A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

an all american weekend...

Last weekend was a busy one and lots of fun!

Friday night, after eating dinner outside (we'll miss the warm sunny evenings) Charlotte and I went to a 'Thirty-one' party at a friend's house. Thirty-one is a catalogue company that sells fab bags, purses, storage boxes made of fabric and so on. I have quite a few items so was trying to be good and not spend too much! I did get an organiser to hang on a door in an attempt to deal with mail and important letters more efficiently... we'll see! But the party was fun, it was great to catch up with friends and go on a 'date' with my girl. I have missed her so much this week!

On Saturday we packed a lunch and all piled into the car for a road trip (does 90 minutes count as a road trip?!) as we were fortunate enough to be able to go up to Michigan State University in Lansing to see the Spartans football team play South Florida University.

With the kids in tow we had a low-key tailgate i.e. picnic in the boot watching fans arriving into the car park. Sometimes people get so carried away drinking before the game that they don't even make it into the stadium! 
About 30 minutes before the game we made our way to the stadium only to be turned back due to a storm in the area! It's only happened twice in their history! Thankfully we decided to go back to the car because a few minutes later the rain started! But soon enough the sky brightened and we made it into the stadium to take our seats on the concrete bleachers. 

At the end of the first quarter the do a 'balloon watch' where the crowd release balloons that get sent around the stadium. Luckily the nice man next to us gave us a couple and the kids had fun watching them bounce around the crowd. 

The game is made up of 4 quarters which are 15 minutes each but there are a lot of stoppages, especially if the game is being televised (stops for adverts!!) so the whole thing lasted more like 3.5 hours. The kids sat really nicely, intrigued by the 'Sparty' mascot, the cheerleaders and the band who we were sat next to. Of course caramel popcorn helped pass the time too!

Male cheerleaders... Who knew?! 
Every time one of the girls was hoisted up to stand on their hands I held my breath! 

We had a great time and even better, our team won! 21 - 6! Honestly, I do not understand the rules but the hours flew by as there is plenty to watch.  

We got home, grabbed a quick dinner and headed over to our old neighbourhood to a party. Friends had installed a projector in their garage and were showing Despicible me for all of the kids! It was quite a sight - 20 kids in chairs, glued to the 'big screen' and muching their way through pop corn and 'chips'. 
They always do a great job of hosting parties with delicious beef kebabs, cream cheese and chilli dip and various sweet treats. It was fun to catch up with friends and make the most of the last of the warm weather.

Sunday we headed over to see friends whose parents have just moved locally. They own a house on a lake with an outdoor swimming pool. It was not a particularly hot day but the pool is heated so we enjoyed our last chance to swim this year. And to finish the weekend off with a flourish, we took their jet skis out for a trip round the lake! What fun!! Jeremy took Toby and then came back and took Charlotte whilst I went out on my own. I have never driven one before but loved it! The sun came out and was sparkling across the water. I didn't dare to go too fast - 20 miles an hour was fast enough for me! But with the wind in my hair and the water spraying out around me, I had a huge smile on my face! The kids loved it and wanted to stay out on the lake all evening! 

After saying goodbye to my brother and family, then to Granny and Papa and then sending the kids off to school, I was feeling a bit down. This weekend was just what I needed. Whenever I start to doubt our decision to live here, something like this happens - a fabulous weekend with friends and fun 'American' activities and I am so glad we are on this adventure.

We have had a fantastic summer (despite all of the clouds and rain) and are now looking forward to what Autumn has in store for us! 

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