Sunday, April 30, 2017

One Clean Closet

Doug has been working on cleaning out the garage and figuring out where to put the items that we have left.  We ordered a new rack that hangs from the ceiling that Doug was able to install yesterday. Today we decided what we wanted to store up there and now should be able to get rid of the large shelving unit.

Doug wrapped up his garage project in the early afternoon and said that he had time to help me clean out our bedroom closet.  As I was still not feeling the best, I took him up on his offer.  I knew it would take some time, which was why I hadn't started it earlier.  Five hours later we had sorted through all of the clothes, bags and miscellaneous boxes we had stored in there.  Doug even had time to hang a new shelf for me, so now I have room for all of the laundry baskets.  It looked fantastic in the end.  Now all we have left to do is have a garage sale and get rid of the boxes we have collected over the past few months.  Then our winter cleaning project will be complete.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Day of Rest

Normally, Sunday was supposed to be the day of rest, but for me, I tried to use today for it instead.  I still kept busy for a good part of it, however, getting my plans ready for the week.  In all it took me over six hours between last night and this afternoon to get everything planned, copied and ready for Monday.  Luckily, Meg wanted to drive today, so she was able to take me over to Milford.  I was too tired to make the trip alone.  The best part was that I would not have to do anything for school tomorrow.

I spent the rest of the afternoon resting.  Meg and Cam really wanted to go out to dinner and I knew that I wouldn't be able to without lying down for a couple of hours.  I found a movie on Netflix that I had never seen - "Becoming Jane."  It was about the story of Jane Austen before she became an author.  It wasn't completely accurate, but enough so that it kept me entertained and was a great way to rest.

Cam had to serve at mass tonight and Doug was a lector.  Meg and Doug got a kick out of Cam.  He wasn't paying attention while Father Andrew was anointed the parish with holy water and forgot to follow him along.  All of a sudden he sprinted to catch up.  They were sure that he was going to face plant, but luckily no holy water was spilled in the process.

I got up about ten minutes before they got home to switch the laundry and get to ready to go out with everyone.  I was still pretty tired, but hated to spend the entire day inside when they wanted to go out Meg and Cam picked the Indian restaurant in Goshen for dinner.  Meg loved the chicken curry and Cam enjoyed the butter chicken.  We are impressed with all of the foods that those two have tried over the past few years.  Definitely cannot call them picky anymore.

After dinner we tried The Chief for ice cream, but it was packed.  We were surprised as it was cold and rainy.  We decided to return home and have Doug make cookies.  They were delicious as always.  We had time to play Qwix, our new favorite math game, with Cameron, and Mario Kart with both of them.  It was a lot of fun and I was glad that I had the energy to participate in all of the activities.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Good Friends, Good Times

Cam had wanted to reconnect with his Milford friends for the last couple of weeks, and as we had nothing going on tonight we thought it would be the perfect time.  Unfortunately, Evan was on a retreat, but Chance and Cade were up for coming over and the boys had a great time.  They played games, ate pizza, got scared by Meg, Preston, Aaron and Graham playing Ghost in the Graveyard and spent time catching up.  It was just as it always has been.  I'm glad that Cam has kept those connections alive.

Meg enjoyed her evening as well.  Her friends arrived later than Cam's, but they were still able to walk to Dairy Queen, play Ghost in the Graveyard and help Meg take pictures for a project for Spanish class.  Aaron was last to leave, but when he did, Meg stopped in to say goodnight.  She said that she had a wonderful time.  Her day at school was a tough one and having friends over was just what she needed.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Little Too Much

I decided to try a full day today and at around 1 p.m. I started to seriously rethink my decision.  I had lost most of my voice and felt terrible.  I rebounded, however, and was able to make it through my last two classes.  My evening was packed with activities as well with Meg's tennis match and the incoming 6th grade parent night at Milford.  Both went well, but by the time I got home I could barely talk or keep my eyes open.  I was worried that this wassn't getting better as quickly as it should, but at least I am progressing a lot better than I did when I had this six years ago.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Half Day Was Enough

Today I tried a half day and that was definitely enough.  Talking and be up moving around definitely wore me out, but I was glad to get caught up.  Last night several of my advanced students emailed me questions about their homework.  In fact I heard from one of them six different times.  That was when I knew I'd better try today.   It went well and I was able to help those stuck on some new math concepts.  As soon as I got home, however, I grabbed some toast and cranberry juice and sat on my bed for the next few hours resting, working on my computer and watching Rear Window.  

Cam had early release today and helped Mom at the nursing home for BINGO.  They then went to play 18 holes of golf, so we didn't see him until 7:30.  Meg had practice and they actually got out on time tonight.  She was nervous about her match with Warsaw tomorrow, but all she can do is to try her best.  Nate Haines gave her some tips which helped.  Doug had a lot of work to do, so once we were done with dinner he started on that.  Meg and I finally finished Kate & Leopold on Netflix.  We both really liked it.  Cam and I also watched the newest episode of Gotham.  We had been waiting since January to find out what happened to the penguin.  The episode was great.  I was too tired to do much else, so I headed to bed early to finish Rear Window.  The only good part about being sick was catching up on all of the movies and shows that I hadn't see in awhile.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Little Bit Better

My cough was still pretty bad this morning and for awhile I thought I'd go ahead and have Doug take me to the hospital.  I had tried the inhaler when I first woke up, but it took a lot longer to work than I expected.  Thankfully, after an hour or so my cough finally died down and I was able to take a shower.  

