Day 3 at Mimi Camp 2012

On Monday, Mimi took Pop-Pop to the airport for his business trip to Mississippi and the girls stayed home with Chi.  In the afternoon, we went to see “Brave” in 3D.  After the movie, we went to the library to return our beach books and to pick out a few to peruse during Mimi Camp, and then headed to the grocery.

Mostly an uneventful day, especially for Mimi who managed to fall asleep both in the movie theater and on the sofa while watching “Night at the Museum.”  Mimi also managed to lose at Wii bowling, much to the amusement of HR and AG.
Mimi’s camera has been “quiet” for the last few days so no pictures for her blog.

Day 2 at Mimi Camp 2012

Today Uncle Chi offered to treat all the crew to a visit to the Luray Zoo.  It was a nice day weather-wise and we headed out for a morning with the animals.  PopPop fed the Yaks, Lucy cringed feeding the donkey and the girls were fascinated with the monkeys tossing a dead mouse around!  It’s a very nice little zoo and we all left feeling good about the animal care that  is given to these rescue animals.

The afternoon was spent playing Wii (the girls) and Mimi and Pop-Pop watching the Nationals baseball game. At the end of the 8th inning, the Nats were behind by 2 runs and Pop-Pop was “not happy”, so we all packed into the mkX and headed for Fairfax.  Well—“it ain’t over till it’s over” and turns out the Nats came back to an exciting win in the 11th inning….which we missed while driving down I66!

Our evening was spent just still “decompressing” from our beach activities while watching the Olympics.

Day 1 at Mimi Camp 2012

This year Mimi Camp began with our exit from our Duck Family Vacation. After packing the car and reconnoitering the house for “leftovers”, Mimi, PopPop, HR and AG headed for the valley around 7:00. We managed to get out of Duck in good time, cross the causeway and get all the way to dreaded Williamsburg before hitting “parking lot” traffic. We decided to stop for breakfast in Newport News at one of our favorite restaurants, Cracker Barrel. The girls chowed down on pancakes and eggs and we headed on home to the Valley.

The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent unpacking and relaxing before heading to mass with Fr. Chris at Our Lady of the Valley. Father was a little “under the weather” and after announcing that we all will “get through this”, he finished in a record-setting 43 mins. Whew!

On to Rancho Viejo to meet Chi and Lucy for dinner. It was a long day, but a good one.

Day 6 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

The campers slept about 11 hours and were ready to go to the zoo once they had their ration of Cookie Crisp for breakfast.

We packed up our little cooler, grabbed the umbrella stroller and headed off to the Metro around 9:00. Mary and Khaki are now veteran Metro riders and know all about the Orange and Red Line trains. They also know that bikes are not allowed at the center door! Khaki can read now!

We maneuvered the extra long, scary Metro escalators (some of the highest in the system) and walked to the zoo entrance, arriving around 10:30. Not bad and really, the weather was not THAT hot…in the 80’s. That being said, we saw about 11 animals total. Three zebras, one elephant, 2 pandas and one prairie dog. The other three were at the Kids’ Farm where we saw a cow, goat, llama and donkey. Mimi felt like the donkey after walking straight downhill to see this spectacular display of farm animals. Of course, the ice cream shop was also at the end of the trek, so, needless-to-say, Mimi arrived home hot, tired and grumpy! That was the last time the zoo will be on the Mimi Camp list of activities! The National Zoo is “The WORST!” Mimi has been to many zoos, so she feels like she can offer her valuable opinion…even Audubon Zoo in New Orleans in the summer had more animals to see! Arghhh! But, the girls had a good time and got their $4.25 soft serve ice cream cones!!

The campers are now resting, playing on Mimi’s iPad while Mimi tries to “de-tox” from her zooey fiasco!

Since the weather wasn’t cooperating for a last swim, the girls decided on separate movies to watch….Khaki having nothing to do with anything “scary” and chose “101 Dalmations”—again—although Cruella DeVille sure scares Mimi! Mary watched “Enchanted” on the little DVD player….and all were happy at Mini-Mimi Camp .

When PopPop got home, he grilled steaks and burgers for the three adults and the campers chowed down on Mac and Cheese. Following a “Princess Bubble Bath with Cocktails”, Uncle Chi challenged them to “Hi-Ho Cherry-O” and we all fell asleep watching our National League best the American League in the All-Star game.

All’s well at Mini-Mimi Camp! Tomorrow it’s off to Raleigh where they can see their one-missed family member……Mr. Zaih-Zaih!

Day 5 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

Monday was the big “hair-do” day at Mini-Mimi Camp.  After a slow early morning rising and breakfast with a smash of “My Little Pony” thrown in, Mimi and her campers headed off to Fair Oaks Mall for their rendezvous with the elephants at “Cartoon Cuts.”  The girls each watched cartoons (LK watched Dora while MF saw Scooby Doo) while their hairdressers worked their magic.  Amazing that it only took two women and 20 mins to transform the girls into beautiful little ladies.  Since we were early for our picture appointment, we took a stroll around the mall with Khaki avoiding every crack in the floor.  (Mimi was starting to have visions of “Rainman”!)

