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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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Burke Lake Park

:: Tags: Dylan, Family, Fun, Weekend Excursion

‘Dylan and yours truly waiting for the train ride to start’ – Burke Lake Park, Fairfax, VA

Part two of our crazy weekend ended up being an outing to Burke Lake Park with the Grandparents. Dylan, like most boys, has always had an obsession with trains, and it just so happens that one of the main features of this park is their miniature gas powered passenger train, which takes riders for a tour around Burke Lake. As you can see from the pictures, Dylan could not be satisfied with just one ride. The good news is that the waiting line to ride does get shorter the later it gets in the day.

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Downtown DC with Dylan

:: Tags: Dylan, Weekend Excursion

‘Dylan showing us where all the hidden dinosaurs are located’ – US Botanical Garden, Washington, DC

This past weekend Dylan asked if we could do the tourist thing and go downtown to one of his favorite places… the United States Botanical Garden which is located on the grounds of the US Capital in Washington, DC. It’s odd that this is one of my sons favorite places in DC… maybe it’s because they have dinosaurs mixed in with the plant life. Regardless of the reason, he truly enjoys exploring this beautiful exhibit and exploring the hidden spaces around the garden.

Being that we were already downtown, it made perfect since to extend our sightseeing adventure a bit by taking the short walk over to the National Museum of the American Indian just two blocks away. It’s one of my favorite museums in DC and the exhibits do a superb job of showing what Native American life was like both before and after the Europeans invaded. There are also exhibits that do great job of reminding visitors of how the original indigenous inhabitants of this great land were so badly treated over the years. My Great Grandmother was a full blooded native American Indian, so I get kind of emotional when I watch the videos and read some of the displays they have up on the top floor .

If you find yourself in Washington, DC and have some free time, I highly suggest checking out any of the wonderful museums the Nations Capital has to offer… they are all outstanding and well worth the price of admission! You can see more of my photos from this weekends excursion by clicking the view more link below. Enjoy!

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Go Ape Adventure

:: Tags: Dylan, Fun, General, Photo, Weekend Excursion

There is one thing about my wife that is a constant… she is always searching for and finding new and adventurous things for Dylan to try. This started out as a way to find engaging camps and activities to keep Dylan busy during the summers while he’s out of school. In many cases, Julie and I have found that jumping in and engaging with Dylan in these extra curricular outdoor activity is not only a great bonding experience, but it’s also just a whole lot of fun!

Dylan on the tree top ropes course at ‘Go Ape Adventures’ – Springfield, VA.

This weekend we ventured out to a tree top ropes course in Springfield, VA that Julie found called ‘Go Ape Adventure’. It was the first time Dylan had tried anything like and turns out he was a natural. He flew through the junior course in record time and was advanced to the intermediate course before our time slot ended. He says the next time he comes back, he wants to try the advanced course, which is all the way at the top!

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Halloween 2016

:: Tags: Awesome, Holiday's, Weekend Excursion


The Grim Reaper sporting a broken down hearse limo in a neighbors front yard – Arlington, VA.

Here is a mixed collection of photos from some of our Halloween outings and excursions for this year. I think the highlight of this year would have to be the Zombie Paintball Hayride event at Scream Land Farms…. it was not quite what I expected, but it was still a lot of fun! We hope you enjoy the photos.
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Boating at Wades Bay

:: Tags: Boating, Family, Photo, Weekend Excursion

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M/V ‘Our Pleasure’ anchored close to the shoreline” – Wades Bay, Nanjemoy, MD.

All summer we’ve been talking about making a run down river to an area where the water is a little cleaner and the ‘Hydrilla’ doesn’t grow as thick as it does in Belmont Bay. Our boating friends Charlie and Nichole made a day trip down river a couple of weeks ago and they said that Wades Bay was totally Hydrilla free and the deep water would allow for a near shore line anchorage. So this weekend we decided to make the hour long boat ride down river for some different scenery and shark tooth hunting at Wades Bay. We asked Mike and Melissa to join us for the day and they excepted making it an even more enjoyable outing. The water was a little bit on the cool side, but the weather held and it turned out to be a great day. Can’t wait to do it again next summer!
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NYC Meeting Trip

:: Tags: Family, Travel, Weekend Excursion

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“Enjoying Amtrak’s Business Class on the Northeastern line to New York City” – New York, NY.

For this years spring trip to New York City, Julie and I decided to take the train instead of flying. Just the lowered stress level alone of traveling by train rather than fighting lines in the airport made this trip so much nicer. I thing we will take the train from now on when traveling to New York. One sad note… Penn Station is still a shit hole! Why can’t the city officials get their act’s together and remodel or at least try to clean that place up?! Washington, DC did a fantastic job remodeling and modernizing Union Station!
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Dylan’s First Circus

:: Tags: Dylan, Event, Fun, Weekend Excursion

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“Dylan sporting his big red clown nose!” – Verizon Center, Washington, DC.

This weekend, Julie and I took Dylan, Uncle Mike and the Grandparents to the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Verizon Center. I haven’t been to a circus since I was a kid and Dylan has never been to one, so this little excursion was sure to be a hit! It seemed to me that there were a lot more acts and animals when I saw it as a kid. I remember there being monkeys, polar bears and even Russian Cossack’s performing stunts on horse back. Thank goodness they still had the elephants and the lion cage. All in all it was a great show and Dylan really enjoyed it!
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Dylan’s Day Out With Thomas

:: Tags: Dylan, Family, Photo, Weekend Excursion

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Dylan working the brakes on an antique locomotive – B & O Railroad Museum – Baltimore, MD

I’m not quite sure where Julie first heard about this… maybe it was a neighbor or one of the other parents at school, but our family adventure to Baltimore would turn out to be a fun filled day for the Vanderbilt’s! If you know Dylan at all, then you know he has a huge obsession with Thomas The Train and trains in general. He wants to ride them, drive them, crash them and if possible dismantle them. Here are some photos from our adventure with ‘Thomas the Train’ at the B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.
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Dylan At The Kids Park

:: Tags: Dylan, Photo, Weekend Excursion

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Dylan at the wheel of the kids pretend school bus rides – McLean, VA.

With all the nice weather we’ve been having lately, Julie decided to take Dylan out to one of the popular kids park over in McLean. It’s the kind of place that is just packed with kids whenever the temperature goes above 60 degrees. Dylan had a blast and here are some photos from his adventure.
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