A round of applause for James ladies and gentlemen!
Bro, you’re the best.
Here we go finally! So San Francisco… all those weeks ago. Forgive me if I repeat James somewhat. I’m lazy and I can’t be bothered to re-write the stuff I drafted ages ago. Heh.
Tuesday 10th: The guy who lives under the Dudros, Carlos, offered to take us aroun San Francisco on our first day. As he was an art history conisseur and has lived in the city for 40 years he was a perfect guide for us utter strangers. He took us into the centre and we walked around downtown for a while and into the financial district. Then we caught BART out to Berkeley, and had lunch in a HESH (translation: super nice)Thai restaurant that Carlos knew. I don’t think I’ve ever had Thai food before, and I really liked it! Except for their obsession with peanuts. We headed to a second hand bookshop nearby and indulged in some book…ness. We suddenly realised we were running out of time, and so we walked back to BART via the pretty oh-so-californian Berkeley campus.
In the evening James and I went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant called Gaylord (yes, I know, hahaa) with James’ friends Psyrixx and Flopp (sometimes known under different names). A dude who looked like George Lucas was sitting at another table. Well? It could have been him! :P They took us down the Fisherman’s Warf to the tourist-trap Pier 39, and back up along to the beach after sunset.
You know I hope I am phrasing all these places right- you people who live there are probably laughing at me. Oh well.
Wednesday.. hmm.. it’s hard to remember this far back you know- I hope you appreciate the extensive shuffling of illegible mental notes!
Wednesday weeee… oh yes I had a bad night because my back was in agony *ahem too much baggage and curling up on planes and buses ahem* :( The Dudros were going up to the Randall Museum on a nearby hill with their homeschooling group in the morning, so we rode up with them and spent a bit of time looking at the cute rescued animals and earthquake effect displays. Then we traipsed down to Haight Street. AWESOME! I loved this- loads of classy too-expensive boutiques and hippy stuff, and Ben & Jerrys’ Ice Cream, and of course Amoeba Records. Doddy, Ruby, loads of you guys would LOVE Amoeba. It is a legend. Imagine the best music store.. and… well almost anyway. Not everything was cheap, but they had some pretty good bargains. Spent too much money. Walked home. In the evening we watched ‘What’s Up Doc?’ with the family with much appreciated popcorn .
Thursday we were feeling lazy and only dragged ourselves out mid-afternoon. We went to the post office and then caught the bus to The Mission. This is the oldest building in San Francisco I believe, built by Fr Serra and the Franciscan missionaries as they worked their way up California in the 18th century. See James’ photos. After that we made our way into the centre again and Union Square, and I took a brief look at Macy’s before heading back to dinner with the Ignatius Press community, including Fr.Fessio who had just arrived from Florida, and before that, Rome. James was going to try to meet up with some people (although he didn’t in the end) and so stayed in town to pursue adventure and excitment.
Friday was the day we went to the awe-inspiring Muir Woods and therefore drove (for the only time) and short way on The 101 ;) The lunch with Melissa was fun (so strange to see someone from Charlbury suddenly!) and the buffet food was great. Then came Telegraph Hill and the Coit Tower. On Saturday we repacked…again… and I took the Dudro girls down to Amoeba. And spent way too much money. Again. Then we had to bid the Dudros farewell and make our way to Psyrixx’s.
At Psyrixx’s we met lots of people who gethered for his birthday and the trip down to Los Angeles early the next morning. Some of us went for a walk up to a nearby hill and enjoyed the evening landscape, and got attacked by killer grass seeds which jabbed themselves into our shoes and the legs of our *sniggers* pants haa no I’m sorry, that’s one americanism I just can’t say with a straight face! Ahem sorry. Then we returned to the house for pizza and the first two episodes of Star Wars (in preparation for Revenge of the Sith). The versions we watched were a cut some fan had done in order to get rid of as much Jar-Jar and annoying Anakin bits he could- sounds great right? But not when he cuts out things like the Best Bit Ever, the ‘death-sticks’ scene! Sheesh. Anyway. Some of us tried to get some sleep before we left at about 5am, and most of us failed. Then it was hitting the road, Psyrixx driving Nini, Necro, James and me, and Flopp driving Moljnir. Seeing the sun rising and streaming across the Californian landscape was really something. We went with the others to their hotel while Psyrixx went to pick up Silverbrin, Djof and Tirion from the airport. Apon their return I whined at Psyrixx until he and Nini took James and me to Santa Monica, where the Scotts live. James has described what happened when we got there. Once we were installed in the house, I only had time for a quick shower before Jan (from down the road) picked me up for pentacost mass. Mass was an.. interesting experience. Um. Quite… liberal …with dancing and clapping and things. Er. *nervous laugh* Man was I glad to roll into bed at the end of all of that!
