Saturday, September 29, 2012

Newport Aquarium

This week the Newport Aquarium was offering one free admission with an annual passholder, so we made some time on Wednesday afternoon to go together as a family.  Pete and I went multiple times before Ellie was born, but I've just been once since we have had Ellie.  (I do have a season pass from that visit because the season pass is less than two adult admissions, so if we went more than once in a year, it would pay for itself.  Ellie is free until age 2.)

Probably the thing we were most excited about was the octopus!  It has always been curled up in the corner sleeping on our past visits, this time he was swimming all around his tank.  It was so neat to watch him move through the water.  If only Ellie was as interested as Pete and I were.  We took turns chasing her down the hall so the other could watch Mr. Eight Legs.

We feel very lucky that Ellie did not seem to be afraid.  She was terrified at the South Carolina Aquarium, but loves our local one.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves so she could wander back and forth through the tunnels at her leisure.

Then it was on to the jellyfish exhibit:

Followed by the shark tunnels!

And finally, probably Ellie's favorite, the Penguins!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I've said it before,

I'll say it again.  Fall in the Bluegrass is beautiful, not to be missed, and one of the reasons we love living in Lexington.  (Spring is pretty great, too, but there's something about fall that gets us outside.)  Now today, of course, it's rainy and chilly, but it is a Tuesday afternoon so I guess there's not much use in complaining.

Last weekend was no exception.  We went to Oktoberfest Friday night and had our usual trifecta of Beer, Brats, and Bingo.  Don't knock it till you've tried it!  Local celebrity Bill Meck was the Bingo caller and there are always a few entertaining folks who've had one too many beers to make the game more exciting.

Pete was home on Friday so we all went out to lunch.

My cousin Joey's doppelganger was there.

Saturday Pete had an out-of-town race (no surprise) so we didn't get to see him until we drove to Louisville for a wedding that evening.  Aunt Audrey and Uncle Andrew watched Ellie for a couple of hours and put her to bed at their house so we could go to the ceremony and reception.  They only sent us one picture while we were gone, but it pretty much summarizes their time together.  Shenanigans.

The wedding was at a lovely outdoor location - The Gardens of Ray Eden - and the bride and groom looked lovely as well.

Sunday morning we drove home after breakfast at Wild Eggs and spent the day outside doing yard work.  In the evening we headed over to Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate for Jazz on the lawn.  It had gotten chilly but that did not stop us from enjoying the evening.

This weekend is the Bourbon Chase, so Pete will be off racing with his pals, but we look forward to seeing him at the finish after their 200-mile relay!

There's no story behind this picture, just typical Ellie behavior.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Are you there world? It's me, Laura.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know that's not how it really goes.  I like it better my way.  We had the 'yuck' at our house last week and Pete was out of town so it has taken a bit to get back in the swing of things.

Fever, what fever?

Oh there it is.

Joanne and Jerry are (finally) home after their summer in Vermont and invited us over to their house Saturday afternoon, knowing we were feeling better and that the fourth day of daddy being out of of town can wear on mommy.  Joanne and Jerry's backyard is nice and shady and the perfect place to frolic.

Ellie helping with the weeding.
Taking a break with Uncle Jer (and her new pink soccer ball!)
Ooh, I like your hat.
I think it suits me, don't you?

Tuesday is rained all day so we went to visit all the colorful creatures at Petsmart.


Ellie loves her new jeggings and patent leather flats we got from Old Navy.  What can I say, she's ready for fall.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

We wanted to continue to enjoy our weekend of wonderful weather by spending as much time outside as possible, so late Sunday afternoon we drove to Harrodsburg to visit the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

I visited once a long time ago with my parents but Pete had never been.  The above picture is the only building we visited, me mostly wanted Ellie to see all the different farm animals.  She was terrified of the turkey, and almost started crying when he gave a great "gobblegobblegobble."  She wasn't particularly fond of the chickens, either.  She liked the goats, and she REALLY liked the two white horses that galloped past us.  We had to go to the other side of the village to find the sheep, but once we did, it was well worth it (and I finally dug the camera out of my stroller bag).


We also played with bubbles and watched the geese.


We were greeted by five little ducks on our way out.

So we decided Ellie should meet them.  Ellie was excited - well, excited and scared.

We stopped by one of our favorite restaurants for dinner on the way home and then whisked the baby girl home for bath and bed.  Happy Baby = Happy Family.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Ellie's First Haircut.

Thanks to you, faithful readers, Ellie has had her first haircut.  (Faithful readers = comments from Jen and Joanne, but still, it was enough!)

I thought we would take her to a place that only does children's cuts, you know, one of those salons with chairs that look like cars, or trains, or horses, but Pete didn't think we really needed all that.  Plus, there isn't one in Lexington that's super close to our house.  It's all of maybe a 10-15min drive from our house, but Pete wasn't feeling it.

It's just as well.  We needed to stop by Kroger to get ingredients for a pot luck later this evening and there's an old-time barber shop right across the street.  I told Pete we could stop by after the grocery store and ask if they did children's cuts and he had me grab my camera as we headed out the door.

There were two men getting their hair cut, and two men waiting in line when we opened the door.  Right away Pete pointed out the special booster seat they had in the corner and asked if they could do a First Haircut and they said yes.  Score!

Ellie was enamored with the trimmers and the scissors and the general barbershop goings on and sat pretty patiently while we waited.  The nice gentleman ahead of us in line let us take his place when the next chair was free so we didn't have to wait very long at all.

Tony, the guy who cut Ellie's hair, put the child booster on his chair and got out the kiddy cover-up for our Wellinor.  She was only a little scared at the very beginning, but then was fine to sit while Tony trimmed a whopping 1/2-inch off the back, which probably took less than five minutes.

Here is the finished product!  No more mullet :)

We had a great day afterward as well.  Stella's first birthday party was in the afternoon, and then we went to Talon Winery with pretty much the same crowd in the evening for a wine tasting.   I live the good life.  Seriously.  Lucky little family here.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The Natural Bridge

On Friday, we headed to the Red River Gorge for lunch at Miguel's before hiking up to the Natural Bridge with Ellie.  We were expecting rain all weekend, so we thought we should take advantage of the sun while we could.

It has been at least eight years since our last trip to Miguel's - and our memories did not fail us.  The pizza was delish!

Once we got to the state park, Ellie was Little Miss Independent and wanted to walk on her own.  She only let us carry her on the especially steep parts or jagged steps.

We finally made it to the bridge, a 500 foot elevation increase from where we started.  Now we had to climb up the steps, and through the narrow passageway to get to the top (65 ft above the base).

Ellie wasn't super-happy that we wouldn't let her run free at the top, but it's only 20 feet wide, so we needed to be cautious.

However, she loved the Ellie-sized passageway on the hike back down.

She was getting tired though, so I carried her a good portion of the way down.  I only held her superman-style for this one staircase, don't worry.

She walked again for some flat portions, and loved looking at the water under this bridge.

Then we crossed the wobbly bridge one last time and it was only a quarter mile back to the parking lot.

A great first family trip to the Gorge!