I got back from my 6-day trip to New York late last night....already seems like forever ago. It was a fantastic trip, starting in NYC to see my Mom and Paul. Sunday morning I went running along NYC's fantastic park along the Hudson River, then spent the afternoon hanging with my sister and brother and Papa Paul, and of course, their beautiful fluffy cat Sebastian.
Monday, Mom and Paul weren't feeling well, so we abandoned our idea to see the Intrepid aircraft carrier museum, and I decided to do something altogether un-New-Yorker-y: I went to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. That was really great, the weather was perfect and there is SO much to see and read and learn and absorb on Ellis Island. From the ferry stop in Battery Park, I walked back to Mom's place, torn between loving walking in Manhattan and being dog-tired.
Tuesday morning, I flew to Buffalo, NY, a familiar place because it's right down the "road" (well, NY State Thruway) from Rochester, where I went to college and lived for 2 years afterward. In Buffalo, I was wined and dined along with another 100-200 or so people, almost all white men (no accents -- what a difference from Silicon Valley!) The highlight was walking to Niagra Falls the night we arrived, and seeing the falls all lit up with colored lights. That was a great ice-breaker, and flowed easily into meeting lots of other people and making all sorts of friends and business contacts. I think the technical term for that is schmoozing.
I even ran into an old friend in the baggage claim in San Jose, she'd been on the same flight from Atlanta (where I'd connected from Buffalo). I think I've known her for nearly 20 years, first at a gym we used to belong to, then in dance classes. Years ago, she and I were the only ones in our 40s in a hip-hop class; the rest were all teenagers! It was really nice seeing her again.
Life had to happen again, but after my wonderful trip, I was ready for it today. It started with an early conference with Gabriel's teacher this morning, which was really more a conference for Gabriel himself, as his teacher did most of her talking to him. I was happy to be back at work today, but I left early to prepare for Katrina's birthday, and to catch up at home.
Katrina was so happy about her birthday today! I'd really missed the kids, so I was glad to make her a quick Wacky Cake, and of course made the frosting as well. Kids love decorating their own cake, and crafty Katrina no less. She couldn't quit talking about her birthday, to the annoyance of her brothers, one of whom got kicked out and missed cake after repeated warnings to stop harassing her silly happy musings about being six years old.
I was going to write a very short blog post about one little thing that has nothing to do with anything else I just wrote...so I'll write it anyway. Gabriel's 5th-grade goes on a weeklong overnight science camp, and on Back-to-School night last month, the teachers handed out a suggested packing list. I was puzzled to see "deodorant" at the top of the Toiletries list. Lately, Gabriel's been needing it himself, but I figured this was a lark. Today, Gabriel's teacher gave me another packing list, and to my surprise, under Toiletries, DEODORANT was listed again, and IN CAPS!!! OK! I guess 10-year-olds REALLY start to smell!!
Maybe I'll add photos tomorrow, but unfortunately my camera crapped out (right on the line for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty!), so I've been relying on my utterly inadequate iPhone for photos, and it's a PAIN. I'm way behind in all sorts of things I have to do, but really, I should start thinking Halloween....!