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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Chillin' in NY

I'm stealing someone's wireless right now to reconnect to the cyber realm. Cora's taking a nap, and I'm taking a break from family (in particular, my mother). So far, we're having a really good time, and we managed to make it up here on Thursday in only 9 1/2 hours, without killing each other.

We left about noon on Thursday, and stopped for dinner in Cleveland, in the Little Italy district. I dated a guy like a decade ago who went to school at Case Western, and his frat house was over in Little Italy. Best pizza ever -- Mamma Santa's. They also have a huge bowl of black olives as an appetizer, which I'm a big fan of, I could eat my weight in black olives. So could Cora, she ate nearly the entire plate. The original plan was to do some shopping after dinner, but we left home later than we'd anticipated, so we just continued on after dinner. Cora was great in the car. So long as Elmo was on the portable DVD player, she didn't make a peep. I so wish there had been portable DVD players when I was a kid. Long car trips were so boring. I never could read in the car, because I'd get carsick if I did. All I had was a cassette tape walkman when making those long trips, and pretty soon, I'd run out of tapes (and batteries). My mom refuses to fly, so we had to drive everywhere.

We're staying with my mom's aunt and her cousin (who lives with his mom to take care of her, because her health hasn't been that good). We spent some time yesterday with them and Mom's other cousin and his wife and kids. We also went to see my grandfather, and my aunt and cousins and their kids last night. (That's all my dad's side of the family.) We took Cora to the Niagara Aquarium yesterday, which she absolutely loved. I was exhausted by the end, just from chasing her around to all the exhibits. She loved the penguins, the sharks and the sea lions the most. It's perfect for little kids, because most of the aquariums are low enough that she can step onto the ledge and see the fish without me holding her up. She only needed help for the sharks. It was so cute, because she'd wave to all the fish and say "hi!" "Hi, penguin!" "Hi, shark!" "Hi, fish!" We took a stuffed penguin and a stuffed clown fish home as souvenirs.

This morning, we went back to see my aunt and cousins, and this afternoon (when Cora's done with her nap), we're going to the mall with an old friend of my mom's. I'm looking forward to the shopping, but not really the company. I mean, they have a daughter my age, and we played together as kids, but these are my mom's friends from her crazy religion. I'm surprised they're even willing to talk to me (since I'm Catholic and not of the Crazy Religion). But at least none of our family up here (except my grandfather) are in the Crazy Religion. I'm going to mass tomorrow with my great-aunt and cousin, it's nice to not be the odd one out with the family for once.

Tonight, we're going into the Italian district here and going for a good Italian meal. Then tomorrow after mass, I'm going to Toronto to have lunch with a high school friend. After I get back, we'll go to a cousin's house for dinner and, if the weather's nice, go swimming. Monday, we'll go see my grandfather again and head home in time for Husband to wake up (he works Sunday night), and have dinner as a family. Tuesday, I'll be moving my furniture to the new apartment. Then I get to relax until I start my new job!

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