It's become a yearly tradition that I get together with a few high school friends in Ithaca, as a halfway point between our various homes across New York State. The first year was the summer of Elaine's bachelorette and wedding (technically we were in Syracuse and Seneca Lake that year). The second, we went cabin camping with Elaine's puppy. The third, we stayed in a hotel to accommodate Elaine's pregnant belly, and this year we rented a house, now that she has a nine month old baby.
Renting a house was a good choice, as it allowed us to relax comfortably while the baby crawled around and we cooked meals at home. This was my first time renting from Airbnb, so I was a little anxious about it, but the house delivered on our expectations of cleanliness and size and amenities (a deck for mosquito-free lounging and grilling! a swing for making babies smile!). Hopefully we'll stay there again next summer, and maybe we can do more hiking and camping in another few years once little Emma's older.
We always try to hit up the Ithaca Farmers Market, which is huge and is housed in a wonderful permanent wooden structure. We cooked black bean tacos the first night, and then supplemented it with vegetables from the farmers market to transform our leftovers into black bean burgers and salad the next day.
This annual gathering is a great way to catch up on our changing lives each year. As Meredith put it: "It's nice to spend time with people that you've known for a really long time! Even if we are not all in the same places in our lives right now, I think its good for us to see what each other are up to and how we all made different choices and have different ideas."
Also, I couldn't help capturing that great graffiti trying to alert the populace to the perils of fracking. Just say no...