Tuesday, May 26, 2009

April '09 Vacation Pictures-Day 1

Here is a long-awaited post about our April vacation. Really, it was a field trip to Wilmington, NC organized by one of the moms in our homeschool group. The purpose of going was to see an aquarium and take a river boat ride. Good reason, no??

Out of the six families that went, 3 camped in tents, two in cabins and one stayed in a hotel.
Here is a peek at our camp life-the first time we've ever camped as a family outside of our yard.
Tigger looks nice and cozy.

The King impersonating a pack mule--ie collecting wood.

Pooh chillin' by the fire with some nice hot tea.

We arrived a day earlier than the other families. We turned this into a little family vacation because we knew there were other things the boys would love to do. They've never been to Wilmington before and frankly, the only thing I've ever done there is hit the beach.

So the first day's agenda went like this:

First off, the Battleship North Carolina. You knew that was coming, right? Yes, a huge history lesson right up Pooh's alley. Model ships everywhere. A really huge ship to explore. It even had a plane on it. LOL

Here are the boys on the anchor. Yes! that's the anchor!!! That was my favorite part. ;D

The model ships were pretty cool too. They had all the tiny men on them and all the guns were depicted. (Not crazy about how mean these things are.)
We watched the movie they had there about the history of the ship. It was so funny that we were there when a large tour group of elderly people came. Ours were the only kids sitting in the movie room and were just as enthralled as they could be. The older ones got a kick out of it.

The rest of the day you could say was devoted to nature study. We didn't plan that, it just sort of happened. After the ship tour, we sat at the picnic tables beside the Cape Fear River and had lunch.

The seagulls enjoyed lunch as well. Another first for the boys, feeding seagulls.

We had a visitor. A tent caterpillar.

Not too far from where we parked, a killdeer had nested. She had one egg she was sitting on. Aren't her colors beautiful?

Here it is: white with brown speckles, right beside the brown leaf. Can you see it?

We didn't do this, but had to get the shot for the boys. This is how some tour downtown Wilmington.

Next up was the Cape Fear Serpentarium. Warning: If you go, they only take cash. This place is really cool, although the guys running it weren't exactly overly friendly. Maybe it's being around all those snakes all day. Anyway, we saw some fascinating creature. All sorts of vipers, pythons, anacondas, alligators, crocodiles and the saltwater croc too!

This picture doesn't do justice to the amazing yellow color.

These Asian Spitting Vipers (if i remember correctly) were mating while we were there. It was cool! I know, I'm weird. But it's not like you really see anything. LOL Basically, the female laid around and the male squirmed all around her over and over again. She would then move away and the male would follow her and the process would repeat. Sounds pretty typical to me. ;D

This crocodile actually stayed in this exact position the whole time we were there. Mouth open and everything. You could almost be conned into thinking he wasn't real, except he was in a glass enclosure AND if you got right up to him, you could see at the back of his throat a little movement from his breathing. No wonder animals get eaten!

And finally, my very favorite place of the day-Airlie Gardens. I figured since the boys had drug me around all over the place looking at boy stuff, they could drag around behind me looking at my stuff. They had a nice time despite themselves. It would have been better had Pooh not been tired from all the previous walking, but he rallied and enjoyed seeing some of the animals we spotted. Like this:

Canada Geese and their babies.

I've always loved it when old trees grow like this. Makes you want to haul out an old quilt and have a picnic.

A highlight were these swans with their babies. They were so sweet. I just happened to spot them through the trees. You had to go a little off the beaten path to see them. I'm frequently off the beaten path in more ways than one. LOL

It kind of looks like a daffodil in this picture, but it's not. I don't really know what it is because the little sign had been worn off. In the center is a completely enclosed thing that looks like a big flower bud. Anyone have an idea??

This beautiful structure was made entirely out of wire and glass bottles. The wonder of recycling.

My most fabulous find ever! I followed a very strange bird call that I just KNEW had to be something good. Sure enough: an Osprey! I was able to get right up under it and zoom in. You can't see it in these photos but he had caught a nice fish from the river right next to here. Isn't he beautiful?

Well, that's it for day one. I have lots of photos but I'm bringing you the highlights. Since I took about 400 photos all together I figured I better be pretty judicious about what I chose for the blog. LOL


live4evermom said...

This looked like a wonderful family field trip. You saw some very neat things. Glad you all got to do that. I'm still giggling about the snake comment. hehehe


Mrs. Darling said...

Oh those snakes look awful! LOL

I love camping with friends. We have four families we do this with every year and its the highlight of our summer. So glad you had this wonderful opportunity.