Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in Connecticut

For a week around Christmas, I was in Connecticut with my family.  I got to spend some time with my two younger brothers: Peter, who is a senior in college, and Leland, who just got home from a tour of duty in Iraq.  What a great Christmas gift!

I enjoy being a tourist, even in my hometowns, so my mom and I went on a short field trip back to the town where I grew up: Old Saybrook, CT.  We had lunch at Dock and Dine, a classic location right on the mouth of the Connecticut River, and we stopped by the Acton Public Library, where I used to do volunteer work in the summers, in the children's section.  Earlier in the 2000's, the library was totally redone and it is now probably 4 times the size it was when I was a kid, and it has a gorgeous new mural, probably 25 or more feet long, along the entrance hallway, depicting the history of the town and important buildings/things in the town.  Mom and I spent a good half hour reading all the hand-painted tiles and looking for names of old friends (the mural also listed the names of people and families who had given money for the library rebuild, cutely shown as the titles of books on many shelves).

There was also one tile we found interesting, telling about the re-design of the Main Street medians, which my mom had a hand in, in the late 90's.

I also got my dad to be a tourist with me.  We went to the Mystic Aquarium the last day I was in Mystic.  We enjoyed the Sea Lion show and went on a wild goose-chase to find the penguins.  I liked the penguin's bracelets to tell them apart.  Good craft project!
On our way up to the Providence airport, mom and I stopped off in Newport to tour one of the mansions, The Breakers.  Over the years, we've probably visited every mansion that is open to the public, but this is the first time I can remember going at Christmastime.  I loved seeing The Breakers all decked out for the holidays, but I most enjoyed the fragrant flower arrangements.  More than one room was just filled with the perfume of lilies.  I'll have to get some for my house, now that my Narcissus and Amaryllis have wilted away.
Now I'm back in Chicago and I have a few days off.  I've already started the great new year's closet redesign.  Pictures will be up soon!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas in Chicago

Nate and I celebrate our Christmas a little early each year, in Chicago, before flying home to our separate families.  This year, we made the celebration a little longer than usual by starting Saturday afternoon at the Christkindl market in Daley Plaza.  We kept ourselves from eating any of the delicious-smelling German treats (not because we were being good but because we had dinner reservations at the Park Grille later), but did purchase some more ornaments for the Christmas tree at home.

Since I don't have any friends with children, I only admired but did not buy these adorable felt slippers that one vendor had for sale.
After our quite filling dinner (with a creme brulee flight for dessert) and a visit with the lions at the Art Institute, we went to a CSO concert.  That night, the program was 3 "pieces" by Tchaikovsky.  The first was The Storm, which was based on the play of the same name, which inspired the opera Katya Kabanova that we saw just a few weeks ago at the Lyric Opera.  The second was movements from the Snow Maiden ballet, with Alex Balestrieri narrating the story in between movements.  The third piece was movements from Swan Lake, and we were treated to a slide-show of sorts - paper puppets over a projector which acted out the story.  I really can't think of a better way to describe it now, but please know that the puppeteering, done by Red Moon Theater, was beautiful and inspiring.  Nate and I both loved it and wished we could see it again.
Today (Sunday) was Nate's and my little Christmas celebration at home - opening gifts and drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire.  I got him some good gifts, including some felt finger puppets I bought from Abbey Christine on etsy.  It's an unlikely trio of Steve Zissou, Ralphie from A Christmas Story, and Bob Ross, the beloved painter.

Nate the Great got me a real trio of cooking instruments: Mastering the Art of French Cooking - volumes 1 and 2, a subscription to Cooks Illustrated, and a new set of All Clad pots and pans, all of which were either put into use straightaway, or will be within the next few hours.  (Christmas breakfast was eggs benedict, so I'm really not kidding when I say we used the new stuff!)

