Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Monsoon Moms @ Wet N’ Wild: Day 17

Today we planned to take a break from the Titanic theme.  Instead, we were going to branch out to a larger water theme by stopping by Wet N’ Wild with some friends.

It does happen to be Monsoon season in Vegas and as I was driving to Wet N’ Wild a flash flood warning came over my phone.  Still the dark and looming clouds seemed to be well to the Northwest of the park.  So, I decided NOT to call my mom friend (known known as Monsoon Mom) to call off the outing. That was a mistake.

When we arrived the water park was temporarily shutdown.  According to Monsoon Mom, who has season passes to Wet ‘N Wild, this kind of thing often happens and the park frequently reopens in a few minutes.

We walked over to a near by park and allowed the kids to play for a few minutes.  Then it started to HAIL!  Yes, hail!

We stayed under a picnic shade structure for about 30 minutes and then finally made a run for it as the deluge slowed.

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TITANIC PART II Mom Camp Day 16

The Titanic theme continued for a second day despite the drama over the movie.  Although both Cinco and The Princess remained less than excited about this theme. 

For The Princess I downloaded a great set of worksheets from Teachers Pay Teachers created by Primary Junction.  Lucky for me, they were free! They included some basic one page reading sheets followed by a set of comprehension questions.  It also included two small make-it-yourself- booklets.

We also worked in a few crafts as well.  Cinco made his own version of a Lego Titanic. 

Next we gathered a few supplies to make a porthole. We decided to make it a view out the window of the Titanic after it sunk.  We had all the creatures of the drop floating by. 

We started with a set of paper plates–one white and one ocean blue. 

 We cut a circle out of the white plate and then glued the blue plate inside of it.  Next we flipped the plate over and started creating our underwater scenes.

Many of the ‘decorations’ were edible: 

  1. Swedish fish
  2. Sour gummy octopi 
  3. Goldfish crackers

So of course we had to eat a few of our creatures as we went along!

I had one transparent plastic lid left over from a tub of Trader Joe’s animal crackers.  The kids played rock paper siscors to see who would get it.  Cinco won and I think it made a nice finishing touch for his porthole. Although in true little sister fashion, The Princess pointed out the glass would have shattered when the ship went down. 

After the crafts we decided to head to the pool.  At least we were keeping the water theme alive. 

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Titanic Day Part One (Mom Camp Day 15)

For the past two years I intended to do a few Titanic themed Mom Camp Days. And, every year we get to the end of the summer and it hasn’t happened.  Well, this is the YEAR people!!!

The kids on the other hand are less than enthusiastic about this little project.  We started off by watching a documentary on the Titanic.  From the start, no one was really interested in the show, including The Captain. The kids rebelled saying it was very boring and I shot back that it was educational and that we are doing our Titanic Days!!!!!  Cinco started saying the ship took 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink and that was all he needed to know about the event.  LOL.

Not the best start to Titanic Day.  However, once I explained we were going to go to the Titanic museum, watch the James Cameron movie, make a mini-Titanic and do some science experiments they seems to be a bit happier about the experience.

Cinco started the day by making a mini Titanic paper craft.


img_3790The Princess created paper dolls with outfits related to the time period.  Technically, the outfits are from the Edwardian 1900s.  But between 1900 and 1912 the fashion didn’t change too much.  So I went ahead and used them anyway.

They also colored images of the Titanic sinking that I printed out from Activity Village. Download the picture here. Activity Village also had a fun worksheet that asked the kids what they would pack if they were sailing on the Titanic. 

Cinco completed a primary source worksheet from Education.com about two passengers from the ship. Download the worksheet here.

We ended the day with popcorn and the movie,Titanic .  Cinco and the Princess got a hand me down electronic keyboard and tortured The Captain and me with a Casio version of Celine Dion’s My Heart will Go On for years!  When Cinco finally heard it as the theme from the movie he asked if that was the original version.  How funny…

Although they have seen plenty of other PG-13 movies, this one turned out to be a mistake.  Both kids started crying about 2/3rds of the way through the movie. Too depressing I guess. 

 

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Mom Camp becomes Dad Camp Days 14 & 15

For these days, Mom Camp was on the road again.  This time it was a road trip to Brianhead Utah to reach cooler temperatures and even cooler friends.

After an easy 3 and 1/2 hour drive (I say easy, because after a 23 hour trip home from NOLA this was a piece of cake.), we arrived at a lovely cabin in the woods to join another family who will henceforth be called The Brianhead Bunch.  Some yummy steaks, an outdoor campfire with ‘smores finished off the day.

