Thursday, 24 February 2011

Meeting the "new addition" to the family!

We've been in the USA for nearly a week now, so it's high time I put font to blog!

After booking in at our extended stay hotel room,approx 10 minutes away from Andrew and Lizzy's Balboa appartment, we drove down to see our kids, and grandaughter, Lily, for the first time. She's absolutely delightful and beautiful, and new mum and dad are doing well also. Lizzy's mum was staying with them for a few more days, so we had a chance to catch up with her, before she went back to Saudi.

Over the next few days we tried to get the balance between cuddling Lily, helping in practical ways, and giving Andrew and Lizzy some much-needed space. Andrew was to be off work for two weeks, so there'd be plenty of time to catch up. In between helping with the cooking and cleaning, popping in at Fresh and Easy- US equivalent of Tescos, we've explored some of the cycle trails in the Santa Monica Hills- the West Ridge and, much more hilly and challenging, Sullivan Ridge- 18+ miles of mountain-biking trails.

As a family, we've been for a meal for Kriess' birthday, at Claim Jumpers, and met more great friends, Casey and Janine, Will, and Reuben, and ate "red velvet cake" with amazing frosting. We've had a lovely Spring walk in nearby Balboa Park, with landscaped gardens, cherry trees, pale pink and full of flower, man-made lake and waterfall. There's a cycle ride all away around the outside of 3 miles and a running and walking track, where Andrew and friends meet for a run most Sundays. We've also been for a walk with Lizzy and Lily, whilst Andrew ran on the West Ridge, looking down to Mulholland Drive and the splendid houses and swimming pools.

Today we've all been down to the seaside, to Santa Monica pier, and eaten at my favourite fish and chippy- Bubba Gumps. Lily excelled herself with letting her mummy eat something. She's an incredibly content, sleepy, calm baby. But she's only four weeks old and there's lots of time yet!

The appartment's OK but expensive for what it offers, but it does have a kitchen, with a very sensitive smoke alarm, which I set off when I made lasagne- so I won't be doing a massive fry-up. Guess I'll be doing what most people do around here- buying take-aways, or microwaving ready-cooked meals! We've taken turns at making meals, with Andrew making some amazing BBQs. The third night we had to ask to move to the top floor rooms, because we'd been awake most of the night, with what turned out to be a large family dog trotting up and down from about 2am to 6am! Anyway we're fine now and catching up on some sleep, but have found it's taken us about 3 days to fully come around from the jet lag.

The weather's been mixed, with heavy rain for two days after we arrived. The last couple of days have been much brighter and warmer, but the forecast isn't great for the weekend. But it's not really very important, at this stage, as we've come to spend time with the new family.

Just to finish, both of us are deighted with the new addition to the Webster clan. Lily is gorgeous, and the new parents are so proud. Andrew is a hands-on dad, changing nappies, burping, and bathing Lily in between playing his computer games! Lizzy is an adoring mum, very loving and calm, taking it all in her stride.

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