This day was our “catch up” day in the valley. Before leaving for Fairfax, Mimi did lots of laundry and remade beds while PopPop picked lots of corn and peppers in his garden. We headed out to Luray for 11:00 mass and then returned home for a delicious dinner of paneed chicken, garden buttered potatoes and fresh corn on the cob.
While this day was one of “rest”, it may be one of the highlights of Mimi Camp as Uncle Chi moved to the forefront in the “favored uncle” status. The girls were invited to a game of PuttPutt with Uncle Chi and Lucy in Fairfax.
Sooo-we packed up the Escape and headed home….but not without our traditional detour to Flotzie’s. Yummmmy—vanilla malts and a coke float were the desserts of the day.Uncle Chi, fresh from his vacation in Ecuador, and his friend, Lucy, took the girls to play putt-putt golf while Mimi and PopPop sat comatose in their chairs to watch “60 minutes.”
Uncle Chi is now “Numero Uno” in the “favored Uncle” status and life is good at Mimi Camp!
It’s hard to improve on a camp day on horseback, but day two proved to be a fun one.
We started with scrambled eggs and a healthy dose of the cartoon network. Then at 10:15 we all headed off to “Cut ‘n Hair” for Victoria to work her magic on the girls’ hair. (See “Before” and “After” proofs!) Annagrace asked for curls and after an hour with the curling iron, she definitely got what she asked for. Honora chose the more natural look and looked stunning with her new hairdo.
We left Victoria around noon and headed for one of our favorite watering holes in Luray….Rancho Viejo! We downed lots of chips, white dip and taco salads before heading home.
The afternoon turned into a pleasant surprise and also a trip down memory lane for Mimi and Pop-Pop. The girls insisted on seeing the Smurf movie, despite their grandparents’ moaning and groaning. After a few minutes into the movie, Mimi and Pop-Pop were smurfed and lovin’ it. Papa Smurf, Smurfette and all her brothers, Gargomel and Azriel and lots of “blue” brought back many memories of these cartoon characters from 25 years ago. It was a good movie and we all left glad that we saw it.
We had Pop-Pop’s “Good Ragu Spaghetti” for dinner and the girls settled in to watch “Spy Kids: 3D” at home.
Life is smurfin’ good at Mimi Camp.
Mimi Camp has begun and is now into its third day….so “let the fun begin.” Friday, July29th, was our first official day of camp. After the traditional “Uncle Michael Olive Oil Eggs,” the girls settled into Cartoon Network until leaving for Jordan Hollow stables in Stanley. With temps in the 90’s, the brave and hot campers met up with their teacher, Michaela, at 11:00 and were off to the riding ring with Honora on “Lakota” and Annie on “Tara.” They learned the details and proper names of the tack and then proceeded to walk and steer their mounts around the ring.
After a break for lunch, the girls headed out on the trail ride with Dillon, their guide. There was some walking and trotting and even a bit of cantering when Honora’s horse decided to play around with another horse on the trail. Nothing like a little excitement to make the day a bit more memorable.
Mimi gathered up her cowgirls at 3:00 and headed for the old homestead for showers, dinner and a movie….about horses….what else??
PopPop arrived home early and proceeded to watch “Second Chances” with his cowgirls….assuming, of course, that they would massage his head and feed him grapes while he watched the movie!
The girls had to work for their supper so out to the garden they headed to pick and shuck corn.
Life is good at Mimi Camp…..and so was the corn!
The Grand Finale!!!
Saturday, July 9th, was the Grand Finale of Davis Camp. With a “great uncle” and cousins around, we tried to “do it all” for our valley repertoire. The day started with hot tamale production. The Louisiana contingency reported for duty and produced enough tamales and tamale “glop” and even a tamale meatloaf for not only lunch, but also a future meal in Williamsburg!
When the tamales were on the stove, Uncle Dwayne and the girls headed for the first river trip of the day. The weather was perfect for a valley day and “Captain Committee” completed his first trip of the day with minimal problems. While the first crew was on the river, Connor and Davis carried out a few more “Search and Destroy” missions.
