Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Out on Vacation

Hey folks! I've been pretty busy getting things together for my trip to Paris next week, so I am going to stop pressuring myself to post anything before I go. I'm heading out with my girlfriends on June 22nd and will be back July 1st. Wish us luck and if you've been there before - feel free to leave recommendations on what to see and do in the comments! I won't be able to post while we're there, but you can bet that I will be posting on our trip when we get back! Au revoir!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game...

My nephew, Joseph, is playing in his first organized sport, T-ball. My sister Caroline and I wanted to see him play in a game before his little league session was over - so we drove out to the playing field this past Monday to cheer him on.
I don't know how successful he's going to be with his ball cap over his face, but Joe took direction well from his rather intense coach. That dude was serious. The boys weren't however, especially since this was a game with 4 and 5 year olds!

I thought this was a sweet picture between father and son!

Mara was a good sport about the whole sitting on the sidelines thing. She, of course, used this opportunity to practice her "man beguiling" skillz. Also, aren't those rain boots the cutest thing you've ever seen!?

It was fun to see Joe all dressed up in sports clothes. This little guy definitely takes after my side of the family in that he would rather be reading a book than running around all hot and sweaty outdoors, so seeing him in this environment was a real treat! I could tell that he loved having his family there cheering him on from the sidelines. Every time he ran to homeplate he would suddenly have this burst of energy when he would hear us yelling encouragement. Goodness, I love these little people!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Walk of a Thousand Agonies

Okay, okay. Maybe that's overstating things slightly. This past Saturday, my good friend and Paris travel companion, Elena, came over for some Italian food and a movie. After dinner, we thought it would be a great idea to break out our vacation shoes and walk to Ted Drewes for ice cream. Ted Drewes is about 1.5 miles from my apartment, so I thought I would take my camera and snap some photos of my neighborhood along the way.

Here is the lovely Elena showing the tree lined streets and comfortable shade my neighborhood offers. It's perfect for long walks or runs if you are so inclined - I'm not. I much prefer an exercise bike.

Our neighborhood if chock full of old churches. Francis Park, has 4 on each corner. I think it looks sweet! The one below could be straight out of England.

My neighborhood was built around the 1920s and there is a great mix of Art Deco apartment buildings and single family homes.

Francis Park, is also bordered by these funky homes.

It was during our walk past these homes that I noticed that my right ankle was hurting a bit. I took my shoe off, and sure enough, I had a blister about the size of a quarter. We had no phones, no cars (obviously) and were about 6 blocks from Ted Drewes, so we decided to keep going and that I would just walk barefoot.

On our way there, I received a number or curious looks, but just shrugged it off. We did jokingly say a prayer that someone we knew would be at Ted Drewes, as at that point my feet were hurting quite a bit and the prospect of walking all the way back home in my bare feet was not very exciting.

At last, we arrived at the ice cream stand and scanned the crowd for any familiar faces. No luck.

The lines move fast though, and the seasonal high school ice cream workers are taught to memorize the orders when they are given at the window and don't need to write anything down. Isn't that kind of neat?

Here's the famous frozen custard, but was it worth it? Always.

As it turns out, Elena did eventually find an old student she knew from her youth ministry days. She felt a bit awkard though, about bumming a ride so we ended up walking home and I looked like this:
I learned that concrete has serious texture and the more texture there is, the more it feels like you are walking on hot coals. Yes, there is grass to walk on, but I am allergic and frankly the feel of it makes my skin crawl. We made it home eventually and never have I been more happy to see my home lights. Now, the question is what to do with my shoes? I'll just try breaking them in some more before the trip.
It also turns out that a friend of my sister also saw us at Ted Drewes that evening. So, God totally answered our prayers twicefold, we just didn't see it. When Aili, asked her friend if she noticed I was walking around in bare feet, she said "Yes. But I just thought she was trying to be natural or something." Nice!