On Monday Nicola Scott and her youngest daughter Chloe returned home. We also met Jay, their eldest daughter Becky’s boyfriend. While they unpacked etc. James and I took the dog Daisy for a walk down to Montana Ave. and back. Nicki drove us around and down to Venice (they have mini canals it’s so cute!) for a while in the early evening, and we watched the film ‘Monsoon Wedding’ (V.good!) over supper. The next day, Tuesday 17th May, Nicki dropped us at 3rd St and the Promenade, and we went to see ‘The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (bizarrely it turned out the Scotts knew Douglas Adams!). Let me just say at one point when I was almost crying with laughter, I turned around and no one else in the cinema, except James, was laughing- which made me laugh even more! After that we walked down to the beach and along to the Pier, and then back up again to do a bit of shopping before heading home. In the evening we watched Spanglish on dvd, which was surprisingly good and not how you’d expect!
Wednesday was the day we went to the Getty. Nicki dropped us there in the morning and we hopped on the Tram up the mountain to the museum. I loved it- beautiful location, beautiful building (and I’m not usually one for modern architecture) and great simply presented collection. Becky picked us up in the afternoon and took us to Hollywood (where she lives in a flat just off Hollywood Blvd). We explored the famous boulevard and bought numerous tacky souveniers. James went off Downtown to meet the others, but I wondered back to kill time at Becky’s flat. I got a taxi around 9:30 to Universal City (this was the one with the cabby who didn’t understand me), and met up with the Psyjnir gang to wait in line for STAR WARS. I met two new members of the gang, Jester and Orion.
Star Wars was… Terribly exciting. Emotional, dramtic. Yikes. What can you say? I thought it was great so :p to it’s critics! I have a few criticisms but hey so what?
Bed at 4am. Urgh. Staggered out of my bedroom at around 2pm. We got a bus into Downtown LA and managed to find the others at the E3 convention. Picked up a pass for the convention, which it turned out I didn’t use but it was still cool! :D In the evening Jesse drove some of us back to Universal City (through the ridiculous LA traffic) while Psyrixx and some others swung by their hotel. We had dinner en-mass (with around 40 people- friends of the group who were at the convention, incl. Matt and lots of yoose other folks) in an Italian Restaurant, with much merriment, stuffing our faces and doodling on the paper menus. (That’s DOODLING not drooling just incase you miss read it.) Then came our second Star Wars showing (at 11pm this time).
Once again sleeping through the next morning was a neccessity. It was very hot and so while we worked out our plan for the day, or rather James did, I made the most of the pool. Chatted with Jan and Jay who were over. Found out Jay (who is in a rock band called The Holics) had rehearsed with Aeon Spoke! (‘Who?’ I hear you say? Only the best undiscovered band EVER!) Muchly excited. James and I then bid these two farewell and set out on our perlious quest to reach Dean’s Lan (a party thing. With computer games) via bus, metro and Psyrixx. Finally made it around 10pm and fell apon the food and ice cream. And games consoles. The others did that is- I am superbly ignorant in this department. This was an evening of much geekness and sad farewells. Or is it geekity? Whatever. Twas fun.
On our last day in America I ate breakfast out in the hot sunshine by the pool and talked to Gavin Scott who had returned after a drive down from Seattle with third daughter Laura a few days previously. The Scotts kindly dropped us two weary travellers at the airport, and we ate lunch before departing to find our flights. I arrived home exausted and happy/sad, in the rain. I had a complete freak out when we got in the car. You’d think 19 years of driving on the left would outway two months of driving on the right but apparently not!
Thank you to everyone who made this trip so special.
Now, my friends, if you’ll excuse me- I must go wash the dog. He’s rolled in cowpat. Oh it’s good to be back!
I got distracted by things last week, what can I say?
But as of this afternoon I am back in merry ol’England! And we just had a rain storm. Ha. Aha.
I will fill in log stuff soon, my brain is not ina core..cohr… not in a clear state… too little sleep and feeling very disorientated by everything being the other way round here and stuff and… argh I can’t believe I’m home! I can now proceed to freak out all my English friends with constant americanisms heh heh
I love home. But I don’t think I ever felt as sorry to leave another country as I was …yesterday or whenever it was.
Argh the lights are flickering! What the sith?
