Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Second Half of November

Andrew's parents arrived for their ten day visit on Friday November 20th. We took them to Windchimes, one of our favorite local Chinese restaurants, for dinner. In fact, the portions were so generous that some of us even had leftovers for another day!

Saturday November 21, 2015
Today’s outing of the day was a trip to the Giant Eagle Marketplace at Kingsdale Center. We took them there on their last visit here about four years ago, just after the Marketplace opened. In fact, one of the employees saw them wandering around and even offered to give them a personal tour, so we didn’t even see them again for about an hour! This trip mostly consisted of us dragging them around while we stocked up on food for the week. I don’t think they would have minded spending a bit longer, but Andrew isn’t that keen on shopping and didn’t want to spend all afternoon there. Plus, he wanted to get home and have lunch.

In the evening we split up so the guys could attend the Mozart Clarinet Concerto at the Southern Theatre while we ladies attended the Darby High School production of “The War of the Worlds,” which lasted just over an hour. It probably felt like the end of the world to our meager little audience since the Buckeyes just lost their game in the last few seconds, moments before the play began.
(cast photo - we thought the kid in the blue plaid shirt looked a lot like Callum)
Since Karen and Mike’s house was on the way back, we popped in for coffee and conversation before retiring back to Chateau May where we watched several episodes of “Tiny House Hunters” before heading to bed.

Sunday November 22, 2015
Today was an activity-packed day for the Mays. For starters, there was the 11am contemporary service at Scioto Ridge United Methodist Church. Though I offered to drive them, the elder Mays opted to walk to church. I’m not sure why, but for some reason it reminded me a little of “Little House on the Prairie,” though the Ingalls would have arrived by buggy, as most attendees did.

It was a lovely service with a very entertaining sermon/homily and I told the minister as much afterwards. Meanwhile, Colin had a nice long chat with the organist since Colin & Ann’s church in Hereford is currently shopping for a new organ. Never hurts to shop around and ask advice from others! (which I explained to them that I did before I bought my Honda Fit when I popped in on some neighbors to ask them about their Fit).

While we were having a chat with some other parishioners after the service a neighbor I didn’t know I had on Darbyshire somehow knew I lived on Wenwood and asked if we wanted a ride. Ann & Colin were a bit hesitant, but I talked them into it not wishing to offend our neighbors, and knowing that it would be a long and exhausting walk back for the elder Mays (and we still had more places to visit on our agenda). Much thanks Mr. and Mrs. Waid!

Our next stop was lunch at the North Market. Unlike the West Side Market in Cleveland, which is enormous (and more than one building), and most other European markets, the North Market isn’t that big, so we didn’t figure it would be too exhausting for them to walk around. Also, we didn’t figure the meal selection would be so vast that they couldn’t make up their mind. They selected curry from Flavors of India while I bought a waffle sandwich from Taste of Belgium next door. Andrew joined us with a rather large (but apparently normal size) pretzel from Bretzel. I later stopped over there too and bought some pretzel twists to eat at home later. Ann purchased a box of Macaroons for us too, which we look forward to eating as soon as we finish the last of our Thanksgiving desserts.

From there we drove over to the Wexner Center to see the After Picasso exhibit which featured works by many of Picasso’s contemporaries including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein (who apparently attended Ohio State at one time). Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but I think Andrew’s mum was tired of walking, so the elder Mays sat and watched one of the continuously running videos, which are perfect for when you want a break, or are particularly interested in the subject matter. I thought the collection was very interesting and I only wish we could have taken pictures so I had examples from which to draw inspiration for my own art. They did sell a catalog, but it was quite expensive and just another item to clutter up my bookshelf. At least the free brochure had some good examples.

(above - this was one of my favorites that was recreated by Anton Henning)
When I got home from the food pantry later that evening, Andrew’s dad was snoring loudly in the living room, so we obviously exhausted them, which is why the rest of their visit was a lot more low key with them mostly sitting around our living room (though Andrew did take them to the Ohio History Center and a shopping trip on another day).

Thursday November 26, 2015
Someone told me Thanksgiving is the day one species ceases gobbling and another starts (gobbling). How true!

