Category Archives: Family

Father’s Day 2012: The Direction of Adventure!

The morning of Father’s Day started rather early for me, as I had to head in to work around 6:30 a.m. for an early-morning planned maintenance. The whole team was there early to help out, so at least there was some camaraderie. The maintenance ended after church had already started, so even though I drove like the wind, I still missed most of church. Luckily, this sort of maintenance doesn’t happen very often.

Early Morning Work

Early Morning Work

For Father’s Day this year, Rebecca planned a surprise outing for me. I had no idea where we were going until we got there, which is not typical for me, but was exciting!

The "Plans"

The “Plans”

After church, we headed over on Route 62 towards I-95. I thought we were going to get on I-95 North, but I was surprised as Rebecca went past it. I expressed my surprise, pointing at the I-95 sign and saying that I thought we’d be going that way, because “That’s the direction of adventure!”

As it turns out, we were just stopping to get gas. But shortly after that, we doubled back and, indeed, headed “in the direction of adventure!”

I-95 North: The Direction of Adventure!

I-95 North: The Direction of Adventure!

As it turns out, our destination was the Portsmouth, NH area. This marks the third Father’s Day that I’ve spent there. One year we went on a cruise out to the Isles of Shoals, and another year we visited the USS Albacore. This time, our first stop was for lunch at Street 360, a funky little restaurant that celebrates street food from all over the world.

Me and the girls at Street 360

Me and the girls at Street 360

In addition to enjoying the funky atmosphere of the restaurant, and noticing that they used a wall-mounted iPad as an order-entry device, we thought the food was great. I enjoyed a ‘Singapore Salad,’ which was a bowl of salad that had: “Daikon, cucumber, cabbage, carrot, celery, scallions, zucchini, cilantro, mint, Thai basil and peanuts with fresh and delicious sesame ginger dressing.” I also chose to add avocado slices and grilled chicken to the mix. It made for a very tasty, hearty and filling salad.

After lunch, Rebecca drove us to our next mystery destination, for which I had been instructed to pack ‘adventuring clothes’. I soon learned that we were visiting Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH. We changed into our adventure clothes, and then headed out for a nice long walk along the rocky shores, through the woods, and around the ruins of a World War II-era coastal gun battery installation.

Rocky Shores

Rocky Shores

Gun battery

Gun battery

Papa, Catherine and Esme are "sea monsters"

Papa, Catherine and Esme are “sea monsters”

Great food and great adventure was the perfect way to spend Father’s Day with my girls. I’m thankful to Rebecca for her efforts in helping plan out a great day, and I highly recommend Portsmouth, NH and the surrounding area for great adventures, Father’s Day or otherwise!

For all of the photos from the day, visit the gallery.

Museums and Tacos

Today, we were excited to become members of the Museum of Science! We went down to the museum early in the morning and signed up for a membership. We took advantage of our first day as members to see geckos, tamarin monkeys, bonsai trees, nanotechnology exhibits, and more. The girls even took part in a Harvard University research study.

 

Esme rocks out on the balcony. Longfellow Bridge in the background.

Esme rocks out on the balcony. Longfellow Bridge in the background.

View more photos from the Museum of Science.

Another great thing about today was the awesome turkey taco dinner I made tonight. We did it make-your-own-taco style, with separate bowls of seasoned ground turkey, black beans, brown rice, sour cream, shredded jack cheese, salsa, soft and hard taco shells, and a heaping pile of Xochitl chips. The girls loved making their own custom tacos, and ate plenty of them!

Turkey Tacos!

Turkey Tacos!

More turkey taco photos.

Finally, I experimented today by taking all of the photos for our visit to the MoS on my iPhone! Usually on this type of trip, I would bring my digital SLR, a few lenses, and some other supplies. This time it was just me, Rebecca and the girls, and my iPhone. I think the photos turned out pretty well. What do you think?

The Works

Today we visited The Works, a science and technology museum located in Newark, OH. We went down with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and niece.

