Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday Perfection

Saturday was one of those perfect days that required no planning and little effort on our part. We just showed up and had a beautiful time.

9am: Farmers Market
10am: Biscuits and Gravy
11am: Clanjamfry Scottish Festival at the church around the corner
1-4pm: Ridiculously long naps
5-9pm: Free, live, awesome music at the Levitt Shell

Is that a perfect day, or what?

The festival was fun for all of us. We got to watch a border collie sheparding the, well, sheep. We got to watch some guys trying to throw poles and other heavy objects.

There were lots of bagpipers and traditional dancers. Here, the Wolf River Bagpipers file into Evergreen Pres.

Beautiful lass.

There were also some non-traditional dancers. Here we see Chris and Kate Bush performing the Memphis hula hoop jig.

Also impressive was the Stephen Bush "I can hula hoop and hold on to my nachos" move. The Bushes have twins AND were babysitting their niece all weekend. A little hula hooping was just what they needed.

Meredith got her face painted for the first time. It was a ladybug.

After naps, we went to the brand new Levitt Shell in Overton Park. The Shell has been there for decades, but a recent grant from the Levitt Foundation refurbished the Shell and made it a truly wonderful place. There will be about 50 shows there, every spring and fall, and they are all FREE. The Levitt Foundation is doing this all over the country with old performance shells; one is about to open in Arlington, TX. It really is an invaluable gift to communities. The crowd last night was incredibly diverse and everyone was having a pretty magical time. We saw Sara Hickman--from Houston--for the kids, and then Grupo Fantasma--from Austin--for everyone. MAN there are so many incredibly talented people from Texas...

We started the evening by filling up on lots of refined sugars. Bright yellow cupcakes (a neighbor brought about 40 -- got the whole crowd hopped up) and plenty of candy provided energy for a solid hour of running and rolling up and down the hill in front of the shell. I don't have a picture, but Meredith and her friend Holden also spent a considerable amount of time going up to complete strangers and calmly telling them they couldn't find their parents. This, despite the fact that I was following about 10 feet behind them the entire time. I had to soothe a lot of people until those kids switched to a new activity.

Grupo Fantasma.

To say that Walt and Meredith enjoyed the show would be an understatement. They were ecstatic. They insisted on being directly in front of the stage, and at a couple points, they considered joining the band ON stage. We're glad they're still quite short.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meredith says...

"My brain is so beautiful, but I kind of have a cough."

(A fake cough. She's had it all week.)

I promise to take some pictures this weekend. Just as soon as I don't feel like I just got off a tiny airplane that flew through a huge storm. Any. Minute. Now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Mer speaks, with that sly, I've-got-something-up-my-sleeve face:
"Do you hear that sound?"

I don't, and I tell her so...

As if conferring a great reward: "I'm wiggling my toes."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

End of the Summer Beach Bash

There's are pros and cons to going to the beach in September. The biggest pro is that no one else is there. There are no lines at the grocery store, there's no one else on the beach. Everything is kind of romantically deserted. Having said all that, there's a reason it's deserted, and it ain't just the start of the school year. The biggest con to a beach trip in September is hurricanes.

So, long story longer, Hurricane Gustav encouraged us to cancel our trip to Seagrove Beach in Florida and switch to Hilton Head. None of the Lareaus had been to HH, and we enjoyed seeing someplace new. The zoning laws are strict, resulting in a kind of scary sameness about everything. Half of me thought it was great; half of me missed the personality and kitschiness of other beaches. But with Spanish moss covering everything, you can't help but love it.

Before the trip, Mer did some packing of her own. I have to say that, other than the fleece hat, she did a really good job. I know, because later when I was racing around like a moron trying to find her bathing suits, they were all in this bag.

This was the preferred mode of transportation on the island. There's a little Mer in the bike trailer.

The amazing Spanish moss. That stuff could make a strip mall feel magical.

Our kids love their lifejackets. We're not just psychotically paranoid folks.

Oh yeah baby. Shrimp boil and ALL THE KIDS WERE ASLEEP. Best meal of the week.
Sweet kids.

Harassing the alligators. Flying in the face of the law.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On the Beach

We're on the beach. See you soon.