Sunday, December 16, 2012

Good Morning Baltimore

So I promise we do more than take trips.  But it hasn't seemed like it in the last month and a half.  Hopefully back to real life blogs soon. :)
When we went down to my parent's house for Thanksgiving, Scott had a business trip the following week in Baltimore.  Since it was just a little over 2 hours away, we decided to stay in NJ and drive down to Baltimore, rather than drive back home and then fly down.  I considered staying with the boys while Scott went, but my parents were nice and were willing to let them stay while we both went.  So Scott and I got to go to Baltimore on our own!  As an early anniversary get away, we headed out for a couple of nights- kid free.  Scott worked during the day, but I went shopping and sightseeing.  I didn't take pictures of the shopping (though it was sooooo awesome without kids that I probably should have) but here are some pictures of the sightseeing.
We stayed at the hotel where Scott's conference was located.  It was right along the waterfront and attached to a mall and then if you walked over this walkway, you went straight into another part of the mall.
The ship right outside of our hotel.  USS Constellation, I believe.  There were a lot of ships. :)
One of the only pictures we got of us. :) 
A picture of the harborfront.  We went to this Barnes and Noble one night and it was so cool.  It is built in an old power plant and had many original structures, etc.
In addition to getting a lot of Christmas shopping done, I went to Fort McHenry one day.
It was absolutely amazing!  So cool.  If you are ever in Baltimore, it is a must see.
The Star Spangled Banner itself.  The original was much larger, but this one did have the 15 stars.
It was super sunny, but here is an attempt to get me with the fort in the background. :)
When we were growing up, we would say that it wasn't a vacation if you didn't get a picture sitting on a cannon.  Well, there were these signs saying no climbing on the cannon.  And it was just me.  So I just took a picture of a cannon. :)
I also walked down to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  They were celebrating their 20th year.  Seemed lame compared to the 100th year anniversary going on here.  But oh well.  It was a fun park.
Another part of the park and the Babe Ruth statue.  I almost made it to Babe Ruth's birthplace, but it was getting dark, so I headed back.  Didn't want to get lost in Downtown Baltimore. Perhaps another time.
 It was a super fun trip!  Our boys were awesome for my parents.  Apparently they slept better for them than they do for us.  We'll have to leave them more often. :)  It was very nice to get away and relax and spend some time together.  It was a perfect amount of time as well.  We were excited to see our boys again and I think they were excited to see us too.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


So our Thanksgiving Trip wound up being a marathon trip this year!  We drove down to New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon after Joy School, and I feared the worst as far as traffic.  We went an entirely different way than we usually do (because we always have traffic) and ended off so much better off!  We went over the George Washington Bridge (still Alan's favorite. Still asked if the little parkway overpasses were the GWB) with absolutely no traffic.  Only snag was traffic from an accident on the Turnpike.  Go figure.  Oh well.
We were so lucky to spend Thanksgiving with my family who is still at home as well as with Michael, Sarah, and Micah!  It was so much fun to all be together.  On Thanksgiving Day, the boys played a little football in the backyard.  We had an absolutely delicious dinner.  Complete with lima beans, applesauce  and turtles.  Apparently these are unique Foulk traditions.  Well I know the turtles are.  We all love Grandma's turtles.  We also had some wonderful rounds of the name game to complete the day.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we skipped the shopping.  By the time I got to looking at the ads on Thursday night, half of the stores had already been open, so I figured I'd missed the good deals anyway.  Instead we took a little trip to Philadelphia.  Michael and Sarah had wanted to go and my entire family crashed their party and tagged along.  We had a great time exploring the historic district.

I love this pic. (please ignore the fact that Scott is wearing a Red Sox shirt as he hugs the Phanatic.) 
Ben Franklin's Grave
Poor Richard isn't so poor anymore. :)  They charge you to go in the cemetery, or you can toss pennies from the street.
We had to get cheese steaks.  Delicious as always.
Classic map shot
Classic boy shot
Classic Philadelphia shot

Independence Hall
At the Liberty Bell
At the top of the art museum steps with the Rocky statue
Climbing the steps!  (or maybe going down. :)
Scott, Nathan, and Dad were also able volunteer with Mormon Helping Hands on Sunday.  They went down to Tuckerton and helped with Hurricane Sandy Relief.  They hauled debris to the road and some folks helped tear down a half standing home.  I think it was an amazing experience.  We are truly so blessed and pray for all of those who are still suffering.