If you aren’t singing the theme from the O.C. , or start to soon, you don’t know the program. I am going to force poor old Psyrixx to play it loudly on the way down to L.A. tomorrow night…
Right so Seattle was brilliant! I forgot to say we got held up for ages at the border by suspicious guards quizzing James on his finances and connection to Canada and whether he owned any property and what was the book he was reading… *rolls eyes* cos he’s clearly a drug dealer. AND we have had THREE supposedly random extra security checks in a row whenever we fly! Geez.
I enjoyed seeing Kingdom of Heaven. Except for the excessive violence and people burning to death all over the place *shudder*, and the admittedly poor script. I also greatly enjoyed the very American trailers teehee! And Orlando’s excellent acting of course. And seeing Alexander Siddig aka. Julian Bashir from DS9 acting his little heart out and recognising him against all the odds :D
James and Ben got on like a house on fire it was really funny! On Saturday Debbie Olsen took us out to some places in the mountains- beautiful lakes, rivers, waterfalls, forests. We had lunch at a dinky burger and chips place in the middle of nowhere that proudly dealt in ‘grease, salt, sugar and caffeine’. Yum! When we got back Ben and James jammed for a bit and I discovered how bad I was at the drums. Ben then went and picked up his friend Ben, and they took us down to the lakeside opposite Seattle as night was falling and we hung out on the pier for a while. James chatted up some 14 year old girls aaand ha sorry I’m kidding. He wasn’t chatting them up. Honestly. We swung by the supermarket on the way back. Back at the Olsens we went in the hot-tub in their yard for a bit. Yes yes, me and the three boys ya-di-ya :P it was dark and the stars were out. The boys then went off to watch Family Guy and I went to bed.
On Sunday 8th May they dropped me at the Catholic church nearby while they went to their church down the road. It looked like a spaceship on the outside, and a school hall on the inside, very amusing. It was ok, really not too bad. Aheh. Upon our return we ate a brunch, and Nate, James, Cyrus (the second), Debbie and I went into Seattle. We dropped Jimothy at the new library so he could admire the architecture, while we explored Pike’s Market- that wonderous place where they throw fish around (literally) and sell all kinds of groovy stuff like honey straws and PRETTY rings (ahem). Ben was practising with his band for a show on Monday evening meanwhile.
As it was American mother’s day, Leah, the only Olsen child I had yet to meet, came over with her husband Jason for supper. I had the most fantastic evening. We played Spoons which is always good for a laugh or five. Leah was great!
We left for San Francisco the next day- Monday 9th. Ben came home from school for lunch just before we left to say goodbye. Cy drove us to the airport, and we bid farewell to Seattle and HELlo to California! Even though Washington state had been cloudy and drizzly, as we approached San Fran it was brilliantly clear and we had a great view of the city and Golden Gate Bridge. The Dudros, who we are staying with here picked us up from the airport and drove us to their home via the coast and Presidio, and Lucas Film buildings! And the palace of fine arts which is gorgeously random.
Poor/lucky James has had a deluge of religious, philosophical, deep-and-meaningful discussions in the last week or so! With the Olsens for example. And the Dudros are outspoken Catholics and Vivian is really putting him and me through our paces. They work for Ignatius Press, the publishers of Cardinal Ratzinger’s books, so you can imagine what a hotspot this is at the moment! They have been wonderfully welcoming, like all the friends we have stayed with. The two girls, Mary and Therese are taking good care of us.
We are on the West Coast now, and at this time in two weeks I should be arriving home!
Tuesday 3rd was where I think I got up to… blerg its hard to type because I am lying on my stomach on the floor! Ek. Maybe I will just go to sleep instead… NO I’m almost a week behind again! Geez.
So we got up at Sparrow Fart and tried not to fall asleep on the way to the airport. The flight was a killer because although we had a half hour layover in Chicago it was basically 8 hours long with NO FILMS- shocking. We landed in Seattle (because it is a helluva lot cheaper than flying to Vancouver) just after lunch time and discovered how useless Seattle airport is. Eventually we found out how to get into the centre. We dropped our bags at the Greyhound Bus station and then killed a few hours eating spaghetti and meatballs, and taking the wickedcool monorail (there should be more of them in the world, they are so futuristic and fun!) to the Seattle Centre where the Space Needle is and a slightly bizarre fairground. We had been planning to meet some of James’ friends in the area but couldn’t get hold of them, so were reduced to the tiresome occupation of lying on the amazingly soft springy grass and watching the crazy fountain. The weather was gorgeous with a bright blue sky- not what I had been expecting from a city where apparently it rains most days of the year! We had to go catch our bus after a little while, but picked up ice creams in a Cold Stone Ice Cream place on the way (WHITE CHOCOLATE! So good). As the bus made its way to Vancouver through mountains and small towns the sun was setting in deep oranges, and while I wasn’t distracted by that I made a decent start on Joseph-Cardinal-Ratzinger-now-known-as-Pope-Benedict’s book on the mission of Theology. It was such a bizarre coincidence that I brought it with me because I left England before the conclave and didn’t even look at who it was by when I picked it up! Anyhoo. Got pretty desperate to lie flat towards the end of the journey because my back was killing, but we were met at the Vancouver end by Catherine Mori, James’… first cousin once removed? His mum’s first cousin anyway… and she transported us to her home in Richmond just south of Vancouver. By the time we were in bed we had been up and on the road for almost 24 hours straight. Ick.
