Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend in the Berkshires

Last weekend we went out to the Berkshires, where I was born and raised and in a way still consider home.  I always like to brag about how I'm from "the Berkshires" home of Mt. Greylock and Moby Dick and many other wonders.  Of all the ways to express where I'm from -- Pittsfield, the Pitts, western Mass, Massachusetts -- the Berkshires is definitely the best.  On this occasion we were there to celebrate my niece Chloe's tenth birthday.  Hold on a second... how is that possible!?  This is the size she is supposed to be:

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Chloe's 5th birthday (half her life ago!):

Chloe and Mason

Jakes checking out the garden with Little Gram and Big Gram

Chloe posing it up with Laura and Courtney

Mason loving himself an ice cream bar

I'm like an old lady when I look at these pictures, saying to myself, "oh, how quickly they grow."  So before I get weepy thinking about my own baby boy becoming a kid, I'm taking us back to 2010, last weekend. On Saturday Ben and I snuck up to Jiminy Peak to ride the alpine slide and the mountain coaster during one of Bob's naps (more on that mountain coaster to come).  It was great to have a quick little date, just the two of us, especially because we did something so FUN.

We spent the majority of our time just hanging around at Gram's in Lanesboro.  It is so beautiful at Gram's house in the summer; such a perfect slice of the world.  I still remember how I felt playing here as a child; the grass, the ferns, the trees, the woods -- they were all magic.  This place will always hold the most special spot in my heart.

Look, Bobby's finally getting a little length to the hair on the back of his head:

Saturday night was the craziest lightning storm I have ever seen in my life.  The sky lit up with flash after flash for hours.  I was so excited; it reminded me of when I was a kid and how I'd hope the lights would go out in every storm so that we'd have to bring out the candles and flashlights.  Didn't happen this time, but didn't matter.  One report said there were an average of 150 lightning bolts per minute.  It was incredible.  I'm quite sure that everyone who saw it feels exactly like I do.

Then Sunday was another gorgeous day, and I got to spend it with my family.  

My little brother James with his daughter Bailey:

Bobby and Bailey enjoying their picnic lunches:

Bobby and his three cousins: Mason, Chloe, Bailey.

(Looks like Mason could use a few more ice cream bars these days.)

Ben and I had so much fun at Jiminy Peak that we decided to take Chloe and Mason the next day as a treat for Chloe's birthday.  James, Bailey, and Crystal came along, too.  (Bob napped.)

The mountain coaster was awesome.  I've always loved the alpine slide, but honestly that's a snooze compared to this.  A private roller coaster speeding over 25 mph down a mountain -- what could be better?  It was a real rush.  Here's Chloe and me going up:

Ben and Mason coming down:

Then Chloe went alone and Mason rode with James (who had to wear my extra shirt because he didn't bring one. Don't ask me why.)

The kids loved the mountain coaster as much as I did.  And Crystal loved it too:

And Ben and I rode together so that we could be romantic and I could take a video, which I can't for the life of me figure out an easy way to upload.  All of us together, courtesy of a blue metal folding chair (look at that blue sky!):

Back at Gram's, I let Mason use my camera for a little bit.  I am totally impressed by some of the photos he took:

(Mason probably loves my Jeep more than anyone else does except me.)

Here he is, so grown up, with a sock on one foot to cover his stitches.  

Chloe is ten, and I am tired.  Goodnight.

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