Thursday, November 12, 2009

Melvin Invasion

My mom and aunt visited us last weekend and by all accounts, a good time was had by all.

We did the Lexington tourist circuit, spent a day in Roanoke and had some delicious meals. Much shopping was also done, including my first visit to Target since before we went to India.

The kids outside the Southern Inn

Dinner at the Southern Inn

Meema, Ben and Aunt Margaret at Mill Mountain Park

Paying our respects to Stonewall Jackson. Did you know there is a tradition of leaving lemons on Stonewall's grave?


I spotted this sign a few weeks ago in Roanoke...

and then last weekend, this...

Mighty nice of Bud, don't you think?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charlotte Airport FTW

The Charlotte NC airport has:

-lots of natural light
-free wi-fi
-rocking chairs everywhere
-a USO spot for soldiers to do whatever it is that soldiers do at USO spots in airports
-a live piano player in the main atrium
-pit-cooked BBQ, greens, beans, stew, etc, with decent hushpuppies and swayt tay, all dished out [on the day shift] by sweet old women who wished me a 'blessed day.'

Gogogo Charlotte Airport. I route myself through here whenever possible from now on.

Sorry, no pics.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two for Ella

Believe it or not, Ella, I learned the Fifty Nifty United States song a million years ago when I was about your age. Here's the version we sang...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beautiful Downtown Roanoke

Rough around the edges, but there are gems everywhere...

Halloween 2009

(As I begin to write, I realize that pretty much without exception, my family turns *any* holiday into a multi-day affiar...  good thing we're Jews - at least the mega celebrations are doctrinally correct on occasion.)  

Ben and I kicked off the season of candy and pumpkins on Wednesday with a pumpkin carving party at the library and lots of buddies.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Oz and his dad Josh get down to business

Gabe, Joshua and Ben in a rare hug-free moment that day

Then Thursday Batman and I hit the W&L Halloween carnival with Spidey, a Pumpkin Chef and their mom.  Pumpkins were painted, bad guys were chased far far away from the dorms...

After the carnival we braved the downtown Lexington Trick or Treating scene, which was an absolute mob.  You may be surprised to learn that my new home of less than 7000 ever has need for traffic cops, but I spotted at least 3 on duty, in the middle of intersections directing the hordes of kids through the W&L Parents' Weekend traffic.  (Who on earth thought it would be a
 good idea to hold Parents' Weekend over Halloween?!  Total zoo.)  No pictures as I had my hands full not losing Batman.  

Caitlin came home from NC on Friday so we waited on her to carve our pumpkins.  Unfortunately a pumpkin shortage in western VA seems to have driven folks to resort to squash larceny and we were down to three by the time we got down to business.  (That, or as Chris claims, a raccoon rolled one off...)  We soldiered on and even managed to gross out a neighbor kid in the process.  

Demure and undeterred, Caitlin de-goops like a pro.

The master again, in his element.

And then the main event.  Caitlin was a queen in mourning (you'll have to ask her from which century).  She proudly accomplished her goal of creating an entirely free and no-sew costume all on her own this year.  

Ben again kept Gotham safe.

And I rocked my witch costume, sat on the porch, read about King Henry the VIII's wives, drank beer and handed out candy.  (There's something I don't miss about Wisconsin - the frigid Halloween nights!)

Chris combined Jedi and academic robes for a costume too intellectually terrifying to document.  He had the privilege of escorting Batman on his rounds while Caitlin went off, sans-adult, for the first time ever.  By all accounts she had a blast...

...even if The Devil did horde her candy!