What We’re Doing on Our Summer Vacation

or, rather, on Dom’s summer vacation. Dom has taken two weeks off and we are cramming the time with all sorts of fun outings.

Last Saturday we kicked off vacation with a trip to the farmer’s market

Insert farmers market cliche here

At the Farmers Market

followed by a picnic at the nearby State Park where mom and dad shocked everyone by climbing trees.

Pregnant lady in a tree

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After seeing me up a tree, Anthony had to take a turn.

We also had a lobster dinner (just $6.99 a pound!) The girls like to play with their food before it’s cooked. Then they eat the lobster with relish.

Lobster is cheap right now we had to get some

Also, my birthday present arrived early and Dom set it up for me. A new computer, a MacBook Air to replace my sadly falling apart MacBook which had got so bad it was driving me crazy with the sticking keys that made my cursor jump all over the screen, deleting everything I’d just typed. I adore my new computer. So light and so wee!

Melanie has opened her birthday present (on left)

On Monday we went to the beach for the first time in two years.

Anthony's first ocean dip

Anthony loved his first dip in the Atlantic.

Anthony's shorts are more like long pants

At first Ben hung back, but eventually he followed his sisters and little brother down to the water where he had fun jumping in holes that I dug for them.

Even Ben is in the water

Tuesday was a quieter day as Dom had an eye appointment in the afternoon and therefore we couldn’t travel too far from home. We all went to the playground for a while and then to Five Guys for lunch.

On Wednesday we went to The Butterfly Place, a lovely private atrium we visited last year as well.

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Me and my budding naturalists.

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Sophie consults her butterfly identification sheet.

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Anthony was rapt watching the butterflies.

Thursday was my birthday and Dom offered to watch all four of the kids all day while I had a Mom’s Day Out. (This is huge because he usually feels completely overwhelmed when it’s just him and all the kids. He hasn’t yet developed the coping strategies I have.)

I began the day with Mass and adoration—how cool that my birthday fell on a Thursday which is when our parish has adoration after daily mass! Then I went to the mall and bought two pairs of cute sandals. I had a nice lunch out all by myself with no interruptions and no conversation (bliss!) I made a total impulse purchase and bought a novel I’ve been wanting to read, Ready Player One
, which was awesome (Thanks to Melissa Wiley for that recommendation!) Then I went to the bookstore and bought three books of poetry, which I sat and enjoyed while I sipped a strawberry lemonade. When I got home four joyful children greeted me in the driveway with handmade cards and news of a birthday cake and cupcakes and flowers and a fruit arrangement!!! For dinner we ordered Indian takeout, thankful that we finally have a place that delivers. We ended with cake and candles. What a lovely day it was.

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The pickings at Barnes and Noble were downright depressing. Only the poetry section was at all a place where I wanted to linger. Sometimes I feel guilty for purchasing 98% of my books online. Not when I go to a big chain bookstore, though.

Melanie's birthday and Ben's baptism day My birthday cake (with a candle for each kid) and Ben’s baptism candle because it was also the anniversary of his baptism. He got cupcakes with sprinkles AND a slice of cake.

On Friday we had a quiet day at home to rest and recuperate from our busy week. We weeded one of the front beds and Dom put down more mulch and that was about the only productivity that happened.

Today was our usual Saturday outing to the farmer’s market with a lunch out at our favorite on the water seafood restaurant.

Next week we look forward to going to the zoo and to the arrival of my dad, who will be staying for two weeks.

3 Responses to What We’re Doing on Our Summer Vacation

  1. Lydia August 7, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    I remember when I got Beowulf for the first time. It was the oh, so beautiful Seamus Heaney translation taught, oddly enough, by a grandly eccentric professor who specialized in eighteenth century and Restoration drama. Until that moment of freshman year I had NO love for old or middle English. It was a moment of enlightenment and led to ah ha moments with Canterbury Tales and The Wasteland. I think that for the English student that first ah ha is completely addictive. I never would have gone on to love (not appreciate-love) the books I went on to love if it hadn’t been for that moment my sophomore year.

  2. Manny August 8, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    I have this experience all the time.  I get astonished frequently by fine novels.  My breath gasping awe of Faulkner for me was with Light In August, and then again on a repeat reading of The Sound and the Fury when I realized just how the structure of the novel fit together with that Easter sermon toward the end. 

    I was never a big fan of Joyce’s Portrait, though I see its artistry.  I much prefer DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, another Bildungsroman of the same era. 

    Recent reads that have taken my breath away: Ford Maddox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Marguerite Duras’s The Lover, Shusaku Endo’s Silence, Lost Paradise by Cees Nooteboom, and Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory.

  3. Patricia August 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    The first book that I remember being really enthralled by was “The Children of the New Forest” by Captain Maryiat (or Marriot).  The print was small and my mother could not imagine why anyone would buy it for a 10 year old.  I loved it!!

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