Category Archives: Children

Hunter’s first wedding

On May 28th, friends of ours from church got married.

Back in February they told us that they were going to be married in May and they would like to ask Hunter to be the ring bearer.  My first thought was “what are you guys crazy” asking Hunter to be ring bearer had its share of risks and were they or even us, ready for them.  Hunter’s Aspergers has him look at the world in black or white, no gray area at all.  He is rigid in his ways and definitely resistant to any type of change, so when the day comes, he may perform or he might not, period.  Any type of change during the rehearsal or ceremony could absolutely have Hunter going off the deep end.  So after taking a deep breath I told them to go ahead and ask Hunter.

They did ask him and he was clueless to what a ring bearer was or a wedding for that matter.  They patiently explained everything to him, to which he asked “can I carry Pikachu? He was told he would be carrying a pillow with the rings on top and that he could have Pikachu at the reception.  Then he wanted to know if he could walk down the aisle like a penguin because he always wanted to be a penguin (you know, tuxedo = penguin). They said no he would have to walk normal but could be a penguin at the reception all he wanted.  After taking this all in he said yes he would be ring bearer.  I just kept thinking, they do not know what they are in for.

When the time came near, I brought him to be fitted for his tuxedo.  He did very well at the fitting but I was really leery about Hunter wearing all those clothes plus real shoes.  Boy, I thought, I am in for it.

The rehearsal came and Dave took Hunter as I had to stay home with Hayley because she was receiving therapy.  When Dave got home from the rehearsal, he immediately asked for a glass of wine and collapsed on the swing on the patio outside.  I asked Hunter how it went and he said ok.  Then I asked Dave.  He said it wasn’t horrible but it was as we thought, Hunter was not keen on all the changes that came and went.  The wedding party decided early on that Hunter would not be capable of standing with the wedding party up at the altar for the ceremony.  Hunter would walk down the aisle and sit with me in the front (although I really should be on the bride’s side of the church, I got to sit in the front row  next to the grooms immediate family.)  Anyway, Dave said Hunter accepted this pretty well, but then came the pillow…. Hunter for whatever reason got quickly attached to the pillow.  He was told that when the pastor says it is time for the exchange of rings, he would walk up to the best man and hand him the pillow so he could retrieve the rings.  Hunter flipped out! “I AM NOT GIVING UP THE PILLOW”!  The Pastor told him that he didn’t have to give up the pillow, just make-believe.  Then Hunter thought the rings would actually be on the pillow, when told no, that the best man will have the rings in his pocket and they would be making believe, Hunter yelled “ITS A FAKE!!!”  Dave got Hunter calmed down and said now was the time to practice the processional.  Hunter did extremely well walking down the aisle and sitting next to Dave.  When the Pastor said it was time to exchange the rings, Hunter marched up the steps, got in front of the best man and yelled “YOU ARE A PILLOW SNATCHER!!!”  Once again he sat next to Dave, who by this time was sweating profusely, and Hunter calmed down.  Dave said to me after he got home “tomorrow is anyone’s game.”

The next morning came and we dressed Hunter in his tuxedo.  He looked so adorable.  I was really surprised he didn’t complain too much.  The thing that was most uncomfortable for him were the shoes.  He has never worn dress shoes before.  I will say by the time we got to the reception that day, Hunter was sporting some mean blisters (yet he didn’t really complain), surprise, surprise.  He was a little tough when pictures were taken before the wedding, but he got through it.

The wedding started and the bridesmaids came down the aisle.  It looked as if Hunter was speed walking because he was right on top of the last bridesmaid and she had to keep looking back to be sure Hunter wasn’t going to step on her dress.  He sat down next to me and I praised him.  Hunter sat very quietly during the ceremony and I whispered what he needed to do when the ring exchange was announced.  Now like I said before, Hunter is not used to any type of dress clothes or shoes.  He had on tee-shirt, white shirt, tie, jacket, pants with clips on the side, socks and dress shoes.  Well what I didn’t realize was that little by little Hunter was becoming “Un tucked it”.  So as he walked up the stairs to the best man, his pants started to fall down!  He grabbed the back with one hand and handed the pillow to the best man with the other.  You could hear the chuckles in the crowd.  The lady sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said “there always needs to be a light moment in a wedding”.   Hunter came back to sit with me and said “I saved my pants in the nick of time”.  I was very, very proud of him and how her performed.