Wednesday 4th May-
Slept through most of the morning. Had brunch, and then went back to bed (I know, I’m pathetic! But I was feeling quite ill). They have the most beautiful cats, three Tabby/Siamese crosses- see the photos- but they are quite crazy and followed us around everywhere. In the early afternoon Catherine came back from school (she’s a Latin teacher) and drove us around the area for a while. The area by the coast (not straightforward sea coast mind because of the fragmented nature of the coastline) is rather beautiful in a still, dusky colour sort of way. We returned home, and I tried to catch up on my logging before a load of James’ relatives turned up for dinner and to view the boy.
Thursday 5th May-
We figured we really shouldn’t bum around for our last day in Vancouver, so we caught the bus into the Downtown area and tried to ad-lib some sightseeing. This was rather unsuccessful until we found the beach, which was great because we could lie on the grass by the sand and feel we were getting some experience of Canada whilst falling asleep! Perfect. I tried an Oreo Cookie ice cream bar, which turned out to be rather bizarre. We caught the bus back after a few hours, and met Catherine in Richmond centre (after a bit of confusion about where and not being able to find a pay phone). We packed up when we got back because Greg, Catherine’s son, had offered to put us up for our last night because he lives in a swish apartment in Downtown very near the Greyhound station. Another relative of theirs, Sean came over too, and Greg drove us around Downtown and Stanley Park as the night fell in his awesome Hybrid car (I WANT one! It’s so quiet and comfortable, and of course good for the environment). We stopped at some place to get gelato - I seem to be obsessing about the food but there you go it can’t be helped- they had ROSE flavour! Words fail me. Suffice it to say I had rose and white chocolate ice cream and I was very happy. When we returned to the flat we were pretty tired but after Sean left we decided we felt like going for a swim in the pool and enjoying the hot tub. Soooo relaxing, mmmmm…
Friday 6th May-
We woke quite early because there is so stupid loud construction site nearby but read and relaxed all morning, and James finished uploading a huge bunch of photos for your delectation and delight. Greg’s wife Huyen came home around lunch time, so we got to meet her briefly before Greg dropped us at the station. I had a panic trying to find my return ticket. When it failed to turn up I had to buy another one, which made me cross but it couldn’t be helped. Of course it turned up when we arrived at the other end. Just where I had been looking for it. >:( So we arrived in Seattle again in the early evening, and were met by our kind friends and hosts the Olsens. They drove us back to their gorgeous house a little way outside the city, pointing out things of interest along the way. Ben and some of his band, South of Seven, were practising in the garage when we arrived, and once we had settled in we went to observe. Well I observed, James joined in. A load of Ben’s friends turned up after supper, and we went to the cinema for a late showing of Kingdom of Heaven. It was… interesting.
I’ll leave it there for now because we are going out. Ciao!
With my terrible memory it’s a good thing I’ve been keeping a written diary really isn’t it?
Wednesday 27th April-
Peggy gave me lift to Barnard (where she teaches) in the late morning. James and I were going to have lunch with her and Nicholas, so I wandered over to St.John the Divine Cathedral nearby to fill the time and meet James. It was quite impressive even though parts made me laugh and half of it was being restored after the fire of a couple of years ago. It has amazing pillars and some Tiffany rose windows. Then we proceeded to join the others and have a lovely lunch at a Chinese restaurant nearby, followed by ice cream whilst wondering around Colombia with Nicholas as our guide. James and I decided we wanted to go back to the Met in the afternoon. So we did. I also had The Hotdog in order to make certain people happy ;P and because I was hungry. It was… hotdog-like. I was coming back to go to dinner at the Chavez…s… and stay over with them in Queens. As we entered Queens on the subway it was pouring with rain thundering with fork lightning most dramatically! The evening was very fun, and it was great to meet the Chavez family. Their two little boys are adorable, and the youngest, Armando, is so attached to James, its so funny! I checked my email while Miguel and James played computer games next door. I was most mistified to hear disembodied voices in the room, which turned out to be people they were playing with online… I was also vastly amused by the realtime conversation J was having with you guys in San Fran- I’m so not used to all that stuff! New words keep appearing while you look at it, it so funny! Ahem.
