I have decided that I have to blog twice today as I will have too much for one post. I slept reasonably well last night only waking at 12:45; 3 and 4:30am and then finally getting up at 5:30am. Now feeling quite tired again (and it is 2:30pm). Despite asking yesterday that someone call me when they all went to breakfast, no one did and so when Stephen eventually communicated with me it was 8:50am, I was famished and breakfast closed in 10 minutes. Family love.
It was an All-American type breakfast. Standard stuff like toast, cereal, yogurt but also the standard American stuff like Turkey bacon (why you need that when normal bacon is perfectly fine in my view) & waffles. I say when in American do as the Americans so a waffle for breakfast was the obvious choice. Freshly made yourself with a fancy machine. Most the breakfast room was dominated by family members. Piers (my brother-in-law whose daughter is getting married) suggested that tomorrow they should shut the breakfast room and allow us to use it only. He also said that if his other daughter wants to get married in LA he will say no. The distances to do anything here are enormous. I thought we were close to the Church etc but apparently that is 40 minutes away still. I have now seen most of my family except my sister-in-law and 2 nephews (and my niece who is getting married).
Breakfast this morning was the first time I saw Stephen. And I only got to see him for about 5 minutes and he and cousin had decided to got to San Diego (by train) for the morning. My sister dropped them off at the train station and I have to pick them up in about 2 hours again. Taking my one nephew with as he has a phone with a GPS we can use to find the station. Last night they got back at midnight from the Imagine Dragons (if you have heard of them then you are either under 25 or have children under 25) concert. The one nephew told me that Stephen was a babe magnet last night. Especially when the girls heard him speak and heard his accent. Not sure how many additional girlfriends he has since last night (sorry Lara).
After breakfast I went to the shops with my Dad. We went to the regular grocery store. Every time I go to a store in America I am staggered by the choice. Everything has about 10-15 brands you can chose from. From cooldrink to washing powder. But nothing is made from real products. They are quite happy advertising ‘Artificial flavor’ in big letters – clearly a selling point as real flavors aren’t tasty enough?! We got behind (in more ways that one) a VERY large lady at the till. If she stood in front of me and our whole family, you wouldn’t be able to see any of our family. Chloe is about the size of one of her legs. Michael’s torso was the size of her arm. If she fell on you she would have squashed you – no doubt. She was so slow with whatever she was doing we gave up, repacked our basket and found another queue. if you look carefully in the photo (that’s my Dad) in the background you can see her waddling back to her car. Surprised she parked so far away. We reckon she was working up her appetite for the next MacDonald’s burger, fries and Super Large Coke.
We also went to the Pharmacy so that I could stock up on medicine you can’t get in South Africa. They have a wonderful tablet called PM’s which mix a painkiller with an antihistamine. When you’re sick you take them and it helps you sleep brilliantly and makes you feel better. It also works wonders taking them on a flight with a glass of wine (or two) – sleep like a baby (assuming your babies slept well) then. What I love about pharmacies in America is that they sell anything and everything. Liver tablets to alcohol (not kidding). How does a pharmacy sell alcohol? And there store layout is the most mixed up you could ever imagine. Nappies next to the alcohol (ok on second thoughts that probably is understandable). The other bizzare thing was the shopping trolleys with a piece of PVC pipe attached to it. How weird is that? I think I figured it out – it stops you from taking the trolley out of the store. I always thought SA was the crime capital but my brother day before yesterday witnessed a guy trying to push a whole trolley load of groceries out of the store without paying for it. So stealing by the trolley load seems to be a problem in California.
My parents and I went to lunch together. My nephew was going to come as well but he ended up chatting up some of the bridesmaids it seems. We went to Wendy’s for lunch. Best hamburger fast food restaurant in my view in USA. Even my Mom likes their hamburgers. My Dad had a small salad – yes that is a small – and small drink – yes that is a small. The hamburgers only came in 3 options 1/4lb, 1/2lb or 3/4lb. The small coke that came with it was probably 500ml. No such size as small in America. All of these would be extra large in South Africa.
There are some things I love about America though. You are never farther than a short walk from a place where you can buy food. And it doesn’t matter what time it is you know the place will be open. The choice is also staggering. Doesn’t matter whether you are talking about groceries or fast food restaurants – the choice is almost overwhelming. And then my personal favourite – you can turn right on a red traffic light so long as nothing is coming (that would have to be left in SA and UK). I would love them to introduce that in SA but you can just imagine what the taxi’s would do with that. They would turn right or left (or go straight) on red. Oh wait, they do that already.
Got to fetch Stephen shortly … will blog again after the Rehearsal dinner tonight.