october, november and half of december...

Our annual party does many good things.  One thing would be that we get to see and catch up (slightly, since we're so busy chatting with everyone) with friends that we haven't seen for most of the year.  Another thing that we've found is that right after the party, we tend to be invited to spend some quality time with said friends.

We were invited out to Ann Arbor within the week or so after our party so that we could spend the afternoon with some friends that have been out of the country for a couple of years.  We ate at Zingerman's Roadhouse and then hung out at the local park with their families and a few other friends.

While on that side of town, we made a quick visit to our niece and nephew-in-law at their home in Pinckney.

A week later, another friend invited me over to her place, also in Ann Arbor.  By the way, Ann Arbor is FAR.Far.far from our house!  She lives in a "commune" and it was her day to do the cooking.  Interesting people and not what I had thought it would be like.  I'm sure that back in the 60's, these people might have been into the hippy movement, but the people I met are just wanting to share in the feeling of community and shared responsibilities of every day living.  If I liked people, I might even enjoy being in one of these modern day communes.

We were asked out to dinner one night that week from a friend that is from our MINI Cooper club.  He wanted to thank us for planting the seed into another club-member's head (a girl) that he might be a good guy to date...and they are still seeing each other to this day :)

We were impromptu Best Man and Matron of Honor at my old friend's wedding in Las Vegas.  This is her third marriage and his second and she wanted it to be very low key...the lowest key.  They got married at Little White Chapel in downtown Las Vegas.  I was very excited to go and experience what getting a drive-thru wedding would be like.  Also, it had been several years since we'd been on the west side of the country and I was looking forward to the nicer weather.  We are not big gamblers and so we went on a little hiking trip at Red Rock Canyon.
As with every vacation that Jerome and I take, we just can't sit still and so we added a side trip to our vacation; we went to Los Angeles California for a couple of days.  We saw the Hollywood sign and went to the Griffith Observatory to view Los Angeles from above.
We were a part of a live studio audience of a sitcom called "Mom" at the Warner Bros. Studios.  We walked on Hollywood Blvd.  We took a sightseeing tour of the stars homes.  We stayed in a house in the Hollywood Hills that we set up through Airbnb.  Really fun trip.

We were home for a week and then headed to Florida for Thanksgiving.  We visited our friends and the previous owners of our house who now live in Delray Beach.  They had found out he had cancer earlier this year and for most of the year he has been in very aggressive treatment.  Seems to have come out the other end very well.  He still has some weight to gain, but he is still in good spirits and still has his old spunk.

We only stayed a couple of days and then headed to Ormond Beach, where we met up with our other friends who own a timeshare.  They were able to get a second suite for us to use and we spent Thanksgiving with them.  Unfortunately, Florida had a "Winter Blast" come through and the temps were not at all Florida-like.  But we still were able to have some nice meals and visit St. Augustine, which we found out is the oldest city in our nation.  I would have thought the oldest was somewhere in New England, but I would be wrong.  Very beautiful city and while we were there, they were having their festival of lights for the holidays.

On our way home we stopped to see my Aunt Nan in Tennessee and also saw my cousin and her hubby.  It was a VERY short visit and I am planning to take my mom down there this spring, if she is willing.

When we returned home to Michigan we had a few days before the Annual Romeo Christmas Home Tour.  We were tour guides for the third year in a row.  Perhaps next year we'll volunteer our house again.  We'll see.

Sad times too ~ found out that two friends from our MINI Cooper club had passed away...on the same day!  Both had a form of cancer.  One had been in treatment for a few months and the other had just been diagnosed the week before.  Very sad.

Also my "uncle" Mike passed within a day or two of our friends.  Really, he was my dad's cousin, through marriage.  Mike was a character.  For the ladies, you either liked him or were repelled by him.  I leaned toward liking him.  I don't know, I tend to like grumpy-ish men.  He was also a very touchy-feely guy, all of my life.  Didn't matter who you were; young, old, ugly, pretty, fat, skinny - he was going to grab you.  That is where the "repel" that others felt came from.  I guess I didn't mind all that much.  I found it entertaining.  And his voice...I'll never forget his voice.  He always sounded like he was three sheets to the wind, but I don't think he really was...I think it was just the way his voice was.  LOL!  He will be missed.  He left behind his wife, who is such a nice lady and could handle his "ways", and four sons - the youngest being about 2 years younger than me.  His grandkids were so sad, it was hard at the funeral because they were getting so emotional.  

His wife (and my dad's cousin) Barb paid me the greatest compliment when I was at the viewing.  We were sitting on the main couch and joking around a little.  She told me that I have my father's sense of humor.  Still brings a tear to my eye.  She will never know how much that endeared her to me.  Really, the nicest thing anyone has said to me in a very long time.


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