Heading to Ithaca, New York today to visit our cousins, Matt and Emma, who, because they are super smart, career-driven, goal-oriented humans, left us in WA to come east and attend the masters program at Cornell University. I “suppose” we’ll support them. 

Before we left for the 2-hour drive from the farm, we made sure we were all prepared and loaded and took a walk to get Rudy’s bicycle. He noticed that Jared had taken off the training wheels. 

“Dad. Can you please put them back on and I’ll just ride it back to mom?”

“No, the tools are over at the place where Mom is. Just hop on and I’ll hold you for balance.”

“Ok!”

And just like that, our boy climbed on his bike, Jared helped him for 30 feet or so, and he was off like lightning. Of course Jared tried to get video, but didn’t realize it would be so sudden and missed the first launch. Rudy screamed that he needed to go show Mom, so both guys game charging into the house to find me. They explained what happened and then showed me. It was glorious. Jared and I stood, teary-eyed, watching our boy change right before us. And, as he sped away, solidifying his independence, he yelled, “So long, suckers!” Not exactly the Toy Story 3 moment we had hoped for, but he always knows how to make us laugh. It was all overwhelming, seeing as how this was the very place where Jared had also shed his training wheels for a big boy bike. What an awesome way to start our morning!

Once we reached Matt and Emma’s new place, we relaxed, Rudy played video games and we talked for a bit. We had found an open mic right near the college, and were just going to eat at that place before we sang. But Emma let us know that there was a creamery with really epic ice cream on campus. So, in true vacation mode, we got dessert before dinner! It was called the Cornell Dairy Bar, and the place was delightful!!!

Bellies full of cream, we headed to the open mic location, a Southwest-inspired cuisine spot called Agava. We ordered table guacamole with goat cheese, pistachios, and lemon. If that doesn’t set the scene, not sure what will. It was so good. Sign ups started at 7:30 so we had plenty of time. We really enjoyed ourselves and the food and were just glad to not be out in the heat. Although, I forget how overzealous places in high heat/humidity can be with their air conditioning usage. By the end of the night, we all had sweatshirts and blankets! 

Liam and Coleen were the hosts of this lovely, eclectic open mic, and they started it out with a keyboard/electric guitar jazz duo situation. Super easy listening and really nice way to just bring everyone into it. The acts that followed consisted of a kazoo player, an a cappella soprano, a broadway show tunes guy, a “Mountain Goats”-esq bass/acoustic duo, a traveling musician, a couple of one-offers, and us. We were warmly received, sold some cds, and all had a great time. Rudy spent the evening interjecting praise and sarcasm throughout the event. After we sang (he was confused that we only did 3 songs) he got up and introduced himself, his age, his gratefulness to be there. Then, the next guy got up and said something kind about us and also made a joke about having to follow the cutest kid. Rudy called out, “Yeah. It must be pretty embarrassing, right?” I died. Thank goodness he’s cute and funny and has impeccable comic timing. Anyway, the night was a success and we got a few contacts for future gigs, Rudy drew a few pictures, we had a few beers, then said our sad goodbyes to Matt and Emma and began the 2 hour trek back to the farm. 

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