The following day it was time to rent ATVs and hit the wilderness. Although The Brianhead Bunch were experienced ATV drivers, The Captain and I had never been on them.  I will also admit my outdoor skills really are not superior.  In college, I once managed to capsize a jet ski, LOL.  I was slightly nervous at first.  I took a quick spin on an open quad and we eventually rented an ATV with roll bar and seemed a little more secure (other than the roll bar, I am not actually sure it was one bit safer.  I was able to pretend I was safer and took to calling it my ‘golf cart’.)

Lunches were packed and we hit the dirt roads. Cinco rode with me and The Princess was co-pilot with The Captain.  At first, things were pretty easy.  We arrived at a lovely visita.Things got a little hairy after that as we drove up a rocky hill.  My strategy was slow and steady, but at one point the ATV significantly tipped to the right.  Cinco began crying and wouldn’t stop reminding me that I had in fact once capsized a jet ski.  In true kid style, he went back and forth from crying with terror to signing Highway to Hell.  In my typical mom style, I kept telling him I had not killed him yet and could he please calm down.  I was then forced to put one of my arms around him to calm him down.  That’s when things took a turn for the worse.


With all the crying, singing and chaos in my ATV my nerves were a little frayed and I ALMOST drove into a tree.  I tried to back up, but then the rocks started sliding underneath the vehicle.  I decided enough was enough and flagged The Captain to get me out of a sticky spot. Thankfully, he drove like a pro and got me back on track.

The drive was easier downhill.  And, Cinco stopped crying on the return trip and started singing Highway to Hell in a far more playful and jovial manner.

We saw a few more natural treasurers:


But the best moment came near the end of the day when we went though a big puddle with everyone laughing and having a good time.

A big thank you to the Brianhead bunch for a new experience and good time. Alls well that ends well.

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MOM Camp Day 9: The 23 hour journey home…

This was NOT meant to be an official day of Mom Camp.  In fact, today was the day we were meant to wake up in own beds with our snuggly dogs and get back to Mom Camp at home instead of on the road.  So much for that plan.

We arrived at Louis Armstrong Airport around 2:00pm–well in advance of our departure at 5:30pm.  No sense in taking chances these days with TSA screening lines and increased security after terrorist attacks.

Things turned ugly as soon we finished a rather hurried dunch (dinner/lunch).  I know some people prefer the idea of linner. I happy for people to comment on their preference between dunch and linner below.

Thunderstorms in Dallas meant our flight was canceled and there was no way to get to Las Vegas until the following day.  The Captain was less than happy…

Okay, it was off to a Garden Inn to watch a James Bond marathon and eat snack food from the 24 hour sundries shop.  At least, the Bondathon helped somewhat.

The kids still behaves well and I even offered to take them to the pool.  But, microwave popcorn, starburst and M&Ms seemed to be enough to keep them undercontrol.

Sadly, the following day did not get much better.. Before we even left the hotel room at 6:00am, I was getting text alerts that our 10:10 flight from DFW to LAS was delayed to 11:40am.  Things got worse from there…

FLYAA Info

AAXXX Departs DFW 12:30P Gate A13

Arrives LAS 1:19P Gate D10

WiFi avail onboard

Reply HELP for Help

Reply STOP to Cancel

Okay now it was a 12:30 departure, then it was a gate change. The next text of doom was:

FLYAA Info

AAXXXX Departs DFW 1:15P Gate A13

Arrives LAS 2:04P Gate D10

WiFi avail onboard

Reply HELP for Help

Reply STOP to Cancel

It was at this point that Cinco and I began walking through the airport.  We developed a game where we set a timer and went as fast as we could for 15 minutes.  After the 15 mins, I checked the paces on my upband–which I love–.  Our best score was .9 miles in 15 minutes.  Considering we were darting between other travelers, elderly in wheelchairs and mini-motorized courtesy carts, I think we did pretty well.

It was as we were playing this game for the 3rd time (and, yes that would mean we walked up and down the airport corridors for 45mins) that was saw the 11:40am flight depart.  The jealously and frustration were boiling over…  Why?  Why? Did we have to be booked on the loser delayed flight?  I rushed the counter to try and get us on standby–  but there were already 8 lucky souls infront of us and nothing we would do…

Through all this the kids remained pleasant and friendly with almost no fighting.  The Captain however was none to happy.

The terror struck! We boarded the plane and SAT!!!  There is truly nothing more horrible than being trapped on the airplane while you just sit on a tarmac.  It is sooooooo painful.

Finally, the plane took off and got home 23 hours after 1st arriving at Louis Armstrong Airport.  Talk about a long day.

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VISITING THE OLD SOUTH: Mom Camp Day 8 

Another must do when in the South is visit a plantation. Less than an hour outside New Orleans are series of plantations on the “Great River Road”.  We only had time to visit one and so we decided to spend our time at the Oak Alley Plantation.  This seemed to be one of the most dramatic examples of antebellum living in the area.

