Trying New Things

Well, today was an adventure. We went to Gator Stadium – Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Home of “The Swamp”. Gates were open so we went in to have a look around. So glad we did. For as long as I’ve been a Gator fan, I’ve never been there.

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Like the Orioles stadium we had to climb a few bazillion steps to get the shot. But it worth it.

The second new thing today was eating at a Korean restaurant. I’m not a big fan of Asian foods. Hence, I had fried rice and vegetables. But I did try some glass noodles. They tasted alright but had the texture of boiled earthworms. I tried some rice wine – Makgeolli (I think). I tried some Bulgogi, it was good. It tried some other stuff that was gross – some kind of cold cabbage. I’ll have to ask my brother what else we had. But it was a lunch of new stuff for me.

The third new thing I tried today was mahi mahi. Turns out I like it. Just another white fish. I like haddock, so I guess I’m not too surprised. I just never really new what it was.

I’m not real good for trying new foods. First it needs to sound good. Then it needs to look good. Third, it needs to smell good. If it passes those three tests, then I’ll taste it.

So, all in all, it was a great day and I was brave to try some new foods.

How are you at trying new foods?

Leg 6? Seriously, Leg 6!

Leg 1was the two and a half hour drive to the airport. Leg 2 was my first two hour flight to New York.  Leg 3 was my second two hour flight to Atlanta where I met my brother coming over from South Korea. Leg 4 was our two hour flight to Baltimore. Leg 5 was the hour and a half drive home (my parents house).

Leg 6 is happening right now, a 13 hour drive to Gainsville, Florida. University of Florida. Home of The Gators.

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It’s where my aunt and uncle live so I’ve been a gator fan forever. My best guessis that it’s been 30 years since I’ve been to Gainsville. Nothing exciting to report other than our GPS voice sounds like a poor Elvis impersonator.

Aaaaaaaand, we’re here! 14 hours later. I’ll post some photos tomorrow when it’s daylight. There are palm trees here! It’s been about 18 years since I was here last. Memories have been coming back steadily since starting this trip. They’re coming faster now that I’m here. Chasing lizards, Ironwood golf course, swimming until the chlorine clouded my vision, feeding the pelicans and seagulls at the beach, playing War and Go Fish on white carpet, racing the elevator to the 7th floor by running up the stairs.

Ever visited a place you haven’t been to in a very long time to have memories come flooding back?

The View From Up Here

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The view from the top

The O’s won! (Sorry Toronto) Above is a panoramic shot from the very top row out in left field. You can see the iconic warehouse behind rigt field. These weren’t our seats, I just wanted the picture. It was worth the 9,000 stairs (slight exaggeration) to get up there to take it. Our actual seats were 15 rows behind third base dugout. Awesome seats to watch the game.

*To the family behind us
Have fun, safe trip back home and I hope you enjoyed the three games you saw at our stadium. So funny that you live only two hours from me in Canada. Small world, eh?

*To the couple a few rows in front of us
Thanks for being such great sports about my brother and I face bombing your cute selfie together. That was fun and I should have asked you to it to me. So if you read this, send it to me! May 14, 2015. Camden Yards. Section 52. Row 12.

*To the Orioles
Thanks for the 6-1 win!

It’s So Green

Ask me what like about home and my first answer would be family and friends. My second answer would be the land. Here it is the second week of May and people are out mowing yards, the trees all have leaves, the flowers are colorful, and the bumble bees are buzzin’. Back home the spiders are so tired of the cold they’re building webs in the living room (I’ll post a pic later. I don’t have access to that photo at the moment). The grass is still brown, though the snow is gone, mostly – enough to see the grass, anyway. The trees don’t even have buds yet. The crocuses are out so it won’t be long. Back home, Mother Nature hasn’t quite woken up yet. It was warm one day so Crash thinks it’s summer and come home from school with his coat in  his backpack. The world here is green! Look at the fields of green!

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Fields of Gold? Nope, Fields of green.

But right now I’m headed to Camden Yards to watch my Orioles! Whooo hoooo! Go O’s!

Home?

This is your lucky day readers. This is three posts for the price of one. Jackpot! You’re welcome.

Home?
When you talk about home where are you talking about? Is it where you currently live? Is it where you grew up before flying the coop? I’ve written about coming home the past couple days. But if I’m coming home, where was I before I got here? DW, Crash, and Bang are home, but so am I and we’re not in the same place. So what exactly is home?
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Leg Tired

I’ll count that as a successful trip. Didn’t lose my bags. Didn’t lose my passport. Didn’t lose my wallet. Didn’t lose or break DW’s tablet. I’m on my way to my parent’s house – home. My dad met us at the airport and was all smiles. Ma will be, too as soon as we get there. Then I’m going to jump on the webcam so I can see Crash and Bang before they go to bed. Then I’m going to eat my fill of crab cakes and corn on the cob.

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It’s nice seeing all the farm land. You can see for miles! The weather is awesome, though I’m still dressed for Canada. It was 5 degrees Celsius when I left. Now it’s 28 and I’m still in jeans, long sleeve shirt and my running jacket. Time for a wardrobe change!

Gas here is $1.59 a gallon. It’s  $1.19 a liter in Canada! (Roughly $4.80 a gallon)

My Bedtime Guide for DW

My dearest DW,

You are such a strong woman. Beautiful, too. I wish I didn’t have to make this trip alone. I want nothing more than you, Crash and Bang to join me. I also wish I wasn’t making this trip for the reason I am. But, it is what it is.