Once at the reception, Hunter took off the shoes, jacket and tie and danced the afternoon away………..holding Pikachu and making believe he was a penguin.

Dave helping Hunter get dressed

Hunter in his Tuxedo

Hunter and Daddy

Hunter and Hayley (she did excellent by the way)

Autism and Water

 

Hayley LOVES water!  It is both a good thing but also a bad thing.  Any kind of water will do.  She likes to swim, jump, splash and dive into water.  It is the one thing that will pretty much keep her occupied and calm. Hayley has many sensory issues, so I think whether swimming in the ocean or in the pool  it is relaxing for her.  When we go to Florida, Hayley could spend hours on the beach.  The problem is that she is fearless while I am fearful.  Hayley has no concept of the danger of the ocean.  She loves jumping into and under the waves.  I am not a strong swimmer so Dave usually is the one out in the waves with her.  Also, Hayley tends to bolt from the beach into the water no matter how rough it is.  She is so fast, it is hard to catch up with her and she just will not listen when you call her or tell her to come out of the water.  It is like Hayley is in another world. Another thing Hayley likes doing at the beach is lay on the beach with her ear to the sand at the ocean’s edge.  She becomes mesmerized.  I think Hayley likes the sound of the waves crashing on the shore,  as well as the vibrations.

We opened our pool on Monday, April 28th.  I know, it is early, but we have always opened it in April yet didn’t use it until the end of May. We like to look at it and listen to the waterfall.   Not this year!  Hayley and Hunter has been in the pool 5 times already!  We put the heat on and the temperature got up to 77 degrees (I don’t go in the pool unless it is 85 degrees) and they were in.  As long as the water is somewhat warm, they don’t care about the air temperature.  I am so happy they have been in the pool because it is exercise but more importantly swimming makes Hayley sooooo happy (unless I giver her the wrong color ice pop).  Hayley’s school has a swimming program so she has learned how to swim and dive into the deep end.  This past Saturday Hayley literally dove/jumped in the pool for 2 hours straight!  I was exhausted just watching her.  Hayley loves to be underwater because I think she likes the pressure on her head and ears.  Even when she takes a bath, Hayley will for most of the time lay and keep her head under the water just past her ears again, for the pressure.

Since today it is supposed to get up to 75 degrees outside, I have already started the heater in the pool.  After the kids get home it will be off to the pool.  I will make sure I have the right colored ice pops and my book so I can somewhat relax for a while.  The only thing is, being in the pool does not stop Hunter from talking……………..

Autism and it’s Oddities

There is never a dull moment in this house.  Having 2 children with Autism brings us lots of surprises, both good and bad.  I just have to share two things I found once Hunter and Hayley went to school today.

I was busy straightening up the house before I went to the gym, because the cleaning people were coming.  Once finished, I decided to have a fat-free english muffin with sugarless jam for breakfast.  When I opened the cabinet to get the english muffins, I jumped back startled because this is what I found………

Yes, headless Barbie bodies and their heads.  Except for Ken.  For whatever reason, Hayley had a problem with Ken on Sunday and threw his head into the dirt in the backyard and buried it.  Hayley has a tendency to set items up and hide them in various places in the house.  She often hides the Barbies to surprise me because she must know I had “issues” with dolls when I was little.  They were creepy and I felt they would move at night….(another blog).  Anyway,  I always find this disturbing when I find hidden Barbies and also the fact that Hayley enjoys playing with them in this condition.

Hunter doesn’t really hide things like Hayley, but he often has “set-ups”.  It is not uncommon to walk into a room and find a menagerie of stuffed animals, sitting on all the Dining Room chairs, set up on the fireplace mantle, on the second floor of the Library peeking through the spindles etc.   Last night we put Hunter to bed and went back downstairs to watch a little tv.  After a while we decided to go to bed.  Now, outside my bedroom is a floor to ceiling window that gives a nice view of the neighborhood.  Hunter loves to sit in front of this window when he is waiting for someone to come over.  He can see way down the street.  As I approached this window, this is what I found….

Yup, Pikachu and company.  Hunter must have gotten up after we went downstairs to set-up the Pokemon group.  I didn’t get to ask him about it this morning because we were in a rush for the bus, but I will when he gets home. I am sure he will have an unusual story to tell me like he always does.