Now for an afternoon of filling out Christmas cards and starting to pack for my upcoming trip home!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A few of My Favorite Things

Yesterday, I put off filling out Christmas cards for a little longer while I stocked and stacked my new ribbon boxes from the Container Store.  Impulse buy, indeed, but as you can see they were needed!
Also, yesterday, I showed up to my last lesson of the evening and was promptly offered fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade shortbread cookies.  While snacking on those, I began teaching my student to play "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music.
Then I was given a whole bag of shortbread cookies to take home, which I shared with Nate while we watched "A Very Gilly Christmas."
This morning I went on a little shopping trip and picked up a sandwich from Subway on the way home.  The guy at the register was giving out free cookies with the sandwich purchases.  Hmmmm, maybe I should have titled this post "free cookies."
Yes, it's been a couple of days filled with the little things that make life (and wintertime) happy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas preparations - for real this time

So I've been way too busy getting ready for Christmas.    You could say the prep. started over a month ago, when my mom was out for a visit and we planted some paper-white and amaryllis bulbs.  My Amaryllis is gorgeous, as you can see.  3 blooms already on this stalk, with one more ready to pop, and another stalk growing, so hopefully we'll have blooms into January.
We bought our tree 2 weeks ago, and it's still alive, lit, and mostly red.  I'm putting up a picture here of the tree, with all of the secret santa gifts under it from the party.  Unfortunately, those gifts hide the neat tree skirt I bought on sale at Crate and Barrel after last Christmas.
Our 4th Annual carol singing party, which was last Saturday, was another huge success.  We had close to 30 guests to enjoy the food, sing carols, and swap secret santa gifts.  And we managed to make the punch not taste like jello shots this year - a true victory. 
I spent a good part of the week baking - a follow-up to the baking I had done the previous week for my piano recital.  I love decorating cookies and I really think I should take a cake decorating class soon, when I can find one that works with my schedule.
And once the party was over, I got to work wrapping Christmas gifts for my family, which I have shipped off to their destinations this morning, so for the next week until I fly home to CT my only other project is Christmas cards.  Oh Christmas cards.

But that being said, I hope to get moving on some new, real projects soon (as well as my annual New Year's redesign of a closet).  Check back for more holiday fun!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas preparations

Dear Blog,
Don't worry!  I haven't forgotten about you!
However, I am very busy with Christmas prep.
So, just a quick note to let you know I got my Christmas tree tonight.
Also, I will be making gingerbread cookie dough tomorrow, as my students' piano recital is coming up on Saturday and I know how they like cookies :-)
Pictures to follow, when all my decorations are up!
love, PTW

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Slap Bet!

since the Slap Bet episode has come and gone, I just want to say it was awesome.  Anyone not already acquainted with the genius of How I Met Your Mother should find some episodes online and watch.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Airing out my dirty laundry

So I said that Mom and I did some work while she was here. I really wasn't kidding. On Friday, we went up to the Abt store in Glenview to pick out some new appliances for my condo. And Saturday, we worked from morning until evening re-doing my laundry closet, getting it ready for the new washer and dryer.
Here is before:
(and I couldn't get far enough away in my little hallway for a real view)

And here is after:

Yes, it was a bold color choice, but I felt that Benjamin Moore "Four Leaf Clover" was a very clean
I also had to outfit the space
with my favorite Elfa shelves
from the Container Store, so
that's one more closet down.
3 more to go!

Since neither of us had real raggedy old clothes on hand, Mom and I
made a quick trip to a really creepy, cheap clothing store just down
the street from my house, Something Old, Something New, and
found some matching church fair t-shirts and hot blue sweat pants.
Hot is right!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A visit from Mommy Dearest

This past weekend, my mom came for a visit. In the past, some of Mom's visits have been not really vacations for her. 2 years ago, she stayed for a week helping me pack up my old apartment, move, and unpack the new place. During that visit, we only made it downtown once, and we were too pooped to really do anything! A few years ago, Mom visited for an Oak Park tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's and other historical homes. This year's visit was a little bit of both work and play for mom. (See future post for the work part!)
As far as play goes, I took Mom downtown for a nice dinner on Friday at the Atwood Cafe (very appropriate because the works for the Atwood scholarship fund in New London). Then we saw Jersey Boys, which was a lot of fun. I'm glad I got to see it now, before it ends its run in January. We both loved the show and were singing the songs for the whole weekend.
On Sunday, Nate, Mom and I went on a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour of Millenium Park. The weather was perfect for the 2 hour outdoor tour - 70's and sunny, in Chicago in November?! We all learned a lot and worked up an appetite walking around the Park, before walking up the Nichols Bridge to have lunch at Terzo Piano, the restaurant in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute. It was a great end to a busy and fun visit. We'll see what Mom can plan for my visit home at Christmas!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nate #1 / Nate #2.

