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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Painted House

Repainted house. New door and shutters colors. Heritage Red and Raccoon Gray by Benjamin Moore.After really thinking about our house colors and knowing that we can’t really repaint the whole thing we decided to do what we can — we repainted the shutters and the door. Above is an end result photograph. We’re very happy with how it came out.

Original burgundy colors.I was never a fan of a burgundy accent colors that the previous owners have chosen. It made the house look drab and old fashioned.

Repainted setting from with the whole lawn.After a good amount of consideration with picked a bright red color for the door and fairly dark gray with some hints of blue color for the shutters.

This is how it looks with no shutters. Really off in our opinion.We also considered taking the shutters off completely, but raised ranch houses really do not look right without them. We saw how that looks in the process and it looked really wrong and boring.

Power washing the shutters.It took us six day of hard work to get everything done. And then some to actually finish the accents off. We took the shutter down and gave them a good power washing. We took the door down as well. We acquired a paint gun for the job as it was way too much work for a brush and an end result would’ve looked much worse.

Priming the shutters.We primed everything at first. Then we put several coats of paint on. Two coats for the shutters. And three coats of paint on the door.

Door prepared for the primer.With the door we had a bit of a color debacle. The first color we picked looked red on a sample, but turned out to be quite orange. Then we went for a plain red and that turned out to be orangy as well when combined with the first layer.

First two coats of paint on the door.And then finally we put a third coat of paint called Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore and that really did the trick. Perfect color in the end that we were going for. Even though it looks darkish on the sample it comes out just right.

Painting the shutters.The color for the shutters is called Raccoon Fur, also by Benjamin Moore. It really has a nice subtle blue hue even though its a fairly dark gray. We’re quite happy with the choice.

New hardware on the door.We also got rid of ugly gold old fashioned hardware on our door and replaced everything with silver colored modern looking locks.

A sleeping bat.On a side note we made an interesting discovery. When I took one of the shutters off I almost jumped off the leader. There was a pair of bats sleeping under it. They left for the hunt in the evening and didn’t come back. We bought a bat house that we’re going to attach to the house and hope for their return.
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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Photoshop House Recolor

Current color scheme. Beige with burgundy accents.I love living in our house and all the things we’ve done to it to make it ours. However one thing that I think could be improved is the interior color — I’m really not in love with the current scheme.

And even though we have no actual plans to do any of this in the foreseeable future, I thought it would be fun to experiment in Photoshop and see how it could look like.

So here is a selection of options. I like the red door in most cases. Which overall combination do you like? Any other combinations?

Windows and doors repainted in red. Same exterior color.Windows and doors repainted in red. Same exterior color.

Changing the color of shutters to black. Keep the same exterior color and red door.Changing the color of shutters to black. Keep the same exterior color and red door.

And now change the exterior color to light gray, keeping the red door and black shutters.And now change the exterior color to light gray, keeping the red door and black shutters.

Keeping the same light gray exterior, we change the accents to red.Keeping the same light gray exterior, we change the accents to red.

Keep red accents, changing the exterior color to gray-blue color.Keep red accents, changing the exterior color to gray-blue color.

Now changing the color of shutters to black and keeping the red door. Exterior stays in blue-gray.Now changing the color of shutters to black and keeping the red door. Exterior stays in blue-gray.

This is just a crazy combination which has zero chances of actually happening. Our favorite theme of orange-teal.This is just a crazy combination which has zero chances of actually happening. Our favorite theme of orange-teal.

As far as my choice goes I’m between black shutters, red door and ether gray or blue-gray exterior.
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Monday, September 30, 2019

Water Parks Vacation

Our water park adventures.Summer vacations are nice, but expensive, so this year we decided to save on air fare and go someplace local. As a bonus, not flying is good for the environment.

Kids with camel at Camelback.We’ve heard from multiple people how much fun water parks are, but never tried this type of recreation until this summer.

Kids inside Camelback water park.There are three major water parks in relatively close proximity to us — Camelback, Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari. We decided to visit two of them in order to compare and have greater variety. Camelback was recommended by my friend Erica, and Great Wolf Lodge by one of Daniеl’s coworkers.

Climb to the top for the scariest rides.So we booked Calemback for 3 nights and Great Wolfe for 2 nights. I have to say that it even though it was quite fun overall, 5 nights are definitely an overkill, and 2-3 nights in total would have been plenty.