I have to laugh at these things and enjoy them.  There are so many difficulties with Autism and I tend to get lost in them.  But, when Hunter and Hayley come up with some of these oddities, I embrace them and know not all is bad.

Now if someone could tell me why a child would prefer her Barbies headless, please let me know 🙂

OOPS! Gym update from last week – 4/14

I really don’t know where this past week has gone.  It has been a rough and tumble week, all kinds of things going on for good and for insane.  Hunter and Hayley have certainly been keeping me on my toes.

Anyway, the week preceding the gym went very well.  In addition to going to the gym, I continued walking on my treadmill at home.  I watched what I ate and felt pretty good.  When I got to the gym on Thursday, Jess said “we” needed to take it to another level.  This means more weight on the machines and a more intense workout.  Wow, I felt like I was training for a triathalon!  Whether it was lower body or upper body, she kept piling on weights and I thought I was going to die.  By  the time I got to the last reps, my limbs were literally shaking, I didn’t think I would finish. I was dripping in sweat and felt muscles that I didn’t even know I had.   Now it was time for the weigh in.  I marched into the room with the scale figuring “oh I bet I lost 3lbs”.   Jess set the scale to what I weighed last week, I got on……..O lbs lost.  I was shocked, it couldn’t be! I had been consistently loosing EVERY week!  Once I calmed down, Jess explained to me that yes, I had been loosing consistently but there will be times I  will not lose anything.  She told me not to give up and not to go home and binge or anything like that, just keep doing what I have been doing and I will continue to lose weight.

I have been fine since then. I have watched what I consumed and was able to do my treadmill twice.  I am unable to go to the gym this week which has me a little nervous.  I am leaving for Florida today and will be back on Saturday.  Although the trip isn’t primarily for pleasure, I can do some damage while I visit with Katie at night  🙂  Hopefully she will hold me accountable!! I plan on taking a walk on the beach each day and am looking forward to doing that.

Who know what this next week will bring but I plan on giving it my best shot.  Losing 30 lbs. is tremendous for me and I don’t want to blow it.  I am confident that once I get back on my regular schedule the pounds will continue to “melt” off 🙂

Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Autistic Kids

Hayley

Hayley just started her Spring Session of Therapeutic Riding at “Riding with HEART” (Hunterdon Equine Assisted Recreation and Therapy).  She attended the Fall Session and just loved it.

Katie is an equestrian and has ridden for about 16 years.  In addition to years of lessons, Katie has competed and done very well in many, many shows.  Katie also rode for the Villanova Equestrian Team as an Undergraduate, a team she helped found.  She also rode alumni as well.  All those years attending show after show, Hayley HATED horses.  She would yell and scream and roll on the ground.  We couldn’t get her within 10 feet of a horse.  I knew there was therapeutic riding close by our house but I never considered signing Hayley up because of her dislike of horses.

One Saturday last spring, Dave went to a local farm to order mulch and he took Hayley with him.  On the farm they have 2 Clydesdale horses, Lucy and Walter.  Hayley knew the horses names because almost daily we pass by the farm and I would say “say hi to Lucy and Walter!”.  Dave pulled into Alice and Richard’s driveway, let Hayley out of the car and she immediately ran to and climbed on the fence saying both horse’s name.  Alice, Richard and Dave came over and Alice called the horses to the fence so Hayley could pet them.  Hayley did, but started saying “on horse, on horse”.  Alice brought her into the paddock and lifted her on beautiful, white Lucy.  Dave immediately called me on the cell phone to tell me Hayley was actually on a horse, I didn’t believe it.  Dave said as soon as Hayley sat on the horse, a look of total bliss came over her face.  He wanted to cry.  Alice and Dave on one side and Richard on the other side walked Hayley around the paddock 3 times, she didn’t want to get off!  Dave brought her home and I hugged her and asked about riding the horse.  Hayley said “ride Lucy”, I was so very proud of her.

We took Hayley to visit Lucy and Walter on occasion during the summer and she enjoyed brushing them and feeding the horses hay. I decided that I would sign her up for the fall session of therapeutic riding. I signed  Hayley up for an Autism Social Skills Group.  There are 5 other autistic kids in the group.  Each child gets an aide to help them through the lesson, plus there are plenty of additional volunteers to help if needed. The kids do a greeting, play a game, groom the horses and then ride.

