Thursday, April 02, 2015

Spring Break Golf

The forecast for Thursday of Spring Break week was sunny and 73 degrees, so Dad scheduled a tee time to play with Pete and/or Sam. Sam was not able to play due to some soreness in his neck from Rebounderz (and URF mode on League of Legends), so Dad and Pete played their first full round of 18 holes together. It was a glorious day.

Pete and Dad played at Sterling Golf Park. They teed off on the back 9 at 10:30am, took a break for lunch, and returned to play the front 9.

Pete played great. He made a very long putt on #17, and had quite a number of good shots. Pretty good, considering that he only had 5 clubs, most of which are a bit too short for him. He also had a great attitude throughout the day (except for a few putting issues towards the end).

Dad was overjoyed with such a fun day together.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Minute To Win It

The family decided not to go anywhere for Spring Break this year. But after a quick dinner at Wendy's, they had a lot of fun at the "Minute To Win It" event at the library.

Mom was the best at the dice balancing:

Pete was good at the pasta pickup:

Pete trying the slinky headband game:

 Sam was the best at the tissue box ping-pong ball twerking:

Mom and Sam doing the toilet paper snap toss:

Dad was probably the best at the balloon balancing:

Other games included the Smarties with straws and marble rolling on to tape (that Sam was quite good at).

It was a fun way to spend about an hour on a Monday night.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dad Class Presentation

Dad had the distinct pleasure of teaching a lesson in Sam's class on Thursday. He asked Mrs. Lindenfeldar if he could speak for about 30 minutes about some of his adventures in traveling across the USA.

Dad covered the following topics:
- Baseball Stadiums
- State welcome signs and capitals
- Pictures and stories from 1998 trip (more info available here)

If you would like to see the slides from the presentation, they are available here (at least for a little while).

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Sam 5th Grade Basketball FSBL

Sam played on Anthony's team again this year for FSBL. They were the Celtics. Anthony's Mom (Jen) and Dad (Dennis) were the coaches again.

Pictured above are:Tyler Provencal, Anirudh  Addepalli or Nihar Kandarpa, Ben Yan, Austin Ashley, Sam, Dominic Del Rosso, Alex Ashley, and Anthony Gonzalez.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

London Trip - Day 8

It was the final day of the London trip. Mom, Dad, and Sam bid farewell to Susan and Jack and headed off one last time to the tube. They went to the Paddington station and caught the Heathrow Express to the airport.

It was a trip they will remember fondly for many years to come.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

London Trip - Day 7

The last full day of the London Trip was a bittersweet one.

The bus for Stonehenge left right on time from Charing Cross. But after sitting for hours in traffic, everyone was starting to wonder if they would ever make it. The answer came when the driver made the announcement that no one wanted to hear: "I'm terribly sorry folks, but we can't make it to Stonehenge before they close for the day. We will have a mandatory stop at the next rest area, and then turn around to go back to London."

Sam was not too upset, and they all made the most of it and enjoyed a snack and (ultimately) a refund. At least they got to listen to the London walking tour MP3 on the bus ride. And Sam got to read more of his "What If..." book that he had enjoyed throughout the week.

They went ahead and stopped at Fortnum & Mason on the way home, to get some cookies as a gift for the Haleys. They also stopped at the Waterstones bookstore where Sam found a cool book called "1,411 Qi Facts to Knock You Sideways".

Dad grabbed a quick photo at 221B Baker Street, just across from the tube stop where they had come many times throughout the week.

After returning home, Dad headed back out for about an hour to finally find a Geocache and sign the log before the end of the trip.

Friday, January 02, 2015

London Trip - Day 6

Mon and Dad started Friday in London with a stroll along the canal to Regent's Park.

After Sam was ready to go, they returned to Westminster Abbey for the full walking tour. There was a mass that took place while they were there.

Lunch was at a local shop near the London Eye. It was too cold and the line was too long for the Eye, so they headed over to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. They went up to the top of the bridge and got some great views of the city.

With the remaining time before dinner, they walked around St. Paul's Cathedral and across the Millennium Bridge.

They caught a bus to the Butler's Wharf area and walked the rest of the way to Martin's flat.

Everyone grabbed a glass of champagne at the flat and then headed out to a lovely dinner with Martin and Marian at the Chop House.

After another long day, the bus and tube brought them back to the flat.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

London Trip - Day 5

Thursday was New Year's Day, the day of Broad Run marching in the big parade.

Mom and Dad went off in the morning on a walk up to Abbey Road and to look for a few Geocaches.

There was time for a quick lunch at McDonalds on Baker Street and then they caught the tube to Charing Cross. Although the viewing situation looked bleak, they skillfully walked through a few tube tunnels to get to a most excellent viewing location for the parade.