I spent the day sitting up in bed working on school work and other computer work that I had to do.  I did not want to push myself at all, plus I had plenty to do.  I also watched some of my favorite morning shows and even had a chance to finish Phantom of the Opera.  Doug and my Mom were a big help these past few days.  They've gotten Cam and Meg everywhere they needed to be, feed those that were hungry, ran errands and kept the house picked up.  

I was bummed that I couldn't go to Meg's match, but she understood.  I couldn't even drive to the post office, let alone Middlebury.  Doug made it, however, and kept me updated.  Meg played well even though she lost 6-0, 6-2.  Doug said that was her best opponent so far.  Cam had a practice match at Bethany and Mom was able to pick him up for us.  He also was pleased with how he played, winning both of his matches.  

I debated all day about going to school tomorrow.  In the end I decided that I would try a half day in the afternoon.  I knew a full day would be too much, and I was afraid that I would cough through the entire ISTEP test that students were taking in the morning.  My principal said that it was a good decision.  I appreciate all of the help that the school gave my students so I didn't have to worry about my classes.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Out for the Count

I woke up in the middle of the night last night unable to breath.  I had a cough that would not stop and I just couldn't catch my breath.  I went outside for awhile to see if that would help.  It helped a little bit, but I was still struggling.  I stayed up for three hours or so and realized that it wasn't getting better and I wouldn't be able to go to work.  I wrote sub plans and sent them to the secretaries to copy as I couldn't drive.  

I went back to bed, but woke back up with the same issues an hour later.  I finally woke Doug up.  For awhile I thought we would have to go to the ER, but instead we decided that I would text my Mom to take Cam and Meg to school in the morning.  Doug would call Dr. Mulry's as soon as the office opened.  If they couldn't see me today then we planned on going to the hospital.  I woke up multiple times during the day with the same shortness of breath and a cough that would not stop.  My eyes had also started tearing up and my throat was on fire.  Fortunately, Doug could get me into the doctor at 3:15.  I told him that I was sure I could make it, but for awhile I started to doubt my decision.

Mom took me to the doctor as I wasn't up for driving.  They were in the process of changing over their computer system, so it took longer to check in.  I was just thankful, however, to get in today.  I was definitely running a fever and Dr. Mulry said that my lungs were not fully functioning.  He prescribed a Z-Pack and an inhaler for a lung infection.  He laughed when I asked him if I could try going to school tomorrow.

I started on the medicine as soon as Doug got home.  I was able to breathe a little better and did not have to stay in bed.  I hope tomorrow is a better day.  This has been awful.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter Sunday Revisited

Cameron's Agape Bell Ringers had their first performance of the Spring this morning.  Mr. Thomas had scheduled them to play at the 10:15 service at the North Goshen Mennonite Church.  Cam's group played three hymns and sounded awesome.  Cam felt they were even better than in December.  The service was a little longer than our normal one and definitely different than our Catholic rituals.  It had been a long time since we had gone to another domination's Sunday service and although it was different, we gained from attending.

Meg was waiting for us when we got home and she and Cam took off on their Easter egg hunt.  They were neck and neck for awhile with nine eggs each.  Meg pulled ahead in the ending making Cameron 0-12 in Heinisch Easter egg hunts.  He did find his basket before she did and was happy with the new game he got.  Once they were done they kept another Heinisch tradition alive - throwing the eggs into the woods for the raccoons.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working on household projects.  I was able to get all of the Easter put away and Doug finished up phase 1 of the garage.  We had to order new shelving and a ball rack before he could finish it, but we found what we wanted today on WayFair and, and they should be here soon.

Today was not all work.  We did get outside to play Jarts and have a bonfire.  Cam and Meg finally burned everything they had been saving to get rid of.  I also got rid of all of my receipts from the year.  We decided that the new version of Jarts is safer, but a lot harder to get into the ring.  Doug, Cam and I played Cam's new game tonight.  It was a lot of fun and I am proud to say I won both games.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Tournament Champions

Meg played in the first annual Wawasee Varsity Duals today and had an excellent showing playing at #1 singles.  I missed the first set of her match with Prairie Heights, and by the time I arrived she had won easily 6-0,.  The second set in progress when I arrived and was closer.  Doug said it became heated as Meg's opponent was making calls that she did not agree with.  That rattled Meg, but she was able to rebound and win 6-2.  Her second match was the quickest on the court, which is a rarity for Meg.   She beat her opponent easily 6-1, 6-0.  When Meg exited she told me that she was not playing Columbia City's #1 singles player.  Their coach had moved her to #1 doubles as he thought that would be his best chance for a win.  The doubles match was close, but Wawasee held on and ended with the same score as the first match 5-0.

