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Maryland -- New and Old Grandsons

October 15 - October 24
Written October 16+

Dear Family and Friends,
This is the story of our America Trip - Maryland edition. 

We arrived on Monday, October 15, after a nice enough flight from Frankfurt to Washington DC.  "Nice enough" because there's no way a flight of 9+ hours is a wonderful experience, at least not in Economy.  In DC, we made it through the normal Immigration, Customs, Baggage hurdles in about an hour.  Picking up the rental car took another 15 minutes and then we spent almost two hours in traffic driving up to Gaithersburg Maryland.  I can't imagine commuting in that mess.  It's no wonder the Inside-the-Beltway crowd is so negative.

But, no matter, we made it and descended on Sean (2 months), Ryan (5 years) and parents Geoff and Suzanne (confidential ages).  Meeting the littlest Trotter was fun.  He's a good-natured little guy who gets plenty of attention from mom, dad, big brother, grandparents, other local friends and relatives, and now Oma and Opa from far-away Germany.

Here's the start of our family picture album:

After a quick visit in Maryland, we headed down to Virginia -- but that's a different diary!

We came back to Sean and Ryan's house on Sunday, October 21.  The kids were still pretty darn cute and that is an objective assessment from Opa.

The big event for the day was a Bar-B-Que with Suzanne's family; mom and dad Mary and Dan and brother Jonathan.  We had plenty of time to catch up and Geoff and Jon even managed a chore or two.  We also watched the Washington Redskins snatch defeat from the mouth of victory as they went ahead with a minute and a half left in their game only to lose it seconds later.  My only football game this year, so I'm not a positive influence.

Out on the deck, surrounded by fall colors, Geoff was the grill chef. Ryan tried to feed birds, hiding behind a patio umbrella to not scare them.  Didn't work, but it was fun.  I took pictures.  Jon told stories. Everyone got hungry and this was solved by the chicken, steak, salad, cheese-bread, and cheesecake desert.  No one complained of leaving the table hungry.



d121024_06_Sean.jpgOur Maryland week, Monday through Wednesday, was pretty quiet.  We got to babysit some, and this was a lot of fun.  I'm sure Sean will be much bigger by the time we get back again, as will be Ryan.  Being distant grandparents definitely has drawbacks.

We had lunch with an old friend and work colleague, Roman, and compared retirement and getting-old stories.  In the process, we discovered that Roman and Marianne share a similar initial history.  Both were born in Germany to parents who had been displaced by the war, Roman's from Ukraine and Marianne's from Hungary.  In fact, they were born three months and less than a hundred miles apart.  Small world.

Speaking of world, I also chatted some with Sergey, a not-so-old former boss who now has a consulting business that does work around the world.  We explored the possibilities of me doing work for him and, as usual, he had some interesting thoughts.  I think I still find the prospect of living in a new foreign country attractive, but unfortunately I have to now admit that another foreign assignment does not make sense.  (Although the idea of warm Cape Town does seem particularly attractive as we face another cold German winter!)

d121024_04_cake.jpgd121024_02_MandRyan.jpgWednesday evening Suzanne and Geoff and Ryan surprised Marianne with a chocolate birthday cake -- chocolate cake, filling and frosting, definitely not normal South Beach diet fare.  But, birthdays are rare enough.

d121024_08_Sean.jpgThursday morning, we left before dawn and before anyone was awake, even Sean. Sad to end the stay and to remember that it will be some time before we see the boys again.

Nevertheless, it was off to Dulles Airport and the four-hour flight to Colorado and another grandson and another story.


John and Marianne


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