labor day

We dropped our house projects for the long weekend to host our dear friends Emily and Dan and Jen and Dave and their baby, Aiden!

They arrived Friday night and we (not-so-promptly, according to Emily) ordered Pasquale’s pizza and wings:

Early risers Hadrian and Aiden hangin’ out the next morning:

After a circuit-training workout (led by Emily!) at the park across the street, we walked to Charlie’s for brunch, then to Fisher Price (headquartered in my NEW hometown!):

Followed by refreshments at Taste!

(Aiden got ahold of my earring…)

Miss Emily posing while we walked FROM OUR HOUSE TO MAIN STREET (how awesome is that?!):

Dinner on Saturday was beef on weck and homemade salad, which we devoured before I got a chance to snap a photo:

I made a cocktail for the girls of cake-flavored vodka and chocolate coconut water, a recommendation from a cousin.  It was amazing!

Andrew made a fire in the backyard and we roasted marshmallows:

(In the interest of journalistic integrity, I feel I have to divulge this: the fire department and police may have shown up.  Well, there is no ‘may’ about it; they did.  Turns out a neighbor called our fire in, but YES, we are allowed to have a fire in our backyard.  The authorities wished us well and left almost as soon as they arrived, somewhat puzzled as to why they were called in the first place…)

The spread the next morning:

Homemade bagels and blueberry donuts!

We headed off to Niagara Falls (because what else do you do with visitors who’ve never been?!), then proceeded on to Crystal Beach (also in Canada) against our better judgement.  It was a bust, Aiden was hot and fussy–heck!  We were ALL hot and fussy–so we scrambled back across the border as fast as possible!

We were welcomed by the familiar sights and smells of Wegmans, where we ordered subs to-go and picked up Bar Bill wings on the way home.  After some showers, some grub and puttin’ our feet up, I’d say we all fully recovered from the crowded Falls and beach trip.  Emily and I made a second pilgrimage to the caboose (our local ice cream joint), where we waited for what seemed like an eternity while the post-college returnee staff was still learning the ropes…

Our company left this morning after feasting on leftover breakfast and loading up the car.  We said an enthusiastic goodbye, knowing it wouldn’t be the last.

Andrew and I wasted no time in getting back to the grind; he worked tirelessly in the laundry room (ready for ceiling lights and drywall!), while I picked up, repotted some plants, did laundry at the Layers’, organized the pantry and prepped for school.

I think I need more sleep…


Niagara Falls, eh?

Neither mom nor Josh had been to Niagara Falls before, and since a trip there is second only to pumping your visitors full of pizza and wings (check!), the three of us took off yesterday mid-morning to journey north.

I’ll admit, I was a little anxious about driving by myself (a.k.a. without Andrew) to the Falls, but with only a couple missed-turns (hey, the GPS and our printed directions were a little confusing!) we made it and went with the expensive (but close and easy and convenient) parking lot.  Good thing, since not 30 minutes after leaving the car and making it all the way down to the Falls, we decided to turn around and eat our picnic lunch before sight-seeing.

The last time we went to the Falls (last summer with Emily and Dan), we must have parked much further away or something, because I don’t remember seeing all this touristy stuff.  (It’s not new; I remember it from times I visited with Andrew when we were dating.)  It reminds me of an amusement park.

In case you haven’t been to the Falls, after you pass all the arcades, putt-putt, eateries and flashing lights, you make your way down and see this:

The horseshoe you see above is the Canadian Falls; in the photo below you see both the American Falls (left) and the Canadian Falls (right):

Josh and mom:

Can you believe he’s only 15?  He’s already 6′ 2.”

Mom and me on the Maid of the Mist.  I’m not a huge fan of getting wet (and boy, you can get wet on this thing if you really want to), but I had a great time and am so glad we did it.  It was the one attraction they really wanted to do, and I think it’s definitely worth doing, at least once.  The first time I went was years ago, so it was nice to go again.

Our caped crusader:

While on the Maid of the Mist, you really get an appreciation for the magnitude of the Falls–size, power, sound…everything.

I mean, look at that!  They get you pretty close; it’s almost as if it’s raining on you while you’re in the boat.  The wall of water is incredible, and (apparently) the powers that be control the water flow over the falls, and only about half the amount that could go over actually does.  Can you imagine if the Falls were doubly as strong?

We ended our trip with the obligatory arcade game for Josh and some refreshments for mom (a caramel-chocolate-nut-covered candy apple) and a lime spritzer drink for me from Starbucks (hey, I had a giftcard!  Although, sadly, it’s now out and I have to reload it….  How one girl can blow through that much moolah at one place is beyond me, but I manage.)

We made it out of the country and back into the good ole’ (although that’s becoming debatable) USA without a hitch (with Josh’s immature comments in the back seat, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d suspected him of drug-trafficking…thank you to whoever told him about the Monk episode in which Adrien says at the border crossing: “I am not a drug dealer” over and over again.) and were on our way home in no time.

Andrew picked up Pasquale’s pizza and wings  for dinner on his way home.  I love sharing that with people who visit.  I remember not really liking the pepperoni pizza in the beginning, but it’s really grown on me.  I think it was the spiciness; I definitely remember thinking the pepperoni was hot before.  The gobs of grease?  Well, I may never get used to that, but a girl’s got to cut loose every once in awhile.  We followed up our evening in with a movie, Real Steel, and freezie pops.

Mom and Josh leave today, and we’re all pretty beat (at least I am!), so I think we’re going to have a low-key morning before Andrew comes home for lunch and I take them to the airport.

Happy Hump Day!

when in Buffalo…

…do as the Buffaloes do.  Or, Buffalonians, rather.

And that would be to eat wings, of course.

It was a beautiful 81 degree day here yesterday and after a balmy walk with the dog, Mom, Josh and I met Andrew for lunch at the Bar Bill, a local watering hole and wing favorite.  It gets pretty packed on weekend evenings (hey, it’s a small place), but summer lunches under the awning are just great.

Mom and I shared a beef on weck sandwich and we all enjoyed some of their wings.  Josh is even more of a wuss than me when it comes to spice; I think he let a wing touch his lips and then announced he couldn’t go any further.  (I will admit, my spice tolerance has gone WAY up since moving here–now I don’t have to ask the servers at Thai places to make my dishes milder–due to my wing consumption.  I sure hope that’s the ONLY thing that’s gone up…)

After licking our fingers, I showed mom and Josh our new house–the owners were nice enough to let us come for a visit.  I even did a little recon–finding out exact paint colors and eyeing sizes of things and such–and they’re even going to leave a couple pieces of furniture I’d had my eye on AND those cool house numbers Andrew and I had admired!  SCORE (and what a blessing)!  They are just the nicest people alive 🙂

We spent the afternoon in EA, walking the village.  Mom popped into Vidler’s and was even able to find a couple things she needed (a single zipper pull, anyone?), as well as some things she “didn’t” (a pair of Birkenstocks from the place Andrew used to go as a kid).  After refueling with some drinks from Taste, we headed home to await Andrew’s arrival after work.

We went back into the village a bit later to drop Andrew at a co-op meeting and I drove mom and Josh around a little to show them the high school and a little more of the village.  After a quick visit at the Nye’s house, we popped into Fowler’s to see Abigail and so I could stock up on some chocolate (mostly as gifts, really) with my Groupon, before catching the 9 p.m. showing of the new Spiderman movie at the Aurora Theater.  Andrew Garfield makes a great Spiderman–go check it out!

On the agenda today: Niagara Falls and Pasquale’s Pizza…what else?