It was sad to see BooBoo go back to England, but, being truthful, it gave me a bit of a rest. All that translating. “Um…what did she say?” people kept asking me. She said ‘Hello, how are you?’ I would patiently (at least at first) explain. Eventually, it was more like ‘for Fuck’s sake, she speaking English, not Swahili! Concentrate.” And vice versa. BooBoo: ‘Why did Stuart say he’s wearing a vest over his shirt? What does he wear under his shirt?’ Me: ‘That would be his undershirt’. BooBoo: ‘Really? There’s a word undershirt?’
Anyway, I haven’t slowed down a bit during this blitzkrieg of Philly, even though I haven’t actually gone into Center City even once. But I’ve been to a lot of other places.
No trip home is complete without a visit to cousin GerryP’s house in the Greater. I was there for Easter weekend so there was a lot going on.
On Friday we had lunch at License to Injure and Blood Relative’s cool new McMansion in the boonies. I’m not making this up. I saw Indians (the American kind, not the Post Office kind) up on the ridge on horses waiting to attack Seth Bond and the wagon train on the way. Okay. I made that up, but they really do live in the wilderness. You have to drive twenty minutes to get to a mall.
I politely offered my condolences to License on the demise of the Explorers in the Sweet Sixteen round of March Madness. He’s a LaSalle alum. (My bracket imploded even earlier than the Sweet Sixteen, and I sure didn’t pick the Explorers to go anywhere.)
A visit to GerryP always includes lots of shopping and trips to the casino. I think she is the bestest cousin ever. And eating. We had the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tasted and, yes, I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning – cold; the only way to eat leftover pizza.
On Saturday we drove to Delaware to great nephew Cason’s first birthday party. We didn’t see any Indians; Wilmington is quite civilized. We did see about a hundred screaming toddlers. I’m not sure children should be welcome at birthday parties.
Saturday night GerryP and I went out for a fancy dinner to Johnny’s, this fabulous Italian restaurant. What else would we eat besides Italian? On Sunday after breakfast in a diner, it was a leisurely stop at the Casino again, and then on to Colonel Mickey’s sister, Donna’s, house for Easter dinner. That was actually a bit tricky since it was still Passover.
Don’t bother emailing; I know I ate pizza during Passover. But it was very flat pizza. And I was home. And British pizza sucks. And I won’t have real pizza again for, like, a whole year.
Donna lives sort of near Blood Relative in the wilds of rural Pennsylvania. I’m not making this up. We saw some Pilgrims hunting wild turkey for Easter dinner. Okay, I made that up too, but I really did think GerryP and me were going to fall off Pennsylvania and land in, like, Idaho or whatever. I was navigating, which is never, ever a good idea.
Dinner was awesome. Being Italian, Colonel Mickey’s family realizes that Italian Wedding Soup and gnocchi are intrinsic components of all holiday meals. And it was wonderful to see Donna and all the other sixty or so Dell’Aquila’s who were at dinner. Donna and I go way back- to high school – and a certain trip to Italy where we were not very good girls. That’s all I’m saying about that.
Then it was back to Stuart’s for one night, before going off on a road trip with Toots.
Yes, I’m tired just blogging about it all.
Toots and I have some major history. We figured out that we have been friends for forty years. Honestly. Lots of stuff happened during all those years, including a severing of our friendship, which we rectified, an ill-advised plot to fix up Stuart with Toots’ daughter, and many, many vacations together with Ron, Toots’ husband, and DeadJerry, who were great friends.
She is also my favorite Scrabble opponent.
So when I was planning my visit home, I was quite chuffed with her plan to drive to Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania to see the house on a lake Ron and Toots are practically rebuilding as their retirement home.
To get to Tunkhannock, one drives up the Pennsylvania Turnpike all the way past Wilkes Barre, the last outpost of civilization before Ohio. Geez. It’s so rural. I’m not making this up, but I saw some wild animals, like squirrels or chipmunks something, eyeing us up as potential dinner ingredients. And the nearest mall is 45 minutes away!
We stopped in the actual town part of the boonies and had a fab lunch in a restaurant called ‘Twigs’, which was so cool it could have been anywhere in the Anti-boonies. And stopped in some quaint little ‘small town rural America’ shops. And the bakery for pastries. And the supermarket for noshes. And the big mother liquor store for wine. I assume a big mother liquor store is quite a necessity in the boonies. We got some awesome pinot grigio called ‘Middle Sister’. I highly recommend it.
Toots’ house is charming; or at least it will be when she finishes re-arranging the walls, floors, windows, doors, etc. In 40 years, I have seen Toots ‘re-arrange’ many houses, including some that were mine.
We opened the Middle Sister and settled down to several serious games of Scrabble and catching up. It sure gets dark and quiet in the wilderness at night. I took a spare bottle of Middle Sister up to bed with me—not to drink. I already had plenty. I figured I’d whack the first chipmunk who tried to make me an hors d’oeuvre on his furry little tete.
Our road trip went all too quickly and it was back down the Turnpike to traffic jams and strip malls (Thank God!).
I had just enough time to shower and change after Toots dropped me off at Stuart’s. I was having dinner with my attorney, the one and only ‘grown-up, serious’ engagement of my trip.
Bennett has been my attorney forever, and I am quite fond of him. In fact, he helped me get my Italian citizenship. Well, he went to court for me to get some misspelled vital records corrected that were standing in the way of my citizenship. The first thing he said to me (after ‘hello) was ‘Let me see it!” and I proudly proffered the Magical Passaporto Rosso.
Bennett really floored me by telling me that I am amazing and a legend in my own time because I decided I wanted to live in England and then made it happen. I just assume that most people think I am crazy. I never thought I did anything extraordinary. I guess maybe I did.