Summer 2009

I guess it has become consistently warm enough to consider it to be summer here in Ithaca. As always, any baby-related news of interest is over at her page.
With today's highs barely breaking 60, I should probably make another section for Fall or Winter pictures. I'm too lazy right now.

Today we went hiking at Virgil Mountain, near the site of last month's ill-fated walk in the rain. The first part was along the finger lakes trail, where we started seeing runners. It turns out they were having the Iroquois Trails Ultras that weekend. The runners were running 100 miles, 50 miles, 50km, or 100km, cross-country and up giant hills. Apparently some of them can make 100 miles in under 20 hours. Crazy. In any case, we made sure to get out of their way when they came running by.

Part of the trail goes near the Greek peak skiing area, here's a picture from near the ski lift:

Here's the baby and I crossing a stream near the end of our hike:

And here's a map of our route:

The end of summer is near! My family visited, we went to a large amount of back-to-school picnics, we got invited to a combination birthday and wine and cheese party, and the baby is now walking!
It's not summer without picking blueberries:

Here I am with the baby beating Escape from Monkey Island. We thought we had finally beaten all of the games in the series, only to have them release some new ones that same month:

We decided to go hiking with Brandon in Virgil. Here was our route:

It does look short, because 5 minutes out this is what happened. We got soaked!

It was just a "scattered thunderstorm", which was basically the forecast for all of late July early August. So we went down the road to Lime Hollow (where it was completely dry) and went walking there. Here we are at Chicago Bog:

And our path:

After that we went to Doug's fish fry, something we've been meaning to do for a while. We only have a limited time left here in Ithaca, we should be checking off more things on our to-do list!
We made the anual trip down to Maryland/Pennsylvania for my Grandmother's crab feast. The trip down went OK, and we spent the first day visiting with my parents. My brother showed up that evening, right before the baby's bed time.

On Saturday we drove up to Pennsylvania, picking up my sister along the way. All 13 of my cousins made it this year, so it was a pretty big crowd. Here we are eating the crabs:

You can tell a lot about a region by their choice of picnic foods. Here is some traditional south-central PA fare, such as yellow potato salad, pickled red beet eggs, and cubed lebanon balgona. (The giant onions with the dip is unusual even for this region):

I climbed a tree while there, which was a long-standing tradition that I had neglected the past few years:

On Sunday we visited with friends. We saw Liz&Will and their 3 kids. Our baby looks so small by comparison! We visited the Prosser's, crashing Pete's 21st birthday party. And then we visited John&Katy, talking mostly about baby stuff as their kid is due very soon. E was mostly happy to see the cats.

Monday we spent more time visiting the grandparents. K's family was in town after moving her sister to Northern Virginia, so E got to see all 4 of her grandparents at once! We went and ate at my sister's restaurant, so E was spoiled seeing so many relatives at once.

We went for a walk to Mariner Point park. Afterward we got snowballs. We also had a long debate about the relative merits of Baltimore-area Snowballs, and inferior versions such as Snow Cones and Shaved Ice:

Here is a GPS track of our walk:

My dad got a pinball machine for me, Apollo (fitting, as it was the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11). We spent the day polishing the play field and getting it working:

Here is the baby next to the 1970s giant flounder that's as big as she is:

And all too soon it was time to head home. The trip back was an uneventful 5 1/2 hours, and luckily we missed the rain. The flowers in our garden had bloomed in our abscence. Here is a sunflower (that actually grew from bird seed from our bird feeder):

After 3 years of trying we _finally_ managed to get a dwarf morning glory to bloom:

Kristina's family visited for the 4th of July. We finally had pleasant weather, after a long string of rainy days. Here's a patriotic pie Kristina made:

We watched the Ithaca fireworks from Cornell's campus. They didn't come across well in picture form:

We went for a walk at buttermilk falls:

We walked the whole way up and around Lake Treman. Here's the dam forming the lake:

Here's the GPS trail for our walk:

I went to the International Confernce on Supercomputing which was held in the northern suburbs of NYC.

I had never really been to NYC before, so my co-workers dragged me down to meet up with some friends of theirs. We took a train to Grand Central and then walked to a Korean restaurant near the Empire State Building:

The next day was the official conference excursion, also to NYC. It was a water-taxi tour along part of Manhattan. Here I am potentially breaching security:

Here we are going by the Brooklyn Bridge:

Here I am in front of the Statue of Liberty:

Before heading home, Major wanted to get Cinnabon. So we stopped at some mall in White Plains. Next to the Cinnabon was an odd medical facility:

Upon our return to Ithaca, three of my co-workers defended their PhDs. They all passed (hooray!) but now I am the last one left in my group.
The next day we went to Herkimer, NY, in search of Herkimer Diamonds. The place we went was also a campground.

Herkimer "Diamonds" are quartz crystals that form in pockets (called "vugs". Yes, really) in the local rock. There are two ways to find them: by hitting rocks with hammers, or else looking on the ground for ones others have missed. Here I am taking the hammer approach:

Here are the crystals K and I found. Technically, only the ones with two points on either side are real Herkimer Diamonds:

In between the mines was a pretty waterfall:

We followed the falls up a ways, it was pretty all along:

Here is a map of our route that day:

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