Monday, July 16, 2018

Stone Mountain Park Atlanta, Georgia



It was Memorial Day Weekend and the Mets were playing against the Braves in Atlanta, Georgia.  We have passed through Georgia many times on our way to visit my parents in Florida, but we never stopped, besides for when we needed gas or to use their restrooms.  We like rooting on the Mets when they are away because we get to check out a new stadium and a new city.  (Now that we live in North Carolina it is easier to see them away (Atlanta or DC) rather than going all the way to NY.) Since the Mets were playing on Memorial Day we figured we would get to Atlanta on Sunday and leave on Tuesday and make a mini vacation out of our road trip.  We wanted to finally stay awhile in Georgia  and since it was Memorial Day Weekend, we hoped to find a Memorial Day celebration

I did some research before we left and found Stone Mountain on many of the Top Things To Do In Atlanta lists.  I also found out that Stone Mountain was a monadnock which is an "isolated rock hill, knob, ridge or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level plain."  On this mountain is an enormous carving which is really impressive, but unfortunately, controversial at the same time.  It depicts Confederate figures Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on their horses.  We chose not to think too much about the people on the wall and more about the people who carved it, the largest sculpture of it's kind in the world.  It was interesting to find out that the first person to work on the carving was Gutzon Borglum.   He abandoned the project and later went on to begin Mount Rushmore.   It took the talents of two other men and many years to finally finish this project.  It really is an amazing sculpture.


Since we were going to get to Atlanta late in the afternoon on Sunday that didn't leave much time for sightseeing.  We decided that we would spend our first day in Georgia just at Stone Mountain.  There is an amusement park here and they were having a Memorial Day light festival in the evening so there was plenty to do to keep us entertained for the rest of the day.  We got the full park ticket that got us admittance to all the rides (except Ride the Ducks) and entertainment ($31.95)  We also paid an extra $3.00 per ticket which got us dinner and endless fountain drinks.  Of course dinner was the usual amusement park fare but we thought it was a great deal and we wouldn't have to leave the park to go find dinner and then come back.  You can only get this deal if you order tickets online.  Right now there is a great sale going on that ends July 18th.  They are offering their All Attraction Pass for only $22.95!

The first thing we did was check the schedule of the two shows.  One was a 4D movie and the other was a one man show.  We had a few minutes to get to the one man show after we got our reusable cup and our first drink of the day.   The One Man was a juggler but added different elements and  used different props to juggle that we had never seen before.  We loved the rectangular blocks he juggled with.   When he tossed them they almost looked like they were floating in air.  


Next up, we boarded the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad that took us on a leisurely ride around the perimeter of the mountain.   We rode past the carving and got a very good view of it.   We were able to take a great picture of it as the train went slowly by.


After the train ride around the mountain, it was time to go up the mountain.  Our all inclusive ticket included the Skyride aerial tram ride up to the top of the mountain.  If we didn't have the ticket we could have climbed up.  We have never been on top of a quartz monzonite monadock before.  It really is a gigantic rock and it felt like I was walking on the moon with all of it's small craters (rock pools).  There were a couple of trees up there that found a small patch of dirt, in the crevices of the rock, to grow in.  They looked out of place to me growing out of the rock but I was very impressed with their determination to grow when the odds were against them.   We had a terrific view of downtown Atlanta from the top of this mountain.  We walked around the mountaintop to see all the different views and take lots of pictures.



Near the Skyride was Memorial Hall.  This building contained a museum and two movie theaters.  The first thing we came to as we entered was rows and rows of pictures of heroes that lost their lives so that we could live our lives freely.  There were notes and things taped to some of these photos from family of friends of these brave people.  It was a sad but wonderful memorial display.  After we spent some time here we went to find the museum.  We learned all about the artifacts that the museum had from civilizations that have lived on this mountain.  Some items dated back 12,000 years.  We learned about how the granite from this mountain helped build the local economy.  And we learned all about how the carving came to be when we watched the 11 minute film in one of the theaters.



In the early evening, we got our folding chairs and set them up on the lawn with hundreds of other people.  We ate our chicken strips and grilled chicken sandwich  dinners and enjoyed the music of the Air National Guard Band of the South while we waited for the laser show.

 


Because it was Memorial Day, there were plenty of patriotic symbols in lights and we had a chance to honor vets and current heroes with a standing ovation and moment of silence.  