There was an hour or so before the third match would start, so Doug and I ran home to work on a couple of projects.  He wanted to clean out the garage and I had laundry to do.  We made it back just as the third match started.  Wawasee was slated to play Southwood in the final round with each team standing at 2-0 on the day.  Meg's match went back in forth with Meg struggling to see on her serve in the sunlight.  She held on to win a challenging first set 6-4.  Southwood's number one was the best girl that Meg had played thus far in the tournament.  The second set was just as competitive.  As we looked down the court we realized that #2 doubles and #3 singles had won, meaning that if Meg held on to win the second set they would be tournament champions.  The match went back and forth, but Meg was able to hold on and the team earned its first trophy in over 15 years.  We were very proud of Meg.  It was a lot of fun to watch her play and great for her to get some wins.  The next two weeks will be challenging for her as she will be playing the best players in the NLC.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Marcie, You Made Egg Soup

Since we weren't able to have an Easter egg hunt last Sunday, we decided to have hold that annual tradition this weekend.  In order to get ready for it we held off coloring eggs until tonight.  It was honestly the first evening we had the chance to do so anyway.  We started our family evening by first going to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner.  We all gave Doug a hard time for rushing us out of the door as soon as Meg got home from tennis, but we were glad that he did.  We got right in, but the crowd that arrived a short while later filled the lobby.

After dinner we set up the Easter dye and Cam and Meg each decorated a dozen eggs.  All were colorful and they used rubber bands on several them to create a fun pattern.  Once the decorating was done, we popped in "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown."  Peppermint Patty's attempt to teach Marcie to color eggs has always been a Heinisch family favorite leading all of us to quote "Marcie, You Made Egg Soup" many times over the years and to also question Peppermint Patty's decision to put Marcie in charge of cooking the eggs in the first place.  Snoopy saved the day once again and it was a great way to end a fun evening.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I drove to Meg's match with Manchester tonight by myself.  Doug was busy picking up Cam and I told Mom and Dad that it was too far for them to go.  At first I was worried that I would be late as I stopped at Walmart for groceries first.  I had been detoured twice by accidents in Warsaw.  In the end it did not matter as I pulled up just as the girls were introduced.

The weather had called for rain all afternoon, and for awhile it looked like they would be wrong.  Unfortunately, the clouds opened up just as Meg started her third game in the first set.  The girls were called off the court to hang out in the gym during the delay.  The rain didn't last long, but it was enough to drench the courts.  The managers and coaches worked hard to clear them, but it was 6:45 before the match was resumed.

I had waited out the rain in my van grading papers.  Meg said that I could leave, but since I had already driven to the match, I thought I'd wait.  I was glad that I did.  Meg played very well.  She was down 3-0 quickly, but figured out a new strategy and rebounded to put the match back on serve at 4-3.  Meg did end up losing the first set 6-3, but played well and gave her opponent fits.  The score of the second set was not as close as the first one with Meg losing 6-1.  The score, however, did not reflect how well Meg played with a lot of games going to deuce.  In fact one game lasted 20 minutes.  When they shook hands at the end, the senior from Manchester congratulated her on playing well and told Meg that she would be a really great player when she is a senior.  That and the praise from the Manchester coach made Meg feel as though she had won.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Still Trying to Catch Up

After spending 10 days on vacation at Spring Break and then going to Bloomington for Easter weekend,  it has been crazy here in the Heinisch home.  I wouldn't change either of these trips to see Brett and Cal, but it has definitely been a lot of work getting caught up on laundry and other household duties.  School has been very busy as well with ISTEP testing and JA BizTown preparation.  Throwing tennis into the mix has taken some creative scheduling, but so far we have been able to keep up.  Tonight Meg and Cam only had practice, so they were home early.  Doug and I even had time to go to dinner.  Summer is not far away.  We are all looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Tonight was the regional Academic Super Bowl competition, and Meg participated in the math section once again.  She had to miss a tennis match to be at it, but was ok with that as this was one of only three competitions and a chance for her team to make it to state.  The students left early and spent the evening preparing, talking and sharing a meal.  The math portion was third from last tonight and Doug had time to pick me up at home after work, so we only had to take one car.  The math team did well placing second in their class.  Unfortunately, it was not enough to put them in the top five in the state, thus, ending their season.  We were proud of Meg and her team, however, as they did very well this year.  There was no shame in finishing thirteenth in the state overall.  Meg learned a lot and had a great time doing so.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dingus Day

I have never celebrated Dingus Day, but have always wanted to.  Every Easter Monday WSBT and WNDU show highlights of the festivities in South Bend on their nightly news, and it looks like a lot of fun.  One day I would like to try it.  Right now, however, we are still too busy with Heinisch children activities, so we will have to table it for a couple of years.

