If you hate family tales, skip this posting, but there are some other family who might be interested!
Essentially, we visited Elaine’s brother, Malcolm, and his wife Valerie, and were made overwhelmingly welcome at their lovely home in Fresno, California.
On Saturday we caught up on family gossip, and while we differed on how much one should cook roast beef, the food was excellent!
In between munching, we went to a special wine-tasting at Ficklin winery, who specialize in fine port wines.
It was a special event for members, one of whom is Malcolm and Valerie’s son Nicholas. So they hung off his membership, and we tagged along. It was held in their storage area, among all the barrels, and the ambience and music added to the fun.
Of course we sampled and bought, and this event did much to dispel my earlier prejudice against Fresno grape products … the port was absolutely terrific.
Sunday was another special day, since Nicholas and Pam, with their son Frank came over from Sunnyvale (in the San Francisco area) to visit. Turned out they made this significant journey specially to see us, and we were very flattered.
Frank is a little younger than our grandson, K., but they share an interest in soccer, electronic gadgets, Lego and reading. They are both very special young gentlemen.
OK … Nicholas and Pam were great too, but children always steal the show!
Seriously, we were most interested in Nicholas’s work with Apple, and his travels in China. First-hand accounts of such places beat media reports and other biased sources. However, in spite of heavy propaganda for the I-phone, etc., we still feel we should support local industry in Waterloo, Ontario, home of the Blackberry!!
Valerie seemed particularly interested in how we gypsy folk live, so we went over to the trailer, and showed them round. Elaine was distressed that it wasn’t “tidied up” for visitors, but … this is how we really do live except just after the “big cleanups”!
Another excellent Valerie-meal, and then “home” to our trailer, ready for further travels on Monday.
The park in Fresno was in an area of shopping malls, and it housed some interesting characters. But our opinion of Fresno improved on this visit, since we saw some very nice areas, and it only rained a little bit! On the previous occasion we went through South Fresno in a flood, with ducks swimming in the main street!
While Elaine and I are wilderness wanderers, Valerie and Macolm are into “homes and gardens”. They showed us marvelous pictures of various English houses, where they had stayed or visited. Their own home is charming, with a garden housing an orange and an olive tree, with lush vegetation and flowers that made an absolute picture. In fact their area of Fresno is full of beautiful gardens, and even on November 6 there were still colourful displays of flowers, including roses.
All-in-all, a pleasant interlude in our seemingly endless ramblings, and a most enjoyable weekend.
I am trying to keep these postings a little shorter, since the recent bigger ones taxed the blog software and caused some vivid language to echo around the trailer. We remain plagued by lousy wi-fi, and recently with a complete absence of cell-phone coverage. Well … not quite … I managed to pick up a signal, but this was obviously in Mexico, and my phone pointed out that it was full-blooded American, and calling out from Mexico, like Canada is not allowed!
John … with much input from Elaine.