Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cut and Color

Sam got his haircut today, which turned out to be a bit complicated. He wanted to cut all of the green out, to avoid having green tips, but that would mean cutting it shorter than he wanted. So he had to get a $50 “cut and color”. He made a 3:00 appointment with Nelly and everything worked out pretty well. 

Later in the day, Pete drove Dad and Sam to Ledo for dinner, since Mom was at Katie’s house with Ryder. On the way home, they drove past a guy walking backwards and then Pete put gas in his car for the first time. Dad gave Pete an S+ grade for the impressive lengths to which he went to secure his PIN as he was entering it.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Gym Captured

Pete and Sam captured the local gym today for red team (Valor) at the playground near Chris Korrie’s house. This would be the first of many conquests at the local battlefield.

Friday, July 29, 2016


Pete went to see Dr. Yang this afternoon to get his second ingrown toenail repaired. Hopefully he can walk again for work on Monday. Pete took the 2009 KIA Spectra in to Virginia Tire and Auto for safety inspection, emissions inspection, and oil change. So it is in good shape. The only repairs were two light bulbs in the front and new wiper blades. Mom also bought a license plate bracket for the front, so that is now attached as well. The low-priority items left on the list are the scratched hubcaps, buffing out some scratches in the paint, and finishing up the registration and Loudoun decals. Pete has two PNC bank cards now – the orange one is his regular account with his work money and savings, and the silver one is his car account with some money from Nana and Poppy plus the money Dad is giving him for not going on the school trip to China.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Team Bagel

Last night was trivia night at Greene Turtle. Unfortunately, the guy on the phone was not correct that it started at 7pm, so round 1 had already ended when "Team Bagel" (aka yours truly) arrived. However, they made a miraculous comeback and ended up finishing in 2nd place, good enough for a $10 gift card. This included a perfect 36 points in the closing rounds 4-6, and a full wager of 15 points on the final question (answer: Microsoft and Intel). Sam sat in the front seat with Pete on the short trip home – Pete’s first driving experience in the rain at night. Later in the evening (after Mom had gone to bed), the crew walked down to Fultonham Circle in the pouring rain to look for a Squirtle that had been spotted nearby  (not found).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ducks Unlimited

Dad and Pete headed out at 7:45am for the DMV, to get the title transferred over and registration. Pete could not decide what license plate to get. He finally settled on “Ducks Unlimited”, but the clerk did not speak English and couldn’t find it so Pete agreed to the cardinal (aka “the one with the RED BIRD on it”). The good news is that the paperwork was in order (with Dad scrambling to fill in the last few items while Pete distracted the guy at the counter). Later in the morning, Pete saw Dr. Yang to get the first of his ingrown toenails repaired. Sam did not want pork chops or fries at dinner, so his food intake for the day was a donut, some whoppers, chocolate milk, and a chocolate muffin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Philly Trip – Day 3

The final day of the Philly Trip began with Dad, Pete, Grandma, and Grandpa taking a 9am trip to PNC bank in Philly (Academy Road) to get the title to the Kia Spectra notarized. Everyone then headed over to IHOP in three cars. Grandma asked some Chinese people at the next table if they were Filipino. Dad talked to Grandpa about how to manage the data on his phone. Then it was time for goodbye hugs. 

Pete drove the Kia with Dad and Sam, and after a brief unplanned trip across the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey they met Mom at the Safeparc garage back in Philly. On the walk to ESC Escape Room, they stopped at a cool gallery sponsored by which was tied to the DNC convention. Since the Escape Room was not ready yet, they walked over to the Liberty Bell. 

Dad was ironically denied entry due to his DNC bingo card, but he stashed it and got in for a brief view of the bell. The escape room was fun (other than the 15 minute delay in starting) and they escaped well within the hour without requesting any of the three hints they were allotted. It was called “Moving Madness” and the theme was that you are very security conscious and locked your keys away an hour before your house was scheduled to be demolished. 