This evening we all watched Meg play against Central Noble.  Doug had to pick Cam up from his own practice first, but they still made it to Wawasee well before the first game was over.  Tennis has a 20+ warmup session before each match in addition to the warm ups the girls do with their opponent.  Thus, a 4:30 start in general means 5 to 5:15.  It worked well for Doug tonight as he got to see Meg play.  Central Noble always plays tough and tonight that was no different.  Meg has really improved, however, and that has been fun to see.  Playing #1 singles will be challenging this season, but the experience it will give her is fantastic.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter

We had planned to celebrate Easter at the Tudor room for brunch.  When Doug and I were in college we ate there with his family one Easter and two years ago we did the same with Brett.  Cal had really wanted to try it as well, but unfortunately we could not get reservations for this morning.  We were surprised as Doug had called more than three weeks ago.

As our first option was out we went with the next best spot - a picnic at Oliver Winery.  Parce decided not to join us.  It was his first day off all week and he wanted to rest.  We did get to visit with him most of the morning, however, before we left.  We made plans to come back in June for Taste of Bloomington.

The weather was perfect for a picnic and we all had a great lunch.  We had time for walks around the pond and pictures before we left.  Cal had driven to the winery so we could leave from there.  We all said our goodbyes.  Knowing that we had had a wonderful weekend and that it would be only a few short weeks before we would see Cal again, it was a only quick hug before he took off.  He had studying to do and Doug wanted to be home before dinner time.  Although today wasn't our traditional Easter Sunday, we still had a great family day.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Trip to Brown County

Cal had texted me earlier this week to see if we could go to Brown County today.  It sounded like a great idea and we were happy to see that the weather had cooperated.   Before we left Bloomington we had lunch at Noodles & Company.  It was very good and just what we need before hiking.  The park was packed, but we all found trails that worked for us.  Cal and HM chose a rugged 3 mile one that took them to the top of the hills.  Meg stayed with me on the moderate 1.5 stretch around Ogle Lake.  Cam and Doug started off with us, but we split up about halfway through.  They wanted to walk a little longer and I knew I would slow them down.  The roots from the trees made me unsure of my footing, but Meg and I made it back without problem.

After hiking Doug drove us to Nashville to do a little shopping.  It was a gorgeous day to be out and we made it through several stores.  HM found some pumpkin dog biscuits for Flower.  Cam purchased a rock collection and Meg got a tennis visor.  Doug split off from us to check out a local brewery.   Ice cream was our next stop and it was very good.  Before we left we walked though a birdhouse store.  I found a cedar suet feeder that will work perfectly in our front yard.

Cal, HM, Meg and Cam decided to rest at Parce's once we got back to Bloomington.  I walked up to the Tap Brewery to meet Doug.  It was the perfect stop and we enjoyed some time together.  Once everyone rested they were ready to play some tennis.  Doug came  up with a round robin game that they all enjoyed.  While they were playing I walked to TIS to purchase a new IU flag.  Now all we need is a new pole as the wind took ours out in the last storm.

We did some more shopping after tennis and then met back up with Parce for dinner.  Cal wanted to try Scotty's Brewhouse and everyone liked the hamburgers they chose.  We walked back to Parce's afterward.  Cal had plans to watch the NBA playoffs as they started today.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Cam, Meg and I were thankful for a day off from school today.  It had been a long week coming back from vacation and we were glad to sleep in.  I have noticed that sleeping in for Cam and I means getting up around 8 or so and today was no different.  He was showered and ready to play golf by 8:45.   Dad was willing to take him out as the weather had been crummy this week and today was the first nice one in awhile.  I used the time before Meg got up to pack for the weekend.

We had planned on piano at 11 a.m., but once Cam left Mrs. Meek agreed to move it to 1 so he could finish nine holes and eat lunch before we left for Goshen.  Cam was happy with his round and piano went well.  Doug had a doctor's appointment at 3 p.m. and was home by 3:35.  Hannah-Marie was joining us for the weekend and she arrived just as we got the van loaded.  The trip was an easy one.  Cam picked Happy Gilmore to watch and that kept everyone entertained for the majority of the ride.  

We met Cal at Wright and went straight to Mother Bears for dinner.  The wait was a short one and the pizza was delicious.  Cal and HM decided to talk a walk after we ate.  We unpacked at Parce's and then took a walk ourselves.  He had to work late tonight and it was ten before he got to his apartment.  We walked to the Union and back before Cal and HM arrived.  They too were on Kirkwood.  We had just enough time to catch up with Parce before he went to bed.  No one stayed up late, which was ok with me.  It's hard for me to make it up past 11 anymore.  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

First NLC Win at #1 Singles

Tonight was Meg's second match of the week and her first in conference.  The girls played at Goshen and it was a chilly one.  Doug, Mom and Dad all made it by the first serve.  Cam and I arrived after his practice ended.  Meg started off on fire and was up 4-1 early.  Goshen's player hung in there and started to make a rally closing the gap to 4-3.  Meg's coach talked to her at the change over and gave her some strategy tips that worked well for her.  Meg finished the set at 6-3 and although she lost her serve in the first game of the second set, she was able to cruise to a 6-1 win.

