Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tying up loose ends - finally!!

We went to Bush Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia last week. Mira is in her rollercoaster phase - and not the rollercoasters I grew up with but the nauseating corkscrew coasters. The rollercoasters are really a lot of fun especially when they race through the track turning upside down with your feet dangling below you, but going through the corkscrew turns are something else. Oh, and as Mira told me they're not rollercoasters they're "hyper-coasters." Ok, I thought, whatever that means. Well I found out as I rode my first one. They are much smoother, much faster and much more nauseating than what I was used to riding when I was oh so much younger. But the one that scared the hell out of me was Apollo's Chariot. If you get a chance you can check out the ride at I only rode it once and remembered why I was riding it -- with a special someone in mind. On the ride all I could think about was getting through the ride alive. I didn't scream, didn't yell, didn't say anything. That's how I knew the ride was too much for me. Yes, I was speechless.

Prior to Busch Gardens, Mira and I spent one week in western Pennsylvania with my youngest sister and her family. We had a wonderful time. It was so nice we hope to return in the next few days. It was great spending time with my sister. We managed to have a Polish Christmas dinner in July -- I walked her through the steps of making holupki (stuffed cabbage). Hopefully on this visit we will make pierogi ... mmm. My brother-in-law Jeff is the winner because he gets to eat our cooking. I really miss the essence of the Polish food. It was very bittersweet to show my sister how to make the holupki. When my mother was sick already, and after she died, Lainie and I would split the Christmas Eve meal, we would take turns making the soup, and we would usually make the pierogi together. But the Christmas day centerpiece was all mine. I guess I remember my Grandma Bezilla making the holupki and how it would smell when I would walk in her house, and in later years how our mouths would water when we would smell the holupki -- somehow Mom always had volunteers to test the food. In my family, the women didn't use measuring cups too much in cooking, but they went more by the fragrance of the food. Aside from the food, and shopping, we went to the Pittsburgh Childrens Museum which is a completely hands-on museum. I think Lainie and I had more fun than Mira and Maggie.

Mira on "Trolley" at the Pittsburgh Childrens Museum's
exhibit of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. We had a blast.

Mira and her cousin Maggie.

I am a planner by nature and even have a book I used for my trip, what to bring, what to buy, what to do, etc. to prepare for the trip and things to do when I'm here. So today Mira and I spent the day going over our lists and getting our suitcases together to return to Egypt; figuring out what we still want to buy and how to go about finishing our shopping -- the essentials -- jeans, sunglasses, books and quiltig fabric. I thought shopping this summer would be very expensive, but honestly, overall the prices have been quite low and I have been able to find amazing bargains. Of course living next to Marshall's and Burlington Coat Factory helps, not to mention Gabriel Brothers in Pennsylvania. Gabe's has the absolute best bargains I have ever found and terrific quality - not to mention limitless amounts of my favorite - 1928 Earrings. We even managed to get our Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirts.

It has been an interesting summer in the US. It was great to see Mira have so much fun. At the same time, Mira and I miss our dear friends too much and cannot wait to return home just in time for Ramadan.

Hassan and Mira in Hassan's office.

Yes it's me in Hassan's office pretending to be a rocket scientist.
Actually I'll leave that work to the engineers. I was probably on
Facebook or chatting with my friends in Egypt, but don't I
look smart with all those computers around me?

Mira was putting on a fashion show with her new clothes.
Notice the cowboy hat. My current "thing" is for Egyptian men
in cowboy hats. Go figure.

Alhamdulillah for everything, especially my dear friends in Egypt who are in my heart.



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