It was so much fun bringing Hayley to the Horse supply store and getting her fitted for riding boots.  She then got to pick out special pants and socks.  Hayley looked adorable.  She was so excited and would put her boots on everyday hoping that that was the day she was going to ride.

Hayley’s school teacher made up a chart for us showing Hayley what the progression was going to be.  Dress in horse riding clothes – greeting & game – grooming – riding – home.  Hayley needs these visual reminders of what is going to happen and when.  The first day Hayley tantrumed and screamed because she wanted to get right on the horse and not do anything else.  Finally, after 20 minutes she calmed down and they got her on the horse “Patrick” a really handsome white, gentle horse.  Hayley had the biggest smile I had ever seen while being led around the ring.  When it came time to get off the horse, yes! another major tantrum.  As the weeks went by, Hayley became acclimated to the schedule and did extremely well.

Once the session was over, Hayley continued to come home from school on Monday’s and want to get into her riding gear.  I assured her we would sign up again in the Spring.  Now whether she understood or not, she finally stopped asking for “horse”.

Last month I signed Hayley up for the Fall Session and it started yesterday.  She was very excited getting dressed, putting her riding clothes on.  When we got there, Hayley wanted to ride immediately, MAJOR tantrum!  She screamed and screamed, kept trying to run away etc.  It was upsetting of course, because of her severe behavioral problems, Hayley was the ONLY autistic child there tantruming and being held back.  If I let go, she would have run to a horse and start picking up one of their legs, why she does this to animals, I don’t know.  I do know doing this to a horse is dangerous.  Finally the aide took over, Hunter and I were sitting in the car reading and could hear Hayley’s screams bouncing off all the walls.  Eventually they all came outside to ride the horses.  As I watched, Hayley refused to get on “Patrick” and was once again, screaming and rolling on the ground.  No one knows how very tiring and upsetting this is.  Everyone, and I am talking parents of autistic kids were staring and shaking their heads.

I was beckoned over by the trainer and with head held high, I walked past all the parents and up to Hayley and spoke to her for 5 minutes.  She finally calmed down and got on the horse.  From then on, Hayley had the best time being led around the ring, a beautiful smile on her face.  Iam hoping that next week there will be less screaming and yelling.

When you have a child with Autism you cannot predict each day.  What they are happy with one day, they are angry about the next day.  A parent tries all they can to help their child and try to bring some sense of normalcy.  These kids know more than you think but just can’t communicate their feelings or needs.

Some of the benefits of Therapeutic Riding are:

Eye/hand coordination – Balance – Muscle strength – Socialization – Body awareness – Self-control – Self-confidence – Problem solving – Fine motor coordination – Sensory integration and Communication.

OUR WASHINGTON DC ESCAPADES – LAST PART

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Our third day in DC started out as uneventful.  We got up, went to breakfast and decided to go to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum.  To me that is the most boring museum ever!  How many airplanes, rockets and space vehicles can one look at.  Dave and Hunter were eager to go, so go we did. Once we entered the museum Hayley freaked out screaming so I knew we were in trouble. 

Hayley and I trudged behind Dave and Hunter as they were checking out the many displays.  Every once in a while if I spied an open seat I would sit Hayley down while Dave and Hunter looked at something.  After a few hours we got lunch and it was back to the museum. 

 Dave and Hunter decided to go and re-visit some of their favorite displays and films.  I and even more so Hayley did not even have “1 favorite” display and so chose to sit down on a platform holding a very large rocket. I watched Dave and Hunter disappear into the crowd and Hayley chose to moan very loudly and roll all over the platform.  All of a sudden I happened to look in the distance and saw a head bobbing up and down and waving.  It was Dave and I then realized he was beckoning me to come.  I took Hayley’s hand and we made our way to where Dave and Hunter were supposed to be.  As we approached, I saw Dave but no Hunter, panic started to overtake me because I thought Hunter was lost.  As my eyes are frantically looking around, I saw him behind Dave laying face up on the floor with blood all over his face, shirt and the floor. Then I noticed Dave was holding a wad of blood soaked napkins.  “What HAPPENED”, I yelled?  Dave said they were walking around when all of a sudden Hunter got a bloody nose, he said blood was spurting everywhere!  Dave had no tissues or napkins on him, just the map and he knew that wouldn’t help.  After having Hunter lay on the floor and then standing there helplessly looking at him, a lady ran over and handed Dave napkins she had been carrying in her purse. Dave cleaned him up the best he could and that was when he waved us over. Meanwhile through all this, Hunter is crying and sobbing “am I going to survive this tragedy?” We finally were able to let him up without his nose bleeding, Dave took Hunter to the bathroom and finished cleaning him up to the best of his ability.  Meanwhile, Hayley is rolling all over the floor tantruming.  It is amazing how many people passed us by and saw Hunter and all the blood, plus Hayley rolling around screaming, yet not one asked if we needed help, and that includes museum staff as well.

