Saturday we spent the day in Clarion for the Autumn Leaf Festival. I've posted in the past previous years about ALF, about how it was a time of drunken debauchery and fuzzy memories... until last year, when I was so pregnant my legs could barely carry me. This year was also a little different, because usually ALF is a reunion of sorts for all of my Clarion friends that I went to school with. This year nobody was very interested in ALF, or had other engagements, but I've never been one for breaking tradition, so in spite of being the only losers that were going to be there out of all of my friends, Ryan and I went. Not to mention the fact that since last ALF I had a romanticized image in my head of pushing my baby stroller through the crowded streets.
Thankfully, our friends Janae and Chris showed up and spent the weekend with us, which made me feel a little less loserish, and made me have a good time. For me, there's nothing like autumn, it's my favorite time of year, and the weekend was the most perfect, beautiful ALF weekend that I can remember. I think the last time the weather was that perfect was in 2001. Last year was cold and wet, and the year before that was really cold. This year I was sweating under the warm indian summer sun, and Lyric got her first blush of sunburn on her chubby little cheeks, which incidentally makes her look even cuter, if that's possible.
I was excited to take Lyric to her first parade, even if some of the first paradees were some arch nemesis.
Using the kids, as always.
These people were following this guy.
Number 88 himself was walking in front of this monstrosity of a bus, but I didn't take his picture, because I prefer to remember him like this:
What next? An action hero running for governor? Oh, wait...
After about 3 miles of Zem Zems, some friendlier faces.
Then the only gubernatorial candidate that a sane person would vote for.
We were standing next to a crowd of drunken rednecks with Harley Davidson t-shirts, NASCAR ball caps, and mullets, who screamed when Ed Rendell walked by, "LYNN SWANN!!! DON'T VOTE FOR ED, HE'S GONNA RAISE YOUR TAXES!"
They totally convinced me. Convinced me that the only reason they'd vote for Lynn Swann is because he's an ex-Steeler. Schyeah.
Anyhoo... Lyric enjoyed the parade.
She even flirted a bit.
She bounced to the marching bands, ate cookies and pizza, and finally passed out in her stroller. We walked back to the university campus because I wanted to buy her a shirt (Clarion IS the place that helped to create her... it's where Ryan and I "hooked up" if you know what I'm sayin'), and had a lovely and tiring day. We went back to camp, drank a couple pots of coffee, left the babe with grandma and pappy, and we hit the bar.
Now, back in the day, we would have driven back to Clarion and went to the Loomis or the University Inn, but instead we ventured to Cook Forest and hit the Trails End. We soon discovered that we were paying just as much for beer there as we would have been if we had hung with the rest of the alumni in Clarion, and made our way back by midnight. Janae and I were giddy... but she was giddier than I was. It was fun, but sure enough, Lyric woke up shortly after we got home, and I had to be in mommy mode. Buzz kill! But I was happy to snuggle up next to her and go to sleep.
Cause I'm old now. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.