Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Above and beyond

Jason, on Monday: Hey, can you check with Schramsberg and see if we're getting a Cellar Club shipment this month?

Me: Sure.

Jason, on Tuesday: Did you find out anything about the Schramsberg?

Me: Shoot! I forgot. I'll do it today.

Jason, on Wednesday: Did you get a chance to talk to anybody at Schramsberg?

Me: GAH! Totally forgot again. I'm on it. Got it.

Jason, on Thursday: What's up with Schramsberg?

Me: Dammit! Sorry, sorry, sorry. I swear I'll do it today.

Jason, on Friday: Are you ever going to get in touch with Schramsberg?

Me: Shitfuckdammit! Write it down for me please. You know if it's not written down, it doesn't exist in my world. Just WRITE IT DOWN. Here's some junk mail. Write it on that envelope and put it with my notebook.

Overkill? Maybe. But I remembered to do it that day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The making of a Caniac

Around these parts, you know hockey season is right around the corner when the Caniac Carnival rolls around. We've actually never gone before since a lot of it is for kids. But we figured, with Sadie making her grand entrance and basically shattering Liam's world as he knew it, he could use a little extra attention.

He was a bit tentative when we first got there so we decided he just needed a little sugar to get him going. (That's why aunts and uncles and nanas and papas are AWESOME.) First stop - Dippin' Dots.

"Now, Aunt Heather, let me get this straight. You're telling me that these little balls of sugar will turn into ice cream if I eat them? What is this, NASA training grounds? Do I get Tang in my sippy cup later?"

"Well, okay. If you say so. I'll try them I guess. I'm not entirely sure though."

"What was I saying?? Who cares??? I'm sure! I'm sure! I love them! MORE MORE MORE!"

"Dear Baby Jesus, thank you for this colorful bounty of futuristic ice cream balls."

"Bouncy castles?? (Sponsored by Twitter, apparently?) Oh yeah! Let's burn off those Dippin' Dots! I've got sugar coursing through my veins!"

When it started to get hot outside, we headed in to the ice to watch the Canes practice. Liam was pretty mesmerized.

"Wow! They're so fast! And tough! I love it!"

"This is great! Hockey is aweso... Woah. What did you say about the possibility of frozen discs of vulcanized rubber hurtling in my direction at 80 miles per hour??? I'm not so sure about this anymore."

We had one more minor setback when we took him to meet Stormy. He was a big fan of Stormy...from afar. But with each step closer to the big pig, Liam gripped me a little tighter.

"What are you doing woman?!? He's got the crazy in his eyes! RUN! Keep thy distance, ice hog!"

"Well Uncle Jason, I appreciate you introducing me to the wonderful world of hockey. Let's make a deal. You keep that pig at 50 yards and I'm in. He's right behind me isn't he? ISN'T HE?!? No? Okay. Fine. I'm still in."

Caniac transformation: complete.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beachy keen

Ahhh, the beach. So relaxing. A time for lounging in adirondack chairs on the porch.

A time for lazing under the umbrella, watching the ocean roll in and out.

A time for going on sand dollar walks.

A time for sunrise strolls.

A time for sunsets over the dunes.

A time for Icing your little sister.

Wait, what? What the hell just happened?

Okay. So the family vacation wasn't exactly a lounge-fest. Not that we were expecting it to be, mind you. Nothing is a lounge-fest when three children under the age of eight are involved. Or when three children between their mid-twenties and mid-thirties are involved. (I am excluding Jason's sister Jenny from that comment since she was about ten years pregnant on this beach trip. The three remaining Sanger siblings more than made up for her.)

Erica made the mistake of texting Jason prior to the trip to ask him if he knew what Icing was. (If you don't know, just google "Icing Smirnoff".) So, unsurprisingly, he Iced her within minutes of our arrival. Rookie mistake on her part.

In turn, Joe was Iced by Erica and so on and so forth it goes...FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK.

Which is especially funny when you add in the the fact that we're pretty sure the owners of the rental house are teetotalers. (We think this because there were no wineglasses in the house. For our family, this was a disaster of epic proportions.) Therefore, something tells me they didn't intend for these decorative birdhouses to be used as airing racks for our koozies.

We certainly didn't let the lack of proper glassware stop us from getting our drank on though. The beauty of a Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka cocktail is that it tastes best in a Solo cup. Jason mixed up a big ol' vat of Firefly and lemonade with a dash of Sprite (some call this a Sloppy Palmer, named after the classic and non-alcoholic Arnold Palmer which is just 50/50 iced tea and lemonade) and we hauled it out to the beach to share with all those in our party who weren't between the ages of one and eight or ten years pregnant.

In an effort to differentiate my own red cup from the some odd fifty-thousand others sitting around the house, I labeled an ode to Ke$ha.

The rest of our seaside time went something like this...

And poolside time, something like this...

Indoor pursuits were mostly technology-related in nature. Captain Crazy Pants had serious business to take care of on his iPhone.

