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Saturday, July 8, 2017

June 2017

I love June and July - our summer here between grades in Indiana.  With the boys starting back to high school in less than a month, I'm enjoying every single day.  Here are highlights from our month.

Thomas attended his 7th mission trip - this time returning to Ronceverte, West Virginia where they saw the devastation of the flood last year.  This year they were returning to a building year.  They saw many of the families they met last year who were still in shock from the flood.  They got to go in some areas that they weren't allowed in last year without hazmat suits.  It was another great 9 day trip with the youth group.  

David and I spent a Saturday touring portions of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We started in historic Bardstown and had lunch.  Then we toured Heaven Hill and the Bourbon Heritage Center, then made our way to Makers Mark and Jim Beam.  

Here's David dipping a bottle at the Maker's Mark center.

It was a gorgeous day - we had a lot of fun driving around Kentucky!

And then Violet and I went on an incredible trip to NYC!  
The Philharmonic planned a trip to see two local ladies performing on Broadway.
Violet and I planned a slightly different schedule and had a great visit!

We took a TV and Movie Tour with On Location Tours with the knowledgeable and very funny Amadeo Fusca.  Before seeing sites where scenes had been filmed, we watched clips from those scenes on the bus screens.  We got out to see Washington Park where several movies were filmed, the site of the Friends building, the Ghostbusters firehouse, the Soup Man restaurant from Seinfeld, and I believe a few other places too.  But we saw many, many more places from the air conditioned bus.  I loved that the tour took us all over Manhattan.  Lots of photos from that tour.  Here are a few.

Washington Square Park

The "Friends" Building

"Ugly Naked Guy's" Building from Friends

After the tour we had lunch at Elaine's Starlight Diner in Midtown where the servers sing.  It's a great theme restaurant for a quick meal!

Then it was on to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert!  Not only did the ticket lottery come through with free tickets, but we got Priority Seating.  That's the way to do it.

We stood in line outside for quite awhile.  It was hot but we were somewhat shaded.  Violet made a dash across the street to Starbucks for iced green teas.  That helped tremendously!

Colbert is taped at the Ed Sullivan Theater.  Here's the entrance. It was gorgeous inside!

Just before we headed inside to wait for another hour or so.  It was so worth it though - the show was really great! 

Unlike Jon Stewart, photos are not allowed in the Ed Sullivan theater and security were standing near us.  While I didn't want to get ejected before the show, I also wanted a few photographic memories!  Here's a quick one I took before the comedian came out and entertained us.

And this is as we were leaving.  We saw Olivia Wilde, Eddie Izzard, and Scarlett Johansson being interviewed.  It was really a great show.  I had my hand up to ask Stephen Colbert a question before the show and he pointed to me, but the lady in front of me asked hers instead.  Oh well!

And I was so excited that we got to see Lika while we were in NYC!  We stayed in Brooklyn, not too far from her office.  While we didn't get to see Dave and Maren, we did have a fantastic dinner and trivia night at a great Brooklyn restaurant.  What a great first day of the trip!

Day 2 was all about Broadway.  We had some time in the morning though so we headed to the Financial District to see Fearless Girl.  Violet took some photos there, and I got one for David with the Charging Bull.  The tourists were out in droves that day.

We headed to lunch in Times Square before our first show, stopping for a spin first.

Then, on to War Paint with Mary Claire King!  Mary Claire was sensational in multiple roles.  What a great show.  

A  stop at the merchandise table before taking our seats at the Nederlander.

And after the show we got a backstage tour with Mary Claire!  She very much appreciates all the local support, but it was our pleasure.  My first Broadway show!  

More time in Times Square before dinner and our last show.  Two shows in one day is an achievement.  We were up to it!

"Dear Evan Hansen" was absolutely incredible.  I was really, really glad I knew nothing about the show and had not listened to the soundtrack.  Everyone was as struck by it as I was.  It was really just incredible.  See it if you can.  Pay whatever it costs.  It's worth all those Tony awards it received.  The show we attended was the first one since the Tony's where the entire cast was together.  It was magical.

The set at the start of the show.  The musicians sat in the loft on the upper left of the photo.

Me at Intermission.  All my makeup has been cried off.  This show has it all.

