to the playground these days and here the three can play together. While the kids play I put in a call to my husband. My wheels are screeching and it sounds like a braking problem. We learn later, after my husband brings my car in, that all four brakes need to be replaced. Nice way to drop a cool $1100 in a day. Gah!

I'm trying to get all three to sit on the bench and pose for a picture for me... Alexander will have nothing of it. Rebecca has plans of her own...

She moves in a little more...

Gah! A hug... from his sister no less!!!

This one shares the spotlight with no one!

Isn't he beautiful? I've often thought of having him model... but then I feel that's like pimping him out!

Before we hit the road we must stop off at Newport Creamery (kinda like a Rhode Island version of Friendly's) for some Crazy Vanilla... my kids all-time favorite!

After tummies are filled we hit the road.
Of course Alexander has to pee theveryminute we pull out of the parking lot. I tell him we have to wait the 20 minutes until we get to the Dunkin Donuts before we hop onto I95. There I'll get a coffee for myself.

But coffee runs through me quite quickly which is not good when you are stuck in this!

But things could be worse, I tell myself... I could be all the way back there! (The view from my side mirror.)

All because they want to chop down a couple of trees. Seriously, why can't this be done at night when I am not on the road with a full bladder!

The ride home was rather uneventful until the last half hour or so. The older two were bickering... Christopher was sitting behind Alexander, pulling his hair and Alexander was sitting in his seat chanting "I'm never going to stop talking... I'm never going to stop talking... I'm never going to stop talking..." despite Christopher's non-stop request to "Just shut-up, Alexander!" And of course all three are hungry. Because ice cream two hours ago was not enough. And as we approach was seems like McDonald's Mile on this stretch of highway, they beg and plead to go into one. To which I keep replying with a firm "No!"

I turn the radio on higher to drown them out. But it really isn't working. I sing along to see if that quiets them down. I sing along with Frank.

Of course it didn't quiet them down... But I enjoyed singing it!

We're home for a couple of days... then back to Newport this weekend. Going to buy some duct tape before that trip!

Road Trip 2009

We're off to the land of lobsters and moose, of sweet pines and salty ocean breezes... I'll have the kids in my car, the jogger, the snacks, waters, music and DVDs. Daddy will have all the other luggage and the toys and the beach items and cooler and all the stuff that his sedan can fit by my monster truck cannot. The minivan held more. No doubt about it. But we're OK. Rebecca will be in the third road next to the jogger. The two boys will be in the second row, separated by a pile of comforters and pillows. I want no child to be able to touch another child. And, if I could temporarily, I'd duct-tape their mouths so I wouldn't have to hear the incessant whining and tears and pleas of I want this and no not that. Driving in cars with independent-minded little people is no small task. It's dangerous. I'm hoping that by keeping Rebecca in seclusion in the third row in pre-teeny bopperdom that I'll have some sense of calm. Some. I can't put all three in the same row for more than 5 minutes at a time. I cannot. I will not.

Our trip to Providence, on Monday, was actually quite delightful. It would be terrible to say that it was because Rebecca was not in the picture... but it would also be the truth! Alexander is always content in the car. Sometimes he'll watch a movie and sometimes he's happy to just watch the world go by outside his window.

Christopher likes to play his DS and watch movies as well. But he never learns and he gets carsick. Terribly carsick. So when we went to Providence on Monday I told Christopher to look for license plates. I thought it would entertain him for 5 minutes, not the entire trip. He was fascinated and having such a good time. On the way there and back he found (with a little help from his Momma) plates from 23 states! I loathe to drive on I-95 but it's a great way to find all sorts of fascinating license plates. We located plates from: New York, California, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Vermont, Indiana, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Hawaii (!!!), Virginia, New Hampshire.

Alexander had fun finding shapes in the clouds, Snoopy upside-down on an airplane, sharks, dolphins, turtles, birds, and the like. I'm sure we'll play the same games again. I have no idea what we have in store... I guess it's wait and see... and I am sure you'll hear all about it!

Meantime, you can read all about one of last summer's escapades if you wish by clicking on Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear... should give you a good laugh and make you yearn for the good days gone by (sans enfants)!