Pete did a good job driving home from Philly on I-95 and the beltway – his first major highway experience. Despite the stop at Wawa, his “knees were burning up”, so they stopped in Reston for dinner near Dad's office.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Philly Trip – Day 2

Grandpa made some French toast and then the gang headed out at 9:30am for Six Flags Great Adventure. There were a lot of Pokestops there, which helped Sam forget about the heat index being in the 100s. They went on the following rides (in order):

·        El Toro (twice)
·        Bizarro (twice)
·        Runaway Mine Train – Dad disappointed with the theming
·        Skyway
·        Fender Benders
·        Nitro (twice)
·        Safari Tours (twice) – slow enough for Pokemon egg incubation!
·        Batman: The Ride
·        The Dark Knight Coaster
·        Harley Quinn Crazy Train
·        The Joker
·        Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom
·        Kingda Ka
·        Green Lantern

·        Superman: Ultimate Flight

After the storms shut down the rides, they headed home and got back in time to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa at Sarappo’s. At dinner, Dad was trying to do a trivia quiz of Sam vs. Grandma, but Grandpa kept interrupting with True/False questions that were either excuses to tell stories or things that he subsequently realized that he did not know the answer to.

They went back to home base and moved everything around so they could pull out the bed.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Philly Trip – Day 1

Today was day 1 of the brief Philly trip. On the way up, the family stopped at Fort McHenry for lunch. Dad entertained everyone with some Fort McHenry trivia. He almost never made it to the second question, since the answer to the first question was “star”, which led to a long side discussion about whether that is the same as a decahedron. Then after discussion of the Treaty of Ghent, there was further debate about whether Belgium is a “significant” country in Europe. 

After arriving in Philly, they went with Grandma and Grandpa to “Five and Below”, followed by dinner at La Vera pizzeria in Feasterville. Sam and Pete each got $10 to spend at Five Below. Sam got headphones and candy. Pete got a t-shirt and candy. They should really call that store “candy and iPhone cases”. After hitting Rita’s on the way home, they marveled at the size of Grandpa’s wallet and then did a jigsaw puzzle while watching some of the Democratic Convention (from Wells Fargo center in nearby Philly) and Pete and Sam went down to the moldy basement for bed.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Super Powers

Sam randomly asked Pete and Dad “You know what would be a great super power? If you could fill anything”. This led to an amusing discussion about all of the things you could fill with this power. Like filling someone’s car with pennies. 

Another super power idea was the ability to just make socks. There were many other ideas that ensued, but don't worry; here we are just listing the "good" ones.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Dad is working on his “Chiptopia” rewards from Chipotle. Pete and Sam have been planning who they are going to invite to the big party when they win $200 of free catering for 20. All they have left to do is go to Chipotle 33 times in July, August, and September.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Please No

Pete and Sam came upstairs around 11:30pm and joined Dad for the last few minutes of Trump’s speech accepting the 2016 Republican nomination. It was just after the part when he said he is going to “completely rebuild the military” and “renegotiate all of our trade agreements”. This was the rare case where everyone is hoping (if he somehow gets elected) that the President won't be able to do what he promises.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Microwave Tips

Tonight’s dinner was burgers, hot dogs, chips, and broccoli. Pete asked for some warm barbecue sauce, so Dad put the container in the microwave. The bottle emerged from the microwave in a different shape than it entered, to some moderate amusement of everyone except Dad. Then Pete discovered that he could eat the ends of the watermelon like a platter. He also instructed Dad to search on the internet for watermelon juice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kingpinz Family Outing

Nana and Poppy were in town for 3 days, with tonight being the final one. Everyone met them at KingPinz for a fun farewell outing. Afterward, Mom went home to meet up with the neighbors while Dad, Pete, and Sam walked around the Village at Leesburg for about an hour to catch some Pokemon.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Appropriate Path

Dad and Pete headed out at 7:15am for work this week in Reston. Pete is teaching inline skating this week. Unfortunately there are no Pokestops this week near the camp location. Last week, Pete was able to go by the stop a few times each day by "volunteering" to take the campers to the bathroom, and taking the appropriate path toward the facility.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Harrisburg Trip – Day 3

Dad managed to wake Sam up in time to throw some clothes on for the group pictures. Pete finally got to play one game of pinball and then it was time to check out of the house. The Bermans, Merrimans, and Brian/Patti swung by Culhane’s Steak House for lunch. The Escape Room in Harrisburg was all booked up, so they headed home.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Harrisburg Trip – Day 2

Day 2 of the Harrisburg trip (at Canna Country Inn) began with a 10am wake up for the first Monopoly game. Sam won the game, despite Dad taking over for Charlie near the end. The afternoon included Cornhole, Kan Jam, Brian’s Escape Room, Spike Ball, a walk to look for some Pokemon at the playground, Kabul, the Variety Show (in which Pete and Dad performed “Blackbird” - pictured above), some of the 5 watermelons, a cookout, more s’mores, and capped off by a midnight game of  Monopoly (this time won by Eric). Sam fell asleep in a chair.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Harrisburg Trip – Day 1

