Sunday, September 10, 2017

Emily's 10th Birthday Adventure

For Emily's 10th Birthday Adventure this year, Emily decided she'd like to go to Jay Gee's.   (After Memere vetoed the "Emoji Movie" and a High Ropes Course!)

Jay Gee's is a great place to spend the day!


We started with a round of Mini-Golf.  There were many "hazards" including this alligator that Emily was able to to tame and ride.


It was a very easy-going game with all of us being equally inept, and no score was kept.




Emily also managed to ride the back of the incredibly weird looking gorilla!


After the mini-golf we tried out the go-carts.   Pepere challenged us to a race.


Emily and I came in first place!!


Before we went inside to the arcade, we all took a turn in the batting cages.  Somehow I got no photo of that.

The Spinning Bumper Cars were next.   Lots of fun and it was quite okay to bang into other drivers!


Ski-ball is always a favorite.


But Emily hit the jackpot on the Wheel!   


Yup, 750 tickets!


Unbelievably, they all spewed out of the machine.  I stood there for literally 5 minutes waiting for them all to come out!


Emily challenged me to a game of air hockey.  She barely beat me 7-6.


Then it was Pepere's turn.  Emily went all-out to make the plays!


And beat him 7-2!


She ended with 1019 tickets!   She got an emoji pillow and some disappearing ink.


We had one more coupon left for a go-cart ride, so Emily took a turn with Pepere.  He's a much slower driver than Memere and not very safe!


Emily really enjoyed Jay Gees!


We finished off with some ice cream.  I had a hard time holding the camera, my ice cream AND taking the photo.....so my ice cream has a prominent place in this photo.



Emily had a strawberry  Slushie....


And Pepere chose Crazy Vanilla...."You gotta be crazy to have Crazy Vanilla!"



Saturday, August 26, 2017

And the Shed Came Tumbling Down!


When we bought our house six years ago, Hubby was most excited about having a backyard and his own shed.  When we closed papers on the house, he ran down to the end of the backyard and excitedly threw open the shed door.  Unfortunately, he found this:

The blue tarp was added by Hubby to cover the gaping hole in the roof.


The floor was rotted and, frankly, dangerous.


The back half of the roof was sagging.




There was some discussion about trying to rehab it, but it was very quickly determined that a new shed needed to be built.  Hubby was intent on building it himself, even though he had no experience with any kind of building.  

So this became the "Summer of the New Shed".   The building of the new shed will be a post for another day  (since there are still some details left to complete it).   But today was finally the day we would Tear the Old Shed Down.   (Already thinking of a parody to the tune of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down")

Of course Jamie was anxious to be part of the demo, and our friend Rick couldn't wait to come over with his Sawzall.   His wife Kate came for moral support.    After a hearty breakfast, the work began.

Hubby took the first swipe.



A quick last peek out the window


Jamie got busy with a crowbar


While Rick attacked with the sledgehammer.



They peeled away the outer layer of plywood, and banged off the boards underneath.


Hubby takes his turn with the sledgehammer



Finally there was just a shell. Rick finally got to power up the Sawzall and he cut all the front support beams close to the ground.



A short rest whilst they discussed the best way to pull the rest of it down.   Jamie's original idea was to pull it down with her truck....but for many reasons that idea was scrapped.



Since no one had a good, sturdy (and LONG) rope, they put together some tie-downs from Jamie's and Rick's trucks and did it by hand!  Working together and chanting "Heave, HO"  the shed came crashing down!



And now we have a shed roof on our lawn!


There's still lots of work to go.  Hubby is tearing off shingles, since those can't be burned.  Everything else is going in piles to burn in our fire pit, or in the spring for Hubby to use for boiling maple syrup.


We thank our good friends Rick and Kate and my daughter Jamie for all their help and encouragement.  It couldn't have been done without you!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tanglewood 2017

This year for our trek to the Berkshires and Tanglewood, we invited two dear friends, Rick and Kate. We were discussing the fact that they hadn't been to the Norman Rockwell Museum for 20 years, and that evolved into a short but very fun getaway.

Rick and Kate are very accommodating travelers....they are happy to let me make all the plans and decisions.

So our first stop "out west" was at a little out-of-the-way place called the "Fifties Diner".


There was an added bonus of a very cool car in the parking lot!


We made it out to The Berkshires by early afternoon and checked in early at our hotel so we could get over to Tanglewood around two.   It was "Tanglewood on Parade" and that means they have music all afternoon before the evening show.  We got ourselves situated in a great spot right beside the shed and then we were on our way.

The grounds at Tanglewood are beautiful, and it was a nice sunny day.


 Our first stop was Ozawa Hall for a Cello Concerto!   They played several songs, including some Beatles songs like "Cello Submarine"!

As you can see, Ozawa Hall has great seating with the entire back wall of the hall able to open up so the overflow of people can sit outside on the grass and look in.



After the Cellos, they brought out a Grand Piano, and 5 or 6 young pianists played some amazing music.  Waiting here for the concert to begin.....Tag wishes it were him getting ready to play on that stage!


Walking around the grounds and people-watching is always fun.  Some people go all out with their picnic set-ups!




A choral group took the main stage in the "Shed" for an afternoon concert.



And then another Orchestra



And a Bluegrass Band on the porch of the Visitor's Center.



Tag and I and Rick and Kate had brought our own picnic lunch.   Not as fancy as some, but sandwiches with all the fixin's worked well for us!

The main concert was just outstanding!  We sit right beside the shed, so we can see the Orchestras and also see up close on the big screen.

As darkness fell, we listened to The Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Williams, and then the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart.   They finale was the 1812 Overture, complete with cannons!



The evening was capped off by some amazing fireworks!


The day at Tanglewood was wonderful.....but our short vacation was only half over!

The next morning, we drove to the next town over for breakfast.  Hubby and I are not thrilled with the hotel breakfasts usually offered, and Kate and Rick were very accommodating in going out to a local breakfast cafe called Otto's.



  After a very satisfying meal, we headed over to the Normal Rockwell Museum.  (which is one of my very favorite art museums!)

I didn't think you could take photos inside, so I didn't.  But we had a lovely time looking at all his paintings and his Saturday Night Post covers.  An amazing artist!!

We even walked over to Rockwell's studio, which was brought over from Stockbridge and placed on the grounds of the Museum.



While we were there, Hubby found a brochure for the Berkshire Museum, which had a special exhibit called "Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World".    Rick and Tag are both musicians, and were eager to go see it   .So we made an extra side trip to the Berkshire Museum.


They had a 43' long guitar that Hubby and Rick tried hard to play!




BB King's "Lucille"


An eight-neck guitar!



This guitar is more Rick's size


He was delighted with the exhibit!



   Kate and I don't know one guitar from the next  ("oh look!  A pretty blue one!  And that one is so shiny!")  so we chose to let the boys have their fun and wander around the rest of the museum.  It was an odd, very eclectic mixture of exhibits, and Kate and I were quickly done.   When we checked on the guys, they were only halfway done going through the guitar exhibit!

Kate and I went outside and found a bench to sit on and wait for the guys.  We found a good spot next to a friendly dinosaur.  Rick came out.......but he'd lost Tag!



When I went back inside, he was serenely playing one of the guitars!  Thank goodness we found him!


Another great vacation in the books, and very special because we got to share it with some great friends!