The Adventurer

You would think this would be a funny post about ‘lil Miss A taking us on an imaginary Back-Yardigan style adventure through Colonial Williamsburg, but you’d be wrong.

This one is about the one and only Mr. Burgher, off to take it all in. ‘lil Man strapped to his chest and all, he went on a little (safe) hike down a hill to observe the “wilderness” on the edge of Colonial Williamsburg. I embrace his love of nature, animals, and adventure because it challenges me.

The Horse

Earlier this fall, we went on a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia. We spent three days at Colonial Williamsburg and two at Busch Gardens. One of ‘lil Miss A’s demands was to get to see a horse. Unfortunately, there were not near as many animals throughout as we had expected; however, there were two horses not far after we got into the site. We probably spent 5 minutes letting A enjoy close up time with these guys.

PS: Notice the rain boots? Yup, they were a must.

More Vacation Photos

…because I know you love them. And I don’t know what more to say about our trip other than thank you so much to the friends and family who made time to visit with us while we were in town. I can’t tell you much Pittsburgh is one home and SC is another. You really miss the people who became your family while your blood was hundreds of miles away. Being able to have those moments back, if only for a week, meant the world. We can’t wait to get a chance to come “home” again soon. xoxo

(Note…any pics of us with others can be found on my FB page if you’re interested…)

An Evening At the Beach

Our third day in Myrtle Beach was spent enjoying time with Mr. Burgher’s family, at the pool, and then with an evening trip to get shells on the beach. I hope you enjoy the photos–we sure had fun! (This was Lil Man’s first time at the beach and Lil Girl’s first real time to enjoy the beach. We were greeted by four pelicans flying above us, too.)

Myrtle Beach 2011 Day Two

Once we finally woke up, Mr. Burgher and I went for our C25K run. Let me tell you, nothing beats a nice shower after an 11 AM run in the heat. The rest of the day was spent in the sun poolside with several friends for a cookout.

‘Lil Man ate his first puff cereal, and he doesn’t seem too happy to have shared with his Sissy.

But he sure could make some silly faces for his Aunt Li Li and Grandma.

I don’t know where he got that.

‘Lil Miss A was quite excited to run to the pool, but not to get in. She ran around and learned her lesson with her first big boo-boo, a scraped knee, chin, and nose.

At the end of the evening, we were all tuckered out, freckled (ok, one of us was), and ready for a good sleep. Some of us got to nap before hand…and I gotta say, I’m a ‘Lil jealous of how comfy he looked.

Myrtle Beach 2011 Day One

Our first day of vacation was supposed to bring us a quick/direct flight, but as you know, that didn’t happen. Instead, we set out from the Pittsburgh Airport through the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina until we hit the back roads of South Carolina. The kids did amazing, and were great examples for stressed out Mama and Daddy.

First, ‘Lil Miss A had to make sure she had Dollie with her.

We got gas and hydration because, well, it was a hot one.

Please notice, the blue case is Ms. Nikon–she has sass and works when she wants to. She was in an easy to reach spot versus Mr. Canon who was packed safely away in his backpack case. Forgive her for the blur.

There was a beautiful white cloud in the mountains that made all of us stare in wonder of the beauty of the earth.

Soon, Mama and Daddy forgot about the beauty of the earth and Mama may’ve nagged a bit about Daddy’s speed (we made it “door to door” in 10 hours, ::ahem::). ‘Lil Miss A reminded us to be nice to each other, and gave a ‘Lil Sass as she did.

As we crossed into Virginia, there was an incredible fog area, which didn’t really lift until we were into the night.

Close to North Carolina, the fog gave way into a storm cloud, and Mr. Burgher drove through some crazy rain for about an hour.

While the kids snoozed in the back, Mr. Burgher and I enjoyed some old school jams (thanks to keeping my old road trip CDs in the truck), but unfortunately, we had no Lee Brice with us, so I was a little pouty until we crossed into South Carolina. As we crossed that line and drove a little ways on my old “favorite” road, Highway 9, our spirits lifted. We cruised into Conway just after 2 and were greeted by our family. Bedtime came fast, and we were glad to finally rest our eyes for a few hours before the relaxing could begin.

Tales of Traveling with ‘Lil Burghers: Part Two

Last time I talked about traveling with kids (a baby and a toddler), I told you all about how we always pack “Everything But the Kitchen Sink”. Today, I am over at Marine Parents Blog talking about the first car trip with a potty training toddler and what we packed to make it helpful. Please head over to read Part 2 of this summer’s Travel Series and be proud of ‘Lil Miss A!

(PS: April has lots of beautiful handmade products over at her Marine Parents Etsy Shop. You really should check that out, too.)

Las Vegas: Day 3

Our third day in Las Vegas was an extremely relaxing day. We woke up and caught a taxi that took us west to the Red Rock Spa for a spa day. Although I have only been to two other spas, this spa was incredible. I felt so welcomed, so relaxed. My masseuse’s husband just so happened to be a Pittsburgher (awesome). The weather was a bit on the cool side, but after our treatments we hung out by the private pool. I couldn’t convince my friends and Greg to join me, but I took a few laps in the cool water.

