Saturday, December 20, 2008
I'm back from my visit with the Wrights in the South and they are doing fabulous. I was fortunate to be there when Jake got his Eagle, and the weather was unbeleivable. It was in the mid to high seventies and slightly humid. Nevermind that I packed only winter clothes and was hot most of the time. I had a layover in Chicago and it was snowing there. It's funny how the weather can be so diverse as you travel across the US. I know most of you have heard this, and I'm sure your sick of hearing about it, but the airlines lost my luggage for a while on my trip home. The only good thing I can think of is that at least it wasn't on my trip there. That would have been really horrible. I finally got it back after four days. I bought a little bag of grits to cook and it broke in my suitcase so everything was coated with grits. Well here are some pictures from my trip. Jake, Samantha & Travis kept me busy playing games and hanging out. They even forced me to go "forking" one night. I tried to talk them out of it, but how can I say no to them. A lot of work has been done on the house since my last visit. Matt put the stair rail up and it is beautiful. He still has to stain the hand rail part. He also installed the kitchen cabinets and counter top. Matt also retiled the bathrooms. The house is painted in warm colors and feels very homey and comfortable, but it also has some elegance to it. I love their house. Here is Matt & Echo's neighborhood. In case any of you would like to move into the neighborhood, the white house across the street from them is for sale and has been for over a year. I don't know how much they are asking, but maybe Matt does. He said he would run right out and buy it for me if I would move to SC, but I think I'll stay in California. Don't ask me why. Somewhere between Charleston and the Wrestling match, there was a leaf event. Travis, Jake & Samantha, have a different idea of how to handle the leaf problem in their yard than Matt.f Friday morning Echo and I went into Charlston for some sight seeing. Matt met us later for lunch. Charleston is beautiful. There is so much to see and we had so little time. I would love to have a couple of months there and really check out all the historical sites and beaches. We ate at a new restaurant called the Bucaneer. The food was really good. I had Shrimp and Grits. I brought home a bag of grits so I could try to duplicate the recipe here. The restaurant was also a museum for pirate artifacts. There are a lot of old buildings that are fun to see and learn about. Lots of graveyards that are really beautiful and some have historical residents buried there. Y'all need to go visit Matt and Echo and check out Charleston. Friday night entertainment was Matt showing that he could still pin both boys at the same time. Jake and Travis were sure that they could take care of Matt, but in the end (although it's hard to tell by the picture) Matt pinned them both. He actually did it twice because the first time I was watching and forgot to take pictures and I was so impressed that I had him do it again so I could record the event on my camera The highlight of the whole week in SC was Jake's Eagle Court of Honor. Jake, we were all so proud of you. This is quite an accomplishment and most scouts don't get it this early in their scouting career. I wish I had pictures of his Eagle Scout project. They had videotaped it, but I did not get any pictures to blog. The project included organizing the building of some shelf/tables outside the snack shack at the ball park so people had a place to put condiments on their hot dogs. I think there were some other tables also. The wood was donated and there were plenty of helpers to get the job done. The display table showing Jakes scouting accomplishments also had some of his academic and sporting awards. He had several letters from school including academic letters. Jake has acomplished quite a bit and I am very proud of him. This picture mysteriously disappeared from the display table and we later found it under the table. Jake was disturbed by this and he made me promise that I would post it on my blog for everyone to see. I kept my promise Jake. After the Court of Honor we skipped right into the cultural hall for the Ward Christmas Party. It seems that Mac 'n Cheese are a staple in the South. I went to two different pot luck dinners while I was there. One was for Jake's Cross Country/Track award dinner, and the other was the Ward Christmas Party and there were plenty of Mac 'n Cheese side dishes. Not the boxed kind, but really good home made ones. Everyone's recipe is different. There was one that I really liked that was really creamy and cheesy. Another big item for a side dish was creamed corn and overcooked green beans with bacon. I didn't see any really extremely fat people there, but they should be because they eat a lot of cheese and butter. On Sunday evening, we picked Allie up from the airport. It was like picking up a returned missionary. Allie was tearful and happy to see her family. It would have been very touching, but, really, she was only gone for three months. McKay came to the air port too. I had never met McKay before and it was fun to meet him. He is great.