The Squirrels are stealing all the food from the bird feeder, the Groundhog just waddled past the side of the barn, the Chipmunk (or cheekmonkey as the girls say) is scampering up the side of the well, the dew is glistening on the bright green lawn and I am the only one in the house awake to see this morning beauty.
We’re at Gregory’s parents in upstate NY and every morning since we got here on Saturday eve, I’ve been up at 4 admiring the dawn. For the record, this is the worst jet lag I have ever had in my life.
On the upside, both girls were brilliant on the trip over. Edie staged a landing spew just as we were descending into LA which I poorly decided to try and catch in my hands. Then we nearly missed our connecting flight because security thought they found explosives on Gregory’s sneakers.
While we waited for the Explosives Expert to arrive, the girls (who were slightly delirious with fatigue) kept themselves amused with an old lectern that was standing to one side, conducting speeches and running ‘assemblies’. Some 40 minutes later, the Explosives Specialist (a slightly out of shape, tattooed with ‘Carpe Diem’, obviously ex-military type bloke) arrived and cleared Gregory, but not before the girls had found a hidden security alarm on the inside of the lectern, and pushed it a million times, sending the security detail on a merry chase about the airport until they found their culprits.
We made the flight, landed in NYC, met Gregory’s parents and it was Q’s turn to projectile spew on the long, slow drive out of the city. It was a holiday on the Monday here, but unlike Aussies who would chuck a sickie on the Friday and leave for their 4 day weekend on the Thursday night, Americans leave on Saturday afternoon and the going out of JFK was slow.
We arrived at Gregory’s eldest brother’s house, the girls met the first of their 13 American cousins, Gregory drank a Bud on his home soil and I just about ate an entire packet of Wheat Thins all by myself.
Be still my beating heart. How I love the humble wheat thin.
And half-and-half. Turning bad American coffee into magic.
And whipped butter. Perfect on a New York Bagel.
We’re heading further into the countryside today, meeting Canadian friends of mine in rural Pennsylvania in a small town where one set of Gregory’s aunts and uncles happen to live and also where dear chef friends of his have their restaurant. No doubt, Gregory will relive his teenage years, driving through the local Dunkin Donuts before we begin our journey, ordering ‘a large with one and two glazed and plain’.
New York awaits, but it’s family first on this trip, and think of us on Sunday morning at 8am as we try to wrangle 15 children under the age of 11 into colour-themed outfits, keep them clean and get them standing in some sort of order for the family photo.
I mean really, how many things can you see going wrong with that plan?