It's one thing to be splashed by people playing in a pool, but by a skier? And we don't mean a water skier …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: For Red, summers and swimming pools conjures up images of fun and cooling off from the heat, a time of leisure, and screams of delight from all ages; but Black's not into relaxing, and all the pool "noise" makes it difficult to concentrate while reading, yet we did agree that we never expected a pool to be used for this ...


Now, to be fair (pun intended), Red prefers to avoid the sun, but that doesn't mean she hasn't seen plenty of sports taking place in a pool, especially since her younger daughter played competitive (indoor) school and club volleyball in high school, and would take those athletic skills (and others) into the pool. Although Sawyer would sometimes keep that "secret" to herself,

It didn't surprise me to see Sawyer jump into the pool and head straight to the impromptu water volleyball game in progress. And, although she was a versatile volleyball player who played various positions, I watched with curiosity as she let the older kids and adults show her how to handle the ball as if this was her first time playing. She went to serve (usually her strong suit) and … nothing. She barely made contact with the ball. Encouraged by the others to try again, she glanced my way, gave me a smile, and then … well, the Sawyer serve from competitive volleyball was now on display. To continue for many hours.

But pools and "surprises" are dots Black wouldn't typically connect. Although, over the years, she has seen some incredible pools in various travel magazines, and "swimming with sharks" or finding yourself in a glass-bottom pool that's suspended 29 floors high might be considered surprising. Or even shocking.

But our most recent pool "surprise" arrived via an Axios sports newsletter (Black is addicted to Axios), and coming off the Summer Olympics, Red thought Black's email might be another "feel good" story. Which, in a way, it was, although it had nothing to do with sportsmanship and everything to do with a new training facility for Australian winter athletes that can operate year-round. And when Black saw the image of the 121-foot-high water ramp,

I often wondered how aerial skiers and snowboarders practiced their maneuvers without risking their necks – and lives. Obviously, it requires skill, determination, courage, and a healthy respect for the risk involved. But, I never realized it also requires the ability to swim.

Happy Meals. Lasik surgery. A Supreme Court justice. Any idea what these three things have in common?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Although Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 as a week-long event, Red, the straight-A student and lover of history, is a bit embarrassed that she didn't know about it, but the theater major in her realizes they're under-represented (and misrepresented) in the movies. When we talked about the comparison of "In The Heights" to "West Side Story," Black wasn't only focused on the business aspects but also how it reflects the times, and now is interested in the many contributions (including patents) made by Latinx, and the need for inclusion and diversity.

P.S. – We were both curious why the month-long celebration begins mid-month (September 15) and discovered it's in honor of the anniversaries of national independence for many Latin American countries.

Can something be "new" if it's made with "old" ingredients?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Black's fascinated by the business and marketing aspects of food mash-ups (especially the multi-generational angle), while Red's excited that her beloved Dunkin' has collaborated with Post Cereals and there's now Dunkin' cereal (and both of us love the tag line, "Now you can have your coffee and eat it, too!). Funny thing is that we've all probably been doing our own "mash-ups" for years (ok, maybe not Black).

As the song says, "They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway, they say there's always magic in the air on Broadway" … and now it's all coming back!

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Although we live in Texas, we're originally from New York, and as different as we are, one thing we have in common is a love of Broadway, so we're excited about the re-opening of Broadway, even if for very different reasons.

Keep Reading ... Show less