Family Time is Nice

Some of the most memorable moments involved visiting Ian’s family.   I’d heard so many good things about Ian‘s family already, that meeting them was like meeting people I already knew. 

They were all lovely.

One afternoon, we spent awhile with Ian’s sister and nephew and the infamous Bouncer, their boxer, whom I thought seriously about stuffing in my bag.   We admired the garden, the paintings on the wall done by his mother and talked about what we’d been doing since I’d arrived and jetlag and round-a-bouts.

I felt really at home and happy.

Btw, evidently, Fletch knows some sort of Crocodile Dundee move with dogs which calmed Bouncer down, after which he sat down at his feet.

Another afternoon, we visited Ian’s mom and step-dad.  We went through family photos and we talked about various news-worthy items and had tea.  I admired more art on the wall and the beautiful woodwork throughout the house.

Ian’s mum and I talked about making Ian’s tea (when I thought I’d messed it up, she said, “Tell him we both did it”.)   😀    We talked about what would keep Ian and I on the phone for 5 hours at a time, which we have done.   And we talked about their trip to Florida ages ago.

I was touched that Ian’s mum sat right beside me and narrated all the family photos.

Ian’s step-dad is actually Polish.   Actually *from* Poland, not a derivative of some distant relative from Poland.   He’s a master builder and I saw some of his work in photographs, as well as around their house.

When we left, his mum and step-dad gave me a hug and kissed me on the cheek.

It was really nice.   🙂

Next trip, I hope to meet Ian’s dad and maybe some others…  🙂

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Good News!

Ian is coming to America … just in time for Christmas!   I’m excited to have him here, in the place that I’ve been telling him about for so long.     We’re busily plotting our Christmas dinner and where he wants to go and things we want to see.  

This will be the first time TLK has met Ian, and I know they’ll interact famously.    

And I’m sure the dogs will not be willing to let him out the door.  I can see us coming home, and they’re jumping on him instead of me.  hehe     🙂

The Narrowboat Tour

I am fascinated by canal boats, and Ian had the brilliant idea to go to the canal boat museum.

We walked through the museum itself (fascinating.. you must go, if you can), then walked down the canal, where a man and his wife were about to turn their canal boat around in the canal.

It was fun to see them maneuver their boat in the canal.  Afterwards, they headed through a long tunnel (about 1.5 miles, if I remember correctly, and I may not).

Walking along the footpath, we found blackberries (yum) and talked about poisonous berries vs. the berries you can make wine out of (don’t confuse the two).    

It was SO much fun!    

I think that one day, I fancy a vacation involving a canal boat, a handsome British poet and TLK.

I am not a poet

One night, late at night, whilst we were waiting to make a phone call to the US to TLK, Ian sat down at the computer desk and said, “Right. Let’s write a poem together.”

Step 1: Figure out what you’re writing about
Step 2: Brainstorm words
Step 3: Decide if you’re wanting to rhyme or not.  And where.   
Step 4: (I am probably leaving a lot out, but) Write down the poem

Uhhh… Honey? Did you fix that poem? hehe

Hi. I do not write poetry. But I know someone who does.

 

(look down… there is another post for today)

Day 3: Meeting Gem and Fletch

So, back to the bouncy, happy woman.   We shall call her “Jane”.   Or, you could call her my sister, since she seems to be every bit of what I’ve always said she is:  My sister.     Upon arrival at their lovely flat, we met Fletch, who was exactly who I imagined he’d be, as well (funny how this Internet thing works, innit?)

We talked for awhile, then headed to a nice local pub for Leffe.    Leffe.    What can I say?   Leffe goes down smooth.   It goes down smooth x4.   The light german beer inbetween just makes you want more Leffe.

Can you say “toasted”?   I thought you could!

After too many Leffe’s and some pistachios and cashews, we went to an Indian curry house, where I asked Ian to order for me (lamb bhuna) and then Jane and I attempted to use the ladies room.    I could not walk a straight line at this point, or stop laughing.   I washed my hands and attempted to use the hand dryer, which we could not figure out.    Finally, Jane got it working, so I used it for .. oh… 2 seconds, and was ready to go.

After dinner, Jane and I walked back in the rain whilst the guys picked up snacks.    Somehow, I ended up drinking a glass of wine, got a headache and decided that Leffe was not good for me, to the extent that  I have sworn off Leffe.  Although I will always remember it’s very smooth taste.   Good Belgian beer.   🙂

In the morning, I made pancakes, after the guys went out for supplies and Jane made us coffee.     What is

fun about British households is that coffee and tea always seem to be readily available.   At home, I can go ages without drinking a thing, but we were always picking between coffee and tea.

Anyway, the pancakes seemed to live up to expectations.

After awhile, we headed off to Cambridge, for a tour of the city.   The city was amazing, full of students returning to school and people wandering through shops and coffee houses.    The architecture was ancient, by American standards, the company was wonderful and I think I can safely say we all had a great time.

I Can Rite Blogz

Ok.   The whirlwind tour of England, which was actually for a week, but seemed more like an hour and 1/2.   🙂

Day 1 – This was a day of travel.   The dogs had been dropped at the kennel.  The child had been dropped at her father’s, and I headed for the airport 2 hours in advance.  I was frazzled.   I couldn’t find the airport.    The construction around the area had eliminated a few signs indicating the logical route to the airport.

Ok.   Who has taken the airport?   Oh.   There it is!

I parked in far-away parking and rode the shuttle to the airport, checked in my luggage and waited for the plane to leave.      Ian and Jane were texting me all along.    So exciting.   I am leaving the COUNTRY!

Day 2 – Starts at 6am when the plane lands in London, having not slept most of the overnight flight (but tried).    I notice the directional traffic differences from the air, the fact that the sun is rising already (it’s midnight my time) and then….. it occurs to me… “OMG!  Ian is in the airport, waiting for me!”

I proceded through security after speaking to a very thorough border patrol agent.

My luggage was immediately available.  I grabbed it and headed for the restroom, since I’d needed to “go” for the last 45 minutes.   LOL     Eventually, I found the correct customs line and proceded without incident (or person to talk to) in a matter of seconds.

I spotted the man in the Spider Pig shirt.   He was EXACTLY what I expected.    He smiled at me and said, “You’re just as perfect as I imagined you’d be.”     We shared a hug and kiss, he grabbed my suitcase and we started walking… smiling at each other.    We talked about how bizarre it was that I was actually there, then I grabbed his hand and it was off to find the car.

We took a long country route home.   I saw loads of old architecture and deer, as my handsome tour guide began to describe what I was seeing.   Part-way through, the jet lag started to hit me.   I felt nauseous, especially on the round-a-bouts… many, many round-a-bouts.

We spent some of day 2 going through Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, looking for various items for my personal chef to cook!

We slept for awhile.   We called Jane to say “HELLO!” (as we say it to each other) and we arranged for Day 3, visiting Jane and Fletch.

Day 3:   Saturday in the market.   We don’t have many (if any) open air markets where I’m from, especially filled with Indian food, fresh fish, clothing, and especially my handsome British tour guide.

After walking through the market, we walked through the shopping mall, looked around at various things, found Butterfinger candybars and returned home.     Soon after, we took off to meet Jane and Fletch, where some really bouncy woman met us in the parking lot, very excited to see us, and very much like I imagined.

I’ll leave you with these photos for now.   More to post on Day 3 later.  🙂

The meat and cheese case in the market
My handsome tour guide 😉
Lots of interesting/fresh fruits and vegetables