Monday, November 06, 2006

Downrigging Weekend 2006

Once again this year, we sailed to Chestertown aboard Outre Mer, for the tall ships celebration sponsored by the Schooner Sultana, in Chestertown, Maryland. We sailed all the way there, up what we think is the most gorgeous river on the Bay. We anchored in the river and dinghied ashore for dog business, shopping, (pirate bandannas for the dogs!) and one restaurant meal (part of the fun for us is cooking aboard the boat.) Mark shot hundreds of amazing photos of these historic boats. I couldn't possibly do them justice here, but here's a glimpse:

It was a REALLY cold weekend. Even the dogs complained. We bundled them up on the return trip, and had to huddle together for warmth (okay, maybe we enjoyed that part...)

From left: Jennifer Pope, first mate and executive chef; Buckley Pope, boatswain; Benjamin Pope, Captain; Mark Talbott, official photographer; Shannon Talbott, sous-chef and animal handler; Sandy Talbott, dinghy navigator.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New Jersey

Last weekend, we drove up to visit Andrea, Rick, and Dylan in New Jersey. Mark and I went for a ride in a glider plane-after being towed up by a small plane, our motorless aircraft soared the thermal currents over the mountains for 20 minutes before landing. We had a great view of the mountains and the changing leaves. The pilot said he often sees bears-we didn't that day, but did see one while driving up at night.

Sunday, we feasted at the Chinese Buffet and then walked it off at Kittatinny State Park. Mark caught this great shot of a red-tailed hawk (I think) and we posed for pics by the lake.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Did you think you'd ever see...

Mark in a suit? Doesn't he look handsome? -S.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Shannon's New Philosophy

is summed up by this sign we saw at a country store in Pennsylvania. If only the veterinary practice would hang one...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Allyson and Michael, Sept. 16,2006

This weekend, we attended the wedding of my vet school classmate Allyson and her fiance Mike. It was held at a lodge in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and was such a warm, relaxed, beautiful affair. Ally and Mike decorated with sunflowers from their own garden, and friends and family all pitched in to set up, decorate, and clean up afterward. The weekend perfectly reflected Ally and Mike's personalities. It included a fishing contest after the rehearsal (the bride won,) gifts from the registry at Cabela's (outdoor goods store,) a photographer who was missing his first PennState home game in 10 years, and Mike wearing Converse high-tops with his linen suit. Mark and I stayed in a pine cabin on the property, and enjoyed a bonfire and fireworks after the reception wound down. -S.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Sandy Day

Just a warm late-summer day at one of Sandy's favorite places. We bring beach chairs but don't get to spend much time in them, as we have other duties. "Throw the stick!", she reminds us every time we (try to) forget. >M

"Throw it!"

"Gettin' all the good out of this good stick"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Barbara's Birthday Bash

Saturday, we celebrated Mark's mom Barbara's birthday (a milestone, but you didn't hear which one from me) with a backyard party at the family homestead. Mark's sister Andrea and I had fun planning the party together. We'd been admonished to "keep it simple," so we chose a county fair theme and enjoyed barbeque, Cokes in glass bottles, and homemade pies brought by friends. A handmade bean bag toss brought out the competitive streak in everyone, as did guessing the number of peanuts in a huge Mason jar. Unable to procure a barbershop quartet (would you believe they were all at a convention in Delaware?) we played bluegrass and country CDs. Everyone took home Mason jars filled with vintage candies. We hope the birthday girl had as much fun as we did! -S.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mystic Seaport

We had planned to drive back from Massachusetts, in order to bring back a car for the Dinoias. We decided to stop and see Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. It's a living history museum consisting of a village, ships and 17 acres of exhibits depicting coastal life in New England in the 19th century. In three hours, we barely scratched the surface, but really enjoyed ourselves. Even though Mark had left behind his professional camera, he got some great shots.

