Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stardate 63825.34 - Halloween Parties

Last weekend we had two Halloween parties to attend. The first was at the YMCA where Loren has taken a swim class and a ballet class. Her ballet teacher was the organizer of the event. We snapped one picture of Kate in her costume before we were chastised for taking pictures. Apparently it was a "no camera" event. I guess they didn't want people taking pictures of other people's kids, but this meant we ended up with no pictures of Loren as a pirate.

On Sunday we went down to Long Branch to walk along the boardwalk and eat at Windmill. Windmill holds a special place in my heart as it is where I ate two huge chili cheese dogs for lunch on the day of our wedding. People say you are too nervous to eat, but I was hungry! After lunch, we walked along the beach and Loren even found a playground set on the beach to explore.

I like the juxtaposition of little Loren against the enormity of the ocean.

Loren, unprompted, wrote her name in the sand. She has really been working on writing her name, although it is usually more clear on paper than in the sand.

The second Halloween party was at the Yacht Club, where Kate went in the famous strawberry costume and Loren switched to Cinderella. They really went all out at the club, with lots of decorations, a fog machine, and of course the bar was in service for the adults.

I think this cat is saying, "Mine!! Mine!! This candy is all mine!!!" I may have to post this to LOL Cats.

Here Loren plays the Halloween version of Twister with some older girls.

We had a nice time although something I ate over the weekend really did not agree with me and I was not well at all Monday and Tuesday. I suffered through work on Monday but worked from home Tuesday. By Wednesday I was better and went back to work but I've still had headaches and am not at 100%. Also, Kate ended up with a fever Monday night and stayed home Tuesday through Thursday, although she seems well enough to return to school today. In general, it has been a crappy week for everyone but here's hoping the weekend marks a turn-around!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stardate 63822.65 - Picture of Loren

I really like this picture of Loren I took on the beach during a short trip to Long Branch last weekend (more photos and information to follow).


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stardate 63796.84 - Will the Newspaper Still be Delivered?

We knew that there was a coastal flood advisory in effect, and we did have some street flooding on Saturday, but we got up Sunday and once high tide hit the street in front of our house (and sidewalk) were awash.

Here is a shot looking down the street towards the sea wall and Sandy Hook Bay:

Here is a shot looking up the street towards higher ground (so we were not as trapped as the first two photos may have led you to believe).

Another one looking towards the wall, zoomed in a bit:

And looking across the street at our neighbor's house.

It all cleared out after an hour or so, and it never came up further into our driveway or ever reached the lawn. We think we're on a bit of a rise so our beach house stayed flood-free. We could see how someone could freak, however, if they were not expecting this situation.


Stardate 63796.82 - Ballet and Spider

Loren has been taking ballet classes in NJ on Saturdays, and we finally thought to bring the camera to one of her lessons. Of course, in trying to be discreet and not use the flash we ended up with mostly out-of-focus, blurry pictures but there were a few that were not too bad so I posted them here.

That is the ballet portion of this post. And in the spider portion, here is one big freak'n spider that has been hanging out on a web in front of one of the beach house sunporch windows for the past several week. Anyone know what type of spider this is?


Stardate 63796.79 - Pumpkin Patch 2009

Just like two years ago, Loren got to experience the Dearborn Market pumpkin patch with Cheryl, Grandpop, and Grandma this October. Unlike 2007, Kate was along for the trip. Also unlike 2007, I was off enjoying a 5-hour sail (the last of the season). Therefore I won't have too much commentary, since I wasn't there. But here are the pictures I felt were the best of the bunch.

Loren picked out a pumpkin and we brought it back to the city to make a Jack-o-Lantern. Loren drew the eyes, nose, and mouth she wanted carved on it and helped prepare it.

And here is the spooky, final result!!

We carved the pumpkin Monday or Tuesday night, and as a post script, when we returned from the beach house this evening I noticed a smell in the kitchen and when I lifted the top off the Jack-o-Lantern I was greeted by black and white mold covering most of the interior. It went into the trash, and we promised Loren we could get another and that we'd keep it in the fridge after we carve it so that it will last longer!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stardate 63773.75 - Megan and Pov's Wedding

Back on September 26th my cousin Megan got married at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. Because of the horrible experience with Kate on long car trips back in June, and because I had some air miles on USAirways that were about to expire, we flew from LGA to Pittsburgh and then rented a Toyota Sienna minivan and drove to the park (around 3 hours). Not sure if it is because Kate is older, or was over tired, or because Cheryl could sit comfortably between the girls in the back, but Kate did much, much better on this trip. Still not sure I'd want to do a 8+ hour trip with her, so we may have to do a combination airplane/drive at Christmas time to get down to Virginia...but we'll see.

The wedding was at the lodge inside the park, so we had great views from a short stroll behind the facilities.

Later we took a short stroll down a paved path to get a glimpse of the actual falls. Because it was Fall, the water level was pretty low.

Afterward, Loren and Cheryl (Kate was asleep in the van) walked down a few hundred steps to the observation platform closer to the falls. Loren did a great job walking all the way down and back!

Here is a view of the rehearsal Friday evening. Unfortunately, it rained all day Saturday and the wedding had to be held indoors.

Saturday morning we killed time before the wedding by driving over to the town of Davis for a little race and festival that was going on there.

It started raining while we are at the festival and then rained pretty much the rest of the day. The mother-of-the-bride was really trying to hold off as long as possible to see if it could be held outdoors, but when the harpist showed up she flatly refused to take the harp out in the damp rain and so the decision was finalized to hold it indoors.

Here Aunt Ginger holds Kate at our table.

The bride and her parents come down the aisle.

Kate shows off her rocker side.

I pose with the bride and Kate.

The sister of the bride takes a turn holding Kate.

And Nanna holds Kate while Kracker looks on from the background.

Sunday we had breakfast early and then drove back to Pittsburgh and flew home. The travel was uneventful, and I have to say if we ever decide to buy a minivan the Toyota Sienna was very spacious and comfortable.

The bride and groom are now off for a honeymoon in Thailand!