Once that episode was over, it was back to the Natural History Museum.  Hunter’s shirt was covered with blood but hey, why would that bother him?  Hunter started the long process of video taping every animal in the animal exhibit.  While he and Dave were occupied with this, I found a nice bench in the corner and Hayley and I sat down. Once Hunter was satisfied with what he video taped it was back to the hotel.

After a long HOT walk back to the hotel, we got into our nice cool room.  I was never so happy to be somewhere.  It had been and exhausting day. Hunter changed into clean clothes so we were set, or so we thought.  We all sat down when Hunter got up, walked to the desk and got a tissue to blow his nose.  Before I could say DO NOT BLOW TOO HARD, he did.   He blew out a clot and blood went flying EVERYWHERE!!!  All over Hunter, the bed, carpet, tables and chairs.  After the initial shock, Dave and I jumped up, but Hunter darted past us into the bathroom.  He was trying to strip off his clothes and go into the bathtub, blood is ALL over……..sink, mirror, floor, tub you name it.  It looked as though a murder was committed! We are yelling for Hunter to get out ot the tub, but he kept screaming “I HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER!!! Dave pulled Hunter out ot the shower and cleaned him up, I got him to lay on the floor by the bed, yet Hunter kept insisting that “Kevin” said if you get a bloody nose, you have to take a shower because it stops the flow. I argued no, that is not true, you must lay down.  The next day we found out from Kevin that when he was babysitting Hunter and Hayley, Hunter got a bloody nose while standing in the tub when Kevin was buzzing Hunter’s head.  What Kevin DID say to Hunter was that at least he was standing in the tub when the nose bleed came so it was easier to wash off.

Now mind you while all this is going on Hayley is jumping, jumping, jumping on the bed screeching.  Dave and I are still cleaning up blood when Hunter calls to me saying he is cold.  I march to where he is laying down and there the poor kid was laying in front of the air conditioner with just his underwear on and about a million goose bumps! I took a clean blanket and put over him and told him just to hold on a few more minutes.

Ok, blood is cleaned up about the best it could be. I got Hunter up and he changed into his pajamas as I only had one more outfit for him to wear.  Dave opened a bottle of wine, got out the water glasses and poured us a “healthy” amount.  We sat not speaking for a few minutes until the shock wore off.  Hayley is still intermittently jumping on the bed but we chose to ignore her. 

Dave decided to go downstairs to see if there were any take out menus for the area because we really didn’t want room service again.  He wasn’t gone even 1 minute when Hayley started REALLY jumping on the bed and hysterically laughing (this means big trouble).  I started to walk over to get her off the bed when she jumped past me, picked up the wine bottle and as I screamed NOOOOOO, the bottle of wine shot out of her hands and wine went EVERYWHERE!!! It went on the bed, blankets, floor and chair.  Yes, the same ones that are covered in blood, now are also covered in wine.  I yell at Hayley to go sit down so I could attempt to clean up the mess when Dave walks in minus menus. He just stood in the door dumbfounded.

We got cleaned up, opened another bottle of wine and finally sat down. But not for long.  Hayley got up on the bed started jumping and hysterically laughing. She started saying “pee pee on the bed”.  Dave whipped her off the bed and brought her to the bathroom. Hayley is still giggling, but after 10 minutes she says “try later”.  Ok, as Dave turns out the light in the bathroom, Hayley jumps on the bed and immediately pees all over it!!! Bed, sheets, blankets are wet. Now we have one bed covered in blood and wine, the other in pee. We used the last remaining towel to clean up the pee.  Dave and I again sat down and could do nothing but drink up our wine and stare.

When we looked around the room and then the bathroom with a stack of towels covered in blood, wind and pee, we knew then that we would never return to this hotel.  They probably have a “banned from the hotel” poster in every hallway for our family, and I wouldn’t blame them.

