Sunday, July 18, 2010

One of the reasons I had to come back to Nebraska this summer was a party.
It was actually a pretty big party, but we didn't end up getting a good group shot of everyone.
I just have this:
We needed to celebrate the birthday of my Grandad!
It was a great time and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with family that I haven't seen for ages.
Good times!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

As a picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words, I figure that my only real hope of giving my readers any idea of what we're doing here in the USA lies in posting some photos.

First of all, no visit to the USA is complete without an enormous fiberglass animal statue, such as the World's Largest Holstein Cow up in North Dakota....or the slightly smaller, but no less beloved Giant Chicken of Lincoln, Nebraska.
This big guy roosts in the parking lot of a very popular local restaurant. Lee's has been around forever and some of my earliest memories involve eating there with my whole family. Grandpa Augie would invariably tell me to go over to ask the organist to play 'Love Letters in the Sand' and he'd give me a quarter for her big glass tip jar.
I must have done it dozens of times over the years, but I was always SO embarrassed...

It's not much to look at, but it was fun to take my kids to visit...and eat some of that amazing chicken!
Here's my mom and Tya at the bar:

(If you blow up the photo and look to the right of Tya, you can see that the organ is still there and the tip jar still sitting right on top of it)

But my home state of Nebraska is about so much more than Lee's fried chicken and old Pat Boone songs.
It's also about college football.
And, more specifically, college football merchandise:
Yes, the Huskers reign here and their insignia is to be found everywhere, on everyone, at all times. If you want to blend in here, all you have to do is wear a University of Nebraska t-shirt. It's a kind of uniform. As you can see, though, we haven't quite got that mastered yet and Tya's Goth wear kind of stands out like a sad, dark and mournful sore thumb...

We end up spending a lot of time in stores. When we're not looking at books and clothes, we're mostly to be found shopping for food. And when we do so, usually Tya grabs my camera, recruits her brother and heads off to document the fascinating world of the American supermarket. She seems particularly fascinated by the huge quantities and has quite a number of photos of Sev holding jumbo-sized containers of just about everything a person could want to eat.
For example:
They seem to have a good time, though the other shoppers aren't quite sure of what to make of them...

I have lots more photos and lots more to say about our trip. I just hope I can find the time to post them and do some more writing. I miss my blog!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Land of the Brave and Home of the Free.

It also happens to be the home of big cars, big stores, and big people.
That's what has struck me most in the three days since we arrived here. There's so much space and so much stuff!
And that last item on my list was NOT a cheap crack about fat Americans. When I wrote 'big', it wasn't a euphemism for porky or obese. Americans are TALL. Since I've been here, I've seen several men close to seven feet tall.
Of course, this is a college town famous for football players. But still....

What have we been doing since we got here on Sunday night?

Well, when we're not visiting my Grandad Art, we are mainly out shopping.

Yesterday, we hit the jackpot at a local thrift shop and came home with armfuls of amazing, nearly new clothes. Tya did particularly well, finding stuff to work with her Goth look. So, that was a fun 17th birthday activity for her- along with a screening of the latest 'Twilight' opus and a feast at a locally famous restaurant that has a ridiculously yummy buffet.

So, a good time is being had by all.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The house is tidy, the garden weeded, laundry done, fridge cleaned, and suitcases packed.

In short, we are ready to leave for the U S of A!

We'll go to the Geneva airport early tomorrow morning and catch the 9am flight to Newark...then another to Chicago....then, finally, a plane to my home town of Lincoln, Nebraska.

I just hope the housesitters turn up! They're supposed to be driving in tonight, but it's already 9:30.....

Thursday, July 01, 2010

On Monday, I was driving down the valley to go run some pre-trip errands in the "big city". My three girls were with me, indulging in one of their favorite recent pastimes: discussing all the tasty things they want to eat while they are visiting the USA this summer.

Top on the list is always Taco Bell. It may seem odd, but if you're a kid who only gets this stuff once every three years or so, I suppose you might really get to craving a fast food taco or two.

Then there are the breakfast cereals.
"Lucky Charms " Mallory announced. "Lucky Charms are the MOST delicious!"
"What about Froot Loops? We'll have Froot Loops, right?" Alexa chimed in, concerned that her favorite not be left out.
"That stuff tastes like mutant chemicals. " Tya sniffed from the front passenger seat.
"But it's goooood mutant chemicals!" Alexa insisted.
Mallory ignored the controversy.
"I like popsicles! We'll get popsicles? Right, mom?"
"Mmmmm." I answered, concentrating on the road, but giving it a vaguely positive intonation.
"And root beer?"

The other girls were quiet and let the master work. Mal was on a roll.

"And Cinnabon rolls? And Valentino's buffet? And Mountain Dew?"
"Mmmmmm!" I repeated, taking a particulary tricky curve. (People who have lived here for years have managed to drive off this road, tumble off the edge, down the to the valley floor and die in flames. I SO do not want to do that.)
"And those waffles? With that chocolate stuff?"
"Mmmmmm?" I inquired.
I hadn't heard this one before.
"You know! The frozen ones made by that strange white baking creature."
"Strange white...?" I said, baffled.
But then the light began to dawn.
"Yeah, mom!" Alexa chimed in "The little thing with the creepy staring black eyes!"
That clinched it.

Luckily, the hard part of my drive was over and I was able to safely laugh uproariously for a good long time at this very accurate description of the dreaded Pillsbury Poppin' Fresh Doughboy.

I am SO calling it "that strange white baking creature" from now on.