When I was given the folder of my handwritten letters to my parents when my father died in 1996, I was amazed that he had kept them for ten years. But so pleased that he did. We tend to remember the major events, and we had plenty of amazing experiences in those two years of living in the United States, but it is easy to forget the everyday…
It is August 1986 and my niece Emma aged 15, has been with us for three weeks, and I am writing to my parents with all the things we got up to.. well almost all of them.. I would send the photos on to them at a later date, but will share them in the post.
Dear M & D..
Thankfully all went according to plan and I met Emma along with her escort from the place at the airport and whisked her off to Parramatta Lane. Since you know the layout of the apartment you will recognise this favourite photograph spot for newcomers! Of course being fifteen, Emma was raring to go despite jet lag and the last three weeks have not stopped since.
We of course have introduced her to Walter… and David took this photo a couple of days after she arrived. We had lots of invitations to meals at people’s houses but we spent a couple of days by the pool to get used to the heat and we also of course had to go shopping for more clothes for all the social engagements!
Then Anna took Emma and I to Pappasitos for dinner, and our friendly guitarist who you will remember well Mollie for serenading you, found out Emma was your granddaughter and invited her stand up in front of the whole restaurant to sing to her. Two songs later we managed to drag her back to the table to eat her fajitas!
On the next Monday, Debbie, Walter, Emma and I set off at the crack of dawn and went rafting on the Guadaloupe again. We had a hilarious day and as the water level was down, were out there for six hours. We stayed in a motel in New Braunfels, Debbie had a bed to herself, Emma and I shared and Walter slept in a sleeping bag. Emma and I got up early and went to Mcdonalds and brought back breakfast. After much needed energy boost we went to a park nearby where they have a great water chute. We spent two hours going down it in inner tubes before driving the 200 miles home. We were all exhausted and Emma and I had fajitas and a movie before an early night.
It was needed as we had to be up early at 4.30 to catch the royal wedding… we watched the whole thing armed with supplies including some orange juice and champagne to toast the bride and groom. (Emma’s was 95% orange juice I promise). I have told her that now Prince Andrew is taken, she will have to make do with Prince Edward! We loved all the pageantry and certainly a fairy tale dress.
David was in Kansas all week but arrived back on Friday night ready to take us out over the weekend. We went to the movies on Saturday night and a Chinese at our favourite restaurant. He left again Monday morning and on Tuesday the gang got together and we headed to Astroworld which is a themed amusement park and had a great day on rides and having photographs taken ….including gate crashing the photo with Bugs Bunny and two small strangers.
We went to a concert at the park in the evening and headed home very tired but happy.
We had the weekend with David and then Debbie, Emma and I headed down to South Padre for four days to a rented house on the beach. We had a great girls only visit, with plenty of sun, swimming and lobster dinners, which got very messy. Some of the best seafood ever. Emma still looks skinny whilst Debbie and I put in at least 5lbs.
To finish off her holiday everyone piled into Pappasitos, having started at our apartment and the restaurant cordoned off the back of the room to keep us from disturbing the other customers!
I think Emma’s face says it all…..
And then it was time to say goodbye. I have to say it was a wonderful time and we cannot believe how fast it has gone. Everyone fell in love with her and we certainly enjoyed having her with us. Sending her home very tanned and hopefully with some great memories.
Then to fill the suddenly empty week I went out to Debbie’s parents ranch about 50 miles north of here. They have a man made lake on the property and they have stocked it with Bass. We spent some time on a wind surfer without any wind, and did some fishing. I also got in touch with my inner cowgirl and have proof of both my fishing and my trick riding abilities!!
As you know I have a pathological phobia about snakes (it must have been my early training around cobras in Ceylon)… and Debbie neglected to tell me until after swimming and larking about in the water, that there were also a fair few water moccasins in the lake too. Thankfully it was also after I had dismounted otherwise it might have been less than graceful.
David and I are off on 21st for a week to Barbados. We are pretty certain we will be leaving here in January and we have so many air and hotel miles to use up, it will be virtually free. I will call you next week on Sunday before we go and tell you all about it in a letter when we get back.
Then it will only be six weeks until we are home for David’s conference and my stay with you at home for a week. Really looking forward to seeing everyone and cannot believe it is nearly a year since you were with us.
Love from us both Sally and David..XX
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed our latest adventure in Texas and will join me next week for another.. Sally