Archive for the ‘trips we’ve made’ Category

Collecting Trash on Earth Day in Washington, D.C.

April 27, 2009
Picking up trash on Earth Day (National Capital Building)

Earth Day - Collecting trash on the mall in front of the National Capitol Building.

For spring vacation, Booh and I made a road trip passing through seven different states, with a stop in Washington, D.C.  

Earth Day happened to fall during her school break this year and the “Environmental Team” at her school coordinated a litter pick-up project for students during the break. Kids that agreed to pick up a bag of trash on Earth Day received either a pine tree sapling to plant or an energy saving light bulb. Booh picked the pine tree and on Earth Day we found ourselves on the Washington Mall.

Picking up trash on Earth Day (Washington Monument)

Earth Day - Collecting trash on the mall with the Washington Monument in the background.

Here she is picking up trash with the Capitol Building and the Washington Monuments in the background. The day was blustery and cool in the morning, lending to a great visual background with the dark skies on one horizon and the sun breaking through on the other.  

I love the imagery and timing of these photos: Earth Day, cleaning up the Washington Mall, the dark skies, national icons on the horizon.  

This lends well to her desire to be an environmental activist.

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Learning to Surf at the Jersey Shore

December 5, 2008


This past summer Booh and I headed to the Jersey shore for a few days.  Her grandfather tried to teach her to body surf with a boogie board.  She was a bit hesitant at first but once she got out there she let him set her up to catch the next wave.  She giggled when the wave caught her board and started to carry her towards to shore … but then she wiped out and went head over heals, getting water up her nose and sand in her teeth.  When she came up and got her footing she marched out of the water, mad as a wet hen, leaving her boogie board behind and blowing water out of her nose.

She kept to the tidal pools after that.  They were warmer, no waves and shallow, all things safe.

Sparky the Fire Pup

November 25, 2006

For the second year in a row we went to Shelburne Falls’ Village’s Moonlight Madness town celebration. It’s held the Friday after Thanksgiving every year. A candle company is located in this town and every year they donate 1,500 votive candles for luminaries that line the sidewalks and streets. Musician’s play at various locations, and vendor’s line the Main Street. You can even catch a visit with Santa at the senior center, or Sparky the Fire Pup who wanders around town. Very festive and hometownish. Last year it was freezing and very snowy. This year it was in the 50’s and dry. That’s New England for you.

One of the many highlights of Shelburne Falls is the Bridge of Flowers which crosses the Deerfield River. We strolled across the bridge, all lit-up with luminaries and colored lights. Through the dark Booh could see the reflection of the bridge on the water, not realizing it was just that. She thought it was another bridge we could cross over to. When we pointed out the moon’s reflection on the water, we could see it all come together for her. It was neat to see the formation of what is “reality” become real for her, and at the same time sad to see her leave the illusion of what she was seeing as real.

Trolley Museum

Booh checks out the old trolley.

After dinner at McCusker ‘s we walked over to the Trolley Museum. Based in the old Boston & Maine freight yard, the Trolley Museum is a non-profit educational organization that has restored one of the original trolley’s, Trolley No. 10. The Bridge of Flowers is a former trolley bridge that connected Shelburne Falls with Colrain. It was used to transport passengers, apples, mail, milk and other freight.

After it’s heyday of carting back and forth, the trolley was retired and spent sixty-five years as a chicken coop. This bit of trivia seemed to interest Booh the most. And why wouldn’t it? How cool would it be to live in an old trolley? Lucky chickens, right?

She was also very interested in the model train set-ups in the museum. She could push a button and old Lionel trains would chug along tracks in sceneries made to scale. Oddly, an out of scale cow three times the size of the trains had been placed in one of the areas, and we pretended the train was in a scene from “Attack of the Killer Cow,” racing the train around and around the tracks while terrified pretend passengers let out screams every time it passed by the Bovine giganticus.

Walking back through town to our car we saw Sparky the Fire Pup again. Being a grown man dressed in a dalmation firedog outfit, I’m sure he found it difficult to maneuver through all the luminaries lining the street. This became evident when he kicked over one of the bags and it caught on fire. Sparky’s escort quickly stomped it out.

Smitten with Uncle Rock

March 1, 2006

Booh & Uncle Rock. Late winter, 2006.

How could she not be? He sang Yellow Submarine, her all time favorite song. He played the guitar, the one thing she wants from the Christmas Spider. He’s tall and thin, a common thread amongst all her crushes. And funny to boot!

She had been waiting for weeks to see Uncle Rock, who did a family performance at a local cafe on Saturday morning. With songs like “Rock & Roll Babysitter,” “Sugar Talkin’,” and “Gettin’ Big Blues,” his CD is her #1 request every time we get in the car. She even wore her black biker boots so she could stomp around like a rock & roll babysitter.

We met Uncle Rock (a.k.a. Robert Burke Warren ) sailing on the Hudson River aboard the Sloop Clearwater, a historical tall sailboat. We drove up to Kingston, NY, with our neighbor and her daughter and spent the day sailing on the river, learning about the ecology of the river while listening to live music, and then having lunch at Rosita’s Mexican Restaurant in the Roundout in Kingston. (They have the BEST homemade corn tortillas and mole sauce!) The sailboat is part of Clearwater, an environmental advocacy and education organization based out of Poughkeepsie, NY.

The wind was calm that day so we didn’t do much sailing, but I didn’t mind so much. I felt it was better for Booh’s first time on a sailboat (age 4) to have calm waters. She went down into the galley and I told her stories of when I use to work in the galley on the MV Greenpeace. She asked me if there were grocery stores out at sea and if they sold only fish and nori.

That day on the Sloop Clearwater she was given the very important task of tossing the buoy over the ships side, followed by a net to collect specimens for the kids to look at and learn about. Hogchokers (Trinectes maculatus) were one of the several marine species retrieved from the river. It’s a small flat fish that feels like a puppy’s tongue when you run you fingers over it. Farmers use to feed their hogs these fish, but they would occasionally get lodged in their throats due to the fishes morphology, choking the hog. Now when Booh chokes on something she’s eating, I’ll call it a Hogchoker, which only makes her laugh and choke again. (Sometimes I really question my mothering skills.)