We were all really proud of Meg.  She has worked hard on tennis this winter and it has paid off.  This season will be a challenge for her.  Playing #1 as a sophomore will be tough.  Glad that she could start the conference matches with a win.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Finally, All Unpacked

I spent a lot of time these past three days unpacking from our trip.  It has been a long time since we have been gone as long as we were this Spring Break.  It was a lot of work, but well worth it.  Mom helped me fold several of the our loads of laundry and tonight I was able to get the rest of it done and in laundry baskets.  I was also able to mail Easter gifts, put away the suitcases, hang up the new wind chime and place our Figment stone in back yard.  Doug swept the porch off for me and vacuumed out the car.

Meg and Cam had practice tonight.  Cam was pleased with how his went.  Mom and Dad took him out to find the Geo Easter Eggs, but the coordinates for the first one were off and they gave up early and went home to play games.  Meg's practice ran late, so she went to Mom's for noodles afterward.  Doug and I had time to go out for dinner.  It was nice to do so.  I haven't been feeling the best since we got back.  Tomorrow will be the last day of the work week.  It's been very busy at school, so it will be nice to have a day off.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weather Change

I know that we were spoiled last week with 90 degree weather, but today was really cold for April.  I am not sure if it even reached 50.  Cam, Doug and I even wore our winter coats at Meg's tennis match.  From what Mom and Dad said, this is nothing compared to the weather over Spring break.  It snowed one of the days.  It is supposed to warm up this weekend, however, which should make our trip to Bloomington wonderful.  It has definitely been a strange Spring with record highs in February and cold and rain in late March and April.  Hoping this makes for a hot, dry summer.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back to Reality

It was hard for everyone to get up this morning.  We had a wonderful vacation in D.C. and at Disney World and weren't ready to give that up.  We survived, however, and Meg and Cam even made it to tennis practice.  We spent tonight unpacking, reading the mail, grocery shopping and sorting laundry.  There was a lot to do, but we accomplished more than I thought we would be able to.  As far as days after a vacation go, it was alright.   The best part was sleeping in our own beds.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


We packed almost everything last night, so we only had a few items to get in the suitcase this morning.  Our plan was for me to take everything to the airline drop off, but there was no line so everyone was able to help.  With everyone helping we had time for all of us to get to EPCOT before it opened.  Doug had not ridden Test Track yet, so we started there.  The line was already long before the park even opened, but we had time to ride before heading to Soarin'.  It was by far my favorite ride of the week. Meg and Cam have enjoyed that we have been on the top row the past two times we have ridden it.  We finished EPCOT by taking a ride on the Gran Fiesta one last time and getting German pretzels.  No one was excited to go home, but our Magical Express was to arrive in a half hours, so we knew we had better head out.

The ride to the airport was a sad one, but a quick one.  We arrived about two hours before our flight and were glad that we did as it took awhile to get through security.  We ate lunch at the airport and by the time we got to the terminal our flight was almost ready to board.  The takeoff and landing were a lot bumpier than usual and Doug struggled to make it without being sick.  He felt better once we got to Midway and we appreciated him getting the car while we waited for the luggage.

We were able to watch the end of the Masters on the way home.  All of us had put a $1 in the pot and picked a player to win.  Meg had the favorite, Dustin Johnson, but he hurt his back and had to withdraw.  My Dad chose, Henrik Stenson, but he didn't even made the cut.  The rest of us were in it until the last day.  At that point only Cal and Brett had a chance.  Brett's player, Sergio Garcia, pulled ahead and ended tied for the lead after 18 holes.  The playoff was intense, but in the end Sergio won his first major and Brett earned $7.  By the time the Masters ended we were close to Milford.  We were able to get everything inside before we were ready for bed.  Unpacking will wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It Only Took Five Times

Today was one that Cam probably won't forget for quite awhile.  He had been struggling this week with his allergies, but I thought he had finally turned a corner.  After today I guess I must have been wrong.  The day started off great as the Animal Kingdom bus was at the bus stop right when we arrived. Unfortunately, we weren't two minutes into the trip when Cam got sick.  Luckily, there were only two other passengers on the bus and they were very helpful.  Doug cleaned Cam up the best he could, but he was a mess.  I asked Cam if he wanted to go back, but he really wanted to go to Animal Kingdom.  So we got off the bus and headed straight to a clothing shop.  They didn't have what Cam wanted so Meg and I went to the shop at the Dinosaur ride while Doug helped Cam clean up.  We hoped they would have a shirt that he wanted and we found the perfect one.  He changed right away.  He still needed shorts, but they didn't have any.  Cam decided he'd go ahead and ride Dinosaur, even though he didn't quite smell his best.

After Dinosaur we usually ride Primeval Whirl.  The wait was 60 minutes, however, so we decided to just feel thankful that we had ridden it on Tuesday.  We walked to Expedition Everest as that was our next Fast Pass.  The roller coaster was not working, so we did some shopping instead.  Luckily, Asia had exactly what we were looking for - a pair of shorts for Cam.  They were even appropriately named - Yak & Yeti.  We checked in with the Yeti ride once again, but the workers said it was going to be out for awhile, so we instead went to our favorite show in Animal Kingdom - It's Tough to Be a Bug.  Our next Fast Pass was for Kilimanjaro Safari.  The animals were out and feeding while we were on the ride.  One even walked right up to our jeep.  There were more baby animals than I had ever seen before.   After the ride I talked everyone into walking on the Gorilla Falls trail.  I had gone in November when I was there on my own and loved it.  Doug, Meg and Cam liked it this trip as well.  The animals were easy to spot and the birds flew right above our heads.

