Monday, July 14, 2014

Fourth of July in Williamsburg

Dan's favorite tree in Williamsburg.  Like him, it's very tall.  It's also gnarly.

The former Home Economics Cottage for African-American students during segregation in Williamsburg, and Dan's temporary home in July.

Mary's favorite tree in Williamsburg.  Like her, it's pretty funky.

A couple of animals "horsing" around.  They wished us a "mare"-ey Fourth of July.

These words actually came out of Mary's mouth after capturing this scene: "I've always wanted to take a photo of colonial hats swaying in the breeze."  She claimed to be completely serious about that.  I'll let you be the judge.

Dan poses for a metaphorical composition on American Independence: walls dividing subjects, gateways open to new possibilities, freedoms to sport some kickin' flip-flops.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dan's Birthday weekend in Virginia

Today is Dan's 34th birthday! We celebrated all weekend in Virginia :-). We visited some of our favorite shops in Williamsburg:
Dan peeking in the window of Mermaid books
Toasted with refreshments at our favorite Colonial Tavern:

Toured through the Farmer's Market on DOG street where we saw over 20 dogs parading up and down:

We went to Yorktown and walked along the beach and the boardwalk:

We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite old spots, the Williamsburg Winery:

We went to the York River State Park and walked along fossil beach looking for fossils and hopping over logs:

Happy Birthday to a wonderful, thoughtful, terrific guy!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

More Vacation Pics

Dan and Lindsay after hiking at Jenny Lake in Grand Tetons National Park
After our adventures in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Dan and I parted ways - I went off to Ann Arbor and he went home to Annie (the dog sitter, Mary, said she was on her best behavior).
Dan and Mary while riding along Jackson Hole Ski Resort

Dan and Noah on the lookout for wildlife in Yellowstone
In Ann Arbor I met up with old friends for lunch, breakfast and drinks had dinner out with my parents at Logan as a late Father's Day celebration and I went to a friend's wedding.
Sushi in Ann Arbor with Franky
Melissa and Bryan, the bride and groom, are both huge Detroit Red Wing fans so their wedding cake toppers were adorable bride and groom Octopi - in honor of the Red Wings!
Wedding Cake Toppers

Brian and Melissa on the Summer Solstice
After visiting my parents and lots of friends in Ann Arbor I took the Amtrak to South Bend to see Anne, Zack, Phoebe and my god-daughter, Maya. We had lots of fun playing and catching up.
Maya modeling her unicorn sweatshirt

Phoebe wearing a spaghetti strainer
Then as I made my way home to Annie and Dan I stopped in LaGrange and spent the night at the Bairds. Katherine and I had fun hanging out in the Gazebo until late and Molly, their dog, spent the night by my side in the gazebo.
It was a whirlwind trip and wonderful to see everyone!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Old Faithful going off faithfully as it has since old times.
Geyser rivulets

Hot Spring pools surrounding Old Faithful

Mary learned the hard way that these hot springs were off limits.  Yeouch!

An unwatched geyser will still go off.  Fortunately we caught Old Faithful going off a second time.

Lower Falls.  The photos practically take themselves, which is actually really bad for the camera's battery.

Large spring run-off.

Mary "falls" in love with the liquid tumbling down behind her.

Dan with a bad case of "Bison Fatigue" - a condition still under consideration for the DSM-VI

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wildlife in Wyoming

Moose Cow and Calf eating  in the marsh
Bison and calves getting ready to hop the fence

Buffalo in front of the Grand Tetons

Bear! in Yellowstone along the side of the road

Buffalo next to the road

Elk out the window

Lindsay and Mary at the top of Rendezvous in Jackson Hole in a snowstorm

Monday, June 16, 2014

Greetings from Jackson Hole Wyoming

The Livesays have gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a family reunion.

The Livesays in Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton visitor center
Hot springs at Old  Faithful

Artist's point

Hiking at Jenny Lake

Friday, June 6, 2014

Japanese Visitors

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a Japanese festival put on by Japanese high school students from Isesaki, Japan (One of Springfield's sister cities). I enjoyed a Japanese tea ceremony, played Japanese games, had my name written in Japanese calligraphy, watched dances and fashion shows.
Japanese Musicians playing the Star Spangled Banner
The following day I hosted four of these teenagers for the day. We kicked things off by heading the the Farmer's Market where we picked up ingredients for lunch then I took them to the Japanese Stroll garden at the botanical garden. We had a funny misunderstanding at the garden when I pointed to a stone temple decoration in the Zen garden and called it pretty. They adamantly told me "No, not pretty". So I asked what it was. They discussed among themselves then consulted a dictionary to come up with the word "antique"! Yes, it was an antique! They also learned the new word "turtles" as we saw over ten turtles sunning themselves in the koi pond.
Kazuki, Misuzu, Maaya and Yusuke in the Japanese Stroll Garden
After the garden and a quick drive by an "antique" car show we went home where Annie was anxious to say hello to our Japanese visitors. After barking her greetings to all of them she retreated to our room with a  rawhide chew. Astute readers know that out-of-town visitors are treated to Elles's, so after lunch off we walked to our favorite neighborhood Patisserie. They enjoyed the various ice-cream flavors - lavendar, white-chocolate lemon, spicy chocolate and salted caramel. They were each kind enough to offer me a small bite of their flavors - salted caramel was my favorite :-)
Students enjoying Elle's ice-cream
We went to Midtown to meet up with the Patton-Allans and strolled down to Commercial Street to poke around in the "antique" stores. As an added bonus we walked across the longest pedestrian footbridge in the US and a train went rolling by as we were above the railroad tracks.
Ray and Avery crossing the Jefferson Footbridge
Then we went downtown and did more shopping - the wanted to get and American magazine, American candy and gifts for their families back home. We enjoyed listening to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams on repeat on my mix CD from Becky. They taught me several Japanese phrases and I was able to say "aragato" for the gifts (chopsticks, oriental fans, a toy for my backpack, rice and towels) and then "sayanora".
Good-bye Friends!
As I was wrapping up this blogpost the mailman dropped by with thank you letters! This one was my favorite:
Thank you letter from Yusuke