Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Visit of Rick and Camille

This post chronicles the visit of my brother and his wife from Sunday May 20th through Thursday May 24th, and starts May 18th, the Friday before they arrived:

I spent Friday after work, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday preparing for Rick (my brother) and Camille's (My sister in law....though we think of each other as bother and sister) visit. I did a 'spring cleaning' which on both floors of the house, plus I had to pick up things like towels and bed linens because we have never had overnight guests before other than the kids friends for a sleep over, and I was not going to ask Rick and Camille to sleep in sleeping bags.

Saturday I also took the Mustang for an oil change which ended up costing me $250, because, not only did the oil need changing but the transmission fluid was showing signs of becoming oxidized, and the rear differential needed to be taken care of. For the transmission they flush the transmission and the cooling element in the radiator with several gallons of cleaner and then refill and test for leaks, and for the rear end, since for the mustang it should be done every 3000 miles with regular fluid or 100,000 with synthetic. Since the cost is $40/$80 for each option I chose the synthetic since in the long term in will save me some significant $$$. They also gave me all the extra options for a car wash. Woooo! Spend $250 get $9 in upgrades to a basic car wash!

Anyway, by Sunday afternoon I had the futon made up, plenty of towels and washcloths in the closet, the place cleaned and shined within an inch of it's life, and I was ready to go pick them.

I was however delayed in this when I saw that their flight was delayed. A quick call to my brother's cell confirmed this. I called the rent a car place to inform them I would be late and then ended up heading over there around 5:30PM instead of 4:30 as I had originally planned. I parked the Mustang in short term parking and went in and picked up the key to my rental car. I then sat over in the gate area watching the status on their flight. I waited until they deplaned and, standing around the corner fell into step behind them while they were busy looking for me in front of them. I appeared between the two of them, and we hugged and made greetings. After getting their luggage (and me receiving a cooler with three nice sized Taylor Hams!!!), we headed out to the rental car. We looped around the airport re-entering so I could drop my brother off by the Mustang. We headed out, I had only been in there a couple of minutes so did not have to pay which was a nice surprise. Camille and I chatted on the way and also noticed that my brother appeared to be having way way too much fun driving my car! I could see him drumming on the steering wheel and a big grin on his face. We headed for the grocery store making a quick pit stop at the X's house to say hi to her, Scott, and Danielle, and then picked up a few items and headed back to the house. We had the 50 cent tour of my extensive estate (ha ha ha) and then decided we were all famished.

I had picked up Delmonico steaks that morning so we grilled those after rubbing them with the Montreal steak seasoning and had corn on the cob and a nice salad. We sat around watching TV and chatting, and my brother and I stayed up a bit later (as we did every night) watching M*A*S*H reruns)

Monday morning I arose before my House guests and, knowing we would be out late for graduation, did my first 60 minute work out on the exercise bike. As Chris' graduation is covered in another post I won't detail it here...though I will mention when Scott and Danielle arrived home from school there was much hugging, happiness, etc! We talked watched some TV together and then got ready to head for graduation.

Tuesday after I took Scott and Danielle to school Rick, Camille, and I took a ride to a place called Chic which is a school for hair stylists, etc. Camille has often gone to places like this to get deep discounts on things like facials where they charge you a fraction of the price. Of course one must remember that these are students, so, ANYTHING can happen! :) It was going to take about an hour, so Rick and I parked by a strip mall with an Odd Lots and went in and shopped around. We then walked across the large parking lot, crossed the main road, and checked out Radio Shack where I was looking at HD TV indoor antennas. We then walked up the street and noticed a music store. We went in and Rick picked out some guitar picks for Scott which I bought. Rick had helped Scott tune his guitar using this portable tuner I had bought him. He also wrote down some chording instructions and diagrams for Scott. After that we crossed the road again, this time at the light, and went into Walgreen's where I picked up a small portable fan for $9 (to be used while riding the exercise bike) and a pair of blue blocked sunglasses for me. The day outside was so sunny I was getting a headache. Rick marveled at the effect of the glasses, which, do not some much decrease the amount of light you see (unlike regular sunglasses which darken everything) but filter out the blue annoying spectrum of light. he was most impressed. We drank the soda's Rick had bought for us at Walgreen's and enjoyed each others company. It was SO GREAT having my brother around as we walked and talked of many things. I really have missed him these past two years and I know he felt the same. We would often tell each other "It's great to be here" "It's great to have you here", it was really nice!

We walked back to the car, dropped of the packages and were starting a walk to a health food store we saw in the distance when my cell phone rang. It was Camille, so we went back and got her and headed back. We decided to drive over to the store we had started walking to, only to discover that it, like a number of other store sin this area, had closed. We headed back home, stopping again at Forest Hills Foods for some supplies, and had cold-cut roll ups for lunch. We watched a Quincy while the kid splayed downstairs and then I called Christopher (who was at his mom's house because school ended for him on the 15th) and we headed off to Steak and Shake, with Rick following me in the Mustang. Steak and Shake was good, but the amount of food I could eat there for the calories/carbs I had for dinner was very unsatisfying .vs. the fact I could have made two nice size roll ups at home, but, it was nice being out with Rick, Camille, and the kids. Chris went back to his Mom's house afterwards much to the disappointment of myself and R & C. We all watched a Simpson's and some Scrubs before eventually retiring.

Wednesday I let Scott and Danielle take the day off and we all went to the John Ball Zoo and had a great time. A few pictures are shown below.

Wednesday night the X took us all out to dinner at and her parents attended as well. The kids then headed back over to her house afterwards. I was talking to Danielle who was waiting outside after dinner was over and the adults were talking; her brothers had gone into Gamestop next door and she was all sad looking. I correctly guessed that she was upset because she was going to miss Rick and Camille a lot. The kids went back to their Mom's house afterwards.

Thursday sucked; I had to take Rick and Camille to the airport which was depressing beyond the telling of it! Not to mention, a couple of hours after dropping off the rental car I get a message from Enterprise saying that there was a ding in the rear bumper though I walked all around the car before taking the keys in and saw nothing. Evidently the paperwork I signed waived my rights to dispute any claims of damage discovered after I park it and someone actually gets a chance to go look at it. After dropping them off, and some sad farewells, I headed into the office.

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