Since I am now living on the other side of the world to my family and most of my friends this blog is about things I enjoy, things I notice, people I meet, people I miss, history, planning for the future, love and life in general! I guess it's about whatever pops into my head which I want to share with my friends and family... and who knows? I might make some more friends along the way!

05 October, 2007

Further Adventures in the USA!

On the Sunday (my 2nd full day in the US) we ate at another amazing restaurant - it was a place that specialised in cheese cakes, but we didn't even have room to finish our brunch, let alone attempt dessert!!! I have to tell you that I have discovered something incredible that we don't have in Australia - cheese grits!! Grits are hard to describe... they are a little like porridge but they are finer... today we had some with cheese cooked through them too - oh can you imagine me discovering something that you can eat for breakfast or brunch that tastes of cheese? I couldn't finish my entire plate full (a regular occurrence in the USA I find!) and the rest was Eggs Florentine with American 'biscuit" (refer to my previous blog to explain this American ‘weirdness’ LOL!)
Jimi was working for the next few days, so after saying farewell, for the time being we drove to Jimi’s parent’s place (about 2 hours from Atlanta) to collect Zachary and Aiden, his sons who are 4 and 2 years old. His parents were so welcoming and hospitable! Jane and Pat have built their own home and it is just gorgeous - I wish I had the presence of mind to ask if I could take a couple of photos - but we are going back there on Wednesday as they are having the boys again for the weekend of Dragon*Con which Jimi and I are attending in Atlanta!!

Speaking of which - the last few things I ordered for my 76th uniform arrived at Jimi's place in the last couple of days... my pants fit perfectly, the vest which Tom made is a little large - but that's better than small - my boots look fantastic after I dyed them on Thursday night (yeah - the night before I flew to the USA!!!) and my belt arrived just the day before I did (they have Saturday post here!) and it fits perfectly too!! I am very excited about marching in the parade in Atlanta now!!

Jimi shares a house with his ex-wife, Ami and their gorgeous boys, and Ami's baby daughter, Emma, who is just 9 days old!!! While I was there Ami's boyfriend, Leo, was also living there, though he is a recent addition to the household.

The boys are so gorgeous and I couldn't wait to read them some of the books I brought with me for them - the Steve Parish books about Australian animals which have his pictures in them! I met and got along with the cats and the dogs, though poor PJ was a bit sad that he wasn’t allowed inside, Jack is too big and rough to have around baby Emma and it isn’t fair to have one dog and not the other. The wild cat, Darcy (whom I shall always refer to as ‘Miss Darcy’ out of respect) took to me like an old friend, she is supposed to be really tough and mean, but we had some special moments and I wasn’t scratched once. The others are Alexander (a very shy boy cat) and another cat (who’s name I am ashamed to say I can’t really recall right now… perhaps he was Jack?) The rest of the week went quietly, since Jimi was working and I stayed home with Ami and the boys and baby Emma. Of course I was in my element and felt good about being there to lend a hand somewhat! The first few days while I was there I would walk into a room and Aiden would glare at me and shout “No! Back Up!” but in a few days he was attempting to say my name and snuggling up with me for cuddles and naps! Zachary is an independent spirit and a wonderful, intelligent and articulate boy! They adore their Dad and seemed quite happy to have me there! Baby Emma is a good baby, though she was unsettled the first couple of days I was there, she soon became really idyllic when she was put on lactose free formula as Ami. It’s amazing what a change in diet can do!

On the Wednesday night Jimi and I drove the boys over to his parents again. Jane and Pat live about an hour and a half from Warner Robins where the family live. I saw something there that I hadn’t seen in my life before! A tiny little humming bird!! They have a bird feeder just outside the window and I was mesmerized, probably to the amusement of the people who are used to such tiny, fast-like-a-freak birds, but I tried in vain to get a good photo… they all were too small and too lacking in contrast to make the birds out properly! What a thrill though! Before we returned to his home, Jimi and I took a detour to meet up with Bryon, another memeber of the 76th who lives in Georgia! Due to some serious injuries and the financial implications of no longer being able to work (and a heap of legal issues with his former employer, which I will not vent my frustration at here) Bryon is not able to march with us at D*C on Saturday and isn't even able to come and watch, so he had a couple of weapons to loan to members of the group, and some pebbles for Canter (did I mention that Canter collects pebbles from friends as a way of connecting with them and keeping personal memento's?) It was pure joy to meet up with him and spend about an hour chatting at a 'road house' in the town near to where he lives! Bryon was really terrific, and nice, decent, down to earth guy with a terrific sense of humour and a warmth that I am rapidly associating with members of the 76th! It's a pity the others won't get to meet him and vice versa! My only regret was that he didn't bring any of his extensive collection of snakes with him - I actually love non-poisonous snakes! His call sign on the 76th is "Bryon Boas" and there is good reason for that!! Oh hang on - my other regret is that I forgot to take something I had brought over with me for him... I seem to have a talent for taking things half way around the world and then either forgetting them, or just not finding them when I have the opportunity to give them to the person they were intended for! Next Stop, Atlanta again! And the convention I am here for… Dragon*Con!! It almost seems impossible that I will meet so many more of my Firefly and 76th Battalion family in the next 48 hours - but it is finally about to happen!!

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