Saturday, July 31, 2010

There's a Teen in the House (or should I say, 'Cottage')!

Ben is offically a teenager! We celebrated his 13th birthday, as we seem to do each of his birthdays, with a cookout.

Me and Bob with our Teen

Ben and Nana


My mom's cousin Helen was even here, all the way from Texas

Opening his gifts

As if Nana's angel food cake wasn't enough, we roasted marshallows (Ben's request)

These weren't regular marshallows. They were HUGE, and according to the kids a bit too much.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Big Fish from Conneaut Lake

I love this picture. Larry Sousa, Bob's grandfather, is on the left. That's Bill the Greek on the right. I've never heard him referred to as anything but that. He was a sort of security guard around the Midway Hotel, and he didn't let anything get past him. I imagine they caught this fish in the lake.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Pictures from Ernst Trail Run

The race photographer for the Ernst Trail Run posted these photos online.
You can see us about five from the back of this photo (I'm in aqua, Kate's in pink and Ben's in grey). This is just as the race began, as we left Ernst Conservation Seeds and headed to the Ernst Trail.

Crossing the finish line

Ben was the first of the three of us to finish

Awards Ceremony

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our One and Only Trip to Sharon

I've been curious about Sharon for a few years now for a number of reasons. 1) I was flipping through a real estate magazine a few years ago and noticed a house for sale there that was offered at the shockingly low price of $8,000. 2) I keep seeing billboards advertising Reyers, "The World's Largest Shoe Store". 3) I recently found out that Sharon is also home to The Winner, the world's largest off-price women's clothing store. 4) The original Quaker Steak and Lube (yes, you read the Steak part correctly) is in Sharon - this is a theme restaurant the kids have wanted to try. And finally, 5) Daffin's Candy is billed as the World's Largest Candy Store. Not to mention the photo-ops for my mom (Sharon). All of this just a half hour away. These pictures are from our visit a few weeks ago.

Well, we can cross Sharon off of our list of places to go. Apparently there is no regulation to calling yourself "The World's Largest".

Here's my mom, about to head into The Winner, which turned out to be a loser. This picture was taken before we realized it was 75,000 square feet of ugly.

This store does offer a Men's Lounge with television and free beer and popcorn.

We couldn't stop laughing because each item was worse than the next. Basically 75,000 square feet of pageant wear. My conversation with the saleswoman:
Me:  "Who buys these things?!"
Saleswoman: "Oh, Brides, mothers of the bride..."
Me: "Well, I've been to a lot of weddings and I've never seen anything like this!"

The World's Largest Shoe store was a big improvement over The Winner. I'm still not sure about it being the world's largest though.

The World's Largest Candy Store...again, a stretch

This is Daffin's collection of large, dusty chocolate figures, aka The Candy Kingdom
Quaker Steak and Lube was a hit with the kids, so we ended the trip on a positive.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Family Traditions

We're all exhausted after a week of non-stop fun. The kids are determined not to miss any of our yearly traditions.

Dollar Spaghetti Night at Oakland Beach Golf Course

The kids running around by the golf course pond after dinner


Hank's Frozen Custard

Miniature Golf at Pizza Joe's

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Kilted Mile at Edinboro University

Edinboro University, a beautiful campus about half an hour away, hosted a Scottish Festival this weekend. Eight of us ran in the Kilted Mile race this morning. It's only a mile, and runners are encouraged to 'be creative'. A few of us wore traditional tartan wraps and the rest were in Mexican-themed kilts. Ben even wore a sombrero.

Pip was a hit in his mini-kilt. I think everyone in Edinboro has a picture of that dog!

After the race

And the results...
William, our first winner, got 2nd in his age group. The awards were chocolate bars with Kilted Mile wrappers.

Our group (no help from me!) seemed to sweep the race. Kate, Papa and Amanda placed first in their age groups; William and Nanny second; and Ben third. I'm hoping that someone is willing to share their chocolate!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dinner at an Amish House in Crawford County

Even though we knew not to expect much from the meal at Sarah's (after our experience two years ago), we gave it another shot just for the experience of eating in an Amish house. The setting is idyllic, so I was hopeful that our previous meal was just a on off-night in Sarah's kitchen.

We knew we were in trouble at this point. Someone asked if the corn was hers.  Sarah is surrounded by fields and fields of corn after all. "No, I buy it frozen" was her reply.

Mashed potatoes, noodles, white bread, fried chicken, roast beef (not shown), cole slaw covered with shredded cheese, and corn. We're pretty sure that nothing is homemade. After our perfect farm meal at the Bookamer's, this was so disappointing.

The kids, of course, couldn't be happier.

John especially enjoyed it.

They love this strawberry jam/marshallow fluff mixture on their white bread. If it weren't for this, there would be no color on our plates!

This made the whole trip worth it. On our drive home we followed this young Amish couple tearing down the dirt road on a tractor. She's barefoot and hanging on for dear life. I'm not quite sure why they have a tractor.