Sunday, August 31, 2014

Snorkeling Off Block Island

While Josie and Gordy were getting ready to begin their 5K, Henry and Georgia were 2.5K away, preparing to go snorkeling in the ocean.  It was a cold, over-cast day and not the kind of weather that makes you want to sunbathe or build sand castles.  

It also wasn't the kind of weather that made you want to get into the ocean at all, but we had time to kill while waiting for Gordy and Josie to run by, and my children aren't good at just sitting around.

It should be noted that the children went snorkeling every time that we went to the beach - which during this particular trip to Block Island meant that they went snorkeling every day but two or three.  

One this cold day, it took some time for Georgia and Henry to get up the nerve to go into the freezing ocean.

They spent a lot of time "adjusting" and "checking" their gear.

Not that I blamed them, while all this preparation was going on, I was sitting on a beach chair, wearing shorts, a sweatshirt and wrapped tightly in two towels.

And I was shivering.

Eventually, they got into the water and slowly made their way out to the deep.

And I mean slowly.  

It wasn't their longest snorkeling adventure.

I didn't bring my camera to the beach very often, but I did manage to get a few more photos of Henry snorkeling this year.  The photos below are from a different (more sunny) day when Henry went out snorkeling with Gordy.  It was a calm day and the two of them went far out into the ocean and were rewarded with some amazing finds.

Here's a shot taken with Henry's GoPro camera:

And here's another GoPro image of the giant sting-ray they found:

Obviously, you can see that the snorkeling off Block Island was fabulous this year!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Josie Runs a 5K

See that little girl in the purple shirt on the left-hand side of the above photo?  That's my Josie, running her first 5K race.  

Every year the Block Island Medical Center holds a 5k Fun Run from Town Beach up to Mansion Beach and back again.  

Our family has always watched the race (from the lazy comfort of our beach chairs), but we've never participated in the event and Gordy decided that this year would be different.  

Right before Gordy left the house to go register, Josie announced that she wanted to run the race, too.

It was a cold, cloudy day and not the best day for hanging out at the beach.  We based our entire morning on waiting for Josie and Gordy to run past and then waiting for them to return from the finish line.  

If it had just been Gordy running, I would not have expected this entire activity to take very long.... but with Josie running, I assumed we could be waiting most of the morning and perhaps part of the afternoon.

So you can imagine my surprise when Gordy and Josie sprinted by me about 20 minutes after the race began!

Georgia, Henry and I were waiting at the turn-around spot on Mansion Beach.  We got to see the runners coming and then heading back to the finish line.

Josie was keeping up and I was impressed.

And she looked like she was having a blast!

After they passed us and made their way back the 2.5K of the beach to the race's end, we were left with not much to do.  It was way too cold to go into the water and even wrapped in blankets, the wind was making our time by the water rather uncomfortable.  

The Running Elliots did not run the 2.5K BACK to where we were sitting, instead they walked slowly and it took a long, long time for them to return to our spot so we could leave.

I snapped some celebratory photos and then we high-tailed it out of there.

Next year, if they run again and it's a cloudy day, I think we'll meet them with the car at the finish line.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Block Island 2014

We've been back from our vacation on Block Island for a whole week and boy do I miss island life!

Like years past, we stayed on Block Island for three wonderful weeks.

Three weeks of late-afternoon beach walks...

Three weeks of playing in the yard (a treat since our Massachusetts house doesn't really have a yard):

And three weeks of throwing boomerangs that get stuck on the roof and for flying kites that get stuck in the gutters.

We did a whole lot of relaxing on the porch and eating on the outside deck:

I spent many an afternoon, lounging outside with a book and my constant companion, Josie.

We didn't just stay at the house.  We spent many hours boogie-boarding and swimming in the ocean.

Henry's friend Sam joined us again and our only complaint was that he had to leave after a week.  

Gordy and I both read and relaxed on the beach.

And Josie made many sand castles and sand cakes.

We also spent many hours searching for shells, rocks and critters.

Three weeks seems like such a long time until you are living them, and then the days go so fast that it's depressing if you think about it.

Luckily I didn't allow myself to think about it too often!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Josie & I Walk The Fells

When you leave Boston, heading North on Route 93 in Massachusetts, you can see a pretty rock tower poking it head through a large park of trees.  It's very intriguing.

Gordy and I had brought a very young Henry and Georgia to visit the tower years ago but Josie had never been and suddenly she wanted to.

I tried to get the rest of the family to join us, but there weren't any other takers.  No one else felt like going for a hike - even though I assured them that it was short and easy.

I might have been able to sell Georgia on the swing, had I known that someone had put a swing up by the pond at the entrance of the hike.

We were headed to Wright's Tower, which I remembered as being locked, covered in broken glass pieces and disappointing.

But I also remember the "hike" being a short walk up a slowly-increasing incline.

The good news is that the Tower has been completely restored and cleaned-up.

The area around the Tower was glass and grafitti-free and the door was wide open and inviting.

Josie and I climbed to the top so we could enjoy the view of the Boston skyline.

I was right about the length and difficulty of the walk - it only took us about five minutes to get to the tower and we never broke a sweat.  Since the view at the top kept our interest for another 5-10 minutes, the whole trip was over pretty quickly.

We made it back to the parking lot and called Gordy to come pick us up, and while we waited, I took a photo of Josie sitting on the same rock that on which Henry and Georgia had posed for our Christmas Card photo in 2003.  

Here is Josie:

And here is the photo of Henry and Georgia:

We've come a long way!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Days

After the crazy, long, cold winter that we had here in Massachusetts, our family has been loving the warmth and the sun of the summer.  Josie, in particular, has been soaking up the rays and enjoying her time at the pool.  Like me, Josie NEVER complains about it being "too" hot.

Josie's big thrill this summer was that she didn't have to do any deep water tests in order to swim in the pool by herself.  Our pool insists that children pass the test two years in a row and Josie's second year was last summer.  This year, Josie got to march into the pool's office and get her blue band without any stress at all.  It was a beautiful thing.

Especially since Josie really enjoys the deep end of the pool.

Oh, sun!  Where have you been for the last six months?!?!

We're so thrilled to see you again!

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