Saturday, February 28, 2009

Radar World Tour - Day 11; Final day!!

Ok, so even with all the traveling I've done over the last many years, it is very unusual for me to make a 12 day trip - that's a long time to be away from home, sleeping in different beds every night and living out of a suitcase. So how could I expect Radar, at just two months of age, to make this long trek without getting seriously "over it!" On our way down to Portland today, we made our final visit. And even though Sandi and Lori have loyally followed his blog and showered him with gifts and me with advice, Radar declared that he would not smile for the freakin' camera anymore! Sandi and Lori would just have to settle for funny faces.

Then to add insult to injury, when we got to Portland and chose a lunch spot, we dragged him out of his sleep to pose with some older girl named Keiley (2 weeks older) - she was cute, but Radar was seriously ticked off. (Radar isn't really that much shorter... the calm, cute girly was standing on straight legs while Radar was squirming on bent legs)

It wasn't until we settled into our booth that things were smoothed over. In fact, Radar's mood improved to the point that he agreed to teach Tio Javier some of his new moves - Tio Javier was a fast learner.

Now we're settled in to our final night in a foreign bed before catching a 7:30am flight tomorrow. If everything goes well (and I'm sure it won't), we should be touching down in Nassau tomorrow around 2pm. That means that the next time we blog, we'll be back home... Yes, home sweet home, here we come!!!

Radar, you have been the best travel companion I've ever had. Rest up sweet boy... we're almost home where I'm sure that Fanny is desperately missing her favorite alien!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - For the easily amused, like me... Marco and Frank let me borrow their GPS for the trip. It hasn't been updated with new software for a few years, so on our way to Grammy's we noticed that at one point when we were driving on a new road, the GPS showed us driving through a field. So this morning it occurred to me that it wouldn't have the new bridge programmed either. So if the new bridge was far enough away from the old bridge, it should show us driving over water! We are the blue arrow... he, he, he...

PSS - Sandi gave us a couple of things (a gift and a memento) that will be featured in a blog in the very near future. Thank you Sandi and Lori for the snacks, gifts, magazines and "other items"! It was really great to see you both and to share Radar with you for a little while.

Friday, February 27, 2009

RWT - Day 11; Pax huic dómui...

Well, our last full day with Grammy in Maine was a full one. Since it seems that we missed all chances to photograph Radar's first (or second or third) snowfall, we just had to do something about it. So we went with the modified snow angel, despite Lori's warning that it could not be done!!!

We also got some extra shots of Radar with his great-Grammy. Then as Javier gave Radar a tour of the house, he also introduced him to his great-Grandpa, Darwin.

We also got to visit with Grammy's wonderful neighbor, Jacqui, who has been a loyal blog follower since the beginning. Her other wonderful neighbor, Connie, came by to take some pictures and has promised to send them - so hopefully soon we'll have some group shots to post.

But without a doubt, the highlight of our day was lobster! We have a bit of a ritual that some might find somewhat irreverent and others (such as members of Peta) might find downright immoral. We go and pick out some juicy looking lobsters...

When we get them back to the house, we heat up the lobster pot and as one of us plunges each lobster to his or her steamy death, Grammy recites last rites;

"Pax huic dómui et ómnibus habitántibus in ea"
(bless this house and everyone in it)

Then we sit down to our favorite Maine treat. Radar can't crack the shells just yet, but he got his taste a little bit later when he had lobster boob for a late afternoon snack!

Tomorrow we grab an early start and make our last "blog followers" visit before heading down to Portland. So we'll bid everyone a good night from a very blustery Bucksport!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Thursday, February 26, 2009

RWT - Day 10; If she never was

We're just settling back into our hotel room after a pretty full day of errand running and Grammy time. I'll spare you the blow by blow details because such an account would surely have you all snoring and drooling into your keyboards. Suffice to say that it is really beautiful up here with all this frickin' snow! Here is the drive to Grammy's house and the house... notice that the snow bank is taller than the car. I guess it is indeed a bit too deep for Radar snow angels!

And of course, we did finally grab a couple of shots of Radar on Grammy's lap (sorry for the delay Tia Sara). Grammy seemed genuinely taken with him and he with her! They aren't the greatest pictures and we'll have more taken tomorrow when Connie comes over for a visit (she's handy with a camera), but at least we got a couple. So even if Radar never really knows his great-grandmother, he'll have a picture... after all, if she never was, then neither would he be (never mind the me be or mom be points). I just hope that when he's older, that he doesn't resent that I had him dressed up like Tigger for such an important picture!

Anyway, we're pushing the very late hour of 9pm (since the sun sets so early up here, by the time we reach nine it's been dark for hours and feels much later). So we had a good day and if you need evidence of it, just take a look at what is beside me right now as I'm blogging this good night post to all of you!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Our beloved Tia Lali is really having a tough time with her classes... so all of you out there who love Lali, why not pick up the phone or drop an e-mail to remind her of how awesomely special she is and that all this stress, no matter how horrible right now, is temporary and is just a drop in the bucket of the phenomenal future that lies ahead for my darling, sweet, brilliant, perfect and beautiful little sister!

