Day 3

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Please insert one verse of Willie Nelson singing, “On the Road Again.” What are those roller coastery things in front of us any way? We don’t drive on stuff like that where I come from.

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Don’t worry. New York roads aren’t this steep. I was just trying to be artsy, but instead I think it’s making me carsick….

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Ooooh—looky. Another toll booth. What a shockeroo. I told you…they are everywhere.

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About midway, we pulled over for a roadside picnic.

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My personal favorite item? Mini bananas! Who knew such a thing existed? Maybe they are from some teeny tiny tropical island, with really small people on it. ha ha

I crack myself up.

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These cute babies just keep popping up.

Just a tad more driving and finally, finally we reach our destination—

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Niagara Falls! Do you feel like you are stuck in the middle of some crazy people’s home movies? Well, that my friend, if because you ARE!

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Be brave, little piglet. This place was cool—even from the American side.

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The babies didn’t have passports to cross over to the Canadian side…

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where most of the post cards come from.

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It was simply beautiful…and big and loud and steep…

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and no–we are not going down there to get reeally close.

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In fact, this romantic place felt much safer for some of us, behind a sturdy glass wall.

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It did, however, inspire a few folks to do some outrageous things.

Honestly, the nerve of some people.




Week #20 Food Storage Prompt: 20 lbs. of sugar

Total Fairness…

Day 2…still

We found this random, obscure, completely perfect county fair while we were messing around in the calm portion of New York. County fairs are essential to your eternal salvation. I’ve no idea how–but I’m sure it’s true.

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Of course, the first stop is anywhere where the guys can shoot something….anything.

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And we can watch them and…clap.

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Luckily, the other booths weren’t quite manly enough to get our guys’ attention—

because they wanted to save up all their primal caveman instincts for a ride like this.

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You know, one that gives them the sensation that their brain matter is shooting out their nose.

No, no. I don’t get it either…but we watched…we clapped.

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Help me understand why we even let these goof-balls drive, let alone be the president?

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In my opinion, this is a more rational ride–floating through the air with your eyes closed—like you’re on an old fashioned rope swing—now that need I could respect. Hmmmmm….lovely.

Moving on to a few “firsts.”

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First time for these human babies to meet these farm babies.

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First time for them to have a helmet strapped on their heads–and by a pirate, no less.

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First time to ride a real live pony. This little dude is a natural. He was so comfortable that he actually started falling asleep and tipping over.

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Real fake pony ride–on the carousel–big first. They loved the music and kept trying to wave their hands and dance. Note to babies: No dancing on the Merry-go-round, and scaring Grammy half to death. Just hang onto the pole.


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Baby Chompy–bored with, or overwhelmed by all the fuss. This, however, is not a first.

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Watching babies take a swirly ride in a big pink chicken–yeah, that was a first.

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Watching their daddy—the dare devil of the entire, roller coaster universe—turn greener (is that a word?) and greener (I guess it is), with each round. Pretty funny first, although, I will admit–we were never quite sure if he was goofing around or ready to hurl.

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Oh, the crazy lights…

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the powdered sugar waffles…

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the plethora of goats…

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and the indescribable deep fried, peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Oh. It. Was. Fabulous.

No, this is not a good time to tell me about the evils of fried food.

Fortunately–everyone knows that calories don’t count when you’re on vacation.

Good thing.



Still Upstate~Things To See…

Day 2

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A baby ordering room service…

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and he did one fine job, I might add.

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Tons of forests and marshy land. We live in what is commonly referred to as a desert–so we were duly impressed. In our world, lush green is a tough commodity to come by in the middle of July.

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These fabulous, ancient farmhouses kept popping all over the place. I want them. All of them. Pretty sure I annoyed everyone by shouting, “Look at that one!” every 20 seconds. I was powerless to stop it.

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Lyndi and I did break up the monotony by shrieking, “BEAVER!” and leaping from the car before it came to a complete stop, so that we could get a picture of the little guy. He had a big problem with two crazed women sprinting across his meadow towards him, I guess. The bad sport jumped into this canal pipe before I could get my camera turned on.

We saw the very first beaver I’ve ever seen, in my entire life.

I just can’t prove it.

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We met back up with Jillian for a tour up “the hill.” You know, the big, steep, switch-backy, smallish mountain. Surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad. I was expecting to have to pay for a pack mule or camel or something to get me up this thing. The treadmill work must be paying off. Lucky for me because they were all out of beasts of burden.

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She showed us the creepy pagan idols that are used as props in the play. Good thing we don’t worship those nasty looking things. What are they suppose to be anyway? yikes.

