Wild Weekend Shenanigans

Posted on

Actually, that’s a lie.

Sorry.

There wasn’t anything particularly wild about my weekend, but I think that was exactly what I needed. Mostly the weekend was spent catching up on housework, sleep and a little bit of farm work. I know it doesn’t sound like a fabulous way to spend a weekend, but it really was. It’s been such a crazy-busy summer that it was nice to have a weekend where there just wasn’t much going on.

Friday night, Mr. B caught up on sleep after a crazy work week, and I caught up on my blog reading. Saturday morning we did a few chores, and then took the boat to the river to listen to The Clarks perform a free show at a local waterfront park. Unlike our usual boating shenanigans, it was pretty laid back. I think everyone is worn out from an on-the-go summer.

ClarksRiverConcert

It was a great time – like a much smaller and calmer version of Kenny on the boat.

Yesterday, Mr. B worked on his truck and finished up some farm work while I cleaned the house and did all the laundry. HA. Sike. I watched Vampire Diaries on Netflix. But I totally thought about cleaning the house and washing clothes, so it counts, right?

We were, it appears, the only people in America who didn’t watch the VMAs last night. Instead, we made popcorn and watched Slums of Beverly Hills.

WeekendPopcornJoey

Joey loves him some popcorn. He doesn’t even need to hear the popping to come running anymore. He knows whats going on as soon as we pull the popcorn popper out of the cabinet.

No worries, I kept tabs on the VMAs thanks to everyone on Twitter last night (which may have been more entertaining than actually watching the awards myself), and caught up on the rest of what I missed this morning.

Since this was such a boring weekend recap with a lying title, here’s a little tune from The Clarks to make up for it. If you have no idea who The Clarks are, that’s probably because they are a local band legend – they’ve been performing all over Pittsburgh since before I was even born and they are awesome.

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans.

Sami's Shenanigans
What did you guys get into this weekend?
Signature

Best Summer Ever…And Then He Left Us

Posted on

You know what was awesome about this summer? Well, a lot of things actually, but one big really fabulous thing…that ended today.

My cousin Nate visited. For the whole summer. And he left today, which means (A) no more hanging out with Nate and (B) summer is over. BOOO.

See, when we were younger, Nate and his brother (Tyler), sister (Dani)(my mini-me) and their parents lived a happy 10 minutes away. Then, 5 years ago, as Nate (the oldest) was entering high school, they moved. To the other side of the country. Also known as Utah. And we haven’t seen much of them since which, frankly, sucks.

This summer though, after his freshman year at ASU, Nate came back to the ‘Burgh for three whole months. We got to see him all the time and it was fabulous. But today, he left to go pursue something ridiculous like a “college degree”. Pfft.

So in honor of Nateman leaving us, I’m going to stop crying and blubbering about how life isn’t fair and show you all some photos of our summer with the bearded wonder:

He's the brilliant-looking one in black.

He’s the brilliant-looking one in black.

 

NateTractor

 

 

I love handing my camera over to him. He does cool ish like this.

I love handing my camera over to him. He does cool ish like this.

 

That's him, flying through the air.

That’s him, flying through the air.

 

Clearly he spent most of the summer hard at work.

Clearly, he spent most of the summer hard at work.

 

Clearly.

Clearly.

 

He participated in the water activities.

He participated in the water activities.

 

NateSki

 

But he didn't show off or anything.

But he didn’t show off or anything.

 

He spent quality time with his cousin.

He spent quality time with his cousin.

 

And his aunt and uncle.

And his aunt and uncle.

 

He practiced his "mean mugging".

He practiced his “mean mugging”.

 

He showed off his good looks...

And he even showed off his good looks…

 

 

...and incredible fashion sense.

…and incredible fashion sense.

We already miss you so much, Nate! Thank you so much for spending the summer with us, it was amazing! Good luck at school, we know you will kick some academic ass!

NateRope

 

Signature


Wordless Weekend Recap

Posted on

Ever have a day where words just…aren’t working?  It’s not an unproductive day by any means, but the moment you open your mouth you fail to make any sense so it’s best to just keep your mouth shut and go about your day so people aren’t subjected to stuttering, “uhh”s and run-on sentences? Yup.

So, in honor of my useless vocabulary, here’s a weekend recap comprised of lots of photos and not many words.

The 'Burgh.

The ‘Burgh.

The rope swing.

The rope swing.

The monkeys.

The monkeys.

The vessel.

The vessel.

The captain.

The captain.

The pallet-scavenger.

The pallet-scavenger.

