We made it home from Baltimore in under 5 hours with three stops. And I'm driving 80 on the New Jersey Turnpike and people are passing me!
We had a great short visit. Two nights. We always buy the granddaughter's Halloween costumes--Emma was a evil princess in black with hoop skirts, Morgan was a wood's man (woman), looking for all the world like one of Robin Hood's compatriots, and Tegan was a girl from Bali, looking for all the world like a girl from Bali in wondrous colors.
We went down on Thursday and went to Red Robin for dinner. The girls love Red Robin but it is really an awful chain. I'd recommend the onion rings and little else. But you go where the granddaughters want to go! Just the way it is.
They wore their costumes to The Calvert School on Friday (the tip off on this school is the insistence on being The Calvert School (as if there are others' claiming to be Calvert Schools...) But it is a great school if you like private and expensive and privileged, which it is. Sorry, I'm a public school snob. I did get a Master's Degree from Harvard but on someone else's dime, thank you. Friday was a half-day, so we had lots of time with the girls while their lawyer parents worked pretty late and go to spoil and cook for them.
When Josh came home, we hadn't been able to turn on the TV all day. Josh thinks Bern and I are 'cursed' about major machinery (and it is true that most times we go, something breaks) but this TV, expensive on the front end, was 10 years old and on it's way out--dim for sometime now. Josh tried to replace the bulb, which impressed me since I am the most 'un-handy' person ever. He got Bern's 'handy' DNA, obviously. (Secretly, I think, he was pleased since he'd wanted a new TV for his 40th birthday in August but didn't get one because they're considering moving and why replace a TV before you move, or something like that.) The other thing was about not being able to watch TV is that Morgan and Emma and Tegan didn't mind at all. They read and played until dinner. Just since Easter they've gotten so much more able to not be entertained. Tegan is 6 and can read about anything. She found Cathy's parenting guide and read a lot of it! Bern and I and our two kids are devoted readers. So proud to see it passed on to another generation. Reading makes life so rich.
So, on Saturday morning, Josh and Cathy went to Costco and bought a 60 inch TV that weighed about a quarter of what the 10 year old 56 inch one did--technology marches on. Josh and I (mostly Josh, I just cleaned up packing material and such while he set it up and lifted when he told me too) installed the TV while Bern and Cathy and the girls went to a Halloween Party at the home of another Calvert kid. It was a great party with a kid costumed as Harry Potter, who was Harry's spitting image. 20 kids or so. What blew me away was that when Josh and I got their, the girls came and embraced me and insisted that I meet every kid! Joy beyond measure! Josh and I were there for the kids to play a game or two, then Cathy and Josh and I went to see a house they might be interested in out near the Episcopal Cathedral, Johns Hopkins and THE Calvert School.
It was an incredible house. 5000 square feet. finished basement and attic on 2 acres. Stone outside, hardwood inside, subtle paint, a kitchen to die for (with a prep sink across the room from the sink sink!) Amazing. It would sell for $1.3 million or so in Cheshire and $2.5 million or more in Greenwich , but in Baltimore is listed for $599,000 and will probably go for less.
Then we went to an Italian deli that is better than any I've ever been in and I've been in a few in Boston and New Haven and NYC. We brought lots of stuff home.
Bern suddenly felt sick (from not sleeping and not eating much and the speed of the drive--my thoughts only) just before the CT state line. So she went to bed with dry toast and I fed the bird, cleaned the litter boxes (3 when we're away) and drank some wine.
I have an extra hour of sleep tonight, thank goodness, but driving gives me a rush so I'm still here typing at 11:15 (actually, 10:15 thanks to Standard Time), but I'm going soon.
Glad to be home. Missing them already.
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