Summer Begins

Today is the first day of my summer lay-off. 75 glorious days of summer adventures await! Today I’ll be concocting a mini-schedule of events for this first week. We are supposed to have some iffy weather, and Willy is going to VBS, so we will probably stay close to home.

Saturday: Altitude @12

Sunday: Davis Park if we can fit it in between raindrops

Monday: Pole Position with just Anthony

Tuesday: Tinker Nature Park again if there is a space between the raindrops

Wednesday: Churchville Park

Thursday: Glow Golf with just Anthony

OK I only planed up to Thursday because right now the forecast is sketchy for the weekend…Maybe that’ll change! I really don’t want to do all of the indoor activities right away. šŸ˜¦


Chestnut Ridge School Playground

Ok, so this isn’t on the list, because it is a typical school playground.

But Willy had been asking for “playground, please” all day in his sweet broken English. I finally obliged at 6:00pm. The sun had just come out only hours before as we have had a few really rainy days! I wanted to stay close to home and I asked him if he wanted to go to Anthony’s school playground. He replied “bus” which is kind of amazing since it’s been almost a year since we played there, but there is a little bus structure he loved playing on last year, usually while singing “The Wheels on the Bus.”

When we got there, I noticed some kids around Willy’s age at play and their dad shooting hoops on the basketball court. Cool. I just wanted to score a bench in the sun, because 50some degrees is not my idea of a warm day. I watched as my normally shy kiddo at first took a wide berth around the kids playing, but gradually moved in. He was shy, never introduced himself, but found himself saying (appropriately) some of his favorite phrases: “What are you doing?” “be careful” “are you ok?” are all pretty useful phrases for a kid with a speech and language delay to have on hand at a playground. He played with the boys, who I guessed were about 4 and 6, without much communication, but that’s what great about little boys on the playground! These kiddos chased each other and ran and played without many words spoken. I saw my sweet boy climb on structures he was definitely too scared to use last year, and may have been timid without his “money see, monkey do” attitude. His buddies were everything he could have hoped for. The little one, Cole (clad in a Thomas shirt), was 4 as I assumed. And his dad asked if Willy was 3. I told him he just turned 4, but the fact that Willy is seen as a typical 3 year old was great! The older one, Noah, felt left out when Willy started playing as he saw that Willy and his younger brother were closer in age. He complained to his dad about it, but when Willy and Cole came by Noah and his dad, the dad asked Willy some questions. AND HE ANSWERED!!!

Now, he asked what his name was and Willy answered, “William,” which in Willyspeak does sound like Wiiyum. The dad said, “Liam? Ok. Boys this is Liam. Liam, can Noah play with you, too?”

Willy exclaimed, “yes!” and they all ran off!

I wasn’t going to butt in and correct his name and technically since Liam is a nickname for William, it’s practically correct. I thought, someone other than family understood Willy. He answered a question asked by a stranger. This is great!!!

The boys continued to play, and run, and slide. Shortly before the brothers left, the older one picked Willy a dandelion. Willy cherished that flower. He held it in his hand, even after I offered to hold it while he played.

After the boys left, Willy’s flower became his playmate. He let his flower take a turn going down the slide, and held it the whole time. It was too sweet.

Another family came to the park before we left, older girls. But the mom said hi to Willy and he replied, “hi” with his awkward palm faced in towards his face wave. Now Willy is usually right on cue with the “goodbyes” but greetings are still a work in progress.

This mom casually mentioned ice cream to her girls and Willy picked up on that word, one of his favs. The mom immediately apologized, but he deserved ice cream.

I think Willy knows that he can be himself at the playground and no one will notice if he’s jumping or clapping or making a face. I also think there are just good people at the playground who helped m son be himself and improve his communication. Every little bit helps.

Black Creek Park

On Easter Monday we went to Black Creek Park. We caught the nature bug after our Easter hike. The weather was seriously different though. Instead of 80 it was just shy of 60. But the sun was shining, so it wasn’t all bad. Anthony, Willy and I went over after Willy asked for a car ride. It was so cute after we got in the car I asked, “where do you want to go?” He promptly relied, “Motma’s!” Well, my mom and dad had just left the day before, so we weren’t quite due for a visit. Then, we started driving down Chili Ave. towards the park and he knows Byrne Dairy is in that direction, and whispers “ice cream!” He really is so sweet! So we went to the park first and I promised he could get ice cream afterward. The biggest attraction for Willy at Black Creek Park is the playground. This playground is quite fun! It was pretty crowded since it was a holiday, but still plenty of room for everyone to play. Willy ran into a friend from nursery school, but barely played with him as he had his own agenda. Anthony soon grew impatient with the playground and wanted to explore the trails. I knew it was going to be wet on the trails and Willy won’t wear boots, and Anthony didn’t wear his, so we just took a walk around the pond and out on the wooden walkway this time. We have been here before and explored more of the trails. We have seen deer in the woods, and searched for several of the hidden Geocaches in the park. This time, we saw some fish in the extremely clear water, we watched a little boy catch a fish, too. That was pretty cool, and we saw turtles sunning themselves on a stick.