Cousins at The Works

Cousins at The Works

This museum was chock-full of activities for little kids. From the minute they entered the building to the minute they left, the girls were playing, experimenting, and learning. We got to try playing a theremin and a xylophone bench. We built and tested marble tracks, built some circuits, learned about light, prisms, and lasers, tested our vertical leap, played in a kid-sized city with grocery store and doctor’s office, watched a glass-blowing demonstration, explored an interurban railway car, and learned about Licking County history. Catherine said her favorite parts were building circuits and the Invent Lab, where she got to build a robot from salvaged computer parts (this was probably one of my favorite parts, too).

Papa and Catherine Dissect a Keyboard

Papa and Catherine Dissect a Keyboard

The museum is in downtown Newark, which is about 25 minutes from Columbus, and about 40 minutes from Mount Vernon, where my parents live. Admission for the four of us came to $20 – $7 for each adult and $3 for each child. I would definitely recommend a visit for anybody with kids who lives in the Central Ohio area, or anybody paying the area a visit.

To see all of the photos from our visit, visit the full gallery.

Joining a show already in progress…

(The Wood family is currently in Ohio, staying with Peter’s parents, and visiting with them, Peter’s sister, brother-in-law, and niece, and doing the things that there are to do in Central Ohio. We join their activity already in progress…)

We’ve been here in Mount Vernon since December 29, and have been enjoying spending time with family. We celebrated my Mom’s birthday, did another Christmas celebration in Mount Vernon, visited a train, celebrated my niece’s birthday, celebrated New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Catherine admires some art

Catherine admires some art

Puzzling Painting

Puzzling Painting

Today, Catherine, Esme, Rebecca and I took off for a family trip down to the Columbus Museum of Art. I haven’t been there since I was a kid, and apparently it’s recently been overhauled. We had a very enjoyable visit to the museum. Nearly every gallery had some kind of kid-friendly activity, whether a matching game with photos from the current gallery, or a puzzle of a painting in the gallery, assembled with the actual painting on the wall for reference.

The museum is a very manageable size, and yet maintains an impressive collection. It even has an area devoted exclusively to kids, the Wonder Room.

Wonder Room

Wonder Room

We spent a little over two hours at the museum, and the girls enjoyed every part of it, except for the part where we had to leave! Since both girls are under 6, and AAA offers a BOGO discount, we only paid $10 for the four of us! I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the Columbus area.

Tomorrow we’ll be headed to Newark with my family to visit The Works, a science and technology museum with lots of hands-on activities for the kids. Looking forward to another day of exploring and expanding young minds, and having fun with family!

If you head over to our gallery, you can see the daily photo galleries from our trip so far. Far more photos than I’ve included in this blog post!

Weekend on the Vineyard

I spent this past weekend on Martha’s Vineyard, visiting with my in-laws at their cottage in the MVCMA campground in Oak Bluffs. It was a nice vacation (which I define as any escape from the ordinary, regardless of how long). Rebecca and the girls will be staying down there this week to enjoy the Grand Illumination, and then I’ll be going down to bring them home this coming weekend. Here are some of my favorite moments from this past weekend:

Ferry Ride

Ferry Ride To The Vineyard

 

Citrus Cooler at the Farmer's Market

Citrus Cooler at the Farmer's Market

The lemonade stand at the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market is one of our favorites. Definitely try one of their drinks if you can make it to West Tisbury on a Saturday morning.

Lunch Date at the Right Fork Diner

Lunch Date at the Right Fork Diner

This is a great diner located at the Katama Airfield in Edgartown. You can get a seat right on the edge of the airstrip and watch biplanes, turboprops, and other personal aircraft take off and land. The food is delicious, too. Rebecca’s parents watched the girls so that Rebecca and I could go out on our own to the farmer’s market and have lunch at the diner. Thanks!

Dinner with Nonni and Grandpa

Dinner with Nonni and Grandpa

Nonni (aka Dianne, my mother-in-law), makes the best food, and I always enjoy eating it when I visit. For Saturday’s dinner she made steak kabobs, rice, cole slaw, corn on the cob, and frozen banana for dessert. Yum.