The grandparents.

The grandparents.

The goal <3

The goal.

 

Did everyone have a good weekend? Are you able to properly articulate it?

Signature

 

 

 


More Vacation Pictures (And Why We All Got Fried To A Crisp)

Posted on

If you stopped by yesterday, you know that the entire week that we were in Clarksville, VA the weather was amazing. Sunny and scorching hot – perfect boating weather. So it’s really no surprise that a few (ok, one) full day on the water would leave us all a little crispy. Fortunately, we were wise enough to pop down to Food Lion and stock up on SPF 50. (If you know my family, you know that’s huge. We all tan easily and rarely burn, especially in the middle of July, so we rarely use anything stronger than SPF 15. SPF 30 max, and that’s only when we are reintroducing our skin to the sun after a long Pittsburgh winter. Please save the sunscreen preaching…I know.) We all made sure to reapply liberally and often the rest of the week, and by the time we got home, most of our burns had mellowed to a golden tan or slight pink. And honestly, with stuff like this in our backyard, how could we not spend the whole week outside??

Despite how gorgeous it was, we spent most of the week with this view of the house. My parents brought their pontoon boat and jet skis, and Mr. B and I took our boat, so everyone spent most of their time in or on the water.

Despite how gorgeous it was, we spent most of the week with this view of the house. My parents brought their pontoon boat and jet skis, and Mr. B and I took our boat, so everyone spent most of their time in or on the water.

 

Joey joined us on the boat most days. He preferred the relaxed atmosphere of the pontoon. He curled up in the shade and napped.

Joey joined us on the boat most days. He preferred the relaxed atmosphere of the pontoon. He curled up in the shade and napped. He was in heaven.

 

We spent a lot of time relaxing in a few of the many little coves.

We spent a lot of time relaxing in a few of the many little coves…

 

...and in the middle of the lake on some of the most beautiful water I've ever seen.

…and in the middle of the lake on some of the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen.

 

Even Joey enjoyed floating around.

Even Joey enjoyed floating around.

 

The guys did a little fishing. My brother caught a nice this nice bass...

The guys did a little fishing. My brother caught a this nice bass…

 

...and Mr. B caught some catfish that my brother fried up for dinner.

…and Mr. B caught some catfish that my brother fried up for dinner.

 

It was delicious. Even my dad - who claims he hates seafood so much that he hadn't eaten any in 45 years - tried it. He liked it so much he went back for seconds.

It was delicious. Even my dad – who claims he hates seafood so much that he hadn’t eaten any in 45 years – tried it. He liked it so much he went back for seconds.

 

We explored the lake a bit and found the (huge) dam...

We explored the lake a bit and found the (huge) dam…

 

...and on the North Carolina side of the lake we found this cute little beach where we stopped to have a picnic.

…and on the North Carolina side of the lake we found this cute little beach where we stopped to have a picnic.

 

Everyone had a blast with the jet skis, especially Mr. B. This was the first time I'd really seen him cut loose on one, he's crazy!

Everyone had a blast with the jet skis, especially Mr. B. This was the first time I’d really seen him cut loose on one, he’s crazy!

 

They even used the jet ski to pull Mr. B on a wakeboard. Everyone reported back that it's much easier on a boat - for both the driver and the boarder.

They even used the jet ski to pull Mr. B on a wakeboard. Everyone reported back that it’s much easier on a boat – for both the driver and the boarder.

 

And of course, there was a lot of tubing and wakeboarding. You know, because we weren't sore enough from the sunburns.

And of course, there was a lot of tubing and wakeboarding. You know, because we weren’t sore enough from the sunburns.

There was also a lot of eating. My parents’ boat has a grill, which was super handy. Plus, my brother is a chef. He didn’t do a ton of cooking but he did make us some delicious roasted chicken one night, and his salsa verde was ahhh-mazing. Weirdly, it’s great on top of a hamburger. I didn’t get any pictures of that though because I was too busy stuffing my face. Oops.

 


Vacation Recap (And Why We Should Have Stayed At The Lake)

Posted on

Happy hump day! I can’t believe this week is only half over. It hasn’t been a good one.

We got home from the lake on Saturday, unpacked and vegged out on the couch because that’s really all we had the energy for. We woke up Sunday morning to find that the pump that brings the water up from our well had crapped out. So we spent all day finding/picking up/installing a new pump. It was gross and expensive. Then on Monday, the dryer died. Mr. B’s appliance-repairman uncle came yesterday and determined that it was beyond repair. Freakin’ awesome. So I am now researching and hunting down a new dryer that doesn’t cost a million dollars but will last longer than 3 years. Can anyone recommend a good gas dryer? I will love you forever if you can point me in the right direction because I’m clueless.