After  two thrilling rides in the mall elevator, we headed back to the photo studio where the girls performed like champs.  They looked so cute in their new dresses that everyone in the mall took a second look at Mimi’s Cuties.  While waiting for the picture results, we stepped into the Corner Bakery for lunch and found that their children’s meal of Mac and Cheese is one of the best values in town!  Mimi highly recommends “Corner Bakery!”  To occupy the campers while Mimi agonized over which pictures were the best (all of them were!), the girls played on Mimi’s iPad. (A stroke of genius on Mimi’s part to bring it along!)  After much thought and analysis, Mimi decided to buy them all with the “special” on-CD deal. What a bargain!  Pop-Pop will never know!

With that success in hand and the skies turning blue, we came home, restocked our snack-pack with white grape juice and cheez-its, and headed out to Burke Lake Park.  The day was perfect for the park with slightly overcast skies with a hint of blue and 78-ish degree temps.  There were very few people enjoying the park and we had our run of the carousel and the train!  If we had had more time and energy, we could have taken a nice stroll around the lake, but Mimi’s energy was starting to wane so we headed home for dinner preparation and more “My Little Pony.”  Mimi and Mary Frances agree that if they never see Rainbow Dash or Princess Celestia or AppleJack or Pinkie Pie or Nightmare Moon or Fluttershy or Twilight Sparkle again, it will be OK (Note to future campers: There is a very nice mini-golf course at Burke Lake Park!)

Pop-Pop arrived home after a quick commissary trip and we all sat down to dinner with Uncle Chi.  Only Pop-Pop and Mimi ate the “Cowboy Casserole” so dinner was supplemented with cheesy apples and leftover spaghetti! Uncle Chi probably stopped at Quizno’s on his way to see Lucy!  The evening was spent listening to PopPop’s hilarious rendition of reading Skippy Jon Jones….a must that should be on every camper’s list of “to-do’s!”  Even Khaki gave him an “eye-roll” for his performance!

Another successful day at Mini-Mimi Camp!  Tomorrow we head to the zoo on Metro where Khaki wants to see zebras or “horses with stripes” and Mary Frances has her chocolate ice cream cone on her gotta-do list. Thank goodness the weather will be a little cooler and Mimi will know to bring wet paper towels for clean-up.

Day 4 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

Sunday began early for Mimi as she needed to plot out her Scavenger Hunt clues, while PopPop picked beans in his garden….all before the campers awoke. With temperatures predicted to be in the 100’s, it was good to get an early start. Mimi was hot and tired from hiding notes…and this was all before 7:00am!

The girls had their breakfasts of champions and then began their trek to find treasure! Seven clues and a few tears later, the treasure was found, hugs and apologies made, and happiness was abundant in the valley. (Khaki wanted to find ALL the notes, even though she couldn’t read them! Sometimes it’s hard being 4 when your sister is 7!) BUT, the treasures were worth the trials and all’s well that ends well!

The day was just so hot that we all hunkered down in the house to watch Wimbledon and baseball (Mimi and PopPop) and play Wii (Mary and LK). “Just Dance” was one of the games of choice and the campers excelled in several venues of movement!

After the Nats managed to lose their game in the 9th inning, we headed off to Flotzie’s for our traditional ice cream treats. With Khaki wanting strawberry ice cream, we all tried to explain that maybe Flotzie’s didn’t have that flavor and she had agreed to go with vanilla, just in case. WELL, upon arriving at the local ice cream parlor parking lot, “low and behold” the flavor of the week was…..tah dah….Strawberry. Khaki’s lucky day! We all enjoyed our treats…Mary with her favorite….a chocolate ice cream cone, that we immediately dumped into a cup since it was melting so fast, and LK with her strawberry in a cup. Since she eats so slowly and PopPop eats so fast, we distracted her a bit and managed to help her finish before PopPop had a hissy. Eighty five miles and “101 Dalmations” later, we all arrived home in Fairfax.

Uncle Chi and Lucy joined us for a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. A few games of “Hi-Ho-Cherry-O” later, Chi and Lucy left, to be replaced by PopPop playing “Princess Memory Match.” Try to imagine Mary Frances and Laura Kate explaining to PopPop the difference between Mulan, Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Cinderella and Princess Aurora! It boggles the mind…at least, it did his mind!

That was enough for another day at Mini-Mimi Camp!

Day 3 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

My campers slept in for another 12 hour sleep and woke up for a very busy camping day. After Cookie Crisp, an Uncrustable PJB and a white grape juice cocktail served “on-the rocks” to Mary and “straight up” to Khaki (they now know bar lingo), we dressed and rushed over for our pony rides in Stanley.