Last weekend, one of my very best friends from college (I originally called him Nate #1, but we've agreed that Nate the Great has taken over that title, so he will henceforth be called Nate #2) travelled from [near] Ottawa for a visit with me and the great city of Chicago. I tried to show him a good time with some fine meals and museum visits, including a thorough look at the Chicago History Museum, which I have just joined.
Having friends visit almost always includes a get-together with people who live in Chicago but I never see otherwise. Nate's visit prompted an outing to see our friend Kareem, who is always involved in different theater productions that I can't fit into my schedule, perform in 2nd stories. It was a really enjoyable evening of hearing his and some strangers' experiences in life. Kareem went first, with a funny/scary/heartening story about his very different experience (from mine) of our college, and I thought "I feel bad for whoever is going after him." While none of the stories were as dear to me as Kareem's, they were all fantastic. I hope to go to another production sometime.
Nate #2 was here in Chicago for 5 or 6 days, and of course I couldn't hang out with him every day. He and his friend Steve, visiting from England, spent sometime downtown on their own and went on (my favorite!) the architecture river boat tour. Last Monday, we had them over for a very civilized dinner of risotto and roasted pork loin.
Be aware: if you come visit me, you will get a good home-cooked meal!
Come back soon, Nate #2!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What's up,

About a week ago I ordered an Adirondack chair cover for my blue deck chair to weather the Chicago winter. After playing door-tag with the UPS man for a few days, I came home one night to find this in my hallway. Yes, it is what I ordered, and I am all for saving packing materials, but I was still a little shocked that the packaging was the product box and not a mailing container. Interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trip to Philly and another wedding!

Last weekend Nate and I headed to Pennsylvania for our friend Emily's wedding. We decided to make a mini-vacation out of it and went a few days early to spend some time in Philadelphia. I got a great deal on Priceline for a room at the downtown Marriot which basically on top of the Reading Terminal Market.
I had checked the Man vs. Food website to see where we should try to eat while in Philly and found a few spots at the Reading Terminal Market that we just had to try right away - Dinic's for some Roast Pork sandwiches and Miller's Twist for pretzels and ice cream (I combined and got my ice cream in a pretzel cone!).
After having our fill, we walk to the nearby Fabric Workshop and Museum, where we saw the coolest felt cave made by Marie Watt. It had stalactites and stalagmites - much more advanced than the felting I've started. Hopefully I'll make it out west next summer and I can check out more of her stuff.
On Friday, after having some crepes for breakfast at Profi in the RTM, we headed east for the historical portion of our visit, spending time at the Franklin courtyard, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Then we went to the Franklin Fountain for lunch (which was ice cream, but hey we were on vacation). Another Man vs. Food suggestion, and another successful meal! Lest you think that all of our food choices came from television shows, we did pick a restaurant for dinner Thursday from the hotel guidebook - Nate chose Time because the guidebook said it had a large selection of whiskey - but the food was absolutely amazing.
Nate also picked our museum for Friday afternoon - the Mütter Museum of medical oddities. It was actually quite interesting - as long as you don't mind seeing lots of bodies and things in jars. For dinner on Friday we met up with my high school friend, Ly, for sushi at a nice restaurant by her new condo, on the south side of the city.
On Saturday we drove up to Quakertown, PA for the wedding. I didn't know many of the people there - Emily is Nate's friend from high school, though she did live out here in Chicago for a few years with her (now) husband, so I did get to know her some. The wedding reception was at an adorable country club - lots of food, drink, and dancing, as well as a few guests who were showing their team spirit by wearing a Phillies shirt to the wedding.
On Sunday, with some extra time to kill before our flight, Nate and I drove around Bucks County a little and ended up in Doylestown, the home of Henry Mercer, tile tycoon. We were able to tour the Moravian Tile Works as well as Fonthill, Mercer's tile covered concrete castle. Lunch in downtown Doylestown was at Paganini, a very cute Italian restaurant. It gave us enough sustenance to stand the drive back to the airport, which we really needed because we got kind of lost and it basically took twice as long as it should have.
A great visit to Philly and Buck's County, PA. We hope to get back there someday!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Housekeeping vs. The Dirt Housekeeping vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked this book off the "to read" pile because I thought "hey, it's a quick read - Nick Hornby and 150 pages or so." Like Nick Hornby I do have a large pile of books I want to read and I'm constantly buying them faster than I can get through them. So it was ironic that I chose this book because it's short; it's really a gateway book- book reviews of everything he's read in an 18 month period and of course I now have a long list of more books I want to buy and read! How counterproductive!
I have to say I always enjoy a book by Hornby, even though they're not all as stellar as High Fidelity. He's always a human and realistic writer, so realistic in fact that in the forward for this book he argues: "we have got it into our heads that books should be hard work, and that unless they're hard work they're not doing us any good . . . please, if you're reading a book that's killing you, put it down and read something else . . . Your failure to enjoy a highly rated novel doesn't mean you're dim." He questions what makes a book "literature" and then what can make it a classic. But most importantly, he reminds us that he, a writer, is really just a reader like us. In fact, he gives us a few short chapters and snippets from some of his favorite recent reads.
In short, reading this isn't like reading a New York Times book review (not that I tend to do that anyway); it's more like having a conversation, a really smart conversation, with a friend about what books he's been reading. And it tells another story for him, which is more the story of his own life than any of his fictional narratives. I can't wait to read Juliet, Naked!

