Ada started out her birthday morning by cleaning up her big mess in the house, but once done with that I asked her to come out to the garage to get her bike where she found her birthday present – a balance beam. Liam seemed to enjoy it as well, but wouldn’t do much on it other than hop from the trampoline onto it.
After that we went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for awhile. In the summer, they have lots of activities outside, but today they had much more than usual. Painting, drawing, board games, lawn games, bubbles, dancing, and more and more.
We did go inside to see what was going on and to do the scavenger hunt. We were confused by the scavenger hunt because it was a bit different than usual, but once we actually read the directions on the front, we got it done pretty quickly.
Ada then took us all to Chipotle for dinner. The rule is that the kid picks a place to go and all she wanted was a cheese quesadilla. But she did get a large one.
Then it was time for cake and to open presents.
The next morning we drove back to Gloversville to visit some others. We did get to see Mary and Ryan and then Susan.
Before that, we went and walked around Johnson Hall and saw the Johnstown Battlefield nearby. We also went to the house where I grew up where we walked around the back yard some. I even think I may have found one of my mother’s pots from so many years ago.
That night we stayed in Erie, PA and by ten the next night we were back home in our own beds. But along the way, we had one success – Ada finally got something in her chopsticks. I guess by the time I had taken a photo, she had already eaten it.
We spent the day at the racetrack in Saratoga. Between Liam, Helena, and I, we didn’t even lose $30, so we’ll consider that a success.
The spring water was quite a hit!
Dad showing the kids how it is done.
In the last race, there was a horse by the name of Plainview, which is where my car broke down a few days earlier. It was another loser.
We watched a couple of races upstairs, too.
Saratoga is a nice place to get real close to the horses. From the literature there, it is the only track where the horses have to walk through the crowds to get from the paddocks to the track.
Later we drove to Lake George where we saw the (closed) Fort William Henry, Lake George (the lake) and played miniature golf – 36 holes worth.
We left a little later for upstate where we ate Garlic White pizza at House of Pizza and drove around a bit looking at my old houses and schools. We did get to visit Linda and Carl, then Mike and Ambyr, and finally Dan and Margaret before heading back to our hotel. Which smelled like smoke I heard over and over again.
We began the day by a trip to the store because Jeanette and I were going to make dinner for everyone. But Jeanette has been eyeing the Baskin Robbins’ for a couple of days by now so she had to stop.
Then it was another, and longer, day at the beach. The waves were just a tiny bit larger today, so we spent a heck of a lot of time being knocked over by them. By the time we got home, we found lots of sand and rocks in places that you usually don’t.
Once home and after dinner, we had a short birthday party for the August birthday girls Ada (the 10th) and Sofia (the 15th).
And Ada and Sofia went to bed late this night, too.
We also said a goodbye to Dori and dad who left for New York City that night.
We got off to a late start because Ada and Sofia stayed up too late the night before watching a movie, but eventually we made it out to Montauk despite the busy road.
There we went up the Montauk Point Lighthouse, except for Jake who was too little to be let up.
This one is atop the lighthouse, but it was so bright in the back that it is difficult to see, although you can tell it was a little breezy. After that it was off to get lunch and then to Hither Hills beach. There was some confusion as to whether the beach was closed once the lifeguards went off duty so we didn’t stay too long.
If that wasn’t enough excitement, Libby and Peter treated the kids to ice cream on the way home.
Libby, Pete, and all five kids were in their van which pulled into their driveway just before our car with Jeanette, dad, Dori and I pulled in.
Ada ran out of the van to tell us:
Jake was crying because he was tired and now he’s crying because he is confused.
Just 20 minutes away from Libby’s house the inside car lights and other electronic doo dads suddenly went out so I knew that my alternator just bit the dust. Unfortunately, it was 2:00 am and we were on the Northern State Parkway at the time.
Jeanette and I ended up having to push the car up into a Holiday Inn parking lot while Helena steered the car into a parking space. Luckily she has practiced her driving at Valleyfair this year so she did pretty well.
Later that day my father and Dori also came to Libby’s. I have no idea why, but I have no photos of us that day. We ate, played badminton and basketball, got a bit of sleep and played with Sofia and Jake.
We stayed in London, Ontario, about two hours from the border crossing and two hours from Niagara Falls where we would cross back into the United States.
Another car like ours was parked adjacent to ours and we posed in front of it because it seemed so much nicer.
Ada found the tourist pamphlets that she likes so much and loaded up.
Once back in the United States, we made our way to Rochester to see where I went to college and to where I used to work – Salvatore’s Pizza on East Main. It has changed a lot but they have photos up of what it looked like when I was there. We also had our first half moon cookie there.
And whenever I go back to New York, I end up missing the grocery stores there because they are so poor here in Minneapolis.
We left the house at 7:00 am, but an hour later the kids were already sleeping.
We drove to Manitowoc, WI to take the ferry across Lake Michigan. Here we are before the kids knew that we were going to take the ferry. Actually, while waiting in a line of cars to get onto the boat, I was complaining to the kids about the traffic jam.
The SS Badger
Once the ferry began moving, it was a little rainy and a bit windy so we spent most of the time indoors. Dad “found” two coupons for free sodas (the kids kept going back for illegal refills with no problems) and we had snacks, so we were set for the trip. We even got to see a storm in the distance.
From there we drove through Michigan. Right at midnight, we crossed the border at Port Huron into Sarnia, Ontario.
So if a stick dissolves it turns into a skeleton?
We’ve gone to this museum from time to time since the kids were little but we’ve never noticed (or it didn’t exist) a machine that takes your photograph and puts it on pretend currency.
We all did it, but Ada’s is our favourite just because she didn’t realise that she wasn’t tall enough to have here photo taken correctly.
And it was such a nice smile!
These are photos from another parent that were taken during the last season – 102 of them.
Yesterday was the last game of the season, and today is the day for tryouts for next year.
Liam! You got like a thousand dirts in my shoe.