Monday, October 26, 2015

Girls Weekend

Carson went to Boston for a conference at Harvard and had a marvelous time! A colleague of his went with and they stayed with his Dad's cousin in Beverly, MA. They got to explore all the hot spots in Boston, by which of course I mean the touristy things. Carson loved the city and now I can't wait to go visit!

Meanwhile I worked and got takeout and did crafts. I don't hate being by myself, so I didn't mind the long weekend alone, and I got a lot done. 

On a whim, I called Jillian and asked what she thought of meeting for lunch in Jacksonville that Saturday. She was all for it, so we got together at around lunchtime at a place she'd been before. It was so good. I had a sandwich and a butternut squash soup with red peppers. 

And Wren girl and I got to hang out when she got a little tired of sitting still. She charmed the wait staff too

We went to a toy store and looked around for a little while and then browsed some other local stores. It was fun!

After exploring, we went to a little park to hang out. I gave Graceanna her birthday presents and they were a hit!

Wren meanwhile took advantage of my distraction and made off with my phone, which I think is a hilarious series of pictures.

Elsa and I!

Carson came home on Sunday night and we went to a local park to walk around. 

He'd bought us both Harvard sweatshirts while he was there, so I made him model his for the camera. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


So fall is different in the south. Different from Washington and Ohio, where as you know we lived for six years. In both places, we saw changing leaves, went apple picking, visited a corn maze, went to a pumpkin patch, wore sweaters, prayed snow would hold off as long as possible. And here, well it's not the same. Surprise, surprise, there aren't changing leaves, not much apple picking to be found (except in the produce department), and it's 90-something degrees for a good portion of the year. 

I loved experiencing a real autumn, since I grew up in the south and didn't get one. Crisp air, bonfires, crunchy leaves... It was wonderful and for that reason October has long been one of my favorite months. But to be honest, it's not so bad having 90 degree weather in mid-October. It definitely doesn't feel like fall except that the mornings are cooler, and to look around you wouldn't really notice much of a difference. 

So long story short, pumpkins don't wait until fall in Florida. From what I'm told (and this is based purely on what someone told me), they arrive on the scene, ready for harvest in the summer, which is not exactly prime pumpkin pie season. So they get trucked in and placed in supermarkets and in pretty displays on church grounds.

Which leads us to our first Tallahassee pumpkin patch: at a Methodist church near our house that we pass on the way to our church (I don't think there's a denominational monopoly on pumpkin patches, but our Presbyterian church doesn't have one). 

So picture everything in this post as it really was for us - on the corner of a busy intersection. Whereas in Spokane we were in a field of pumpkins that actually grew there, in Tallahassee we were across the street from a Super Lube and a Big Lots. It was a little funny. 

Funnier still were the people dressed in sweaters and special outfits for the pumpkin outing, completely overdressed but desperately wanting this fall activity to allow for fall clothing. It was a cool morning (low 70s) but by the time we were there the temperature had risen about 15 degrees. You've got to commend someone for sticking to their guns and wearing a flannel scarf and jeans when it's just under 90 degrees.

(See the Super Lube?)

The pumpkin patch works on an honor system. There are prices for each size pumpkin and a box to put cash or check in to pay for them, which I really admire because I'd guess they get taken advantage of often. 

We did not have checks on us and only enough cash for a very tiny pumpkin, so we just took pictures with them and left the pumpkins behind. 

You'd be surprised by how many people were actually there, just out of the shot.

Some college guys offered to take our picture if we took theirs. Sure!

They had Carson take several different shots with planned poses, even referencing the way people did it in the past, so perhaps there's tradition in this picture? 

We went grocery shopping after this and totally forgot to put pumpkins in our cart, but we do want to carve them (we still have a gingerbread kit from last Christmas in the back of the pantry though so the jury is out on whether this will happen). 

Even though it didn't feel at all like fall, it did feel like we were involved in something that's been a part of the community in Tally for a long time, and since I love traditions, that totally works for me. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Wedding

Our most recent trip to Beaufort was for a wedding! Chloe, a sweet friend I've known for awhile, who was my companion on my last trip to Ukraine, someone I've known for... I'm not sure, quite some time, got married! 

We got to Beaufort on Friday afternoon. My mom coordinated the wedding and my brother built the wedding arch and my dad was at work, so Carson and I went to their house, played with the dogs, and then Carson took a nap. 

Scott got home and we headed into Beaufort. The sunset was lovely that evening.

After a family dinner at a fancy little place I like to call the Pizza Hut, we returned home and watched a little golf. Oscar wasn't thrilled about sitting on the floor.

Saturday morning, everyone left to go to work work or wedding work, so Carson and I headed into town to meet Christina and Caleb for breakfast. They were in town for the wedding as well, and although they attended our wedding, I don't think Carson had officially ever met them. We had breakfast at Palm and Moon Bagel, a place we used to visit in high school! We walked down to the waterfront but it started to rain, so Christina suggested we return to the car but get a group picture first. 

A word about rain: the weather for this wedding had been forecast with a 15% chance of rain earlier in the week, but as the weekend grew closer, the forecast grew to 85%. That is not good. So it was rainy/drizzling all of Saturday, and the wedding ceremony was supposed to be outdoors, but plans were being made to move it inside, since it was pretty likely that we'd all get very wet. We all prayed that the rain would hold off. 

Carson and I stopped by the venue on our way to Granddaddy and Grandmama's house to see the preparations and for me to write a little sign. 

We had lunch and hung out at Granddaddy and Grandmama's house before getting ready. Surprisingly enough,   the sun started to come out. 

I actually sweated during the beautiful ceremony. That's how sunny it was. I didn't take pictures during the ceremony, so here's one from after.

My sister was there! Her husband Thomas did the music.

And here we are after the bride and groom arrived, a rather awkwardly angled picture.

Chloe's brother gave her away, and they did a brother-sister dance that was so sweet.

My mom and Scott at the wedding, serving cake!

Mom and AudreyKate danced a little.

This is the beautiful mother of the bride. She's the church secretary and we used to work together. She's as sweet as she is lovely.

Ale was a bridesmaid and came home from her first semester at Moody (Chicago)! It was so good to see her!

They left to the sound of kazoos. It turns out that I have no idea how to make noise in a kazoo. 

Scott and I 

Scott and I playing (is that the correct verb?) the kazoo. 

We got home and watched Florida State beat Miami. Go Noles! 

The next morning, we went to church, and said goodbye to these two unloved, suffering little creatures: Mini, sitting two feet from her bed in the blanket box, and Oscar, snoozing on Dad's pillow. Poor little angels...

I slept on the way home and then woke up to read a chapter aloud to Carson of the book we've been reading: Freakanomics (yes we are late to the game. But it's good!). We got home with time to spare, and by that I mean we went to bed early. It was a super short weekend but really good! Congrats to Chloe and Ricky!
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