After the parade, they did the "Westminster Walk" audio tour. Unfortunately, when they got to Westminster Abbey it was unexpectedly closed for the day.

Changing plans - they took the tube to Hyde Park, grabbed dinner at the Spaghetti House, and then walked out to the Hyde Park festival and rode the Big Wheel. Dad also took advantage of this popular location to capture a few Munzees.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

London Trip - Day 4

On Wednesday, Mom and Dad took a morning excursion to the British Museum. Sam stayed home with Jack.

The tube and bus let them off within a short walk to the museum.

On the return trip, they stopped at the Edgeware station and grabbed some Domino's Pizza to bring back for Sam and Jack. The walk from Domino's went through some international markets and diverse neighborhoods.

After lunch, everyone headed back out on the tube from Baker Street to the National Gallery.

Preparing for tomorrow's parade route, thry took a stroll through Trafalgar Square and stopped at the Admiralty Arch. They did not quite make it down to Buckingham Palace. This will be the goal for the next trip.

They met Jack and Susan for dinner at a local pub called the Duke of York. It was a fun evening enjoyed by all. They split up on the walk home - Mom going off with Susan toward Abbey Road and Dad going with Sam and Jack.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

London Trip - Day 3

Tuesday of the London trip was the farthest the group would venture out of town.

They caught the train to Watford Junction and then the shuttle bus to Harry Potter Studios. After grabbing a snack at the cafe, they did the Harry Potter tour. Sam picked up a Voldemort wand in the gift shop, and a glass for Pete.

Then it was time to zip off to Cadogan Hall. Unfortunately, the group missed the final bus by a few seconds. They caught the next bus to Cadogan Hall, ran up the 62 steps to the mezzanine, and arrived just as Broad Run was playing their second song. The exhausted Broad Run students were struggling to stay awake in the balcony as they watched the subsequent three schools perform.

Having spotted Pete sitting in the rafters at Cadogan Hall, Mom and Dad had achieved confirmation that Pete, in fact, had arrived in London.

Monday, December 29, 2014

London Trip - Day 2

After landing at Heathrow airport, and making it through customs, they met their driver and headed off to the flat at 22 St. John's Wood Court St. NW8 8QT.

Upon arrival, they discovered that Jack and Susan both had the flu. So everyone gathered their things and headed back out to safety.

After a brisk walk to the Baker St. tube station, they grabbed their Oyster transit cards for the week. Next, after a bit of scrambling, they met the Anderson Tours van to Windsor Castle. Sam grabbed a quick nap on the short van ride to Windsor. They took the audio tour at Windsor Castle. Sam was rather frigid, so they got some hot chocolate at McDonalds. Unfortunately the hot chocolate was too hot to drink, and it was soon time to walk back to the van.

After considering several local options, they grabbed a late lunch at a crowded Pizza Hut. Then they rode atop a double-decker bus for a bit.

They took the tube back to the St. John's station, grabbed some money at Barclay's bank, and then took the long walk home past the cricket stadium.

It had been a long 2 days, so everyone was quite ready for bed.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

London Trip - Day 1

Pete went to London over New Year's break in December 2014 to play in the London New Year's Day Parade with his marching band from Broad Run High School. He stayed in the hotel with his fellow bandmates.

Mom, Dad, and Sam decided to make the trip on their own to watch the parade. They stayed in a flat with Pete's friend Jack and his parents.

The first day of the trip (Sunday), Pete got dropped off at school and then the rest of the crew got a ride to the airport from Tom. They met up with Pete at the airport to give him some British Pounds to spend on the trip. After grabbing some pizza, it was time to board the flight.

Sam enjoyed the British Airways flight, which included unlimited video games and movies on a personal screen. Dad watched "Boyhood", mom watched "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and Sam watched "Home Alone and The Simpsons Movie".

Everyone also tried to grab a little sleep to prepare for the long week ahead.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

More Band Competitions

Pete went to a few more band competitions in the fall season - including Virginia Beach and South Lakes.

Saturday, November 01, 2014


Pete went out with a few of his friends for Homecoming:

Chloe, Alexandra, Chandler, Olivia, and Ryan.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Sam finally got the costume for Halloween this year that he had been trying to get for the last few years. He is Slenderman:

Sam went trick-or-treating this year with William, Moksh, and Evan.

Band Halloween Parade

Pete's band marched in the same Homecoming Parade as Dad and hid Cub Scout Pack. This year it was on Halloween, which made for some fun costumes.

If you look carefully, you can see Pete in his nerd costume near the middle of this photo:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

JMU Competition

Pete's band did a great job winning second place at the JMU competition in October:

Also pictured above are Chandler, Jonah, Dennis, David, Drew, Alex, Katie, Jeremy, and Matt.