Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Life Is, Indeed, Good

We spent Labor Day unpacking from our trip and letting Hannah have one last day at home before the start of first grade the following morning. Marc took Hannah to her first day back at Bowen. She is off to a great start, liking her teacher and having lots of friends in the class. She seems to have fallen right back into the routine.

I had two busy days at work, and since the JCC was still closed for the week, I brought Max downtown to Bright Horizons. He loved taking the commuter rail and had a great time there. And then we were thrown right into the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, which fell so early this year, followed on its heels by Shabbat. It was a pretty quiet three days, which included the celebration of Marc's birthday. Hannah started religious school on Sunday (same comments on great start, teacher and friends apply here), so it was four days in a row of being at Temple Emanuel.

After religious school we made our way to Canton to attend the annual Life is Good Festival, which was held for the first time on a much grander scale this year. There were stages for both kid and adult acts, though our kids seemed equally happy to dance around in front of either stage. Everything was very well organized though we were very tired and dirty by the time we left. We had a great time though, and Hannah said that Marc and I are "cool." Well, maybe in the eyes of a six year old, but I'll take it where I can get it. :)

Max started back at the JCC yesterday and was anxious to get back there this morning to play with the toy bus. The next few weeks are filled with back to school events and meetings, plus Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Life is busy as always, but indeed, good.

"Vacation, All I Ever Wanted"

After carefully planning our vacation time to coincide with an end-of-the-summer gap in childcare, I was so very ready for a break when we finally packed up the car on August 31.

We began with about an 8 hour drive to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, all of us using our new passports for the first time. Max informed us along the way that we were going to "polka dot" and then chimed in from the backseat when Marc informed the border guards that we're from Newton, Massachusetts. We arrived at our hotel and took in the great views before getting dinner and walking along the falls. We used the "incline train" to get back up the hill to our hotel and then we all went swimming. Hannah must have gone down the water slide two dozen times, absolutely loving it. We made it back to our room just in time to see fireworks over the falls. The following day we took part in a tour that took us to all of the main Niagara Falls attractions - Journey Behind the Falls, Maid of the Mist, a butterfly exhibit (one landed on a very displeased Max's head), and the Skylon Tower. We had such a great time, and were so glad we made the side trip.

We drove the remaining hours to Solon and arrived late in the evening on Wednesday. We spent most of Thursday at home with Grandma Susan, where the kids really enjoyed all of their new toys and playing with the dogs. On Friday we tried to go to the zoo, but were foiled by rain, so we ended up at the Western Reserve Historical Society, and then had dinner at the best pizza place I know, Geraci's. Saturday started out rainy, windy and cold, but we persevered and went to the Taste of Cleveland for lunch, and then to the Cleveland Air Show. Marc and the kids toured several of the dozen or so planes they had assembled, and then we watched the Blue Angels show, which was incredibly impressive. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, Max, or Grandpa Hal getting to be there with Max. Marc and I got to meet up with Betsy and Bill, and it was great to catch up with them. We had such a great trip, that even 13 hours in the car to drive home couldn't put a damper on it. Thanks again for having us, Mom and Dad, and we hope to get to see you again soon!