August 2017: The Bay and The Beach, Trip to Michigan, The Canada Side of Niagara Falls, A Total Eclipse of the Sun, Haircuts

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Most of our time at the beach this year was in the later 1/2 of the summer

Here we are with the family yacht on the Chesapeake Bay

Anya Floats.  We all float here.

Sasha digs a hole for herself

Anya cups some castles

I think this was our only visit to the bay this year!

Moving on to the ocean

This day we chose our spot because there was cool beach band having a hootenanny right behind us!

Beach Band Video

Waves Video 1

Waves Video 2

Waves Video 3

Waves Video 4

Waves Video 5

Waves Video 6

Sasha, Anya and Holly head out on their summer visit to Michigan

Arrival at Grandma's house


Sylvia, Sasha and Anna: The Teenagers

Water balloon fight on the trampoline!  What could be safer?


Trampoline Video 1

Trampoline Video 2


Relocating to the other trampoline

Anna flips out

Playing Dixit or something

At the family gaming table

Anya prepares for the free corn-a-copia

All the cousins are ready too!  Free Corn!

The rest of the family assembles for the Mint Parade

Chair women of the parade

Both sides of the street are covered

First responders go first!  Seems fair.

The Lord Marshall and some Minty Princesses

Pardon, I mean "Royalty" and of course...  The Honorable Mint-toad!

Bands chasing after rolling diners

Horses chasing colonials

Old timey cars chasing horses

An elderly man mowing his lawn swerves out into the parade and targets "The Girls Who Wear Red Cowboy Hats" association

Elite dancers protest the atrocities of Columbus

The Mello Tones set a strangely agitated vibe and only another big flag can soothe the crowd

The town corvette and the marching band that accompanies the corvette everywhere it goes in town

The many, many hearses of St. Johns

I also call bullshit on "5 cent" rides, seems like a scam to me

One of the superstitious town folk attempts to offer her baby as a sacrifice to the Monsters Inc, to satisfy their hunger for the screams of children

The perplexed onlookers continue to feign interest

We don't know who Miss Curwood is or what festival she represents, but they are about to find out the hard way that the St Johns Mint Festival does not share the spotlight

OMG!  The corn guy!   

Two crazed Abraham Lincolns attack a kid in a go cart while a gaggle of Dairy Princesses do absolutely nothing to stop them

That old time car that Jeff has waited for the entire parade to see! 

2 Cobs of corn.  Was it worth it?  Historians will puzzle over that for years to come. 

Anya brandishes the weapon she bought at the Mint Festival 


The family food pantry is stocked

The children excitedly text each other that something is about to happen IRL!

More family members gather


Prizes and snacks?  That can only mean...


Bingo!  You guessed it!  Bingo!

The high stakes games begin... or end.  I'm not sure when this photo was taken.


Jeff adds some coke to his tumbler of rum, Anya get's faced.


Bowls of stuff and plates of watermelons are passed.

Surprise Birthday Party!

A PBS Re-Enactment of Anya & Sasha's 1st Birthday: Ken Burns style!


"July 2004 or 2008, Dearest husband, we celebrated the baby's first birthdays today.  The riced crispied treats were offered in the stead of cake."

"Anya rejoiced at a card that included a comical birthday wish, while Sasha unwrapped the journal of a depressed teen tormented of lies and sin."

"The journal was inscribed, so the gift could be remembered beyond this merry day."


"Deep thoughts and smiles betrayed a growing sense of unease, that was upon all of the nation at this time dark time in history."

"Yet we carry on.  With gifted card vouchers and boxes of slime, until we are once again in your good company.  Lovingly...  your wife, Holly."

Iced creams!

At the dairy store.

A cup and a cone!

Portraits at the Portrait wall


A random cache of Pusheens

Anya tries out all the chairs on the porch


Chair.  Swing.

Back to chair.  The others gather.

For a good olde fashioned porch sittin

Talking about good times

Throwing up gang signs at passers by

The children retire to the trampoline

Jeff gets some quality time at his lookin spot

Tess scooter bombs the photo

Anya wanders the rooms sampling everybody's drinks

Back home in Virginia Beach Alan wanders around Mt. Trashmore at dusk, then watches TV with Hospy

Saying goodbye...

Why is it sad...

Makes us remember ...

the good times we had...


Arrival at Grandma & Grandpa Wiseman's house!

Checking out the scootability of the Warren sidewalks

They are scootable!

Anya performs some of her routine

Posing with her ride

Exploring the grounds

Daddy needs Hot Chips

The Family head down to the chip factory

A D.A.Y and the D.I.A.

Getting excited for art!

Or stairs.  Art or stairs.



Visiting the dead

Detroit's oldest cemetery

Elmwood.  Includes notables like Lewis Cass - A General and Expansionist ( See They Might Be Giants "James.K. Polk"

A fluffy smiley dog stops by


He works as a pilllow

Loading Anya in the van.   Bye Bye!

Eclipse watch 8/20/2017...  Still no eclipse.

The welcoming signs of Canada! 

Sasha and Anya hit the final country on their 2017 North American Tour! 

You can see Seattle from Niagara?  That's quite a view! 

First look at the Falls 

The boatloads of refugees escaping to Canada are more overcrowded every day.  Sad.   


An atmospheric "Bowed Rain" phenomena 

Niagara Video 1

Anya enjoys the danger 

Tourists right on the edge 

Niagara Video 2

Heading into town 

A fancy mall with a steampunk fountain

Fountain Video 4

Fountain Video 5

Fountain Video 6


Sasha toasts danger

Niagara Video 7

8/21/17 Total Eclipse Day! 

But not in Canada 

They don't call the eclipses there 

In Canada it's an.... Eh? Clips?  Take off you hoser! 

Pondering nature 

Niagara Video 3

Time to put those eclipse glasses to use! 

Anya gets first peek 

The view without or with the glasses 


Look at that moon, getting all in the suns face! 


Anya witness to the glory of the celestial majesty.  Sasha drinks a slurpee. 

ok... back to Niagara 

Rainbows continue despite the sun being 60% blocked! 

OMG!  Candy!!!!!!! 


Need to see the falls from a higher perspective 

Heading up the incline 

There, that's better! 

The view from on high 

This lamp gets to see the falls every day!  No fair! 

Way up high now 

From the observation tower 

You can see all the way to The United States! 

Horseshoe Falls indeed! 

Those Canadians call it like they see it! 

The last photos of The Hornblower before they met their watery fate 

As seen in this photo without the Hornblower.  Sasha and Anya pause, respectfully, for a moment of silence. 

A doomed rescue mission follows by the Maid of the Mist. 

Anya gets buff from climbing up all these stairs to see the falls from different angles 

Anya takes a mental snapshot of the falls.  Ooooh!  A carnival! 


Back in the hotel. 


Goodbye Canada! 

Eclipse 2017: The Time Lapse Video

Earlier the same day.   

In a totally different country. 

Alan watches the total eclipse from home 

None of the photos really capture it 

My eclipse glasses were very popular with the neighbors 

Everyone came out to look at it 


Landscapers and even the mailman came over to see 

Not very elcipsy 

But something is happening 

I suppose at the very least I got some nice random photos of the sun.  Mission Accomplished. 

Back to School Haircuts to finish off the summer.  Anya got the "Ghost in the Shell" 



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