In May of 2009, Mom and Dad flew to New Jersey, spent a night with me, and then we all drove up to Ithaca for a family weekend. It was billed as a “Pre-Mother’s Day” event - since the timing did not work out for Mom and Dad to visit on actual Mother’s Day. I was only there for a couple of days before driving home. Mom and Dad stayed for longer and flew back from Ithaca.
We had no hard and fast plans for what to do while we were there. Sis and had come up with plenty of options, but we kept it pretty open, since you never know what you’re going to be in the mood for.
Our big trip was driving to Watkins Glen, which is a town at the base of the largest of the Finger Lakes. There is a beautiful gorge there. Unfortunately, we were still on the heels of winter, so some of the paths were closed. Still, we were able to tour much of the gorge and take some nice family shots.
This trip marked a turning point in my relationship with Lorenz. Although he was typically totally nonplussed to see me, we got along great. Sis had given me the suggestion that I buy a Star Wars sticker book, since he talks about watching Star Wars with Uncle Keith. (It turns out he watched it with Uncle David, but I’m happy to take the credit.) When I had gone to Barnes & Noble to get sticker books, I had no idea there were so many. I got a little too excited for an adult when I saw that they had Fantastic Four sticker books. I decided to stay with the original plan and get Star Wars (though I also threw in a bugs sticker book).
The book was a big hit and we played with the stickers over dinner. When food arrived, Sis told him to put the stickers away and Lorenz said no. I told him we would do two more stickers and then it was time to eat. It worked like a charm. No fuss at all when it was time to put the book away.
When we were at the gorge, he found a large stick and was using it like a gun, imaginarily shooting things. Sis hates any talk of guns and was trying to squelch such behavior. Since I needed to reinforce my status as “Bad Uncle” I encouraged Lorenz to shoot everything - “There’s Mommy! Shoot Mommy!” Mark put a positive spin on it saying that Lorenz sometimes says that the gun shoots a cleaning spray. So we then switched to saying “Lorenz! That’s dirty!” and he would shoot it clean.
I know. Go figure.
We tried to get a shot of him shooting a big sign in the gorge that said “Lover’s Lane”, but the chain link fence ruined the shot. Bummer.
After the gorge we went for lunch. Mom and I walked Lorenz along the water, which he enjoyed. And then we all went for ice cream. It was a beautiful spring day and a very “upstate NY” time.
The next day was fairly uneventful. We went to the mall for reasons I can no longer remember. Then we went to the Farmer’s Market. It was a pale comparison to the last time I had been there - which was in the fall. A lot of the booths were empty since there were no harvests yet. I was hoping to take a homemade pie home, but I left empty handed.
Nice weekend. I’m sad to think that it’s probably my last trip to Ithaca since Sis is leaving in a month.