Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Holiday Tour of the White House!

Sean, Will, Vassily, Piper, Ginny, Morgen and James at
Sean and Will's apartment 
An elegant brunch for Scott's B'day
Their living room and Scott
Sean, Will, Scott and James at Rose's Luxury restaurant
We had a lovely visit to Washington DC to visit our two younger sons, Sean and James and for Scott to attend Roots Camp - a 2 day political action conference. We stayed with Sean and Will at their lovely Capitol Hill apartment. James and Morgen live nearby and we saw them every day.
Sean surprised us with tickets to the Holiday Tour at the White House. It was amazing and so beautiful. We spent over an hour wandering around the first floor state rooms, all decorated for the holidays. It wasn't at all crowded and you could take as long as you wanted. A knowledgeable guide was in each of the rooms to explain the history and artwork. What a holiday present!
The tour entrance to the White House - beautifully decorated

As was the corridor leading to the State Rooms

The windows looked out on the garden all decorated with

The theme of this year was books - here a book tree

The Vermeil Room

The Library

The China Room

Wider view of the China Room

The State Receiving Room

The Harlem Globetrotters once gave a demo here!

A beautiful creche was in a niche

The Green Room

Scott and I in front of the giant Christmas Tree which
featured ornaments from every state and territory

The Red Room where First Ladies receive foreign digniteries

The State Dining Room

A close up of the tree

An even closer one of our state ornaments

The Tree itself

This year's gingerbread cake - it's the fireplace
and the White House on top!

A poignant portrait of John Kennedy

Christmas Carols rang throughout the rooms

They did a lovely job

The main entrance where we exited

A more distant view

Monday, November 04, 2013

Google and Great America

George, Scott and Zoe at Google Headquarters

Some of the iconic statues adorning the courtyard
 Palo Alto is a beautiful city and we feel lucky to have our daughter Zoe and her family live there. The weather was very nice (as it was in Tulsa) with mid 70's during the day and cool at night. George works at Google so we had the pleasure of visiting him there and having lunch. He chose the traditional Asian restaurant (they have over restaurants on campus - all free) and it was great. Outside in the garden we enjoyed statues of the icons of google world. This has become a tourist attraction.
Our grandsons, Nick (10) and Tommy (6) were in school this week. The Palo Alto school system is wonderful and they live only blocks from their school. But on the weekend they had a flurry of activities. We all went to a really fun Halloween Party at their Aunt Kyrie's, all in costume. Nick was Merlin and Tommy a Knight. George and Zoe came as Star Trek's Captain Kirk and Lt. Uhura. Scott and I weren't very prepared but managed funny hats to sort of look like Mrs. Santa Claus and Indiana Jones.
On Sunday we took the boys to Great America Amusement Park and we all had a great time, although it made me really appreciate how good the Disney Parks are.
Tommy carved his pumpkin in the park with his Cub Scout
 The boys favorite attraction by far was the foam pit! It reminded me of the corn box in Tulsa. Sometimes the low tech simple things allow the most creative fun.
As always it was very hard to say good-bye to both families. We sure wish our kids were closer to us, but they've chosen great places to live and flourish.
Nick rides behind me in a small roller coaster

Scott and Nick had a boat to themselves for two trips
over the Waterfall - Yahoo!

Hang on!

Tommy loved skippering the radio controlled boats

Nick and Grandpa on the Centrifuge

Slushies and Snoopy

But the big hit was the Foam Pit

They both had a fabulous time and got
totally soaked from head to toe

That's Nick rising from the foam for a breath

We had a lot of fun just watching them play, but we
weren't tempted to join them.

Afterwards they rinsed off in a water
attraction and then the full body dryer 

We finished off the day at Round Table Pizza. Luckily
there was a video game to play with while we waited.

Last post from Oklahoma!

We were busy every day in Tulsa. There is so much to do and with five grandchildren, lots of energy needed to do it. Ariella "Cookie" had her 9th birthday and we had a family celebration on the date. We also visited the Tulsa Children's Discovery Lab and the Gilcrease Museum - both excellent. This was the first year for Daniel, Ariella and Jonathan "Uzi" at the University School and we were impressed with the facilities and the amount and quality of work the kids did during our visit. They get tons of homework (well, maybe not Uzi). But a week was soon up and we were off to our next visit with Zoe, George, Nick and Tommy in Palo Alto!

That Maya, Heather, Daniel, Ariella, Jonathan, Scott and Shira

We visited the Tulsa Children's Discovery Lab 

First stop was to make things from recycled materials

Everyone dove right in and made a creative something

Heather took a brief rest on a bed of nails - ooch!

There was a big play structure and the exit was fast - that
is Ariella at the top, then Uzi, Maya, Daniel and Shira.

Ariella "Cookie" did some animation in
another area of the museum.

Another day we visited the Gilcrease Museum. This is a
fountain in the beautiful gardens.

This statue represents the warrior that sent an
arrow into the air on the death of the founder,
and himself of Indian heritage, Thomas Gilrease

Scott and I stopped by the October Fest, a big German
heritage Celebration on the river.

Scott making a Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake for Cookie's
Ninth Birthday

And here it is with the beautiful Birthday Girl

Maya models her new pj and bathrobe
combination from the Grandparents. We just missed her

And Cookie also models her new outfit
and looks very elegant.