Friday/Weekend Thread

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Friday/Weekend Thread
11
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 9:18am

Good morning ladies, those that are still hanging in there!  I hope everyone has had an overall good week and that it continues into the weekend.  What is everyone's plans for the weekend?

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Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 9:35am

Here is our trip report...

Some background information…  We would not have done this trip if Zeph hadn’t made Nationals.   My grand plan for the trip was a Civil War wrap up with the history bee In the middle.  We had not budgeted for this trip.  To keep costs down we ate at chains and fast food.  We really missed trying local specialties.  To cover hotels, food, gas, sight seeing and pet sitters we had a budget of $1200.    We listened to 3 audio books and 2 pod casts (I slept through those) on the drive and chatted with on another.   We did not bring a laptop or iPods to encourage interaction.  Other than one night and one morning the hotel TVs stayed off.   DH did all the driving for which I am thankful.   I did all the planning for which he is thankful.  

We left about 9:30 Wednesday morning and arrived at Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville around 8pm.  I wanted to see the Bruce Munro light exhibition.  DH and Zeph weren’t really into the idea, until we got there.  The grounds were beautiful on their own and then add in the lights-- breathtaking. The exhibits were like a fantasyland.  I felt like we stepped inside someone’s artistic vision.  The frogs (real frogs, I love the croaking of live frogs--oxymoron?) could be heard all over the grounds, which added to the wonder.   We toured the art museum also.  Afterwards DH and Zeph agreed it was a great exhibit.  

http://www.cheekwood.org/Gardens/Light_Bruce_Munro_at_Cheekwood.aspx

We got to our Nashville hotel about 11:30 and were asleep pretty quickly.

Thursday morning checked out of the hotel and headed downtown Nashville to go the TN State Museum.  What a great FREE museum.  It was three floors of TN history from the Woodland time period through the 1880s.  It traced settlers’ journey, TN’s part in the Revolutionary War, the challenge to obtain statehood, TN’s part if the Civil War, and had a special exhibit on Jackson.  It was a good mix of sign reading, videos and artifacts.  DH was not into it, but agreed it was a nice museum if you are into that kind of thing.  Zeph really liked it and we were there for about 3 hours.  

After lunch, we headed to the Parthenon.  While impressive from a distance, up close you can see it is made from concrete and is cracked.  Add in the park vagrants and it was not at all awe inspiring.   Zeph loves mythology so we agreed to pay to go inside to see the Athena statue.  She was stunning as were the close up replicas of the statues on the porticos and the copies of statues from the British Museum.  There was also an exhibit inside that explained about the history of the TN Parthenon.  Reading about how difficult it was to build the replica led to an appreciation of the original in Greece and some wonder of the Ancient Greeks’ mathematical and architectural abilities.  While it turned out to be an okay stop, we would not go back again.

We left and headed to Chattanooga -about a 2 hour drive.   We checked into our hotel and swam before going to sleep. 

Friday morning we were up early and went to the Chickamauga Battlefield National Park.   This battle was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War with an estimated 34,000 dead.  That is more than US troops in WWI and WWII combined.  Staggering.  The visitor center and movie were informative and held our interest.  Then we drove the battlefield tour.  You follow a map and stop at areas with signs to follow the course of the battle. They also had a FREE number to call on your cell phone, which would give you more detail about the battle.  DH just so happened to have the necessary cable in the car to have the messages come from his phone out through the car radio.  

This is the first National Battlefield Parks to be established in the US.  Veterans of the Civil War were the driving force to make it happen and I love hearing how ordinary people accomplish monumental things.  Throughout the park are monuments in honor of the lives lost.  The place was thought provoking.  

Friday about 5, we pulled into our Atlanta hotel.  Wow, the place was busy!  It seemed most of the 400 History Bee participants were checking in at the same time!  As we walked in and saw all the kids, reality hit and Zeph started getting nervous.  We checked in for the History Bee also and found the conference rooms where he would be competing.  They were spread out over 3 conference levels and knowing where he had to be took away some anxiety. 

After the concierge assured us that it was a safe neighborhood, we walked a few blocks to dinner.  We were taken aback by the number of vagrants and by the amount of people smoking. While all the buildings were smoke free, the amount of people standing outside of them smoking was unusual (and disgusting) to us.  We had noticed this in Nashville too.  

That night it was hard to get to sleep.  I think we were all nervous.  

We got up bright and early Saturday morning.  Zeph eased his nerves while watching Spongebob. The Bee started with opening remarks and a rules overview at 8:45.  The competitions ran from 9:30 until 2:30ish.  Each competitor competed in 6 rounds.  Each round had 10 kids and a moderator and 30 questions.  The level of competition was much different than in the Chicago regional. There, Zeph easily took each round with the high score.  Here, all the kids knew their stuff.  We hardly heard a full question read since the kids were answering them after only a few words.  The questions varied and ranged form court cases to important documents, geography, presidents, weapons, wars, people, etc.  

