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May 21- June 4, 2011

Written May 26 through June 5

Hi friends and families,


I am on a two-week sprint though America, seeing grandkids mostly.


First stop: Gaithersburg Maryland to see Ryan (and Geoff and Suzanne, of course). The family had moved to a new house, much closer to their "roots" than the place down in Northern Virginia. Ryan took me on a tour, especially of his sports-themed bedroom. Pretty special.

On Saturday, Suzanne and Geoff hosted as house warming and Geoff managed to barbeque hamburgers like a pro. I think Suzanne did everything else and the spread was great. Nice visit.

Maryland, Part Two

On Sunday, we went down to Chesapeake Beach to the christening of Landen, my nephew Mike's little six-month old. I had not seen Mike and Becca since their wedding (in the same church) and it was great to see the young family looking so happy. Mike, Becca and Landen are heading down to a new posting in North Carolina, so we were lucky to have this nearby occasion.



Monday morning I flew out early to San Jose, early but not as early as Sam, who had arrived at 7:54 am. Baby, mom (Gabrielle), dad (Mamal), big sister, (Ava)and grandma (Gigi) were all excited -- and doing well. Since then, we've enjoyed our Ava-sitting duty and the visits to young Sam in the hospital. He and mom come home today.

I'll keep adding, as the week goes. And next week, it's off to Colorado for Rich!

One of the fun parts of "helping" is taking care of big sister Ava. We get to take her to school and to the park, as well as try to console her with all the changes happening around her. This last part is the hardest and I am sure it will be best done by mom and dad, after Gigi and Opa leave!

On Thursday, Sam finally got dressed up, packed up, and sent on his way. Everybody was pretty happy, especially Manusher, Mamal's dad, who got to hold the little guy.

And things started getting back to normal for Ava, if running with dad in the street can be considered normal (it is!)

Saturday, it was off to Fresno to see Marianne's mom. I hope Ava and Sam don't grow too much while we are gone for a few days.

(More later)


On Friday, June 3, I made it to my last grandkid stop -- Longmont, Colorado. Rich had grown a bunch since I had last seen him! It will take the whole weekend to catch up on all he has been doing, but the first show was a display of his 2nd grade artwork.

On Saturday, we started with a visit to the local farmer's market. Lots of good things to buy (and eat), but we managed to limit ourselves to a donut pretzel, peach pie and some good bread.

In the afternoon, we went to the railroad museum. There were small trains outside and inside and several full-size pieces of Colorado history. My highlight was taking a ride on The Galloping Goose, a 1930's Pierce Arrow, converted to run on tracks. This system ran from the 30's through the early 50's and was more recently resurrected for tourist duty.

Rich loves this place. He knows all the engines and dragged me around to see everything.

I used the opportunity of stationary objects to practice my new high-definition photography. Click here if interested.

This may be the last entry, until I am back home in Germany.





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