Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day One: Picking up from the airport and getting settled/ready


  1. Bake a Four-Layer Cake for decorating and delivery tomorrow
  2. Bake a smaller two-layer cake
  3. Give the weary travelers a clean place to rest their heads and shower
  4. Keep them in the sun so they'll wake up tomorrow morning
  5. Prepare for packing
  6. Do laundry
  7. Clean the house!

Seeing as I was kept in the hospital for the two most critical days of preparing for our trip and our visitors, I was in a slight panic when we returned from the airport with them. I had sent home a list of things for the family to do to prep for each, but they seem to have read the list, torn it to shreds, and randomly start doing odd jobs that had been on the back burner for the last several months (for good reason). I love my family dearly, and I communicated that quite clearly when I saw all the hard work they had put into (1) piling every item from the kitchen counter onto the dining room table so they could (2) oil the counters with a stain which could take days to dry depending on the amount they layered on and (3) cleaned off the heating elements in the kitchen so you couldn't notice the nearly invisible amount of dust which had only accumulated for the last 4 weeks and (4) had cleaned a few spots which had been bugging him on our kitchen/living area sliding divider, but had not (1) cleaned the bathroom or (2) washed the sheets or towels or (3) taken out the garbage or (4) given the hermit crabs a final bath. Okay, I'm so not being fair here because they did sweep the floor, remember to take out the garbage bins on pick up days, and submit Screech Monkey's photo into the Johnson&Johnson Shampoo contest before the deadline.

By the way, do you like it?

Anyway, we were able to eat a decent meal provided by the man who had taken care of two children on his own for two days and done all that housework. We settled into the backyard garden to get in as much sun as we could and enjoyed catching up and being able to look at each other from across a table rather than across a computer screen.

We each got in a bike ride here and there to the grocery store for some beer or other missing element and I was glad to see we were not the only American's who had a hard time getting used to a Dutch bike.

They brought over two extra suitcases filled with gifts, American food, and all kinds of miscellaneous items for my new cake business that I'd spent weeks ordering off of eBay or checking of my list to send my mother-in-law in search of at a Michael's. It was just like Christmas in August. The kids were trying on cloths, attempting to put together the broken plastic tiara's and eating American snacks.

Though my cake baking kept us around the house all afternoon it was probably a good thing as they were ready to retire at an early hour and we all needed the rest for what was coming next . . .

(The following reports are included as they are critical details which should never be eliminated from proper travel logs, as you'll learn throughout the next several days.)

W.C. Report:

Somehow it was magically cleaned by the time I made it there; I think one of our guests did it! *blushing*

Tragedy Report:

My brand new pants were ripped in the leg while I was riding my husbands bike to the store! I think I cried over this as they were the first pair of pants I've had in over a year that I actually liked.

My cake was a disaster! On the same trip to the store I asked my husband to take the cake out when it was ready, but he took it out early and the whole cake was a soppy mess which after an effort of trying to rebake it still failed. We crumbled the half baked pieces onto a plate and ate it for dessert ;) I still ended up having to make another batter and spent hours baking!

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