|This sign never fails to make me happy.|
We arrived on the 4th of July and went straight to a lovely party at Jon's sister's house, complete with traditional baby parade through the neighborhood. There are twelve children under ten right now, and the littlest babies ride in the ancient Courier-Express paper wagon, that my own kids and their cousins rode in for the parade when they were babies. Between visits with our enormous family, we found time to be out an about. Having a guest from Virginia was a lot of fun, and we loved introducing Sophie to our beautiful home town.
Friday night, my mother-in-law took us to the Black Rock Kitchen for dinner.
I had to order something from the cocktail menu.
|Black Rock Fizz|
|Sophie and Grace|
|Filled with pulled pork.|
Saturday, we did a little shopping in Allentown and on Elmwood Ave.
|My parents had this album. It's probably still in my dad's family room.|
|Fantastic yellow Schwinn. I love the seat.|
|I almost expect them to burst into song|
One stall had the mother lode of vintage cooking pamphlets. I bought a 1939 guide to canning for $3. The advice is outdated (five hour processing times!) but the pictures are priceless.
At an antique shop on Elmwood, I bought a vintage classroom map of the United States. The reverse side shows important battles of the Revolutionary War.
|Alaska and Hawaii weren't states yet.|
Sunday, we went to a beach on the American side.
|Seamus, Grace, Sophie|
|This seagull was determined to have a share of our picnic|
|A walk on the beach with Seamus|
|Beautiful Lake Erie|
Our last day, we went to Sweetness 7, my favorite Buffalo coffee shop, for breakfast. The girls were delighted with this "Barbie house" nearby.
|Go pink or go home|
We went to Buffalo's famous art deco City Hall to catch the view from the top of the tower.
|Art Deco stained glass ceiling|
|Too cloudy to see much.|
|Seamus and me on the observation deck|
It's about as much fun as you can have for free and without having to wait in line, with the added attraction of the ancient elevator that shuddered and clanged its way to the 25th floor in such a terrifying manner that I seriously considered taking the stairs all the way down.
|Elevator of Doom|
Then we went to the Buffalo Zoo, which currently has two polar bear cubs. We didn't get any decent photos, as the bear display was crowded, and almost as soon as we arrived, a bell rang in the distance and they both bounded away to have their lunch.
I liked the giraffes the best. They have this endearing way of looking at you as if they've been waiting all this time just for you. They come striding toward you, with expressions of love on their faces, and just when you think they're going to actually lick you or something, they veer off in another direction, as if all along, they were going for that tree over there. It's very charming and endlessly distracting.
|Giraffe with traffic light and city house|