Tuesday, August 14, 2012

First Day Of Third Grade

School has begun!  We were excited because G got a great teacher, and he was excited because he wasn't allowed to wear his new shoes until the first day of school.  Here are some photos of the big day:

Looking cool for the first day

The parade up the driveway - and a backpack with great reflectivity!

Check out those sweet kicks.

The goodbyes

G and his new bus driver, Ms. Suzy

G and his new teacher

We have the tradition of going out to breakfast on the first day of school at Douceur de France.  We both had omelettes, and as usual, breakfast was delicious.

After a terrific First Day breakfast

G had a great day at school.  He was recognized twice for good behavior, and he didn't have any homework.  Today he said that his table is in the lead with points for good behavior.  We hope this is an indication of the year ahead, because we are looking forward to a wonderful year in third grade!

A Last Minute Get-Away

We have lots of traditions in our family, but one of our newer ones is the last-minute weekend trip before school starts.  The past couple of years, we've gone to Savannah, but this year, we chose Callaway Gardens.  We had stopped at the Country Store there once after a long day of hiking, but we didn't really know what this Gardens place is.  We are so glad that we gave it a try, because we had the best time there.  We hiked, biked, swam, and did all kinds of things.  Bun, Papa, and Wowo joined us for the day on Saturday, but we stayed until Sunday afternoon.

Our first stop was the butterfly house.  There were displays of cocoons that you can watch as they hatch, and many butterflies inside the small but beautiful conservatory.

Posing for the camera

A "flutter-by"

Brothers in the garden

The beautiful grounds outside the butterfly house

Next, we went to the beach.  We went on Aqua Island, which is an inflatable obstacle course in the lake, for several hours.  We were exhausted and some of us were sunburnt, but we laughed so hard and had so much fun.

Wowo and Bun helped G to build this jacuzzi for himself.

Ollie playing with my sunglasses in our little pop-up tent

We all went to dinner at a charming place called Bon Vivant Cafe, and then we took G back to the hotel so he could swim for a while before bed.

The next morning, Ollie and I went for a hike along the bike path into the Gardens - his first time in the carrier! - while M and G went to the hotel pool.

Me and Ols in the bird watching area outside our room

He had the same reaction to the baby carrier as G used to.

He touched the bottom in the deep end 101 times in a row!

G lovingly playing with his brother before we headed out for more adventures

Outside our room

We checked out of the hotel and headed over to the Gardens for another fun day before we drove home to get ready for school.  The first thing on our agenda was renting bikes for me and G.  We rode across the Gardens and met Matty and Ollie at Rockin' Robin's pizza shop.  We had some pizza and chocolate shakes while we watched the Olympic gold medal men's water polo match.

Much of the bike trail is beautifully wooded.

I tried to convince G that we were in the reflection because the writing in the mirror is the right way, but he wasn't buying it.
The little bike rider as we rounded Robin Lake

The next event was the Treetop Adventure, which is a ropes course.  After an initial lesson and test by the instructor, M and G were turned loose upon the course.  They had to learn how to hook up their carabiners in a very specific way, how to hook up and ride their zip line trolley, how to brake, and where to stash their gloves.  We were amazed at how quickly G became proficient.

G learning how to zip line

The guys loaded up with their equipment

While Ollie and I were waiting, we saw this tour group walking a vulture.  Yes, you can even walk a vulture at Callaway Gardens!

I had to really zoom in to get a photo!

An employee named Jessica handed Ollie one of her carabiners to play with and was making him laugh.  He just started wrinkling his nose on Saturday, and it's so cute!

After a great course experience

The last thing we did was head to the beach to see if G's jacuzzi was still there (it wasn't).  While we were there, we took the opportunity to play a good game of giant checkers.  When we got close to the end of the game, we decided to call it over and head home.

We used our hands and our feet to move the pieces.

We packed a lot into those 29 hours, but we didn't feel rushed at all, and we truly enjoyed ourselves.  It was the perfect way to wind up the summer, and we can't wait to visit again.