Reassuring words

There are no robbers in Mountain View. There are only robbers in Palo Alto. Bad guys don’t live in Mountain View.

Rats don’t have rabies. Only dogs have rabies. And if rats had rabies you dont need to worry, we only have a mouse in the house, not a rat.

Snakes dont have rabies either. It was only a milk snake that bit your sister not a poisonous snake. Poisonous snakes wont come near you or your sister. If our snake bites you, you wont get rabies, you will only get an owie.

At least our children are not afraid of spiders!

Maine Vacation, Part 2

That’s right, part 2 is gonna have to come before part 1.

We are just flying back from our vacation to Maine. The whole family came, although not all at once. But I’ll start this story when Caleb arrived on Wed. Why did Caleb arrive on Wed to a vacation that started on Saturday? Well he is such a passionate entrepreneur that he could not bear any time away from his work programming in the garage.

And it was a good thing he stayed home because he was able to prepare for more working on vacation: testing his product out on my family. This picture commemorates his very first user test, with Auntie Cheryl, the unsuspecting subject:

Cheryl says she liked it so maybe we will hit it big.

Even with the user testing sprinkled in we still had time to play and enjoy the innocence of a Maine summer: swimming in the lake, eating ice-cream & lobsters, playing mini-golf, and all around having a good time.

On that list, my top priority for a New England summer is eating ice cream. But by the time Caleb showed up on Wednesday we still had not been out to ice cream so I made sure that we all went that afternoon. It was just as exciting as I anticipated. Leo got peppermint stick, and I got something with coffee and chocolate, and in true Maine style Lucy got “lobster tracks.”

I posted a picture of Lucy’s ice cream online and my co-worker asked if it was real lobster in the ice cream. I don’t think Lucy would have that huge smile on her face if those were real lobster shells. It isn’t actually such a crazy question because my co-worker lives in San Francisco and in San Francisco they might actually put Lobster in ice cream. But in Maine those red flecks are candy-coated chocolate.

On this same ice cream trek, the kids tried to catch a grasshopper. Caleb was quite proud that he knew a trick to get it into a styrofoam cup. We discovered the grasshopper when it landed on Leo’s shoulder. I believe my photo came out quite artistically. I call it, Americana.

The thing about this ice cream stand was that beyond the ice cream everything on the menu looked DELICIOUS. Fried haddock, fried clams, … and even fried pickles.

Caleb and I had never had a fried pickle before and after we got back from ice cream we kept talking about how much we wanted one. So the next afternoon we got the grandparents to babysit and went back for our fried pickle. Would it be a really huge pickle? How many bites would we each get?

Well it turns out a fried pickle looks like this:

That’s right, it is actually fried pickleS. Uncle Sammy and Gretchen say that they are super common in Boston and were surprised we’d never had them. Anyway fried pickles are AWESOME or as they say in Boston, wicked awesome. If you are homesick, you can even add a little California twist, ranch dressing.

And since we are talking food, we were in Maine and had to have lobsters.

Since my parents and sister don’t eat lobster, we decided to have our lobster on a night that Uncle Sammy and Gretchen were there. After all, Gretchen loves lobsters.

By the way, who is this Gretchen I speak of?

She is uncle Sammy’s girlfriend. Or as Lucy calls her, “Sammy’s Gretchen.” We all love Gretchen and were happy to have her along, but she is pretty intense, or in her own words, she’s kind of a “honey badger”. I’m serious when I say that. She runs like 20 marathons a year, and when I got in off the red-eye that I took with my two small children she challenged me to a “triple-threat.” What’s a triple threat? A one-mile race, followed by a 5k, followed by a half marathon, in the 90 degree heat. Whoa. (My first do-not-finish).

Here is a picture of her and Sammy. Is she trying to extract his tooth with vice grips?

Even if she is intense, Gretchen cooked us some delicious lobsters. Yum.

The rest of the family spent the week being not so intense. Vanessa and Lucy got to spend a lot of time together.

Leo had a blast in the water. He asked me to take a picture of him swimming. It looked kinds like this:

Grandma and Auntie Cheryl played with the kids. That’s grandpa shoving Leo into the picture.

We were also really lucky to meet Sophia again on this trip. Sophia is Matt’s other little girl and she and Matt were able to come up Friday night. The girls had a lot of fun playing together.

And here is grandpa and Leo. (Note: this picture is not an optical illusion, Grandpa’s cup actually is as big as a 5-year olds torso).

Leo took a real shine to grandpa on this trip. Every time we drove anywhere he insisted “I want to go in Grandpa’s car.” Here are Leo and grandpa getting in the car to drive back to the airport.

and after we drove to the airport our vacation ended!

I am writing this blog post on the plane. I am sad that our vacation is over, but I am quite happy that the kids are sitting with Caleb and I get some free time to write a blog post!