Zeph was disappointed not to make it to the championship round.  He handled it with emotional maturity and we grabbed some ice cream after watching the championships.  He did finish in the top 25% which is a respectable.  We did know one family there so after the competition the boys met up in the pool and hung out.  

Zeph liked meeting other kids passionate about history.  It was good for him to see that there are other really intelligent kids out in the world.  In our academic community he is the big fish in a small pond.   

That night we ate at Hard Rock Café, within walking distance, and the place was full of kids who had competed.    After we packed up and went to bed. 

Sunday we checked out of the hotel and went to the Martin Luther King historic site.  Free and absolutely moving.  This stop was well worth the entire trip.  Talk about ordinary people accomplishing monumental things….  The movie brought me to tears.  The exhibits chronicled his life and the Civil Rights movement.    It was a good mix of video and reading.  This was the perfect wrap up to our study of the Civil War.  History books end with Reconstruction and the all were equal in the eyes of the law.  Not really.  It took several decades and dedication to bring that change about.   We also saw his childhood home (tour tickets were gone by the time we got there), the Ebenezer church, the eternal flame and his crypt.  The peace garden, while small, was beautiful and we took the time to read the poems written by local students.  

We were there about 3 hours and then headed back to Nasdhville-4 hours. After dinner, we hunkered down in the hotel room and I completed Angry Birds on my phone while DH and Zeph watched a LOTR movie on TV. 

Monday morning we were up bright and early and on out way to Fort Donelson.  This was not part of our original plans.  I had planned on us touring Carter House and Carton Plantation, but we’ll be driving back that way in November, so hopefully then.  Zeph had seen the sign on the way down and excitedly called out, “That’s where Grant went from Useless Grant to Unconditional Surrender Grant!”  So we went.  The visitor center was smaller, but the battlefield tour was fantastic.  You could easily imagine the Ironclads sailing down the river while canons fired.  There was hiking at some of the stops and it felt good to stretch our legs.  We saw a snake, and some deer also.  

The GPS took us on some backroads and we went by a bison ranch and got out and saw calves nursing and bison frolicking in the water.  We later stopped in Metropolis IL to take pictures with the giant Superman statue.

It was a good trip full of good experiences.  We got home safe and sound.  Zeph is already signed up for next year’s beeJ

 

 

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 10:28am

THat sounds like a wonderful trip overall Heather, your descriptions got me excited about doing stuff like that when the girls are older!!  Very good finish for Zeph, I am sure you are very proud of him!!

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 10:35am

After the home improvements and relatives in town, I am ready for a nice quiet weekend!!  Today will be pretty quiet, I have an appointment at lunch to take care of, and am deciding on if we will go to the pool tonight after work or not.  We had to pick up my truck from the repair shop last night and Emma was very upset that we didnt' get there.  She's having a tough time transitioning back to the daycare and the earlier waking hours. 

Tomorrow, the girls have swim lessons bright and early!  Madison's is at 8:30, I will put Emma in the play place at the Y and I will hit the elliptical machine while Madison is in class, then I'll pick Madison up from her class and then take Emma to her lesson at 9:15.  I will have to decide if Madison goes into the play place or not.  I think I will want her to, as she's not good at sitting for Emma's 30 minute lesson.  Then we're going to head across town to the large farmers market.  I am hoping to go back to farm fresh eggs as opposed to store bought ones, and I need to make a menu plan today so I can get as much there as possible.  I will eventually get to the grocery store for the rest of my shopping.  We have been working on leftovers a lot of the week.  Jordyn has to work I think Saturday afternoon and I believe her and the BF are going out Saturday evening to celebrate their 6 month anniversary early.  Jordyn leaves on Sunday early for 10 days out of town doing 2 different cheer camps.  She'll be cleaning today and finishing up her laundry for the trip, as well as thank you notes for graduation gifts.

I do have some molding and stuff to take back to Home Depot this weekend as well as picking up 2 more pieces of T molding to finish up the floor, then I'll take a break for a few weeks before going onto the kitchen renovations.  I ened to clean out the garage first so I have room to spread out while refinishing the cabinets.  I am sure we will hit the pool at least one more time this weekend also and menu planning and preparing for next week.  Have a great weekend!!

