Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Onward to Erie

After all the Christmas festivities at my two families, we headed to see Megan's folks. Its about a 3-4 hour drive from Toledo, and Cleveland makes a nice stopping point whenever the kids get stir crazy in the car.

In Erie we visited the new Tom Ridge environmental center on Presque Isle state park...it was really nice! It highlights the use and changes of the penninsula over the years and has some good interactive exhibits. There is a tall lookout tower with great views of the bay. Also, the building has some cool green features like natural convection cooling and use of recycled materials.

Also we visited the Splash Lagoon waterpark, whew some of those water slides are crazy! I went down this one that takes you outside (in the dark) and then back into this huge vortex type thing that then drops you down into a big pool of water. When you come to the surface you can barely tell which way to swim to get to the edge.

On our way back to Toledo, Megan and the girl stopped in Cleveland to see the My Little Pony live show. Me and the boy went to the downtown library for a while, what a very impressive place!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The party continues

Today we picked up the boy and then headed over to see a family we met while he attended the Grove Patterson school. We left our remaining gold fish Jerry with this family when we moved to England and were sad to hear that he had given up on life...but it was a long life of 7 years for the carnival fish won in the ping pong toss.

Later we headed over to one of my good friends Jim's, who put together a nice party for us. Some old friends from Napoleon as well as some newer friends from the Toledo area dropped in. There were kids hopping around; real english ales; the Los Straitjackets holiday songs in the background... what a great time. Thanks a lot Jim!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Breakfast with Laura

Today we had breakfast with a good friend of ours, Laura Lago, and her daughter Abigail. Laura has this way of coming in and out of our lives at important times. When we were getting maried, she was the nice lady at the fabric shop who helped Megan pick out the fabrics for her dress. When we had the boy, she was the wise lady who helped us plan Liam's naming ceremony at First Unitarian. Megan has spent countless hours with her sewing and pontificating religion. She has spent some nights at our place with the kids so Megan and I could sneak out for a while. It was good to see her again and I think she feels back at home in the old west end.

Later that day we made a family trip to the dentist (health care isn't so great in UK) and then the boy went for an overnight with one of his good friends.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lunch with co-workers

Today Megan and I ran around town getting some gifts sorted for Christmas. We stopped in for lunch with my former boss and my old team...it was really nice hanging out with them again for a while.

Monday, December 18, 2006

a day in Ann Arbor

Today Megan and I wandered Ann Arbor... Pinball Pete's arcade, bookstores, cafe, etc. Later we saw US vs John Lennon at the Michigan Theater main hall, a very beautiful venue! It had lots of music and interviews and was produced pretty well. It filled in a lot of gaps for me because I've never known much about him (and Yoko). A quip about Bush near the end really cheapened the whole thing and I'm really surprised this wasn't edited out. Only in a town like AA do you get a standing ovation at the end of a Monday night documentary at the theater!

We almost moved to this town once, I think it still has possibilities when we move back to the states.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lunch at Mom's

Today we drove to Napoleon and had lunch at mom & Dave's. Later Megan and I made our way to the Holiday Inn French Quarter while the kids spent the night at grandma and grandpa's.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Flight to Toledo - Back in T Town

We came home for a couple weeks to meet with family and friends over the holidays.

We arrived at Toledo Express at 7:30 and headed to Liberty Center to stay at dad's house for the night. The kids were very shy and didn't know what to do when they saw my dad and step mom...but they soon warmed up. It was a weird feeling driving the old Saturn again, I like my Vauxhall Zafira much better I have to admit.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Has it really been that long?

Yes, yes it has. Megan and I were married at Hope Lutheran Church on Indian / Bancroft 10 years ago today. Since then we've done some very nice things like finish college, start a family, remodel a home, and live abroad. I wonder what the next 10 will hold?

I sure hope it slows down a bit because that decade absolutely flew!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lymm Dickensian Parade 2006

Lymm is a nice old town between Warrington and Manchester. Each year around this time they have a Dickensian parade (in the style of Charles Dickens). We took our friend Bob to brunch and then stayed for the parade. He'll be moving back home to the states soon and we will sure miss him and his wife!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pied Piper Opera

Tonight after work I packed up the family and we went to the Lowry theatre in Manchester to see the Pied Piper. The venue was small, had a great little orchestra, the singers were amazing, and acting full of emotion and movement. Even though it was billed as family friendly, I wasn't sure how the kids would take to it. But from the moment we walked in they were interested what was happening on stage; I think they got a lot out of it.

The Lowry is a really cool piece of building right down at the quays in city centre. Out across the water you can see Old Trafford and the Imperial War museum.