Our relaxing morning and early afternoon was topped off by a tasty, stuffing dinner of Chicken Parmigiana at Terra Rosa, a restaurant that claims it is “the best Italian in food in Las Vegas” and I have to agree. The bread, salad, and chicken were simply melt in your mouth. Yes, a salad can melt in your mouth.

We were told misleading info on the shuttle, so while we waited, the Spa let me back in to pump in private (and they even called me “Mrs. Burgher”, remembering me from a few hours before). We even got to play the slots for a little bit and Greg cashed in a few bucks. The shuttle ride back to the strip was quite memorable. First, I was on the phone with Southwest (failing) to extend Greg’s stay in Vegas because I got a call about work that needed attention. Then, while we were at a red light, a truck apparently cut the shuttle driver off and our driver decided to take all our lives in his hands and speed race the pickup down Flamingo Road. NOT a fun time.

After packing up for check out in the morning, Greg and I hit the town again. We wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower and watch the Bellagio Fountains. Since Greg and I love Red Velvet cake, his birthday “cake” was appropriately a Red Velvet Cupcake (which he took home) and a Red Velvet Milkshake from The Sugar Factory. We hit up the Casino Royale for some “slumming” slots and cheap margaritas. It was a nice, relaxing end to our Vegas weekend.

Sadly, Greg had to get back on a plane early the next morning, so we had another Wetzel’s Pretzel and called it a night. I escorted him to the airport, where he smoothly carried on about 20 feedings for Evan, then headed back to my room for a nap before checking out for my conference (more on that to come).

Mr. Burgher, I hope you loved your birthday weekend as much as I did!

Las Vegas: Day 2 (Part 2)

…or the one also known as “Dinner and a Show”.

A trip to Vegas really wouldn’t be a trip to Vegas without taking in a show. Personally, I am not a fan of all the “Cirque” shows–I am really afraid of clowns, thus in turn, I take issue with the faces on the Cirque artists. When we started talking about what show we wanted to see, Mr. Burgher and I were a bit perplexed. We knew we “had” to do a show, but what one would we find worth our time and money? Our traveling group offered a few choices, and for Mr. Burgher and I, we think the final one was the best. We went to see Recycled Percussion, a “stomp-esque” group that plays instruments made out of recycled materials. The show was very interactive (you got your own instrument to play along with the show), and the guys were all high-energy and entertaining. Doesn’t hurt that they have a great taste in music!

Here is a slideshow of photos from our dinner at Gallagher’s (a very tasty steakhouse in NYNY), a stop at the M&M’s store, and Recycled Percussion.

Las Vegas: Day 2 (Part I)

Our second day in Las Vegas also happened to be Mr. Burgher’s birthday. We woke up early (technically late Pittsburgh time), and took a cab into town (because it was too early for our hotel shuttle). When we read the Vegas books, we had a mindset to “see the world” of Vegas in a day; however, on our first night we took a long walk through town and basically saw the outside of many of the hotels on the south strip. We changed our plans and allowed for some extra time at some of the hotels for Mr. Burgher to take (1000s of) photos.

Our Vegas Rule #10: Do the Free! Our morning and early afternoon consisted of roaming the hotels and casinos in the middle of the strip doing mostly free activities. This helped us figure out places we might like to dine, stay, or play on a future trip. It also provided for some interesting photo opportunities to fill up our hard drives.

Our Vegas Rule #11: The best is at the back! We found that the best experiences were always at the back of the hotels (like the monorail stops). Obviously, the casino builders are smart–the more you walk through them, the more you are going to see and do. One of my favorite experiences was Siegfried and Roy’s Dolphin Habitat and Secret Garden where we got to watch dolphins, lions, tigers, and jaguars. It was a very serene location and you forgot that you were in the middle of a desert city.

Our Vegas Rule #12: Kiddos, stay home. While we were at the Dolphin Habitat, we felt like it was something that would be really cool for our kids to see; however, we made the immediate decision that we’d never bring the kids there. They can save up and come out when they are 21. Seriously, there were kids of all ages walking around town. Yeah, I understand families vacation together and there is plenty for the under 21/non-drinkers/non-gamblers; however, there is too much “trouble” that we don’t want our kids to see. It just is a decision that makes sense for our family.

Our Vegas Rule #13: Easy Walking One thing you have to really think about while in Vegas is how you are going to get around. The best way to get from one place to the other (for free) is to walk. Unless you need to be on the (west?) side of the strip (Caesar’s, TI, Bellagio, New York New York are some of the properties on that side), the easiest side to walk on is the (east?). There are a lot of steps and escalators to get you across streets on the (west) side. You can pretty much cross every street without going up and down on the other side.

Our Vegas Rule #14: Snack! There are plenty of great places to stop and smell the roses (so many great floral arrangements inside and outside the properties), but there are even more great places to grab a snack! I was lucky to find my favorite candy, Cinnamon Gummy Bears, at “It’s Sugar” in NYNY. We also found Godiva in the Venetian…hence the amazing chocolate strawberry banana kabob. Yum.

Our Vegas Rule #15: Take it in! Our absolute favorite part of the trip was our gondola ride in the Venetian. We got to sit back and just look at everything along the route. Our gondalier sang three songs plus Happy Birthday in Italian. Truly a special moment, one we are glad that we stopped to take time to do.