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Homestead Ski Trip Videos

:: Tags: Dylan, Friends, Skiing, Travel, Video

Here are a couple of my cellphone videos I took of Dylan’s first time out on ski’s. As I told him at the start of the day… learning how to fall and get back up is just as important as learning how to ski. He did really well for his first time ever!

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Homestead Ski Trip 2018

:: Tags: Awesome, Dylan, Friends, Holiday's, Skiing, Travel

‘The view from the outdoor deck at the Homestead Ski Lodge’ – Hot Springs, VA

Several months ago we were invited to go skiing for the long Presidents Day weekend. Our good friends, the Baur’s, have been going to Hot Springs, Virginia for years and this year they asked us to join them. Nether their son nor ours has ever been on ski’s before, and they have told us that this is a great place for kids to learn to ski. The Omni Homestead Resort, located about 45 minutes southwest of JMU in Hot Springs, is about a three and a half hour drive from DC and surprisingly classy for an older hotel. The rooms are moderately priced go fast, so you have to book well ahead of time to get a holiday weekend reservation.
The ski area is small compared to most local ski resorts, but they do have a nice size ski lodge with several fire places, including an outdoor one on the deck, a bar and food service for lunch. There is only one double chair lift which will take you to either the midway-station or the top of the hill. After seeing the operation I would totally agree that for young beginner skiers, this is a perfect place for them to learn. The ski instructors here are young and really good with the kids. We had Dylan and his friend take two lessons and they absolutely loved it! By the end of the second day they were almost ready to go to ride the lift up to the midway-station.
Considering this was Dylan’s first time on ski’s ever… I thought he did very well!

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Xmas 2017

:: Tags: Dylan, Holiday's

‘Dylan – Christmas Eve 2017’ – Arlington, VA

Once again, Christmas time is here and as usual my son has waited until the last minute to write his personal letter to Santa Claus. We’ve already taken him to Tyson Mall to see Santa in person, and therefore I’m pretty sure he knows he is on the ‘nice’ list, so making out his gift list and Santa letter are just formalities to him. But Julie makes sure he follows procedure and finishes the letter and puts it out with the milk and cookies before he goes to bed on Christmas eve. Here are some photos from

ICE at National Harbour

:: Tags: Dylan, Event, Holiday's, Too Cool!

‘Dylan and I stealing a selfie with Rudolph and the Elf’ – The Gaylord, National Harbour, MD

It feels like we buy tickets to this event every year and every year the ice carvings just keeps getting more impressive. My son, being a true believer in Santa and ultimate fan of the Christmas holidays, absolutely loves these kinds of events. The cool thing about ICE (at least for us) is that the theme of the show changes every year and always follows one of the original children’s Christmas stories. This years theme was from the 1964 classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the ice sculptors really nailed it right down to the very large Abominable Snowman that Dylan and I tried to get a selfie with. As always we had a lot of fun… click the link below to see more photos from this event.

‘Another selfie… this time with the Abominable Snowman!’ – The Gaylord, National Harbour, MD
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Thanksgiving in Captiva 2017

:: Tags: Beach, Dylan, Family, Food, Holiday's, Travel

We have always enjoy spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Captiva, Florida with family. It’s always nice to see Julie’s sister and her family and it also gives us a chance to catch up with her other cousins. If the weather cooperates, it’s also a nice way to grab just a little more summer sunshine before the reality of winter sets in. Here are a few of my favorite photos from this years trip to seashell capital of the world. You can click the ‘view more’ link below to see a slideshow of all the photos from the trip.

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Pack 1229 Fall Hike

:: Tags: Dylan, Friends, Hiking & Camping, Scouting

‘Taking a break for a photo op on the bank of the North Potomac River’ – Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, McLean, VA

One of the nicest things about living in the Northern Virginia area is the diversity of the area and the ability to change your scenery by doing nothing more than traveling 30 to 45 minutes in any direction. Living in Arlington, we are literally walking distance to Georgetown, which is one of the more beautiful and popular spots in Washington DC. Even though we enjoy being close to the city, it’s nice to get out of the city and enjoy a nice hike in the woods from time to time.