Anywhooo, let’s pretend I’m still on vacation. Because really, we never should have come home.

Ten of us spent a week at a lake house in Clarksville, VA on Kerr Lake, which is also known as Buggs Island Lake. Kerr Lake is a huge man-made reservoir with 800 miles of shoreline that covers more than 50,000 acres. It straddles Virginia and North Carolina. Clarksville is the tiny, adorable town on the water. We had amazing weather, it was sunny and 90+ every day, with only one passing thundershower, and the water was 80 degrees. We really couldn’t have asked for better boating weather. I didn’t use my beach towel all week; it was so hot that it felt good to air dry. I love warm weather, so I was a happy camper.

Ok, now that we’ve got those boring details out of the way, here are some pictures:

The beautiful house we rented.

The beautiful house we rented.

 

It looked much bigger from the back. Isn't that deck amazing?!

It looked much bigger from the back. Isn’t that deck amazing?!

 

There was a short, wooded path to a private dock. It was so pretty!

There was a short, wooded path to a private dock. It was so pretty!

 

The lake was high, so we had to wade to the dock. It was less of a pain in the ass than I'd imagined. Plus, the water level dropped as the week went on, so by the time we left it wasn't even knee-high.

The lake was high, so we had to wade to the dock. It was less of a pain in the ass than I’d imagined. Plus, the water level dropped as the week went on, so by the time we left it wasn’t even knee-high.

 

The house was situated on a wildlife reserve, so we had this bald eagle as a neighbor. We could watch him from the dock, it was pretty amazing.

The house was situated on a wildlife reserve, so we had this bald eagle as a neighbor. We could watch him from the dock, it was pretty awesome.

 

There was a small orchard down the road, complete with grape vines, pear trees, and what we can only assume is a homemade lawn ornament.

There was a small orchard down the road, complete with grape vines, pear trees, and what we can only assume is a homemade lawn ornament.

 

The town of Clarksville is so quaint and cute. This is a view of it from the water.

The town of Clarksville is so quaint and cute. This is a view of it from the water.

 

It's even cute at night.

It’s even cute at night.

 

 

This old tobacco warehouse in the middle of town is now used as boat storage in the off-season.

This old tobacco warehouse in the middle of town is now used as boat storage in the off-season. (Sidenote: it looks like my dad is acting as a tour guide here, but I think he was just pointing to the liquor store next door.)

 

This cute little antique store was run by the sweetest old lady, who was probably older than most of the treasures she sold.

This cute little antique store was run by the sweetest old lady, who was probably older than most of the treasures she sold.

 

We found an amazing little B&B/restaurant/wine bar where we had dinner on the patio. If you ever visit Clarksville, you have to stop at Cooper's landing. The food was delish and the patio was beautiful.

We found an amazing little B&B/restaurant/wine bar where we had dinner on the patio. If you ever visit Clarksville, you have to stop at Cooper’s Landing. The food was delish, the service was excellent, and the patio was gorgeous.

 

 

Every year near the end of July, Clarksville hosts Lakefest. Here, everyone is gathering in the thrift store parking lot to enjoy some live music and carnival food.

Every year near the end of July, Clarksville hosts Lakefest. Here, everyone is gathering in the thrift store parking lot to enjoy some live music and carnival food.

 

There is even a little carnival for Lakefest. Without exaggeration, this is the entire thing.

There is even a little carnival for Lakefest. Without exaggeration, this is the entire thing.

 

And obviously, since this was a family vacation, we had to take the requisite matching-shirt-family-photo.

And obviously, since this was a family vacation, we had to take the requisite matching-shirt-family-photo.

We had a great time exploring the little town, but we spent most of our time on the lake. Come back tomorrow to see all the fun we had on the water 🙂


I Need a Vacation to Recover From My Vacation

Posted on

I’m baaaaack! I’ve been unexpectedly cut off from the internet/world for a full week. It was kind of awesome, and I expected to come back today all rejuvenated with a let’s-take-on-the-world attitude. Instead, I am exhausted. Seriously, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.

See, in my head it was all relaxing. Chilling on a boat, floating peacefully in the water, enjoying a nice, cold adult beverage…all that jazz.