Thursday 28th April-
Miguel gave us a lift to the subway and we headed to the south of Manhattan. James’ camera had completely uncharged so we went to find some batteries for it. They lasted about 5 seconds. Completely ridiculous! That is why there won’t be very many photos of this part. We got on a tour boat, which had a very …amusing… commentator/tour guide dude. It went in a circle around the bottom of Manhattan. The weather was actually quite nice which made all the difference, although it was fiersomely windy out there, and it was a perfect way to spend our last day in NY- seeing it from the water. We spent a bit of time after that wandering around the financial district (not something that had been a priority, but it was good anyway). I headed back to Ossining early so that I would have time to repack (what a MESS!) and get ready for the next day. On the way back from the station Robert took me (and Christina who was with him) to visit their lovely horse Leroy (a gentlemanly ex-police horse).
Nice weather. Train to Central Station after farewells, then taxi to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (cos my bags are so heavy!), then Greyhound Bus to BOSTON! Then we took the T to the Kileys’ house out in Newton Highlands. That about sums that day up. Except the coolness of seeing the Kileys! Wahoo!
After a bit of a lie-in we headed into Boston on the T, and explored the Back Bay area where Richard, James’ bro, lives. After an hour-long distraction apon entering Virgin and discovering how cheap everything was (HELlo OC soundtracks ;) ), we trooped down Newbury Street (so pretty, even in the rain- oh yes, very wet weather btw). At about 2:00 we went to find Richard’s flat. Chatted, had a late lunch, admired the coolness of the flat…etc. James was staying on there to go out to a college art exhibition by Richard’s ex, and because they got back so late, crashed with Richard. Meanwhile I went um shopping :D and discovered some groovy places including a Geek/Monsoon/Laura Ashley Home hybrid shop called Anthropologie. It was too expensive of course. I had to find out what time masses were for the next day, so I caught a bus out to Harvard in the hope of finding the church where I was baptised (having not seen it since I were a babby, and having forgotton to find out where it was from my parents). By mistake I got off a stop early, and turned the corner to find it sitting there. It was closed, but I was sure it was the place, so I made a note of the mass times and headed home after a little while looking around the area.
Sunday 1st May-
I got to Cambridge the next morning in perfect time for the 11am mass at St Pauls.I just Knew it was the church-I recognised the side alter with the statue of Our Lady from photos of my baptism. It felt so strange and amazing to be there. Especially because I was alone and had found it all by myself. It was quite a long service with the boys choir singing and the whole works. I hadn’t been able to speak to James directly but had left a message to say either meet at the harvard Square T stop or at the Isabella Gardiner Museum later. He was late for the first meeting, so I went off to amble around the sqaure and surrounding streets because there was a May Day fair going on. I also went to buy a Harvard sweatshirt because I had had one as a baby and Therese had given me money to buy one like it. It was actaully quite hard to choose one because there are so many variations! I then went across town on the T to find the museum (this took a certain amount of luck because I didn’t have the address- good thing the stop is called ‘Museum’ really). I began to look around the museum when I found it (it’s really beautiful and unique!) and spotted James on the floor below from a balcony. He went to get something to get something in the cafe while I finished looking as he had already been around it. Afterwards we decided we had had enough of museums for the moment and so we went back to Harvard Square because of the May Day Fair. I spotted a wrap-around skirt on one of the stalls, and it reminded me of my security-blanket-type skarf that I had had as a kid that I had to buy it! I know what you’re thinking- Tessa has been regressing. Well yes, probably. And it was fun! We found some candy-corn in a (totally awesome) sweetshop, but it was pick-and-mix and quite expensive so we only got a little. James, who had never had it before, claimed to be quite disppointed by the experience of trying it. Honestly. Alicia got home from Uni in the evening, and she and her boyfriend Kyle were a great adition to the party during dinner and before bed.
