My wife went to Austin for meetings last week so I took off Tuesday – Thursday. Had to take watch Josh, take Lily to and from vacation bible school, take my mother-in-law places, and run other errands. I wouldn’t describe it as the most relaxing of vacation days.
Wednesday turned out to have the nicest weather so I agreed to take Josh to Hurricane Harbor for a few hours. Even though they only opened the park at 10:30 AM, and we arrived at 10:50 AM, the park was packed! Once we managed to get passed the entrance, and stow our stuff in a locker ($15 for the day), he and I were off to try the rides. I haven’t been to Hurricane Harbor in 2 or 3 years and we only tried the lazy river and the wave pool last time.
This time around Josh and I were able to try a few rides. The park isn’t that large, and plan to stand on line even on a summer Wednesday.
We had to cut short our water park fun around 1:30 PM so we could get some lunch outside of the park, then drive up north to pick up Lily from VBS by 3 AM, and help my mother-in-law out with stuff.
We didn’t want Lily to miss out on all the amusement park fun, so the three of us went back to Six Flags in the evening. We ended up staying until 9:30 pm, then we went home and I made mac and cheese for dinner.
Thursday was a quite day. Much running around, rushing myself and the kids to vacation bible school, karate class, and orthodontic appointments. I was certainly glad when my wife got home that night.
Last Sunday, we hung out in Asbury Park, on account of the good weather. We didn’t account for the humongous number of people, as I spent an entire hour searching for parking. I eventually parked near what I think was Sweden, and walked 25 mins to the beach. In any case, it was a quiet simple day at the spray ground, an hour at the Silverball Museum, maybe 30 minutes on the beach after 5:30 pm, then dinner at Langosta Lounge.
We drove up late Friday to Forestburg in order to make it in time for the flag ceremony and to see Joshua. There was a lot of traffic on a summer Friday, but we made it in time. The other good news is that the new car didn’t break down, so the drama was kept to a minimum. The other other good news was Joshua was cleaner than he was last year. After hearing that the meals this week have been fairly awful, we said our good byes to Josh, and told him we would meet him in the morning. Namita, Lily, and I drove the 40 minutes to Montgomery / Maybrook, grabbed dinner again at The Main Line Diner & Pizza Co. It’s a nice family-run diner. Afterwards, while I considered the logistics of clubbing in the rural NY countryside, we simultaneously drove to the hotel. Again, we were staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Montgomery. We relaxed and watched Modern Family.
In the morning, we got a phone call / rude awakening, and learned the boys were almost packed, and would be ready to go in 20 minutes. Mind you, we were still getting ready and packing, then supposed to enjoy the free hotel breakfast, and drive 40 minutes back to Forestburg! We packed and loaded the car quickly, scarfed down breakfast quickly (while standing), and made plans to instead race to meet them at the Dunkin Donuts in Monticello. Thankfully, they took longer to pack up and get on the road, and we beat them to Monticello.
After a quick breakfast for the scouts (and more coffee for me), we were on a way home via Route 17. Along the way, we found out our friends Doug & Kathy were free, so we made a quick U-turn, and drove to their place to meet them and hang out for an hour. Back on the road, we drove for a while, then grabbed some lunch at Annabella’s House of Mozzarella gourmet deli. Excellent food.
We got home around 2pm. It was good to be home. The kids and I spent 2 hours weeding the front yard and backyard, so it was a pretty good day.
Last Sunday, Josh left with a large number of other boys from his Boy Scouts troop to spend a week at Forestburg Scout Reservation. Last year’s Boy Scout camp was the first time that he ever went away on his own for an entire week, so it was pretty momentous. I mean, it was momentous for him, and the trip up there was harrowing for us. Listen, if you don’t remember, check the link. We never got a sense that he had this awe-inspiring time, but we now believe it was due to:
- He was away on his own for a week (but the good news was that he wasn’t homesick enough that he felt a need to call us.)
- Most of the other kids from his troop were older boys.
- He only had one other friend his age that attended scout camp with him.
This year, he was much more excited. We also noted that there are a lot more boys his age (and that he’s also good friends with) that are coming along, so we think there is a direct correlation. We’re driving up in the new car Friday afternoon in order to catch the Friday evening closing ceremony, stay overnight in Montgomery NY, then bring him home Saturday morning after breakfast. And we hope the drive there (and back) is smooth sailing (with no breakdowns on the highway.) The good news is that, as of Tuesday, he looks happy,
Wow, that was a full weekend.