One of the best family rides -- Venus Flytrap. Note the people inside.We left on Friday, June 28th. It took us about two and a half hours of driving to get to Camelback resort. Our room was adequate, and the breakfast was good too.

Ready for the indoor obstacle course.On Thursday Arosha cut two toes on some sharp stone at Martin Pond, so I was a little worried about him getting an infection. Luckily, the resort sells water shoes, so those combined with band-aids proved to provide sufficient protection.

Anna conquering a rope path.Camelback resort has inside water park called Aquatopia and an outdoor park called Camelbeach. Camelbeach requires a separate entry fee, but one day tickets were included with our stay.

Arosha at the top.There were a lot of people at the resort, but we mostly did not have to wait in long lines, with the notable exception of the surfing ride, which we did not even get to try because one had to wait close to an hour for a few minutes of fun.

Rock wall climbing. She did reach the top.I liked both indoor and outdoor parks. I especially liked the ski lift ride, with a beautiful view of the Pocono Mountains. It was a bit on the extreme side for me still, with the kids riding unfastened over the abyss and all. None of the people around us seemed to be scared, and I tried to hide my fear as well in order not to freak out kids or worry Daniеl.

Arosha climbed the hardest wall they had to the top.One of the sad discoveries that I made on this trip is that I get motion sick on the water park rides after 2-3 rounds. What a bummer! I liked the thrill of it, but could not handle much. Luckily, nobody else in the family seemed to be experiencing this, so from time to time I lounged by the pool while Daniеl was in charge of rides with the kids.

Ceramics painting.There was a wave pool which kids really liked. Anna was wearing a life jacket most of the time. She got much better in the last few weeks with swimming by the way, and can go to the docks at Martin Pond by herself.

Dinner at a local brewery.She also started swimming lessons last week along with Arosha. Sadly, she is prone to have swimmers ear, so even with ear plugs and swimming cap she is currently on antibiotic ear drops. But back to water parks.

Outside Camelback aqua park. Some rides get outside the walls.We did a few other activities while at Camelback. Daniеl and kids took an obstacle course and climbed a rock wall. All of us painted some pottery, which was fun too. Aaron painted a lantern, Anna painted a puppy and Daniеl and I painted a Family sign, which is now proudly displayed among some other trinkets over the fireplace.

Fruits of our labor. Fresh out kiln.We visited a few restaurants, some are more expensive than others.

Great Wolf Lodge.The Great Wolf Lodge is located a 10 minute ride away from Camelback. It was a little frustrating that we had to upgrade our room for $60 extra per night because the room that we originally got had one of the sleeping places right next to the air conditioner and there was no way to move it or redirect the AC.

Our room at Great Wolf Lodge.The breakfast was very expensive (over $60 for the 4 of us). We pre-bought it while booking since it was advertised as themed breakfast and we thought it would be fun for the kids. The themed part consisted of a costumed person briefly appearing in the restaurant area and posing for pictures with willing patrons. Luckily, the hotel agreed to refund us the second breakfast and we just bought some bagels and cherries in the local supermarket and saved over $50.

Hugging a puppy. Naturally.There was no outdoor park at Wolf Lodge, but they did have an outdoor pool. The water was too cold for me and Anna, and the boys did not even try it.

Arosha at the obstacle course at Great Wolf Lodge.There was a nice outdoors obstacle course, which Arosha tried. It was $20 per person and not included with the stay.

Mini-golf course.The indoor park was nice. It seemed smaller than Camelback, but had a few somewhat different exciting rides. There were lines at times, but it was not terrible.

Duckpin bowling.We also played a game of mini golf and two games of bowling for variety.

Outside of Great Wolf Lodge.By the end of our vacation, Anna and I got a chlorine induced rash on different body parts. It took a few weeks before it cleared for me and Anna still has some patches of itchy skin on her legs, even though I treated her rash with steroids and moisturizers. I guess, she is more sensitive to that kind of stuff.

Water slides at Great Wolf Lodge.Overall, it was a very nice little getaway. A bit more expensive than we hoped, but definitely cheaper than a full fledged vacation. I am willing to go to another water park next year, but as I said earlier, the stay should be maximum 3 days long in order to maximize the fun and not get worn out by the repetitiveness of this past time.

Last moment of our water parks adventure.

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