Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What I Did on My Summer Vacation Pt. IV

My final 15 hours in Virginia passed most pleasantly. The birthday brunch extravaganza had been cleared away by paid professionals. We bid farewell to Kathleen, Travis, and Grace. Major sad face. I stuck around the Pinkerton house for some afternoon chill time. The kids played in the sprinkler while the grown-ups unwound a bit with cold, malty beverages. I had forgotten what a nuisance mosquitos are in Virginia in the Summer. Or I guess anywhere other than the dry Southwest.

Charlotte chasing butterflies
More family fun after the jump!

I needed to get myself packed and prepped for my extremely early flight, so I went back to my parents' house for a bit. I tried to ride Larry's bike home, but when I tried to get on, I immediately fell over onto the grass. I don't know how people ride those super-tall Critical Mass bikes. I somewhat shame-facedly walked it home.

I wanted to make sure I got a few shots of my mom's garden in the daylight. Indulge me a moment of nostalgia for my parents' yard.

This is what the yard looked like when we moved in 22 years ago. That's my late dog-faced brother, Milo, when he was just a little guy. This photo was in an album my sister put together for me some 10 or so years ago. The commentary is hers.

Ignore the awkward/jailbait teenager with the scrunchie on her wrist. The landscaping is beginning.

This is just 3 years later, possibly at a more verdant time of year, but what progress! Again, ignore the awkward teenager. Actually, don't. She's hilarious.

So back to the present day. This is going to blow you away.

You may notice a tree standing where there was not one in the previous picture. Also notice the frog pond, and numerous garden sculptures by in-house artist, Mr. Larry Bechtel.

Detail of the frog pond. It's a regular Giverny over there!

I planted a pine twig when I was in third grade. It is now that enormous thing filling the top half of this photo.

My need to document Eden satisfied, I packed up my stuff, prepared some snacks for the plane, then set myself to the most important task of all: finding fun stuff to do at my slumber party with Charlotte and my sister. Charlotte had compiled a pretty big list of activites, but seemed a little dissatisfied with my contribution, so I figured I'd better come up with something good. I woke up my sister, who was sleeping off Floyd Fest, we gathered some goodies, and went back to Kathy and John's for our sleep-over.

Haley came back from Floyd Fest with a marvelous hula hoop, so activity number one was to head out to the basketball court and try it out before it got too dark. We took turns hooping, shooting baskets, and pointing out fireflies. The boys documented for us. Those guys love to take pictures! Favorite subjects include Mom and feet, but they like to take pictures of everything, and then show you, "See? There it is!"

I may have actually taken this picture. We'll call it the "establishing shot."

Each of the boys had a camera at this point and took pictures of each others cameras at the same time. I wish I had a picture of that, but you know, they had all the cameras.

Mom/Connie thinking maybe that's enough photography for the evening

The boys went to bed, and the girls went to the basement den to get down to serious slumber party business.  We watched Disney Channel* shows while we painted our nails, drew pictures, and ate (I suspect illicit) snacks. Charlotte did a lovely 2-tone look for her nails, opting for alternating purple and turquoise. I forewent nail painting (since I'm awful at it) in favor of drawing a picture of a mermaid, which Charlotte helped me out with. 

* I had never actually watched the Disney Channel before, even as a kid. It's kinda weird. The shows are all about teenagers, first of all, and they all seem to be in a band. And the protagonist girls are really neurotic. Seriously, it's like Lena Dunham created their entire slate.

We wound the evening down by snuggling up and watching "Aladdin." I forgot how much sighing goes on in that movie, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it. It totally holds up.

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