A Palo Alto Wedding

I took our 12 year old son to Palo Alto for a cousin’s wedding on March 15.  We arrived in Palo Alto late Friday night (which was made even later with a request for a late-night snack of black truffle French fries).  Once we finally got up on Saturday, we made the obligatory brain-washing visit to Stanford and walked through the Engineering Quad.  It was one of those gloriously sunny 80 degree days that Palo Alto specializes in (what a woman I talked to briefly called “stupid nice”).

the Stanford Quad

the Stanford Quad

an aspiring Nerd Nation member

an aspiring Nerd Nation member

The wedding itself was one of the loveliest ceremonies we’ve been to.  I was only sorry that Jim and our daughter couldn’t be there, too.  And it was wonderful to see my parents and all my relatives and catch up on what they’ve been doing.  (Although our son, after being presented with a plethora of cousins he never knew existed, decided we had too big of a family.  He wasn’t reassured on being told that this was the less populated side of my family.)

the kayak wedding cake

the kayak wedding cake

IMG_2358

note the Chinese Coke cans

note the Chinese Coke cans

Naturally, after a weekend of glorious weather, we came back to DC and had 10 inches of snow overnight.  School was cancelled on Monday, and I suspect it will be July before school finally lets out!

Snow Day Activities

While the MLK long weekend gave us sunny and even warm (relatively speaking) weather, Tuesday brought us 6 inches of snow.  For hardy Midwesterners and New Englanders, this amount might be a mere blip on the winter radar.  However, for the mid-Atlantic and for DC in particular, it’s enough to shut down the federal government and school systems in the area.  Our kids managed to get 2 snow days out of it.  While much of it was spent watching Dr. Who and Phineas & Ferb, there was also outdoor play.  A snowball fight, complete with snowball guns, was a requirement.  Unfortunately, the snow wasn’t ideal for snowball fights, being light and fluffy, but good fun was still had by all (2 kids + dog).  And when the snowball gun fails, a hand-packed snowball is a perfect substitute.

Marcus with the snowball gun

Marcus with the snowball gun

Jade making snowballs the old-fashioned way

Jade making snowballs the old-fashioned way

Meanwhile, the prerogative of the parent is to stay in the toasty warm house and indulge in baking.  I got a bread machine as a birthday present last year, and Tuesday was the perfect day to try out a recipe for chocolate challah.  I doubled the amount of chocolate chips the recipe called for (duh!), and the loaf received an enthusiastic thumbs up from the family.

Chocolate challah

Chocolate challah

The kids are now back in school (yay!) and enjoying their 2 day school week.

Hobbesian Choice

We were presented with the dilemma of the following choices:  (i) 7 5th grade boys (10-11 years old) at a black tie event for Children’s National Medical Center; and (ii) 20 8th grade girls (13-14 years old) at a Taylor Swift concert.

As a practical matter, there was no choice in the matter.  Jim is Chair of CNMC, so his presence was a requirement at the Children’s Ball.  Fortunately, I enjoy Taylor Swift’s music, and the concert was quite fun.  As it turned out, a great time was had by the boys, who all cleaned up quite nicely.

Children's Ball 2013

Children’s Ball 2013

And a fabulous time was had by all the girls.

Taylor Swift concert 2013

Taylor Swift concert 2013

The only complaint I had was that I had underestimated the frequency and pitch of the squealing by 8th grade girls.  My eardrums may never be the same!