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Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Heaven there is no beer

There's nothing better than a rousing round of beer songs to get the crowd moving, especially a bunch of would-be Germans at Oktoberfest. And, just like everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is German at Oktoberfest. Not that that's a bad thing...it's not at all! It's so much fun to see the grown men in lederhosen and felt hats with little pins on them, and women with peasant dresses and braids in their hair.


All of this certainly contributes to the atmosphere of Oktoberfest but let's be honest: it's all about the food. The heavy, bland, wonderful food (and pastries). It's also all about the music, especially the yodeling and the alpine horns!

We've been going to Oktoberfest for several years now, since being invited by our neighbors Morey and Ann. We even invested in a pitcher that we bring every year. Here's a video of Annalisse and our neighbor, Chris, acting like they know how to Polka. Enjoy!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Dreaming of a Three-Day Weekend

Last week was the first full week I worked in a VERY LONG TIME. After a very busy weekend, including Sunday, that was taken up from 7am-5pm with the Lift Bridge Regatta, in Fairport, I sure could use a three-day weekend now!

Getting back to the Regatta, it was the first fall competition for the kids. What a great day! The weather was absolutely beautiful (warm, sunny, breezy - you don't want to have to stand all day in drizzly, cold weather which I'm sure will emerge by the November regatta) and many people came out to cheer on the kids. Annalisse raced two heats (placed 2nd in one [out of two boats], and 4th out of 6 in another), but did not earn any medals.
Cam cox'd his boat to a bronze (third out of 6) and was very proud of that, having been his first time out in competition since he became a coxswain.

Mark spent the whole day on the course either timing at the starting line or hanging out in the safety launch (one of the motor boats that monitors the race).

Crew has been such a great thing for our family. It depends very heavily on family support and volunteers, so there's been the opportunity for all of us to get involved. And for two kids who were never involved in sports, it gives them a chance to participate as part of a team, and they've loved it. That being said, I sure could use a day off after the crazy weekend. Well, I can always sleep at work!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Young and in love

Twenty-two days ago today two young, idealistic kids took the plunge surrounded by the love of family and friends, many of which are no longer with us. It's bittersweet, and the thing of wonderful memories! Of course, we've had our ups and downs since that rainy, fall day, but surviving the challenging times enriches what we have together.

Here's to our anniversary (spent mostly doing crew-related stuff with the promise of a dinner out one of these days)!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's do it for the ladies!

Come on out to the Red Bird Market in Fairport on Saturday, September 26, from 10–11:30am for a book signing by all the authors of Life Before.com, featuring Fourth Avenue's own contributing writers Ann Rasbeck, Donna Edgerton, and Elaine Boyd. Life Before.com is a follow up to their wonderful memoir, Seven Women Seven Lives, and books will be available for purchase.

(Remember: the more books sold, the closer we get to that street swimming pool!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Don't make me say it again!

I'm sorry to bore you with this, but I once again have to sing the praises of living in Fairport. It all started with the street party on Friday night. Closing off the street, eating great food, sharing great conversation and the enjoyment of watching the kids having a ball with each other - it doesn't get much better! For many of the kids, they claim it's the "funnest night of the year." The day threatened rain, but we ended up with a really nice, cool, clear night that ended at 10:30pm with a bonfire at the neighbor's place across the street. Heaven!

On Saturday, the kids braved the drizzling rain to wash cars for the Fairport Crew Car Wash fundraiser. I know, I know! It seems a little redundant (or unnecessary?) to wash cars in the rain, but what the heck! They still did pretty well with a steady stream of cars going through. On Saturday night we had some friends for dinner (they didn't taste like chicken), and the autumnal table (their words, not mine) was adorned by a bouquet of beautiful big-faced sunflowers I had gotten at the market. It was a fun night with great food and great company!

The busy weekend was a preview of the busy week to come. Do I hear those Christmas bells chiming in the not-to-distant-future? NOOOOOOOOO!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And they're off!

After what seems like the longest summer break from school to ever be recorded in modern history, the kids headed back to school early this morning (they were both gone by 6:40am) to their first day of 11 and 9th grades. It's my tradition to get a "first day of school picture" (I'm sure I didn't invent that...flashes were probably going off all around the town this morning), and this morning it was not easy. It took about 10 shots to get an even nearly acceptable one as Cameron was NOT cooperating. In the final shot, if you look closely, you can see he's doing something weird with his eyes. Ugh! Oh well, don't look too closely...

I predict they will be collapsing from exhaustion by 8pm this evening.
(What a cool day to go back to school: 9/9/09!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

The summer bookend of Labor Day '09 has come and gone, and with it a trip to Washington, DC (well, technically, Arlington, Virginia) for our nephew, Jackson's, baptism. The ceremony was made even more special because Jackson's mom, our sister-in-law Amanda, was baptised along with her son, and the ceremony was performed by our Former Pastor, Bill Flamman.

We headed down to Dave & Amanda's early Friday morning, and I was reminded how much fun the area is and how much I miss it now that my BFF Sue no longer lives there. There was a time when the kids and I would take off for the weekend on Friday morning (direct, cheap flights), and come home on Sunday night. I always feel extremely awed and humbled to be in DC, and also extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to visit many times in the past, and the prospect of visiting a lot in the future now that our family lives there.

We did some of our usual favorite things: an afternoon browsing the stores and Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, lunch at the Austin Grill, a trip to the Eastern Market and a walk from Capitol Hill to the middle of the Mall. The heat! The crowds! It was craziness!

The entire weekend was one big food fest (I'm not complaining). On Saturday night we went to the famous Peking Duck, and also to an awesome (and very authentic) dim sum (Mark's Duck House) on Sunday morning after the baptism. I'm still stuffed. Of course, on the way down, and the way back, we had to stop at the Country Cupboard for a homestyle lunch and to restock on sticky buns. Ugh!

Mark had hoped that we could bring our Turkish rug back from DC, but it has not yet arrived with Dave & Amanda's household goods from Ankara. Oh darn! Looks like we'll need to take another trip down when it gets here!