We Took a Trip to Erie, PA!

One of my favorite things about traveling is the opportunity to take pictures in a new environment.  I'm sure I come across just as many great photo opportunities in Portland, but I don't happen to notice them as easily.  Being a tourist give one a chance to escape the cool familiarity of daily life...maybe that's the reason that being a tourist is almost always equated with being uncool.  

The reason we went to Erie, of all places, is that my sister has now lived there for 2 years and I haven't visited her once.  Oh, and I hadn't met her dog, Riley, yet.  Obviously the situation needed to be rectified.  

Water Dog

Water Dog

Riley and Friend

Riley and Friend

We saw the sights around Erie.

Plenty of abandoned buildings to stoke the imagination.

Plenty of abandoned buildings to stoke the imagination.

Downtrodden chic.

Downtrodden chic.

We kayaked around Presque Isle.

We bocce'd.

We barbecued and roasted marshmallows.

We played Settlers of Catan.  Lots of Settlers of Catan.

And I even won a game!!

And I even won a game!!

It was wonderful to get a peek into my sister's life out on the east coast.  

Next, I'll share pics from our trip to Niagara Falls!

Happy summer travels!

Home Improvement

In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, my parents are here for a warm-wather visit.  This time, they pulled their trailer all the way from Albuquerque, set up camp, and have proceeded to wear me out with home improvement projects.  

Which is oh so necessary since I tend to get caught up in my daily, weekly, monthly routines so that eventually I don't notice that the yard is completely overgrown with weeds or that the back deck is looking worse for wear.  Hey, the laundry is (mostly) done and I cooked (some) of my own meals, how much more adulting do you expect from me?

Well, now they've been here for a grand total of 48 hours.  So far, we've cleared about 75% of the weeds (an embarrassing 5 garbage cans worth) and refinished the deck.  

Le before:

Le after:

Oh yeah, and I bought a new gas grill, which is particularly out of character since I usually have to think about any purchase over $20 for weeks and weeks before pulling the trigger.  But it's grilling' season, darn it, and I have to face the fact that I will never NEVER use the charcoal grill unless a man lights it for me first.  Rather than overcoming my sexist views on charcoal, I gave in to consumerism.

Meanwhile out in the garden, the lettuce is crying out to be eaten and the snow peas are climbing a stairway to heaven.

So, yes, I am tuckered out.  But so grateful that I have extra hands who are willing to help me with such big undertakings.  

Leave a comment below with your big summer undertakings!