I must admit I did force the kids to watch  before we started the down south adventure.  The film remains an American classic for a number of reason– least of which is the amazing score and the fact it was one of the first full-length feature films.  I know some people take issue with it’s portrayal of slavery and it’s treatment of marriage, but I still like like.  And, even-though I like her, Scarlet is a bit of a nut!!!  Like so many works of historical fiction, IT’S NOT ACCURATE… The Professor who actually teaches Southern Film, is also more than welcome to comment.

img_3651 Now back to our trip to Oak Alley.  I was surprised to learn that it was NOT a cotton plantation, but rather a sugar plantation.  That makes total sense, since the French did a lot of sugar farming in the Caribbean.  Why wouldn’t they do the same thing in their Louisiana territory?  But, I am too far into the stereotype that all plantations are cotton.

The plantation had an extensive area devoted to the 200+ slaves who worked at Oak Alley over the years.  In addition to replica cabins, Oak Alley told the stories of several of the individual slaves living on the property.

view of the house from the salve quarters

The house itself was built by the slaves, including most of the materials (16 inch bricks for example).

The prime feature of the home are the 28 oak trees lining the walk leading to the “Big House”.  The house actually had 28 pillars to match the number of trees.

img_3674Walking into the dinning room the kids and I had no idea what was hanging over the table.  The guide quickly informed us that it was a large fan.  A slave child about 8 years old would have stood in the corner and pulled a rope to make it move back and forth.

img_3675Inside it was decorated to look like the mid-1800s.  All nothing remains of the original furniture.  There are four pieces original to the house all related to the this bedroom.

img_3683Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot pass up a chance to stare at a little creature.  The Captain spotted this one as were walking around the plantation’s second story terrace.  The kids were really amazed by this little guys blazing green color.

Everyone also tried a virgin Mint Julep, which was much sweeter than a plan old lemonade. But, it still tasted good on a hot and muggy day.

Oak Alley also featured a civil war tent complete with a southern solider.  Interestingly enough, the Union held the port of New Orleans for most of the war and there was no action at or near Oak Alley.

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WORLD WAR II, The Garden District & Baseball: Day 7

We took a stroll from our hotel to the National WWII Museum. Why the museum is in New Orleans and not Washington, DC is beyond me.  But after its founding, it was officially sanctioned by Congress as the National WWII museum.

It was such an engaging museum that even The Captain had a good time– and, he is notoriously difficult to please!

The family took advantage of a special interactive submarine exhibit called The Final Mission.  Each guest is given an identity and an assignment on board a sub.  The Captain and Cinco were in charge of loading and launching the torpedos.  The Princess and I were tracking targets.  (Pretty good assignments in my opinion.)

The facility was also wall to wall with retired equipment: bomber & fighter planes, artillery & tanks, and uniforms galore.  The museum makes use of many short oral histories to make the war more personal and focuses on major battles that were turning points in the war.

Hands on elements included a post where you could inspect a medic’s equipment and take an up close look at a German Officer’s get up— right down to the small gun cleaning tool kit he would have brought to the front with him. Guests were encouraged to try on costumes and pose as posters–  like the unforgettable Rosey the Reviter. 

And, each guest is issued a Dog Tag registered to a solider. Randomly, I got actor Jimmy Stewart. I assumed he spent the war in Hollywood making movies.  Instead, Stewart enlisted as a private and worked his way up earning wartime promotions. He flew planes in the Europen Field.

I’d been to NOLA twice before, I’d never seen the famous Garden District and decided this visit I needed to make that happen. After lunch, we walked around the area looked at the houses and snuck a peak in the cemetery.  I didn’t do enough pre-search to realize the only way into the cemeteries is with a tour guide.  They are locked up otherwise.

Next up, it was tourist time on the trolley. The kids have no ridden both the San Fransisco trolley cars and the New Orleans street cars.  The ride was a nice way to the 19th century houses of the Garden District with two kids who were bit tired of walking and traveling.

After a brief rest at the hotel it was time to get in the car and drive on out to Zephyer Field.  Who plays at Zephyer Field you ask? Why none other than the New Orleans Zephyer’s the farm team for the Mariners.

We, however, were not there to see the Zephyer’s.  Cinco was interested in the visiting team — The Omaha StormChasers.  They are the farm team for the Kansas City Royals, his favorite team. We went to see the Royals in spring training in AZ this spring and now we have seen their farm team.

We met the Zephyer’s mascot which happens to be a RAT! No joke! It makes the Las Vegas 51s Alien look like an fantastic mascot!!!!  Love the ALIEN.

Cosmo the 51s Alien

What made the game even better was that both kids go balls from the players.  Sitting behind the dugout has it’s advantages. And, in keeping with the New Orleans Mardi Gras theme the rat threw beads into the crowd.  The kids gathered quite a few because the game attendance was pretty low.

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