Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Eric had a flight to catch out of Sea-Tac airport, so we decided to make a day of delivering our favourite fireman to his plane.
What a great excuse to stop at Trader Joe's and get a picnic together. What a great spot to stop at Lake Sammish for a bit to eat and a swim.
We sure miss Eric when he isn't around, but we managed to squeeze every bit of fun out of that guy before he left for New York.
There are two types of people in our family: those with normal senses of smell and ordinary tolerance of bad scents, and those who are incredibly sensitive to smells of every sort.
Guess which group Lukey falls into?
We have dozens of pictures of Finny doing the exact same thing. They get it, in case you are wondering, from Eric.
The funny thing is that I actually enjoy the smell of fresh sawdust in animal pens. It is earthy and sort of pleasant.
We went to the Northwest Washington Fair with our great friends the McTaggarts. We forgo the PNE in favour of this very authentically agricultural (and much less crowded) display.
There are prizes for everything from best shortbread to finest examples of decorative grasses (FYI, if a ribbon at a county fair is what you are after, I recommend you direct your efforts to the grasses. Those things looked completely and utterly pathetic. I guarantee that if you plucked a weed from your garden and stuck it in a green glass bottle you have a good chance of placing in the top...two. I mean, wow.).
The mother pig pictured below had delivered those 16 (!) piglets just two hours before the fair opened that morning. The kids were fascinated. Alright, so were the grown-ups. Apparently mommy pigs get impatient with the same squabbles I do. We watched one mother squish a particularly demanding little piglet against the pen wall. On purpose. Hard core.
We have been crabbing this summer, but not with nets like these ones used by the guys in The Deadliest Catch. Those Alaskan King Crabs are some big sea spiders. The kids wondered if grandad would enjoy crabbing as much with those suckers!
I told the kids we would sample some disgusting fair food. Things on sticks. Greasy things. We started wiht a loaf of fries that was the length of my upper arm and twice as thick. Below, you can see Molly holding up one of the longest ones in the bunch.
Here's our favourite little sweetpea, Matthew, going wild for the horse show. He is making his sign for "more", as in "more horses". There was no shortage.
Enthusiastic tractor driving. Too bad he doesn't have $23,699 in his Canuck zamboni piggy bank.
My American Gothic:
And milking. This little mechanical bovine had a real workout from our group. I went head to head against my friend Beth and suffered true humiliation. My frantic milking produced a very lame cup and a half. Beth squeezed out four cups! What the...? I guess I wasn't a Swiss milkmaid in a past life, but I know who might have been.
Besides, I've already spent a lot of time on my feet. I took a red eye from Seattle Wednesday night and got a few hours of contorted sleep (planes aren't meant for 6'6" people) on my way to Milwaukee. A few hours later I took off to New York and landed in La Gaurdia at 11am. I was at our Harlem condo by noon and on my first walking tour by 2pm. I brought 3 other guys from team with me, but only 1 made it to the end with me. The tour was the "Historic Districts" section which took us through Soho, Little Italy and China town. The picture below is of our group right on the border of the Chinese and Italian districts. The most surprising thing to me so far is how incredibly quickly and distinctly the districts change character. Within one block, all the pizza, pasta and cheese changes to hanging ducks, seafood and rice.
After the tour I met back up with my team mates for a few beers before going to the convention centre to register. The lines were long for this and I'm pretty sure that things are going to get less organized and more chaotic as the committees have to deal with the oncoming hurricane that is barreling down on us in the next 48 hours. Predictions are for it to be a direct hit on Manhattan, with most services being completely shut down around the city.
This morning I went for a great walking tour around Lower Manhattan. There's so much history here and so many familiar places....even though I've never visited here before. We went to Broadway, Wall street, Bowling green, city hall, Trinity church, the World Trade Centre site and much more.
I really love the feel of the city. There's so much happening, so many different areas and I feel like I could explore for years. However I only have 9 more days and shouldn't waste any mote sitting in Starbucks.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
You know it's a good a summer when you get up to Sakinaw twice in two weeks. The Hall's cabin is such a great place to be that it is very hard to turn down any invitation.
We headed up with Steve and Kathy, Mike and Kristina and their friends one weekend and then with my mom, sister and her kids shortly after. The weather was great and the lake was warm enough to not really have to psyche yourself into going.
There was lots of water skiing, wake boarding, knee boarding and bubble wearing....at least for Lucas.
The Halls' new Mastercraft is incredibly powerful, and easily ripped the rope from my hands when my technique was a bit off. Previously I tended to be able to hang onto the rope for long enough to straighten out and eventually stand up....but as you can see this boat just forced me to do it right....or not at all.
Finny on the other hand makes it look really easy.
Lucas decided he wasn't yet ready to ski....but did swim with his bubble to the island 1000 feet away.