Monday, July 28


I love coffee more than the average person, but no. Just no.

Friday, July 18

Cornell's Ornithology Lab

On Thursday we visited the ornithology lab, which is on our long list of favorite places to go while visiting Ithaca. There is never enough time to see everyone, eat everything and go everyplace that we want while in town. However, the kids both listed the bird lab and the Sciencenter as a must so we made that happen. 
The indoor space at the Ornitholgy lab is just beautiful with many viewing points out for observation. At bedtime last night Porter listed back all the birds he remembered seeing while chatting with Tim: Canada Goose, Blue jay, female Cardinal, Goldfinch and some ducks.

Porter found a really fun touchscreen kiosk where you could look up a particular bird and see how many sighting had been recorded at the lab in the last month. We learned the Bald eagles are becoming more common! 
The paths around the bird lab are gorgeous hikes in ther own right. It's been such a rainy year here and everything is so green and wet. A nice contrast from LA right now.
The kids have been alternating taking turns staying one night with me at Dad and Kathy's house and then one night with their Grammy. It's been a really nice chance to get one on one time for everyone. Because they were missing each other a little beforehand, on this hike they were particularly goofy and lovey to one another. Slightly less bickering and antagonizing than normal for this pair of siblings!

Wednesday, July 16

Gorge Swimming

The kids got brave and went for a chilly swim in Buttermilk Falls today. As a child I swam here so much and was not phased by the chilly temps! Today it was all I could do to wade in with them! Brrr. They were not phased at all by the 68 degree water!

Tuesday, July 15

From Pond to Table: A Step by Step Guide

After feeding all the beggar fish in the pond, and then finding nets in the garage, the kids had a bit of an epiphany. Turns out it's quite easy to scoop up a fish or two. Or ten. Midway through the fishing frenzy Kathy and I realized we needed to set a limit or we would have way more fish than we could eat! 

A very proud fisherboy with his first catch of the day:
Next we took the bucket 'o fish for a ride back to the house. 

I'll spare you the photo of the other bits, but here are our delicious results! The kids were very interested in the whole cleaning process, with a short attempt at helping to scale them and lots of fish head touching and poking. A good life lesson in where food comes from.

Porter contemplates dinner. He's not the seafood lover that Matilda is but he tried a bite. He loved the process so much but we told him we can only catch fish if they will get eaten so he's struggling with that dilemma a bit.


Sunday, July 13

NY Day Five: Rain

The day started out dry. I woke up more than an hour before the kids in the teepee this morning so I passed the time with wildflower crafting. Matilda, my fairy aficionado, was quite pleased. 
G-pop and grandma Kathy quieted the rowdy troops down with a delicious breakfast.
Shortly after breakfast a major rain storm
hit and all of us poor drought suffering Californians made the most of the moment. Porter also convinced his NY cousins to get crazy in the rain, even if they aren't rain deprived. 

Later on we loved the rain storm a bit less as it momentarily interrupted our tv feed for the World Cup final! Thankfully the interruption was very brief.

Saturday, July 12

NY Day Four: Tee Pee Sleepout

We decided to use the super moon tonight as our excuse to sleep out. The kids were totally freaking out about scary wild animals at first as we drove out in the little tractor. After a few minutes settling in they relaxed. I asked them both to be totally silent for 30 seconds to record the noisy pond frogs and Porter fell asleep. I guess all that pond swimming wore him out. 

Friday, July 11

NY Day 3: Swim Milestone

What turned out to be our biggest event today was a visit to Aunt Gia's family pool.  Porter finally had that "ah-ha! moment" and can be counted as a swimmer! He was so excited and proud of himself, as were all of us! He wasted no more time in the shallow end and fearlessly threw himself off the diving board repeatedly. 

We also continued in our vacation eating habits with a fabulous meal at a downtown restaurant that Brian recommended. We discovered that Gio likes calamari as he pounded through the platter. 
We also had a few oysters.
I sampled Poutine for the first time; it was deliciously bad for you. 
As if that were not enough saturated fat for the day, we squeezed in a visit to inventory the fleet of ice cream trucks and sample their wares. 

Thursday, July 10

NY Day Two: Maid of the Mist

In all our NY travel, we had never managed to take the kids Niagara Falls until today.
We met some dear old friends there for a touristy ride on the Maid of the Mist. All suited up and ready in their souvenir ponchos:
Lucky kids got to eat some Kinder-contraband while we waited for the boat to get going.
The soaking was quite thorough, so most of my pictures during the ride are on the water camera still, but here's one quicky iPhone shot of a happy soaked Porter. 
He was super excited to get wet and even took his poncho off for a while in an effort to get extra soaked. Once the water was coming in sheets, he relented and asked for the flimsy cover back!
On the walk back to the car we found another bit of water play and they declared it as good as the boat ride. Any water play is good enough it seems.

Wednesday, July 9

NY Day One: Cousin Fun

Content plane reader.
Water table fun in the rain = double the sogginess.
Perfect seat for watching World Cup.
Matilda as "The Statute of Ice Cream"
Today's main event: ice cream with family.
Random Model T
These won't last long in the backyard now that we've discovered them!