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Visit from Dad means finally getting out on the water.

My dad, the sailor, came for a visit last weekend. Although he's recovering from a surgery and laying low for a while he managed to get me and Nate out onto Lake Michigan for an afternoon to watch the Shields' Nationals, which were held at the Chicago Yacht Club - Belmont Harbor this year.
We were out on a gorgeous cruiser of a boat, hosted by the Tevorek family. Their son was racing on one of the Shields and ended up coming in 2nd place, I believe. Before even leaving the dock, Nate and I had a good time watching this boat, Water Works, getting its mast taken out. We first noticed the boat because of its name, of course. If you consider the sidewalk square I found in an earlier post, you will see that I am starting a collection, if you will, of Monopoly spaces.
The weather was absolutely perfect - the sky clear and the wind sufficiently windy (for lack of a better word). The water out on Lake Michigan is weirdly choppy though - I could not get my old sea legs under me, so Nate and I packed it in and went home after the first race (of two that day).
That evening we were treated to an amazing dinner at the Yacht Club before the awards ceremony. Awwww, I miss my yacht club days!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Very summery weekend - better late than never.

We've finally had some perfect summer weather here in Chicago. We had to wait until mid-September, but I guess it was worth waiting.
On Saturday it was perfectly sunny and clear for a cookout at Kian's (far right in the photo) apartment in Hyde Park. His building has a great back yard with gardens, a jungle gym and a swingset which of course we had to try out. The food was amazing - although it was mostly traditional cookout fare, all the dishes were prepared with a Persian flair.

I had Eggs Benedict, which was anything but traditional, with pork belly and spinach hollondaise. And it was served with such panache - I felt like I was the guest judge on an episode of Top Chef. Nobody's getting eliminated at this breakfast!
After having our fill at Jam, we walked up to the Renegade handcraft fair, where we spent hours poring over all kinds of clever products. I bought some great glass bicycle coasters from Kiku handmade (a gift for Nate and myself), some christmas tree ornaments from K Studio, and a lacy necklace from Cursive design. I also eyed objects by Tartella, Megan Lee Designs, Mok Duk (perhaps wedding invitations someday?), and Raquel Masri.
It was a great day for collecting project ideas and people watching. One of the vendors had brought a pet hedgehog with her which I found irresistible and I had to take a picture. We took a gelato break before making our final purchases. I love hazelnut gelato whenever I can get it!
Lots of work to do before the Renegade Christmas fair in early December. Time to consult the crafting to-do list!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day weekend continued

