Catching up from the Pig Pickin' 'til now.
On the Friday after the big party, we went back to Cousin Ski's for the first time in way too long for some low country boil. Ski and Sonja graciously offered to watch the kids while Jennifer, Ellyn, Andi and I went to see Ben Folds at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheater. Ski even drove us there from the house, and picked us up afterward. Now that's service!
The concert was excellent, as is typical for Ben Folds. We had 10th-row seats at the outdoor venue, and the weather was perfect. The volume was a little low, which I blame on Cary, but the sound was excellent. As much as we enjoyed the show, it's always a little bittersweet to see Ben Folds perform without Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge, the other two members of Ben Folds Five. The two guys who now portray Darren and Robert (Sam Smith, and Jared Reynolds, respectively) do a great job, but not as great as the originals. I still hold out hope that Ben Folds Five will reunite one day.
The kids had a great time at Ski and Sonia's, and have asked several times since then when we can go back. Soon, I hope, as we see far too little of the other North Carolina Prizers for how close we actually are.
Sunday was Zoe's second piano recital. Tristan opted out this year, as he's looking at changing instruments. Zoe did a great job with the three songs where she was just playing what someone else wrote, and we can hear that she has the gift. Her tempo and ear-training are excellent, and she's starting to improvise. We are very proud.
The school year has wound down, including Tristan's End of Grade (EOG) tests, which he passed despite the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools really dropping the ball on the math instruction for the second grade dual-language students last year. . . but I digress.
We went back to the North Carolina coast for a beach weekend, since it has been since last summer since we'd done that. Our visit was fortunate to coincide with the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Air Show. We took in the Friday night show on the way down.
We didn't get to see a whole lot, but what we did see was very impressive. It would've been great to go to the Saturday and Sunday shows, but at 100F, it also would've been far less comfortable than swimming in the 80F ocean.
So Saturday and Sunday we spend most of each day at the beach, Fort Macon State Park, actually. We often go to Atlantic Beach, but the city has reconfigured their parking, so where it used to be easy and very convenient and free to park (take that, New Jersey), it's now damn near impossible to get a space. Fort Macon has plenty of free, convenient parking, clean beaches, warm water, and oh yeah, that's all free too.
As an aside, we bought some Ocean Potion sunscreen for beach use, and despite the high SPF, proper usage, and reapplication, we all got burned. I blame Ocean Potion sunscreen, as we didn't do anything differently from every other time we go to the beach, yet all got some degree of sunburn. In summary, in my opinion, Ocean Potion Sunscreen sucks. Do not buy it.
In addition to the unfortunate sun damage, I also managed to lose my wedding ring in the surf. I'd never had that ring accidentally fall off, so the timing of this first occurrence was very unfortunate. I haven't priced its replacement yet, but it's going to be painful.
Okay, so other than the sunburn, losing the ring, and missing two of our three ferries, it was a great weekend. The next time we enter the Atlanic Ocean, it'll be from a different continent. More on that later.
Other than that, it's hot, school's over, and we're all busy coordinating more packing and travel plans than we've ever dealt with before. This summer will be unprecedented in terms of travel for The Traveling Roths. Stay tuned.
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