Friday, July 20, 2012


We are past the halfway mark of summer vacation here, which means The Warden's nerves are seriously frayed, the sibling arguments are getting more frequent, and I've put on seven pounds.  (Last year I indulged in dozens of pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream for medicinal purposes, the year before I went with the creamy whip's banana splits, also known by me as "housewife heroin", and this year packaged cream horns seem to be feeding my addiction.)  We've been seriously hampered in our summertime outings this July thanks to weeks of temperatures in the upper 90s, topping out at 100 or more some days.  Hard to believe we're having snowstorm-like cabin fever during the hottest month of the year.  Nonetheless we have managed to squeeze in some memorable activities beyond our usual trips to King's Island, Coney Island, and Grandma's swimming pool:

1.  Niagara Falls - We started out the summer by heading north, all the way to a foreign country.  (A nearly blow-by-blow account can be read by checking out my Facebook page.  You can "like" it by clicking on the link in the upper right corner.  Uncle Chester also kept a daily account on her blog, which you can read here.)

Preparing for the Maid of the Mist ride

Perfect weather

Canada's Butterfly Conservatory.  Only The Professor was
enthusiastic about this one and it turned out to be
fabulous.  I never thought I'd be that impressed
by butterflies.

The Whirlpool Aero Car

Chester doing a Fred Sanford on us.

The Hubbard-Roycroft Museum in East Aurora, NY.  Lots of
arts and crafts-style goodness.

Frank Lloyd Wright House in Buffalo.  Lots of art deco-style

At Fantasy Island amusement park.  Foghorn's first time
behind the wheel.  She spent the whole time either turned
in her seat looking at her brother in the car behind her or
stopping dead in the road to pretend to light a cigarette.  Sigh...

Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, the supposedly
haunted prison where they filmed large chunks of
The Shawshank Redemption

2.  Let's go surfin' now - The Professor and I took in the Beach Boys' 50th anniversary concert when they stopped in Cincinnati.  Much to The Vulcan's dismay, I returned home with an autographed program.  Hey, when you're talking about a band with only one member under 70, you gotta figure you need to grab collectibles like this when you can.

Die-hard Beach Boys fans will understand how I felt
seeing Brian Wilson on stage with the rest of the band.

3.   Mermaid time - Swimming is not an unusual activity for us in the summer.  What is unique is how often Foghorn has done it this year and how rarely The Professor has.  King's Island's water park was revamped over the winter and opened this year as Soak City.  The new, huge wave pool and the ability to ride in it in inner tubes was a hit.  What they did to the lazy river was not.  It was once a relaxing float along a meandering waterway with only the occasional water hazard or screaming, splashing kid to contend with.  Now it's a constant assault by water guns, spurting fountains, and overturning buckets.  The Professor was so mad we haven't returned since.  On the other hand, Foghorn is improving in her swimming thanks to weekly visits to Grandma's pool with Uncle Chester.  The Professor has declined all invitations to accompany them, opting instead for hours spent on his computer playing Minecraft and watching videos on YouTube.

4.  Doggy overnighter - A few weeks ago a dog rescue had a transport that was stopping overnight in Cincinnati.  (For those unfamiliar with the concept, dogs in shelters have been taken in by rescues in another state and need transport.  It ends up being like the pony express, with dozens of volunteers driving dogs an hour or so away and then meeting up with a new team who take them on the next leg.)  A plea was put out for a place for some of the dogs to board overnight or they wouldn't get on the transport and would have to be left behind.  Despite The Vulcan's objections, I volunteered and we played host to the sweetest seven month old hound pup named Billy.  Even The Vulcan agreed he was incredibly cute, although he admitted this after he was sure I had safely deposited Billy with the next driving team.  He's always so sure that if an animal enters our house it will never leave...just because that's been the case every time so far.

Foghorn and Billy had a special bond.

He didn't make a peep all night until he spotted a couple
deer in our backyard.  That got his attention.

A total cuddle-bug.

Foghorn in particular became extremely attached to Billy.  I've often thought we should be a foster family for Recycled Doggies, taking care of some canine cuties until their fur-ever homes come along, but I wondered about the emotional toll it would take on the kids.  This overnight experience, unfortunately, taught me that it would simply destroy Foghorn to have to let dogs go.  She cried in the middle of the night, while Billy was still there, and then rose at 6 a.m. to cry over him as I was preparing to take him to the transport meeting place.  I would judge her for her sappy, wimpy ways if I hadn't cried all the way home myself after dropping him off and saying goodbye.  Despite her mourning, she was almost immediately talking about the next time we have a dog over for the night.  The Vulcan wandered away mumbling to himself and locked his office door.


A Furry Kind of Love

The Sad Tale of Little Red Riding Chester

1 comment:

quilt32 said...

You've had an awfully busy summer and it's only about half over.