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After complaining for an entire month that we had no evenings to relax together at home because Jon was busy directing the music for the musical, tonight was our first night to return to normalcy. So what do we do? We went to the zoo with Cortney's parents! wolverine.jpgTonight was actually the "I'm a member and I want special privileges" night at the zoo--meaning that the park was open to members only for three hours in the evening, complete with animal feedings, puppet shows, and live music. While we did not partake in the live music nor the puppet shows, we did greatly enjoy the feeding of the animals--I had a gyro and Jon had a cheeseburger (thanks, mom and dad). After securing our own dinners, though, we all really enjoyed watching the wolverine mom and babies get treats from a bike-riding zookeeper. The best part of that display wasn't even the feeding itself, but the behavior exhibited by the mother before the treats arrived. She started getting antsy about ten minutes early, and she knew which direction to watch, too. She would run (lope, actually) around the enclosure, pausing on top of rocks to look far into the distance. This is where a picture is worth a thousand words. As the hour drew nearer she began to stand sentry on top of those rocks, and bouncing as high as she could to watch for the arrival of her food. When he finally did bike up to the enclosure, she knew him right away. The sweetest thing about it? After he threw the treats in, she let the babies eat first.
And who has ever seen a hippo try to eat a whole watermelon? A half hour later, in another part of the zoo, Jock the hippo waited, mouth agape, for his own special treat. Unfortunately for Jock, he's not a good catch. Nor is he a neat eater. hippo.jpgHe scooped up the watermelon that landed in the water and, in one closure of his giant mouth, crushed the melon, turning the water around him red. The remains of carrots and lettuce floated all around him in the wading pool. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but not as dramatic as the half hour wait in line to take the train ride back to the front of the zoo. We could have been in the car and half way home by the time we boarded the train, but the tunnel WAS a lot of fun.


Fairy Tale Weekend

The four weddings had come and gone, and now the musical has passed as well. After a month of hard work and preparation, the alums (and some current students) of Jon's high school put their fund-raising production of "Into the Woods" on stage for an appreciative, albeit small, audience (we blame the lack of publicity). intothewoods.jpgThere are two things to be said. First things first... Sondheim was one crazy dude. While it is great fun to see our favorite "Disney" characters meet up on stage, this show is a stark reminder that the original fairy tales, mostly Perrault's from the 17th century, were very dark and even gruesome. If you are unfamiliar with either the script or the stories you might be caught unawares by the excessive pecking out of eyes (this is not bedtime material for your five year old the way that Disney has presented them). Fortunately, Sondheim's musical has fused the gruesome aspects of these dark stories with a solid sense of humor, and even sexuality. Unfortunately, all that humorous sexuality was omitted in this weekend's production because Jon went to a private Catholic school (of course, that doesn't mean that innuendoes weren't made backstage, ha ha).
Now for that second thing that should be said... sex or no sex, it was a wonderful show and a wonderful weekend. This is a VERY hard show to put on, and the majority of the people involved are amateurs, not to mention that all the rehearsal and set production took place in the course of one month. Yes, one month. Whoever said that it takes at least six weeks to put on a Sondheim production was right, but the kids involved did an amazing job. Their dedication is astounding. The whole reason for putting on the show was to raise money for the construction of a theater for the school (we did Les Miserables last year and plan to continue the summer dramalum production tradition next year... we'll keep you posted). Alumni (and current students) came out of the woodwork for this! Not only were they in the show, but those who could not dedicate a month to rehearsal time did still fly, drive, and take trains back into town to show their support this weekend. And it's not just the alumni, but parents and friends and significant others, too (Cortney ran the box office while Jon ran the music). It's a really good feeling. And the production went over really well, and was a lot of fun. Regardless of falling trees and forgotten birds, we want to say how proud we are of this whole group, and how great it feels to be a part of a group so dedicated. Thank you everyone, and here's to looking forward to next year!


A marriage in numbers

We have been married for 17,544 wonderful hours, driven 7,011.24 miles on trips, shared 1,773 meals.
We have been married for 731 days, rented 110 movies, visited 38 National Parks and 26 of the states.
We have been married for 24 months, been to 11 major cities, 8 football games, 7 zoos, 5 stage shows, 4 theme parks.
We have been married for 2 years, adopted 2 cats (we already had 3 dogs), flown 1 flight, bought 1 house.
We have been married once, but it has provided thousands of joys and will provide an uncountable number in the future.

Happy anniversary to us.



Wedding #3 (or #4, depending...)

I told everyone this summer that in July we had 4 weddings and a musical (nevermind that one of those weddings was in June and we didn’t even go, it still sounded funny).  usbyriver.jpgThis weekend was the fourth and final wedding, and it was a great way to close the season.  Our friends James and Jessa were the lucky couple and they got married in the park right on the Huron River, with the sun glinting off ripples in the water and light breeze keeping the attendants as cool as possible.  We may have gone a little crazy at the party.  We (along with Curtis, Patty, Sara and an unnamed little girl) were the last to leave the dance floor at midnight.  The really amazing thing is that with all of those weddings, at least one of them should have suffered a rain storm or something, but it didn’t happen.  This wedding was just as sunny and bright as the others.  Fantastic.  And now on to the musical, Sondheim’s Into the Woods, musical direction by Jon.  Actually, they have already been rehearsing for the entire month of July, but the opening night is Thursday.  It’s going to be a busy week.


Art Fair in Ann Arbor

Every year, on the third Wednesday of July, Ann Arborites everywhere (in Ann Arbor) run for the hills (up north, on a lake, anywhere but here) as visitors from all over the country swarm onto our streets and our restaurants.  Yep, it’s Art Fair week.  Maybe we’re masochistic, or maybe just plain crazy, but we never leave town during Art Fair.  In fact, we met at a swing dance the night of the first day of Art Fair, so we kind of see it is a floating anniversary.   Turtle.jpg Every year we join the Ophoff family for lunch and then peruse the fair throughout the afternoon and into the evening on opening day.  And every year we buy ourselves an anniversary gift there.  The first year, a cutting board, the second year the letters of our name in photographs, and this year?  A giant stuffed turtle.  Yes you guessed it, we are regressing in age.  But we also got a beautiful safari photograph for the large blank space above our bed.  This picture is fantastic and has been treated to make it appear a little like an oil painting.  It will be like waking up on an African safari every day of the week (without the bugs)!  Suddenly we have an urge to fly overseas and actually go on a safari, but that will be some ways off in the future.  Ah, well, it never hurts to dream.