Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Amelia Island: Unabridged and Uncensored.

So, for those of you who want the complete version of our vacation (ie grandparents and friends with ALOT of free time), here we go.

Tuesday: After a LONG drive down the boys and I arrive in Amelia Island (who knew a 4 year old could talk for 6 hours straight?). The drive was made much more bearable, but also much longer by a stop at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robbins, GA. It is the coolest place. As we pulled into the parking lot I thought Matts was going to burst right out of his car seat. The museum consists of 3 hangars filled with memorabilia and retired aircraft. But, the neatest part is outside. In the field behind the museum they have around 30 retired aircraft just sitting there. We, of course, had to touch each one and hear Trooper recount his daring adventures for each separate aircraft. This resulted in adding 2 hours onto our trip. This resulted in a speeding ticket for Kendall (It was one of those lousy speed traps where one town drops the speed limit). This resulted in Mattson discussing the consequences of breaking the law for the next 30 minutes. Like I said, it was a LONG drive

Wednesday: The boys and I just got to play. In the morning we got up and wandered the trails. Amelia Island is one of those uncivilized beach islands with trails and marshes and beaches. Basically, paradise for two active boys. In the afternoon we hit the beach. I pictured our first day on the beach to be mostly sand-based, especially for Gray. But, I failed to factor in my fearless little guy. They were in the waves within minutes and played until the sun went down. In the early hours of the morning (ie 4am) Gray woke up coughing and wheezing. Yuck, yuck, yuck. This resulted in a frantic call to Scott (sorry) and a trip to the ER. After a breathing treatment and steroids we were on our way. I've decided that Gray specializes in scary, but not life-threatening emergencies.

Thursday: It's amazing. I finally discovered the formula to getting my boys to sleep in. Just put them to be at 9:00pm after a full day of playing outside, add a touch of drama in the middle of the night and Voila! They'll sleep in until 9:00! Then it was off to beach.

Friday: The BIG day. We met Commander Mark on base and got a tour of Jackson Naval Air Station. Now, you may ask, who is Commander Mark? Well, finding Cmdr. Mark was a highlight in my mothering career. I hate talking to people I don't know, I hate talking on the phone, I hate asking people for help. But, being the caring mother that I am I put all these things aside and started calling random people to try and get Matts on base. Cmdr. Mark is coordinating the air show in October and thought I was crazy to call and try and reserve tickets in April. One thing led to another, I described Matts and his obsession with all things Navy and next thing you know, Cmdr. Mark offered to take us around base. When we got there he went above and beyond.

Not only did we get to drive around base and see all the displays of all the aircraft that have been based in NAS Jax (cool, huh). Cmdr. Mark arranged for us to go up in the flight tower. On our way to the flight tower we saw one of his squadron mates on the runway. Next thing you know Matts was in an actual Navy training jet with a flight helmet on. So cool. After experimenting with the controls we watched the jet prep for take-off. Then we rushed up the flight tower to watch him go. As he flew past he tipped his wing and "waved" at Matts. Let's just say I've never seen Matts walk so slow (trying to take it all in) or heard him say "Excuse me..." as many times as when we toured the base. We then finished the day by taking Cmdr. Mark and his family out to dinner.

Saturday: We managed to squeeze in one last time at the beach before we headed out to Savannah. In Savannah we went to The Crab Shack. It's basically the original Joe's only it's on the water and you get to feed the alligators while you're waiting for your food.

Sunday: We finished the drive home with another stop at the Museum of Aviation where Mattson once again had to touch each individual aircraft and recount his adventures.

I cannot thank Reed enough for his hard work and all the opportunities that come from it. I love that he enjoys his job and is able to work with people who are so kind and generous. This was truly one of those vacations that you always imagine taking your family on; the whole coastal, outdoorsy, beach thing. (Ok, maybe I didn't imagine that snakes and aircraft would play a key role). But, all in all it was a wonderful vacation.

Amelia Island: The abridged version

We just got back from Amelia Island and it was GREAT! It was long enough that it felt like a vacation instead of just a long weekend. Reed flew down to his off site on Monday. The boys and I were planning on going down Thursday morning. However, once Reed arrived he found that he had a suite on the beach, so I packed up the boys and we were off the next morning. We then spent the week playing on the beach, hunting for snakes and Caimans in the marshes and just relaxing. But, more importantly, we had a Navy filled vacation.
Playing in the jet simulator at the Museum of Aviation

Snake hunting in the marshes of Amelia Island

Matts testing out the newest flight trainer right before take-off. The boys and Commander Mark on base.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Boys

Goodness, how my standards have changed. Ignore the pajamas, the sleepy daddy and the uncombed hair and what do you get? A great picture of my boys.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snakes and snails and puppy-dog tails

So, while some of you may know about Matts' current obsession with armyish-navyish things his other, slightly less publicized, obsession is reptiles. Specifically snakes. Specifically snake-hunting.


I'm beginning to think that the action-packed, violence filled world of Star Wars wasn't so bad after all. Seriously, his new show of choice is "The Jeff Corwin Experience" and his activity of choice is snake hunting. This was all just slightly creepy at first. I mean, who wants to step on a black mamba in the middle of the night or jump back from a python in the cat food? But, it was also kind of funny and educational. Who knew that the aforementioned mamba can out run a human? Even Gray got into the act "attacking" me with hissing boas and turning the snake bucket into a hat :)

But, last weekend Reed took it one step to far. He actually took the boys snake-hunting. Yes, as in leave the trail, wade through the weeds, turn over rocks snake hunting.

When Matts saw this toad he reached down and muttered "this is how Jeff does it" before scooping up this guy. He then proceeded to educate us on "this little beauty".

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, Gray (or "GG" as Matts likes to call his partner in crime) likes to get in on the act. This is particularily wonderful when Reed's not around and Gray is turning over every rock in sight and poking at whatever he may find underneath. (Including BLACK WIDOWS)

One afternoon; two snakes, a toad, a turtle and a salamander. Enough said.

Just a reminder that I live in the world of boys where snakes are a key ingredient.