Ben Platt during the curtain call.  What a perfect end to our quick trip to NYC.  But we filled it with tons of memories!

The following week I hosted a women's group from church for dinner.  Bailey helped me entertain.  The next morning I found him like this sleeping off the big night.  Bedhead and paws covering the eyes.

Brennan and I did some shopping in Indy and then had lunch at a Japanese restaurant.  Here he is outside the mall.

And Thomas turned 17!!

We had our celebration a day early because the boys were in a class in Indy on Thomas's big day.  But that evening we went out to Taku for dinner and dessert to celebrate his big birthday.

David and I saw Krysta Rodriguez and Megan McGinnis (2 Broadway stars and best friends) at the Cabaret at the Commons.  It was a fun night out, just the two of us (and 300 of our closest Cabaret friends!)

I wish I knew the accompanist's name.  Here I am with him, my friend Katelyn, Krysta Rodriguez and Megan McGinnis.  You might recognize Krysta from "Trial and Error" - the new John Lithgow tv show.  Megan was Eponine in Les Miserables, and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

I took this quick photo of the boys on their last day driving to Indy for 2 weeks of classes.  They navigated I-65, downtown Indy, and rush hour by themselves 10 times.  I'm very proud of them - they used great judgment.  And now we're all together for a few days before more summer activities.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

May 2017

May - I say this every year but I believe it is the busiest month of the year for us.  The school year is ending and there always seems to be a ramp up of family and kid activities.  May 2017 was no different.  Here are some of our highlights!

Junior Prom!  Thomas and his best friends Neil and Joel went together as friends.  During the course of the day they met up with friends and even made a few new friends, joining their group for dinner before the dance.  Our house was home base to get dressed, start photos, between dinner and Prom, to park the extra cars, between Prom and After Prom, and to spend the night later.  I had an absolute BALL all day with these guys.  Our town comes out in droves for these kids.  The parade as the kids come in, and the red carpet walk promenade were awesome.  I'm already looking forward to next year's activities.

Here are some photos from the day.

Full tux, boutineer by Gina (one of Thomas's bosses!), and shades of course.

Thomas, Neil and Joel

At the Visitors Centers with the Chihulies

At Henry Moore's Large Arch

Several from the Inn at Irwin Gardens

The Corvette for the Prom Parade

At Cummins' corporate headquarters

My favorite pose by these silly guys - Churchill, FDR, and Stalin at Yalta.

Parking garage roof

Dad and I got some photos too (somehow cut out Bailey)

 After Prom photos were equally hysterical

And this guy!  Here is Brennan at the Philharmonic Salute concert Memorial Day weekend.  On Prom Saturday, he took the Math 1 and Math 2 subject tests for the SAT.  We got his scores this week.  He scored 800s on both!  Perfect scores!  We're so proud of him!!

Back at the Inn at Irwin Gardens for their cocktail hour a couple of weeks after Prom with Stan and Vanessa.

And the Philharmonic's Lobsterfest.  4th annual!

This year there was post-lobster dinner racing with the high school robotics team.

David raced in the first heat.

And our wine club met at Vinita's and Greg's house for a Bollywood inspired evening!
I borrowed a sari scarf from my friend Lalitha and Vinita had bindis for us ladies to wear.

And we all learned some Bollywood dances.  The food was amazing.  A great night with great friends.

 A project I was leading wrapped up - we curated and refurbished a local historical space that has a grand history.  Here I am touring a couple of VIPs!

And an outtake at the Chamber ribbon cutting for this newly opened space.

Thomas was working when VP Pence's plane landed (Air Force II).  He captured a photo out of the restaurant window.  The Pences were in for the Indy 500 and to visit family.

Susan (Neil's mom) and I spent an evening in Indy enjoying some German food and music at the Rathskellar, then heading to the Murat to see Norah Jones!

I did a quick trip to the Chicago Film Festival to see the "Columbus" movie for a second time.  Looking forward to its release in September! (Inn at Irwin Gardens on the right, library on the left in this shot).

Thomas and Brennan finished up school - Thomas is now a senior, and Brennan a sophomore.  Unbelievable!

Bailey really wanted to join us on the porch for photos.  When we came back in, he sat and posed for this one of his own.  :)

Happy Summer!