Archive for September, 2008

It’s official: I’m boring

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I harbor no illusions of being cool or interesting at this point in my life. Mind you, I would love to engage in fun and interesting pursuits, I just have little time to do so. Anyway, any vestiges of my younger self were sacrificed today on the alter of family practicality. I test drove a minivan. And liked it. A lot.

As much as I love my ten year old Subaru Forester, it’s time for me to part with it. It’s age is starting to catch up with it, but more importantly I can’t get three kid seats into the backseat. When my engine oil light started coming on a couple days ago (to keep the check engine light company apparently) I decided it was time to start looking.

After picking up the kids we headed over to the Toyota dealer near our house. After looking at a few briefly I transferred the kiddie seats over to a nice new light green Toyota Siena LE and went for a test drive.

As we were leaving the lot Fiona asked me in a concerned tone if we were stealing the car :-)
The kids enjoyed the novelty of riding in a new vehicle quite a bit. For about 2 minutes. Fiona, commenting on the nice amenities the minivan has compared to the Forester, said it was like riding in a castle.

We swang by the house so Heather could come out and have a look. She was not quite enthusiastic, but was about as approving as I think she is going to be about any minivan.
This weekend we’ll do some more looking around probably. Maybe we’ll buy, maybe we’ll wait a few months and hope the Forester holds out. Either way my dreams of buying a Mini Cooper have been put on hold for a few years.

Rocky Gap Lodge

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Last weekend was Mom and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary. They wanted to celebrate with the whole family, so they and both kids’ families converged on Rocky Gap Lodge for several days. We had three adjoining rooms and the little ones enjoyed running back and forth between the rooms. We had ground-level rooms, so no view of the lake but quick easy access to private patios, the pool and the other facilities. The rooms were perfect.

We had a photographer, Emily Cerda, come out and take family portraits and candid shots of the kids Saturday morning. She’s going to put together albums for all three families.

The lodge had some great activities for the kids and grownups. Fiona spent as much time as possible in the pool and got good at putting her face in the water (a big step.) A big tented patio used for weddings, etc just behind the rooms was a great venue for Brendan’s cars, planes, etc. A small kiosk on the other side of the pool rented out kayaks, canoes, fishing equipment, etc. Manish and I went out in a canoe one of the first days. I was out in a solo kayak to do a circuit of the lake. I also went out in the tandem kayak once with each of my kids. Fiona enjoyed it, especially the Oreos and the little bluegills we saw over the side. Brendan was less enthusiastic but was a good sport.

Several of the grownups took advantage of the spa. There is also a 5 mile trail leading around the lake that Manish and I checked out. There was a lovely poolside bar and grill with bad food and worse service. Oddly the other restaurant at the place was much better in both respects.

Photos are up here.