After the light show which lasted almost an hour, there was a fireworks display.  We don't know how long they went on for because it started to rain for a second time, and it was coming down harder than before.   We decided to leave along with two thirds of the spectators.  There were diehards there that were sticking it out to the end.



We had a nice, relaxing time at Stone Mountain Park.  There was so much to do here and didn't even get a chance to do it all.  We missed the Antebellum Plantation with the historic manorhouses  and the petting farm.   There is also an area called Camp Highland Outpost with many outdoor challenges, like rock walls, for lots of family fun.  And if we were 50 years younger, we would have enjoyed the splash area and dinosaur play room also.  I am putting this park on our "Must See With Grandkids" list!  

On Memorial Day we went to the baseball game that we came to here for.  We also found a few other wonderful sights in Atlanta.   To be continued...







Monday, July 9, 2018

Must See In Kotor, Montenegro - Preparing For Our Mediterranean Cruise


Kotor, Montenegro is the last port and the last country we will visit on our amazing Mediterranean cruise.  It will be a perfect ending to a perfect cruise as it will be a little easier to explore this very small city than the larger cities we will visit earlier in our trip.  We will be able to walk directly from our ship (or tender, if we are one of the last ships to arrive) into the town.  But before we even dock here, we will be treated to a spectacular one hour cruise through a magnificent fjord on our way to the port.  We will be arriving at the port at 8:30 am so we will be sure to set our alarm clock for way before that.  We will leave this port at 6:00 pm so that gives us plenty of time to enjoy our visit here.

I had to look up what a fjord was and found out that it is "a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley."  Nature has a way of creating the most beautiful sights we will ever see.  We cannot wait to have the experience of cruising through this fjord.  And this is only the start of all the raw, natural beauty Kotor has to offer.  The Balkan Mountains and the waters of Boka Kotorska are a big part of making this area a picturesque wonderland.

We won't be booking an excursion to do here.  We have decided that we would like to take it slow and enjoy this gorgeous country at our own pace.   I hope we get a chance to see everything on our Must-See List but if not, we will leave here feeling like we ended our Dream Vacation on a very wonderfully relaxing, enjoyable note!

St. John's Fortress is on a hilltop and can be reached by climbing 1,350 steps.  This hike sounds more strenuous than relaxing, but we think it will be fun and we will try to take it slow.  It's supposed to take 45 minutes to reach the top but I am sure we will not be moving at a 45 minute pace.  We think the climb will be worth it to be able to see a stunning view of Kotor once we reach the top.  There are different sites to see along the way, with places to rest, like the Church Of Our Lady Of Health.  We will probably need to say a prayer here for help to get us the rest of the way up.

The Old Town of Kotor.  We will want to stroll the narrow streets of the city that Lonely Planet named #1 city to visit in the world in 2016.  We will be people watching as this ancient city is home to many.  Clothes will be hung between stone buildings and friends will be meeting for coffee.  We will be looking forward to standing in line with them at Salvatore's while we are waiting for our wild strawberry gelato to be made.

Saint Tryphon's Cathedral is one of two Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Montenegro and it's namesake is the protector of Kotor.  We can pay a couple of euros here if we want to take a look inside.  On the upper floor we can view a collection of local dress, weapons and artifacts.  There is also a balcony that gives us a view of the town and photo ops.

St. Nicholas' Church is the city's Serbian Orthodox church.  We will definitely want to visit this church to buy candles for the living and deceased members of our families.  The tradition is to kiss each candle and then place them in either the top row of candle holders for our living relatives and on the bottom shelf for the deceased.

Cat Museum of Kotor is a treat for cat lovers like myself.  It's just all about cats here and sometimes there are live exhibits!  I hear that there are cats all over this town and that many of them congregate at the Church of Saint Mary Collegiata in Wood Square.  I am sure we will not leave this town before heading over there to see them.

Our Lady of the Rocks is a Catholic church that is on a small, artificial island which can be reached by a 15 minute boat ride.   We will be able to enjoy the views of the Bay of Kotor coastline on our way over to the church.  For 1 euro we will get a 30 minute tour of this church.  Our tour guide will tell us about the history of the church and artifacts.   I'm looking forward to see the huge, ornate altar here that I saw a picture of.  Once outside the church, we will be looking for the delicious ice cream we heard is on this island.

