Returning to Philadelphia was like coming home. Michael picked us up at the airport and we were back at the pool in no time. Felt so good to soak up the warmth after literally freezing in the services (and later catching a cold).
I must digress for a moment. The minute I walked in the funeral home, I said to one of the funeral guys, “It’s FREEZING in here!” He promised to take care of it, no problem. It just got worse. By the time the service was over, my feet and hands were blocks of ice. I checked the thermostat on the wall and it said the temperature was 66 degrees. Who do you know that keeps their house at 66 degrees in the wintertime? I went outside to warm up and held the door for several people who agreed that it was super cold in there. Also, I hate when I mention how cold it is to someone and they pinch my scrawny arm and say, “Well, you don’t have any insulation on you…” I really hate that.
When Jim emailed our arriving flight info and asked about the cats, Michael emailed back, “Are the cats OK? When I went in to feed them this morning I found two of them playing dominoes and the other sheepishly closing the refrigerator door with one paw and a snack in its mouth.” Anyway, it was good to be back to the kitties and all was well.
We enjoyed more fabulous meals with Michael and Randy, most of them at home where your taste buds are always in for a treat. One afternoon we attended a cookout in the backyard by the pool, “nothing fancy.” The burgers were perfectly cooked, the tomatoes were ripe, the cranberry relish was simply indescribable. The whole company was great fun and we laughed and ate and drank all afternoon. There was also another of Randy’s famous apple pies involved. Also tiny grapes. Delicious tiny grapes.
We wanted to do something for these guys being so awesome and all, so one night we took them to Paris Bistro and Jazz Club where we dined on delicious fare. Unhurried, impeccable service and remarkable food. I had lamb that made me feel like I was back in New Zealand. A most excellent evening and as Randy told the server every time she came around, we were “happy people.”
A few nights later was our farewell dinner with them since they had plans on Saturday before we pulled out Sunday. I thought we had eaten well the night before at Paris Bistro! We started with Michael’s delicious roast fennel soup. Served cold, it was like nothing I have ever tasted. In a very good way. Then the main course of perfectly marinated and seared rare swordfish. Swordfish is one of my favorite foods anyway, but they took it to new heights. Melt-in-your-mouth with an unforgettable marinade. Served with “local” lima beans that had never been out of their back yard. Garden to table. It was fabulous. And a tart and tasty dessert too. We better get back on the bikes pretty soon.
Of course, there was a project for the guys. Last time, they propped up the vine, this time they removed a bent-over, sagging birch tree that was threatening the rhododendrons. Jim and Michael weeded the chain link fence row too. I sharpened the chain on the saw.
When we got back from KC we noticed that Tikita, the white cat, was visiting the litter box more frequently than usual and only peeing a small amount. We knew this was an indicator for a urinary tract infection and after a little googling, Jim found a house-call vet who came right to the bus and fixed her up. Gave her an antibiotic shot and some medicine to poke down her for ten days. She actually seemed to like the medicine and improved rapidly. Tikita is a tough kitty.
We did miss the PNBR but it was the evening before we left, it rained and I had a cold and we will make a date to try it next year. If Michael and Randy will have us, that is…
The last day we were there, my sister Tina and her husband Albert came and visited us in the bus. We had a nice long visit and we were very happy to have them come over. Every time I hear Jim describe all the work he has done to interested parties (not everybody is) , I realize again how much he has done to make the bus comfortable, safe and workable for us. YAY Jim!
We can’t thank Michael and Randy enough. It ended up being almost three weeks that we were there but we had a great spot in the garden and driveway guests beat houseguests every time. We had a nice quiet spot in the garden in the middle of the city with art and beautiful plantings all around. Michael and Randy are the types that you just fall back into step with, the best of friends.
We love these guys.
More pics on Flickr.