Hot Tamales were served at noon and then the second crew headed for the river. The three musketeers completed their trip in record time (about 40 minutes), and then we moved on to”EggStractor” practice. Dwayne and PopPop were the only successful eggstractors, but a lot of effort was put forth by the rest of the crew. More practice is necessary, but the deviled eggs were delicious anyway.
The “Rocket Committee” commenced on the launchpad after egg extraction. Never in the history of valley rocketry was there such a successful multiple rocket launch. Four rockets went up and four were successfully recovered….and Davis actually caught TWO rockets on their reentry.
We left for mass at 4:30 and got the “royal treatment” in geography from Father Chris and his South Pole Ocean! Then, an evening of fun and fireworks was next. The “Campfire Committee” had a bit of trouble getting the fire started and after a few “smoked, sooted” hot dogs, the crew managed to wait for the good fire to start while enjoying “The Hornet Show.” (Mimi and PopPop had to hire an exterminator to get rid of a hornet nest that was the size of a basketball!)
The fire was roaring by the time the hornets met their demise and we all enjoyed weenies, toasted marchmallows and S’mores. The evening ended with a short fireworks display on the driveway and we all went to bed exhausted after a full day in the valley. “The Committee” did good!
note: Uncle Dwayne, aka “The Committee”, has now been proclaimed “Honorary Camp Counselor of the Year!”
Day Five of Davis’ camp was designated as a “travel day.” Mimi spent the morning cleaning and straightening up the townhouse and Davis killed a few more thousand enemies on his Call of Duty. We left Fairfax around noon and stopped in Front Royal for lunch for our one and only camp visit to McDonald’s and Davis’ one and only Big Mac #1.
After thoroughly enjoying our burgers, we drove to the Valley and awaited Uncle Dwayne and then PopPop, Kerri, Connor and Kinsey. We all went to Ciro’s for dinner and Davis spent the rest of the evening at home relaxing and getting to know his cousins.
This is our “kick back” day to just hang out and get some errands done. After taking Uncle Chi to the airport to begin his Ecuador vacation, Davis and Mimi headed to Starbucks for their morning treat. Davis was introduced to a Tall Decaf Caramel Frappuchino (a personal favorite of Uncle Chi’s) and, of course, it had to be accompanied by a rather large apple fritter! Enough calories there for the whole day! We then swung by Whole Foods for our “gourmet” chili powder…a must for the hot tamale batch-making on Saturday with Uncle Dwayne. Pop-Pop plans to make enough to take to Williamsburg. Wanna bet they’ll all be gone before we ever get there?
Our afternoon was spent at Great Falls, Maryland, at the C&O Canal Towpath. We stopped at Subway for lunch and headed to the park for a picnic and short walk. After inhaling the subs, Davis and Mimi visited the museum, got our passports stamped and played a challenging game of checkers while waiting for our boat ride through the canal locks. Davis killed Mimi and she demands a rematch! There were very few people in the park and we had a nice one hour boat ride on the canal, narrated by a park volunteer who told us all about the history of the canal. Note: it is called a “tow path” because the boats are towed by mules! Some day the campers need to experience the “Billy Goat Trail”, but that would necessitate a “guest counselor” because Mimi no longer hikes that trail!
We are now settled in for the night. Davis is back to his game and Mimi is heading upstairs to watch the news and Jeopardy.
Life is very good here.
Wednesday, July 6th, was declared the “Tour de DC” day. Davis is now an expert at Metro travel and he is well-acquainted with the Orange Line. We arrived at Union Station in DC around 10:30 and immediately scouted out the Food Court. Nothing better than lunch at the Old Post Office, so we proceeded to our Old Town Trolley to begin our tour. Davis and Mimi decided to try riding most of the main loop to hear the driver’s commentary and to stay dry while the rain subsided. Although there was a slight drizzle, the air was cool so we thought that was better than sunny and hot.