Monday 2nd May-
Our last day in Boston :( It was actaully sunny. At times. Too windy though, especially for someone wearing a very light and floaty wrap-around skirt! :/ Beacon Hill and the Public Gardens were the destination of the day, so we left as early as we could and disovered the wonders of Charles Street. We had lunch in a marvellous place called Paramount, and set out on our quest to find my first home, a little flat on Russell St. on Beacon Hill. Needless to say we found it. Very cool. I want to live in that area again some day. I half wished I had brought Koala, my cuddly friend who was given to me at birth, so that he could see it too, but I though James might disown me and so he stayed at the Kileys. After that bit of nostalgia, we walked through the Common to Filene’s Basement. I’m sorry to all it’s fans but I didn’t like it very much. I’m sure you can find some great bargins there but…hmm. We were then set to meet James’ friend Pete, but as they had never seen each other in the flesh, finding each other proved a challange. But they found each other in the end, and we walked back through the Public Gardens with some Italian Ices to Pete’s car. He then gave us a ride around the Boston area, which was beautiful in the patchy sunlight at this time of year, and then kindly out to Newton Highlands. Supper was a proper affair with the whole gang of Gus, Claire, Alicia, Kyle, Jamaes and I, and a chocolate mousse dessert. Gus told us about his crazy fun upbringing in a large country house with 8 kids plus. Much reminising about the time when my parents were in Boston too- Gus and Dad worked together at a publishing house. James and I tryed (and failed) to get to bed early †hough, because we had to get up soon after 5 the next morning to catch our plane to the West Coast. My email wasn’t working properly, so there was a bit of panic about how to get the details of our bus at the other end, but it was fine in the end. I also reached the point that evening of finally finishing organising the rest of our trip. It’s all set! FEW! James realised he could phone Ruby through his laptop and that that wasn’t so expensive so we got to speak to her which was cool and very odd (to me anyway, who isn’t blaze about hearing someone’s voice floating out of a computer from the other side of the world).
Tuesday 3rd May-
We were up 24 hours straight travelling. What more can I say? A lot more actually, but not now. I am still recovering from it and I am so… so… so… zzzzzzzz
May the 4th Be With you folks!
p.s. James says he doesn’t want to edit my posts for spelling mistakes because it’s so ‘me’- just incase anyone was wondering ;)
Oh dear- sorry everyone- a whole week has sped by and no word from me. How tragic. How you must all be fretting, how you must be waiting in front of your computers hour after hour… ha yes well. Perhaps not. Ahem.
I went to mass at 9:30 in the Church of the Holy Name round the corner from the Kopits. A lovely Franciscan parish, and a service with a children’s choir. Surprisingly the music was far from offensive! I then went back to the flat, supposedly to go back to sleep for an hour (being exausted), but in reality to spend an hour playing with my new phone :D Er.. I mean Mum’s new phone. Mum’s. Eh-ha. (Mum, I’m sure we can come to an arrangment when I get back… ;)) I met t’others at The Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, picking up lunch from Lenny’s Bagels on the way (cinnemon and raisen bagel with chicken and mayo inside- yum!), but we decided it wasn’t relevant enough and so wondered down to the Met. Dundun DUN the MET! It is pretty great there. I spent a rather disproportionate amount of time chosing some jewellery to buy (got some very pretty earrings) in the shop, and then we headed up to the ….the… whathisface exhibition… ah sheesh you know that artist guy… James can tell you. I got distracted along the way because I stopped to sketch and inform ignorant passers by about the Joan of Arc painting (what? I couldn’t help myself! They didn’t know the story very well!). I also wondered off and saw some statues and stuff. We had to part in the late afternoon, and I said goodbye to Ruby :( I went back to the Kopits to get my bag and catch a taxi back to Grand Central Station (which by the way is the nicest train station in the world- did I already say that? Anyway.), and get the Train out to Ossining. As we trundled up the Hudson River the sun was setting in the most amazing purples and oranges! In Ossining I was staying with the Ellsbergs, borrowing Nicholas’ room (as he is at Columbia) and being looked after by Peggy and Robert, Christina and Catherine and the gorgeous/crazy poodles Mischa and Toby.
James and I decided to take the day off, because we were beat, so I slept in and read Calvin and Hobbs comics from Nick’s collection. Then I had a late breakfast. Robert came by early afternoon and took me to Starbucks, which was perfect considering it was a Monday afternoon, and being a creature of habit in this department ;) I spent the rest of the afternoon going throught the guidebook and then when the girls got home, Christina, Robert and I took the dogs to the dog-park to let off steam. It was rather chilly though.
