Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer: Week 4

Phew - it's been a long break from the blog. I went on vacation, didn't take my laptop, and pretty much avoided communication outside a few random Facebook posts. I *almost* forgot my password at work, which is my sign of a good vacation, but I was able to figure it out before I got locked out of my account.

So...this post digs into the way back trenches of my mind, so I have a reference for next year when I'm trying to figure out what to do with the kids!

Week 4 took us on vacation with Ed's family. Ed's mom rented three houses - one waterside, which we stayed in with Ed's parents, and two across the roads for Ed's younger siblings. Our vacation started out a bit ominously. We decided to drive about halfway to the lake we were staying at and go whitewater rafting.

First, it's super awesome that the kids can now do stuff like go whitewater rafting, though it's nothing like last year when Ed and I were on water rough enough with friends that we had to have a guide in the boat. But still, the kids get to bump around a little, people can fall out occasionally, and in general it's a fun time. This particular trip was made fun because the attitude was full on - we are at war with every other boat and we will drench them with our super soakers. You would think this would get old, but if you are 8 and 10, it does not. And even the older folks in the crowd, who really shouldn't have been subjected to this sort of warfare, seemed amenable and to be having a good time.

At one point, a crew of teens passed us, and then one of their riders was tossed into a rapid. We ended up pulling the teen on board - a prisoner, if you will - and then the mom of the teen demanded we give him up to her boat. Clearly, the teen wanted to be with his friends, and the dad was unconcerned, so we did not agree to the prisoner exchange. We let the teen get back onto his own boat. Helen and Connor thought the whole thing was pretty funny.

This was all fantastic, but then Ed got the (smart) idea to fill the tires of our car up with air. Sadly, the piece of the tire that connects to the air pump broke off. So we got to watch the tire deflate completely. Sad day. With the help of a passerby, Ed got the spare tire on, we got the car repacked, and then we found a repair shop getting ready to close that agreed to stay open to fix our car. And that wasn't all - they refused to charge us to fix the tire, because they didn't have the right sensor mechanism (which is only important because it lets us know when the tires need air, but suffice to say we weren't going to try that crazy move again!). The owner said we could just tip the worker, but then the worker insisted $20 or $40 or some other offered sum was just too much. I think he ended up taking $10.

We were the last to arrive at the house. The kids had an enormously fun time with their cousins, complete with tubing, swimming, crafting, and just about every other activity they could dream up at the beach.

We ended the trip with a visit to one of Ed's brother's home (pool!) and then stopped for dinner in front of a statue with a mom walking with her two kids. I couldn't pass up the photo op.

The annual photo in front of a pizza joint we visit whenever we're up at a lake in the Adirondacks.
Ed and a brother preparing for fireworks.


Connor being a good sport with the youngest cousin.


I am getting ready to ride on a roller coaster.

Two most energetic kids at the park.

My hiking family.
Swimming with cousins.

Real life and art.
I'm exhausted reliving this.

Justin's snack packs - saving me in Europe

Our big trip this summer was to visit friends in Vienna. En route, we spent nights in Prague and Cessky-Krumlov -  and then spent days afterward in Venice and Muhlberg. After I stop sobbing about the 1,013 photos that are being transferred from my camera to my computer,  I will compose myself and start posting about the trip.

But for now, I'll just note that - because I am trying to not die at a fall marathon,  it is necessary for me to run while vacationing. This is good, because I enjoy running. It's problematic because to pull it off, I must escape a hotel room early in the morning without waking anyone so much that they decide to start their day with me. I also must find a way to get protein and calories into my system so I don't complain about being hungry all morning after my run. Because when I run, I get hungry.

Enter, Justin's. Justin's sells fancy peanut butter cups at Whole Foods. I have been known to snag one when I am getting otherwise nutritious food, just so the world doesn't feel some sort of awkward imbalance with me consuming too much fresh produce for a snack. Yum.

News to me, Justin's also sells nut butters - in single serving packs. I received samples of the Justin's maple almond butter and honey peanut butter. These goodies are delicious and can be slapped on  a roll with breakfast for a fantastic after-running treat. I will also admit to one rather weird habit, possibly shared only with my sister. We eat peanut butter on pancakes. Justin's maple almond butter on pancakes is delicious. The maple in it makes me think it's not as weird as it seems to put peanut butter on pancakes -  because lots of people put maple products on their pancakes.

Regardless, these little packs got me through Prague and Cessky-Krumlov,  and I'm looking forward to tucking them into my running vest to use as quick protein after runs to aid in recovering.


I'm a Stonyfield blogger and as part of that program, received these delicious samples. They're sold at grocery stores (I found them at a local Safeway and Whole Foods). All opinions are my own.