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Avatar for 3EggsnAL
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2012
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 11:14am

Today is my normal day off.  Kids are still sleeping.  Only cause I am allowing it.  I wanted a quiet morning and to be alone. I like my alone time.  I am about to wake them up though.  We will be cleaning the house today.  They have been doing a decent job but it needs to be more thoroughly. I might take them to lunch if they get busy. We might get to the Mall also.  Tonight, not too much going on, might go to a concert in the park thing.  

Saturday will be mowing probably for Tim.  I am hoping to get my cleaning done today and taking it easy this weekend. Tomorrow night we are going to an indoor football game that will be AAMU appreciation night. I got free tickets from work.  

Sunday, so far nothing planned.  Something will come up I am sure. 

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 12:03pm

Good morning.   DH went out and got donuts for breakfast.  We did a math lesson (really, from a book) on donuts, torus and euclidean vs non euclidean geometry.   Best math lesson ever!   DH si catching up on some work stuff.  Zeph is building. He managed to get his chores done and have his hour on the computer before DH was even up! I am about to start some school with him. 

I was going to go grocery shopping this morning, but the sun is shining so I think we are off to Home Depot to get garden fencing and finally keep the pups out of the dirt!   We also have a nest of cottontails in the yard that is now protected by a laundry basket that we will need to remove each night for momma to come and nurse.  Sadly the pups got to one of the babies and were using it as a ball.   I have a ton of yard stuff to do and this is our last weekend to do it before DH is on a long trip and MIL comes to visit.

Later this weekend, Zeph volunteers at a Fermi Lab event.  My mom is coming to go to hear a reencactor of John Phillip Sousa one afternoon also.  She'll stay for dinner too.  Off to work!  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2012
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 12:12pm

Heather, that sounds like you had a lot of fun!  And congrats to Zeph for making it as far as he did.  Glad he decided to sign up for next year too. 

cheryl

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2012
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 12:22pm

Feeling the effects of Andrea here.  Not too bad, just a whole lot of rain.  Might get wind later.  I should go grocery shopping, but walking back and forth with groceries in the pouring rain is not my idea of a fun time. 

Becca did NOT get her 180 day temp licence yesterday.  Sigh.  There was paperwork that I didn't sign.  So now she has to wait until Monday am to get it.  She could drive to school Tues-Thursday and leave the van in the area that the sophomores have taken over (not exactly legal but they're not enforcing the rules.  Yet.  And i don't think they will be enforced the last week of school)The kid across the street has a strange schedule next week.  Weds he doesn't have to be at school until 1 and if it's like Kristen- he won't have to go at all on Thursday, the last day of school for underclassmen. That is of course- if I let her, I am just so tired of the snarky attitude this kid has.  Sigh. Kristen's attitude was a breeze compared to this one.  And we haven't even started the college thing yet- she wants to go to a school that costs 60K a year for a performance degree- I can't justify her spending that much money for something that I don't even know if she's good enough for.  SIGH.

Sat Becca has a rehersal for her viola recital Sunday.  It's with her current teacher, and she won't be there for much longer since Govenor's school has lessons right there.  We also have a graduation party to go to Sunday.  Told my neighbor we'd be there sometime. 

Cheryl

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 5:50pm

This weekend we are going to another DoorsOpen - where you get to tour local heritage homes. A few weeks ago we went to the one in Whitby, and tomorrow it's happening in Clarington. And it's all free.

We live in a home built around 1850, and I have been researching the history, trying to figure out who built the house. (No luck so far) So touring these other homes is fascinating for me.

Last time I went in a house where they had sanded down and finished the old farm board floor - and I realized I could pull up all that old carpet in our bedrooms and do the same! When I saw those rough old boards under the carpet, I thought there was nothing I could do. Now to just find the money to do it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-1999
Sun, 06-09-2013 - 8:37pm

Hi, all.  Checking in late.  Our town had its annual Timber Days celebration this weekend.  It started Friday and ended today.  DS's class sponsored a bouncy castle for the little kids, so he did a shift there on Friday morning, then he worked noon to 8:00 Friday at the resort.  DD worked all day Friday and all day Saturday at Subway, then spent the evenings with friends.  We had a birthday party for DS (he's 16!!) and his friends Friday night and got to meet his new GF.  Today was church.  Otherwise, my whole weekend was spent working the Boy Scout booth at Timber Days.  Oh, and baking.  I made a chocolate layer cake for DS's party when I got home from town on Friday afternoon.  I layered it with dark chocolate ganache and frosted it with chocolate buttercream.  The kids only ate half of it Friday night and DH and I have been enjoying it since.  Both kids left this morning for a LYO retreat and will be back this coming Friday.  It is going to be very quiet around here this week!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-1999
Sun, 06-09-2013 - 8:41pm

Sounds like a great trip!  Congratulations to Zeph!

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