Peggy dropped me at the train in the morning and I went to meet James at the NY Public Library. We spent some time wandering around there, and then got some lunch somewhere nearby before catching a bus with the vague idea of going to Liberty Island because it was a beautiful day (yep- the weather has been all over the place!). But we got off to go to an STA Travel shop to book our internal US flights, and that took a while, and then we realised we were in Greenwich Village so we wandered around there a bit. We headed towards the river, and then James pointed out we were near this photography exhibition he had heard about so we went to take a look. It is called ‘Ashes and Snow’, and is a series of photos suspended inside a temporary hall created form cargo crates, with a video at the far end. The images were beautiful- with people and wild animals like cheetahs, elephants, whales, hawks… they were increadibly serene and stricking. I’m finding it hard to describe the exhibition, and none of this conveys it properly. One image showed a boy reading to a kneeling elephant, another woman dancing with a hawk in what looked like an egyptian temple. I don’t know if there is a website. Maybe That Helpful Boy knows. [helpful boy link] Back in Ossining the Ellsbergs showed me School of Rock, which I thoroughily enjoyed!
Oh man I’m so tired, I have to go to bed. I will have to catch up the rest later…
It’s May Day! Just noticed. Ha. Cool. I miss Oxford. Not that I ever went to the May Day celebrations.
It’s so easy to get behind on this thing! Although I suppose it has only been three days, it has been so hectic that I feel its hard to sum up!
First something I forgot to mention that was very amusing- when I went to the Magic Flute I noticed that one of the chorus was chewing gum inbetween singing! Yep. On stage, singing Mozart, in a fancy egyptian costume…chewing gum. *rolls eyes* ;)
Now letsee. Thursday. Thursday Dad and I caught the train up to Ossining to spend a bit of time with the Ellsbergs, more friends from Boston. After lunch Peggy (who is my other Godmother) drove us to South Orange and Seaton Hall University where Dad will be staying for the rest of his visit, having meetings and fun stuff like that. Within the space of about five minutes several people had asked how I was. Strange Americans and their strange friendliness, most disconcerting. Only kidding, its so funny and nice! Anyway.. from there I was picked up by my New Jersey friends. It was Katie’s 18th Birthday (wahoo! Go girl!) so we picked up ice cream cake and champagne on the way. A most wonderful eveing was spent with her friends and family- eating, catching me up on the O.C., watching the O.C… It was great to meet the Dad and brother (I only knew Katie and her Mum Mary before), and of course Max the Labrador. Man, I love dogs *ponders*. Then on Friday morning our friend Greg Glazov picked me up along with Dad and we talked non-stop on the ride to Princeton. Greg and his family used to live near us but moved to the US several years ago, so it was a much appreciated opportunity to catch up! At Princeton we met Betsy (aka. Porter), my friend from the deep depths of year 6 at OHS (she lived in England for a year while her father was on sebatical… sebati…hmm that looks wrong… not word I write often…) We had much to talk about, and did so over lunch (after which I said a final farewell to my dear Papa- here begins the ‘proper’adventure if you will), as we walked around the university and on the coach to Carnegie Hall for a Vaughan Williams Concert performed by the Princeton Chaple Choir (MOST excellent! Bravo!). When we got back (rather late) we watched the claassic ‘The Philadelphia Story’ (until even later)(I managed to stay awake, unlike some I could mention ;))- I had not seen it before and thought it was brilliant! I don’t think I’m going to get the hang of the whole uni-life with-no-sleep anytime soon yiu know. The next morning Betsy dedicatedly saw me to my train, and I sped off to meet Ruby and James at Penn Station. Much excitement apon seeing the darling girl appear on this side of the pond. We spent the day ambling to the NY Film Academy (I must be insane, why do I want to be involved in that industry?! But there you go, I can’t help myself), and on to Soho. Shopping was great fun, even though, in typical style, we didn’t cover nearly enough ground! Tackey/cute shoes and pretty jewellery, that’s all I’m sayin.
We were pretty exausted by the evening so instead of putting into action vague plans for seeking entertainment we parted and I came back to the Kopits (where I am staying one more night) for an early bedtime… *looks at watch* hahaa yes well.
It is pouring with rain after a grey and drizzly few days- what happened to the sun?? :( I can add to my ‘Achieved’ list ‘having a hamburger’ (not a hotdog yet- James put one away in five seconds flat, does that count?), and buying some… but I don’t want to spoil the surprise- bought something Sophie wanted… something… yummy… :D Have yet to find candy corn though. Or Lucky Charms, mmmm Lucky Charms.
I want to say a big thank you to all the folks who have been so kind along the way so far- you guys have made all the difference in the world. Thank you so much for everything.
Overall things are good, apart from the whole insanity and memory-loss moments. Dude huge siren chase going on again in the street outside. Ah New York. You gotta love it.
Sorry, I’m a bit behind! Where was I?