We took a bus from Animal Kingdom to Blizzard Beach.  We wanted to play the round of mini golf that was rained out on Tuesday.  We had to wait a little while, but no one seemed to mind.  The course was a lot of fun.  Cam was still feeling queasy and was sick two more times while we were there.  Meg started to feel the same, but hers seemed to be from the DayQuil she took.  We did make it through the round and everyone had a great time.

The bus trip back to The Boardwalk was a lot less painful than we thought it would be.  Doug once again wanted to tour the countries at EPCOT and Meg and Cam wanted to rest.  Once we made sure they were set in the room, Doug and I left for an hour or so.  It was hotter today than yesterday, but very nice.  We tried foods that we hadn't yet and did a little bit of shopping.

Cam was feeling a little better when we got back, at least enough to try Magic Kingdom.  The bus ride there was rough, but he made it.  The park was even more crowded than last night.  We did have a Fast Pass for Buzz Lightyear which was one that we missed last night because of the wait times.  As it wasn't time yet we started at Mickey's Philharmagic.  The show was great, but once again Cam got sick.  Unfortunately, this time he didn't make it to the bushes and Meg had a foot to "disinfect."  We did still have fun at Magic Kingdom riding Buzz and shopping at the Emporium.

We headed back early as we needed to pack.  I was so glad that we did.  The Boardwalk was full of life and we thoroughly enjoyed the street performers and the fireworks from EPCOT.  Meg even found some nachos and I finally got a funnel cake.  As we walked back to the room, Cam said to me, "Well, after five times (throwing up) I finally feel better!"

Friday, April 7, 2017

Doug's Top Picks

We tried to pick parks and attractions today that Doug would like as this was really his first day at Disney World.  Thus, we started with Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios followed by The Great Movie Ride.  Even though we had just been there yesterday, Cam, Meg and I really enjoyed it.  Doug had a phone call for work at 10 a.m. so after the preshow for Muppets 3-D Vision he stepped out.  He didn’t mind as we all like the preshow the best anyway.

While Doug was on his phone call we finished the show and then went to One Man One Dream.  Cameron had never been through the exhibit as we usually go when he and Brett are on Star Tours.  We all really liked it.  Doug had just finished up when we got back to Muppets Theater.  We did a little bit of shopping before we left the park to walk back to The Boardwalk.

Our next stop was EPCOT for lunch.  They did not have quite as many food places as they did during the Food and Wine Festival, but there was still a lot to try.  While Doug was in Rose & Crown the three of us waited to meet Mary Poppins.  Cam did not have her autograph yet and we all love that movie.  While we were in EPCOT we also rode a couple of the rides and Meg was finally able to say that she saw the environmental movie - Circle of Life.  After we walked through the butterfly garden and stopped at some shops, Cam and Meg decided to go back to the Boardwalk.  Meg wanted to rest and shower and Cam wanted to catch The Masters scores.  Doug and I tried some different food dishes and drinks along our walk back.  It was a beautiful day and a wonderful time to tour the countries.

We made it back to the room to rest for a half hour or so before dinner in the lounge.  Doug liked the bang bang shrimp and pork that they served.  Our last stop for the night was Magic Kingdom.  It was a lot different than Wednesday night.  The crowds were unbelievable and the wait times long.  Luckily, I had changed our Fast Passes to Friday night or we might have been out of luck catching any of our favorites.  We were happy with what we were able to ride - Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid and Winnie the Pooh.  Cam and Meg even got to eat at their favorite stop again - Cosmic Rays.  We decided that they might be the only ones who can repeat Sonny Eclipse's skit word for word.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Doug Arrives!

Today I hit the 30,000 step mark for the first time this vacation.  We did so by first walking to Hollywood Studios for it’s 9 a.m. opening.  We were glad to be able to ride Toy Story Mania without much wait.  Cam and Meg then took a turn on Rock N Roller Coaster.  I decided to skip it so that I was ready for our next adventure - Twilight Tower of Terror.  It was just as exciting as always with lots of drops and darkness.  We rode The Great Movie Ride and ate lunch at Rizzo’s Pizzeria next.  Rizzo’s replaced Pizza Planet, and we really liked it.  Cam and I delivered a rebel spy on Star Tours before walking back to The Boardwalk.  Meg was waiting for us there as she decided to skip out on the ride.

We next went to Typhoon Lagoon.  The weather was cooler than yesterday as it had rained this morning.  Because of this the crowd was light.  We were able to ride their new family raft ride twice plus the water coaster - Crush and Gusher.  The lazy river wasn’t quite as fun as Blizzard Beach’s, but the wave pool more than made up for that.

After the water park we caught a bus to Disney Springs.  We found out that Disney Quest would be closing in July, so we wanted to check it out one last time.  Cam didn’t remember it from previous trips.  We had fun and spent more time there than we thought that we would.  Once we were finished we grabbed some dinner and spent some quality time shopping.  Everyone found something that they wanted and a few gifts for friends and family members.  Cam was proud of his purchase at the Lego store - a Lego chess set.

