Monday, September 10, 2007

Hobart Reunion Party!

I can add two states to my list of states visited (or driven through) - Vermont and New Hampshire (if I'd ever been to either one, I don't remember it at all, so I count this weekend as the first times I've been in either state!)

We left immediately after work on Friday and drove to Deerfield, Massachusetts to spend the night. We got there around 10:30pm and Leda had slept maybe an hour before we got there. So she was WIDE awake. We got into our hotel room and got ready for bed and decided to watch a little news (since Leda wasn't quite ready to go back to sleep). We probably turned off the TV at 11:30pm, but there was no sleeping until about 1am, when Leda finally stopped poking and prodding me and Brock to keep us awake! Of course, then, Duff decided he wasn't going to sleep pretty much the whole night, so he trotted around the room, with his collar tink-tink-tinking all through the night. Oh, and then the whining started around 4:30 or so! The dog, not the kid!

We were up by 7 (I mean, who can sleep with all that going on??) We all took showers and packed up the car and headed over to the Abelson's in Greenfield to meet them for breakfast and then all of us would head up to NH, the site of the weekend party. Justin and Deana were running a little behind and we needed to do a little shopping (food and beer), so we headed off on our own.

The drive up was beautiful. I have to say, Vermont is a beautiful state. New Hampshire was beautiful as well, but we only got to go about 15 miles into New Hampshire! We stopped at a little local grocery store and picked up some provisions and down the road was our destination.

What a lovely little place. One of the guys that Brock hung out with in college owns the place (it's a family 'resort' of sorts). Basically two "cabins" and a barn on a few acres of land with lake access. It's in the middle of nowhere, so it's pretty secluded. Lots of bedrooms in the houses (which were beautiful - not quite as sparse as I was lead to believe - very nice places) and there were a few brave souls who set up some tents around the property, us included - we figured it would be kinda fun. So we set up our tent next to the Chamberlains (Ned, Kathy and Marie) and joined everyone hanging out down at the lake, having a few beers and a little swimming and boating.

View of the lake

This gathering was of the class of 1978 and 1979 of Hobart and William Smith colleges - all who attend the party were friends to some degree during college (roommates, dorm mates, etc) and have been friends ever since. They have all kept in touch and have tried to get together every year for some type of gathering like this. Tom and Gail (our hosts for the weekend) started holding the gathering at their place last year and hope to continue this on an annual basis, and we hope they do because we plan to attend as long as they have it!

The day was beautiful and there was lots of swimming and boating on the lake. The kids (there were plenty of kids) were just having a blast on the water and the dogs - oh my, were their dogs - thirteen to be exact - where having the time of their lives! Duff was just loving having all the playmates he could want! And Leda made friends with Percy, who was just a crazy dog - he would chase a ball all day as long as someone would though it to him! Somehow, he let Leda feed him dirt - for a few times, until he decided dirt wasn't exactly fun to eat! But he just played so nice with her!

Percy wonders, will Leda throw the ball?

Leda and Brock spent some time boating in a kayak on the lake. Leda really seemed to be enjoying herself! She loved the lake and loved swimming in it and playing in the dirt and sand. The child was absolutely filthy most of the day, except for when she was in the water! She loved it!

Brock and Leda on the lake

In the evening there was a catered dinner (that everyone chipped in for) that was excellent and hanging out and enjoying every one's company. Gail introduced Leda to a doll house and the child spent the rest of the evening playing with the doll house - she LOVES them!

Around 9pm or so, Leda, Duff and I headed off to our tent to go to sleep. About three seconds after I turned off the light, Leda was out as well! Duff wasn't too far behind. I spent a little time reading and probably put down the book around 9:30 - 10 and went to sleep myself. Brock came in around midnight and woke me up and I decided to head off for a bathroom before going back to sleep. I got back to the tent and we settled in for the night.

Not a few minutes after I got back from the restroom and we heard Gail and Tom head off for their house (they actually live a few houses down from the cabins), we heard the most interesting sound. It was very close and it did sound like a woman screaming. It turns out it was at least two packs of coyotes "talking" to one another. Another first - I had never heard a coyote before and wow, it was a little eerie! I was awake for just a little longer thinking about all the wildlife that was roaming around out there in the dark! I did eventually fall asleep!

Around 6am in the morning I woke to rain drops on the tent roof. Kinda expected it to rain a little - they did call for scattered showers throughout the weekend. I figured, it would have stopped by the time we decided to get up and we'd have an hour or so to let the tent dry out and then we could pack up and head home.

The rain, never let up - well, it let up, but only to a drizzle and only sporadically. Most of the time, it was pretty heavy! A little after 7am Leda woke up and after a little cuddling, we all got up and headed up to the house for some coffee. Besides, the tent had started to flood! We were taking on water from the floor seams! We decided it was time to get things out of the tent and into the car before they got to wet. After a little breakfast and hanging out, watching the rain, I headed down to pack up a very wet tent - luckily I had another change of clothes because I was soaked to the bone. The kids loved the rain - they got in their suits and headed down to the lake!

We started the long ride home around 11:30am and it started out pretty uneventful. It rained for most of the trip through Vermont and Massachusetts. Leda had worn herself out over the weekend so she was out in about 10 minutes. She slept most of the first two hours. When we got into New York we got on the Saw Mill which is a bit twisty and windy. Leda was complaining about a boo-boo in her mouth, and we thought she had just bit her tongue or something. We were getting off the Saw Mill and onto 87 when she let loose - yep, lovely, wonderful puke! Oh, and not just any normal puke, nope, the sour milk kind of puke. With chunks! Grossed out yet?

Well, Leda cried, I pleaded with Brock to pull over and he just wanted to find a safe, if not an exit, place to pull over. We did finally get pulled over to the side of the road and pulled the little girl out of her yucky seat, yucky clothes and tried to clean her up as best we could. I had a few moments when I didn't think I would make it through! I had to rinse the kid off with my bottle of water by the side of the road and boy did she not like that all too much!

Because I had hopped out of the car so quickly, I didn't even close my car door. About the time we were undressing Leda by the side of the road, Duff decided he needed to figure out what was going on and he hopped out of the car, too. I turned around to grab my water out of the front seat to find my dog, sans leash, standing just outside my car door - I practically had a heart attack - I yelled at the dog so loudly and urgently that he cowered, but he thankfully hopped back into the car and I closed the door. Duff is a great dog, a very loyal dog, but the idea of him outside the car without a leash by the side of a six-eight lane highway with traffic rushing by was the last thing I needed at that moment!

We got Leda cleaned up as much as possible and found the only dry towel (mostly dry) we had left after the weekend and placed that in her car seat (which we cleaned out as well as we could) and put a mostly naked child (the clothes bag was buried deep in the car and we weren't sure if this was the last of it) back into her car seat and off we went. With the air conditioner blasting in our faces to help with the smell of vomited up sour milk! It was a lovely two hour ride home.

As for Leda, she was fine. What I deduced had happened was when she fell asleep, she had fell asleep with her cup of milk that she had from breakfast. When she woke up two hours later, she finished said cup of milk. We assume that at that point, the milk may have started to turn a little and the twisty ride down the Saw Mill didn't help matters and her little tummy couldn't take it any more, so it gave it up! Because the kid was fine the rest of the ride home and was fine when we got home (she woofed down some chicken and yogurt for dinner).

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend - really, it was. We enjoyed spending time with old friends. We can't wait until next year! Go see some more pictures!

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