Kelsey's Baptism

This weekend, we flew up to Springfield, Massachusetts for Kelsey's baptism. I became a proud godmother again, and we got to see college friends Mike and Mandy, and meet their adorable 1-year old twins, Aden and Maille. Mark also snapped the adorable photo below of Kelsey and Grandpa Kirk.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Playin' Hooky

Since my week off from work wasn't entirely a vacation, I also took Monday off for R&R. Mark and I were finally able to take Mom out on the boat. We pulled up on a beach and cooled off in the water, then went to Annapolis and up Mill Creek to Cantler's to pick up crabcakes. We anchored and ate our crabcake dinners on the boat, watching a heron fish for his dinner at the water's edge.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kids 101

Lessons Mark and I learned during our week with borrowed children:

1. Pack an extra change of clothes wherever you go. Not for them (that's remedial) but for yourself. A surprising number of their spills and drips will end up on you.
2. Anything sticky will be returned to you half-eaten. I now break out in hives at the mention of lollipops or ice cream cones.
3. They like to share. Quote from Kelsey, who summoned Mark across the room to give him something: "Here. It's from my nose."
4. Having eaten (or having refused all offers of food) 30 minutes prior will not stop them from asking, "What's for lunch?"
5. They have no sense of irony. Caitlin carried and cuddled Bailey (their cat, on sabbatical with us for a few more months) against his will several times a day, but was quite concerned that our dog Sandy was "bothering" the cat.
6. Four-year-olds are literal thinkers. I had a lot of explaining to do when there were no fairies on the ferry boat. (After all, there were pirates on the pirate boat.)

Sewing Class

Before the girls left with Jen and Pete for the beach, we sewed pillows. Caitlin, especially, had been looking forward to this project since I mentioned it a few weeks ago. She even added "SEW A PILLOW SHANNON" to Mark's to-do list she found in the kitchen. On Friday, we went to the fabric store, and the each girl picked out fabric for her project. This morning, with Becky's help, we cut them out, pinned and machine stitched the pillows, then stuffed them and hand sewed the remaining opening. I was amazed by Caitlin's precision with both the machine and hand sewing, and her sticking with even the more mundane steps. In the interest of time, I sewed Kelsey's pillow, but she stuffed it beautifully. Note also that Caitlin is modeling one of her tie-dye projects from earlier in the week.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Harbor Night 2006

An AnnapoCAMPolis tradition is Harbor Night. Ben and Jen (with their nieces and dog Buckley) sail Outre Mer to the Annapolis Harbor, pick up a mooring, and spend the night. Last year, they invited us to join them, and we were hooked.

This year, we borrowed a friend's sailboat, Pylasteki, and Mark rowed us, Caitlin and Kelsey, Sandy, and Jen and Pete (rested and sunburned after their time in Atlantic City) out to the boat on its mooring. Mark had quite a workout ferrying all of us to Outre Mer for dinner, teaching an eager Caitlin how to row, and braving a water gun attack by Jen, Sarah, and Hannah. After the gorgeous sunset, it was back to the dinghies for a gelato run. The Dinoias gamely braved the summer heat and humidity and rolling boat overnight, and enjoyed the Naptown tradition of breakfast at Chick & Ruth's Delly. This diner has great breakfasts, the second-generation owner Teddy doing magic tricks at the table, and a daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

MORE PICTURES COMING - Check back soon!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tie-Dye Thursday

Thursday, we joined up with AnnapoCAMPolis founder Jen Pope and her nieces, alumni Sarah and Hannah. These seasoned pros showed us how to tie-dye t-shirts, socks, and underwear. Then while the dye set, we bleached our stained skin in the swimming pool for several hours. Jen, Sarah, and Hannah showed Caitlin the "noodle jump," and Kelsey got braver in the water, loosening her death grip on my neck after a while. While Jen and I made dinner, all four girls got a rare dose of TV time (Wallace and Gromit and Veggie Tales.) Captains Ben and Mark joined us after work for a delicious dinner (thanks, Jen!) and we headed home to prepare for Harbor Night.

PICTURES COMING-check back soon!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Smith Island Excursion

On Wednesday, I took the girls on a trip (organized by my church) to Smith Island, Maryland. It's the only inhabited offshore island in Maryland. Like Tangier Island, Virginia, it is populated mostly by watermen and their families. The island has unique traditions and even its own dialect. The girls and I really enjoyed the boat ride across Tangier Sound from Crisfield, Maryland. Kelsey and Caitlin made friends with a 5-year old girl named Lanaigail, whose grandmother was on the trip. The three girls had fun spotting jellyfish, osprey nests, blue crabs, and schools of fish from our sunny perch on the top deck of the boat.

After a family-style lunch, we explored the island (well, mostly the playground and adjacent cemetery, since I now had three kids in tow.) Lanaigail's grandmother gave the girls a ride in a rented golf cart, and we ate half of two chocolate ice cream cones and wore the other half.