For the next week you will be on your own with those two lovable terrors. I have no doubt in my mind that you will do what needs to be done and, come the end of it all, you will realize that you enjoyed it. It won’t be easy. That I know. Getting two monkeys ready for bed can be a bit tricky. You’re going to need a few tricks.

1) Make Crash get himself ready for bed. He gets in pajamas while Bang gets his teeth brushed, gets a drink (probably spits it into the sink), pees and washes his hands. You’ll have to check on Crash between each of those steps to fuss at him to get a move on.

2) Then Bang goes to his room to get lotioned, in pajamas, and read a few of his favorite books (at the moment they are Diego Saves a Butterfly, Diego Saves the Polar Bears, and Lego Firetruck Rescue) – he’ll show you. Get him to help you read one. He has them nearly memorized. Again, between each step get Crash back on task. He brushes his teeth, rinses, pees and washes his hands then goes to read until Bang is asleep. He’ll read for hours if it mean he gets to stay up later.

3) Turn out Bang’s light and close the door and turn on his star frog light. Lay with him until he falls asleep then go to Crash’s room. Ask him about what he read and hopefully he can recall what happened. This is when I read to him a book of my choosing or he reads to himself and I read my own book. Then it’s lights out and star frog light on. As soon as you crawl in with him he’ll ask for back scratches. Start snoring while he’s asking because he’ll wake you with gentle kiss. Then you can tell him you’ll give him back scratches before he has to ask and he’ll giggle. Give him 5 minutes, kiss him on his head and tell him “ugga mugga, see you in the morning” if he’s not already asleep.

4) Job done. Go relax and know that I’m thinking of you and am jealous that you get all the bedtime snuggles!

Love,

Hubband

Leg 4

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Here we are, leg 4. My brother flew here from South Korea and we’ll be on the same flight to our parents. It’s great seeing him after 5 years! We had two and a half hours to kill before our last leg. Wish we had a soccer ball to kick around the airport a la the Brazilian soccer team. He surprised me with an early birthday present… tickets to tomorrow’s Orioles game! Row 15 3rd base side. I can’t wait!

No massive amounts of leg room on this flight. Packed in like sardines, 3 across on thismside and 2 on the other. My feet hurt from having had shoes on for the last 28 hours. And the walk at that last airport was incredible. The airport has a train, like actual subway train, to get you from gate to gate. There were terminals A-F and each terminal had 18 gates. I could have run a marathon at this airport and not passed the same gate twice! Last flight of the day. Leg 5 will be an hour and a half drive to my parents house. Can’t wait. Mum is making crab cakes and corn on the cob! My mouth is watering like Pavlov’s dogs at the sound of a bell.

Leg 3

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Well, here I am on leg 3. I completely forgot about the time change and I panicked. My flight landed at 8 and my connection was departing at 8. I asked the stewardess if I would make my connection and she said “Yes, you have an hour.” Ooops. Crisis averted. However, we then had to wait and wait for another plane to leave our gate before we could taxi to it and finally disembark. I was off the plane and trying to get internet to let DW know I was here and heading to leg 3 safely. No luck because at this stupid airport you have to pay for wi-fi. They did have courtesy iPads so I was able to send off a quick email before being hearded on to my next plane.  Unfortunately,  I didn’t get to talk to anyone or say hi to Crash before he went to school. I was really hoping for that. I’ll have a 3 hour layover at my next leg. They just told us our  plane weighs about 180,000 pounds! Anyway, hopefully with a long layover I’ll be able to call or video chat. Oh my God! The leg room is incredible! There must be a solid four feet in front of me.
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This is going to be awesome! It’s a 2 hour flight so I’m going to watch a movie. Man of Steel or Noah? Up up and away!

The First Airport (Leg 2)

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Well, I wasn’t going to write about this, but I feel I need to. I am embarking on 3 airport journey. I have kissed my monkeys good night and I am now at the nearly empty airport to catch a few Zzzs. It’s one am. We live two and a half hours from the airport, hence the reason I’m here so early. My gracious brother-in-law rode here with me so he could drive our car back home. He’ll get back at 3 am.

My flight is at 6am. Five legs of this journey and I now have one down. My final destination of these next four legs will be my parents house. I haven’t been there in 5 years. The exciting part will be leg 3. That’s where I meet my brother who I haven’t seen in 5 years. We’ll make leg 4 together on the same flight before meeting our parents and driving the last leg.

For reasons I won’t share here, this trip has some heavily mixed emotions. First, there is the cause of the trip. My mom and her family need support and my brother and I are sure to be there to help provide it. There is also the leaving DW, Crash, and Bang for a week. I haven’t been away from them for that long ever (with the exception of DW and I being apart for 8 months while going through immigration when we were married nearly 10 years ago). I know my monkeys will be okay, but I’ll still miss them.

On the flip side, I’m going “home” for the first time in 5 years. I’ll see family I haven’t seen for 5 or 25 years.

So, you see, I’m being tugged in two directions. And I guess the best I can do is document this 3,000 mile journey by planes and cars and share it with everyone.

It is now 1:54 am and I have a prime bench to catch a nap with my bags still attached to me. Also, I am sorta giddy to get my hands on my brother’s Fival the rat Mouse stuffie!

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Photo by Deviant Art