The tour guide told us the best place for getting our passports stamped for the Capitol Mall area and we got off the trolley to walk over to the Washington Monument Visitor’s Center. There we “stamped away” till there was no more room on our page. Turns out there are stamps for every monument and memorial (there’s only one monument, the rest are memorials…and now we know the difference!).
Davis couldn’t be stalled any longer so we headed over to the Old Post Office for our traditional Sesame Chicken lunch. And, yes, it was as good as we remembered. After lunch, we got back on the trolley to finish our “loop” and then headed home to Fairfax, via a 7-11 for a Slurpee to quench our thirst.
By the time we got home we were both tired and hot, so the rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in the townhouse, roothoggin’ for dinner and watching tv….Jeopardy and the Nats game for Mimi and more “Search and Destroy” for Big D.
Life is good at Mimi Camp.
Day two began with a trip to Manassas Battlefield Park where Davis began his National Park Passport adventure. We watched the park movie, had a short “walkabout” and then headed for McKay’s Used Book Store to purchase some reading material.
After negotiating for 3 Calvin and Hobbes comic strip books–Davis insists he learns new vocabulary words there!!!–we headed home for lunch and a short rest before heading out to the ballpark.
We headed out for the Metro around 5:00 and after having to “detrain” for technical difficulties, made it to the gate around 6:30. FLOTUS was in the park helping to throw out the first pitch, along with children of military families, so I got to explain to Davis about the guys on the roof who were dressed in black wearing bullet proof vests and packing big guns. After the National Anthem, we made it to the hot dog stand and our seats…in that order. Perfect timing!
Evening cuisine included a kosher dog and large coke, followed by chicken strips and fries, Cookie Dough Dippin’ Dots and an unpronouceable Italian Gelato.
The game began with 3 runs in the first inning and ended with the Nats winning 3-2. Not much exciting happened for the remaining 8 innings. Teddy still lost the President’s race and Coffey made it to the pitcher’s mound in a little over 12 seconds. We arrived home at 11:00, ready for bed….at least, Mimi was ready!
Life was good for Day 2 at Major Mimi Camp.
July 4th was a banner day for Davis’ first day of Major Mimi Camp. I have decided that, if desired, I could plan a “perfect camp” for Davis….per his preferences. Eat, play XBOX 360, Eat, watch a movie, Eat and then, sleep. “perchance to dream”, of eating again.
That being said, here was our Monday, July 4th. Davis has passed a milestone this year for Mimi Camp….maybe a sad one for Mimi? He is no longer interested in watching cartoons! 🙁
After his breakfast of a 3 egg cheese omelet and half gallon of milk, his help was enlisted in the garden for digging for his dinner. Pop-Pop and Davis harvested some of the yummiest red new potatoes ever. Since he was fast becoming a feast for the gnats, he retreated to the house for his shower while Mimi and PopPop toughed it out pinching tomatoes and weeding peppers.
While PopPop grilled chicken and cooked the veggies, Mimi and Davis went to WalMart for food, wallet (which is now in the parking lot at Dulles for the week) and fireworks. The midday dinner was dee-lish and Davis found a new friend to play with on the XBOX. The “good news” is that Davis and his cousin, Connor, are fast friends. The “not-so good” news is that they became buddies playing a solid 4 hours of “Call of Duty.”
Monday evening, we all went to town to see “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon.” Here Davis had the PERFECT dinner…..a large bag of peach rings and a Dr. Pepper. (Eat your heart out, Big B) We managed to time the evening just right, because when the movie ended at 9:30, we walked out to the beginning of Luray’s 4th of July Fireworks display—quite impressive, esp. when seen “up close and personal.” Note: Pop-Pop and Davis owe Mimi at least 10 Chick-flicks after sitting through 2.5 hours of a Transformer movie.
Mimi and PopPop are contemplating second jobs to subsidize our food budget…and Mimi is hearing maching gun fire in her sleep. But…
Life is good at Mimi Camp.