We will have two days of cruising back to Barcelona after our stop in Kotor.  This will give us a chance to relax before we get back to reality!

The next time I blog about our Mediterranean cruise, it will be about the wonderful time we had on our first trip ever to Europe.  I can't believe that this is happening in only about two months from now.  We will need to make our Vatican, and other, reservations soon.   We also need to start thinking about what we need to bring with us and what we want to bring back!  We will need to learn a few important words and phrases in Italian like "Dov'e il bagno" (Where's the bathroom?!)  The preparing is all part of the fun of vacationing isn't it?

I can't wait to tell you all about our adventure!  Ciao for now!!



Monday, July 2, 2018

Pastrami Reuben Sandwich



The pinnacle of cured meats, pastrami, is the unique creation of the Romanian-Jewish immigrants of New York.  They took brisket of beef and salt-brined, spiced, hot smoked, chilled, steamed, sliced it and served it on rye bread.  When this group started to move out of New York and into other parts of the country, the recipe started to change and so the pastrami itself.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and until 3 years ago, when we retired, lived in New York all my life.  I have had pastrami sandwiches outside of the Big Apple but there have been times when I was not sure if the meat I was eating was pastrami at all.  I gave up ordering it anywhere but New York.

A couple of weeks ago we were in New York at my son Joe's house and he wanted to treat Soko, for Father's Day, to a sampling of delicious deli meats from the best place to buy those meats, a Kosher deli.  Joe ordered from Ben's Best in Rego Park.  This is his "go to" deli for pastrami, corned beef, tongue and more.  We decided that if he ordered extra pastrami we could have the traditional pastrami on rye for lunch and I would make, for the first time ever, Pastrami Reuben Sandwiches for dinner.  The Reuben's were absolutely delicious, but I am sure they were because we had the best pastrami and had nothing to do with my cooking skills!

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Pastrami Reuben Sandwiches

Ingredients (per sandwich)

2 slices rye bread

1/4 - 1/2 lb. pastrami

2 slices swiss cheese

1/4 cup sauerkraut

1 - 2 Tbsp. Thousand Island dressing*

1 Tbsp. butter softened



*Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. ketchup

2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

2 tsp. finely diced onion

1/8 tsp. kosher salt


Directions

Prepare Thousand Island dressing.  Spread 1/2 Tbsp. butter on a slice of the rye bread.  Put the slice, buttered side down, on frying pan.  Top bread with Thousand Island dressing, slice of swiss cheese, pastrami, sauerkraut then second slice of swiss.  Spread the second slice of bread with the remaining butter.  Place this slice, with buttered side up, on top of sandwich.  Cook on medium-low heat until golden brown.  Flip sandwich over and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Enjoy!





Monday, June 25, 2018

Museum Of The Moving Image, Part 2


A few weeks ago, when we were in New York waiting to welcome our first grandchild into the world, we visited the Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.  If you are ever in this area, I highly recommend checking it out.  We had such a good time here learning about everything from the history of the moving image to the new genres of online video.  The Jim Henson Exhibition, one of the permanent exhibitions, was so entertaining and interesting that we wound up spending more time than we expected here but we got to enjoy every inch of it (read about it here).   This museum had many outstanding exhibitions, with lots of hands on opportunities, but because we spent so much time with The Muppets, we couldn't see it all in the time we had.   We will happily have to go back one day.

We finally did exit the Jim Henson Exhibition, and to our left we found Tut's Fever movie theater.  The Muppet Show was the featured movie on the day we went.  We were greeted by the concession lady when we entered.


The namesake of the theater had his own display behind the auditorium.  Joe scared the #### out of me when he flipped the switch that opened the tomb.  I was not expecting that at all!  We watched an episode of The Muppet Show, with a few other people, in this theater that holds up to 35.


We thoroughly enjoyed the museum's collection of over 1,400 artifacts scattered throughout.  Me and Soko are old enough to remember having some of these things in our homes!  I loved seeing the first televisions.  I can still picture my dad sitting in front of the tiny television screen which was surrounded by a cabinet that was 100 times larger than the TV set itself.


Some of the first machines for viewing moving images are displayed here and available to interact with.  Thankfully, I can say me and Soko are way too young to know anything about any of these machines.


