Monday, June 13, 2011

Visiting the moms

Our last trip for spring of 2011 was to Maryland and then Michigan, to visit my mom and then Julie's. We spent four days with each, catching up, helping around the house a bit, and getting out for some exploring.

My mom is a very avid bird watcher and is always running at least five bird feeders at her house. Here she is executing her morning ritual of feeding the two Mallards that show up around 6:30. Whose ever heard of ducks coming to a bird feeder?

We got down to Annapolis to see the Secret Garden Tour. In the older parts of Annapolis, the houses frequently have quiet little back yards, blocked off from public view by the house and perhaps a fence. Each year, they hold a fundraiser and open 10-15 of these gardens to the public. Some were quite pretty. One had a gorgeous yard on Spa Creek. I was drooling at the big dock (for an 80' boat), easy water access and oops, the 4.5 million dollar asking price. It really was nice!

While the flowers were pretty, this little cat was by far the most interesting sight. He had just had his summer shave. His head looked so big I thought he would fall over forward. He could easily be the main character of a children's book.

One night we popped down to Alexandria to have dinner with Jim and Kathy Covaleski. It was wonderful getting to see them. Kathy put on a great meal, especially given that she had to get up around 3:00am for a flight the next morning. I doubt she looked quite as cheerful then.

On to Michigan. I couldn't help but giggle at the BWI airport rental car facility. When you turned in your car, you had to take the bus to the airport, several miles away. Can you guess which way to go for the bus? In case you got lost (along the straight line with a 20 foot wide sidewalk, they put these signs, all identical, about every 30 feet. If you couldn't read, it was ok. The bus was actually in plain view the entire walk.

One of the factors that determined when we would take this trip was the high school graduation celebration for one of Julie's cousins' daughter. If you have followed this blog, you might remember that almost every year, Julie and I make a pilgrimage to Michigan to join Bill and Kathleen Donnelly for a Michigan football game. This is Bill with the recently graduated Mehgan. We have managed to catch all three of their kids graduation events. The oldest, Michael, just graduated from Michigan State and will be heading to Chicago to work.

This is Julie's mom holding her new prize. We went to the Verizon store in search of a new cell phone and came home with the phone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab. It's a 7" tablet that runs Android. (Apple fans, think little iPad).

Julie got it configured correctly and Joan got to start playing with it before her trip to Oregon. It's quite the impressive little tablet. Over the next year or three, I think most people who just use their computers for email and web access will toss the laptops and go with a tablet.

I'm always the one taking pictures, so I normally only show up in those odd-angled pictures where I am holding the camera pointed backwards. Julie's mom took this one, so it isn't my usual close-up (a good thing).

A great trip! We got to see lots of family, do lots of interesting things, and even managed to do a good job of eating healthy and exercising, which is our normal travel failure.

After a half dozen trips, it's time to stay at home for a few months and enjoy Park City's cooler weather.
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