Monday, July 4, 2011

Geoff and Sarah

Guys playing table tennis in the backyard.Our barbeque roll continued yesterday in Geoff’s and Sarah’s house. They recently moved to a new place in Norwalk, and they invited the 3 of us, Alex, Misha and Alexey over.

It was raining in the morning, but we’ve decided to go regardless. I actually think that we got lucky with the weather — it was drizzling from time to time throughout the day, but the rain was never strong enough to keep us from staying out on the patio. If the weather was hot and sunny, Aroshka would have to be indoors most of the time due to his extreme light sensitivity.

Backyard from the porch.Geoff’s and Sarah’s new residence is really nice — the house is big, but not overwhelmingly so (which is a good thing for a small family). There is also a pretty sizable back yard, which is great considering that they have a playful 1.5 years old golden retriever named Koufey (her full name is Koufax in honor of one Jewesh baseball pitcher).

I enjoyed our visit. I haven’t seen our hosts for a number of years, and it was nice meet them again. Geoff grilled delicious burgers and corn, and Sarah prepared cheese and fruit platters. All of us (except for Arosha and Koufey obviously) drank some beer. We brought a case of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse and some other fancy beer with us — I kind of got used to the good stuff (not that we drink much), so regular grocery store brands taste too bland now. Aroshka got fascinated with beer bottles — he kept gnawing on the spout and putting his little fingers in. So little is needed to make him happy!

Arosha and Kofi at Geoff and Sarah's house.He also really like climbing up and down the stairs in the back yard. Despite the drizzle it was warm, so I took his socks and pants off and he got his cute little feet all dirty. He also had a chance to interact with a dog at such a close distance for the first time in his life. He was pretty cautious, but I could definitely detect some interest on his side, especially when Koufey was playing fetch with us. Koufey also was exposed to such a little human for the first time in her life, and she decided to be on a side of caution as well. She approached him a few times, but preferred to mostly stay out of his reach. I think if they lived in the same household, they would have become friends pretty fast.

—Arosha, you're going to have to drink some beer! —No! I refuse!I might have missed on some conversations and activities (like playing ping-pong or video games) while taking care of Aroshka, but I had a great day nonetheless. Thank you, Geoff and Sarah for having us!

On our way back, we stopped at Danya’s new office. It is really nice — much more impressive than the old place. Reminded me of the place I used to work in, although my cubicle was far smaller and less private than Danya’s office room. I still have a lot of anxiety thinking about finding a new job when Aroshka is ready for the day care, but this is a topic for another discussion. )

Geoff's grill.
In: Food & Dining, Travel   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hempstead Picnic With Maruks

Skirt steak getting grilled.For today Maruk and his family has planned an outing and a cookout in Hempstead Lake State Park. They were kind enough to invite our family to join them and as a result we had a great day.

Arosha exploring the park by crawling.The park was beautiful — full of green trees that create shade all over the place, it had very few people, was clean and had nice benches and tables for us to use.

The cook. The host. Maruk.The company was great as well — Maruk and Alina really are great friends. They also do have a good family and even though we don’t see them too often it’s always nice to get together with them when it does happen. Maruk was a great cook and did all the work to keep everyone well feed and thus happy.

Emma and Arosha "reading" a book.Arosha got to explore a new place and play with Emma. Even though he still is too little to really socialize I think it’s nice for kids to be near other kids. I was always friends with kids of my parents’ friends. Arosha and Emma will probably and hopefully end up being good friends when they get older as well.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

First Weekend & Vacation Blues

Backyard of Sasha's home in Jersey City.This was our first weekend home since coming back from vacation. Artem happened to be in town and it was nice to meet up and catch up with and old friend who we haven’t seen since 2008. On Saturday evening we spent a good evening in Red Bowl (thanks, mama, for babysitting!) with Alёna, Artem and Sasha in a nice, relaxing atmosphere. Dave was a great host, as always. I really enjoyed the evening out.

Sasha being a great host, getting the food ready for the grill.On Sunday Sasha invited Artem and us over to his place for a day of grilling. This time around he cooked some much stuff that he’ll probably be eating leftover for the rest of this week. The day was cloudy and cool enough for us to sit outside without trying to hide somewhere in dark cold basement from the sun, as it was last time around.

Alёna and Arosha enjoying the grass.I managed to fail at my photographing responsibilities and didn’t take a single picture of the guest of honor. But I think I did get a couple of nice shots of the host and his home.

New York skyline from Jersey City.After day of BBQ I dropped Sasha and Artem off at a local Path Train station as they had some rock concert to attend somewhere in the other part of Jersey. The station happened to be right on the water. You see, one of my objectives for today was to try to catch Norwegian Gem sailing out of New York yet again as it does every week. Our timing was really off though and we weren’t going to make it.

Norwegian Gem leaving New York for Bermuda.While letting Sasha and Artem out I told that they should check out the views from the pier before jumping onto the train and if they see a beautiful white and colorful ship sailing out — it’s our friend, Norwegian Gem. They ended up not doing that since they were running late already and I while driving off saw the beauty in between the building passing right by. I had no options but to park the car and run to the water.

Alёna and Arosha in Jersey City.The feeling is somewhat surreal though when our Bermuda hotel sailed right by our home. It some-why felt as weird as if Hilton Waikoloa Village from Hawaii would sail right in front of my eyes in NYC. Lucky bastards looking out from the balconies and deck 13. Their journey is just beginning. I wish them to have one as great as ours was.
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