Overnight at the USS Intrepid


Last year, our Cub Scout Pack slept overnight at the Mystic Aquarium, and this year, our Pack stayed aboard the USS Intrepid Aircraft Carrier.  The ship, now docked on the Hudson River in NYC, is the focus of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.

Before the USS Intrepid retired, the ship had a colorful history.  It was first launched in 1943 during World War II and survived five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike.  The ship later served during the Cold War and the Vietnam War, and then served as a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s.  Movies in the museum explained that at one time, there were over 3,000 men living aboard the ship.  For months on end, they slept on cots piled up in rows.  Today, new ships use nuclear fusion to move, but this one used diesel; my husband said you could still smell it, even after it's been decommissioned since 1973 (over 40 years ago)!  I can't imagine how they survived being squished together and forced to constantly breathe in the diesel fumes and exhaust.

I didn't get an opportunity to go on this excursion with Lewie, but I soon learned that most moms didn't go.  For example, out of our small Bear den, only three father-son teams went.  Big Lew and Little Lewie (us); Big Tim and Little Timmy; and Big Chris and Little Chris.  (As you can tell, all the boys are named after their fathers.)  About 20 family teams from our Pack went in all.

Both Lew and Little Lewie thought sleeping on the "USS Intrepid" was an "interesting" experience.  Parts they enjoyed were the 4D movies or simulation experiences.  They went on "Stories of Intrepid," the "G-Force Encounter," and the "Transporter FX" (a drone flying experience).  They also had a chance to see many different types of planes, a submarine known as Growler, and the space shuttle Enterprise.  They had the museum all to themselves and toured everything from 6 until 11 p.m. at night.  Then, they unrolled their sleeping bags and slept on cots until 6 in the morning.  (They were forced to vacate at 8 a.m.)

The Space Shuttle, Enterprise

Little Lewie and Little Chris pretend flying an aircraft.
Sleeping on cots, much like the sailors had to do years ago...
I'm disappointed that I didn't go on this trip, but at the same time, I did get some much needed R&R.  While the boys were running around going on drone simulators and pretending to fly supersonic jet planes, I was walking with my friend Tracy and shopping leisurely at my favorite organic market.  The next day, I even had a chance to do a full day of shopping at Olde Mistick Village with my mom.  It was a nice weekend!

And the School Rush Begins...


Okay, in all fairness, school started three weeks ago.  I guess I should have developed a routine by now, but instead, I feel like the rush is on--the rush to do homework, the rush to plan and drive to various activities (like swimming, Cub Scouts, and roller skating), and the rush to "schedule" family time in between it all.  (Did you notice that I didn't mention house work?  Who has time for that?)

I know what you're thinking..."but you only have One."  You're absolutely correct.  I honor, no revere, anyone that has more than one child.  I can't even imagine handling all of Lewie's activities times two (or three or four).  I even bow to those moms that have children involved in sports like football and baseball.  I would never be able to handle a vigorous schedule of practice and games--either my mom and husband would have to help cart Lewie everywhere (because I don't come home early on most nights), or I would need to quit my job.  Simply put, there is just not enough hours in the day for everything, and weekends seem to go by with the snap of a finger.  (Of course, it doesn't help when you're expected to work on one of those weekend days, which does happen from time to time.)

So in this three week blur, here are a few pictures to remind me what happened...

Big Lew and I went out for a seafood dinner at Guilford Mooring.  (This is when we learned that they
have a friendly skunk that likes to roam around the dock looking for food scraps.) 

We had a Pack 2010 Car Wash Fundraiser, made a "pizza garden," organized a carnival (Bear Requirement),
and volunteered to sell popcorn at our church fair.

We closed our pool, ending our second season with it.

We went for a hike at White Memorial Conservation Center.

We treated Big Lew to a birthday lunch.  (It ended abruptly after Little Lewie got sick
and threw up at the restaurant in front of all the patrons.)

Hubby got to make a birthday wish.

Lew welcomed his 47th year with a family party.
Now it's Tuesday (three weeks later), and we're back to our routine of school, swimming, and Cub Scouts.  This weekend, Lewie will get to "camp" overnight aboard the Intrepid (the sea, air, and space museum complex in New York City) with Daddy and the Cub Scouts while I enjoy some quality "shopping time" with my mom.  September is going by fast.  I'm so thankful for blogging, so I can capture the highlights before they all turn into one big blur.

First Week of School Traditions (Third Grade)


Little Lewie officially started third grade last Monday.  There was some sighing and whimpering as this kid got out of bed, but no tears.  I reminded him that he needed to give his new teacher a chance. Miracles do happen.  Maybe he would love third grade.

I was a little out of practice with the morning routine, so Lewie almost missed the bus!  For some reason, I thought the time went by slower in the mornings--my bad!  I had exactly three minutes for pictures before the bus showed up at our driveway.  It didn't give us the chance for long, tearful goodbyes, which definitely was a good thing.

He grabbed his backpack and jacket and to the bus he went.  Once he found a seat, he even waved back to my mom and me with a big smile.  "Good," I thought.  "Now I can finish getting ready for work."

Since I had a long day of work ahead--almost a 12 hour day--I called my mom around 4ish to find out about Lewie's first day.  She put him on the phone, and he told me "it was the best day ever."  He wanted to keep me in suspense until I came home, but my mom told me a few things she learned when she picked him up..."Lewie said his teacher at school was having trouble with the computer, so he helped her.  He also said his teacher was really nice and was not going to assign too much homework."   Yes, all it takes for Lewie to have a good day is to demonstrate his computer knowledge and to not get much homework; his new teacher knew exactly the way to his heart.

At the end of the week, on Friday, I promised Lewie I would take him out at noon, so that he, Daddy, and I could spend one last summer day together.  Starting as early as three (2011), our family made it a tradition to go to Lake Quassy Amusement Park on the last Friday of the season--the Friday before Labor Day.  Since most kids are in school, we get easy access to all the rides and arcade games without having to wait in lines.  This Friday was a little cooler (68 degrees and windy), but we still enjoyed the day.  It was what Lewie needed to congratulate him on being so positive about school, and it was what I needed to congratulate me on being positive about work.  I needed this special day with my son, especially when I know that work takes me away from him at least two to three nights per week.

We started our day at Quassy the same way we always do...with the train ride.  Then, Lewie ventured to his favorite ride--the Pirate Ship.  Daddy and I went on it three times with him.  Then, thankfully, he made a friend who was willing to go on it an additional four times.

Then we went on the Quassy Queen (our usual boat ride) followed by the Carousel, a few more spinning rides, and the bumper cars.

Who wouldn't enjoy playing with a life-size version of PacMan?

Our day at Quassy ended the usual way too...with an ice-cream treat.  (It's never too cold for ice-cream!)  It was definitely the way we needed to spend our day to get us pumped for the new school year.  School is important but so is family time.  Every once in a while, we need to make time for activities like this, so we can enjoy the time, the age, and the memories without feeling rushed.

Lewie has a half day scheduled at school on September 27th.  You know I'm taking that day off to be with him!  Let the planning begin!