As far as the highlights of the day go, running the Flying Feathers Four Miler Race is definitely at the top of my list. It was held in Dublin in a neighborhood bordering Glacial Ridge Metro Park, so we ran some city streets as well as paved trails through the park. There were 4500 runners signed up, so we got stuck in a bit of traffic on the way there, but managed to park across the street from where the race started. By across the street, I mean, a mile away, but still closer than some of the other parking lots. In spite of the long walk, we still had plenty of time waiting around, and I wish I had worn one more shirt that I could have removed later. We were given free hats and gloves, both of which I eschewed because they impeded me using my I-Pod. The race began at 9:10am and it took us about 10 minutes just to get to the starting line. Also, there was a mixture of clouds and sun, so we were intermittently hot and cold, but managed to survive it and sweat some as well!

All I can tell you is four miles is a long distance, especially as we did a circular circuit, so there really wasn't much doubling back. Every time I looked into the distance I could see how much further we had to go and it was pretty discouraging, but I kept at it and managed to pass quite a few people. Andrew was nice and stayed with me most of the time. I was pretty happy when he flashed me 3 fingers for 3 miles completed. I knew I could complete the last mile after that. The long and short of it is we both RAN the entire length, occasionally having to slow down for other runners. Statistically speaking, we started out with a 16 minute mile pace, but then ended up doing about a 13 minute mile pace. I am proud to say Andrew and I completed the 4 miles in 47 minutes. We both got a pretty substantial (heavy) medal and a bottle of wine (Malbec and Sangria) for completion (along with a long sleeve runner's shirt). I was so proud of myself. I should also add, though we were both tired, neither of us were so shattered that we couldn't walk the mile back to our car. I probably could have run, but didn't want to drop my bottle of booze!

Mom and dad later joined us for lunch and dinner (after making a run back to Karen’s to finish fixing the wiring in her dining room and clean up the resulting mess). Mom, Ann, and I also went for a walk after lunch to enjoy some of the warm, afternoon sunshine. All total I figure I probably walked close to 7 miles today, which should hopefully offset some of the holiday overeating.

(group photo November 2015)
Friday November 27, 2015
Today we went over to the Weers for our annual Thanksgiving celebration. The guest list included 4 Denisons (Mom, Dad, Jim & Gwen), 4 Mays (myself, Andrew, Colin & Ann), and Mike’s brother, Steve.

It was very much a typical Thanksgiving celebration as far as food, entertainment (football on the telly, cards on the table) and family go. Hence, I think I can safely say the elder Mays can cross of ‘Experience a traditional American Thanksgiving’ from their Bucket List. In fact, we even saw they had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on the television when we returned from the race yesterday. Not sure how much of it they watched, but at least they had it on.

This year I learned all about Franken desserts (where you combine desserts to make a new creation like pie and cake (piecaken) and got to sample Pumpkin Dump Cake which was made by one of Karen’s mothers-in-law. In fact, she even let me take home the leftovers. I plan to add that to the menu next year in lieu of the traditional pumpkin pie.

Saturday November 28, 2015
Tonight the rain let off long enough that we could dash out to a movie without getting too wet, so we treated Andrew’s parents to a showing of “Brooklyn” at the AMC Lennox. Because of how crowded it was (the movie opened the day before) we had to sit in the front row, but thankfully not in the closer seats on the floor. It was a really good movie, but Andrew said he worried it might have hit home a little too much for his parents, since like Eilis, he ended up emigrating to America after marrying me (though there was a 6 year lag in between). Here’s a plot summary of the movie: “An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.” Thankfully both of his parents seemed to enjoy it, and there were no tears either during or after the film.
Sunday November 29, 2015
I took his parents to church (at St. Brendan’s) with me where they got to meet our pastor, Fr. Bob, who is also a Brit (from St. Austell, Cornwall). Fr. Bob said he'll pray for them on their return journey since a hurricane is due to hit the UK soon (of which Colin & Ann were unaware). Apparently Yorkshire is expected to get a lot of snow, where rain is expected further south. That seems pretty typical for December, so I doubt they’ll have too much trouble getting back.

After church we went to downtown Hilliard for lunch at Abner’s and afterwards drove them past First Responder’s Park and over to the historical village where they had a very quick look around. Though it was sunny, it was also a little cold and breezy, so they didn’t want to spend too long outdoors.

Bon Voyage & Safe Travels, Colin & Ann!

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