We will be back to Black Creek Park a few times this summer I’m sure, but also hope that this list of adventures provides us with some new places to explore.

Corbett’s Glen

We took the glorious Easter 80 degree day to go to Corbett’s Glen to kick off our summer adventures a bit early. Here’s some more info about Corbett’s Glen.

Corbett’s Glen2017-04-16 11.25.19 HDR

It was fun, on the hot side, especially since we hiked quite a bit. We saw 2 snakes (again)! So if you have someone who is dying to see snakes, this is the go-to place for snakes!

We will have to go back after the leaves are on the trees since the pics look pretty drab without green, and we will need to go in the fall to see the colors. One of our new favs!

List of Adventures

List of Adventures

Today I decided that I will not be sitting inside being bored this summer. I checked the calendar and counted it up. We have 74 days of summer vacation. Then I began to create a list of things to do. The list is long, the list is varied. Since my parents live in Horseheads and we live in Rochester, the list spans from Buffalo to Binghamton! Here’s the start of the ever evolving list. It truly started as a list of hikes to take in Rochester and now it is a guide to a fun summer. Feel free to add things!

  1. Corbett’s Glen -Brighton*
  2. Whiting Rd. Nature Preserve – Webster
  3. Abraham Lincoln Park – Penfield
  4. Oatka Creek Park – Wheatland
  5. Lehigh Valley Trail – Henrietta
  6. Lower Falls Park – Rochester
  7. Turning Point Park – Charlotte
  8. Genesee Valley Park – Rochester
  9. Erie Canal – Fairport
  10. Lock 32 – Pittsford
  11. Black Creek Park – Chili*
  12. Thousand Acre Swamp – Penfield
  13. Memorial Park – Chili
  14. Davis Park – Chili
  15. Churchville Park – Churchville
  16. Niagara Falls
  17. Chestnut Ridge Park – Orchard Park
  18. Steiglmeyer Park – Cheektowaga
  19. Letchworth Park – Mount Morris
  20. Stonybrook Park – Dansville
  21. Lake Ontario
  22. Tinker Nature Park – Henrietta
  23. Mendon Ponds -Mendon
  24. Darien Lake
  25. Seabreeze – Irondequoit
  26. Watkins Glen
  27. Buttermilk Falls
  28. Chili Nature Trail – Chili
  29. Highland Park – Rochester
  30. Cobb’s Hill Park – Rochester
  31. Mount Hope Cemetery – Rochester
  32. PA Grand Canyon – Asaph, PA
  33. Harris Hill – Elmira
  34. Eldridge Park – Elmira
  35. Minnehan’s – Avon
  36. Seneca Park Zoo – Rochester
  37. Strong Museum – Rochester
  38. Rochester Museum and Science Center – Rochester
  39. Red Wings Game – Rochester
  40. Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford
  41. Buffalo Zoo -Buffalo
  42. Buffalo Science Museum – Buffalo
  43. WonderWorks – Syracuse
  44. Ontario Beach State Park – Rochester
  45. Susan B. Anthony Museum – Rochester
  46. Union Station Splash Park – Chili
  47. Lasertron – Henrietta
  48. Clubhouse Fun Center – Henrietta
  49. ART Walk – Rochester
  50. Landmark Walking Tour – Rochester
  51. Altitude – Henrietta
  52. Roseland Waterpark – Canandaigua
  53. Movies
  54. Shopping
  55. Glow Golf – Henrietta
  56. Park Station – Erin
  57. Dave and Buster’s – Henrietta
  58. Pole Position – Henrietta
  59. Ithaca Science Center – Ithaca
  60. Ross Park Zoo – Binghamton
  61. Brockport Tour with Jay – Brockport
  62. Corning Glass Museum – Corning
  63. Benjamin Patterson Inn – Corning
  64. Watson Homestead Hiking Trails – Coopers Plains
  65. Tanglewood Nature Center – Elmira
  66. Animal Adventure Park – Harpursville
  67. Beaver Lake Nature Park – Syracuse
  68. Clark’s Reservation – Syracuse
  69. Rosamond Gifford Zoo – Syracuse
  70. Hidden Valley Animal Adventure – Varysburg
  71. Beaver Lake Nature Park – Syracuse
  72. Penn Dixie – Buffalo Area
  73. Lockport Caves – Lockport
  74. Panama RocksĀ – Olean
  75. Empire Farm Days – Seneca Falls
  76. Museum of the Earth – Ithaca
  77. Kershaw Park – Canandaigua
  78. Yancey’s Fancy – Pembroke
  79. Jello Museum – Leroy
  80. Canalside – Buffalo
  81. Vidler’s – East Aurora
  82. Hershell Carousel Museum – North Tonawanda