More About The ‘Adoptive’ Family, Telling You About My Fantastic Day Yesterday And Keeping You On Pins And Needles About Yesterday’s Story. 

An aside: “Where did that phrase pins and needles come from anyway?” I am sure that I an using it correctly. Husband #1 would tell me to look it up on Google. Sorry, too much blogging to do. I need a slave, or at least an assistant to do all of that stuff.

About Me talks about my adoptive family, I am so lucky to have them. You may think I am exaggerating about having an adoptive family but I have proof. Adele M, my ‘sister’ and her sweet husband Doug are on vacation and she sent a travelogue to her family. I was on the email list. If I were to be totally honest I would confess that there are some non family members on the TO list but I am counting myself amongst the chosen few bunch. I do have her permission to share the correspondence. I have my good manners and impeccable ethics intact about this blogging.
Hi all,

After 5 days at sea we spent our first day on land yesterday in the ancient city in Antigua. I posted some pictures on Facebook while we were there and had access to wifi as the ship’s wifi is slow and very expensive.

It was an hour and a half to get to Antigua from the port. We had a regular coach bus, but saw many locals riding ‘chicken’ buses. They are like school buses and get their name as so many people pile in along with stuff on the roof.

The city of Antigua was very walkable (although Doug is still complaining about his calves from the uneven cobblestone roads and sidewalks!) Our bus ride was filled with history and other information from the local tour company guide who was very knowledgeable. There is a lot of poverty in the country, but improving education and big gains in reducing illiteracy. Was surprised to learn how expensive the houses in Antigua are – usually 2-3 million for low end. But the city is a UNESCO world heritage site so not on the same level as other real estate.

Celeste was our tour guide in the city as she had researched everything ahead of time – lucky us! Also she is quite fluent in Spanish now which was very helpful. The locals just brighten and engage differently when speaking in their own language (or maybe just speaking to Celeste 😁) And of course Celeste loves to practice her Spanish so it made the visit so much more enjoyable. One of our stops in Antigua was to check out a Spanish language school she is thinking about attending. She had already done several in Mexico and Spain.

The highlight for us was our first stop which was lunch (who’d have guessed?!). A beautiful, ancient pesada that had a gorgeous roof top terrace overlooking a garden and with flowers and vines all around. The volcano in the background topped it off, along with some traditional Guatemalan food (which is very similar to Mexican) and local beer. We walked through their beautiful town square with a mermaids fountain with one unique feature – water squirts out of the mermaid’s nipples – which any nursing mother can attest isn’t so unique, and not that fun – but these poor girls have been doing it for centuries! We saw many beautiful churches and various civic buildings around their city square. Just walking and admiring the architecture was wonderful ( although we had to be nimble to avoid the scooters, motorcycles and cars – pedestrians don’t get an automatic right of way!) One highlight for us was seeing the famous colonial archway while we walked.

Well another day at sea today…Doesn’t get more relaxing than this. Doug and I have yet to stay up past 10:30. Celeste is disappointed, but we suspect John is secretly jealous… We intend to stay up later at least once or Celeste may throw us overboard
tell the kids we saw 3 big turtles swimming by the boat and many fish jumping. Doug also thinks he saw a whale – others in the boat have as well.

Tomorrow we go on a tram ride in the jungle in Costa Rica, then it’s Panama canal! We are off to a lecture about the canal in a few minutes.

Thanks for all the updates and news from home. Please keep sending emails from home. Although we are having a lovely, restful time we still miss home, family and friends.

Love to all,
But now, back to me. Whose blog is this anyway? I am a little miffed that in the two and a half years that I have lived in London hardly ANYONE has come to visit me. And we well know that London is a tourist destination. I am not going to think about the implications of this. So I fired off this email to ‘Sis”.
Goodness gracious, to me it does not sound fun at all. Tram ride in jungle? London tube bad enough for me. I like civilization, not chicken buses. Doug’s calves? What about his bulls? Poverty? Come to London and why didn’t you? You probably got food poisoning from the restaurant food. Beer? Where is the wine? Highlight? An archway? Why not London and me? As to the turtles, National History Museum? London Zoo? A tram in the jungle? I hope you survive that. Doug, are you sure it was a whale? Or were you just having a whale of a time? I do not know about this. In case you have not heard I have a blog. I mention the family in the About Me section. it is two weeks old. I have had 1670 hits, yesterday 300 hits. It is two weeks old. Join in keep my numbers up. I do not want any of you to move immediately but you shall learn that I am coming back to Canada. Mass exodus, I am sure will occur but where are you going to go? The USA? Looking forward to seeing you soon. Adele, all of this makes me glad that I am in London. Kisses, The eldest. Alexis
Adele gamely answered back: Hahaha yes London sounds fantastic. As for your consideration ERM about Doug’s ‘bulls’ they seemed to be safe from dragging I really the cobblestones .
So at this point I have to come up with something about London that makes it a better choice. Thank goodness I have a great day to report. Friends David and Greg invited me to go to the Watt’s Gallery with them and then to David’s sister”s for dinner or supper or whatever you might call it. So I took public transport, not chicken bus, to Whitton. They met and we drove to that wonderful rural property. When in doubt, eat. That is how we began by consuming the best scones in the world in the tea room. Then to the gallery where there were two special exhibits. Untold Stories was a collection of art in private collection accompanied by the owner’s description of their motivation buying the art. It was touching and involving. Then we viewed the permanent collection. My favorite of all Watt’s iconic Hope which drew mike to the gallery in the first place. It does give me hope.
Then we drove and drove and I got to meet Helen and Patric, who are the most wonderful people. They live on an immense piece of property with multiple structures. One going back 700 years. I was totally disoriented but I was informed that this property is thirty miles from Guildford. It was dark but I got to see pictures of the huge garden, one is attached to this blog. Helen and Patric are newlyweds even though they are older than I am. Dinner was so delicious. All this and Patric can cook too. The fire kept us warm as this was not Guatemala where, I do admit, the weather is better. I returned to my flat using public transport from Richmond. I do not care about Adele’s tram, I am scared of heights anyway.

I promise to finish Eavesdropping story tomorrow.

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