We did have some of these toys growing up and Soko remembers packing his lunch in his tin lunchbox.  I had lunch at home when I attended elementary school so never needed a lunchbox but I'm sure I would have liked to have The Monkees decorating mine!   Shirley Temple dolls and games are always things I expect to see in toy collections like this.  It was fun to see what other shows and movies were popular enough to have a game or toy made with their likeness.


It doesn't seem like that long ago when video games gradually started taking the place of pinball machines.  The museum had a nice collection of the first video games that started the turnover and me and Joe could have spent more time here but there was so much more to see.  P.S.  I never got past the first screen of Donkey Kong!


If you've ever wondered how the head of the Chewbacca costume was made, or how special facial features are created or if you would like to view the life mask made of this famous actor for The Godfather III movie, you can find it all at this museum.


There is a great collection of costumes on display and it was fun recognizing some of them without having to read the info under them.  

                    (Mrs. Doubtfire)                                                     (Miami Vice)

We actually had two equally favorite exhibitions at the museum.  The first being the Jim Henson Exhibition and the second the Live Television Exhibition.  Here we got a look at what happens in the live control room of a baseball game.  What made this exhibit even more entertaining for us is that it featured our team the Mets!   We couldn't feel less than totally impressed with how director Bill Webb could watch 12 or more screens all at the same time, then, sounding almost like an auctioneer, directing which camera's video should be showing on the main screen.  It was really incredible.


I think that you could possibly enjoy this entire museum in a day, if you had a full day to spend here.  We passed quickly through the computer-based interactive experiences and a couple of exhibits because we hadn't planned on spending more than 3 hours here.  

If you are in this area and would be up for having a few hours of educational, hands-on fun, visit the Museum Of The Moving Image!  And if you are hungry after your visit, we recommend going around the corner to Studio Square for some delicious bar food and pitcher of ice cold beer!









Monday, June 11, 2018

Museum Of The Moving Image, The Jim Henson Exhibition


We were recently in Queens, New York and waiting for the birth of our first grandchild.   We arrived in New York on the baby's due date but the baby was too comfortable where he was.  Baby's mom, Nicole, was told to walk as that might help to get things going.  Baby's dad, Joe, had a great idea of spending a couple of hours walking around the Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria. Queens.  Joe and Nicole have been here before but it was mine and Soko's first time.  We really enjoyed all the museum had to offer.  There were so many interesting exhibits here.  Some are permanent and some are temporary.   The first exhibit we came to was Jim Henson's and his Muppets.  This was a temporary exhibition at first, but the museum decided to make it a permanent fixture and I don't blame them.  We probably spent at least a good hour here getting to know Jim Henson and the crew.

Jim Henson was in a class of his own when it came to creating his magical world of puppets.  I remember feeling such a loss when he passed at such an early age.  Exploring this exhibit brought back all the memories of how fun it was to have Jim Henson around to bring such wonderful characters to life for us.   
I first knew Jim Henson when our kids were old enough to enjoy Sesame Street.  They loved it and it was where they found out that "C is for cookie" among other things.

Nicole adores Miss Piggy and was thrilled for her when she finally married Kermit the Frog in The Muppets Take Manhattan, just one of several muppet movies Jim Henson and his buddies produced.

We looked forward to watching The Muppet Show every week.  It was equally entertaining for us adults as it was for the kids.  You could always count on Statler and Waldorf to be there heckling from their balcony seats.

Something I didn't realize and just learned from our visit here was that some muppets were stars of television commercials before there was a Sesame Street.  The guy me and Joe are checking out is Delbert the La Choy Dragon.  Frank Oz was the puppeteer while Jim Henson was the voice.


Fraggle Rock, a wonderful high energy, musical program that dealt with serious issues, was another Jim Henson hit.

Most of the items making up this exhibition came from family donations.  We especially enjoyed his early sketches of some, now famous, muppet characters.  I love the one of Jim Henson picturing himself puppeteering Big Bird.  


We had a great time with the interactive experiences available here.  Joe tried his hand at puppetry.  He was able to watch himself on a small screen as he moved the puppet to match the audio portion of the movie he was creating.  


Me and Nicole took a shot at creating a new muppet.  We got to choose a card with a description of a character needed in a Sesame Street skit and tried to make a muppet to fit the description.  I chose to create the Old Lady needed to interact with Gordon.  Nicole chose the Salesman that's trying to sell Maria a vacuum cleaner.


