Saturday, January 23, 2010

September... short and sweet.

Though nothing of extreme importance or excitement seemed to happen in September the calmness of everyday humor and routine is what we needed. So these pictures are a random assortment of everyday and a couple visits to the Syracuse zoo.
Quite the ensemble my crazy pants put together. Note the chocolate around the mouth, the bright red slippers, the pink sunhat, toy dog, and cat toy. The cat toy she actually was using as a trumpet...
Playing glow-in-the-dark frisbee in the front yard.
Chocolate dream cake. Made it like four times in two weeks. HEAVENLY...

The Syracuse zoo is called Rosamond Gifford Zoo. It is a small zoo but pretty nice and they seem to be trying to improve parts of it. There are a couple of really cool exhibits there - the penguin habitat is really neat, and the lions are right up close and personal. I'm pretty possessive of my Hogle zoo but I feel lucky to have a zoo so close here. Plus we get in for free with our Hogle membership because they are sister zoos.
Crazy pants at the zoo
Kate watching the elephant. The elephant habitat is a little odd - there is a small area painted like an Indian temple or something, then there are two or three other elephants in a plain grass enclosure further down the zoo. I think that's the next big project.
At the goat/sheep barn.
There's a fake bladder under this cow that sprays the "milk" (it's actually just water) into buckets. Kate freaked out a little at the "milk" on her hands and wanted to wash them immediately.
The lion enclosure is quite small but the three lions in there (a brother and his two sisters) are right up close and personal. Around halloween there was a little kid dressed as a pumpkin and the lions just prowled back and forth following the pumpkin. :) After they eat they roar for a few minutes and the ground shakes. It's intense.

The penguin habitat is neat. There are several areas that are covered with windows so you can watch them dive and swim. They are fast!
Kate wasn't too thrilled about riding the fake tiger. The tiger enclosure is just a vast area of grass, weeds, and trees but the viewing area is above so you can actually see the tiger a lot of the time. It prowls along a path by the fence.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Excuses, excuses. And August.

So I realize it's been quite awhile since I've updated. I had a couple large projects - due date Christmas - that required huge numbers of manhours. Then we went to Utah for a month so I'm just now getting to the task of updating again. It is nice, however, to see nice sunny pictures when there's so much snow outside. :)

Our Last Visit to the Zoo
We decided to take one final visit to the zoo before moving to New York. It was a typical zoo visit, fun and nice to be outside, but boy did Kate have a hard time leaving. Kate's reaction to the news we were leaving...
The Move
We made the long journey to New York via airplane. My dad, Stewart, Alicia, and Jon left a few days before us and drove all the goods out there so it was mostly set-up by the time my mom, Kate, and I got there. It was nice. Kate loved her new room and was so relieved to have her bed back. She was quite upset to see it leave in the big yellow truck. We lined her walls with animal pictures and got all her toys in her room and she wanted to play in there first thing. She even decorated her elephant.

Kate discovered the rest of the house and it's possibilities little by little. She found the chocolate stash at my desk in almost no time.
My new perch
We met a great family in Syracuse called the Lentzs. I actually know their sister-in-law in Salt Lake so they were aware of our coming and welcomed us with more than open arms. They had a little party at their house and invited us over. Kate adores every one of them. She got to play with the kids, play in the pool, ride a horse, and create general mayhem with the others.
Julie Lentz and Kate
Jamie Lentz and her dad Eric
Jamie taking Kate for a horse ride. Kate was so eager to ride a horse, I was completely flabbergasted. Go crazy pants!!
Her second ride, this time dry.
I gave it a shot, not the best horse-woman but it was a lot of fun! I think the horse must have had some Scottish blood - stubborn thing.
Our trip to Niagara
We decided to take what little time we had before Jon started school and visit a couple of local sites. We made a journey two and a half hours north to Niagara Falls one day. We lucked out - it had been really rainy there most of the week and was horrible the next day but the day we went was a beautiful perfect day. We stayed until sunset and saw the beautiful effects of light with the spray. We visited the aquarium there, went on the Maid of the Mist boat, put on the Yellow paunchos for the walk under/in the falls, and saw a movie about people who went over the falls and lived. It was a pleasant day and Kate had a ball.
Sunset at the top of the falls
The trip below and in the falls. INTENSE.
Getting geared up for our trip in the falls. They gave us little sandals with nice traction and didn't make them in Kate's size but she absolutely insisted so she ended up with large kids sandals flapping around. She didn't mind a bit. She loved her new shoes.
On the Maid of the Mist boat
Look at the enormous spray the horseshoe falls make!
Another shot of the falls
On the bridge at the top of the falls
I asked someone to take our picture in front of the falls. Well, I assumed they would include the falls in the picture...
At the aquarium
One stylin' chick
On the boat
Onondaga Lake
There is a lake very close to where we live called Onondaga Lake. It's a nice little area where lots of people fish and go out on boats during the summer. There's no real beach to speak of - it seems to be mostly petrified bird poop and small bivalve shells - but you can get right up next to the lake and the gulls are only too happy to see if you've brought any food items with you. There is a pretty neat playground next to the lake that we visit often when the weather is good. It's quite large and Kate loves to go. After playing at the park she likes to go down to the lake and throw rocks in the water.
Birds on the driftwoood
I love the beautiful geese here. Lots of Canadian geese.
A neat little cove
At the playground
Gull and goose
We took a Sunday afternoon to go to Palmyra which is about an hour and a half away. It was so hot and muggy I didn't really much enjoy the trip but it was neat to see things. The Sacred Grove was nice and cool though and the walk through there was pleasant.
Kate taking her own picture.
A stop in the forest
Just a pretty area
The farm
Kate walking through the wood