My cousin Sandy and her kids Penny and Paul came out for a few days this week so her hubby could study for his big medical exam without distraction.  Yay for us!!  It was especially awesome because it just so happens Sandy was a resident here in the DC area for nine years so she's pretty familiar with the area and pointed out a few things to me, even brought me maps with little stickies on the hot spots I need to check out.  She's awesome!  We both look for the same features in any outing with kids: nature, history, free or cheap, kid-friendly, and enough interest to hold our attention as well as theirs.  We went  to two parks while they were here.  

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I took them out to Gilbert Run Park, which is always a hit with my kids.  The leaves have started to fall onto the trails and oranges and yellows are beginning to show, but for the most part it's still pretty green for October in Maryland.  We soon discovered the stroller wasn't going to hack it over the gnarly roots so we ditched it at our picnic spot and swung back to pick it up.  

Penny was running ahead to read us the numbers pinned on the trees.  If we weren't catching up quickly enough, she'd run behind to repeat the ones we'd passed.  Tristan assisted, but he's not much of a runner.  All kids love a good picnic, a few turns on the slide, and making Mommies run them 1/4 mile to the bathroom to poop... one kid at a time HA!  I got my workout that day.

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The next day Sandy suggested we venture out to the National Colonial Farm in Piscataway Park.  Excellent idea!!  We were practically the only people there so the kids had lots of room to roam and play with the colonial gadgets.  Penny swept out the dirt floor of the summer kitchen while my boys talked to the sheep and Paul tried to work this machine we never did figure out.  He also really liked the chickens, kept oohing at them and pointing :)  

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They were quite taken with the wool and the spinning wheel and spent a lot of time checking out the garden.  Tristan found a huge okra on the ground and I brought it home to dry out the seeds to plant next year.  

We got to the barn right around feeding time so the animals were all too willing to come up to the kids, hoping they had grain to hand out (which they didn't, but they had lots of love... and hay).  We had a blast!

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Most likely we'll be heading out there for Penny and Paul's big birthday bash next month.  Not sure if Josh can make it, but we can! :)  Thanks again for driving out, Sandy!
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