Monday, April 14, 2014

Home again, home again...

So we're back from a fabulous week in St. Croix, which is part of the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. For the past few years, our week off at this time of year has been spent visiting colleges, which is fun, but not exactly relaxing. This year we decided we'd have a proper holiday, especially as it's probably the last time the Man-Child will be forced to come along with us. And, given the horrendous winter we're had, heck are still having, in Chicago, the sun was a-calling.

As is the norm, on family holidays, some things were fab and well, some things went awry. First experience was the flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to the island of St. Croix - in an 8-seater plane, no less. For someone who is claustrophobic and hates flying, I did remarkably well. For some reason, if I'm fairly close to the ground/sea I don't get so scared; it's the 38,000 criusing altitude over the Atlantic in the middle of the night that gets me.

Random guy, and pilot. 

Then the Little Guy (10) and the Ball & Chain had a scuba lesson in the pool, in preparation for an open water dive. LG loved it, but was having a lot of trouble keeping his ear pressure stable. (This is crucial if you're going deep underwater.) He is plagued by sinus and stuffy nose problems, caused by allergies, enlarged adenoids, and a deviated septum apparently. Unfortunately, this meant that the pool was about as far as he could go until we got rid of the snot. Given that it hasn't happened over the past ten years, there was little chance of a miraculous recovery in a matter of days, so that was that.


And of course, his goggles were dropped in the sea on the second day! We're not quite sure when he lost his sunglasses! Not quite as bad however, as the poor guy who lost his late uncle's ring in the sea. He'd only had it a week and although lots of people joined in looking for it, it never surfaced while we were there.

On the flip side, we all got to do some cool activities. If they happened in the morning the "we" didn't include the Man-Child, who got up most days just before lunch. (He did warn us that he'd be doing a lot of R&R.) When he got up, he spent a lot of time being a teenager.

Look closely - there's a teenager in there somewhere. 

Dad and small boy went out kayaking a few times - making sure to return as soon as they realized they'd gone off without their life jackets! Gulp! 


And then we all went out on our last day, after which I walked around looking like Rudolph for a while, but we won't talk about that! 

Oh, and I could barely brush my teeth the next day - talk about an arm workout!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Law Enforcement American style

Over at the BBCA "Mind the Gap" web site, I'm writing about law enforcement in the USA. Most people are familiar with the tough American cop but I've always found them to be a heck of a lot more approachable than some of the British cops, with their oh-so-sarcastic attitude. If there's a cop car behind me when I'm driving, I no longer assume they're out to get me and I'm not reduced to the world's most nervous driver. (That's in part because US cops have a lot more to do than check your rear lights, but whatever....)

Anyway pop over to the post and have a read if you're so inclined!

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