Thursday, August 22, 2013

Riverbanks Zoo

Not even two weeks after the triathlon (notice the four little triathletes donning their tri shirts), near the end of July, we were on to another adventure with Baden and Ilse—a day trip to our favorite zoo, the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.  Always a great time, the zoo has become an even bigger adventure with the recent addition of a ropes course.  Needless to say, we had such a fun time and it was a great chance to get to hang out with our dear friends—we took the long car ride together, had a nice lunch in downtown Columbia at Mellow Mushroom, spent half the day at the zoo, and even had dinner together before heading home.  It was a long day—and one I hope we repeat next summer!

{the kids explored the ropes course, in pairs and without an adult, for over an hour.  they all said it was a little scary, but LOVED it.}

{taken by ella.}

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kids Tri! Ballantyne

In mid-July both Ella and Jack competed in a kids’ triathlon at our local YMCA.  Ella participated last year and did extremely well. For the 2013 race, Ella moved up to the 9-to-11-years-old age group and Jack, this his first triathlon, competed in the 6-to-8-years-old age group.  An added bonus this year was that good friends Baden and Ilse participated in the triathlon, too.  All four of these kids put in their best effort for the triathlon and they did incredibly.  Ella (who placed 3rd last year in girls ages 6 to 8) placed 11th this year as a 9-year-old in the girls ages 9 to 11 age group.  Jack was in the top 20 for boys in his age group—although, you’ll see in the video, his effort looks even stronger…he added a good 2 minutes or more trying to get his shoes tied during the transition between swimming and biking and this race was when he still had a clown bike, probably two sizes too small for him.  So watch out next year when he’s on his new bike and we put some Yankz elastic laces in those sneakers!  :)

{we saw several of our swim team friends, including margot, at the triathlon.}

{ready for his first triathlon.}

{jack, ella, baden, and ilse.  ready to race!}

{ella’s age group ran one lap more than jack’s age group, so i was able to capture a few photos of her run in addition to the video.}

{way to go, ella!  another triathlon under her belt.}

{one proud papa.}

{yay, jack!  we can now officially say we’re a family of triathletes.  :) }

{these kids did awesome! (ilse was still racing at this point.)}

Friday, August 16, 2013

HHI Highlights—July 4th Week (Part 4/4)

On our last full day of vacation in Hilton Head Island, we spent about 10 minutes taking a group photo—unfortunately it was waaay too windy on the beach all week to attempt one out there (maybe next year)—and, later in the day, Jonathan, Uncle Ken, and I took the kids on a kids’ fishing tour.  On the two-hour boat ride, the kids got to each throw out a cast net and then fish with a fishing pole.  Of the 24-odd kids on the boat, 3 caught something on their fishing lines and, of those 3, 2 were from our group.  Ella caught a baby shark and Zane caught a ribbon fish (which is actually more dangerous at this point than the baby shark, so it was whisked away from Zane too quickly to get a photo of it).  It was a fun excursion and definitely a highlight of the week.   

{after our boat ride, we met nonni, papa, and aunt tracy (who had biked there, hence the sweaty papa :) ) at the salty dog café for a very enjoyable beer.}

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HHI Highlights—July 4th Week (Part 3/4)

And here is our 4th of July on Hilton Head Island: a bike ride to the Stoney-Baynard Ruins in Sea Pines followed by a bike ride to South Beach for some ice cream at the Salty Dog Café; lots of beach time; puzzles and games back at the house; some watermelon and pool fun; and, we ended the day with a red-white-and-blue dessert a la Uncle Ken and Ella and then some pop-its and glow sticks in the dark.  Happy 4th!