Two of our family's favorite movies are Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.  We were delighted to see the collection of items the museum had on display from these movies.


The vision of the cast of characters for Labyrinth.  If you look closely, you can see how the puppeteers were sketched inside the puppets.


These are the costumes that were worn by Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) and Jareth the Goblin King (David Bowie) in the movie, Labyrinth.   I loved David Bowie in this movie.  He fit the character so well.


It was so much so interesting to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.  We now have a better appreciation of what uncomfortable situations the puppeteers have to be in to get certain shots for the movie.  I am in awe of their talents after our visit here.


Jim Henson was the puppeteer of the SkekZok character from the Dark Crystal but the monstrosity of a puppet needed more than one person to animate it.  There would be a cable crew of up to four people who would control the movements of the hands and face with cable controls hidden under the garment of the creatures.  

We had so much fun exploring this exhibit and it was just the beginning of our visit here.   There were many more entertaining exhibits at this awesome museum.  To be continued...













































































Monday, June 4, 2018

Easy Eggs Benedict



I was looking at our blog post, Cruising - A Budget Friendly Vacation, and saw the picture I took of the amazing breakfast I had on our recent cruise.  It was Eggs Benedict but instead of the usual Canadian bacon, they topped the the English muffin with smoked salmon.  It was delicious!  When I saw that picture I got an urge for that yummy treat.  Never having made this dish before, I began searching my favorite cooking sites for a recipe.  What I found was very complicated recipes using cooking techniques with cooking products I have never used before (and don't have) like a saucier.  Also, I needed to be very careful with the sauce so that it would not wind up being "broken" and I had to have each part of the Eggs Benedict warm and ready at the same time.  And because Alton Brown makes his own muffins, it takes him 13 hours and 55 minutes from the start to finish of his recipe.  That is really more time than I really had to invest to this meal.

I am not a very talented cook so "complicated" is not something that will turn out well for me.  So I searched some more and found cooks that made their Hollandaise sauce in a blender which they said made an excellent unbroken sauce.  I could do that.  Most cooks did not bake their own english muffins.  That was nice to know as I had planned to use Thomas'.   And, finally, I found an easier way to poach the eggs than what I first saw which was by somehow using muffins cups and putting the eggs in them after I hear the cups clattering on the bottom of my rondeau (which I also don't have).

After finding easier ways to prepare this recipe, I figured I could give it a shot.  I wondered, though, if our Easy Eggs Benedict, using thick cut bacon instead of the usual Canadian bacon, would just wind up tasting only like an open-faced egg muffin.  What we wound up with actually ended up tasting pretty good and we will definitely have it again but. I have to admit, it really did not come close to matching Alton Brown's version!

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Easy Eggs Benedict
(makes 4 servings)

Ingredients

2 English muffins
6 slices thick cut bacon
4 eggs poached
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
dash of salt

Hollandaise Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 egg yolks

Directions

1.  Cut bacon slices in half.  Place on cookie sheet and broil on high for approximately 6 minutes, turning once.  (I cooked the bacon until almost crisp.)  Allow bacon to drain on paper towel.

2.  Put muffins on oven rack and broil for 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.  (I put the muffins in the oven at the same time as the bacon but took them out earlier.)

3.  Boil water with a little salt in large pan or pot.  (Start preparing sauce while water is boiling.)  Add 1 Tbsp. of vinegar to boiling water and stir to create a whirlpool.  Remove water from heat.  Crack eggs, one at a time, in a plate and slide into water.  Cover pan and let eggs sit for 3 minutes or until done to your liking.  Remove eggs with slotted spoon and place on warm plate.

4.  Prepare sauce.  Melt butter in microwave, or on the stove.  In a blender, add the lemon juice and egg yolks and blend.  Slowly pour the hot butter into the blender with the blender running.  Set sauce aside in a warm place.

5.  Put muffins on cookie sheet with 2-3 bacon half slices on each muffin half.  Put back in oven and broil until bacon is crisp.

6.  Once bacon is crisp and muffin is warm, put egg on top and pour Hollandaise sauce over each muffin.

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The only thing I will say is that my eggs were overcooked so I will be watching them a little closer next time.  Otherwise, I think this recipe is a great Eggs Benedict alternative for someone like me who will never be a gourmet cook!


