Monday, October 09, 2006

A Spot On Weekend

We went downstate again last weekend to meet up with a few people before we head off to Florida for the winter. Sounds good, huh ?? As I may have said before, I'm only going for 3 months as that'll be my 6 months in America taken care of for this year.

The weather has taken a chilly turn for the worst here in mid Michigan so we're ready and raring to get going. We'll be leaving in 11 days time and not a moment too soon. I'm not sure what this global warming business is all about but it seems to have bypassed Michigan. I remember a couple of years ago coming here and playing golf in a t-shirt and shorts in the 2nd week of November (ok so I was getting odd looks from other golfers as we passed them with mutterings of 'there goes that mad Brit') but my t-shirts are only for indoor use right now.

There are many things to get sorted before we leave and I'm seeing first hand what is involved in winterising a house in an area which can get snowbound for months at a time. And I thought I had it hard enough coming here - all I do is turn off the water and drain the tanks and pipes by leaving the taps open for a few minutes. Easy peasy.

Anyway back to the weekend. Part of our 'wish list' was to visit with people that my friends will not see again till next April. One of these friends lives in Flint and so when we decided to go camping in the area and meet up with her on the Sunday, we also suggested that on the Saturday, we arrange a picnic in the same state park for a group of wonderful friends we've all made over the past year on the Weight Watchers site.

Hoping that I get all the names right, here is a group photo of those that met up. Along the back from left to right we have Barbara, Judy, Jacquie and her son Sean, Angela, Jenny, Laura, Rosanna and Debby.

Right at the front is Linda who as (self) proclaimed queen of the pack, just had to have a chair (throne) and a sparkling tiara (crown) although the bottle of wine was more in keeping with Princess Margaret than Queen Liz 11.

We had a great day and, as can be seen by the causal attire, the weather was awesome. We all talk online and so it was a treat to finally put faces to the names.

The next day we went the few miles up the road to visit with Deb's old school friend, Elaine. We'd arranged to meet up at her church as she sings in the choir and what a choir it was !! I love a good choir and don't often get to listen to one. It was also an opportunity to experience another Christian denomination and this was at a Resurrection Reformed Church. It was a huge impressive building with many rooms and meeting places and the main 'worship area' was very spartan compared to anything I'd experienced growing up as a Catholic. There was a banner on one wall and a large wooden cross on another wall and that was it.

The greetings were warm and very friendly and I really enjoyed the service. But the choir singing was the best part of all and I wish I could be there at Christmas time as the carol singing, assuming they do it, would be awesome.

I had another 'first' after that. We all went out to a local eatery called Logans and I highly recommend it. If you feel crunching noises under your feet as you get to your table, don't think the place is a mess - they have large tin 'baskets' of peanuts on every table and customers are encouraged to toss the shells on the floor. Different !

So what was 'the first' ?? Well for the first time ever, I ordered salmon in a restaurant. I know that's not earthshattering to most people but up until this last year, I'd never even eaten salmon, never mind liked it. Is was fish and I just don't 'do' fish. After my heart attack last year, I really wanted to get in my oily fish for their Omega 3 properties but couldn't face those tiny sardines and mackerel and so on. I decided to give salmon a try and wow........what had I been missing all these years ???!!!!! I now have salmon a lot at home but had still to order it when out eating - being the meat lover that I am. Yesterday I decided to go for it and had it with a baken spud and salad - almost a healthy meal for a change.

Well it was delicious and much better than anything I'd prepared myself so now I'm hooked on salmon (little fishing juxtaposition there) and will order it a lot more in future.

We'd booked 3 nights but when we got back from visiting with Elaine we decided there was no point in sitting in the trailer watching tv and then getting up in the morning to drive home - so we packed up and went home on Sunday at 5pm and had a lovely trip back upstate.

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