Friday, July 22, 2016


Camp Jess has sadly concluded.  Much fun (and driving) was had by all.

We left the folks on the road at Punta Gorda on Saturday and headed on to Tampa for a glimpse of the stadium and training facility.  Daron was cheesing the whole time.  We happened on a Sports Authority going out of business (as most do) and picked up some cheap Bucs gear.  We also witnessed the world record for most basketballs ever purchased at one time.

From Tampa we headed for Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which was far from a disappointment.  Thanks to an insider tip, we started our morning on Sunday at Olivander's and Trevor got picked for the wand experience.  (Felix Felicis?) We all got wands and me being torn between Luna and Snape came away with two, thanks to my brothers being adorable.  With Silas wielding it, Luna's wand looks a little like a post Battle of Hogwarts replica, but I think its worth it to hear him shouting out spells.  He is particularly good at Expelliarmus and Stupify as well as some overlooked in the books: "Flappy-arms" and "Sticky-tongue".  Diagon Alley was the best.  We dined at the Three Broomsticks, rode the train to Hogsmede, and escaped from Gringotts.  The whole place was a well-oiled machine.  (Confession: I don't love Butterbeer.)

The only other part of the park that was really noteworthy was Seussville.  It kept us busy while Daron and the brothers got to ride some roller coasters.  Silas loved riding in the fish and on the carousel (4 times) and even Cat in the Hat, though I don't think I've ever read it to him.  He also rode a pteranadon ride in the Jurassic Park Area that was terrifyingly high and swingy. He was unphased.

Our stamina did not last till close, and we found ourselves in the hotel lazy river and eating pizza in bed where I fell asleep before Silas.  Monday was our drive home punctuated by some quaint dining stops featuring local fare where Silas was able to try something called a Happy Meal.

We returned our rental car to Justin and Julianna on Tuesday and they took us out on the lake where both boys enjoyed a PR water skiing.   The rest of the week was spent playing Canasta, Candy Land, watching the "funny parts" of The Case of the Rising Tide, and visiting places that can be enjoyed by both 2-year-olds and teenage boys.  We also did another Escape Room due to my addiction.  It was fun and my pals got to join, but as far as puzzles and overall fluidity, it was not my favorite.  I'm probably just bitter because I contributed nothing.

Then it was the end and I was driving my brothers to the airport for their mysterious flight that had somehow changed time and location from what we all swear we purchased.  They are off to our competitor, Camp Conn.  I hear its a bit dodgy, but no one wants snobs for brothers, so its best to keep them grounded.

And now some end-of-camp final bonfire awards...
The award for Most Enthusiastic Crafter goes to...Trevor Roebke.  This award is near and dear to my heart.  I can't say if it was in earnest or a wise ploy, but requesting to go to Hobby Lobby is about the best tactic to bring happy tears to the eyes of this sister.  Alternative awards could be... Escape Room MVP, Best Tickle Barterer, or Spell Master Extraordinaire.

The award for Coolest Coconut Cracker goes to ...Trenton Roebke.  Through hard work and dedication he was able to let us all experience the disgustingness that is coconut water.  He also takes the awards for fitting into the tightest accommodations without complaining,  Poptart Aficionado, and "Hold the Lettuce!"

It's a dead tie for Camper of the Year.  Love you both!  Thanks for visiting me!  Registration starts early for Camp Jess 2017!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

North Captiva Island

We spent last week as an upper class family living the beach life on North Captiva Island.  

I spent most of the days following these strict guidelines:
1. Eat a large breakfast plated for you directly upon exiting bed.
2. Play at the beach: hunt shells, monitor sand castle construction, watch various family members be buried...
3. Cool off in the house pool: judge pool related contests, drink Italian soda, watch Silas jump and swim like a fish...
4. Choose from the following: Napping, Exploring the island, Watching Harry Potter, listening to Silas yell "I'm a bandit!" on repeat.
5. Eat some form of delicious meat dinner (minus the last day where we creatively made a meal out of mostly carrots)
6. Enjoy sunset on the beach.
7. Win at cards.

Also thrown in there were a day of ocean boating and manatee watching, kayaking with Dad, a dockside dinner, filming the third of the Mr. Lewis and Dr. Oliver trilogy, garden stone making, a family photo shoot, and an hour period where we thought we might be lost in the island jungle forever.  Now for your viewing pleasure.....The Case of the Rising Tide.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer Theme Weeks

Summer Theme Weeks

Rainbow Week

Neighborhood Jobs Week

Bug Week

Garden Week

Ocean Week

Now off for a real ocean week!