Pete came home from work, took a shower, everyone scarfed down some Chick-Fil-A, and hit the road for the annual trip to Pennsylvania. Day 1 included a walk down to the “Cove” and “Creek”, pizza, s’mores, and Eric’s crazy board game called “Betrayal at House on the Hill”. The boys all crammed into one room and (presumably at some point) went to bed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Road Adventures

Mom rode along every day with Pete this week to the camp he was working at Cub Run in Chantilly. Dad was occupied with some customer training classes, so he missed out on this week's road adventures.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Chandler Wings

In addition to being free Slurpee day, tonight was 50 cent wing night at the V. The family went and asked for a table in Chandler’s section. By the way, if you go out to get 50 cent wings the total bill somehow comes out to $43.80. They were pretty good wings, though.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

McFlurrys Tell No Tales

Mom and Dad went to see a concert in Leesburg. Of course, Pete and Sam were not interested in joining. Upon arriving home, Mom noticed a McDonald’s McFlurry lid on the kitchen table that had not been there before. The secret was out – which was that Pete and Sam had made an illicit trip to McDonald’s. (Pete is not allowed to drive by himself for another few months.)

Saturday, July 09, 2016

License Part II

Mom and Pete went to the DMV at 8am to get a replacement copy for the license that disappeared with his wallet at Red Robin. They bravely took on the line for a few hours, but emerged with the paperwork that Pete needed to commence his driving lessons at 11:30am with Saby from SA Driving School.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Pokemon Go Danger Walk

Pokemon Go came out this week. Pete and Sam got off to a quick start, while Dad discovered that sadly the app is not supported yet on the Galaxy S3. So he has been using Mom’s phone. This evening, Pete, Sam, and Dad went out at 11pm to walk around the Cheltenham lake in the dark.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Blanket Solution

Now that school and camp are over, and Sam is home during the day, he has been having some glare issues on his computer screen. Today he rigged up the “blanket solution”, which had the unfortunate combination of being ill-conceived and poorly executed. Anyhow, if you see a hovering blanket moving around in your peripheral vision, it is not a ghost.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Wacky Wednesday Trivia

After dinner, Pete went off to Wacky Wednesday trivia night with his friends at Kingpinz. Sam suggested a game of Scrabble for those who remained at home. At the end of the game, Dad make the mistake of showing Sam the 8-letter word he was going to make with his remaining tiles. Of course, Sam promptly made a word in the spot he was planning to use.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Anniversary Dinner

Mom and Dad went to Purcellville for their anniversary dinner, so Sam joined Pete and his friends for viewing the local fireworks, which of course in Ashburn Village are on July 5th. Sam was home for a few minutes after that, and then headed back over to Jennifer’s house for some “sparklers”, which apparently takes a few hours since he was not seen again until about 11:30pm.

Pete has been getting some practice driving to Vienna this week. He is working full days there at the Community Center.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Final Friendly's Visit?

It seemed a reasonable way to celebrate a rainy 4th of July with a trip to Friendly’s. Little did they know that it would be one of their last meals at this restaurant, before its unexpected closure weeks later. Pete and Sam had not been there in quite a while. The portions have gotten smaller, especially on the $5.55 specials. The group played with Dad’s new “GuessUp Emoji” app for a bit. 

In the evening, Pete headed out with his friends again, presumably to see another fireworks show.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Shoulder Biking

Pete waved to Mom and Dad today from Jennifer’s car as he saw them biking on the shoulder of Ashburn Village Boulevard. Dad was glad that Pete was not driving, since he has a known tendency to drift to the right when distracted by something on the side of the road.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

The End of Dinner

Today Pete went to see some fireworks with his friends. Mom and Dad had dinner at the Jakubowski’s house, which lasted for a while until Sam texted that he was ready for someone to come home.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Plan of Exit

Tonight the family celebrated Mom’s birthday by going to Exit Plan in Leesburg with Brian, Patti, and Katie Schneider. The woman working the desk there was Chris Rochon’s sister, and Sam also knew one of the kids in the introductory video (on Jack’s baseball team). The group successfully escaped from the room in 43 minutes, which apparently was close to the record time. Then they all walked over to La Villa Roma for dinner. It was a fun night.