And here are a few random cute ones...

Just sitting in the fridge reading my scriptures.  No big deal.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The California Trip

At the beginning of November, the boys and I took a trip to California to visit Aunt Stephanie!  Anne had been visiting Boston so we were on the same flight to Los Angeles and she was able to help me with the boys on the flight.  Thank goodness!  It was a huge help to have her there and we were able to spend some time with Anne and her family when we were in LA as well.  I just uploaded the pictures here and this is going to be a seriously massive post, so feel free to skim. :)

On our first day in California, Anne took us to Downtown Disney.  The lego scenes were especially impressive.
Buzz and Woody! Seriously everything in the scenes (including the backgrounds, pillars etc) made entirely of legos

They had lots of legos to play with.  Alan was quite proud of his car.
Don't forget lego Aladdin!
The boys had so much fun rolling their cars down these ramps.
They seriously would have stayed here all day I think.
The other super exciting place in the park was the World of Disney store.  Alan is obsessed with Lion King currently.  He about died when he saw this poster hanging through the window.
And when he found these animals in the store.
He immediately got down and started playing Lion King.  (He does this allllll the time.  I think he was just super excited to have legitimate characters to play with.  In our house Scar is usually a frog.  He was so funny when he saw the animals.)
This was another favorite part of the store.
Alan's California souvenir.  It was 13.95.  Steep, but I figured it was a lot cheaper than a trip to Disneyland.
And here is James' souvenir. Someone gave him their balloon wiener dog because they couldn't take it on the rides.   
The boys had an absolute blast on our Disney adventure.  It was just the right amount of Disney for them at their ages.  Maybe when they're older we can experience the park.  :)
Steph came to pick us up in Covina and we went to a little night carnival there.
Here's our cute little guy on Steph's patio.
Alan was very intrigued by the palm trees.
We walked around downtown Burbank where they were having an art festival.
Candyland!  (Simba rarely left Alan's side)
At the Hollywood sign!
We headed out to the beach on the balmy 91 degree November day.
It was absolutely beautiful weather!
There was lots of digging and splashing
And of course, the boys loved every minute of it.

After we got back from the beach, we made caramel apples for Family Home Evening!
It took lots of concentration.
And sampling
But the apples looked great!
And tasted even better.

On Tuesday we went to the LaBrea tar pits.
It was totally awesome.  They had all of this actual excavation going on.

Here we are in front of the huge bubbling tar pit.
You could try to pull up on the sticky tar.  It was so hard!  No wonder so many animals got stuck!
They had TONS of mammoths, saber tooth cats, and over 400 wolf skulls.  It was amazing.
Enjoying a little picnic at the gardens there.
And climbing on some trees.
Both the Tar Pits and the LA Natural history museum were free that day.  So after the tar pits we headed over to the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.  It was seriously impressive with a TON of dinosaurs.  (No dinos at the tar pits)

Turned out it was kind of a long day for the boys....
Until we got to the discovery center portion of the museum where you could play with and touch everything.
James loved petting all of the soft furs.  Finally he picked one up and gave it a love. 
More exploring
And more exploring
Scary polar bear!
Here are the boys touching the temple.
Family photo
They loved the Christus statue and the sisters let them climb on it and touch it as well.
We had a lot of fun playing with chalk and tennis balls on Aunt Steph's patio.
"Getting" each other.

It's their new favorite game.
We also went to the Griffith Observatory.
It was too cloudy to go on the roof and use the big telescopes, but it was a way cool place just to look around on the inside.
Posing with Einstein.
Final family photo
We survived the flight home by ourselves.  There were some intense times, but for the most part these two were pretty good.  Alan nicely napped.  James nicely waved to everyone he could see.  And in the end, we made it.
I think Scott missed us.  Sarah and Michael helped decorate our house with streamers, balloons, and signs, and Scott made these house shaped brownies for us.
In addition to all the pics, Steph and I stayed up entirely too late every night talking.  It was so much fun to spend some time together.  We missed Marc, but it was probably a good thing he was out of town.  He would have gotten sick of us. :)  Thanks for taking such good care of us, Steph and Anne, we had a blast.  And thanks to Scott for taking care of things at home and letting us go!