We had checked with Doug several times during the day.  His flight was delayed from Midway multiple times and we were afraid that he wasn’t going to make it tonight.  The weather had not been very cooperative today and yesterday with high winds.  There were a lot of flights that had been cancelled.  Just getting to the airport was challenging as Doug said that the winds were so strong that several semis had been overturned.

I was glad to see that he had taken off by the time we left the shops.  He would be about an hour and a half late, but at least he would make it.  We changed our plans a little bit because of his schedule, but were still able to make it to Illuminations at EPCOT.  Meg and Cam headed to Test Track after the fireworks show while I walked back to The Boardwalk to let Doug into our room.  I was able to meet him with a Sam Adams and saved a few desserts for him before the lounge closed.  EPCOT was open until 11 p.m. for extra magic hours which we took full advantage of.  Cam and Meg met us at Norway, so we could all ride Frozen.  Doug stopped in Germany for a grapefruit beer and German pretzels along the way.  Somehow we ended up with five pretzels and everyone was able to fill up before the ride started.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Hot! Hot! Hot!

We slept in this morning until 8 a.m. or so.  Everyone was tired from all of the walking and traveling we had done these past six days.  We left by 9:15 for Fantasia mini golf.  We were the first ones there and were glad as the line filled in quickly after we started.  We had a lot of fun and a few hole in ones.

We picked a great day for swimming as the temperature was easily above 90 degrees by noon.  The pool was crowded, but Meg and Cam enjoyed it.  We left for Magic Kingdom after swimming.  We had lunch reservations for Be Our Guest.  Our food was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of the castle.  We ate in a different room than our last trip.  Both were beautiful, but we liked the portraits in this one better.

Magic Kingdom was crowded, but we were still able to ride most everything that we wanted.  Meg enjoyed taking Aaron through the line at Haunted Mansion via FaceTime.  Splash Mountain broke down while we were there and the guests had to be taken off the ride.  We had Fast Passes for Space Mountain this time.  I thought about trying it, but Meg said that it was a rough ride, so I shopped instead.

The park was open until 1 a.m. tonight, but we left before that.  It had thinned out after the fireworks and the only two rides that we did not have time for were Peter Pan and the Jungle Cruise.  We had planned on riding those with Doug, so we didn’t really mind missing them this time.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

From Morning to Night

We started our day early as we wanted to ride Frozen before the crowd filled in.  Cam forgot his Magic Band which delayed us for awhile.  Meg was able to save us a place in line while he ran back to get it and we only had a 20 minute wait or so.     We were also able to ride Figment, Nemo and Mission Space before heading back to the Boardwalk.

Meg and Cam had passes for the water parks so we decided to try Blizzard Beach next.  It had been several years since we had been there.  We enjoyed it, especially the lazy river.  We had planned on playing mini golf there as well, but as we were leaving the water park a storm blew through.  It was a quick one, but it closed the golf course for an hour or so.  We decided not to wait and caught the bus back to EPCOT.

After we changed and grabbed sweatshirts we caught the bus to Animal Kingdom.  We had a Fast Pass for Expedition Everest and also wanted to see their new show River of Lights.  Once we got to the park we were able to do more than we planned riding both Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl.  We even had time to catch “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” one of our favorite 3-D shows.

The line for River of Lights started almost two hours before the show began.  We waited until 8 to get in line and were told that it would be standing room only.  We were all ok with that and only had to wait 30 minutes until they started ushering us to our spots.  Cam and I liked the show a lot.  Meg wasn’t as thrilled as she felt it was too much like Illuminations.  Either way we were glad that we tried it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

On to Walt Disney World

Doug dropped us off at the Baltimore/Washington Airport this morning before he left for home.  Our flight didn't leave until 11 a.m. and we had plenty of time to get something to eat and find our terminal before we boarded.  The flight was a quick one.  I started the movie Moana.  It wasn't the greatest, but since I hadn't seen it before it held my interest.  Meg watched a show she had downloaded and Cam played chess.

The Magical Express ride was fun like always, filled with excitement and our favorite safety video with Gus.  We were happy to find out that our room was ready, so we dropped off our carry on bags and headed straight to EPCOT.  Heinisch family tradition calls for us to stop first in Germany for a German pretzel and then Mexico for our first ride of the trip - Gran Fiesta Tour.  We left singing Three Cabarellos.  The International Flower & Garden Show was in full bloom as well and we enjoyed all of the characters as topiaries.

Our Fast Passes were scheduled for Magic Kingdom, so we headed there next.  I rode Big Thunder Mountain for the first time in a long time.  I really liked it although it was a little rough.  Seven Dwarfs Mine ride was also a lot of fun.  We saved Splash Mountain for last.  It had been closed several times throughout the day, so we were glad that we got to ride it.  Usually, I get soaked, but this time I was seated in the back row and stayed fairly dry.

