Saturday, August 10, 2013


I took Angela and Thomas to a pond in Central Park where one can rent a remote control sailboat. It allows you to control the rudder, and the looseness of the sail. It took a few minutes to get the hang of.

They both loved it whenever they were the one controlling the boat, but got bored when it was the other person's turn.

We had to set a rule that your turn was over early every time you hit the wall with the sailboat. By the end though, everyone was getting pretty good at it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

To Chicago

Our trip from Springfield to Chicago was on Amtrak, followed by Amtrak to NYC. We got to spend 7 hours in Chicago before our next train.

The train to Chicago was only four hours, so the boys had fun.

 Chicago is serious about hot dogs, and they were delicious. There were warning signs that it is considered very impolite to add ketchup to a Chicago hot dog.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Intrepid Aircraft Carrier

Thomas and George picked their favorite Aircraft while we toured the Intrepid aircraft carrier museum floating in the Hudson River.
Thomas thought the AWACS plane was pretty neat.

George preferred helicopters, especially the one with the eyes and teeth.

All Saints' Abbey

During our hiking in the Black Forest near Oppenau Germany, we stopped at the ruins of All Saints' Abbey.

The new chapel is visible through the ruins, but they still use the ruins themselves for meetings and theatrical productions, based on the chairs and stage set up there.

 Near the ruins is a memorial for members of the local hiking club, the Black Forest Assocation. There are 90,000 members in the club, and it was founded in 1864.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Staten Island

Yesterday we took a trip on the Staten Island Ferry. It is huge, free, and awesome. 

Here is the view of Manhattan from Staten Island.

And here is George. If you look really really really closely at this picture, you can see the Statue of Liberty.

Staten Island is not particularly tourist-friendly. It's mostly residential, and after being in Manhattan it feels like you're way out in the country somewhere. We did find the SI museum, though. I got in for $5 and the kids were free. It is small, cheap, and awesome. Some of its' collection has been around for 130 years! They had a great selection of bugs, some fossils, an old diving suit, and a very nice lady who helped us.

Here is a bit of New York Harbor. 

And here is George, pointing out the Statue of Liberty on the way back.

Here she is.

After we returned to Manhattan we bought some apples to eat and chased the birds for a while.