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All Summered Out

We are home from various summer travels. Do I want to ever leave my house again? No. August in Virginia is soooo hot with thunderstorms nearly every afternoon or evening. But the babes, lo, are squirrelly.

Jeff’s semester has started! Not the classes (that starts tomorrow), but the meetings and advising. In any case, he’s working. Maria went to a farm day camp in Virginia Beach last week, which accomplished the task of making sure she was not in her brother’s business all day. Try to imagine going back in time a hundred years and explaining to people that you paid a farm to take your child for a week. She rode horses quite a bit, and informed me she is “pretty good” at catching chickens. She also made a unicorn out of a pool noodle and named it Phoebe and rode it around the house for days.

Here is an equally ridiculous photo of Tom wearing a chip clip.

So we’ve been on a quest for adventure locally, and the boy loves himself some go karts. He’s actually a surprisingly decent driver. This is the hobby that could bankrupt us.

It was 97 degrees, and we sat in metal cars on concrete.
Pensively eyeing the track while his midget race car is prepared. He loved it, especially when he realized he could spin out on purpose.

Although we are thoroughly Busch Gardens people, we visited a non-Busch Gardens water park in our area about a week ago, at the insistence of the boy. And let’s just say that it was an establishment that is more comfortable with risk than I am. Maria’s raft flipped over on a ride called Neptune’s Revenge, and she still has the bruise to prove it. But the boy loves this slide that drops you into the water and I just don’t see the fun here, but he obviously does.

In addition to Maria’s “farming” last week, she also tested for her yellow belt in taekwondo and hell if she didn’t rock it. Here she is breaking boards:

She’s soooooo happy.

I have plans to post more about our summerness, and the travels, and all the lovely people who hosted us. In the meantime, we have one week and one day left before the kids go back to school. We’ll swim a little, we’ll read a little, we’ll play a few games, we’ll watch too much Youtube, and we’ll hope it doesn’t rain every single day. And then we’ll officially have a fourth grader and a sixth grader.

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Jaynefest (and Jeff-fest)

Sooooo, last month in another wild, optimistic lurch toward life fulfillment, I drove myself to Charlottesville to tour Monticello. I paid extra for the long, behind the scenes tour, and friends, it lasted two hours and we saw the very rafters. It was worth every penny.

Not all famous houses feel lived in, but this one, oddly, really does.

It’s a private foundation, and some of the art in the house is on loan, so you’re not allowed to take photos, except from the dome, which is unfurnished.

The view was amazing.

And then I turned older!

Jeff took me kayaking at Waller Mill, which was lovely.

Then we went to lunch at Food For Thought in Williamsburg, and I had a margarita at noon.

Today it was Jeff’s turn to get older. Jeff’s birthday is always a tricky proposition because it tends to fall on the last day of the kids’ school, or on a day we’re traveling, or like today, on a day when the kids are home for the summer, which limits our abilities to party hard.

We did manage a lunch date, though, at a biker bar called Hoss’s (recommend!), and as we were wrapping up, he told me he wanted to go to the SPCA to feed the budgies, so we did. It was so fun!

There were also super cute bunnies!

Every trip to the SPCA in which we don’t come home with another pet is a success!

He is currently up in Richmond at a pinball bar (apparently this is a thing now since my generation has gotten old). Seriously, we both have had much worse birthdays.