Monday, September 29, 2008

Back to the States for a visit

I just got home from 10 days in the States. Yea, that's what Canadians call the U.S. Anyway, I started in Houston and got to see the wreckage of Ike first hand. Lots of trees down, traffic lights not working, traffic jammed, gas stations with limited gas and grocery stores with limited supplies. Still thousands of people without power. Luckily my family had power and most of the other creature comforts. It was great to see family and drive around in a very familiar place even with the mounds of tree limbs and branches piled in front of almost every yard.
After the weekend TJ and I drove to Baton Rouge to see his Mom and sister Meg and 3 of my siblings. Baton Rouge looked even worse than Houston with huge piles of Gustav debris in front of almost every house as well. The only difference is that Gustav was almost a month ago and the trees in BR are much larger and fell a lot harder. Many houses were damaged and I can only imagine what things looked like right after the storm. I did have good visits with the family though. Did some U.S. shopping and took advantage of good prices and a selection I am more familiar with.
On my way back to Houston I caught up on my talk radio. I just had to listen to the political ramblings and see what the buzz in the States is on the election. I was accused of becoming liberal after living up here and my friends felt obliged to educate me and talk some sense into me. I just love playing devil's advocate and get the discussion going. I am happy to listen.
On Thursday I flew up to St. Louis to see Kelly. It just happened to be her birthday too. We had a nice night out to dinner with 12 of her best friends. Great kids! Kelly seems to be doing well and loves her life at school. We had lots of time together and the weather in St. Louis was near perfect. We just wanted to stay outside and play. We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens on Sat. and had a beautiful day. It was a "rock star" day, between the gardens, the weather, the cafe with sushi and drinks, the free tickets to see Maroon 5 and Counting Crows and the cute red Mustang we drove around it really was a great day! Kelly went to the concert with a friend and I suffered through another dinner out with friends,wine and sushi....such a sacrifice. And on top of it all Notre Dame and LSU won their games. Does life get any better?
On Sunday we went to Mass then to brunch in yet another cute cafe. I hated to leave but it was time. I think this was my farewell to warm weather for a while and I may not be in the States again until November.
It felt like home but then again, coming to Mississauga also felt like home. Just not as many friends and family here....yet. It was a real treat to see 3 of my 4 kids and all 4 of my siblings on this trip as well as so many good friends. Can you ever go back?

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