Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Road Trip - the Fourth and Final part

Ok, this post is mostly for my mother, who can't get enough photos of the people!!!  Here are some gratuitous family shots, from our last hike of the week.  For some reason I chose to leave my camera behind for the hike - once in a while I think I should free myself of the pace and focus of being the photo-taker, but this time I should have had it.  We were back at Lucifer Falls, and each step was so beautiful, such stunning layers of rocks, stacked like paper along the walkway, and a deep green of moss lying just under the rushing water.  I grabbed the camera from the car after the walk, while we milled about in the few flakes of snow that started to fall, and got these shots....
M.G. and Christoper - and Hobbes
Our beautiful hostess, Jessica, and Calvin
Ani, her wish stick, and Chrystal
Uncle John (otherwise known as Fuzzy Johnny) and Ben
Doesn't she look like she could be theirs? Reminds me of photos I've seen of me, holding John's hand at his wedding with Kerry, about 100 years ago (um.....39?). That's all!

Thanksgiving Road Trip - Part Three

What made this week sweeter was that this is the family that Dan and I used to spend our Christmases with when we lived in Seattle. My aunt and uncle live six hours away, in Oregon, and would welcome us whenever we could find the time to drive south.  It was so nice to have time with them, with my girls.  We all missed Dan...
 Thanksgiving morning we were still awaiting two members of the family.  We took advantage of pre-roasting morning to visit Buttermilk Falls, right outside of town.
A little geology lesson with Uncle Johnny.
Once everyone had arrived, it was time to get down to cooking. The day was so wonderful, full of visiting, creating, lounging, playing, roasting and toasting...oh, and eating.
So much to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Road Trip - Part Two

I don't have any pictures of Monday, last week - I am certain that we walked Calvin in the morning, and then sent my cousin off to school, and wandered up a few blocks to the local health food store and the neighboring bookstore...ah, yes, then I called my cousin Christopher to see if we could hang out together and he made the brilliant suggestion that he take my children to see a movie! Without me.  So, imagine me, without my children and without my camera, wandering alone through downtown Ithaca. Sigh. It was a gift to have time alone.  And as if that wasn't enough, Christopher also made us dinner that night. He is an amazing guy and a Very Good Cousin.  So, on to Tuesday.
 There is a gorge and falls in the center of town, which we walked to with Calvin, the dog. Then home to breakfast with this moviestar...(the movie was in 3-D, hence the glasses. Her observation about wearing them about? They don't work 'cause the world isn't in 3-D. Hmmm...)
 My aunt and  uncle flew in on Tuesday, so here is a not very good photo of something I made for my aunt, that maybe only she (and I) can appreciate.  Yes, it is a pin, of a rough-skinned newt. Ahem. I never said I wasn't really really nerdy.  I was very pleased with it.
 Luckily for us, our family loves to hike, so off we went on another walk through the woods...
 We left everyone to rest for the afternoon and sought out a local nature center north of town. 
 Its big draw is a "treehouse" that is six stories high.  The girls had a ball...
 On our way home we pulled into the Ithaca Children's Garden, drawn by the variety of little houses, like this cob one...
 ...and a giant turtle made out of earth.
There seems to be so much to do in the area - I am hoping to go back with Dan sometime next summer.  Wednesday we got to ride the bus, much to Eliza's delight, up the hill to the Cornell campus to meet Jessica.  We could see the lake and more waterfalls as we mounted the hill.
 An earthen couch!
 Jessica had wanted to make sure she took us to the "Harry Potter Library" as she thinks of it.  It was grand, old, fancy...we loved it.
We walked to a bagel shop next to campus, and then wound our way down the hill and "home".

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Central Salad

We're home from our lovely trip to Ithaca! And I'm sick...The girls are finally feeling better from the cold they've had for weeks, and so the roles have been reversed today - they are taking care of me.
 They got to work in the kitchen, making a healthy salad for me.  Overheard, from Ani, "I love doing this. I mean, I really love cooking."  They do love it, and it made it even better that they were doing it for someone else.
 It was awesome.
Even they loved it.  I think I've discovered the secret to getting them to eat more fresh salad - have them make it!  They are thinking of opening a cafe in our livingroom - Central Salad, as we live on Central Avenue...

That's all for today...they've just started "The Wizard of Oz" and I need to sneak in a nap while I can.  I have some nice Thanksgiving pictures to share in the next day or two...I hope you all had a warm and cozy one yourselves!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Road Trip - Part One

Dan is in Seattle for a conference and work for almost three weeks. I will let him write all about the fun he is having there, and meanwhile regale you with tales of our own journey!! My cousin invited us up to Ithaca for Thanksgiving, convening with the rest of her family for a few days...I hemmed and hawed about weather and driving, and then we just did it. I drove 9 1/2 hours! By myself! I'm feeling good about that bit of accomplishment, I tell you.  And I don't think I flipped out even once along the way.  There were things I did not love about the drive - the road kill really really really gets me down in a very big way. I am someone who does not really believe that cars are the way we are supposed to be getting around in this world and though I obviously join in the clutter of the roads, I don't love that this is how we are all doing it, and nothing drives (ha) that home more quickly and deeply than a long drive on a major highway during deer rutting season.  That said (and I could say so much more...), our girls are fantastic travelers and good road companions, willing to talk about just about anything, eat the good snacks I bring along and generally not complain more than a titch about their sore bums.  So, one James and the Giant Peach, one Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, one Enormous Crocodile and The Magic Finger (thank you, Roald Dahl), and several folk tales later...we got to New York.
Here is our Welcome Committee: my cousin Jessica's Calvin the Wonderdog, and their housemate's dog, Charlie. Otherwise known by Ani as "the couch".
You've heard that Ithaca is Gorges, right? They were not kidding.  We spent Sunday morning at Lucifer Falls, 10 minutes or so out of town.
The rest of Day One was spent reconnecting with my cousins; both Jessica and Christopher live in this beautiful was awesome.
 The Ithaca Commons, downtown - 
a mushroom sculpture made out of crocheted plastic bags. 
 Meeting Hobbes and Mr. Bojangles
My girls are loving getting to know more family, and Ani is (finally?) at an age where she has more comfort with people.  She still thrives on one-on-one interaction, but she seems to enjoy these new people in her life quite a bit.  Eliza, our people-person, family ambassador, is in heaven.