Tuesday, November 08, 2016

America 2016: With My Kids

This happens every year, of course, almost like clockwork.  We fly to Atlanta from Amsterdam, spend a few days with my kids, then a few days with Bob and Peggy south of Atlanta, 5 days with the kids at the cabin in the North Georgia mountains, and then back to the Atlanta area before we fly back home.

THIS is the post with the kids.  Next post will be with Bob and Peggy.

The first thing after arriving on Wednesday evening was seeing Amy and Dennis' new home.
They bought this house, sold their old house, all within weeks of each other in September.

Exploring the new neighborhood was one of the first things we did
during my favorite time of the year.

Astrid had even researched the area before we went, knowing we'd want to walk to the Settles Bridge 
spanning the Chattahoochee River just a 40-minute walk away. 
And yes, we had to climb down and back up to get the full view.

But, back to the house, the side porch to the kitchen is a favorite resting spot for all.
I watched the October 19th Presidential debate out there.  HA!

Remember the goofball collage I did of Astrid and Nicholas two years ago (2014)?

We had to do it again, just for the halibut.
Man alive.  He's really growing up (11th grade this year).

And because this was a very special and long-awaited event...buying a new house...
a house-warming gift was in order from my obligatory 71-1/2-year tax cash-out (investments),
which I had also done the year before for Mark's new apartment.
It was totally educational watching the pool table being put together by these 3 competent men!
I now think of the hours of fun the entire family will have in that room.

Speaking of house-warming gifts, the basketball hoop that Astrid bought arrived while we were there,
and was put together the weekend after we left by Mark, Dennis and Bill (ex-husband).
Thanks to Amy for these pics.  Once I get a pic of Nicholas playing, I'll add it!

Mark invited us to his apartment again, like last year, for the family potato-sausage soup recipe.
It's a great tradition now and you don't have to ask us twice!  

And on Saturday, because we're all football fans, we watched MICHIGAN play:
Do you know how fun it was to watch my alma mater Michigan play and WIN a game again?!?!
They're on a roll this year, thankfully.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

At this point we went to visit Bob and Peggy from Sunday to Thursday (next post).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

By now you know how much we LOVE our cabin time in the Blue Ridge mountains!
(panorama photo from the deck, thanks to Astrid)

The same day we returned from Bob and Peggy, Thursday, we drove up to the mountains.
THIS is why.  And besides, it's "neutral" territory for us all.

It's also the walks at this peak time of autumn....

which both Nicholas and Mark took with us this year.

It's also the cards (Spades) with Mark and moi against Amy and Dennis,
something we've done for years now...while Astrid and Nicholas do their own fun.

Like shooting pool and playing ping-pong, for instance.
It's a great cabin...already reserved for next year!

A total surprise this year was Amy conniving with Astrid to make two 750-pc. puzzles for me,
using two collages from our Malta trip last April.
We finished the seafood puzzle this year and plan to do the luzzu boats next year.
What a gift!  THANK YOU, Amy and Astrid.

We eat together, of course, for breakfast and dinner, with Amy and Dennis as cooks.
Astrid and I do the dishes, which makes for a win-win situation all around.
And, oh, yes, can't forget the bran-muffin mix Mark brings for us.

Dinners are especially homey and heart-warming.
Dennis even had a friend join us for one of the meals (bottom-right)...like one of the family.

And then on Monday, going back down the mountain, we continued our tradition
of stopping at Waffle House for breakfast...this time on Halloween day.  Fun.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Since it was Halloween, that evening we joined the neighbors at the bottom of the cul-de-sac
for the trick-or-treating festivities.  
What a great chance for all of us to meet each other.

And the next day, before heading off to the airport for home,
we rendezvoused for lunch with Sheila, a long-ago Sun Data/Solarcom co-worker.
It was like picking up from where we last left off.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And now, today (Election Day), we await the news on who will be the next POTUS.
I'm going out on a limb to say:  HILLARY.
My prediction is she will win both the electoral and popular votes.
But what will the fallout be?
"Let there be Peace on earth and let it begin with me" is my new daily mantra....
We have a lot of healing to do as a country!

It's Trump.  He won the electoral vote; she won the popular vote.
And I still wonder about the fallout!


  1. What a wonderful visit and I always look forward to seeing the images from your time at the cabin! But what I love most about this posting is your grandson snuggling up with you. Now that is PRICELESS!!! So happy you had another safe trip! ❤️

    1. That's one of my favorites, too, Robin, so I'm glad you noticed it. Thank you.

  2. Ohhhh I love love love all these pictures! I want to go back and study them longer. Thank you!

  3. Such a wonderful family vacation! And at such a beautiful time of year. It looks like you both had such fun! Beautiful family, Ginnie!

    1. Thank you, Marie. We look forward to it every year and are never disappointed.

  4. you sure are good at collages, it reminds me of the photo albums i used to make when i shot film... i love loved the one with the mountains and sky... but the love of food and your family also touched my heart :)

  5. Oh what a lovely tradition your visits to Hotlanta and the cabin. The colors are awesome.

    I'm devastated by the results of the election.

    1. I think most of us are devastated, Maria, since Hillary won the popular vote. We're all still trying to catch our breath. But life will go on and we will pay attention to what we can do to make things happen the way they are meant to be. Let's not lose hope.

  6. Your post on your US visit was just what I needed to lift me out of my own hard meditations of this day. Your pictures of “goofy” Nicholas are an omen of what is in store for my own grandson, Aiden. Yes, I remember this annual routine, the cabin and all, but I don’t recall such wonderful halloween pictures. Mountain landscape atmospherics from the cabin: MAGNIFICENT!

    You have, for a few moments washed away gloom. Thank you.

    1. This was our first trip late enough to catch Halloween before returning, Ted. Now that the county fair is no longer part of the tradition, we're free to arrive a week later, which is wonderful.

      I'm very glad this post was able to cheer you up, even though I had no clue when writing it that it would be necessary. We all have a lot to swallow and cogitate on these days, don't we! But we will get through it and we will still WIN with love and hope and joy. If WE don't do it, who will?

  7. What a wonderful compilation of photos and a great summary of our time together. Thank you, Mom, for capturing all of this! I know I will come back several times to revisit the photos.

    1. You're welcome, of course, Amykins. We LOVE this time we have every year, looking forward to it with great joy!

  8. These visits and the pictures show how much we both enjoy the tie with the family. A yearly tradition we hope to continue for many many years. To be with Nicholas is a joy and a kind of relive the goofy times I had and still have with my own son...It always strikes me how much we do and see in this short period of quality time. IHVJ for always putting so much time in making the memory alive....

    1. Thank you, always, dear Astrid, for your support of me in these posts and, of course, for being my partner in crime everywhere we go, even with family! :)