Paul, Eva, and Boyan, Enjoying Summer

Paul sent me this picture in email today, I thought it should go up to this blog. You can click on the picture for a larger view, or right-click to download. The park across the street is a nice situation, and we can see that all three of them are enjoying it.

The days of summer

Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to getting these three plus Milena to an Oregon visit starting this Saturday.

The Life of Luxury

Kids in Bathtub

Disney vacation, May 2008. This was in the vacation club master bathroom, with a flat screen tv showing cartoons. Sabrina points out the look on Leo’s face; this was early in the week, so he still had some doubts.

Visiting New York

December 7-12, 2007. 

December 12, 2007

The highlight of this visit was Eva Berry’s bright-little blue-eyed sparkling smile, that can brighten up a room. Her nana brought her a frog that sang kids’ songs when she pressed his bellybutton.

She loves the guitar and the kids songs. Every morning when we woke up, Eva would go to the guitar case behind the computer table, and wait for me to play, slapping it and looking back at me.
On Monday morning we took her to the Winter Garden to hang out, look at toys, eat Miso soup, etc.
Nana gave Eva a haircut.  There was a great deal of discussion about the need for haircuts. Noticed the view of the morning, with the Empire State building in deep background.
We took a cold walk by the river on Sunday.
There’s that view again, on a cold Tuesday morning. This is the view from the main window. At night you can see directly to the lights of Times Square, although it’s a few miles away.

Paul and Milena and Eva seem to be very well situated, 37 floors up, in Battery Park, close to work, living in New York but being abloe to escape upwards to the 37th floor, high above the city.

Emily Berry was there for dinner Tuesday night, after an interview with NYU medical school.

Cape Cod 2007

Click here for the Amiglia album Cape Cod 2007
Click here for the Picasa album Cape Cod 2007
I drove from Philadelphia where I had a presentation with AOM. Paul and Milena and Eva flew from New York and drove from Boston. Dad and Liz had reserved a room for Paul and Milena and Eva. I stayed with them in their condo. The water was warm. The food was good, the company too. Lobster on the patio and deck, a warm breeze, swimming in the ocean before breakfast.

The drive was memorable, for me. You all said it was crazy. It sort of started with a three-hour delay in San Francisco the day before, which meant I got to the airport at 1 am so I wasn’t fussy about the red Chevrolet Impala V8 with a tailfin that Hertz had left for me. I had reserved a midsize, the smallest Neverlost available.

The next day, Friday August 3, started poorly. I had to take an ambien at 3 am to sleep, so I slept until 10, then called Hertz about the car. The nice lady on the phone said I should take it to the downtown office — just a few blocks away — and switch it. Fortunately I called first, and when I did they told me they didn’t have any midsize. Oh well. Big, red, tailfin … perfect I suppose for I95 up the East Coast from Philadelphia to Cape Cod.

My presentation was anti-climactic to say the least. Four people showed up. So it wasn’t hard, no tension, but not useful. It started at 2, finished at 5. The concierge sent me to a nice-looking Italian deli across the street for a sandwich and fruit, but it was closed, so I got some food at (gulp) a downtown 7-11. Gulp indeed.

Then it was me and the red impala and Suzie Neverlost, with “on the road again” as background music. I listened to the audible book version of “Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath. I drove. I followed Suzy’s directions and she took me over a shortcut from one interstate to another, up New Jersey towards New York. I was okay with a crowded freeway heading out of Philadelphia towards New Jersey at 6 pm, but that traffic gradually faded, and I steamed up the freeway for a while happily.

As I approached New York, seeing the skyline and bridges and all, I assumed Suzy would take us to the left of the city, as indicated by Google maps. Nope. Before I had time to stop and reconsider, with me going 60 plus MPH the whole time, she took us right over the George Washington bridge into (gulp) Manhattan. It was upper Manhattan, ugly, squat, hot, threatening, and absolutely jammed with traffic. We crept slowly inch by inch through the Bronx, going about two or three miles in an hour. It was almost 8 pm before I was on the New England turnpike at freeway speeds again. Suzy said we still had almost 5 hours to go.

I just kept going. Night fell. The freeway was well lit but I slowed from 80-ish to 70-ish in the dark. The book kept going, stayed interesting. By about 9:30 I realized I’d made a significant failure to plan, I was still hurdling through Connecticut in the dark at 70 miles per hour but I was also still a full three hours from my destination, meaning that I’d get to my destination in the middle of the night with nowhere to sleep without waking up Dad and Liz, if that was even possible. I considered calling 1-800-hhonors but where was I, how could I ask for a hotel if I didn’t know where I was or where I would be? Then I decided I’d get Megan to get on Google maps and help me, but I called home and talked to Cristin, Megan wasn’t there. The prospect of sleeping in the car was not fun. I didn’t slow down though, because Suzy kept saying I still had a long way to go.

I lucked out. Around Mystic CT there was a cluster of highway motels. Howard Johnson’s had only a smoking room, Econolodge had nothing, but the Holiday Inn Express had one room left.

“It’s a handicapped room,” the guy said.

“Is that bad? Do I have to be handicapped?”

“No, it’s fine, it’s just the last room we have and it’s late enough now that we’re supposed to rent it.” It was 10:15 pm. So I got a nice clean normal hotel room and went to sleep. The car said we were 2:16 from the destination.

