Thursday, July 21, 2011

The First Part of Summer 2011

I've been remiss. Well, actually, I've been traveling. A lot. And, now we're home for the better part of summer vacation. I had intended to post our list of things we want to do this summer. But, since I never followed up last summer's list with a recap of all we did, I thought I'd change things up this year and just focus on the fun we've been having.

To start off the summer with a bang - and celebrate my birthday - Ron and I along with three very special friends saw Glee Live! I felt like I was 12 again. It was such a rush to watch these talented actors/dancers/singers. I bought a very cool zip-up hoodie to commemorate the event.

Just after school got out, the girls and I flew off to North Carolina to spend time with Ron's family. We enjoyed an extended stay with Ron's dad and got to spend many days visiting Ron's mom. Most evenings looked like this - Ron's dad lives on the Pasquatank River.

We saw two lighthouses - Bodie and Hatteras, lots of white egrets and a fox. We swam often. We went to an aquarium in Manteo and the naval museum in Virginia Beach. We also saw cousins and aunts and uncles - most of whom we saw Zelda was meeting for the first time ever.

While the extended visit was relaxing, the most memorable time for me was when I took the girls to the beach in Kill Devil Hills on June 21, the longest day of the year. All the elements came together to make for an absolutely perfect evening. And though it was hard to get one outstanding picture of the girls together, I did get some wonderful individual pictures - and even some of the pelicans flying over the Atlantic.

We returned home for a few short days and managed to get in a game of miniature golf - on our list of priorities this summer. We had dinner with friends who are moving out of state (so sad but we have a new place to visit). And, the parents of Zelda's future husband had us to their country club for a chi-chi afternoon of swimming and dining. It kind of reminded me of Caddyshack. I was looking for the Baby Ruth bar at the pool. (Thanks Joyce and Bob!)

Then, we were off to Lakeside, Mich., for an Independence Day party combined with a mini family vacation with friends on the beach. This was our second vacation with these two families. The first was two years ago, when we had a 'Dinosaur Day at the Beach' - complete with a dinosaur dig. This year, we held a Kite Day. Pancakes kites set the tone followed by a craft making kite bookmarks. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate for kite-flying. That was made up for the next evening, when the wind came in perfectly off the lake. We held the kites up and off they went into the sky only to come down when we wound them in.


One morning - after finding the Swedish bakery closed, Ron and Alan journeyed two towns north to forage for bakery items. When they came back with a box of goods that reminded me of childhood vacations with the Julians in Minnesota, I knew we had created a tradition that will be repeated for years to come.

A week after returning from Michigan, I was back there with the girls and our friend Charlotte to pick lots of cherries. While it might seem crazy to drive 1-3/4 hours to go cherry picking, it's so worthwhile to go to Stover's, where they run your tart cherries through a pitter. All I had to do was bag 'em up when I returned home. I have three bags in the freezer ready to turn into chopped cherry jam or - the ultimate - cherry pie! If it weren't for this excruciating heat, we would have been back this week for some more.

We have also gone to Brookfield Zoo, along with Papa, Gigi, Auntie Pat and the twins. We picked a lovely, warm and breezy day - the nicest of the week.

We ended that week with Froot Loop Friday. When I wrote that notation on the chalk board, my sole intention was to let the girls know that they could have Froot Loops for breakfast on that particular day - after some form of protein. But, when we started the day, I realized we needed to incorporate those bright colored o's into something more. So, we ended up making Froot Loop cookies in the afternoon. I followed a chocolate chip recipe and split the batter in half before adding chips to one portion and loops to the other. The girls really got into the decorating.

One was even made to look like a fried egg.

Very clever, eh? Needless to say, I stuck with the chocolate chips. Delish!

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