Where did summer go?

The last time I posted was July 7. The months since have been a whirlwind of travel, work, family, guests, and healing.

Yes, my foot is healing. It seems slow to me, but since this is my first experience with a broken bone, maybe I’m just impatient. I’m still wearing flats…no heels since June 30, which is a long time for a short woman to go without a boost in height. But thankfully, the pain in the fractured area is almost completely gone.

We trekked back to the South in July to see parents and extended family, and took a few extras with us. Riley and Jack and Stephanie made the trip and soaked up cousin and grandparent time.

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Jack found a sign with a familiar name:

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There was crafting (thank you Pinterest!)

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And we ate just a wee bit…both my mom and my mother-in-law are cooks of the first order. And we had to have Cock of the Walk fried catfish. No trip to Mississippi is complete without that familiar stop. This time we worked it in on our way back to the airport. We were down to the wire, but we got our fill of the classics: hush puppies, fried dill pickles, and the star of the show, southern fried catfish. (If you’ve never had this southern staple, do yourself a favor and put it on your list to track down. Make sure the fish is farm raised, and that you find a good restaurant with a cook who knows how to fry. Your best bet is to go south.)

Stephanie and the kids went home, and Rob and I spent a few days in New Orleans between visits to parents. Although August in Louisiana is not for the faint of heart, the old downtown areas of the city are charming, and the food was amazing. I’ll be having some more of that next time I head south. 🙂 We celebrated our 36th anniversary, and walked off some of the calories, exploring the French Quarter, visiting the National WWII Museum (which is excellent),

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and wandering through the Arts – Warehouse District, and up, down, and around Bourbon Street.

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We ate at three wonderful restaurants, trying something different each night we were in town. And each was an experience worth repeating: Revolution, Domenica, and Restaurant August. You know you’re in a food paradise when everyone gives you their top restaurant picks and everyone has a different list…there are so many great choices! And we didn’t even go to any of the iconic restaurants. I wanted to eat where locals eat, and we hit the jackpot. I seriously think you can’t go wrong in that city, as far as dining.

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Also fun, at breakfast we had watermelon juice. Now how cute is that?

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And shrimp and grits. Ah, food of the south!

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Now, ask me about the humidity and that’s a different conversation! It takes a lot for me to feel hot enough to appreciate air conditioning, having lived without it for most of my life…you just don’t need it that often in the foothills of Colorado, or in Alaska. But I was grateful for it in New Orleans! I honestly don’t know how people survived in the south before AC.

I never go south without bringing back a little something. This time I hit tomato season, and although I never really get my fill, I had several tomato sandwiches during our visit (only white bread, mayo, sliced tomatoes and salt, thank you!). And I brought back enough to have a round of BLTs in Alaska. Just another tasty thing I hand carried all the way. Lucky for me, tomatoes are allowed through airport security!

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We had some cousins come up for a week after our trip south, and got in a little bear viewing:

And finally, Riley and Jack just spent a week with us, their first time to visit without parents. It was fun, and reassuring that I could find my way back to child-caring mode. We’d kept them before in their home, but this was their first time to stay with us in our home without mom and dad on hand.

Oh, we had a good time!

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Neighbors shared kids to play with and a trampoline to jump on.

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There was a fierce Uno battle, and we broke out the Chinese checkers.

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The weather cooperated while they were here. We had beautiful days and perfect evenings.

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There were shenanigans:

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And just when I thought Jack’s energy knew no bounds, he crashed.

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Last Saturday they had their first float plane trip, traveling from the Metlakatla airport (also known as the float plane dock) over to Ketchikan, to catch the Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle.

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It was a fast trip to take them down on Saturday and head back up Monday. Sunday afternoon, we made it to a local fair:

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And now, catching my breath, I know why the past two months have been a blur, and why I’m pooped!

Why, hello, September, and all things pumpkin! It was a glorious summer, but I’m ready to get cozy!

 

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