Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Business and Pleasure

Erik had back-to-back conferences in Chicago over the past week, so the whole family took a trip to the Windy City. While Erik was in sessions, Lea and Carter had a great time in the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and other sites around town. We also had a chance to visit some friends and relatives. Photos and brief comments follow.

Unfortunately, we had a couple of days with cold, windy, and rainy conditions.

However, we had more days with sunny weather (it was still chilly and windy, though).

Carter loved the "bean" in Millenium Park, giving it high fives...

...dancing under it...

...mugging with his friend Nina...

...and posing nicely with her.

Carter was energetic during the whole trip.

Lea, Nina, Carter, and Misa (Erik's friend and regular co-author) pose among the lovely tulips.

We also had a chance to see Erik's brother Brett and his wife Nina.

We visited the Children's Museum with our friends Harry and Elizabeth along with their son Jasper (above).

Nina and Carter were serious paleontologists at the Children's Museum.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A DC Sojourn

On Monday, Erik participated in a conference about Ukraine's presidential election at George Washington University, presenting a paper that evaluated polling station-level data. The conference brought together scholars from the US, Canada, and Ukraine to assess the implications of Viktor Yanukovych's victory. Although it was a one-day event, Erik enjoyed it tremendously and learned quite a bit.

While the trip afforded him no time for sightseeing, he took an opportunity to stop in for a brief visit to Arlington National Cemetery en route to the airport. Arlington was full of high school-aged tourists, likely on Spring Break trips to the capital. Despite the crowds, the cemetery was beautiful and serene, and Erik visited a quiet spot where his Uncle Vincent is interred. Vincent died in WWII at Anzio, and his grave site is an inspiring symbol amid the uniformity of Arlington's rows of white headstones.

A few years ago, we first visited the grave and noticed that a tree trunk was growing around it. We have tracked the tree's progress over the years, but have not been back in quite some time. The tree has almost completely enveloped the stone, rendering Vincent's name illegible (Vincent's official name was Maurice Herron, and that is what appears on the headstone. As you can see in the above photo, only the words "RICE" and "RON" are visible). Erik packed light for the trip and did not have his digital camera. However, he had his laptop and used the photo capture feature on the webcam to snap these shots.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"The Easter Bunny Totally Hooked Me Up, Man!"

Spring finally arrived in Lawrence after an unusually cold, snowy, and grey winter. Our outdoor schedule kicked off on Saturday with the new soccer season and the city's big Easter Egg hunt. Easter Sunday's excitement began with Carter's discovery that the Easter Bunny seemed to have eaten the beautiful egg Carter left for her (Carter made the call on the Bunny's gender). He found his basket of goodies, and kept repeating the title line from this post. Indeed, the Easter Bunny hooked him up.