Category: Event

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Birthday, Event

Can You Xscape at the Wharf?

Or… “Ryan’s 16th Birthday”

Well that was fun. Ryan and a few of his friends headed to Morgantown last week to get Taken. Not literally “taken,” but instead, participate in Morgantown’s premier escape room experience.

The four of us had participated in an escape room in Ocean City, Maryland over the summer. It was a fun experience, but it was definitely a work in progress in O.C. I’m sure over time, the O.C. escape room will be terrific. But this one in Morgantown was the full package.

The general idea behind an escape room is to solve a series of logic puzzle, have keen observation and great teamwork. You must use all of these abilities to escape a room or series of rooms within a certain time limit. In the games that we’ve played, we’ve had one hour to escape. In this case, the kids had just 54 seconds to spare… Nothing like cutting it close guys!

Click here to learn more about the Xscape room in Morgantown, or click here to learn more about the Taken adventure that is offered there.

Event, Sports

More than just a game

Ryan and I went to see the Harlem Globetrotters strut their stuff at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown on Monday.

I had never seen the Globetrotters in person, but I’ve probably globetseen them do their routines on TV 50 times.  I think what we saw on Monday was probably the same Globetrotter material they’ve performed for the past twenty years (at least).

Of course there are some new wrinkles, like Globie’s music.  But I think I’ve seen Globetrotter football many times before; it never gets old.

It was great to hear Ryan laugh at the fun stuff and even get concerned when “Handles” starts playing for the Generals.  I think he saved his biggest laugh for “Big G” smacking the ground repeatedly and generally just flipping around in a goofy fashion.

It was just nice to sit and enjoy watching a game where no one was concerned about the final score.  The game was more than a game… It was an event.

Event

And we had liftoff…

So it’s been exactly ten years since I experienced my first (and only) Space Shuttle launch.

Recounted on this day in history:

Ten years ago: Senator John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he’d blazed for America’s astronauts 36 years earlier.

That was an amazing, inspiring sight.  I happened to be in Orlando for a SANS conference that week and so I called “Gator Tours” in the phone book and set up a bus ride out to the space coast.

shuttle-ticketA truly memorable experience.  Now I did take my camera and somewhere I have some nice “far away” photos I can share, but these NASA images below truly do the launch justice:

KSC-98EC-1444 KSC-98EC-1445 KSC-98EC-1446 KSC-98EC-1448

Event, Sports

So long Beijing

Well, as you’re probably aware, I’ve been glued to the television these past two weeks watching the XXIX Summer Olympics play out.  It’s always “spectacular” to watch.  The things I will take away from these games:

  • Michael Phelps – The Amazing Eight.  I know they’ve said it before (Mark Spitz) but I don’t know if it can ever be beaten.  Just to have the possibility to accomplish this feat again… it would be miraculous.
  • The Opening and Closing Ceremonies – Amazing.  And the overall projection of hospitality provided by the host country.  You know, the sights and sounds of each ceremony are unique to each country, and that helps give us just a glimpse of their culture.  But it will be very difficult for anyone to top China in the near future.  Technologically and in terms of human volume and participation… well, it’s almost impossible to surpass 1,000,000 volunteers.
  • The Golden Gymnasts – Nastia and Shawn.  They were our American highlights.  They showed great ability to persevere under the somewhat odd circumstances they often found themselves in.  Whether those young Chinese gymnasts were “of age” or not, our girls didn’t let it bother them.
  • The “Redeem Team” – This time I did not get to watch as much basketball as I would have liked.  But I’ve followed the exploits of all the previous “Dream Teams” as well as this lot.  And these boys showed us all (and the world) what it means to be an American.

One thing that still amazes me about the Olympics in general is how enjoyable it is to watch over the two week time span.  But how quickly we forget… or how we don’t continue to follow these incredible athletes when they return.  Yes, we’ll catch them on Leno here over the next few weeks, but how many people will watch the next gymnastics “World Championships” or catch the next track and field trials?

It’s obviously the spectacle, or the aura, or mystique of the Olympics that keep us coming back.  Where else can you see 204 countries gather, with athletes from across the globe hoping for their one moment of glory? The logistics of it all is astounding.

I don’t have as much time to watch “the Games” as I used to.  That’s probably true of every parent.  I remember staying up and watching late night coverage during the 1984 Summer Games in L.A.  My brother and I would stay up and watch indoor volleyball at two in the morning (Go Flo Hyman!) and we’d keep each other awake.  That was pretty consistent.  But this time around I caught very little late-night anything.  I had a hard enough time catching the end of the prime time viewing which often went past midnight…

Which leads me to my closing thoughts… Will my children remember this spectacular Olympics in four years’ time? What memories will they take from all this? They are bombarded with so many different media that it takes something special to make a lasting imprint.  It would be great to think that at the Opening Ceremony of the London games, the kids will see that double-decker bus roll up with “London-Beijing-London” on the side and simply say “I remember that!”

Only time will tell.

Event, Family

Idlewild Park

So, a couple of weeks ago we headed to Idlewild park in Ligonier, Pa.  It’s a nice little family park that includes Storybook Forest and Soakzone, but we didn’t do either of those this time.allison-dance-idlewild

Allison dances with a local dance group, and this year they performed their routine at Idlewild.  They usually have a trip at the end of the year after their recital.

Like I said, Idlewild is a nice little park.  There a few fun rides… quite a few for little kids in Racoon Lagoon.  There are no blazingly fast roller coasters, but there are a couple that are appropriate for kids around Ryan’s age.

He’s actually getting too big for the kiddie rides.  He rode around in the airplanes and drove the little cars, but he just looks too big.

We got quite a bit of rain in the afternoon, and our day was cut a little short.  But the kids had a good time while we were there.  More photos on the Photos page…