It's still hot here, where else can we go?

Phoenix Travel Blog

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Stephanie and Skottie waiting for the Great Pumpkin in Wilmington, Delaware.

Okay, so that's not the real reason for leaving again so soon but do we really need a reason to go to France??!!  Mark got the call just a couple of days after we returned from England.  We need you to go to France to check out some simulators at the head office in Lannion, France.  We had been there before, two years ago so I had to stop and think about whether I really wanted to go back..............DUH. No brainer there. Plus, Mark wanted, no, needed my translation services, as shabby as they can sometimes be. So, as Willy Nelson would say, "On the Road Again......"

We were determined to NOT take the 4 suitcases and two carry on bags that we just used on the previous trip. This time we are going light.  We bought two small backpacks and along with one of our 22" rollaboard cases we were successful in cramming all our necessary items.

Beautiful pots of mums compete with the colors of the pumpkins.

We flew positive space on USAirways. Mark on the company dime and me, using his frequently flyer miles as it is very difficult to nonrev between PHX and PHL sometimes. Just ask Skotty, aka olsalty, a veteran on TravBuddy.  We made it, without checking a bag, to PHL, rented a car and headed to our home away from home, Hotel VonBank. 

Quick, take a look at this take-away menu from the local Asian eatery.  Michael and Skottie (with a "k" from now on), did the eggroll run while Steph did the bath thing with the wiggly almost 2 year olds, Ivo and Ada. Mark and I did our best with two bottles of beer while we waited.  Aside from not getting my spicy, fried Calamari that was inadvertently left out of the bag, we noshed well, talked and drank the evening away.

Ivo and Ada enjoying their first time in a pumpkin patch.
Hey, deja vu, didn't we just do the same thing about 3 weeks before except Skottie was now in Chrissy's place? 

The next morning, Steph, Skottie, Mark and I had breakfast out at a local diner while we left Michael to his conference call.  Mark and Michael had some work to do later in the day so they did their thing, Skottie stayed at the house and did his thing and Steph and I went shopping while the kids were in daycare. 

The leaves are starting to turn and the frost will soon be on the pumpkin in Delaware.  We visited a lovely pumpkin patch/nursery next to the diner where Steph bought a gorgeous hanging mum basket to dangle on the lamppost outside their house. Later on, after picking up the kids, it was on to the local produce/pumpkin stand.

A ghostly dance around a giant tree.
....everything has a pumpkin attached to it this time of year. 

Later in the afternoon we had to work for our keep.  Skottie's job was to replace all the old switchplates and electrical sockets in the dining area and I set up the miniature sewing machine so I could alter several pairs of jeans/trousers for Ivo and Ada. Michael and Mark were off doing "real work" out of town. Stephanie was cracking the whip to make sure we didn't slack off while the kids worked hard on their naps.

As a reward, we went out to Stanley's Pub for dinner.  We were relegated to the "family" dining area which was an out of the way conference room upstairs that we happily shared with 4 or 5 other families.  We feasted on fried onion strings, home fries, dill pickle spears and any other food that didn't have to be eaten with a knife and fork.

The chocolate faced boy being tamed by Skottie.
  Guess we are all children at heart.

Next morning found Michael taking out  the vent-a-hood and replacing it with new light fixtures in preparation for the new kitchen that will be going in next week.  Mark and I did our laundry and packed for our departure to France in the evening while Skottie went "dog-fishing" in the back yard with Elliott, the family pooch.  For the uninformed, dog-fishing, is performed by attaching a doggy plaything, in this case a chew rope, to the end of a 10' long fishing pole of sorts. The human involved turns slowly in a circle, pole in hand, dangling the toy over pooch's head as he runs and jumps for the toy that stays tantalizingly out of his reach.  This is an excellent way to tire the poor animal so he will sleep the entire afternoon.

Ivo took this picture of Skottie. I think it successfully captures the moment.

So, after changing the bedclothes in our room to make ready for Steph's friends Chrissy and Ian, arriving from England the next afternoon, we load up the car and head for the airport.  Due to construction on the I-95, it takes us an hour to get to the rental car lot. Combine that with turning in the car, getting back to the airport, standing in the queue at the counter and getting through security, we had about 30 min left before boarding time.  Good thing we left 3 hours before departure time.  Unfortunately, there were no seats left in business class but we were able to procure an aisle seat and one next to it in "third world", my affectionate term for "economy".  Aside from being unable to straighten our legs out in from of us and the presence of the barfing guy with the garbage bag sitting one seat over from me, the time passed enjoyably.

Mom, Stephanie, shopping with the kids.
..................

We arrived ontime, give or take 10 minutes, at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, where the only thought in our minds was to find a croissant, a coffee and the score from the rugby match between England and France the previous evening..............

olsalty says:
Hey Trav Buddy, with your poetic waxing, an ordinary suburban day turned into a fantastic journey! The photos look great with the text. Yes, it is a good thing you left when you did. I'll take that into consideration when I leave tommorrow. Chrisy and Ian have now taken YOUR place at the VBH, so it's come full circle. I'm off to read the next installment of your blog. Ciao Mon Ami. SA
Posted on: Oct 15, 2007
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Stephanie and Skottie waiting for …
Stephanie and Skottie waiting for…
Beautiful pots of mums compete wit…
Beautiful pots of mums compete wi…
Ivo and Ada enjoying their first t…
Ivo and Ada enjoying their first …
A ghostly dance around a giant tre…
A ghostly dance around a giant tr…
The chocolate faced boy being tame…
The chocolate faced boy being tam…
Ivo took this picture of Skottie. …
Ivo took this picture of Skottie.…
Mom, Stephanie, shopping with the …
Mom, Stephanie, shopping with the…
Yours truly with Mark. The wind di…
Yours truly with Mark. The wind d…
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