Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sandwich, MA. Glass Museum.

We decided to stop at the Sandwich Glass Museum. It looked like it would be an interesting stop, and it was on our way home.
We were really wanting to see glass being blown. We arrived just as a presentation was in progress, and although it was pretty neat, they just pressed glass.

 One day, somewhere, we will witness glass blowing. Mark my words!
Anyway, they had a neat scavenger hunt for the kids to find certain pieces of glass. There were a lot they had to look for!
 And they were really into it.
There were neat robotic and hologram type recreations of the history of the people, and glass factories in this area.

There was a really cool film about the history of the time in America when this glass was being produced in this region of Massachusetts. During parts of the film, these human sized animated folks would come out an give you their personal stories. It was really well done. I really did not take many photos of this place. I just plain forgot. I was really interested in walking around and looking at all the neat collections.
The kids really enjoyed this museum as well. I was surprised at how long they lasted and wanted to stay. Best part was this place was super affordable. Honestly, they could have charged more and I would have said it was totally worth it.
 One of the most mind blowing part for all of us, was the Josh Simpson gallery. It is amazing what this artist could do with glass.
His pieces looked other worldly.

And from different angles it appeared that you were snorkeling, or at the very least, gazing into a crystal clear pool, seeing creatures and pure beauty suspended in the different layers.

It was awesome.
At the end, the kids went to the front desk to tell them that they had mostly finished the scavenger hunt. There were a few items we just couldn't find.
As for their "prize" for participating, each kid got a little bag with three glass marbles.
They were thrilled. And really it was too much for Kaya, because that is what he was eyeing up a the gift store. I wish I had on camera how big his eyes opened wen she handed them to him.
If you are ever in the area, this is a really great way to spend an hour or more. Who knew that glass was so cool?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Humpback Whale Necropsy, Cape Cod Part 3

We knew we definitely wanted to see the whale one last time, and the thought of seeing some internal parts were rather intriguing as well. These were our final hours on the Cape, so we had to use them wisely. We awoke early, and headed out. We arrived on the scene.

 and for a while the wind was at our back, and things smelled okayish. We were a distance away, but we saw them cutting large chunks off,

 and the opening revealed large sections of organs. They had dug a huge pit in which they were burying the soft tissues of the carcass as they processed them.

Marlin and I decided to walk over to that side to see how much stuff was in the pit. That was a huge mistake.

Can we talk about the most horrendous, gut wrenching smell I have ever inhaled? I could not catch my breath, and was dry heaving my way out of there.
So we went back to the original spot we were at, whilst gladly thanking the universe for not puking my guts out on the beach in front of many. We saw a trailer in which they were putting neat artifacts in, which they intended to keep. Like this:

The tailbone.
 We observed a little while more.
Until the wind changed directions, and it became just too much to handle.

We decided to head back the the Monomoy Wildlife Refuge. I remembered they had lots of whale bones that the kids could put their hands on.
They really had no interest in the bones when we last visited.

But that morning Ev spotted them right away, and spent a long time handling them and asking a lot of questions.

That kind of interest piqued learning makes my Mama heart beat a little faster, you know. We decided to poke around in there just a little more.
And then take a final walk down to the beach for a last look before heading back to camp to pack up.
It was a unique way to wrap up our trip to the ocean to look for some marine creatures.
 Even though we never spotted a shark, we truly were served up more than we bargained for. This was an outstanding trip on so many levels. I really would love to do it again, next year.
Maybe a new tradition?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cape Cod Part 2

We knew that we were going to meet up with the Heart Rockin' Family on our trip out here.  We had talked about doing a seal tour on a boat to get out in open water and near the prey of the Great White. It would be cool to see cute seals up close doing their thing in the water, even if no sharks were spotted.
 However, the seal tours were pricey and we would be stuck on a boat for an hour and half with a pack of wild hooligans. Then I came across this boat that brings you out to a beach called South beach, leaves you there for 4 hours, and then retrieves you.
I spoke to Jean, and this was the very spot that had been shut down for swimming due to the high volume of shark sightings.
 And so between the three awesome families, it was decided that this is what we would do.
Really, it could not have been a more clever plan. This place was spectacular!
We started out our adventure with a fast boat ride to our destination.

After the boat dropped us off, we knew pretty quickly that this place was special.

Even though there were a few others on this island, mostly hi- tech bird watchers, it felt exclusively ours.
We walked from the bayside over to the ocean side to set up our spot.

The kids raced to the edge of the sea to play in the waves.

 We had to be watchful because this was real ocean! Big waves, nasty undertow, and um, Sharks. So we kind of cajoled them to do other activities. Actually, it was Evren who was destined to be shark bait, he kept venturing further and further......
Anyway, Kaya kept a good look out for any sharkly activity.

Even though we were not able to see any sharks, we saw loads of seals swimming so close to shore. Some alone, and some in groups.

 This was the best shot I could get on my phone, but Jean has some goodies over here. The kids would run and follow them down the coast.  Every now and then the seals would stop and stare at them with big eyes. The kids would of course be delighted and squeal. It was so neat to just seal watch and wander the beach. This was a much better venture than the seal cruise.
After a while the wind got to us, and we decided to head over to the calmer bayside for a little change of scenery and climate. It was amazing timing actually. At first we thought we found this cool little tidal pool in a channel to play in.