Girls working together to build a pulley

Girls working together to build a pulley

Catherine builds an umbrella-tent

Catherine builds an umbrella-tent

I always love watching my girls be creative, and this weekend was no exception.

Taking Catherine to see kids from the campground put on The Wizard of Oz

Taking Catherine to see kids from the campground put on The Wizard of Oz

We couldn’t have avoided this if we tried. The cast came zipping around the campground on a golf cart, shouting that the Wizard of Oz would be starting at 7:30. Catherine and I, along with Ken and Dianne, went down to see it. The kids did a great job and Catherine enjoyed watching it, even if a few parts were scary.

You can see all of the Wizard of Oz photos here, and all of my photos from the weekend here.

What I Did This Father’s Day Weekend

A Report By Peter Wood

This weekend ranks up there as one of my favorite Father’s Day weekends so far. The weather was great, the activities were fun, and I got to do my favorite thing, spend lots of time with my family.

On Friday we drove out to Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA, to go camping with our friends Laurel and Scott and their kids. We had a big campsite where we each pitched our tents, as well as a screen room to put around the picnic table, which our friends had brought.

Our Campsite

Our Campsite

L&S are very experienced campers, so we enjoyed the opportunity to learn from them and benefited from their service. My particular favorite was Scott’s buckwheat pancakes.

Scott, makin' pancakes

Scott, makin' pancakes

Catherine and Esme had a great time playing with the kids. Either family’s tent was fair game for jumping, cuddling, roughhousing, or reading.

Girls reading

Girls reading

I also got to enjoy some quality time with our girls. We walked to the campground’s playground, explored our own campsite, and went to look at the pond. Here’s a photo from one “adventure walk” Catherine and I took while Mama and Esme were napping.

Adventure walk with Catherine

Adventure walk with Catherine

Overall, the camping trip was very low-key. We didn’t have any real plans of what to do, we just relaxed and did what we felt like doing. I checked the time only a couple of times during the trip, but otherwise didn’t have a clock in sight. We had a really great time with Laurel and Scott and their family. It was also a good dry run for our trip to Michelle‘s wedding in July, where we’ll be camping for a few days.

You can see all of the (many) photos from our camping trip here.

After we got home from the trip, we unpacked and spent the afternoon puttering around the house, resting from the weekend and getting things put away. Later in the day, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite places, the 99 Restaurant.

Girls helping me put crackers in the seafood chowder

Girls helping me put crackers in the seafood chowder

After dinner, we went over to Endicott Park to play on their excellent playground and see their farm animals. We saw the unusual (to us) sight of two female sheep butting heads. We also got to see the park ranger feeding all of the animals. The girls were both very excited.

Girls and Geese

Girls and Geese

I was glad to get to spend the weekend with friends and family. I feel very privileged to be the father of two great girls, and am glad to have Rebecca as my partner in helping them grow. Thanks for the great Father’s Day!

Papa with Catherine and Esme

Papa with Catherine and Esme

A little birthday trip

I’ve been very busy at work, recently. I needed to take some time off, and my birthday occurred more or less after most of my major projects were due to be finished. So I went ahead and scheduled off a week and a half, starting on my birthday (October 6… 32 years old!) without any real plan as to what I would do with it.

I’m currently on day three of my vacation, and the first three days have been spent with my little family of four. Today we just returned from a trip to stay at the InnSeason Resorts HarborWalk, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. This was an interesting trip, because Falmouth has never really been a destination for us in and of itself. We’ve been there many times, but only for the purposes of taking one of the ferries (the Island Queen or the Steamship) to visit Rebecca’s parents on Martha’s Vineyard. This time, we stayed in Falmouth and pretty much everything we did was in Falmouth. In fact, the resort we stayed at was located adjacent to the parking lot for the Island Queen, and we’ve walked past it on our way to the Island Queen many times, without a second thought that we’d ever actually stay there!

In any case, because of their timeshare membership, Rebecca’s parents were able to help us get rooms at the resort at a pretty steep discount. We ended up with two adjoining rooms, each of which had its own bathroom, kitchen, bed, pull-out couch, tv, and electric fireplace. There was more than enough room for the girls to run around, hang out, and play while Mama and Papa had some time together. We also did some swimming at the indoor pool of one of the other InnSeason resorts in Falmouth, which we had free access to.

