Monday, August 31, 2015

Last Week, Starring Khun Ta, Pancakes, and Lake Bebee

Last week, Khun Ta (grandpa in thai) stopped by for a quick visit. We only actually saw him for a few hours, but they were a nice few hours. He grew up in Dundee which is only about an hour away from here. His 40th High School reunion was last weekend so he drove up Saturday morning, stopped at our place for a couple of hours and then went to his reunion. He spent the night with us, went to church, hung out a couple more hours and then left to go home. We sure do love Khun Ta!

Darin started school. He actually "started" school the week before with a week long 9a.m. to 4p.m. math camp. Classes started this week.

Shae and I made him banana pancakes for his special "First Day of School" breaskfast. The "C" pancake for Cornell.

The excitement is contagious. 

We are really enjoying Sunday afternoons since leaving Williamsburg. The branch we went to went from 11a.m.-2p.m., we always had meetings before and Darin had to stay afterwards as well, it made for a REALLY long Sunday. The drive home was at least a half an hour (depending on traffic) so the kids generally fell asleep for 20 minutes and then woke up as soon as we stopped the car at our house (or we would drive around for 20-30 minutes longer to stretch the naps). We loved our branch, but Sundays were pretty exhausting.

We now have 9a.m.-12p.m. church. The church building is 5 minutes away from us. We come home, we all nap, we wake up and still have a good chunk of afternoon left for exploration. It's glorious. Last Sunday we explored Cornell's lake, Lake Beebee. That's right, there is a lake on campus, and a nice little family friend hike (path) along with it. How cool is that? 

 Have I mentioned how easy Ithaca is making this transition for us? The great part about all this beauty surrounding us is that it literally surrounds us. We don't have to go very far to find it. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ithaca is Gorges

My birthday was last week. One year older and wiser too...well, one year older I suppose. Darin had Math Camp and was gone all day, but he did make me a pretty stinking delicious cake the night before in anticipation of my birthday. That evening we had some friends, prospective friends (?), people we had met from church over. It was a nice low-key evening. We got to know some awesome people and ate some great Better Than Sex cake. And now I am 28.

We took advantage of an offer to babysit from one of the couples that was over (yes, definitely friends) on Saturday morning. We dropped Shae off, packed Belén up and went on our first Ithaca hike. We've heard SO much about all the different hikes around here and were excited to check one out. It did not disappoint. 

We went to Robert H. Treman State Park. We took the Gorge Trail up and the Rim Trail down. It was about 4.5 miles round trip. Perfect for our first hike in awhile. Unbeknownst to us before going, there was a half/full marathon going on on the trails we were hiking. There are some pretty hardcore people in this world. Those hikes were pretty strenuous to walk up, I can't imagine running them...for 26 miles, or even 13, or even 2 for that matter.

Lots of stairs, lots and lots of stairs. Like, lots. People were running. A. Freaking. Marathon. Darin was not. (But check out that calf muscle. Yow! He really should have been running the marathon, with Belén on his back).

Loving this hiking school backpack that Darin got.

 Lucifer falls.

This girls exhausted smile. Hiking is hard work.

She finally gave in.

We have  to come back here in October. It's a must.

And this is the swimming area that was sadly closed the day we went. But is that not cool or what? There's even a diving board!

What a great birthday adventure. We don't have long to try and squeeze in a few more hikes before the dreaded winter hits!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Afternoon in the Park

We have an awesome  park just a couple minutes away from us (Stewart Park). It is located right at the base of Lake Cayuga. It has tons of playground equipment, a great view of the lake, a splash pad, beautiful trails that go by the lake and some connecting rivers and ponds, bridges, a carousel (not really loving this one since it costs money and Shae doesn't really understand the "cutting back" aspect of life right now). Overall, I think it's just great.

The kids and I went to it the first week we were here with a bunch of the mamas from church. We loved it so much that we had to bring daddy back that Saturday to see it.
Shae rocking his awesome 90s froggy outfit.

After our walk Shae, was all about hitting up the splash pad. It's actually been pretty hot these two weeks we've been here (it probably just feels extra hot too because we don't have central AC--No one really does--and we live on the third floor of our complex). It was a warm day at the park so I was all for going to the splash pad and getting a little wet too.

Cool playground and carousel in the background.

 The teething one was content to sit in daddy's arms and chomp on his fingers the whole time.

This park is a huge win for us.