Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8/10-11/11 Hanging with my two bros in Delaware

So when my (half) brother Aaron and his mom Pat decided to visit Emmet (my other half-brother)in Delaware, I thought it was a great idea. They'd stayed with me in NYC for a few days already and it was lovely and wonderful and I dealt with the fact that that'd be the last I'd see of them in a while. But when I got back from my five-day trip with Zack in Florida, I discovered that I'd have time to spend a couple of days with both bros in Delaware and I was thrilled. So I took a 100 minute Amtrak ride to Maryland. (Never riding Amtrak again, though. Not thrilled when I heard about a recent derailing. Anyway...) Rita, Pat and Aaron met me at the station. It was great meeting Rita for the first time. She's warm, friendly and lovely. I mean, of course she is. Emmet's great, so duh. We chatted it up in the 30 minute car ride to Rita and Emmet's place. Laughing most of the way, 'cause that's what Jolleys do. When we finally made it back to their place, we were all starving, so Aaron cooked up a wonderful Thai noodle dish and even made a special vegetarian option for me.

Here he is preparing the meal (and note that I didn't take my fancy camera on this trip, so the photos are a little on the lame low-pixel side):

Then Rita's doggie (named Majik) got in on the action:

(He's got the Jolley eyes.)

Majik was the sweetest thing ever. He never barked once. Not once. He was just a bundle of furry love that demanded a ridiculous amount of affection. I've never seen anything like it. When I came in the door he ran up to me and gently pressed his wet nose on me like a little nonverbal hello and then pried his head into my folded arms to force a cuddle and would not move away. That dog liked to cuddle like no other living thing. Throughout the day, he would lay/lean/push its body on me and then stare at me with those big blue eyes until I was forced to open up and let him in.

And get this! I never got a picture of the actual food. I'm a schmuck. Forgive me, but I was distracted by the delicious aroma of the hot chills and garlic and ginger. And then I was just so excited to eat that I forgot all about documenting. Hmph. It was goooood, though. I can tell you that. I knew Aaron was a great cook from when I was at his place in London in January and he made me a roasted red pepper soup with coconut that was off the chain. No doubt. "Tick tock and you don't stop." Anyway, after the meal Rita made me some chai tea with almond milk and also served some of her delicious baked goodies like these almond pastry things and little frosted squares:

We had a lovely time. Why don't I drink tea more often? I AM Irish after all.

Anyway, we hung out and chatted it up for hours, but made sure we were all in bed by 10pm, 'cause we'd be getting up at 4am (yes, four AY-EMM) to travel with Emmet to the horse stables to see him ride and train his horses.

I expected to hear roosters this early in the morning, but nothing. No sound. Just darkness and the sound of my slow sleepy breath. I got a picture inside the car at 4:30am:

Spooky, huh?

Even when we got to the stables, it was still quite dark...

That's Pat in the photo above...up ahead in the distance.

We were waiting around for Emmet's time slot to approach. He wasn't supposed to ride until 7:30am, so had two hours to kill and tried to make the best of it. Here's Aaron checking out one of Emmet's beautiful horses:

We also waited in Emmet's office...

This was the best place to be 'cause this was where the chairs were...and other items that one could sit on if one were so tired that one could not stand on their own. I sat on a box.

There was a (very very small) jockey being taken to the track:

The sun was coming up at this point, so we went over to the track to see some over the other jockeys and trainers with the other horses:

It was chilly as all heck. It was weird to be cold when by the time I usually wake up at 9 or 10am, it's 95 degrees, but my body adjusted well.

Here's the racetrack:

The horses were moving at a speedy pace (obviously, it's a RACEtrack):

We watched the animals go around once and then we made our way back to the stables. By this point it still was only 6:30am.

Here's Emmet brushing a horse-ee...

FINALLY it was time for Emmet to get dressed and ready to ride...


He kinda reminds me of the Marlboro Man.

We were so excited to see him do his thing.

Here he is (on the left in the pink shirt and red vest) riding his beautiful horse:

He had amazing form for a non-jockey. We (I) were (was) very impressed.

Then we walked back to Emmet's office again and I made my way over to the car and took a snooze in the front seat (I was feeling my allergies going nuts from all the hay and other barn things).

We left at around 9:15am and I felt like I was ready for bedtime all over again. How the HELL does Emmet do that every darned day?!

We made our way back to Emmet's place and I made myself some hard boiled eggs. Aaron suggested I  put 'em in an egg cup.

"A what??" I said.

Aaron and Pat made fun of me because I'd never seen or heard of an egg cup before. I grew up in the projects (and mostly vegan), so I don't know from egg cups. Poor people don't require egg cups. Anyway, here they are...

The little spoons made me smile. I mean, the whole scene was pretty cute. Then Rita confirmed that Americans don't really use egg cups all that much. Aaron and Pat were shocked.

I think I probably took a nap (don't remember) and then we all went out to eat at a steakhouse. Yes, the vegan went to a steakhouse. I got a large plain baked potato and a side of steamed veggies, thank you. It wasn't bad. Here a photo of the meat house:

If you look closely at the photo above you can see stuffed dead animals tucked away on top of chairs, hanging form the ceiling and resting on the window sill. There was even a stuffed bear:


My plain baked potato was amazing.

Then we drove back to Emmet's place and Rita and Pat dove me to the train station. We said our goodbyes.

I then took Amtrak to Baltimore to meet up with Zack at Camden Yards (he'd been there for a few days with a Watch With Zack client) and we all (me, Zack and his client) drove back to the city together listening to the Katy Perry channel on Pandora.

Wonderful two days jammed packed with love. : )

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