Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore

I'm in San Jose on a business trip for a few days, and while waiting in the airport this evening for one of my colleagues to arrive on another flight, I stumbled upon this little nook.

Only in California.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Chippy in Torry


Disclaimer: This may only be funny to you if you live or have lived in Aberdeen.

OK, the back story first. Trey is a great lover of graduation ceremonies, remember? He attends them whether he knows any of the graduates or not, and we trekked an entire ocean with our then 8-month old to attend his Aberdeen graduation in 2009. You could say he's committed. So this means that every year around graduation time he scours the University of Aberdeen's website for photos, stories, and videos about the commencement ceremonies. This year the University put up a lot of interview videos and we enjoyed hearing the interviewer's lovely Aberdeen lilt and the interviewees' often humorous responses.

One man, in particular, Neal Ascherson, who had received an honorary degree, mentioned his love for the city and how he is still trying to find this one little "chippy in Torry". Trey couldn't stop giggling about it, in part because Torry has such a notorious reputation. You can watch the clip for yourself by following this link and pulling up the video entitled "Honorary Graduates Andrew Lewis and Neal Ascherson - 7 July 2010" (this is obviously from last year). The comment in question can be found around minute 2:46. Sadly, I can't embed the video. You'll have to check it out for yourself and compare the boys' rendition.

Ascherson goes on to describe Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as an extraordinary place that you can never come to the end of. When he said those words I felt such a sense of understanding with his meaning. It is precisely how I feel.

A Day in Cape May

Last Saturday we took a day trip down to Cape May to enjoy some sun and surf. Since this year's vacation didn't involve going to the beach like last year's did, we needed to get in at least one good beach day.

And this was it. The temps were mild. The sky was clear blue.

We started our day off with an outdoor picnic at Cape May Point followed by some tree climbing.

Daddy got the highest.

Then we went for a bird/nature walk along the Point's trails, which is where Genevie's troubles began. A word of warning. Nature walks and 2-year olds don't mix.

The beach, however, was another story. Everyone loved it.

The boys and Daddy helped build a sand dinosaur, which they named the Cape-o-saurus.

This iPhone picture doesn't do it justice. It was actually really cool. They used broken shells for teethg and stones for eyes.

The happy crew admiring their work.

After the beach we took a surrey ride around town. We started with Davis and Genevie in the front basket but they wouldn't leave each other alone, necessitating a strategic switch.

Later we visited a recently opened WWII watch tower back at the Point. They had some fascinating exhibits inside including a collection of old war posters. Who does this remind you of?

This one seemed like out-and-out propaganda.

This one just made me laugh.

We finished the day with dinner at the Lobster House, sandy, tired, and a little sun-kissed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest Blogging

This is a first for me. Today I am the guest blogger over at Tamara Out Loud. I met Tamara years ago through an online parenting message board, and we just clicked. Over the years we've kept in touch although we've never met in person, and then about a year ago she started her own blog. She is an amazing writer with nuance and humor and tremendous insight, and I have been so moved by the vulnerability and insights she has shared. I am so honored to be featured on her very popular blog. My post is called Heartbreak Is. Check it out and stick around to read some of Tamara's fantastic posts as well.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Instead of breaking this up into multiple posts, I've decided to do one lengthy vacation recap, mostly in pictures, of our wonderful week down in Atlanta over the Independence Day holiday.

It didn't start off wonderful, though. As we drove the PHL Airport and neared the exit for long-term parking, Genevie threw up all over herself, her doll Meh-meh (formerly called Nana), and her car seat. Not the way any of us were hoping to start the trip off. She didn't seem ill at all, and I was fairly certain this was just a case of eating breakfast too quickly and jumping right in a car.

Meh-meh is an integral part of Genevie's life, and so throw-up was no deterrent. She cradled her little doll encased in the protection of a CVS bag all the way from Philly to Atlanta where Meh-meh could get a bath in the washing machine.
What do you do when you're little and waiting for a plane? You run around and climb on anything you can, windows included.
Make funny faces.
Jump on the seats.
Watch the planes coming in.
Once we got to Atlanta we took the MARTA from the airport to my mother-in-law's house.
Then the real fun began. All of our kids' cousins live in Atlanta and are either exactly the same age or a little older. This spells tons of playmates, and boy did they have a good time!
Genevie's cousin Charlotte is just 2 months younger and they were thick as thieves, here getting into a bowl of berries.
The day before 4th of July we got an all-family game of pickle going in my brother-in-law's front yard.
The boys loved it.

Trey and his brother were the throwers and the kids wore themselves out running between the bases.

Even Genevie goti n on the action. Those rosy red cheeks tell you just how hot and humid it was. Atlanta always lives up to its reputation.
We got some great shots of all 9 cousins together. This was the silly face one.
Here I snagged some picture of Genevie and Charlotte playing with their cousins' labradoodle Bailey. He's a big boy but completely harmless.

After dinner we did our own private fireworks show down at the street rather than lugging all the little ones to the town fireworks.
It was a great decision because they had front row seats. We kicked it off with multiple rounds of sparklers.

Genevie was indignant that she didn't get one, but eventually I acquiesced (as you do with the third) and helped her.
On the 4th itself we were lucky enough that the local parade route went right past at the top of my mother-in-law's street, so we had only to trudge up hill to enjoy it.
That empty plastic bag was completely full by the time we left the parade. The Dunwoody parade has a reputation for being something of a Halloween in July.

Davis was very excited about the candy.

It was a wonderful and very relaxing time for all of us!