June 30th — Dinner with friends at Victor’s Cafe in Midtown, the Pitbull and Enrique concert at MSG. then walking around Chelsea and the Flatiron District looking for an open bar.
July 1st — Home from the city, then attending a neighbor’s pool party.
July 2nd — Fairly quiet day, but I did bike an early (and brisk) 21 mile ride with a neighbor.
July 3rd — Stuff around the house, the gym, plus delivery of our bar cart.
July 4th — The kids and I drove down to Philadelphia for the morning to hang out with Paul and Biji Jacob (and family), as they were in town attending a family wedding. We had breakfast with them at the hotel, then went over to the Party on the Parkway street festival down on the Ben Franklin Parkway. In the early afternoon, we walked all the way back to our car in the oppressive Philadelphia sun and heat (we couldn’t catch a taxicab), and drove back to our town, in order to change into swim clothes, and hit up a pool party at another friends’ house.
Exhausting weekend, but a good one.
On Saturday, I went to the gym in the morning, After I got back and cleaned up, we drove an hour down to King of Prussia PA to spend a day. We grabbed lunch at this smallish chain called Naf Naf Grill for fast casual Mediterranean. After lunch, we hit up the nearby Crate & Barrel to check out in person a bar cart that we had our eye on. After checking out the size and quality, we plunked down a bag of quarters and purchased it. Here are some pics — it’ll be delivered early next week.
At 2:25 pm, we quickly drove to iFly for our reservation for indoor skydiving , and we met the Fernandez crew. Our reservation was at 3:30 pm, but you’re supposed to get there an hour ahead to sign in, do the safety stuff, etc. Only Namita and the kids, and the Fernandez kids would be participating today. Why? It’s expensive! Below are videos I took of the Ipes. Everyone generally gets two 1-min flights. The first minute seems to be merely experiencing the wind chamber. During your second go-around, you can opt to go all the way up. They all had a great time.
Namita performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.
Joshua performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.
Lily performing some cool indoor sky diving moves at iFly from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.
After the indoor skydiving, we took a walk around the King of Prussia Town Center to enjoy the nice day and the sun, and grab some coffee from Starbucks. We then walked to dinner for our 5pm dinner reservation at Paladar. Very nice place, and good food, but our server kept getting confused with orders.
On Father’s Day, the family presented me some gifts…… that we picked up from Best Buy the night before! A pair of Sonos Play:1 speakers for the Lounge, and the Uncharted Collection for PS4, which is really for the kids to play. Gotta love it. I’ll do a separate review about the Sonos speakers later this month.
After church in the morning, and a “Dads and Grads” brunch at church, I went biking for 20+ miles around the area. In the evening, we drove to Big Ed’s in Matawan (same restaurant we went to for my birthday in April.) It seems Big Ed’s is pretty popular on Sunday nights or Father’s Day because the line was ridiculous. Even with our 7 pm reservation, we didn’t get seated until after 8 pm. Folks waiting for their 6 pm reservations didn’t get seated until after 7:30 pm. At least the food was delicious.
Earlier this year, Lily began attending a weapons class this year in addition to her regular weekly karate classes. Lily? Weapons? You are correct — we probably didn’t think this through. Anyway, she recently tested for her proficiency with the jō stick in mid-June.
Lily passes her 1st weapons class test. from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.
And she passed! Afterwards, we went to First Wok for dinner to celebrate. Next is the bō staff. Be afraid.
Lily recently passed her weapons test for the jō staff. from Joel Ipe on Vimeo.
Lily completed her 2nd year in Girl Scouts this June. Her Girl Scout troop celebrated all of the Brownies moving on up to becoming Juniors with a “bridging” ceremony. Lily has been a Brownie since she last bridged back in June 2015, so I think this is a big jump. I had to race home early from the office that day, but I was able to make it in time for the ceremony.
After much work these past few months (and some prodding from his parents), Joshua completed a number of BSA merit badges, and fulfilled all of the rank advancement requirements to move up from Tenderfoot to 2nd Class. Huzzah.
His Boy Scout troop conducted their Court of Honor to recognize all of the scouts in the troop moving up, as well handing out whatever merit badges they had earned. This was also the last meeting until September, so if you didn’t move up this month, you would have to wait out the entire summer. His last requirements was to plan out a 10 mile hike or bike ride. Bike ride, you say? Joshua and I completed that Memorial Day weekend.
Yes, we’re proud of him. Not just for the rank advancement, but for working hard on those merit badges as well.