One of my first memories of when we arrived here last year, around this time, was waking up and looking out of the window to see a mamma turkey emerge from the woods, followed by little, fuzzy chicks. I was sorry that I didn't have my camera handy to record that amazing sight last year but I was luckier this year! I wonder if this is actually the same family.
...The Chop Shop at Winston Salem!
On the way back home, we decided to stop for brunch in Winston-Salem. We enjoyed exploring the funky downtown area in Winston-Salem with its cool shops and art sculptures in fun spots! Brunch (at Mary's Gourmet Diner) was delicious! But even better was seeing the barber shop, aptly called, Chop Shop, next door! Rigel finally agreed to get a haircut, and emerged from the Chop Shop, an hour (or more!) later, with a cool,new hair cut! The cleaner in the barber's said he never seen s much hair on a boy, as he swept around the barber's chair after!
So, what do you think of Ri's new haircut?
We decided to drive through the Outer Banks on the way home from Virginia Beach as we had heard so many good things about this coastline. It was beautiful and as we had some time to spare, we stopped at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk. This was very interesting and we learned a lot about Wilbur and Orville Wright, their first successful flight that lasted 12 seconds, and about their determination to succeed. Here's a quote by Orville Wright that resonates with us: “We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate what ever aroused curiosity.” We then went to Kill Devil Hills (another name we couldn't resist!), where Jim and the kids jumped in some pretty big ocean waves, after which we climbed the dunes to eat a picnic supper and to watch the sun set. Next stop, back home!
With a name like this, how could we NOT pay a visit to the Great Dismal Swamp?! We left Ri with Sean, and Jim, Aneka and I went to spend the morning at the Great Dismal Swamp which, by the way, is aptly named. The area is huge (about 100,000 acres) and we read that it used to be even bigger (like 10 times its current size = 1 million acres). It is home to many animals- including black bear (we didn't see any), copperheads (we didn't see any, thank you!), a variety of butterflies, deer, several varieties of birds, and of course, a zillion types of insects, including the least liked in our family- the poor mosquito! Here is some more information on it: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/great_dismal_swamp/ Going to the Great Dismal Swamp made us feel like we were stepping into the world of Bilbo Baggins and visiting Gollum...What an amazing place!
We spent the last few days in Virginia Beach, after picking up the kiddos from the airport last Sunday. They got a double dose of beach- both west and east coast- not that they complained about that! :-) It was great to see our friends/neighbors from Shanghai Links, and especially neat to see how Ri and his good "old" buddies, Sean and August, picked up from where they had left off, when Ri (we) left Shanghai a year ago. It was like they were never apart for a whole year! Sean and his family have also moved back to the U.S. and we hope that all the boys keep re-connecting over the years. Well, we certainly made a bunch of memorable memories (!) in Virginia Beach: fishing (August and his dad are awesome at fishing, and Ri finally caught his first big one at the Oceanfront Pier), swimming and splashing in the waves (we lucked out with the weather- it wasn't too hot), beach fun (digging a hole to China!), eating (chicken wings at the Carozza's and crab at a seafood restaurant where Ri ordered a pound hamburger that fed him for 3 meals!), boardwalk entertainment (magicians, acrobats and fireworks), and a session at ifly, which is an indoor skydiving place where all 6 kids learned how to "fly"! We look forward to seeing the Carozza's and David's again- maybe next time it will be in the mountains?
Hi! This is Preeti, Jim, Rigel, Luna and I (Aneka). We have recently left our home in Shanghai, China to Somewhereinthemountains, North Carolina. Preeti and Jim are both international school teachers and Rigel, Luna and I are homeschooled.