Saturday, March 28, 2015

They have a thing!

With Ellie, it's Temples.
With me, it's National Parks.
With Tate, it's slated to be ballparks.

Jim and Aeryn didn't have a "thing" that they visit together, but now they do: State Capitols. {Yes, this will take a while.}

We've been on spring break this week, and it came not a moment too soon. I can't speak for the rest of my family, but I was completely on empty and not sure I would survive until the end of the school year. One class in particular is so trying that for the first time since I started teaching I've seriously thought of changing careers. Instead, I have done absolutely nothing productive for the last seven days. Well, I mean I've done more laundry than one human soul ought to, cooked, ushered kids to the dentist, taken another licensure exam, swept the floor about a million times a day, baked a bunch more than normal, and even {gasp!} exercised a couple times - but nothing productive FOR WORK. It's been glorious.

Since Jim still has to work in the lab during spring break, we didn't really do anything as a family until Friday. We headed up to Salem so Jim and Aeryn could check off the first of their many adventures. Aeryn was her typical 12 year old resistant self, protesting and complaining until after we were about halfway there. Once we made it to Salem she was talking nonstop about how awesome her 4th grade field trip up there had been, and it was clear the grumps had gone away and she was very, very happy to be going. Thankfully. Perhaps one day we will get to where her initial reaction to ideas is less... middle-schoolish.

The park outside the Capitol was darling. It has a nice mix of spring flowering trees, meticulous shrubs, and modern art. I get a kick out of things like that.

Tate was eating his blanket and playing with wheels, as is normal.

The magnolias are in bloom and I love to stand beneath the trees while the petals rain down on me. The blooms don't last long, but they are so very beautiful that if I end up living somewhere they grow I will make sure to give them a prominent place in my yard. They just make me so very happy. Oregon has spoiled me. Even though we have a full year left here, I am already dreading living somewhere else. Oh, I know I can and will be happy anywhere, but the vegetation and rain are so delightful to me and so very refreshing. I used to wonder if I could live somewhere without a mountain view. Now I wonder if I can live anywhere that isn't lush and green.

The Capitol was much more symbolic and sentimental than I expected. I haven't made a habit out of visiting Capitol buildings and it's been years since I've been to one, so it was really a surprise. The marble is so very pretty. 

The building is very large and majestic. I thought the top looked rather weird but didn't think anything of it until I read the Wikipedia description that states many residents criticized the design because the top looks like a paint can. Now that is all I see when I look at it.

There are so many Liberty Bell replicas out there that I wonder if the real thing would seem impressive. Outside of trusting a sign I don't think I'd be able to tell them apart.

Tate was happy as a clam. He just loves to be outside and is fascinated by anything new. Lucky kid.

This is what we call a highly effective photo bomb - it completely hijacked the focus point and everything. That's what happens when I hold the camera at arms length and try to take a picture when I can't see anything.

Afterward we walked around the riverfront and ended the jaunt with ice cream sundaes. That's my idea of a perfect ending to a great day.

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