scenes of summer

This summer has certainly been one for the books.  Even without the craziness that this pandemic has brought, our first summer with a toddler has been the most fun–and least productive–of our entire lives. Continue reading “scenes of summer”

but i thought i WAS being spontaneous…

So, on Friday Andrew calls to ask if I want to go camping with some of his friends on Saturday night.  As in, the-next-day-Saturday night.  Less-than-24-hours-later Saturday night.

Of course, I said no.

No, because I wanted to RELAX during my first weekend free from school.  I wanted to sleep in my own bed.  I didn’t want to worry about organizing and packing (much less locating) all our camping gear up.

What’s that you say?  Camping IS relaxing?  Yes, camping is relaxing ONCE YOU’RE THERE and unpacked and the weather is perfect and SOMEONE ELSE did all the planning for you.

Well, once Andrew offered a little more information, like that he knew where our camping stuff was, and that the campsite was only a 30-minute drive and that we didn’t have to go until dinnertime on Saturday, and that another female had already taken care of much of the food planning, I started to warm up to the idea.

So we went.  And it was fun.  The location was actually the giant parcel of land (100 acres, maybe?) belonging to the family of one of Andrew’s co-workers.  There was a tiny ‘cabin,’ but it was all but useless.  Apparently it’s being remodeled/renovated later this summer…

Disclaimer: it’s looks a little red-neck, and maybe it was.  I mean, there were dirt bikes for pete’s sake!  At least they were all Moog engineers, (except me–a student–and the friends’ fiancee–a teacher) which really just means that the bikes were NICE and in good shape.  I don’t know why, but that fact made me feel a bit better.  I mean, we were in the sticks.

Hadrian had a blast.  Actually, that would be understatement.  He’s never had so much fun in his life.  He’s still sleeping it off…

Dead trees were cut down with a chainsaw for firewood…

Bananas were sauteed in butter as appetizers…  Amazing!  Slice some up and throw them in a skillet with butter–I dare you not to love them.

Dinner: corn, beans x 2 and burgers (note Andrew’s cheese-less patty).  Sahlen’s hot dogs and brats were next, as well as some surprisingly good Wegmans pre-made potato salad.  I’m not usually into pre-made “tub” salads, but this one wasn’t bad at all.  Actually kinda good.  Must be the camping talking.

We set our tents up in row on the makeshift driveway.  Thank goodness for air mattresses–I don’t care that it’s not hard-core camping; I value my sleep, AND my back!

Plus, there was NO TOILET.  It was trees and thank-goodness-I thought-to-bring toilet-paper–tell me that’s not hard-core!  I mean, even our boundary-waters trip up in Minnesota and Canada in which we had to CARRY OUR CANOES (wish I’d been blogging then!) came with holes in the ground at each campsite…

Not surprisingly, I was up before 6 a.m. the next morning.  Between the birds and other woodland creatures, nature is just deafening at sunrise!  I did, however, come prepared:

I paired a banana and some peanut butter with my Bible study and enjoyed some peace and quiet before people started stirring around 7:30.

Also brought running gear in case the opportunity presented itself.  (It did, of course.)

I took Hadrian with me for a loop I think was about 2.5 to 3 miles.  HUGE downhill one way, HUGE uphill the other.  I dropped him off at the campsite and did it again myself, this time in reverse once I got to the bottom so I could run the middle, more shaded, less hilly length twice on the second go-around.  Fifty-four minutes later, I was pooped!

We ended our short stay with Andrew giving one of the dirt bikes a try.  He had fun, but I don’t think he’s itching to go buy one any time soon…  That’s the problem with having lots of single male friends–they all have expensive toys!

Oh well, he has a (hot) wife 🙂  Or at least that’s what I keep telling him.

“beach” day

Andrew, Abigail and I joined some of Andrew’s friends from work Sunday at Ontario “Beach.”  I use quotation marks here because, as someone who grew up vacationing in Florida and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, I find it extremely difficult to call anything other than the sand along a bona fide ocean, a beach.  I mean, just because the Great Lakes are all huge and beach-like, they still aren’t oceans.  There are no waves, no crabs, no salty sea air.

I digress.

This is Ontario Beach.  As you can see, it is pretty much like a beach.  What you see on the right is a jetty and on the other side of that were a bunch of sailboats.  We didn’t have the best weather; it was pretty overcast much of the morning, but warm and even a bit humid (for here).  Ontario Beach is about an hour and a half northeast of East Aurora.  There are “beaches” closer to EA, but they’re on Lake Erie.

We were invited by one of Andrew’s friends from work, who apparently gathers with some of his family and friends here each summer for some (relatively) intense volleyball.

Andrew joined right in for the volleyball.

Abigail and I aren’t volleyballers; in fact, we’re the kind of players you want on the OTHER team.  So, Abigail did what she does best: laid out, soaking up the sun.  I enjoy lying out as well, especially since I have a sports bra and shorts tan, but I get bored easily if I’m not reading, so I mingled and took photos of Andrew playing volleyball.

Before too long some light rain drove us all inside, so we headed to this joint (apparently a favorite of the group who came out last summer) for some lunch:

I didn’t bring my camera (wish I had!), but it was just as shady on the inside as it looks on the outside.  They’re known for their steak sandwiches, but it was the bun that really did it for me.  Again, I wish I’d had the camera.  (There wouldn’t have been anywhere to put it; we were swished like sardines into booths.)  Anyway, imagine a really thin steak on a bun that was a cross between a potato roll and a croissant.  YUM.  It was a bit flaky and buttery and kinda smooshed when you grasped it.  I made mine into a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard and pickles.  Andrew had his with grilled peppers and onions, and Abigail ate hers’ plain.  The three of us shared a vanilla milkshake with a splash of root beer.

Once we all finished lunch, we piled into our vehicles and headed to Andrew’s friend’s uncle’s house.  Hi Uncle Al!

Al has lived just off of Lake Ontario for the last 25 years.  He took the 11 of us out on the lake for tubing and water skiing for the next few hours.  The weather gradually improved until it was beautiful around 4 p.m. I haven’t been tubing for three years, since last vacationing with Andrew’s family on Lake Tippecanoe in Indiana.  I thought I was getting too old, but apparently not.  I had a great time yesterday and escaped without a bruise.

Bart, Andrew’s friend from work and who has made an appearance on the blog before, drove us up for the event. Thanks Bart!

After boating we gathered on the deck before grilling hamburgers for dinner.  Check out my suit!  This is the one Andrew and I scored last-minute at JC Penney’s.  LOVE IT.

Andrew lost his contact in the water…must have been all that aggressive tubing!  For those who don’t know, the only appropriate way to tube when there are multiple people out there at once, is to fight to the death until someone falls off.  You’d think adults would be past this; sadly, they aren’t.  (I, on the other hand, am completely content to have a wild ride in which I have to work to hang on, but don’t need to worry that someone from another tube might jump on top of me or kick me off.  Just saying.)

So THAT’S what my hair looks like from the back!  I’ve always wondered… It’s more reddish-brown than I thought.  And flippy.  Obviously, this is an “un-styled” look since I’d been in the water, but good to know.

We left around 8 p.m. for our long drive home.  Miraculously, no one in the car fell asleep!  I have heard, however, that everyone had a hard time getting going this morning…