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Monday, May 28, 2018

We Are Grandparents!



We are on our way home today, after spending three weeks with our new grand baby and his parents.  We cooked them dinner and kept their house in order while they bonded as a family.  And we were thrilled to have the chance to do our own bonding with baby.  We spent hours holding him as he slept and hours talking to him when he was awake.

Ever since our two older children got married 3 1/2 years ago, we have been waiting for one of them to give us our first grandchild.   The stories we heard from friends and family who are grandparents already, made grand parenting sound like the best thing that ever happened to them.  Even having their own children, they would say, could not compare to the pure joy of having grandchildren.  We also heard about the perks and the role we would play as grandparents.  Now that we have our grandson and we've spent some time with him, we know exactly what they are talking about.

The perks of being a grandparent:

(1) Grandparents can spend endless hours with baby.   Parents have things they have to take care of (other children, if any, the house, work emails, etc.) and can't devote as much time to baby as grandparents can.

(2) Grandparents can totally enjoy baby without feeling the anxiety and responsibility that comes with being a parent.  Examples:  Am I feeding the baby enough, too much, with the right bottle?  Why is he not burping, burping too much, spitting up, throwing up?  It is nice not being the ones who have to do all the worrying.

(3) Grandparents can give baby to a parent if the baby is totally not happy.  Actually, parents will run over to take baby when they see that the grandparent is trying their best but cannot console the little guy!

(4) Grandparents can use the lines, "I'm supposed to spoil your child.  It's something that is expected from every grandparent!", to get away with spoiling baby.

Being a grandparent is not all a piece of cake though:

(1) The hardest thing, I find, about being a grandparent is having to bite my tongue when I want to add my two cents.  My friend, Heidi, told me how she gives advice without sounding like she is giving advice.  "Before you say anything", she tells me, "say this."  "I'll tell you what I did (in whatever the situation is).  It might work for you."  Perfect!

(2) Trying to understand how to use some of the new products for baby.  Examples: The swaddle.  It is a piece of 3' X 3' cloth that you place the baby on, then origami the cloth and you have baby all wrapped up and ready for bed.  Well, when baby is Houdini, Jr. and your origami skills are nil, it can be a real challenge.  The Dr. Brown Bottle.  One afternoon I was helping out by feeding our little guy.  He started out very happy to be getting his bottle but, soon, baby boy started to get very frustrated.    I was trying to figure out what the problem was and noticed that the milk was not going into the straw part of this bottle that has many parts.  How was I supposed to get the milk into the straw?!  Help!!  Mom to the rescue.  It seems this complicated bottle has a small disc that you put under the nipple to prevent leakage when carrying it in the diaper bag and it was on.  The straw, even though it looks like straw, does not act like a straw.  It's in there to minimize air bubbles somehow.  Nice to know that after struggling to get the milk up that straw for the past 5 minutes!!

(3) Trying to be supportive when the decisions they are making for baby are hard for an old school person like myself to imagine.  OK.  I am talking about one choice they will be making when baby is ready to eat solid foods.  It's called baby led weaning.  Baby will not eat cereal or jarred baby food.  He will eat whatever mom and dad are eating and his will not be pureed.  It will be cut in such a way that he will be able to pick it up and feed himself.  Having no teeth to really grind the food down before he swallows it, the baby will inevitably choke on the food, but this is all part of the baby led weaning process.  As my son is telling me all this, the horror is showing all over my face even though I am hoping I have my best poker face on.  "What??!!" he yells.  "Oh nothing.  But why??!!"  It's supposed to expose baby to all kinds of foods and flavors early so that he will eat and love everything you put on his plate in the future.  Hmm...  I really have to practice and perfect my poker face look!

I do have to say that we are so lucky to have such a patient son and an equally patient daughter-in-law.  They not only have to figure out how to be new parents but they also have to break in new grandparents!  They are doing a great job at both so far!

And the baby...  He is the sweetest, most beautiful baby ever!  His expressive, adorable face and huge, gorgeous brown eyes make it hard not to smile each and every time we lay eyes on him.  We love him with all our hearts and feel so blessed and thankful that we get to call him Grandson.  We promise to be the best grandparents for him, always, and will figure out how to be just that while living miles away.



Are you a grandparent and snowbirds like we are?  Any advice on keeping a strong bond with grandchildren who live miles from you would be very much appreciated!