RelaxingLakeVacation

 

And yeah, there was some of that, but there was also a whole bunch of water sports. We played on the jet skis, the wakeboards, the kneeboard and the tube…

Tubing

 

Which was SO much fun. Then this happened:

tubingcollage

 

That jackass clapping is my little brother. Clearly he enjoyed my…umm…dismount.

But let’s take a closer look at that top photo for a moment, shall we?

Tubing1zoom

Tubing1zoom3

 

Tubing1zoom4

 

Despite the concerned look on my face, it really was a lot of fun. I hadn’t been on a tube in years, and every inch of my body felt it afterward. And when combined with the wickedly painful face-plant that I accomplished on the wakeboard (which, sadly, was not caught on camera), I was sore and worn the eff out. So those pictures that look like I’m lazily basking in the sun? They are actually pictures of me recuperating/apologizing to my body/wondering when I started to feel so freaking old.

RecoveringRelaxing

 

Did everyone have a good week/weekend? What did I miss?? I have so much to catch up on in blogland!


The Best Laid Plans…

Posted on

So if you are paying attention to this blog at all, you know I just made a big fuss about being a better blogger and blogging every day. And here it is, Tuesday, and I’m posting for the first time this week. I really had every intention of posting all week, even though I’m on vacation. I’m just that dedicated.

Knowing that we wouldn’t have internet service at the lake house, I called the good people at Verizon and upped my data plan for the month. Since Mr. B and I visited the same lake last year and had no cell service issues at all, I figured I’d just make my phone a hot spot when I wanted to make an appearance in internetland. I had it all figured out. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at the house and my cell phone had little-to-no service. We have enough service to text, but calls drop and there’s certainly not enough service to connect to the internet. 

Oh well, not a huge deal. The house is amazing, the lake is fabulous, and everyone is having a splendid time! Plus, there’s a fast food joint 6 miles down the road where I can sip iced coffee and blog away. The point of the story is that I will not be as consistent this week as I would have hoped. Not the end of the world, and I plan to be back on track next week, I promise. 

I’m also not living up to my blogging resolutions today because I don’t have many images. I forgot my camera on the boat, so I’ll have to show you how pretty everything is another day. But I can show you this gem, a cell phone selfie of Joey and I as we arrived at the lake after a long night of sleeping and driving:

 RoadTripSelfie

 Joey was not quite as enthusiastic about our arrival as I was. I think he was sick of being in the car. We drove through the night Friday and arrived Saturday morning. The rest of the family trickled in Saturday and Sunday and we all spent yesterday on the lake. Despite hearty amounts of sunscreen and the fact that none of us are strangers to the sun, most of us are already fried. I am sporting a bright red nose and Mr. B is the proud owner of a tomato-hued forehead. My poor brother is downright crispy and is sore from head to toe. Since it is going to be a sunny 94 degrees today, we will be rocking a higher SPF and spending more time in the shade. Well, that will be the goal anyway. But you can’t wakeboard, tube, jet ski or swim in the shade, so we’ll see how that goes. 

 


It’s What We Do

Posted on

Since we will be spending the next week on the boat, Mr. B and I thought it was time to name the new boat. We’d already picked out a name – It’s What We Do – but we needed to get the lettering made and attached to the back of the boat. So this morning, I hauled it down to Mr. B’s uncle, the sign maker. Uncle Dave and I spent a few minutes talking about what we wanted, where to put it and picking out colors before he set off to work. An hour two hours later, this was the final product:

BoatName

 

You can’t tell because of the shadowy photo, but the colors in the name match the color of the boat perfectly. Isn’t it pretty? I’m thrilled with how it turned out, it’s exactly what we wanted! And it was so cool to watch him make and apply it. It went on in layers. Continue reading »


Ugh. This Is One Rough Monday.

Posted on

It’s Monday.

The Monday after 4th of July weekend.

I’m a master of the obvious aren’t I? Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing I’m mastering today. I’m in desperate need of a nap and getting as little done as humanly possible. Which is a bad, bad thing since I didn’t get anything accomplished the last 4 days and Mr. B and I are leaving for a week-long vacay this weekend. I really should be more concerned about all the crap that I’m not getting done. I’m just too useless to even care today.

So why am I so worthless today? Let’s see…too much sun, too much Corona, and not enough sleep. Oh, yeah, and I’m covered in bruises because I am the clumsiest person ever and kept falling off of boats and hurting myself. (Notice the plural “boats”? I fell off of two different boats in a matter of 3 minutes. I’m that graceful.) I’m not complaining though, because it was a fabulous weekend! 

