Friday, August 26, 2011

The Fun Before the Storm

As some of you may know, Hurricane Irene is heading straight for us here in Virginia Beach.

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After making the necessary preparations, we decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine before being stuck in the house all weekend.

Yesterday, we headed to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. They have had a special exhibit open all summer… “Get Lost! Be aMAZEd!”…which includes 10 themed mazes throughout the gardens.

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The first maze was the Community Maze.

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The girls enjoyed running through the maze and checking out the canvases that were created by many different local groups.

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This one was especially impressive…

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It was hard for me to capture how detailed it actually was, but someone hand-painted this design. The arrow in the bottom right corner was made of tiny dots of paint. They really did a great job!

The next maze was the Hay Bale Maze.

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My 3 year old just might have cheated a little…

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…to get to the center of the maze.

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There was the Musical Maze…

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…with a couple fun musical instruments…

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We also encountered this little guy gigantic scary (but harmless) banana spider in the Musical Maze. EEK!!

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The Bee Maze was next! They had this fantastic bee made out of used bicycle tires…

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They had a riddle at the beginning of each maze and you had to find the answer somewhere in the maze. Very fun!

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What gets wetter as it dries? A towel!

The Patriotic Maze was definitely the most challenging…especially for my 3 year old who clothes lined herself twice during her excitement to find the end of the maze!

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After the mazes, we headed to the Butterfly House. It has never been open during the times that we have visited the gardens, so the girls and I were excited!

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There were lots of butterflies and also lots of caterpillars:

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They also had a special little “house” that they kept all of the cocoons in. It was interesting to see the different stages they were in!

This morning, we decided to head to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront to check out the East Coast Surfing Championships! This was a group of people that was actually excited to have a hurricane headed our way. It definitely made for some bigger waves!

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We even saw this couple that was practicing their tandem surfing!! I would definitely love to watch a tandem surf competition!

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I’m not sure who they are, but I guess there are tandem surfers here for the championships from France, Hawaii, California, and Florida! I guess I will have to wait until next year!

We also decided to be touristy and rent a surry and spend some time riding up and down the boardwalk.

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The girls loved it!!

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So…that is what we did pre-hurricane! I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. just in case we lose power for a while! As I am typing this, the outer bands of the hurricane are just now reaching us.

How about you? What does your weekend forecast look like? Do any of you live in Hurricane Irene’s path? If so, I hope you are taking necessary precautions…stay safe!!

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