I was up at 7 and on the road at 8, but no luck on the 2:15 from the destination. Suzy Neverlost is totally naive about traffic, and there’s a bottleneck getting into Cape Cod around the Bourne Bridge and the Cape Cod canal that meant once again, as with New York the day before, it took me about an hour to advance three minutes on Suzy’s schedule.

So I was there about 11:15, and it was a great day in Cape Cod, alternatively cloudy and sunny, Paul and Milena and Eva were already there, the condo was comfortable, the water was warm, we had lobster sandwiches on the deck of the clubhouse for lunch and lobster on a patio restaurant overlooking a harbor for dinner. Dad and Liz raved about Eva, Paul, and Milena, all of whom were very nice, charming, good looking, hard working, and smart.

Paul Milena and Eva left after a breakfast on Sunday, but we met on the beach before breakfast to swim in the ocean. It was warm again, and Sunday was spectacularly beautiful, about 80 degrees high, low humidity, bright, blue, and, well, beautiful. We had a nice dinner at a nice restaurant, Ocean something, and dad and I sat up talking for a long time.

Monday morning was a special treat. Dad has a regular tennis game every day about 10 a.m. and he borrowed a racket for me to join. It was a bit surreal to feel like a youngster at 59, the whole group was in their 70s and 80s, they all played excellent tennis, they were also a very fun group, great spirits, joking, teasing, enjoying themselves. I was forgiven for my mediocre tennis because I was so young, or so it seemed — and I’m 59 years old as I write this. The whole thing made me happy on several levels, I’m really glad dad is doing so well, I’m glad he’s happy, I’m glad he’s healthy, and the group is a reminder to all of us that some people do well with age. These men all play better tennis than I do, they are all very much alert and aware and alive, and they are all in late 70s or 80s. For the record, dad is the oldest and the best tennis player of all.

— Tim

Click here for the google maps for this.

A Week in Bend

June 29 through July 8, 2007

With thanks to Paul and Milena for taking the initiative, we had family in Bend. For me it was a really good 10 days, a chance to get to know Eva better and spend time with Paul and Milena too. Paul and Milena and Eva left New York in the wee hours of Friday morning, and I took off from Eugene about midday. Noah and Sabrina and Timmy and Leo came that evening.

Days were a mix of house looking, hiking, the boat park, etc.

The first and second picture here are at Nancy P’s, just down the hill from the Parson’s house, which became the place of record for breakfast and lunch.

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10 Days in Bend

Thanks mainly to Paul and Milena, we were in Bend from June 29 through July 8, 2007, staying mostly at Noah and Sabrina’s house. The Parsons came for both weekends, Vange and Megan came from Tuesday through Sunday, and I was there with them the whole time. It was a really good vacation for me, and I got to know Eva like I hadn’t had a chance to before. We saw some houses for sale, hiked along the Deschutes River.
Click here for the Amiglia album Bend June-July 2007
Click here for the Picasa album Bend June-July 2007

Visiting Paul, Eva, and Milena

June 13, 2007

Paul’s 31 and Eva just turned 1. It’s about 7 am. Paul and Eva walking along the river park happily, looking for me. She meets me happily, gives me lots of smiles, but she does keep glancing back at her daddy. He’s very reassuring. It looks like a nice day in the morning, already warm but not hot, and very blue and sunny.

First thing, we got me coffee. I didn’t get to the hotel until midnight, took until 2 to sleep, and then I woke up that morning at 6 am. The tiny beep of the cell phone receiving a txt might have had an influence, but I could have tried to go back to sleep, and didn’t want to. I have only a day with them in New York, it isn’t the time to sleep. Dement notwithstanding.

Eva loves to walk. She bounces around from place to place like the ball in a pinball machine, changing directions suddenly, looking slightly off balance. She just took her first steps a few weeks ago, but now she just loves to walk. I can see it. She takes the stroller while it’s in motion, but as soon as it stops, she wants out. She seems to be testing her new skill.

We sat for a while outside the shopping center by the Merrill Lynch World Financial Center, looking at the yacht harbor on the river. I soaked in my coffee. Eva walked about and eventually cuddled with her daddy.

We walked slowly towards the heart of Broadway and Prince, the Huffington Post offices. Slowly because Paul wanted Eva to fall asleep before we got to his office. Paul and Eva are very used to each other in the stroller. She started to fuss and he said she was going to do that for five minutes and fall asleep. She fussed for five minutes and fell asleep. She took a brief nap, but was awake again before we went up to his office.

After an office visit – nice looking offices, beautiful hardwood floors everywhere, but cramped — Eva enjoyed coffee at Balthazar’s. She walked up and down the aisles, accepting compliments. We walked back toward Battery Park, visited the apartment to say hello to Milena, then took Eva to a beautiful small park nestled between the buildings. She played in the sand. We watched our cell phones, Paul did the Blackberry, I talked to Sabrina, and Eva played happily.

Milena joined us. We had lunch together at NYSW, outside, looking at the water. Eva walked around and rediscovered a toy shop she knows, through the restaurant and down the hall, then to the left, where there is a wooden train set. She has geography figured out.

Just before dinner at Industrial Argentina. We had a respite at a park across the street, the four of us. Here’s a cute picture of Eva playing, and one of the same scene with Milena in the back. She wasn’t feeling well that evening, but she was smiling nonetheless.

It was a very good visit. I’m proud of Paul and Eva and Milena.