Do you guys remember the movie Heavyweights? Remember how it totally made you want to go to fat camp so you could get launched into the lake by the blob? (Admit it, you know you did.) Well folks, childhood dreams do come true.

blob1

blob2

 

Yeah, that’s a water trampoline attached to it. You know how nice it is to lay down on a trampoline and relax in the backyard? It’s even better on the water.

In addition to bouncing around on inflatables, I also got to spend quality time with my guy,

MrB4thofJuly

and the stubby-legged little puppy.

JoeyBoat4th

 

 

Of course, we did a lot of other fun things that I didn’t get photos of. We did all kinds of water sports, drank beer in the rain, visited with friends and family and enjoyed every last minute of it. The one thing we didn’t get to do was watch fireworks. Mr. B had to work early Friday and Saturday mornings, so we didn’t stick around late enough for that part of the festivities. It’s probably for the best. If I’m so sleep-deprived now, I can only imagine how awful I would feel with 2 more late nights in the mix.

What did you do to celebrate ‘Merica’s birthday? Did you have a fabulous weekend? Are you getting anything done today??


Kenny On The Boat

Posted on

Happy Wednesday, friends! How was your weekend? Mine was wayyy too much fun, which is why a blog post didn’t happen Monday. I had too much to do, and not nearly enough energy to do it. You know, recovery mode. And then yesterday, I had major internet issues that I’m not even going to get into because I’m sure you don’t want to hear a rant about how our internet provider sucks balls and we have no other options because they are the only game in town. Yeah.

Anyway, this weekend was one of my favorite summer activities: Kenny on the Boat. What the hell is that, you ask? Well, allow me to explain…

For the past few years, Kenny Chesney has come to Pittsburgh on his summer tours, and every year it is a huge deal. I don’t know if his concerts are so popular in other cities, but in the ‘Burgh, it’s big. People flock to the venue, not just for the music, but for the massive party. Tons of people who don’t even tickets come just to tailgate. And ever since they moved the concert to Heinz Field, the party spills over from the parking lot, to the river. Days (sometimes a week or so) before the concert, boats start lining up, reserving good party spots in the river.

This was the scene Friday morning, the day before the concert.

This was the scene Friday morning, the day before the concert.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Pittsburgh, I should explain that it is famous for our three rivers. The point where the Allegheny River meets the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River is known simply as “The Point”. Heinz Field is located along water at The Point.

Because the stadium opens up to the water, you can usually hear the concert from the boats, but that is only part of the lure. This year, thanks to an unfortunately-placed canopy, we couldn’t hear the music as well as we’d hoped. No worries though, as it was still a beautiful day and super-fun crowd. Really, a lot of people just use the concert as an excuse to get together and enjoy the river (or tailgate, as there is one heck of a party in the parking lot before this particular concert).

Several of our friends joined us, some bringing their own boats, some hitching a ride on on of the half-dozen or so nautical vessels we trekked to the city. My parents loaded up their new pontoon boat and joined us for their first ever Kenny On The Boat experience. My cousin and her husband even came in from Buffalo for the weekend. It was a great group of people; everyone had a blast together. I’m so thankful to have such awesome friends and family.

This year, we didn’t just hit the river for the concert on Saturday. We ventured downtown on Friday to get in a little extra river time and to check out a “beach bar” we’d heard about down the Ohio River. It was a blast. We ate a bunch, drank too much and partied the night away. Who knew Pittsburgh had a beach bar?? Not this girl. But it rocked, and we will definitely be returning.

Mr. B, enjoying the shade and a cold beer before heading to the beach bar.

Mr. B, enjoying the shade and a cold beer before heading to the beach bar.

On Saturday, we had a full day of fun and sun. We cruised up to my parents’ marina, played on the water a little bit, then went to Station Square for dinner before tying up to enjoy the festivities and music.  

Our view from the river once the concert began. This is only a small fraction of the boats; they were spread out in every direction, so it was impossible to get a shot of them all!

Our view from the river once the concert began. This is only a small fraction of the boats; they were spread out in every direction, so it was impossible to get a shot of them all!

Even though it was difficult to hear the concert, we still had a great time. The company was awesome, the beers were cold and the view was spectacular.

Such a pretty city

Such a pretty city

All in all, I’d say our 3rd Annual Kenny On The Boat was a success! I can’t wait to do it again next year!*

 

*Though, to all my fellow Kenny-On-The-Boat-ers, maybe next year a trip to the beach bar and the Kenny concert could happen on different weekends? I feel so old saying this, but I can’t hang like I used to! The recovery process kicked my azz. Monday suckkkked.