Friday, October 24, 2014

Visiting Albany, New York

This month we spent a long weekend visiting my grandpa in Albany, New York. We watched him—at 80 years old—play in a tennis tournament with the SUNY Albany women’s tennis team. Watching them play got me, Chris, Trevor and Kanani excited to play with him on Monday. He showed us a thing or two on the tennis courts, including how to lose. So that was a good time.

Watching tennis with Grandma.
My grandpa has a very consistent shot and perfect placement.
Sometimes you have to take a tennis break and eat leaves.

While there, we visited Altamont, where my dad and his family lived when they first moved to New York. It was a nice little town and I almost expected to see Lorelai and Rory come around the corner. We didn’t. Instead we drove to Indian Ladder Farms and picked apples. Hazel loved having an apple of her own to hold and chomp and we filled two big bags of apples to bring home and store in our cold cellar. More importantly, we ate cider doughnuts. I’ve always heard that apple farms have delicious doughnuts and since I’m always on the hunt for delicious doughnuts (since I don’t live close enough to Stan’s) we waited in the long line. Okay, Chris waited for us in the long line. So good. I need to stop finding good doughnuts outside my county. It’s sort of depressing on Saturday mornings.

Hazel really liked this bull.

It was fun to pick apples, and we brought home 20 pounds of my favorite variety, empires.

Hazel covered her face with her apple for most of the photos because it was so delicious she couldn't put it down.
We had some nice strolls through upstate New York and the neighborhoods my dad lived in. We spent the evenings in my grandpa’s home, singing along while he played the ukulele. When I was growing up, my dad sang to us while we fell asleep in bed—I remember him bringing a folding chair into the hallway between the kids’ bedrooms—and many of them are songs his dad sang to him. It’s always special hearing my dad and grandpa sing and it was an extra treat to have Hazel there to enjoy it, too. She and my grandpa were quite taken with each other. She warmed up to him quickly and he was smitten with her busy, observant personality.

Nature walk in the forest behind my grandpa's house.

Hazel and Grandma are definitely best friends.

Four generations!

This is one of the houses my dad grew up in. My grandma, Adele, built on to this house herself. She was a strong person.

Hazel is a little easier to hold when she's sleeping. Here she is with her great-grandma Teresa.

Sleeping on Great-Grandpa.

We had so much fun visiting with family and soaking up the fall weather and beautiful autumn colors. Can’t wait to do it again.

I wish I were this size so I could stretch out on an airplane seat and sleep on a pocket full of diapers. I love the Ergobaby Performance Carrier and this new use only increased my feeling.

Selfie while looking out the airplane window.

Flying is most fun when you can take selfies and then look at selfies on Grandpa's tablet.

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