Sunday, July 10, 2011

Visiting Friends and Family

Since I wrote last time, we have been to West Chester, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia to see David's sister, her husband, and her dog, Tucker. We enjoyed beautiful weather, rural countryside, and amazing gardens at Longwood Gardens, an estate once owned by the du Pont family. Pierre du Pont left the greatest legacy in the gardens, purchasing and protecting forests and plants for all to enjoy. The property was originally purchased by the Peirce family from Willam Penn. They established a working farm and planted an arboretum on the property. In the early 1900s, the land was sold to Pierre du Pont who created much of the gardens that people can
visit today. Prior to his death, the property was turned over to a foundation and now the public can visit this vast and amazing place.

From PA we drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we were met by a long-time friend of David's (and mine!). David and Paul did an intense masters swim workout, and Paul pushed him hard. I think David barely hung on to Paul's heels.

After their early morning swim and a large breakfast, we drove to Traverse City to meet David's parents for lunch at a culinary institute located on the East Bay of Lake Michigan. We enjoyed an amazing lunch at Lobdell's Restaurant, a teaching restaurant for chefs, and were fortunate enough to watch the jets and WWII planes practicing for the Cherry Festival show over the Bay while we ate. We got to have a tour of the incredible kitchens, including the baguette-forming machine, the huge ovens and soup pots, walk-in refrigerator and freezers, and all types of kitchen equipment.

During our stay in Interlochen, we visited the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp where Hayden will be studying piano, instrument exploration, and creative writing for two weeks in August, as well as playing sports and swimming. Neighbors loaned us a pontoon boat which we took out on Duck Lake and enjoyed a cool swim. My favorite activity in the area is running on the forest trails in the woods. It makes me feel like I am floating and not having to work so hard. Finally, we went to a fabulous 4th of July party where we met many wonderful Traverse City and Interlochen folks, including a lovely couple originally from Pakistan, the hosts of the party, their daughter, and

her friends who performed live music for much of the evening. They have formed a band - Yesberger Band - who will be traveling the Midwest and West Coast this summer, with stops in Seattle in July: Check it out. Yesberger Band is playing this summer with Bobby McFerrin and with the Temptations.

We headed to Grand Rapids, truly a lovely large town/small city in Michigan, and stayed with friends, again from Seattle days, who have moved there. Again we got to go boating on a lake and enjoyed grilled (pork) bratwurst, rich coffee, and fresh fruit.

This summer so far has allowed us opportunities to reconnect and reunite with our extended family and friends, many of whom we knew in Seattle or who visited us in Seattle years ago. We have so many highlights and memories already. The boys are enjoying reconnecting with their culture, food, and family and friends as well.

More soon. Thanks for reading, Jennifer