The kids got face paint and were assigned pirate names ("Cutthroat CC," "Swordfighter Sweet Pea," and "Salty Little Man"), and then we all got a lesson on how to talk Pirate. Then we boarded the ship and set out to find the keys to a treasure chest. We stumbled across Stinky Pete, who had stolen the keys, and we bested him with our water cannons. Then everyone got a big handful of treasure. Huzzah! It was a huge hit!
MJ and I introduced the kids to bocce ball, which was fun but a bit chaotic. I was convinced a ball would end up in the pond, but fortunately we came home with all nine.
Another day we went to the petting zoo. Everyone had fun touching the animals, but Little Man surprised me by not wanting to ride a pony. Last time we were here, he's the only one who rode! But this year, it was just the girls. This was Sweet Pea's first time riding a pony, and she didn't hesitate a bit! She hopped right on a little brown pony named Mocha and headed out. CC was nervous, but after watching Sweet Pea, she decided it was safe enough as long as she rode Mocha too (the smallest pony).
We also visited a miniature golf course, appropriately pirate-themed. It's a good thing we don't keep score, or the final tally would have been in the thousands.
And on a particularly rainy day, we took the kids to an indoor playground with bounce houses, climbing ropes, basketball hoops and rock walls. Check out Sweet Pea!
After the kids went to bed at night, MJ and I would enjoy quiet evenings on the porch or playing catch in the back. We didn't even turn the TV on all week! (Full disclosure: on Sunday night we watched Game of Thrones on MJ's phone. I mean ... of course.)
On Thursday of our vacation week, we got a call from Alice that there'd been a fire in our house while we were gone. Apparently our bedroom fireplace must have malfunctioned, because one of our pillow shams, which had been left on the floor near the fireplace, was burned to a crisp!
We don't know for sure how it started (the fireplace was turned off), but even more mysterious is how it stopped. Nothing else is burned at all, not even the other pillow sham (which was leaning against the burned one). There are no smoke marks on the wall or soot on the floor. Our local fire station sent a truck full of firefighters to check out the situation, but all they could confirm is that our house definitely did not get hit by lightning. The county fire investigator thinks he might have found a fault in the ignition starter of the fireplace. Regardless, it's very scary to think that there was a fire burning in our bedroom while we were gone for a week. Thank God the damage was limited to one pillow sham! Our guardian angels were definitely working overtime in our absence.