Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorites...This Time From Our Winter Break

This week has looked so different across the country: some schools had a long weekend for President's Day while others have had a week-long break.  For us, Winter Recess has been a week of family fun and good times.  The kind of times that, as I sit and reflect on the days we've just spent reconnecting, will make great memories for my husband, my son and myself.  I am truly thankful.  Of course...our time away has kept me a bit removed form Middle School Matters Blog this week.  As I settle back in and begin finishing a couple of new projects that I have started and am hoping to share next week, I'm hoping you don't mind if my Friday Favorites this week are more personal than professional in nature.  These finds may not be directly classroom connected...but there was a lot of learning that happened this week!  Here are some of my family's favorites:

1.  Those of us in Upstate New York remember the snowfall we had a couple of weeks ago, but the New England States really got dumped on by Nemo!  We went to Mystic, Connecticut to visit the aquarium there, but along our road trip we made a couple of stops.  One of our favorite places to eat is a little place called Sylvester's in Northampton, Massachusetts.  We could not get over the snow that was still there and our little guy had never seen such mountains of snow!  Keep in mind that time had passed since the storm AND it had rained the night before...that's a lot of snow, friends!

2. Another stop that we made was at our favorite shop - Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. If you are ever in the area, you need to go!  It's way more than candles.  Santa's Workshop, a Bavarian Black Forest (inside - decorated with lights and snow.  Amazing!), a castle, entertainment for kids (We saw a performance of The Little Mermaid that was interactive with the audience and really well done.) are just some of the things you'll find.  My husband's favorite though, surprising as it was, was actually one of the candle displays.  The Man Cave included Buttered Popcorn and Bacon...mmmmm, bacon...scented candles.  Crazy!

3. Once we made it to Mystic, the aquarium was our first stop.  We love it there, and again, if you happen to find yourself in the area it is one of many great things to do.  Mystic is full of maritime history and great food...including Mystic Pizza, for any Julia Roberts fans. ;-)  The best part for us this time, though, was Mystic Aquarium.  We had taken our son with us a couple of years ago, but he was too little to remember, so this was like new to him.  Randy and I have been many times, and still saw new things.  It was Weird Science Week, so there were many things to observe and do.  We were able to pet stingrays, saw a 4D movie, toured the Titanic (A. Ma. Zing.  Seriously.), watched a great sea lion show, and spent time at each of the beautiful exhibits.  Here are some of our favorite sights:
 Sea Turtles - Little Man wanted to bring one home, but we settled on a stuffed animal version.

 A Touch Tank with baby stingrays and starfish.  He wanted no part of it...until we went the big tank that had adult stingrays.  We all were so busy interacting with them that we didn't get any pictures. Lol

Titanic Exhibit - Iceburg

I really wanted him to reach his arms out and cry, "I'm king of the world!" but he didn't quite get it.  Generation gap...some day he'll see the movie and meet Rose and Jack.

Learning the difference between seals and sea lions - it's all in the flipper!

Sea Lion Show

My FAVORITE picture - up close and personal with a beluga whale!  It swam back and forth and played with us for a while.  So cool!

I'm including links to the favorite places we visited this week.  If you are ever planning a trip to this part of the country, I hope you consider creating some great memories in these great places, too!  

Have you ever been to these places and have favorites moments of your own?  Please consider sharing below. I would love to read about it!  Here's to taking time to make memories...may they get us through to the next opportunity! ;-)

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