I talked Cam and Meg into leaving before the park closed.  I wanted to make sure that our luggage had arrived and it had been a tiring trip.  We made it in time to get desserts in the lounge and were glad to see that all of our bags were waiting for us.  I spent the rest of the evening unpacking while they watched some of their favorite Disney shows.  Doug called several times on his way home.  He made it to Syracuse by the time we got to Magic Kingdom.  The trip was pretty easy and he was even able to jog before dinner.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

President's Day

Today was a tour of Presidents, stopping first at the White House.  It was a beautiful sight especially with all of the tulips in bloom.  There was a cherry blossom race this morning so at first we weren’t sure that we would be able to get a close view, but the gates opened just as we walked by.

We had tickets for Ford’s Theater at noon and wanted to hit the gifts shops beforehand that were located across the street.  The walk to the Lincoln site was a quick one from the White House, so we had plenty of time.  Brett, Cam, Meg and I all found something fun to purchase and even a few gifts for friends.

Ford’s theater was crowded as were most exhibits this weekend, but we were still able to get through it in under two hours.  We found all of it fascinating, but the conspiracy theory and the lives of those involved in the assassination of Lincoln were most interesting to Cam and I.  The tour also included the Peterson House and Lincoln’s death bed.

The day turned out to be beautiful so we decided that Mount Vernon would be next on our agenda.  It also was crowded, but we were able to watch a movie on the life of George Washington, walk the grounds, visit his and Martha’s tomb and tour the mansion before closing.  All of us could agree that we would love to live there.

Dinner was in Alexandria at Clyde’s.  The decor was interesting as we were seated in a room of duck decoys.  The food was good, however, and from there we were easily able to get to Jefferson’s Memorial.  The Heinisch children felt that this was the most impressive of all of the monuments, and I could not argue.  Having the President standing, looking out on the water did make for an awesome sight.

As it was close to nine we decided to say goodbye to Brett after the memorial.  He had to work in the morning and we had a 45 minute drive to our hotel by the Baltimore/Washington airport.  It was fantastic to spend so much time with him these past three days.  He has impressed us all with his ability to live on his own and make each stop home.  Can’t wait to visit again in July.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

22,000 steps and Counting

We picked up Brett outside his apartment for our early morning excursion to Arlington Cemetery.  It was a little cool, but the sun was out so it felt warmer than yesterday.  Brett had several gravestones that he wanted to see that were off the beaten path along with the typical ones that we had planned on visiting.  We started at the eternal flame marking the grave of John F. and Jackie Kennedy.  There were white crosses adjacent to them for each of President Kennedy's brothers that were on our list as well.  After paying our respects and reading their speeches etched in stone, we continued up the hill to the home of Robert E. Lee.  His is a fascinating story of marriage to Martha Washington's great-granddaughter, living in a home with beautiful views of the Washington monument.

The tomb of the unknown soldier and the changing of the guard were next.  The ceremony was impressive and we were very close to the entrance of the soldiers.  In the same area were memorials for the Spaceship Challenger and Columbia and the mast of the USS Maine.  Brett really wanted to find the graves of William Jennings Bryant and General Pershing.  Doug agreed to go with him as it was a good distance from our location and we had already walked almost 6000 steps.

Therefore, I headed back to the Kennedy grave sites with Meg and Cam.  We spent time texting Cal while we waited and planned for our next stop.  Brett was pleased to report that he found both graves even though Bryant’s was hidden.  Once we met up again we walked to Thurgood Marshall’s and William Howard Taft’s grave sites.  As a bonus we were even able to locate Medgar Evers on our way back to the visitors center.  It was a lot of walking up and down hills, but we were all happy with our visit to Arlington.

We decided to make our next stop the National Zoo.  Cam wanted to see the Pandas.  We had watched them on the live panda cam on the drive out.  The pandas were just as active as they were on the camera and we all enjoyed seeing them out and about.  We spent the next several hours walking through the rest of the zoo enjoying the Asia trail, the ape house and the small mammals.  Cam and Meg found panda shirts before we headed out.

We were close to the National Cathedral so we stopped there next.  I had never been in it and wanted to see the inside.  Everyone else said they would be ok either way, but in the end we all thoroughly enjoyed our self guided tour.  It was impressive to say the least with an observation tower, stained glass windows and over half a dozen chapels.  Woodrow Wilson was even buried in the cathedral.

As we left the cathedral we decided that our feet were ready for a much needed rest.  We had almost doubled my daily FitBit goal of 10,000 steps.  On our way to the Embassy Suites we drove by the home of Vice President Mike Pence.  It was impressive to say the least as were the embassies of the ambassadors to the United States that we passed along the way.

The hotel happy hour wasn’t quite as great as advertised, but our feet appreciate the rest.  We drove to the Pentagon Mall afterward.  Meg said it was the nicest mall she had ever been in and I would have to agree.  Brett found a new pair of Vans while the rest of us spent time window shopping.  We found a Bonefish Grill close by and enjoyed a nice dinner together.  As we dropped Brett off for the night I couldn’t believe all that we had accomplished in one day.  Although I have walked more steps in one day, I was still impressed with the 22,000 I logged in today, especially since it included over 50 flights of stairs.