Today in My History
2000:When You Care
2001: Behind the Scenes
2002: Excuses, Excuses
2003: Mirror, Mirror
2004: A Special Man
2005: On a Clear Day
2006: The Wedding
2008: Off Again, On Again
History of America (Abridged)
Books Read in 2009
"Backwards to Oregon"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
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THE LAST MEETING
20 June 2009
This was supposed to be the last organizational meeting for our trip, but, in truth, each meeting we've had has seemed progressively less organized.
Our group was smaller this time and instead of dinner, we were supposed to just bring hors d'oeuvres and desserts.
Instead of making something from scratch this time I picked up some biscotti at Cost Plus (just as well I did store-bought it wasn't touched).
Cost Plus is in the University Mall, right next to the big Gottschalks store which has dominated the mall for several years. It's a sign of the times that this is another business which is going out of business. I didn't go in to see what they had for sale -- it would seem too much like going to a wake.
I just got my biscotti and got on the road again. I was eager to get back into my audio book, "Scarecrow," the latest by Michael Connelly. It made the miles fly by both going down to Charlotte's house and coming back after the "meeting." Coming off the freeway and heading for Char's house, I passed a demonstration protesting "Another day...another trillion dollars" and demanding tax cuts. I wasn't sure what specific thing that referred to, or if it was just in general.
Char's daughter Tavie met the two of us at Char's house and the three of us rode over to the hosts' house in Tavie's car. We were greeted at the door by Buster, a chihuahua who looked very similar to many of our fosters, but who didn't think much of me at all.
The house was pretty spectacular and I loved the back yard. How many houses do you know with their very own gas pump? (Decorative only, of course)
And I particularly loved the benches near the fire pit
The pillows on the back of the benches are just painted on, but look quite real. We sat around this firepit after it got dark and toasted marshmallows for s'mores. We're getting to be a chummy group!
When we arrived, people were pouring over maps of...Paris. To date we still had not been told much about the Italy portion of the trip and here we were back discussing Paris museums and eateries again.
After a couple of hours and no information forthcoming, Char asked our "organizer" if she could talk a bit about Italy. Near as I can tell, Italy has good (expensive) gelato. And that's about it. It sounds like we are going to be more on our own than I expected from an organized tour, but I'm sure we'll do fine--I just expected more "organization" than we seem to be getting.
Someone asked if people sharing a room would have single beds and the organizer seemed surprised we hadn't contacted the hotels to request them. She also seemed surprised when she was asked if we would be sitting in a block of seats in the middle of the airplane or if we would have side seats and she said that we should have contacted the airline to see where our seats were. I have not taken an "organized" trip before, so a little more direction in what was our responsibility and what was being handled by the group would have been nice when we had our first meeting several weeks ago!
But I know it's going to go fine. There is no lack of things to do and a number of people to do them with and varying levels of expertise in travel, so I know we're going to have a great time.
Oh. And we need to be careful of gypsies.
I have a feeling this is going to be quite an experience, however it turns out!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Lester has a patch of Demodex (mites) and must