Okay. It’s been a busy month here with a ton of family stuff. I got a chance to catch up with a lot of relatives and friends I haven’t seen in years or in some cases, decades. Dad’s siblings and my younger cousins, who are now all married with children, were here for a few days. I still think of all of us as being kids so it was a bit strange for me to see them with their little ones…
Mom’s best friend from high school came to stay with us for a week after the funeral. I used to consider her my second Mom, she and her husband as my second parents; it was so great to see her again after so many years. Having her here made Mom and me really happy, and helped Mom a great deal. We took day trips to the Amish Country and Philadelphia, ate and drank a lot (Spanish, Italian, Traditional American, Chinese, even Peruvian), and had a chance to spend time with her Grandchildren who are both precious and precocious.
Lunch at Amada, Jose Garces’ Spanish tapas restaurant, Philadelphia, PA
Over a lovely Italian dinner we caught up with Karen and John, who were like family to me when I was growing up. All those trips we took together… Our second cousin Ken from Texas came by for an afternoon with his wife, Kenny, and Katherine, which was an unexpected surprise. It had been at least 20 years since I last saw him, and it was my first time meeting his children. I had no idea Ken was such an avid hunter and adventurer, and Kenny, his handsome son, an excellent student looking to attend Stanford (go Cardinals!) or one of the Ivys…
With all of that and more, July flew by quickly and I found myself thinking about what’s next. I went into full “travel agent mode” and have been planning several trips. I’m taking off for Switzerland in a couple of weeks, headed for Italy, Spain, and Portugal. I’ll be back Stateside for a few weeks before leaving for India (via Turkey?). I’m committed to spending Christmas and New Years in Tasmania (with a 6 day overland track to Cradle Mountain!), Sydney, Melbourne for the Australian Open, New Zealand for more hiking, then to Korea, hopefully in time to greet the cherry blossoms. ahhhhhh!!!
Until I get to the mountains and lakes of Switzerland, I’ll clean and catch up on my blog postings… if only I can sort through all the photos… Coming up, hopefully, will be a post about my first Chinese wedding, maybe the family trip we took New Mexico (exactly one year ago this time), or finish out my posts from Argentina. Let me get going!
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, PA