We quickly realized that the tide was coming in, and it was coming in fast. It was wild to witness the changing of the tide first hand. I did not realize how rapidly the volumes change. The kids were awed as well!

I don't how it all started, but the events that occurred during this time were just wonderful. Everyone rallied to try and stop the tide. Everyone was so into it, working together. Parents, kids, tiny ones, united to stem the flow.

 A pretty good dam was created with sand and loads of seaweed which had a huge impact. They did stop it for some time. There were many breaches, but those kids were on it. They quickly figured out best techniques, and materials, and they never lost interest or gave up.

 One dam failed, but they quickly reorganized to build a second which lasted a long time! Unfortunately our 4 hour time slot slipped away rather quickly, and it was time to leave our special spot.
If you ever go to the Cape near the Chatham area,

 this is quite a spot.
After we arrived back at the docks, I overheard two boaters talking about a whale that had washed ashore. I was all, Wait, what?
I marched my homeschoolin' mama butt right over there, and politely intruded into their conversation. I gleaned as much info as I could, and quickly spread the info to the others as well. Everyone was on board, and we high tailed it to Chatham's lighthouse beach to see for ourselves.
Apparently, this whale has been dead for a while, and they pulled it ashore.

It was 28 feet long. And although his death was sad and tragic. It really was an awesome opportunity to see it.

While we were there Jean and I spoke whale to each other like Dory in Nemo, and laughed our butts off. It was fun, and that's why Jean and I love each other so much, because when it comes down to it, we are just big dummies. And it's fun to be with people who are not embarrassed with us when we start pulling this kind of crap.
 While we were there, and not making fools of ourselves, we learned that they were going to perform a necropsy on this whale.
Um, cutting it open, so we can see parts? We were definately coming back in the morning.
So, we decided that this day must not end yet. We took a scenic ride to Hyannis to go to an arcade place. This is where we said good bye to the Dorsey's. It was an amazing day, one of the best.
Our camping buddies and us went out for Thai, which was so good, and then out for an ice cream to end our adventure on a sweet note.

This was quite a big, fun, magical day. And the best part of all is that we spent it with people who we truly enjoy spending hours with.
A day in which everything was right in the world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cape Cod part 1 1/2

Our friends came, and we got to hanging out and enjoying the place together. We had such an amazing time. The kids had a ball together, and I could not have picked better folks to just thoroughly enjoy a place with.
 They rocked.
I kinda guess we rocked too...
 So we headed back to the first beach at Chatham Piers. That beach out of the two that we visited had many more rocks that the kids could overturn.
 We were not disappointed. We were so excited to have found a very tiny lobster.

It was really cute!
And of course there were lots of crabs. This time we played it safe and handled the littler ones.

On our way back to the cars, we noticed a fishing boat loading up. These guys were out to catch Tuna. It took them 18 -22 hours to get to their destination. They were allowed to catch 4 blue tunas that usually weighed between 600-800 pounds.

 Then we went out for dinner,
and straight home to bed.
We needed to rest up, little did we know what great adventure was in store for the next day...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cape Cod Pt.1

What do you, when you want to camp one last time for the season, and one of your children are so passionate about sharks, AND Great White sharks have been spotted repeatedly on the East Coast mere hours North of you?
You pack your crap up, and road trip to camp on Cape Cod!
This was probably one of the best short get aways we have taken.

We spent it with great people, and some great things just sort of happened.
 The first afternoon we arrived, it was just us. Our friends were not coming until the next day.
So we set up our little home away from home, and set out to explore.
Everyone wanted food and a beach.
We found both down at the Chatham fishing pier. It had an awesome beach for the kids, and some damn fine fried sea food as well.
 And let me tell you about the crabs on this beach!

They were the largest crabs we have ever caught!

They tried to pinch us, but we had on our ninja hands!

We saw a lot of seals swimming in the harbor, and were able to hear them moaning like ghosts out in the water. We stayed until dark, and then headed back to use the jenga blocks the way we like to.

We had a nice sleep, and were up with the sun to check out another location. We headed over to Monomoy national wildlife refuge. It had a pretty cool little Cape Cod nature museum. and then a serene walk down to this awesome beach. No seals this time, but loads of tidal pools,

 and horse shoe crab molts, and big hermit crabs! We were so excited to bring our friends back here when they arrived.

Kaya was using eagle eyes all weekend trying to spot the fins of the elusive Great White in which we had come in search of. All the kids have claimed to see fins on this trip...

 But this time it turned out to be a diving Cormorant for sure. We had a blast and spent a few hours just beach combing. We headed back for lunch and to met up with our friends, and help them set up their tent.

Ev just wanted to spend some time poking a rotting log with a knife.

You know, joy is in the little things sometimes!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunflower maze

with friends!

After the maze, we bought some yummy snacks, and headed to a nearby park. The Mamas found us a shady bench and talked and talked. Those wily boys played hard and long in the hot sun. Marlin was having a sleepover. It was fun just being with the boy energy. It burns as bright as those flowers!