In addition to the swimming and hanging out, we went to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, run by the National Marine Fisheries Service. It was a fairly small aquarium, when compared to something like the New England Aquarium in Boston. But what was really cool about this one was that once you had walked through the main gallery of the aquarium, you could go up some stairs and walk around behind the tanks, seeing how everything worked behind the scenes. They had some extra exhibits, and you could see how the tanks were opened to take fish out, or put food in. Very cool. They also had some seals in a pool out in front of the aquarium, and we were there while they were feeding the seals. The girls loved watching the seals swim around, come up for food, and splash in the water.

Since we had our own kitchen(s) at the resort, we bought most of our food and prepared it at the resort. We did go out for a few meals, however. One of my favorites was lunch at Mary Ellen’s Portuguese Bakery in Falmouth. It was a tiny little place attached to the back of a Dairy Queen, with a counter and stools, and some small tables for seating. The four of us sat at stools up at the counter. I enjoyed a Portuguese omelette with linguica and Portuguese cheese, with grilled home fries and Portuguese bread toast, while Rebecca had the pork cacoila with rice. Catherine stuck to the grilled cheese sandwich and fries. The food was delicious – the flavors of the omelette were sublime.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our trip:

Birthday lunch at b.good in Hingham

Birthday lunch at b.good in Hingham (we stopped there on the way down to use the coupon I got LAST YEAR on my birthday...)

The girls playing "roll the pumpkin" on (one of) the bed(s) at the resort

The girls playing "roll the pumpkin" on (one of) the bed(s) at the resort

My girls!

My girls!

You can see all of the photos from our trip in the Falmouth Trip gallery.

This little trip was just long enough to enjoy some time away from home with the family, while not too long to break the bank. It was a good start to my time off. I plan to spend the rest of my time off helping out around the house, getting some home projects done, hanging out with the girls so that Rebecca can do some of her own projects, and generally enjoying working for my family and not for someone else.

I’m also looking forward to my parents coming up to visit this coming weekend. They’ll only be here for a couple of days, but it will be good to see them and for them to get to visit with the girls.

Wood Family Round-up

Here’s what’s been going on with the Wood family recently!

If you haven’t been following Rebecca Rides, head over and check it out. Rebecca has been stepping up her training rides for the Pan-Mass Challenge. I’ve been pitching in, too, taking charge of the girls while Mama is out on her rides. Sometimes we go out and do fun things, like go to the playground down the street or to the lovely Lynch Park. I’m happy to be able to help, and excited to see Rebecca enjoying her rides and becoming more confident.

This past week was Bring Your Child To Work day. I brought both Catherine and Esme for a few hours on Thursday morning. I gave them a brief tour around the warehouse and then they hung out with some of our designers and drew on the whiteboard. I appreciate my co-workers for putting up with the girls for a little while. The girls definitely enjoyed it… Catherine had been talking about coming to work with me practically since last year. 🙂

Catherine with co-workers

Catherine with co-workers

In the photography department, I’m working on some new ideas for Peter R. Wood Photography, and hopefully you’ll be hearing about them soon. I also recently attended a photography seminar and learned a few things that will help me with the photography biz.

One of Esme’s favorite things recently is sitting in the little adirondack rocking chair in our living room, rocking and playing with a toy phone. She also likes to grab books and bring them over to us to read. She loves helping clean things up and put them away, almost as much as she loves taking them out. Catherine is loving reading, too, and is showing us her ability to read more and more every day. She’s even started writing (via dictation) and reading emails. So if you want to email her, please do! She’ll read it (with some help from Mama and Papa) and write back! You can contact her via our contact page, or via her email address which, if you know Rebecca’s or mine, is exactly what you’d expect.

Want more? I’m guessing most of our readers are friends on Facebook as well, but if not, you can friend me or Rebecca for lots more updates. I also post frequently on Twitter.