As fate would have it, the girls didn’t get their “pony” rides. They got their “HORSE” rides. Mary rode a “paint” stallion named “Chevy” and Khaki rode “Hannah”, a pretty brown mare. Campers were thrilled, except to see Laura Kate’s picture, you wouldn’t know it! They got a long ride around the indoor ring (temperatures were in the high 90’s by then) and we headed home for a quick lunch.

At 1:30, we headed out again, but this time to the movies in Luray to see “Brave.” With candy, Slushies, popcorn and Pepsi in hand, we settled in to watch this movie about a princess who wanted to choose her own way in life (in other words, her own prince). This movie had only ugly men and no princes in it….a real Disney princess movie breakthrough. Unfortunately, it also had some scary bear fights. When we were leaving, I asked Khaki how she liked the movie, to which she replied “NOT MUCH!”

After a quick trip to visit Father Chris for mass at Our Lady of the Valley (Khaki didn’t like that MUCH either!), the campers and counselors headed home for a root-hog dinner and a quiet evening at home—all tired from a very busy camp day.

Day 2 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

The campers slept late—8:00. We decided to delay our zoo trip until next Tuesday when the weather will be a little cooler (mid-80’s instead of high 90’s). We called Aunt Jill and asked to visit with the twins, so we are scheduled for a twin-sighting around 11:00 at the Brambleton pool. The girls are having their “Breakfast of Champions” now with “Uncrustable PBJ” for Miss Khakster and Cookie Crisp in a mug for Mary…all washed down with white grape juice.

Around 11:00, Mimi and the campers arrived at the Brambleton pool to visit and play with Aunt Jill, Uncle Matthew (who was “working” from home), Jenny (Jill’s sister from CA), Beatrix (Jenny’s 2 yr old daughter), and Anderson and Claire. While in the baby pool, Khaki played with Isabella???, a cute little girl that no one knew!! And Mary went in the big pool with Uncle Matthew. So much for playing with the twins! But, everyone had a nice time and we all got to cool off a little from the heat!

Mimi, Mary and Laura Kate then left to have lunch at Chick-fil-a where Mary discovered “Polynesian Dipping Sauce.” Then we scooted over to the Dulles Town Center Mall to ride the carousel. Obviously, Mimi forgot her camera at home that day, so no pictures of any of these exciting events!

We got home early afternoon, played several games of Princess Memory Match (which Mimi lost every time!!) and then waited for Pop-Pop to arrive so we could leave for the Valley.

After 85 miles of “Sleeping Beauty” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes!”, we arrived at Ciro’s for pizza and spaghetti and rushed over to the Jordan Hollow Stables for their big “Horse Extravaganza Show.” Perfect timing! The riders were just warming up when we sat down in the grass to watch the show. The campers were thrilled, especially when we picnicked on cheese-its, gummy Tinker Bells and grape juice. Did I mention that we went there directly from dinner at Ciro’s? We stayed for as much as Pop-Pop could stand and then left for home.

All-in-all, it was a very good day!

Day 1 at Mini-Mimi Camp 2012

First official day of Mini-Mimi Camp began with “lift-off” from SML around 9:00. As Mimi drove, Pop-Pop attempted to operate the portable DVD player. After much angst, it was realized that the “hold” option on the player was there to prevent children and PhD’s from operating without adult supervision. Since Mimi was driving and the DVD player inoperable, we diverted to the iPad and the girls watched “Beauty and the Beast.”

The team stopped in Ruckersville at the McDonald’s for lunch and then continued on to Fairfax watching “Lilo and Stitch” on the “now-operational -thanks -to -Mimi” DVD player!

We arrived in Fairfax mid-afternoon and Mimi and campers walked over to Wegman’s for snacks for “Miss Snacki” and Frankie. With $30 of snack in tow (Cheez-its, Tinker Bell Fruit Snacks, peanut butter crackers, Cookie Crisp, “Cheesy Apples Fixings”, white grape juice, Ritz Cheese Bits), the troopers marched back to the townhouse and dressed for the pool. Pop-Pop, Mimi and campers (along with 2 noodles, 2 bar floats and a small cooler of treats) then walked to the pool for fun-in-the-warm-pool swimming time. Pop-Pop was thrilled with the water temp…just shy of bath water temps! The girls played hardy for 45 mins and we had our snacks and gathered up the noodles and headed home for dinner.

Khaki fell asleep on the sofa around 6:00…no dinner, no PJ’s…and didn’t wake up till 8:00am the next morning. Mary watched some “My Little Pony” on Mimi’s iPad while Mimi and PopPop fell asleep watching the Nats. We were all in bed by 8:30…the Nats were losing in the 8th inning when we turned off the TV and won in the 9th inning…”It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Note: Uncle Chi’s eyes got really big when he saw all the snacks the girls had. Almost made him want to be a “Mimi Camper”!!!