We can laugh about it now but at the time when this type of thing happens you feel helpless, hopeless, stressed, pissed, you name it.  But this is our life so you take the good with the bad.

After everything FINALLY calmed down for the night, you know what we did?  Order room service!

OUR WASHINGTON DC ESCAPADES – Part 2

Day 2 of our DC trip comes and when we wake up, Hayley starts holding her ear and saying “ear, boo boo”.  Great!  I tried calling our doctor and begged him to call in a prescription to get us through this trip, but he said NO!  We got into the car and road around until we found a drug store and we wound up buying organic drops.  At this point I will try anything.  I gave Hayley Tylenol and then wrestled with her until she laid down in the back seat, got her in a head lock and put the ear drops in.

We decided (even though it is a Saturday ON a holiday weekend and against MY better judgement), to go to the zoo.  We wanted to see the Panda Bears and the Tigers.  There had to be a million people walking and driving everywhere.  It was so crowded that all the zoo parking lots were closed.  Dave would have parked a few miles away and walked but I put my foot down…..it was 82 degrees!

It is now 1:00 and we decide to drive to the Lincoln Memorial.  Again, thousands of people were on the road and every motorcycle known to mankind. We were in so much traffic that we decided to bag the Lincoln Memorial and go to Arlington National Cemetary.  Are we stupid or what?  Every veteran alive was there and we couldn’t even get near it.  We got stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours!

Ok, we bring the car back to the hotel and walk the few blocks to the Smithsonian area and the Mall.  Dave decides we will WALK from the Smithsonian to the Washington Monument on to the Lincoln Memorial.  Does anyone know how far this is?  I stood squinting my eyes trying to see the Lincoln Memorial and could only make out a hazy object that seemed to be a hundred miles away.  No problem says Dave, we will take our time. If you can imagine I had a very disgruntled attitude.

We started walking and the one really touching thing that happened was, Hayley saw the Carousel and started smiling saying “go to carousel, go to carousel” and started running towards it.  Let me just say that a few years ago when we would visit the Jacksonville Zoo, Hayley knew the path to the Carousel there and would scream and scream. So, this was a very big moment for her as well as us.

We were so very proud of her! We let her go on it two more times.  Hunter was on it as well, but he was really more concerned if he was going to get a souvenir that day or not.

We walked on, made it to the Washington Monument. For anyone who has never been there, there are NO trees or any type of shady spots.  Hunter, Hayley and I were dying of heat exhaustion and thirst, but Dave pushed us on, “it’s not much farther he said”.  Total lie.  Hunter is complaining, I am dragging Hayley and frankly, I didn’t really give a crap about seeing the Lincoln Memorial, I saw it a few times before.

 

Next we hit the World War II monument.  Flowers and flags were draped on the different states that soldiers were from.  I stood in front of the New Jersey plaque as my dad fought in World War II and although he is gone, I am very proud of him for his dedicated service to our country.

We continue on, at least there are trees now so the sun isn’t so oppressive.  Although I am not a fan of Canadian Geese, we did see a mom and dad with 4 little babies on the grass, they looked so cute.  Hayley got so excited, clapping her hands, Hunter not so much.  We found a vendor, got ice cream for the kids and water for Dave and I.  We collapsed in the grass underneath a tree, I was really afraid I would never get up. Dave still had his get up and go!  We eventually got to the Lincoln Memorial, 1 million people there, I walked up the stairs pulling Hayley behind me and found a pillar and sat down on the cold marble floor. I leaned back, Hayley laid flat down on the cool floor.  Still not caring to see Abe,  I told Dave go for it with Hunter!  Hunter got his second wind but not Hayley and I.  After what felt like a 4 hour walk, I glanced at Abe and told Dave, we are out of here.

The walk was a little better going back.  We walked past the Vietnam Memorial which is very touching.  All kinds of pictures, stuffed animals, notes etc. are placed under loved ones names.  There were veterans from all the wars there. There were several World War II veterans there.  I wanted to stop and shake there hand and tell them thank you in honor of my father, but I was too overcome by emotion.

We stopped at the American Museum and  I got to see the “ruby slippers” from the Wizard of Oz (my second favorite movie after Gone with the Wind), Archie Bunkers chair and Kermit the Frog. That’s it I said to Dave, a loooooooong day, I AM DONE.

After an EXHAUSTING day we FINALLY got back to the hotel and you know what we did?………………………………….Order Room Service!