A three hour flight makes a world of difference. We took off in heat, blue sky, and sunblock and landed in chill, grey sky, and rain. I have to tell you that it felt wonderful. To feel cool seemed like such an unexpected relief.
Dubrovnik and all the places we visited are gorgeous. I would visit again in a heartbeat but maybe not in July. That being said, It's exhausting and sticky to be constantly refreshening the sunblock, not to mention expensive! Though I'd rather do that then have sunburn.
Claire's dad, Gerry, fetched us from the airport, and we got home to a nice cup of tea, unpacked the bags, and started my laundry. I brought just the right amount of clothes, but they really needed a wash. Now my bag is full of mostly clean things so I don't look a sight the next week or two.
Sunday was a lovely day with Claire, her family, and her church community. I went along to mass with her, and we stayed for the church BBQ, which looked suspiciously like a luau with ukulele players and leis. I got to see MaryRose, who I met in Chicago two years ago when she visited Claire. I also finally met Claire's sister-in-law Christine and baby Francis. So wonderful to watch families expand between visits.
After the BBQ, we went shopping for the family dinner in the evening and started the cooking. We had such a lovely evening relaxing and talking over dinner and playing with Francis. What an adorable boy who's getting the speedy crawl down pat. I do love how twenty years of visits have also given me a chance to know Claire's family.
This morning I left on an early train to Birmingham for two weeks of friend pinball. Since my trip is longer, I get to take more time about it. Now I will spend a few days with Jackie and Eric in Redditch.
They met me at the train station, and off we went to the art museum for the William Morris and Andy Warhol exhibit. What a fantastic exhibit linking the artistic interests of two seemingly disparate artists. The presentation of their works alongside each other was so interesting. As a Pre-Raphaelite lover, I really enjoyed the Morris works and the Burne-Jones/Morris tapestries. I also loved the background on Warhol's interest in Hollywood.
We then headed to Lunch at Wagamama, which I've only ever had in London. So delicious. Then, we headed back to their house for a chat, making a Mexican dinner feast, a movie, and general chilling. They are into week two of their holiday, so they are also in chill mode! They are in a new house, so it's lovely to see their new place, Jackie's art room, the cute back garden.
I'm now going to sign off and prepare for two days of gallivanting with them!