Tuesday, 24 June 2008

the visit

My cousin Chris and his wife Lorella celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary this year by spending 15 days in Europe. This concerns me because the last day of their trip was at my house. :-) Chris has done a good job of telling about the rest of their trip, but for me things started Sunday.

We straightened the house Sunday morning and left for church about 10:45, which gave us time for lunch at Burger King beforehand. After church we stopped at the commissary for ice cream, since I forgot that Saturday, and then on home to relax a minute before making supper. I had just started on the salad when the children all started shouting "They're Here!"
Chris came to the door to ask where to park (good question). When I opened the door, Ella looked up at him and said, "Daddy." No, Ella, that's Chris, not Daddy. So they got parked and we had a visit while William nursed and Taryn made the salad. Cedwryck had previously decided that he wasn't going to talk to 'those people,' and it turned out that we wished he hadn't. While we were all sitting around chatting, he pointed at Chris and said, "You're fat!" Mortification! They took it kindly, but I'm feeling the need for some refinement in our life. Not like we normally go around commenting on people's body shape, but maybe we do talk too much about the unimportant things.

All the children took up with Chris and Lorella right away, and we had a good visit. They were very generous guests, and brought gifts for each of us, as well as buying us dinner on Monday (but I get ahead of myself), and sharing with the children. They've definitely set the standard high for future visitors - and there had better be some future visitors!

We had chicken enchiladas for Sunday dinner, with chips, beans, and some vegetables. For dessert there was Taryn's cake with ice cream. yummy

Monday we got up pretty early and had breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, and homemade cinnamon rolls. William decided to take a nurse-and-nap after breakfast, so that gave us time for more visiting and relaxing. Lorella packed up their bags, and we generally got ready to go. We were out of the house by 9:30 or so, and they led the way to Orford Castle, following directions of their in-car GPS. It took us a different route than Google maps, so we got to see the outskirts of Ipswich for the first time.

Taryn didn't think Orford had a lot of stairs, but it is on 4 floors altogether. It didn't feel like a lot, but my knees are a little sore today. Anyway, we got the audio tours and wandered around looking and listening. When we started up the last flight of stairs, onto the roof, we noticed Chris wasn't with us. Lorella said he'd probably gone looking for a bathroom, so we went on up. There are two guard towers that have rooms inside, kinda dark, and the children discovered that the doors were open (I think they were locked last time) and started in one. There was a big noise, and everyone screamed and ran out laughing. Yep, Chris was hiding in the guard room to scare us. Cedwryck almost cried, and didn't like being scared. Guess what the children spent the rest of the visit doing.

It was this incident that reminded me of what an ornery boy Chris used to be. He was the one who got an extra dinner roll at a family dinner, took it to his place and stuffed a napkin inside before "deciding" he didn't want that many, so he took it back to the serving line. He got into a bit of trouble when our grandma ended up with the false roll. It was Chris who would stand outside the bathroom window in the evenings and make funny noises at my cousin while she was in the shower. And Chris was the one who "laid hands on" the burnt-out light bulb in our Great Grandma's "old house" and commanded it to come on, "in the name of Jesus," in classic televangelist style. I'm glad he's settled down some. ;-)

Anyway, after Orford we went to Framlingham Castle, about 30 minutes away and explored it's museum, curtain wall, and gift shop. We were getting pretty hungry by this time, so we walked toward the village and the first pub we saw, just outside the castle grounds, had plenty of seating so we went in. It was about 3:00. Lorella easily remembered what everyone wanted and ordered at the bar. Bob had fish and chips, which he said was much better than what we'd got at the pub in Orford last time, I had a sandwich and salad, and most of the children had chicken nuggets (Riah had fish). Then we had dessert. Each child had an ice cream scoop, and Bob and I shared a "caramelized apple tart with ice cream." It was VERY good. Lorella also had a tart, and Chris had strawberries and cream - which all the children made eyes at, so he gave them each a strawberry in addition to their ice cream.

After lunch we walked down to the church and went in. A man was playing the big pipe organ, and a few other people were wandering around. In the back of the church is the tomb of Henry 8th's illegitimate son and his wife. It was about 5, and we each had a little driving to do, so we said our good-byes in the parking lot and we went home while they went toward Heathrow.

Today I am feeling quite tired, but I got a boost when Misty, the lady whom I met at the BX a couple of months ago, called and we decided to get together tomorrow.

The weather was very nice yesterday - blue sky with white puffy clouds, about 65*, a little breezy at first but calming down later.
We didn't get lost, but did have a couple of incidents. #1, Taryn and Naysha rode with Chris and Lorella in their rental Audi. Halfway to Orford, on the highway, Taryn's door came open! Turns out she was checking to see if the car had child safety locks. #2, on the outskirts of Framlingham, a bee flew in Bob's open window and down his shirt, stinging him on the chest. OUCH.

so I guess this post is about long enough.

Who's next?


Anonymous said...

You can count on it that it won't be Norma, ha. jc.

MamaOlive said...

Yes, she told me there will be no convincing her to come. Pat wanted to come, though. I guess she's busy taking care of Paul now. You are welcome anytime. :-)

Lorella told us about a deaf couple who came here on vacation and tried to follow their in-car GPS by reading the map as it went. It didn't take long for them to put their 13 year old hearing daughter up front to listen to the GPS and sign to her dad.

Anonymous said...

Mitchel (deaf) has GPS. When Donna, he and I went to visit Gary and Karen last March, he never had any problems with reading his GPS.

JC is 100% right about me not getting on a plane. Big Smile. Dob

Ganeida said...

I wish it was me, but sadly it won't be. I'd love to come visit.

MamaOlive said...

Dob, I guess some people can just read faster than others on the GPS thing. Or Mitchel is used to it because it's his own car. Was that visit to El Salvador? I didn't know you'd been there.

I wish you could come, too. I'd really like to spend some time in your neck of the woods, but it's just too far away. Maybe one of our children will be rich and send us over there on the vacation of a lifetime. :-)

Anonymous said...

LOL! No way for me to go to El Salvador! Our visit was at Gary & Karen's in Mission, Texas.

LC said...

"I'm glad he's settled down some."
Has he really? Oh my.
We had a great time and I will blog about it sooner or later. I'm still way back on Paris.... I'll get there though.
Driving on the left side of the road is SCARY! And Englands roads are narrow and people park right in the traffic lane... much different than using GPS in USA. haha.
We survived though.

LC said...

Oh, and just to clarify, what you saw was probably not Taryn opening the car door. She did pull the handle yes, (my fault, she thought I told her to check if it had child locks- when in fact I had said I'm not sure if it has child locks, so don't check), but the door just came loose enough to give us the woosh sound of a not sealed door. I turned around and proceeded to open and swiftly close the door to make sure it was solidly closed.

MamaOlive said...

Ahh, thanks for the clarification.
Good to know you are home safe.