A Visit with the Grandchildren - Monday - November 7, 2011

Nancy was off from work Monday and Tuesday this week so we drove up to Raleigh after she finished her shift Sunday. We haven’t seen Julie, Steve and the grandchildren in a while. This quick trip would give us a chance to catch up with all their family.

We arrived at their house just about bedtime. 
But first, each child had something very important
to share with Grandpop. 
 01 - Grandpop seeing everybodies stuff
Of course, it was all at the same time ;o))

After a good nights sleep, Julie had planned a nice day trip to one of the children’s museums in Raleigh. We loaded up the Dodge Caravan with all of us (except Steve, he had to work) and headed to the museum.

Emily and Samantha were showing off their sparkling sneakers
 to Grandmom during the ride.
 02 - Serious Sneakers
I think Grandmom needs a NEW pair of sneakers!!

When we were paying to park in the public lot next to the museum,
Nancy noticed a sign that said the museum was closed on Monday’s. 03- Parking Pass

But just in case, we walked over to check.
Emily showing us the way!!
04 - Emily and Marbles Sign

Definitely closed, but we got to see some of the garden.05 - Checking out outside06 - Nice Garden to explore next time

Now what?
We had already paid to park.

Julie came up with a great Plan B.
Just a couple blocks away was the Raleigh Science Museum.
It was within walking distance.

What made the walk even better was that we walked by the capitol building and viewed all the monuments and statues on the grounds. 07 - Heading towards the capitol
07b - Heading around  the capitol

Andrew and Grandpop checking out the BIG gun!08 - Guys and Guns

Capitol Building and WWII Memorial09 - ww2 memorial and capitol building

View of downtown Raleigh from Capitol.10 - downtown Raleigh

Almost there,

Art Museum on the right, Science Museum on the left.11 - Almost there

What a great plan B.
We ended up spending a couple of hours in the Science Museum.
Our oldest grandson (Andrew) and I even watched a 3D movie about tornadoes.

Andrew in the Shark’s Jaws!!
12 - Science Museum - Andrew in Sharks Jaw

Emily and Samantha, just like their Big Brother…
12a - Science Museum - Like brother like sister

Wonderful poem as we entered the Sea Life exhibit.12b - Science Museum - Bryon Quote

Andrew and Daniel enjoying the Pelican display.12a1 - Science Museum - Pelican Diving
It was SO life-like!!

Above our heads was this HUGE Blue Whale skeleton.12c1- Science Museum -  Blue Whale Skeleton12c- Science Museum -  Blue Whale poster

From the second floor we could look down on the head of the Blue Whale.12c2 - Science Museum -  Blue Whale Jaw

Nancy here:  Not sure what Grandpop and the girls were listening to,
but it got them all dancing ;o))
12d - Science Museum -  Grandpop and girls dancing

While Andrew and Grandpop went to the Tornado movie, the rest of us did story time.  The story teller has a really cool hat and lots of live animals for all of us to touch!!12e - Science Museum -  Guinea Pig Storytime

We had a great couple of hours. 

As we were leaving, Daniel (who has always feared escalators)
decided he was ready to tackle this one without assistance.
12f - Science Museum -  Daniel on Escalator
Way to go, Daniel :o)))

We drove back to their house for a quick lunch and then off we went to Durant Nature Park, only a few miles from their home. We hiked through the woods, along a stream on a marked trail which led us to a playground with swings, jungle gyms, sandboxes, etc. It was neat to spend time with the grandchildren and watch them run and play on all the playground equipment. We all got plenty of fresh air and exercise!

Through the woods and along the stream…15c - Durante Nature Park - trail

Across the plank…
15i - Durante Nature Park - Bridge in woods

Stop for kids photo…
15a - Durante Nature Park - Kids on the Tree

Add a couple Grandparents…
15b - Durante Nature Park - Kids on the Tree

Go past the lake…
15d - Durante Nature Park - lake and trees


There it is….

15e - Durante Nature Park - playground

A Swinging Duo ;o))
 15f - Durante Nature Park - Swings

15g - Durante Nature Park - Samantha in Tunnel
Samantha hiding in the tunnel ;o))15g2 - Durante Nature Park - Samantha in Tunnel

Daniel laughing about something !?!?!15h - Durante Nature Park - Daniel laughing

It was a great way to spend a beautiful day!!

We capped off the day with a spaghetti dinner
 followed by coffee cake and ice cream for my birthday!!16 - Happy Birthday Grandpop

Now I get to make one wish before I blow out the candle.16a - Happy Birthday Grandpop
Can’t tell, but I bet you can guess what I wished for ;o))

Nancy and I left early Tuesday morning for home.  Before leaving Raleigh, we stopped at the Whole Foods Store for some groceries. After that, we went to REI where we bought a kayak cart our Sea Eagle Kayak.

The visit was short, but filled with fun. We’re looking forward to the next family gathering – I guess that will be Thanksgiving with our son, DIL and her family.

Nancy here:  Had to share these photos taken on our trip back to Murrells Inlet.  This red Mini Cooper, towing a mini Air Boat, passed us as we headed south on I-95.
17b - Mini Cooper - Air Boat
Never saw a combination like this before.

 I got Bill to pass it so I could get some better pictures.

17 - Mini Cooper
Notice the red propeller on the car roof!!

17a - Mini Cooper - Air Boat
Perhaps he is headed for the EVERGLADES!!!


  1. Very nice visit! Happy birthday, Bill...here's hoping you get what you wished for ;-)

  2. I hope you get that wish fulfilled as well!! and soon!!! :)

  3. What a fun day! Happy Birthday Bill!
    Taking the kids to the Life and Science Museum in Durham was always a favorite of mine. I think I had as much fun as they did. Or more??

  4. Wow these are great pictures. Looks like everyone had a fabulous time on such a full day! Pretty perfect birthday for a Grandpop!
    But Grandmom DEFINITLY needs a pair of those shoes. Get right on that so you can sport them in Florida!!

  5. Great group shot of the two of you with the grandkids!

    Happy Birthday Bill! Definitely hoping your wish comes true SOON!!!

  6. Looks like a great museum (from the perspective of a former science teacher). My favorite picture was of the granddaughter in the tunnel. What a cutie! Happy birthday, Bill.

  7. The best way to spend the day! I noticed smiles all around, you sure know how to have fun.

    Happy Birthday, Bill. I hope your wish comes true real soon!

  8. Happy birthday Bill!
    I don't care much for escalaters either. Needless to say, I recognized all those locations in downtown Raleigh. The Science Museum is one of those places that we wanted to go before we left town but we've been too busy. Nice visit with family.

  9. Happy Birthday Bill and hope your wish comes true soon! Love the Science Museum in Raleigh. Isn't it nice when we can be kids too!?!

  10. Happy Birthday Bill!!!!! May all your wishes come true! Aren't grandchildren the greatest??!!

  11. Happy Belated Birthday Bill! You have a wonderful family. Love hearing about the grandkids.

    Love ya both!

    Bruce and Laura