Anna got hooked on the coloring app that Jason installed on the iPad for her.

Liam loves nothing more than watching videos of himself on the laptop.

That kid really cracks himself up.

But Katie kicks it old school with a round of dress up. Oh the treasure chest that is Aunt Heather's bedroom. I wasn't paying much attention to what she was up to but all the sudden she turns around with my hat and giant Tom Ford sunglasses on and says "Oh hey! I'm Heather!" I didn't get a photo but a few minutes later she had added my Tory Burch flip flops and was holding my cherry chapstick in one had and my He@ther red cup in the other.

And Anna, our budding artist, also likes to paint the old fashioned way. After all the time she had spent on the iPad though, I half expected her to just tap her finger on the page of her paint book.

And of course, Jason enjoyed torturing the girls. Possibly you remember the Mamma Mia showing and dance party from last year's trip? They are still obsessed with that movie and every night, the girls wanted to watch Mamma Mia. We did finally watch it with them but for the first several nights, they were so tired that they were falling asleep right after dinner. Before dessert, even. So every morning, Jason would tell them we all stayed up late watching Mamma Mia and eating ice cream sundaes. Neither of them believed it so we staged a photo to prove it.

We had fabulous weather for just about the entire trip, with the exception of one afternoon that was chock full of thunderstorms. No one complained though. After several days in the sun and sand, we all happily retreated to cosy beds for napping, nooks of covered porch for reading or couches for movie watching.

Another major benefit of an afternoon storm is the chance of a rainbow. And we got just that as we were leaving dinner at a restaurant overlooking the intracoastal waterway.

Anna was determined to make friends with the official restaurant dog.

But eventually, it was time to say goodbye and get back to the real world. Which I did. Reluctantly. Very, very reluctantly.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eastbound and down

Considering summer is almost officially over (could someone please remind the 95 degree North Carolina sun of this fact?), I reckon it's high time I get around to documenting the Annual Sanger Family Beach Trip Extravaganza.

But! Before I do, let me first document the Pre Sanger Family Beach Trip Extravaganza Weekend Getaway To Wilmington For Just The Two Of Us. As my old friend Jacob, who we visited while in town,'s always good to have a sanity check before embarking on family time. So we booked ourselves for a night at the Front Street Inn and hit the eastbound highway.

The trip did not get off to the most salubrious start since we found ourselves in the armpit of North Carolina round about breakfast time. I love this great state of mine but I'll be the first to admit that there's a stretch between Raleigh and the coast that's not what I would call "nice". Or even "habitable", really.

Breakfast in a gas station Arby's. Yeah. That happened.

I tried to make the most out of it and decided to order this delicious-looking chicken biscuit. Does it not look so yummy?!? I mean look at that gorgeous piece of fried chicken sitting between two layers of fluffy, buttery biscuit. I couldn't wait to dig in!

Um. Okay. WHAT. THE. FARK. IS. THIS? And this is what you get for eating breakfast at a gas station Arby's in the armpit of North Carolina.

Things quickly made a turn for the better once we got to Wilmington though. Drinks before lunch? Okay. As I say, it's always five o'clock on vacation.

Let's do this.

After we were sufficiently cooled off, we attempted a walk around town. Always plenty of lovely things to see in this fine city. I am especially enamored with all the boats docked along the riverwalk.

Patriotic flags flying in the wind... All the important ones - the US flag, the NC flag.

The hot dog flag...

Public art...the Key Fence.

In March the key count was up to about 30,000. No idea what the updated number is but there were definitely a lot.

A gorgeous entry gate to an historic home on Front Street....

Once the heat became too much for us, we headed indoors for a nice cool bevy and some pub trivia. We won! Jaser wins! Does it matter that we were the only ones playing?? No! We WIN SUCKAS!

After our victory parade through the pub, we decided to see if our room was ready for check in. We highly recommend the Front Street Inn. This building was on the historic Walking Tour That Would Never End from our last visit to Wilmington. Remember that tour? Probably not. Because you're not the one who lived through it. But I remember. I'll never forget.

And lo! The room was ready. We had waited till the very last minute to book this (Who, us? No! Never!) so we got the last room available, which also happened to be the smallest room. But it was more than enough space for us.

We freshened up and headed back out for the evening. After an early sushi dinner with Jacob and his wife and little boy, we headed back to the ingeniously named riverwalk for well, a the river. A gorgeous sunset over the USS North Carolina battleship.

And, lucky us. There was a KISS cover band that night! There is something pretty disturbing about hearing the lyrics "Put your hand into my pocket and grab onto my rocket" at a Fun for the whole family! event.

These guys take this stuff quite seriously. You don't go half-assing a KISS outfit, people.

And the next morning, we packed it up and drove another hour or so down the coastline to Ocean Isle where the Annual Sanger Family Beach Trip Extravaganza commenced with a bang. But that's a whole other post.