Since Clark’s birthday we’ve been having a pretty routine summer. It’s been hot. We ate ice cream. We went to the beach. We went to concerts. Etc. Here’s the highlights/pictures:
We had a unexpected and great beach day with our good friend Mary Lynn.
She invited us to go with her to Belmar to see a sandcastle building contest. The day was grey and overcast and apparently it rained all afternoon here at home. But at beach…the sun came out after a little while and it was gorgeous. Our first foray into the ocean this summer and the water was a glorious temperature, crystal clear, and the waves just right for frolicking.
The sandcastle creations were also really cool to see. The kids (and Mary Lynn) were vastly entertained and delighted that someone made a giant poop emoji. I especially liked this one. We don’t get to the beach very often, but I”m so glad we can go when we want to. (This particular beach is probably what most people think of when they think of the Jersey shore-pretty crowded and good people watching. It was so fun! And as ML pointed out, it’s nice that some things just never change. There’s always some teenage boys playing football in the waves, some little kids digging, and everyone swimming in the same way.)Clark ended up spending the whole weekend down the shore with friends. While he was gone we had a great night out roller skating with Tabby. She loves to skate and I love how completely unupdated the roller rink is.
Somewhere in there were concerts-one for just Paul, one for all of us, and one for the two of us Steel Stacks. As you know, we’ve been loving Bethlehem and Steel Stacks for the past year. This was my first concert there, though Paul has been to more. The concert was Ben Folds, who is a favorite, and he was playing with a group called yMusic. You can read Paul’s detailed write up here. For me here’s the big takeaway–the last time we saw Ben Folds was at PNC Arts Center, a pretty big venue. I could not believe that this was a stage set up in front of the steel stacks and we could literally walk right up to it. There were only two people between me and the barrier. Ben played his piano and the center rear of the stage so he actually wasn’t as close to me as he could have been, except at the end when they all took a bow. Still, it felt like a private concert at a party with a couple hundred people. I couldn’t believe was a small venue and crowd it was and the show was great. It really was a thrill! And the Steel Stacks looked gorgeous at night, all lit up.
We also went to a concert as a family-Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions. We had heard about this a year or so ago and this year when we saw it was playing at the Mann Center, we decided to buy tickets (when we were there for a different show.) The date of the show happened to be just a couple days after Pokemon Go was released, so there was an especial Pokemon fan fervor going on that was a lot of fun. There was some cosplay and basically everyone else was wearing some kind of Pokemon attire.
This show turned out to be a lot of fun. The Pittsburgh Symphony was playing and I just don’t understand how the acoustics were so good at an outdoor venue. They sounded amazing! The music was beautiful. Our seats were in the balcony and were in cool wooden boxes. Behind the symphony was a big screen that showed the game play through the evolution of it.The encore were the songs that had words, including crowd favorite sing along “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” (Which, I would include right here, but I don’t know how to insert from Instagram, which is where I shared the edited video.So, uh, I guess follow me on Instagram if you like?)
As for keeping busy elsewhere, Tabby just finished up a week at the beloved nature camp, while I finished a week of doing the craft station at vacation Bible school.
Odds n’ ends-I chose this hot week to take up running again and am slowly working my way up to going a tiny bit further each day. I am rereading one of my all time favorite books and am in a daydream most of the time, thinking of it. Three hens are broody and so we are not getting any eggs (but will maybe have more chicks soon?) And we have a possibly very fun weekend lined up, if we don’t all expire in the heat!