Henry's School Vacation

Henry started kindergarten this summer in a year round school and already, it is his first fall break! So he is visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Lynchburg for the first week of his vacation. Since Grandma is still working, Grandpa lined up a surprise for each day of the week.

Monday - Surprise #1

We went to the Putt Putt Fun center. We rode the go-cart around the race course and played a round of golf.

Henry hitting a tee shot.

Tuesday - Surprise #2

Henry and Grandpa went to the Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge. We saw lots of animals: deer, camels, giraffes, rhinos, tigers, gazelles, blackbucks, monkeys, snakes, birds...all kinds of animals. Below, a type of llama stuck his head in the car trying to get a snack. Another llama sneezed and snot shot all over Henry's window! We both lost our feed buckets when animals pulled them out of our hands.

The Park now has a walking section in addition to the road through the grounds. In one exhibit Henry got really close to a little blue bird called a budgie. He could not scare the bird away. The Park is really well done and a great place for kids of all ages to visit.

Nose to nose.

Wednesday - Surprise #3

In the morning we spent some time at Amazement Square, a visit that Henry requested. He really likes the James River exhibit with the canal boats. This visit he mastered how to suspend a ping pong ball in the air with a hair dryer. Really cool, dude!

In the afternoon, it was Surprise #3, a trip to the movies to see Planes. It seems Henry talked Grandpa into buying him a candy bar. How did he do that?

A candy bar as big as Henry is wide. And he ate the whole thing!

Thursday Surprise #4

Henry and Grandpa went to Smith Mountain Lake. We took a picnic lunch to eat at the Sail Club. Then we took a ride in Droplet. Henry even learned to row the dinghy a little bit.

Henry in Droplet.

Next, we hooked up the car to Grampa's sailboat and put it in the water. We had to run the motor to keep it in good working condition, so we motored around the lake. We went around the three islands Henry's mom and aunt sailed around with their Laser when they were in sail camp. It's only a few years until Henry will be old enough for sail camp!

Henry riding in SunShower.

Finally, we tied SunShower to her mooring, rowed Droplet to shore and headed for home. It was a fun, busy day at the lake and Henry fell fast asleep on the way home!

Friday Surprise #4

Grampa and Henry headed out for a walk on Blackwater Creek in the morning. But Henry realized he could run faster than a lot of the runners so he ran more tha a mile leaving Grandpa in the dust! Then we headed to the Spray Park, Surprise #5. But alas, Henry decided it was too cool to get wet...and he was right. None of the other kids in the park were getting sprayed either! Oh well, Henry checked out the other stuff in Riverside Park, then we headed to McDonalds for lunch.

Nuggets, sweet & sour sauce, fries, apples and chocolate milk!

By the time we got back to the house, it was time to pack Henry's bags and get the car ready to take him home to North Carolina. Grampa and Grandma loved having Henry visit for the week. We had a lot of fun and can't wait until Henry comes again for a vacation in Lynchburg! Love you Henry!!



He did it again!

Twenty-four miles into the ride, I was jarred from my pedaling reverie by the crackle and crunch of pebble's spraying from beneath my ROAD tires. Mr. Helms did it again, he planned a ride traversing a dirt segment!

He should not have done it, but alas, contemplate his dilemma; a half mile ride on the High Bridge Rail Trail or a slightly longer ride on the four-lane Route 460? His choice was understandable. Given the fact that the remainder of the 39.6 mile ride was filled with long stretches when cyclists could roll at 18-20 mph and all the hills were benign, it"s difficult to render harsh criticism. Therefore, I shall close this writing with no further ado!



Chamber Music Road Trip

Visiting Kneisel Hall in Maine this summer jogged my memory into realizing Gretchen and I wanted to attend a concert at the Garth Newell Music Center in Warm Springs, VA. So Labor Day weekend, we headed to Warm Springs to attend a Sunday afternoon concert and picnic.

Enso Quartet

Garth Newell is Welsh for "new home", the name given to the estate William and Christine Kendall began building in 1924 when they moved to Warn Springs. In1973, Mrs. Kendall established the Music Center and its resident faculty have been teaching gifted young musicians each summer for the last forty years! On summer weekends, chamber music wafts over the surrounding countryside from concerts put on by the resident faculty and guest performers. The Center has a connection to Kneisel Hall. Christine grew up in a wealthy family in New York and the Kneisel Quartet played at her family home when she was a child! One unique feature of the Center is they have established a tradition of pairing concerts with gourmet dinners and picnics. The Sunday afternoon concert and picnic events are a bargain!

At the Garth Newell Music Center, the music is great, the food is outstanding and the setting is beautiful. It's a great road trip from Lynchburg; one will do again and again.