I had the pleasure of spending FIVE WHOLE WEEKS at home with my parents this summer. I haven't had a summer vacation for years and years. Come to think of it, I haven't spent that amount of time in Erie in the summer since freshman year of college, and I had forgotten how beautiful it is there. I am definitely a city person for now, but everything was sooo green. I did yardwork. I couldn't get away from nature if I had wanted to- which I only did once. I kid you not, I saw a bear in our backyard. I don't have a photo to prove it, but my parents live walking distance from Fairview High School and this video is from the loading dock behind the gym there. Same bear. Probably.
Oh, also (as I mentioned in my acknowledgments) I was able to celebrate my parent's 37th wedding anniversary with Barb and Mike.
Some of you may know of (and regularly ridicule me for) my coolest summer job ever: ride operator at Waldameer Park and Water World. I want to say once and for all, it's NOT a carnival (Mary). Carnivals travel. This place is not going anywhere- it's legendary. For those of you out there who have not tasted the pleasure of a day in Waldameer, I think you're best bet of understanding what employment there looks like is to watch Adventureland, which just happens to star my girl crush Kristen Stewart, and one of my many boy crushes, Ryan Reynolds. Here is the trailer. Same clown-face trashcans, same borderline predatory maintenance guy (love you, Ryan), same rides (Wipeout). Seriously, the movie was filmed in our 'rival' park, Kenneywood near Pittsburgh.
I can operate every ride in this photo:
In fact, one evening I got home from a 10-hour day on the ferris wheel and couldn't sleep becacuse I had become convinced I left someone at the top when I locked everything down.
Erie in the summer offers the rare opportunity to pull out the old uniform, visit Walda, and indulge my inner-child. This summer the opportunity came in the form of my friend Tony's company picnic. A few friends (Jesse, his sister Lori and her son Caden) and I joined Tony and his daughter, Kyarra, to eat under the pavilion and share good times. Kyarra realllllly liked the scrambler and had no trouble making friends on the boats in kiddie land (Hi Kyarra! I miss you tons!):
Now, I can admit to being concerned that five weeks (three of which I spent worried that I might not actually get in to grad school) living in my parents house after years of living on my own in Boston might grow old. Sure enough, there were moments where I missed the liberties that come hand-in-hand with having your own lease. They were few, but when they snuck up on me I was fortunate to have some fabulous hometown friends to hang with. A special thanks to Holly, Jill, Ashley, Tony, Tom, and Jesse for helping me revisit 2001. Kim, Steph, Derek, and Andrew- the Lord made our paths cross for a fleeting moment in the land of our roots, and what a beautiful moment it was.
Holly and I spent some QT at her dad's pool (we call him Sensae). When we put on Avril Lavigne I was immediately transported back to 2003, only Holly's pregnant now and I was drinking beer.
So that's a little about how I spent my summer vacation. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the hippie music festival I went to with the guys, or kayaking on Presque Isle with Jill and Ashley (although I still have the mosquito bite scars from camping and the blister scars from the kayak paddle. I can show you those if you want. Gross.) I've been back in Boston since August 6th to babysit a little, tie up loose ends, and say my goodbyes. Then it's off to NYC for a visit with my friend Steph before I fly to Tel Aviv (!!!). Because she is a friend who grew up with me in Erie I feel comfortable posting a picture of her in this post. Just cause we're so cute. Boston/NYC updates to come :)