Addendum to day 9

It's too early to post any day 10 activities since there haven't been any yet (unless you want details of how Radar and I have peed today), so this is just a promised follow-up to last night's post. Here's the view from our room. The pictures aren't great since everything is white outside... ground, sky... all white. But this little piece of Maine really is quite spectacular. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge was built only recently to replace the Waldo-Hancock Bridge that was built back in 1930 or so (you can see the smaller bridge dwarfed by the big one). My grandmother attended both dedications! The second picture is Fort Knox which never saw battle, but has a rich history and has been very well maintained.

As for the ginormous bed... at least it gives me the reassurance that if Radar starts to roll over in these next few days, it will take him 2 hours to reach any end of the bed from the middle, giving me time to intercept!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Radar World Tour - Day 9; Down East

Can someone explain to me again why they call this frigid northern place "Down East" when it seems a lot more like "North Pole"? Anyway, that is where we are tonight - Down East in Maine! More on that in a moment.

We started the day at the Pavone's house in Philadelphia. We came downstairs around 7:45am or so to find Joe sipping some coffee and I realized that I had left a bag in the car with some things I needed. I didn't see the car key so I asked Joe and he said he had just started the car to warm it up a bit so it wouldn't be so cold. Good enough. We went about our business of breakfast, coffee, bathing and packing and were ready to go at 9:45am just when Amparo was getting back home - she had slipped out of work to come say goodbye...what a sweetie! Well, as I was about to load the suitcase into the car, I looked and didn't see the car key. "Amparo, where do you guys put the car keys? I can't find mine?" "Oh honey," she replied, "the car is in the driveway heating up!"

So, after a mere two hours of idling with the heat blasting, the car had indeed warmed up! Excellent use of gasoline! Al Gore would be very proud of me!!

Ok... our trip... Our flight to Portland was totally uneventful - left on time, smooth ride, excellent baby! We rented our mini-van and made our way from Portland to Bucksport without a glitch. Then we checked into the hotel, headed over to Grammy's, paid a quick visit and made our way back to the hotel for the night (Javier is staying with Grammy, but her old house does not have heating upstairs and I think Radar is a bit young to do the freezing attic gig just yet).

Here we are, ready to retire and I didn't get any pictures! So I drew back the curtain here in the hotel room and bingo! Beautiful view of the new Penobscot Narrow's bridge and Fort Knox... so out came the camera and with the first shot... oops, forgot to put it in night mode and the flash caught the amateur's reflection in the window.

This is the bridge... the blurs on the water are floating ice chunks being carried by the current - since it takes about 8 seconds to capture the night image, the motion of the ice blurs.

The last is Fort Knox. I'll grab these shots again first thing in the morning in all their glory, but even at night it's not a bad view.

Good night now from Down East!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

ps - Since this is Radar's first hotel stay, I thought I'd also get a couple of shots. First is the sweet lady in the lobby who offered to hold Radar as I checked in and the second is my baby crapped out on the king after a long day of traveling.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Radar World Tour: - Day 8; Philly Phrends

With the aid of a rented car and a borrowed GPS, Radar and I made our way from Frederick Maryland to Philadelphia. Despite the GPS trying to route us through NJ, we appreciated the help because it's hard to pay attention to directions when a baby is screaming in the back seat. We had to stop 3 times for diaper, boob and coo-chi-coo action, but we still made it in record time (about 4.5 hours- ok, so that's not really a record).

First stop was to meet Tio Javier, the final stop on uncle / auntie meet-ups schedule! We headed to the nearby trendy Rocket Cat Cafe where Radar proved that he's totally Greenwich Village Grunge!!

We then headed over to the somewhat less unique, but still hipster Starbucks to meet a very special friend. I met my friend Andrea through the Trisomy 18 online support community. Andrea lost her much wanted and beloved son Emerson just one month before I lost my Bennett. This is the second time we've met in person and it was so wonderful to sit and share my wonderful Radar with her! We got to chat, catch up and just enjoy each other's company for a few hours - and best of all, Andrea has promised that she'll visit us in the Bahamas soon! Our door is always open Tia Andrea - we love you!!!

Finally, we made our way to the house of our very favorite member of the vast right wing conspiracy... that's right... we invaded Joe Pavone's house! And just to prove what a good guy Joe is, he let me watch Obama's speech tonight and sat next to me to watch. Thank you Joe! But I'm only including a picture of Amparo because she told me at least 30 times how beautiful Radar is, so that certainly merits a mention on the Radar blog!

Ok, that's it for today. Tomorrow is the biggest travel day yet. We hop on a flight to Portland, Maine with Tio Javier and then drive another couple of hours to visit Radar's Great-Grammy in Sandy Point. I can't wait to get a picture of Radar sitting on his great-grandmother's lap... separated by nearly a century (94 years), some of the very same genes make up these two people who look nothing at all alike. Radar will probably never really know his great-grandmother, but he'll be able to look at a picture and know that she got to meet him.

