Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family Visit from the UK

Yea! The long-awaited visit from Paul's Mum and Alison had arrived! They came out on November 12th and stayed through Thanksgiving till the end of the month. We had a lot of fun in the two-and-a-half weeks that they were here. I was gone in the field for one of the weeks, so I missed the trip to Charleston, but we did plenty of fun things on the weekend so I could join in.
We went on a lot of fun walks in the woods- some cold days we bundled up...
...and other days were a bit warmer. We had quite a bit of weather variety while they were out.

We took a trip to the mountains near Asheville to the Biltmore Estate to catch the fall colors and have high tea.

The Biltmore tea event is always a nice treat!
The house (and gate house pictured here) was all decked out for Christmas. Paul and I hadn't gone during Christmas time before, so it was neat to see decorated trees and garland in all the rooms.

We spent some time relaxing at home. One of Alison's highlights of each day was getting the mail from our mailbox. She loves that we each have our own mailbox in front of the house.
Thanksgiving was a load of fun too with a nearly full table of English and Southern dishes. Tracy and Elizabeth joined us with some of their favorite traditionally southern Thanksgiving dishes and we did our traditionally English kajillion veggies- what a feast! Notice the hazy look to the picture? The Yorkshire Pudding oil boiled over in the oven filling the house with smoke, setting off the smoke detectors. We had to open all the windows and doors in the middle of a very cold wintry day. By the time this picture was taken, we no longer needed the parkas.

Ah the Renaissance festival! You can't miss this fine event every year. Paul was a good sport on stage as a prop for the Washer Women Show. He was one of two men in the small audience of six (it was raining and very cold -and many people cleared out) so he got pulled up on stage.

Clementine hardly glanced at Alison, if she walked by her, and would go back to preening. But despite Mum's persistence in growing the relationship, Clementine puffed out her feathers and behaved very rudely every time Mum walked by her to the laundry room or garage. We originally thought it was because Mum was always wearing purple, Clementine's least favorite color, but even when Mum switched to brown, it didn't make a difference. By the end of the visit, Clementine hadn't improved her manners towards Grandma. How embarrassing!