Monday, October 12, 2015

Pumpkins...Again...

So, Saturday was my first 12-hour weekend workday in about 10 years.  This weekend was Meliora Weekend, a reunion/homecoming hybrid at the University of Rochester that brings anywhere from five to ten thousand people back to campus for four days of events.  We're pretty much all on the hook for a handful of shifts, and the coordination of the weekend is mind-boggling.  From staffing employees and student ambassadors to moving furniture around campus to furnish temporary spaces, the planning seems endless.  I did a couple shifts stuffing and organizing registration packets over the past week or two, and saw it all go into motion when I worked my first shift at our annual giving table on Friday.  It was inspiring to see excited alumni returning to campus.  I loved my alma mater, but when it comes to events like a reunion, there isn't really the same kind of draw.  Anyway, on Saturday I had three shifts--another hour at the table, four hours at a lecture series in the green room, and 4-5 hours as lead staff for a reunion dinner.  The dinner was an odd one because it was an event completely planned by someone else, yet I was running it.  The reunion staff plans a number of dinners, and most of them tend to fall on Saturday night yet they can't be at all of them at once.  As a result, they need to recruit competent people to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.  The hard work is done and it's mostly just an insurance policy against a major issue.  Since I had event experience from my days in sports, I got recruited.  In the end everything went well.  It was a very fun but very exhausting day, and my feet were absolutely killing me by the end.  But it was a gorgeous day to be out and about on campus, and I caught a few pictures I wanted to share. 
This is one of my favorite spots on campus, looking up the Eastman quad toward Rush Rhees Library.  I'd seen the view dozens of times in photos before working here, but when I saw it myself the first time a few months ago, I'll admit it was pretty breathtaking.

My dinner event was in that library, and I ran out during the cocktail hour to catch this shot from the library stairs.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  The shadowy shape is the Interfaith Chapel.

On my way out of the student union at the end of the night after dropping off my box of supplies at headquarters, I couldn't help but snap this shot.  I can't get enough of it. 
Anyway...after a terrible night of sleep thanks to Carter not sleeping well, we dragged ourselves out of bed for church.  We got there a few minutes late due to numerous hold-ups.  Carter was once again not thrilled to go to Sunday School.  Still, we all survived.  We ate a quick lunch at home and then headed out to The Garden Factory, our local indoor version of  a pumpkin patch.  They have rides, games, food, crafts, and lots of pumpkins!  I've taken Jacob there a couple times, mostly when weather has been an issue, but today was gorgeous!  We just needed to get pumpkins since we're a little short on time with the weekends leading up to Halloween.  I don't even know when we're going to figure out Jacob's costume.  I like going there because it's free admission and you only pay for the activities you want to do. 

It wouldn't be a trip there without a picture of one of the cutouts...

The boys checked out the race car...

...and Jacob made a snowman out of pumpkins...

Carter and I went in the petting zoo.  We saw a pig, who oinked at us!

There were goats and a sheep, and I even touched a lizard, which I'm not sure I've ever done.  It actually felt cool.  Carter just kept saying, "Yuck!"

Then there were these white chickens with funny hairdos :)

Oh, and this giant turkey flared his tail as we were looking at him.  Really impressive, though I wonder if that is a defense mechanism....

There were really soft bunnies, as well as two super cute alpacas.  They were really soft, too.

Jacob and Craig went into a light show, and I tried to get some pictures of Carter.  I've gotten some cute ones of Jacob here before, so it seemed like the tradition needed to continue...

Mission accomplished :)


Jacob opted to forgo any further activities to get a slushie (which, of course, he later tried to go back on), and while he sipped that, Carter changed his ride of choice from the merry-go-round to a ferris wheel.  Of course, before that we also tried to go on a miniature version of a super slide, and he refused to go alone once we were up top (and then got stuck when trying to go back down because it was basically a one-way stairway).  But he loved the ferris wheel...even if you can't tell from the picture.

Once we finished our activities, we turned our attention to finding pumpkins.  The boys were not particularly cooperative, so in the end I picked out a couple--one big one and one little one.  Right before we headed out, though, Jacob offered to pose for a picture! 

And by some miracle, after that we got both boys smiling in one shot...

At least we got it done, and I think the boys had fun, too.  Luckily Sunday was not our last day of the weekend.  Both boys are off for Columbus Day, and I had taken off as a result.  Then Craig ended up getting it off, too, so today is a bonus family day for us, one last hurrah before Craig's knee surgery on Wednesday.  Let's hope we can squeeze in some fun and really celebrate the gorgeous weather!

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