‘Scouting friendship… Lily, Dylan, Liam & Henry’ – Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, McLean, VA

This year the location of the Pack 1229 fall hike would turn out to be a favorite of mine… Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, which is located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in North McLean. I’ve hiked these trails before and truly enjoy both the scenic views of the north river and the rocky waterfalls. Dylan has shown much more interest in hiking since joining the Cub Scouts and I believe this outing will be yet another positive bonding experience for both of us and his new Scouting friends.

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Halloween 2017

:: Tags: Dylan, Event, Friends, Holiday's

‘The bonfire pit at Amy & Brian’s country getaway place’ – The Plains, VA

I’ll try not to go overboard with the annual Halloween post write-up this year, but you do know how much my wife loves this holiday. We started things off with an evening outdoor event at one of Dylan’s classmate’s families properties in The Plains, VA, where all the parents and kids of this years Osprey Class enjoyed a bonfire, spooky hayrides through the woods and even an awesome food truck serving taco’s for dinner! Thank you for hosting Amy & Brian… this was a fantastic event! Next on the list would be the annual River School Halloween parade up and down MacArthur Blvd, followed by our normal neighborhood evening trick-or-treating adventure with Dylan and all his local friends. Happy Halloween everyone!

‘Dylan carved the pumpkin this year… Trick-Or-Treat!’ – Arlington, VA
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More Scouting for Dylan

:: Tags: Dylan, Friends, Scouting

Here are a couple more photos from Dylan’s first month in Scouting with Cub Scout Pack 1229, Falls Church, VA. He should have joined the Pack as a Wolf this year, but because his friend Liam was a grade level ahead (and he insisted on being in his friends Den), we let him join the Bear Den with the condition that he puts in twice the effort and tries to earn both his Wolf and Bear rank this year. Being the great dad and former Scout that I am, I told him that I would work with him one-on-one to make sure he accomplish the tasks and adventures that were required to make his ranks. It’s nice to see that he has taken to Scouting like a fish to water. Oh yeah, and he also earned his first belt loop this month too!

Dylan’s First Camp-out

:: Tags: Dylan, Hiking & Camping, Outdoors, Scouting, Weekend Excursion

‘Dylan the Cub Scout – Let’s Go Camping!’ – Arlington, VA                                

I have to admit, ever since my son joined the ranks of Cub Scouting last month, I have been looking forward to getting back into the woods myself to help out on some of his camping trips There’s nothing better than pitching a tent in the middle of the woods and falling a sleep under the stars listening to the sounds of nature. However, it turns out that Dylan’s first camping trip with Pack 1229 would wind up being a little different than what we first expected… they call it “Cabin Camping”. Okay, so it didn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned, but the event was a lot of fun and seeing how we were in bear country (and there had been several sightings), it was probably a better idea to start the ‘first timer’ out in a cabin sleeping on a somewhat comfortable raised cot. Next trip will be tent camping for sure!!

‘The cabin Dylan & I slept in for his first camping trip’ – Prince William Forest, Prince William, VA
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Dylan joins the Cub Scouts

:: Tags: Dylan, Family, Scouting

‘Dylan testing out his very first Raingutter Regatta boat’ – Falls Church, VA

Thanks to a friend who Dylan meet in summer camp, we have officially become a Cub Scout family. I was a Boy Scout myself when I was younger, and even though I never made Eagle Scout, I did learn a lot from the program. Being a Scout brought me closer to nature and helped to make me a better outdoors-men and survivalist. I hope that Dylan will stay active in Scouting long enough for me to teach him the ways of the woods. I’ve already been asked by several of the Scout Leaders if I would be interested in helping out with the program. My reply was a simple..”We’ll see how things go”.

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