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This is what 7000 seats looks like from the moon—I mean, the top of the hill. You can’t really tell, but we are standing just back from a very steep, deadly edge of  this hill. I mean, you could seriously plunge to your death from this place. yikes again.

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We saw the Angel Moroni Monument…so pretty.

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and headed back down the foresty side of the hill.

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Oh, Chompy was impressed with all this, let me tell you.

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Back on the road and passing more of those houses that I want…


ok, covet.

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One Chill and Grill Hamburger. Yum.

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One Chill and Grill “Junk Plate” for The Bald Kid. Let this be a lesson to you. Never assume that anything called a junk plate could possibly taste…you know, good. It was hard to watch–and harder to sit by. Blaugh…

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Now this chicky has the right idea.

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Tons of beautiful church steeples. You’ll just have to trust me that there were churches attached.

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We took the tour through the 150 year old Grandin Printing Company. Scoff if you will, but we actually like this kind of stuff.

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Even the litle dudes were being good sports. Good thing too because while driving along, minding our own business…we discovered…

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a good old fashioned country fair! WoooHoooo!

To be continued…

New York~Upstate

Day 1

We have arrived. Lucky for us–we began our trip with Rochester, New York–rather than the big city right off the bat. We more rural-types have to take these things in small steps you know.

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Purple luggage helps…it does. It’s very calming to the soul–not to mention easy to find at the baggage claim. So–we jumped in our rental cars and headed out. But wait…

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What is this odd looking fixture? I was informed that in New York, you have to pay to drive on some of the roads. Whaaaat? Toll booths. I think I’ve seen them on CSI Miami once. Hmmm…sounds like a racket to me.

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And they kept popping up all over the place. One would give us a card and the next one would charge us money. I couldn’t keep track of it.

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Toll booths aside, we drove and drove and drove until we reached our destination—Palmyra, New York.

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After sifting through some shifty looking characters we finally found my little Nephite—or rather…

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she found us!

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The pageant was beautiful, averaging 9000 viewers each night for two weeks straight.  Tomorrow Jillian promises to show us behind the scenes of this amazing production.

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She really made a beautiful bad guy.

I believe we’ll keep her.

Babies and Planes~the Real Truth

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If you talk to the moms–they may say, “Wow…I’ll try this again in about 5 years,” but if you talk to the wise, old Grandma Oak–that would be me–I’d say these babies were fabulous little travelers.

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First, understand that we woke these little people up at about 4 am and hauled them to the airport–still in their jammies for this adventure. The trip involved two flights–one from SLC to Atlanta then another to NYC.

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Baby Chompy did really well because she just hung out with mom and dad with all the comforts and amenities of home…

so to speak.

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We did, however, learn quite a bit about what worked to keep a couple of 18 month olds entertained and what…um…tanked.

Grapes were a great idea, along with string cheese and Goldfish crackers. Food is always a good thing…always.

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Do you recall the wooden characters, held together by elastic cording? Well before the babies ever saw them, they got so tangled up in my bag that the excitement became seeing if we could free the little beggars from the twisted ridiculous mass they’d become. Once we got them sorted out–the twins wanted them tangled again–because it was more fun that way.

Next time, I’ll use shorter cord and store them in a ziploc bag.

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They loved the quiet books their mama made.

And the cookies turned out to be the perfect size.

Remember the flash card strips? They were great until the babies discovered that it was pretty easy to tear them apart and toss them all over the place. Note to self: Use stronger tape next time.

The dolls with the pacifiers were good. The tiny toys stayed in the bag because I was terrified of having to pick them up off the floor—which would have been completely impossible—if they fell…or got thrown.

The wind-ups worked for a while especially the mouse that does back flips. Anything that does back flips is a keeper.

I’d say that the hardest part was that those active little bodies still had this to deal with…

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spooky–non-play-in-able, high traffic aisles…

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no where to go if you leave the safety of your assigned lap…

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and zero leg room…ZERO. Seriously, have these plane designer people actually ever measured a human being?


Oh, and there are a couple of new discoveries. First of all–without exception, the other passengers around us were very kind, helpful and forgiving–when toys were dropped and rolled to the outer edges of the universe, or the baby woke up disoriented and needed to cry for a while. Our neighbors were amazing. We also learned that…

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With enough entertainment, cuddling, patience and chamomile, it was possible to finally, finally wear our darlings out.

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And–the stranger in the row ahead—with the fancy cell phone/dvd player/music maker/carrot shredder—

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will always be cooler than Grammy and her Hello Kitty bag of laminated flashcards.

That’s precisely why I also brought Pez.


I win.



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Happy Birthday Bald Kid!