NY Summer Countdown

We had another great summer weekend! Which – I have to admit – will not make it easy to go back to school and work. I love this time of year when we can escape the routine, get outdoors, and enjoy how beautiful New York really is.

On Friday, Mason and I hit the road to meet up with my sister, brother-in-law and Mason’s cousins and we all went to an outdoor festival – one my sister and I have been going to since we were kids. They’re guaranteed to have some pretty delicious Italian food – and things specific only to this region of NY. It’s the kind of festival where everybody knows everybody and people turn out in droves. All the little old Italian ladies bake for days ahead of time for the bake sale. Every generation has it’s own agenda – the old folks go to get a bite to eat before the lines get too long, listen to a little music and maybe get out and dance for old times sake. My generation goes to say hello to people we haven’t seen in awhile, eat the food we had growing up and give our kids the experience we had years ago. Teenagers group together on the edges of the crowd – eventually someone will try to sneak a beer or pass for gambling age. Kids ten and under have a very specific agenda: eat as much pizza fritte as your Mom will let you have, run around like a maniac, stand in line to play games under a tent where you can win lots of useless and must-have junk, and get your hands on a rainbow-colored snow cone. Our kids, of course, checked all of these things off their list. We all had a fantastic time and got another year of this tradition under our belts. Nothing earth-shattering that you wouldn’t find at any summer festival in any town, really, but I’m a sucker for a summer festival and we’ve reached that time of year when festivals abound!

summer festival  fried dough

On Saturday night we came back home and took the kids to see the new Epic movie. They then woke up bright and early Sunday morning and proceeded to act out the movie with their own twist on a plot – each one choosing a character they wanted to be. This is something they’ve started doing a lot lately whenever we watch a movie – fun and kind of adorable, if you ask me. Taking a cue from them, we set out on our first hike of the season – at a local park with lots of trails around a small lake. The kids – or Leaf People, rather – brought their walking sticks from our camping trip last year, and a couple of Mason jars with holes punched in the lids so they could collect bits of nature and some tiny creatures if they were lucky enough. We had a great time walking, running, exploring and just enjoying the peaceful quiet and the beauty of our surroundings. The kids spotted chipmunks, dragonflies, lots of birds and – the high point of our hike – a snapping turtle (which you can’t tell from the pic below, but was quite impressive!)!

snapping turtle <=LOOK! SEE? SNAPPING TURTLE! chipmunk

We had a blast and were able to slow down and just enjoy being outdoors and with each other.

early summer hike  hike4

Then it was back home for some yard work, dinner from the grill and neighborhood kids over to our house for a little bit of this…

water balloons

Summertime, we are ready for you!

ps – if this post seems a little delayed or out of sequence it’s because I meant to post it sooner, but THIS happened! Woohoo! 🙂