Family: Both sides, all the time

We have been back in the States for a few weeks and it’s been a very family time. You already know that we spent a week in Florida, but from there we flew to Baltimore for our granddaughter’s birthday and Mother’s Day.

It’s hard to beat having your 3-year-old granddaughter come running to you so you can save her from Grandpa Monster. Luckily, Nana bought a bubble lawnmower so Hannah could run over Grandpa Monster on her own (Grandpa, lie down so I can run you over).

Grandpa Monster wears birthday balloons.

We had family dinners, went out with extended family (hi Karl and Helen) and crammed in as much togetherness as possible while working. We’re not used to being around a lot of people anymore, so there’s always a bit of an adjustment when we have to consider other humans in our plans (actually it is kind of annoying), but we were really looking forward to seeing everyone (especially our granddaughter, who is the cutest person on Earth).

When we head to the States, we are reminded that we are a little snobby when it comes to food. The suburbs of Baltimore just don’t do it for us in that category, but we did find a great dinner spot called the White Oak Tavern where we could accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions and they would take a large party who called on Tuesday for a Wednesday reservation. One of our culture shocks when we come home is the fact that dinner always feels rushed. The waiter brings the check while asking if you want dessert. We did not experience that this time, yay!

On Friday, we hopped in the car and headed for Pittsburgh, where Steven’s nephew was getting married. Big family reunion! We only had one major problem during the trip and that came from Judie’s sister from another mister, Tracey. The woman ordered a blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese!?!?!?! What? Get a pastry, I say. (Sue and I were discussing the appropriate penalty for such a travesty. I voted to have Tracey hung drawn and quartered. Sue suggested that the family shun Tracey until she repents and begs forgiveness from the Bagel Gods.)

Saturday afternoon we went to lunch at Church Brew Works. It comes by the name honestly as it is a deconsecrated church that still looks exactly like a church, except for the brewing paraphernalia. The food was good, the company better (I will take my IPA with a shot of heresy on the side).

Everybody looked fabulous for the wedding. The ceremony was touching and personal and we all had a blast. Hannah was the life of the party. She was the first one on the dance floor and we all joined in. I’ll say this: Steven’s family definitely knows how to have fun and Steven did yeoman’s duty by taking his aunt and uncle back to the hotel early since they were exhausted. The family can be a lot (and I mean that in a good way). We all had brunch together Sunday morning and then disbursed back to our corners.

Steven headed to Austin for work and I came to Chicago to see my family. At first, I was remembering all the great things about Chicago (food, friends, family), but yesterday, it got cold and tonight, my brother, nephew and I are going to the Cubs-Mets game. Why do the Mets always play the Cubs in May? It’s freezing (Because everyone knows that Mets fans are in league with the devil, so they don’t mind the cold! — said the Yankees fan who whines when they don’t win every game). Watching baseball while shivering will cure me of my Chicago wistfulness.

Update, since we didn’t post this yesterday: That was the best game! Mets win 10-1. So it was cold, who cares? The highlight was watching Daniel Vogelbach chug around the bases — oh, and seeing my Jakey.

One thought on “Family: Both sides, all the time

  1. Tracey Sharkey

    What can I say???? I live in the south now, where blueberry bagels are totally acceptable.πŸ˜›πŸ€ͺ😯. And it was so yummy 🀀 πŸ˜‹ it was great seeing you guys. Can’t wait to read about your new adventures. Please visit us in Myrtle Beach if you are ever in the area.


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