On Monday, unlike most of the country, I was working. Luckily my students' families had requested earlier lessons that day so that they could go to cookouts and things, which left me with a whole afternoon off to spend with Nate, lounging around the house.
Far from lounging; I completed a project I had been thinking about for a while: repotting my indoor plants. Since I had finally gotten some plants that are thriving, I thought I should give them some bigger pots to grow in. The pots I bought at Ikea on Saturday were lovely but had no holes in the bottom, so I made a quick trip to Home Depot and got a glass and tile-cutting drill bit. It was a pretty easy and rewarding project, and now my spathiphyllum has some room to stretch, and hopefully continue blooming.
For dinner, we ventured out into the neighborhood and discovered a new (to us) pizza place on Lincoln Ave., Pat's Pizza. It's thin crust and we agreed it would definitely be worth coming back to, even though we rarely eat pizza.
The big excitement later this week was Beatles Rock Band. It came in the mail on Wednesday and by Thursday night we had played and unlocked all of the songs. One of the projects for the weekend is to get Nate to learn to sing so that he can do harmonies with me. The other event this weekend is:
the ladies and I are going on Sunday :-)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day weekend Staycation

It's been a good Labor Day weekend. Technically it's still going, but I'm off to teach a few lessons this morning before lying around again all afternoon (hopefully getting a little more quilting done).
On Saturday Nate the Great and I walked on over to Lenscrafters to get him new glasses - his first new pair in the whole 7 1/2 years I've known him. Then in the afternoon I was off to Ikea with Jenny (photographer of this pic of Ikea carts) where I picked up a red bookcase for my piano music and new towels and a shower curtain for my guest bathroom. I also got some new pots for my indoor plants, which are growing quite nicely, but I have to drill some holes in the bottom before I can actually use them.
Saturday evening was spent on Dan and Katy's roof deck enjoying the sunset, a few beers and each others' company. We had a little mustache theme going for the night - both real and sharpied. Later, when it got colder and we gathered inside, I discovered a wonderful Ripley's Believe It or Not coffee table book they have and had a great time reading about people's funny names. Did you know that Iccolo Miccolo played the piccolo in the LA Philharmonic?
Sunday was spent baking lemon ginger cookies, watching The Sound of Music, and putting together my new bookcase. Around 6 we headed over to Karla's where she stuffed us all full of spring rolls - her family's warm weather Sunday tradition. I can't wait for dumplings in a month or so!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thank God it's Hugh-Day

Yesterday I kicked it (back) into high gear with some crafting. After whipping together some cookie dough for an upcoming get-together and throwing a sweater into the washer to felt, I finally got to quilting my Colgate quilt. It'll be a long process because I'm doing the quilting by hand, but it's easier than the previous Hotchkiss quilt I did (will post pics at another date) because I have made up templates of the images I'm quilting into it that I can trace each time. So now I just need a lot of time and a less tense back and I should get it done before you know it.
And keeping me company the whole day was Hugh Grant - I had a mini-marathon of "some absolute classics" - Music and Lyrics, Two Weeks Notice and Notting Hill. Aahh Hugh.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

dotted rhythms, dot dot dot

Tonight I was teaching a Beethoven Sonata to a student and almost corrected him on a rhythm. Luckily I double-checked before I actually said anything because it turns out that he was playing the right rhythm and I was the one who had learned it wrong - so many years ago!
So am I a good teacher because he knew to play it right, or am I a bad student because I had learned it wrong in the first place?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

obligatory post-antiques market post

first, a quick side (front?) note: the previous post was #100!

So I'd lapsed into a rather un-crafty summer, but now that I have my craft-space back and I'm back on the afternoon teaching schedule, things should get moving again.
Last weekend was used up by some activities with Nate the Great. Errands mostly; a new phone for the boy, then eye exams for us both and new glasses as well! Nate finally got some prescription sunglasses, and of course he went with the classic Ray Bans. On Sunday, we went down to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the Harry Potter Exhibit, which wasn't quite up to our standards, but was entertaining for the 1/2 hour or so. I was pleasantly surprised in the chick hatchery - they had a baby turkey mingling with the chickies.
Oh right and Saturday night was girls' night. All the ladies met up at Anna's apartment for some drinks before venturing out into Wrigleyville and enjoying the 2 videos on an apparent loop (No Doubt and Michael Jackson - for real?) at Rockit.
Today, Jenny, fresh off of her first full week of Architecture schooling at UIC, came to the Chicago Antiques Market with me. Of course it was another full afternoon of ogling and haggling (not so much). Jenny found a great book on Architecture which was written by my fave Robert A.M. Stern. I bought a great little owl-shaped pillow from Blue Thimble Designs and some old books for some of my boys :-) This antiques market is really catching on too - they have a Goose Island food stand this year which obliged us with some much-needed bloody marys.
After the market we made our usual stop at JoAnn Fabrics, where they've put out the Halloween merchandise, so of course we had to try on some masks.
Tomorrow we're off to Evanston to warm up the new home of our buddy Pete who is starting Northwestern Business School this week. Go Pete!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Trip Home

