scheme of the month: waterfalls

I thought I'd provide some stimulating reading material for Mariah, since she missed her first 4/5 days of school.

Last week Jordan and I took a quick trip up to the Rochester, NY area to visit Gillian, my best friend from college, and her great little family. Her husband Jonathan is in school at the Eastman School of Music, ranked the Hottest school of Music in 2008 (take that, Juilliard!). We were really excited to see Gillian/Jonathan, but I have to admit that the highlight of the trip was definitely meeting their darling, perfect little baby Peter.

We were excited to see some of the Palmyra-area church history sights, a first for both JLO and me--the Smith Family cabin#1, the Smith Family cabin#2, the Sacred Grove, the Palmyra temple, the Hill Cumorah, and E.B. Grandin's printing press.

And although we hadn't even considered it as an excursion for our quick trip to NY, Gillian and Jonathan took us to Niagara Falls via a beautiful drive along the shore of Lake Ontario -- there were fruit stands in every driveway. We didn't bring our passports, but no need, as Niagara from the American side is pretty breathtaking, and you don't have to go to Canada to go on the Maid of the Mist, which takes you about as close to the falls as you can get (unless you're Iagara the cat or the crazy lady Annie Edson Taylor who went down in a barrel in 1901 as a publicity stunt - she was hoping to make her fortune from a future lecture tour, but as it turns out, her manager "decamped with her barrel" and she spent her life savings hiring detectives to recover it. Should have just stuck with the Maid of the Mist).
And we also had a perfect day at Stony Brook, a state park improved upon in the 30's under FDR's CCC and the WPA - there are lots of hiking paths, bridges, and beautiful waterfalls. Gilly and Jonathan swam in the rather frigid water while Jordan and I were very content babysitting Peter.
Thanks to the Bowmans for a great trip, complete with lots of delicious home-cooked meals, and impromptu piano and violin recitals. We can't wait to host you guys in NC.


two new recruits to NC

I know people don't come to my blog for the fancy words. Just for the pics. So here they are. Mariah and Matt both came to visit me in North Carolina during the past month. Mariah has already been to visit once, so we had to be creative and take her out of the state to show her a good time. And Matt was in town for a quick trip. We had no fun. No fun at all, Erin (you're welcome, Matt).
M and Me at the Carrboro Farmers' Market

Mariah preparing herself for the Olympic trials at Duke's pool. Marco.

Turns out Duke has a lemur center--
home to the world's largest colony of endangered primates.

There were also walks through the woods...where Mariah met lots of friends...

We also headed up to UVA, Thomas Jefferson's university. I'm apparently not quite as smart as TJ. The rotunda at UVA.
Michie's Tavern, home of very, very expensive fried chicken & mashed potatoes. But they don't have those fancy hats at KFC.Me and M squinting in front of Monticello.The beautiful garden at Monticello, with Charlottesville in the distance. Matty and me at K-ville after a rousing game of tennis.