So stay tuned for tomorrow's report from the very frigid northern tip of the USA!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Monday, February 23, 2009

RWT Day 7; Camera play

This is how we started the day. I woke up to a few flakes of snow and since no one else was awake, I tried to set up the camera for auto-shoot while calming Radar who did not like his snow outfit one bit. While juggling the baby, I could only figure out how to set the auto with a two second delay and I didn't bother to play with the lighting. I'd hit the button and run out to the porch... this didn't last long and the few flakes stopped falling, so we were bust again on day 2 of trying to get a "Radar's first snow" picture. I guess perhaps destiny will indeed see fit that it be with Tio Javier!

A little later in the morning it was time to head to the Post Office to send off something that Primo / Tio Andres forgot and left behind (see, I'm not the only one). I'm not a big fan of cold weather, but one of the things I do love about it is that I feel at liberty to dress like a homeless person... it seems that Tia Marco feels much the same.

And since Radar has been in a pretty good mood today, we wanted to get a couple of shots of Radar with Tia Marco and Tio Frank.

Now we are sitting around playing our favorite game while waiting for Tio Carlo to make one of his fabulous dinners!

Tomorrow morning we're on the road to Philly & to new and exciting adventures.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - We thought it would be fun to do a photo shoot for Frank's personal spa business. These are some of our favorites - what do you think??? If you're ever in the Frederick area, be sure to look up My Red Bow spa for your massage and facial... it is soooooooooooooo delicious - good for the body and soul!

PSS - Just in case anyone thought that any of us older people were grown-ups! Sebastian took this picture of the big kids who were jealous that they didn't get to do a pinwheel the other night (see two days ago).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Radar World Tour - Day 6; Staying put!

It's cold up here... at least it's colder than what we're used to. The day started with plans to step outside for a photo op since we woke up to big fluffy flakes of falling snow. Sadly we missed Radar's first snow because by the time we got him bundled up to mommy's satisfaction, the snow had stopped. But our opportunities may not be over since we continue heading north this week and the great state of Maine is often generous enough to deliver snow in February - we can at least be sure that it will deliver even more frigid temps... brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Right now we're literally just chilling out here in Washington Cottage, enjoying the beautiful view of the sun setting over the Blue Ridge mountains.

And it's finally quiet... the guest list has dwindled and of the 20 people that filled the house last night with loud cheer, it's down to 7 (3 munchkins and 4 adults). Spread out over three floors, that makes for a pretty peaceful house. Just as the house was emptying, we had the pleasure of one last guest for the day! Ileana dropped by, fresh off of her flight from Buenos Aires. She agreed that Radar is truly the most beautiful baby on earth and that my opinion on the subject is in no way biased.

So today was a day of staying put and recovering from sensation overload before we crank back into action and continue our travels over the next couple of days. With that, we'll wish everyone a toasty good night.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Vivi and Rafa... Ileana says she has a really great real estate agent in case you guys are interested.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

That's what Tiggers do... and company

Just a couple pics of Radar and his cousins as a second post for the day.

Nite, nite to all!!!

Titi and Radar and the rest of the gang

Radar World Tour - day 5; The Snot Cottage

I'll begin today's post by touching on the last part of yesterday. We touched down in DC sometime around 8:30pm and were received in the airport by two babysitters... pardon me, by Tia Marco and Tio Frank who brought baby car seat and assorted warmies for Radar. As you can see, Radar was far more interested in the car seat cover than in meeting his tia and tio. So be it.

We then headed to Tia Babysitter... oops... Tia Sara's where a feast awaited!

Although everyone enjoyed the main course, the really delicious part came when desert was served.
Yes, we had a Radar salad. Yum!!!

We then finally made our way to Marco & Frank's Washington Cottage for a midnight bedtime.

As we made the 45 minute drive back to the cottage in the car with Tia Marco and primo Xavier (Frank and Marco's 3 year old), I noticed that the two of them were wheezing and coughing and snotting the whole way. "Past the contagious stage," she assured me.

This is Xavier (aka "X"... if you look close you can see some snot on his cutie pie face).

Welcome to this morning... I saw Abuelito Tribi first who kindly backed away from me and Radar saying that he's got a cold, "or something." Tio Miguel is on his way over - he spent the night at Tia Sara's because the Benedryl he had taken for his cold and allergies had knocked him out. Oh, and meet Sharon (Frank's sister) and her 7 month old Conrad, both who just finished their round of antibiotics and are also "not contageous." So in a house packing 12 people, 6 are snotty.

Conrad, sleeping like a congested prince!

And this morning both Radar and I sneezed. Let's hope it's just the dry air - fingers and toes crossed!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - To ensure that Radar doesn't forget poor Fantango, Barack Mojito made the journey from West Virginia... he's snotty too, but I don't think it's contageous!