Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's the name of your town??



We got back tonight from a visit to my parents' house in upstate New York. They live in Horseheads. Yeah. I'll say it slow. Horse. Heads. Like the animal. You can imagine how much fun I had in college telling people where I was from. That is, when they weren't asking me, "No, I mean, where are you really from?"

So, the visit went well, and it was a blast taking the monkeys to all the old kiddie hangouts from my youth. We hit one of the local playgrounds, the favorite pizza place that supplied every Sunday school lunch pizza I consumed over the course of God knows how many years, and the mini amusement park on Harris Hill. When we weren't running them ragged through town, we let them loose upon the Parvez compound.

They went wild racing up and down the stairs, across the wide stretches of lawn.





Miss Mina does her best "Little House on the Prairie" running down the hill impression.



My mom did an impressive job keeping up with them out there.

They even got a chance to practice swimming in the pool. Jordan stunned me by insisting on floating on the swim noodles all by himself. "Go sit over there on the steps, Mommy." I lost a year of my life as I let him float off into the pool on his own, with nothing but a strip of Styrofoam to keep him alive. But seeing the glee on his face was worth it.

Jeff experienced a similar moment of glee when Jordan pointed out one of my high school pictures.

Jordan (while suppressing his laugh): Look at her hair! She needs a cut-cut, buzz-buzz!

What can I say? It was the 80's.

Apart from the hair mistakes of my past, we had a nice time hanging with the grandparents. The kids don't get a chance to get up there too much, but we tried to make the most of the time we had.



Looking at this picture, one might not realize that my dad is actually a doctor. He's just as happy on his John Deere -plowing down the forest known as our back yard.



Jordan got a chance to examine it up close, but couldn't be convinced to hop on for a ride.



Harris Hill amusement park was fun. I can recall many a summer day spent there, on the rides, playing miniature golf, having a picnic, celebrating a birthday. They've made some improvements since my time, but the kiddie amusement park hasn't changed a bit. It's old school. Those horses don't come equipped with seat belts, and to start the ride up, the operator has to manually push the carousel.



The kids didn't seem to mind.



Jordan waits patiently for ice cream.



Maybe not that patiently.



But the ice cream was just as good as I remembered. Mina likes hers with sprinkles. Jordan is a purist. I like mine chocolate.



Grandma B did a good job supervising.



While Grandpa snuck off for a little playtime of his own on the driving range.

We crammed a lot into one day. We even managed to hit a local playground. Once upon a time, I played on this equipment, hit softballs in the fields nearby, and celebrated "Community Days" by riding on a rickety Ferris Wheel and eating cotton candy.

Jordan preferred the tire swing.





And showed no fear scaling the heights of the old steel slide. Those babies get hot in the sun, not like the wuss plastic stuff you see out there in the parks these days.



Bean got a chance to swing with her dada.



Who was thrilled to discover that my dad is as much of a gadget hound as he is. Jeff is sporting a walkie-talkie in addition to his everyday Blackberry. I'm not sure why my dad thought these were necessary for the outing, but you can never be too prepared upstate.



Thanks for the great time Grandma B and Grandpa! We'll see you again soon.
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