Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I did in the last week of my summer vacation

In the past week, we:

a.) went camping and got lots of mosquito bites

b.) celebrated my birthday with S'mores and more mosquito bites

c.) held a rummage sale with my best friend from middle school & high school

d.) took the kids to watch a classical Indian ballet

e.) drove Peter's parents back to their hometown to see their old house, visit a maritime museum and eat at a restaurant/chocolatier/ice cream parlor that's an institution in that city

f.) celebrated Aaron's 10th birthday today with our family (his party will be on Labor Day)

g.) met the boys' teachers the afternoon before our first day of school

h.) ALL of the above!

The correct answer is "h" . . . and it will be a bit of a relief when school starts tomorrow so we can all catch our breath!

We went camping because my sister called last week and said, "Are you feeling adventurous?" She had a few days off, and booked a campsite at a state park. We haven't been tent camping since Anya Rashi came home, and she loved it! After the first night, she said, "Can we stay FIVE more days?" It's a good thing we didn't, though, or there would've been nothing left of us except some very plump mosquitos.

The Indian ballet was courtesy of our city's Indian cultural group. We saw two short ballets by dance groups from Madison, Wisconsin and from the Chicago area. Although the stories were very familiar to Indian members of the audience, they kindly provided synopses for newbies like us. The first was about the love story of Krishna and Radha, and the second one was based on the story of Rama and his wife Sita, and their twin sons. We had to leave about 20 minutes before the end because Anya Rashi was starting to get a wee bit restless after an hour and 45 minutes of sitting still!

The dancers wore gorgeous, colorful costumes, and bells that jingled with each stomp and step. It was fascinating to see their hand positions, which were similar to the hand positions featured on Indian statues. Each position has a different meaning (although I can't remember offhand what they all are!), and it was really beautiful and artistic to see them incorporated into dance.

Our nostalgia tour of Peter's hometown was especially sweet because his old neighbors were home and were delighted to see Mary Ann and Jim. We had a ball listening to memories. Peter's dad was quite a daredevil as a child, and we heard hair-raising stories about fishing from an active railroad bridge, riding down a hill (in the middle of the road! in the daytime!) in go-karts, and being out on huge waves on Lake Michigan in a tiny fishing boat by himself, etc. In this era of child safety products, we were all left wondering how he survived to adulthood!

Although our heads are spinning a bit from all the fun, we relished every minute of it. Summer is officially done as of today . . . and we will be headed off to school in the morning.


Julie & Patrick said...

I am so jealous of the wonderful Indian programs everyone has been able to enjoy lately. What a fun and whirlwind summer you've had. Once again Anya Rashi's comments remind me so much of Dev. Road trips and camping...two of my favorite memories as a kid too. Guess we need to be brave and give them a try, even with a little one. Love hearing about your wonderful family outings!


Alarie and Todd said...

when you do birthdays, you do a BIG week all at once! :) I love it! happy birthday and I'm excited to see how much fun you all have had this summer..AND this week! Great post!