The Dexit (Diomede exit) took place on July 1st. It didn’t cause as much a fuss as the Brexit did, but there was a certain amount of upheaval involved.
Two days after we arrived my brother had a BBQ with some old college friends. I hadn’t seen some of them in 25 – 30 years. It’s always nice catching up with old friends, I mean that as in friends for a long time, not at all in reference to age;-)! The night included a walk to the beach to watch some fireworks. (The 4th of July was the next day).
On the way we to the beach we walked through a neighborhood which reminded me of well, reminded me where we were, a well-to-do suburb of NYC. Check out these houses and vehicles, although they pale in comparison to our current beast which combines both!!
Shortly after arriving I went grocery shopping with my brother in a store the size of Montbrun, even I got a bit overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I’m glad Angie wasn’t there, because I would have had to purchase a ten year supply of smelling salts. (The smallest package they would have sold;-)!
Times were busy in the first week, I found and bought an RV (Recreational Vehicle) otherwise known as a motorhome, camping car, house on wheels, etc… It’s all a bit overwhelming at first driving a 29 foot (9 meter or so) vehicle, but then the American roads are built for big. The gas mileage isn’t great, but we’ll been living in it, cooking in it, getting around with it, etc.. so payback will be pretty quick we hope!!! Even though the gas mileage is about a third as good as our van in France, the price of gas (petrol, essence) here is nearly a fourth cheaper so it’s a bit better than a wash. We are working out a few small glitches, but little by little settling in to the new lifestyle on the road.
I met up with a friend I met last year who works in a camping shop. He took us out on his dingy and we did some paddling on his paddleboard. It was a stinking hot day out on The Long Island Sound. Very beautiful despite the 90% humidity.
Louis has done some racing – he came in second in Vermont, and ripped off his derailleur in Upstate NY so did the whole race chainless running up the hills and flying down without pedaling. Yikes. (and he still came in 7th out of 9 in his category)!
We have caught up with friends and family, and have invaded the house of my brother and sister-in-law. I expect they are glad we can now sleep in the RV, although they have been very welcoming.
We went to Harlem last week to meet up with Angie’s cousin who is an actress. She was acting in an all female cast of Othello in the park. (Morningside Park, not Central Park). A few friends came along with us and a good time was had by everyone. Angie even got pulled up on stage, onto the grass, for her NY acting debut. ‘She done good,’ as they say in these parts!
We went to a Jazz club on 116th street in Harlem to eat afterwards. Meandering through Harlem to catch the train back up to Connecticut is always a fun experience, what a blast walking the streets of NY in the heat of summer, such an interesting juxtaposition to our life in Montbrun. “Vive la difference!!”
This weekend will be a weekend of reunions, so we’ll catch up with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. The kids, and Angie I expect, will be overwhelmed, they never usually see 80 people they know all at once in Montbrun (except a good night at La Grangette;-), this weekend they’ll be meeting upwards of 80 people each day from both sides of the family, so not only will they see lots of folk, they’ll be related to them all!! Mostly Italian Americans as well, so food will be flowing and the volume will be up. Yee Hah!!!
My cousins Joe and Judy, whom I used to stay with in the 80’s when I rode my motorcycle to their house every year in what seems another lifetime ago, are coming in from California for one of the reunions. They have kindly bought Yankee tickets for a bunch of us, so we’ll be in The South Bronx watching the Yankees play live on Friday evening.
I hope you are all well. Although our journey is beginning joyously with family and friends all around us, our good friend Iain, had a terrible accident just about the same time we landed on our feet in America. He is in the hospital paralysed at the moment. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He and his partner were just about to head into an adventure of their own, and a loose plank and an awkward fall changed the course of their lives, possibly for ever. We think of them every day, and know that life is precious, every single moment. So if any of you are reading this blog and get inspired in any way to make a change or take a journey of your own, no matter how short or long, live those dreams because we never know what waits for us in the next moment.
I do truly wish everyone of you reading this blog, health, happiness, and a wonderful journey of your own.
Much Peace, Joe.