So I stayed with dad at his friends the Abelas for two nights. They have four gorgeous kids, and try to live a Distributist healthy home-school lifestyle. Andrew had organised some launch-talks for Dad’s Tolkien book which has just been published in the US under the title ‘The Power of the Ring’. I went along to his talk on the Sunday evening at their parish hall (excellent Dad! *beams*), and then the next day I wondered around the American History Museum while Dad gave the next talk at the World Bank of all places. Then we met up in Starbucks, along with an old friend Joan Desmond (who reminds me strongly of your Mum Julia- any possibility they could be related?!). Then Dad gave his final talk at the Catholic Information Centre. In all three people reponded really well and the book sold like hot cakes :D!
On tuesday morning we got a taxi to the airport and flew to New York. We made our way to the Kopits, met James, then went for a walk in the sunshine in Central Park. The point where I interupted my entry last time was when all the people began arriving for supper- My other Godmother Peggy dropped by with her daughter Catherine and her son Nicholas who stayed to supper, and the Kopit’s son Ben was there too, and what with this hyper-intellegent gathering the conversation was fast-paced and facinating. Their other son, Alex made it towards the end of supper because he had to work late on his exciting film editing job (with Walter Murch and Sam Mendes no less!). It was very funny because Dad was his Au-Pair (or however you spell that!) when he was in his gap-year and Alex was a toddler, and they hadn’t seen each other since!
It was James and Leslie who told us who the new Pope when we arrived. I guess I won’t comment much about that here… *grins*
Then today Dad and James and I went to the VERY GOOD Nicholas Roerich Museum (a tiny museum near here dedicated to this facinating artist, and then walked down to the Natural History Museum. We didn’t really leave ourselves enough time for that, but I loved the mineral room with its pretty sparkly things :)! I managed to have both a bagel and a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, so I really feel I have arrived in America.
Got to go off to bed, it’s far too late! We are leaving for New Jersey tomorrow while James stays in NY. Love to all xxx
We have arrived in the Big Apple this afternoon and made our way to the Kopit’s flat, where we found, much to our confusion, James hanging out! So that saved us a phone call.
Just to recap the past few days first- on Saturday I got up a bit too late to go to the morning session at the conference (whoops!) so Therese took me out to Mount Vernon (lovely in this sunny weather) where we met an old friend Marie Cabot and her husband and aunt. I realised I am spectacularly ignorant on American history, so at least now I know what George Washington’s drawing room looked like. And that he was the first President *ahem*. We got a bit lost coming back which meant I was late for the later session at the conference, but in any case slipped into the room full of theologians and observed for the last hour. Then it turned out I was going to have to crash the banquet dinner (heh heh;)), which I did. I briefly saw my Godfather, Uncle Michael. Then I went home and crashed into bed, thankful that I was far from regretting my choice of theology. I mean now I want to study it so I can be among those sort of people and know what the hell they are talking about!
On Sunday we went to the French church in Georgetown, and then to an Italian restaurant for lunch. Then Therese dropped me at the Abela’s…
oops got to go! Lots of people are arriving at the Kopits!
New Pope though- ehy, ehy, EHY?! :D
First report coming up! Let’s hope I manage to work out how to do this and don’t mess up James’ beautiful website! Righty-ho…
Well I arrived in Washington D.C. with my dear Father on Thursday afternoon, and my Godmother Therese picked us up from the airport. We drove to the conference centre/well posh hotel where Dad will be staying for his Big Von Balthasar Conference (that is Hans Urs Von Balthasar, the Catholic theologian- this conference is in honour of the 100th anniversary of his birth). Dad is very excited because lots of his brainy theology friends are there, as are awesome types like Kenneth Schmitz and Tracy Rowland, and Fr. Fessio who looks like Captain Archer from Star Trek Enterprise!! (Mum you were SO right!) We also saw Cy and Julie Olsen (yay!). Therese and I stayed for Mass and dinner, and then she took me back to her lovely typically suburban house. Jet lag plus general exaustion= zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Therese hasn’t seen me since I was about 8, so we have had a lot to catch up on! Yesterday she took me to the Air and Space Museum and National Gallery (er.. I think it was the National Gallery) and we drove around Washington a bit. Then in the evening we went to see the Magic Flute at the Kennedy Centre’s Opera House which was great classy fun.
If this is incoherent and badly spelt that is because I am still jet-lagged so please forgive me! (Or it could be because I am me but anyway.) The sun is shining, the cherry trees are blooming , the neighbours are mowing their lawn, and I am about to go out to see a real American Mall- Oh Yes! Love to you all,
p.s. James, I don’t think I’ve forgotton much, don’t worry! Actually I have brought too much stuff and may dump it on Dad to bring home rather than lug it all around :D Although it is hard to figure out what I don’t need. *sigh*