Monday, August 15, 2011

Last few Chautauqua pictures (and then some)

I'm back in St. Louis now, but I've got to put up a few last Chautauqua pix.  Ruby's hair was getting long and so we decided to take her to the little salon on site and get a trim.  It went pretty well, and all the little old ladies in the shop oohed and aahed because she was being very cooperative and quiet.  Always nice when that happens...

On our way to the salon, we met a pretty chocolate lab named Teddy.  Ruby is much more cautious around dogs than cats, but she did warm up to Teddy after a while.
On Saturday morning we packed up and said our goodbyes.  The week at Chautauqua was certainly a great experience and good time to spend with family.  It was great to see the cousins again (I'd never met Jackson, hadn't seen the girls since 2004, and hadn't seen their mom since her wedding in 1996!) and of course Betsy and Marsha and Grandma and Grandpa.  The trip wouldn't have been possible without the combined generosity of Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, and Dad, so I thank you all for paying and making other accommodations so that Ruby and I got to be part of the fun.  
The drive back was fine.  We stopped in Indianapolis on Saturday night, and were not far from the horrible state fair crisis.  Mom and I were in the hotel restaurant when we saw the wind whipping the trees wildly and the thunder and lightning storm beginning.  I thought, "I'm glad we're not out in that!"  The next morning on the news we heard about the rigging collapse at the fair and the deaths and injuries.  I saw TV footage of it that was just scary; it was like something from a movie.  You expected to see some superhero flying in to hold up the beams and save people...but no such luck.  It reminded me of watching the plane fly into the second tower ten years ago on September 11th.  Wow, it's been a decade...
The mighty Arch!
The drive on Sunday was short and the weather was so nice and sunny you wouldn't have guessed that a major thunderstorm had just rampaged the night before.  
We got back and poor Mom immediately had to start getting ready for a faculty retreat.  She's on an overnight tonight so we said our goodbyes this morning. 
Ruby loves Grandma and Grandma loves Ruby!
Mom is a great grandma and it's been so great to be here.  Dad is a great grandpa, too (he never shies away from even the dirtiest diaper change) and Sarah is a good aunt who did some excellent babysitting.  Toby, of course, was very happy to see Ruby after her week away at Chautauqua, and the feeling was mutual.  She does like her uncle Toby!  
We spotted Ajax doing something amusing...getting a drink out of the birdbath!


 Ruby is getting quite adept with feeding herself.  The next frontier will be using utensils; but she's fully transitioned to sippy cups from bottles now.  Alas, she has picked up the habit of dropping food and drink that she's done with onto the floor.  She needs to learn to leave it on her tray.
I think this is shortly before she let fly with a tremendous belch of which Uncle Toby heartily approved

Now it is Monday morning, and I'm blogging in the quiet of the house.  Toby is probably sleeping; Sarah is at field hockey practice and then has cello lessons.  I took some pictures of her in her field hockey duds, and Ruby decided she liked the look of field hockey.

Dad is at school getting things together and Mom is at the retreat.  I need to do laundry and pack.  Tomorrow morning we head off to the airport and then home!


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