Last weekend I went home for some quality family time. It really was about 4 days of being at my parents' homes and helping them out. Also, my sister's birthday was last Tuesday, so after she picked me up at the airport, we went out to lunch (that's becoming our tradition - she picks me up then we go to lunch at the Olive Garden) and exchanged birthday gifts.
There isn't much to say about my time at home, other than that both of my parents were doing better when I left than when I arrived. (They were both recovering from some very different health issues.)
But, since I was at home, finally, with my American Girl dolls, I got to try on their new Cubs jackets that Nate had gotten me for my birthday. I think they look pretty good in them, don't you? Unfortunately, it seems that American Girl has starting making their dolls skinnier (?!) because the sassy pre-faded jeans I got for Molly were near to impossible to get on her - I had to take off her underwear to get them on. I don't think that's sending the right message.
When I go home I fly in and out of Providence Airport (which is really in Warwick RI), so usually when mom takes me back to the airport we have a little excursion first. Often it's a trip to Newport (I love touring the mansions - I've probably seen them all over the years, but once is never enough) but this year it was a quick lunch in Watch Hill, RI and a little shopping (not that I could fit anything new in my bag - I had already stuffed it full of old sweaters that we felted). Watch Hill is a darling town, though, much like Mystic, a total nightmare to drive in during the summer due to all the tourists and beach-goers.
After a 90-minute delay, my flight took off and as usual I had scored a window seat. This is the second time that the sky looked so awesome I had to take pictures of it. The cute guy sitting next to me probably thought I was weird but if he ever reads the blog, he'll understand. Actually, he probably won't, since I've just posted pictures of my dolls, haven't I.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Road Trip Part 4 - The Adirondacks

After Cooperstown, we took the scenic route up to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks, where Nate's family has a cabin.
The last time Nate was at the cabin was the last (and only) time I was there - 5 years ago. But of course, not much had changed in that time. Still no running water or electricity - not my ideal vacation, but very conducive to relaxation - although we kept pretty busy while we were there.
On the first day, Nate and I went on a hike up Severance Mountain, 1 mile up, 1 mile down. We did it in about an hour, plus some time at the top to catch our breath and enjoy the view. We followed this up with some shopping in "town" mostly at the Schroon Lake town store where I found lots of excellent Christmas Gifts for my step-mother, who is a woodsy, animal-appreciating person. Hopefully when Christmas comes around I'll remember I already got her a gift!
Back at the cabin (which is only accessible by boat, across the lake from town) Nate, his dad, his sister and I took turns churning our homemade coffee ice cream. It was delicious and creamy and the perfect end to the day, along with the swim we took in the cool lake.
Day 2 at the lake was an excursion to Fort Ticonderoga, 45 minutes or so west, with Nate and his sister. We spent the morning at the Fort listening to the fife and drum corps and looking around in the barracks. There is a huge "King's Garden" on the site which was my favorite part of the visit. We got to see some very nice flowers, including some crazy large thistle (pictured).
Day 3 we had planned to go to Lake Placid, but got caught up at the cabin instead helping to put in the new dock (a momentous occasion at the old cabin where things rarely change). Well, Nate helped and I watched and took pictures. Nate's grandmother kept calling me the official photographer. Nate and I also went on a short kayak trip and I fell in love with some lily pads (shown).
We played a lot of games at the cabin (Monopoly, Boggle, Scrabble, and an American Trivia game which we bought at the Fort Ti gift shop), and did lots of reading. It was such a nice break from city life - so quiet! I hope we can make it all the way out there next summer too, although we might not drive the whole way again; more likely we will fly in to Albany and drive from there. Either way, a wonderful, long, relatively restful vacation.
And so ends the recap.