When was the last time you thought about Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is one of those states that you don't really think about until you have to. Not that it's unpleasant in any way, it's just... there. Kelsie and Jake are there now so I've thought about Rhode Island a lot more recently than I ever have. Last Saturday Jake called me and offered to fly me out to play with Kels and the kids, on Sunday. So I made the impromptu trip across the country and had oodles of East coast fun.

Monday we were in Providence (that's the capitol of Rhode Island, you know) and I fell head over heels for the Brown University campus.

Tuesday me and Kelsie stayed the night in Boston. It smells just like Seattle. We had dinner on the wharf and got lost looking for somewhere, I don't remember where now. But on the way we accidentally ended up driving through Harvard and by MIT. Not as neat as Brown. Boston has a cool urban feel.

Wednesday morning waded in the Atlantic ocean and again accidentally ended up at Plymouth Rock. I guess it's not really a rock and it's not really the first place the pilgrims landed. Or so says the lady we met from Cape Cod.

Here's Kelsie puking all over the ridiculous traffic in Massachusetts. Still, somehow the GPS in the car always reported that our destination was about 7 minutes away.


Rob's 50th Birthday Mexican Pirate Luau

This blog post is written assuming all readers know Uncle Rob. If you don't, it doesn't make as much sense.

This year was Rob's 50th birthday. For anyone 50 is a big year, most especially for Rob, who keeps his mustache full so that he looks older (it works for Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, it can work for him). This has also been a big summer for Rob because he moved out of the Knudson house (where he has lived for probably 16 of the last 20 odd years) to the Hyde house in Fallon, NV. Fallon sits at the west end of the Loneliest Road in America, where moving eastward, the closest town (Austin, NV) is 110 miles away. (We drove the less lonely I-80 to hwy 95 route and it was pretty grim except for Wendover and Elko. I can only imagine). It has a strong Air Force presence (as well as alleged cancer-causing residue from nuclear testing nearby), signs at the city's edge advertising the dozens of local churches (aka these are God-fearing folk) and is a refreshingly pleasant oasis in the desolate Nevada desert. I have lots of fond memories at the Hyde's house, playing in the dirtiest neck of the Carson River and pretending I lived real farm life because I helped gather the chicken eggs and sometimes stepped in dried-up horse poop.

Anyway, Robbie is adjusting to the new scenery so to help him with the transition we planned the party. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to just be a regular luau (lei's and inflatable palm trees) but somehow we ended up with Cafe Rio pulled pork salads and a ridiculous pirate treasure hunt in search of all Rob's presents. We swam, we played, we ate and ate and ate. Everything a family reunion should be.

I don't have any great pictures, but here's the family after the treasure hunt.

PS My family is totally rad.