Search This Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

These past few weeks, if have taken a break from blogging to enjoy some time with good friends and some hot very hot sweltering boiling days in Illinois, Texas and Michigan.  The kids and I are on our 8th week of our third annual summer tour of the U.S.A. Guy popped in for weeks 6 and 7 and is off now on a fishing trip with a good friend. I have to say that after four states and six plane rides ( alone with the kids)  it can make for one tired girl...but to be able to see all of our great friends and family is so worth it!!!! I miss all of you!!! You are all what helps me remember that friendship and family don't know what physical distance is the days I am in Nigeria feeling so far away from everyone.:)  Since I have been away from the blog for so long...I am going to let the pictures do most of the explaining about what we have been up to lately... 
probably not the best idea to go on a hike in Houston after a huge rainstorm
Jack ( my God son) would agree:)

five house ...four days....everyone survived and was happy!!:)

lunch with God Mother , Amy

Guy and new baby, George

God Mother, Emmy, and Lizzy:)

trying out snorkeling in MI

Lizzy is thinking about it:)

wearing sun hats from Amy

ice cream on a hot day

Lizzy was wired!!!

showing off his muscles!!!

Jeremy and Great Grandpa

lining up hockey pucks to dry...don't ask....

playing rings in the backyard in MI

having fun with cousin, Michael

found Ghana Baskets in Watervliet, MI!!!!

lunch with my Aunt Ronnie in Paw Paw, MI

So, maybe these past weeks haven't been what some people would call  "lazy"...they have been more like crazy for the kids and me...but I wouldn't have it any other way.  My heart is thoroughly blessed to have my family and friends so dear to me.  The fact that my husband supports me to take the kids all over to see their family and our dear friends also means so much to me...thank you for getting my craziness and understanding my need to see all of my dear ones.  Our summer tour isn't quite done yet, though...we still have about two more weeks before we board our plane back to Lagos...some ask my secret to travelling with two small children by myself ...this is my recipe:

2  3 cups of patience

1 cup of understanding

2 cups of love

a dash of innovative thinking in a sticky situation

4 5 cups of coffee a day

2-3 glasses of wine per day ( add more as needed)

and Voila!!!! there is your recipe for surviving a 10 week tour of the U.S. alone with your children!!!:)

Friday, July 15, 2011


On Wednesday, we packed up in Michigan and headed to Chicago to see Guy's family.  His brother , Robert, just married a very sweet girl from Thailand named Pin.  Guy's sister just moved back from Japan, and some of her friends flew in from Japan this week for a party Robert is having to introduce everyone to his new wife.  Needless to Say, everyone was so happy to see each other.:)  Wednesday night was a huge party.:

Yu, Tatsuya,Robert and Pin

fun at Benihana

Aunt Conch and Lizzy
 On Thursday, Guy's family still didn't have power after  a huge storm hit on Sunday night.  BUt, we all managed to have fun outside with games and gifts for Pin and Robert.  Robert even got into the Japanese spirit and put on an old sumo wrestler costume he had in the basement.  For Guy and me, being without power was just like living after a hurricane.:)

opening gifts

Lizzy and Uncle Robert

 On Friday, we headed down to Chicago's Navy Pier to meet up with an old friend of mine from high school.  We have been friends for almost 21 years!!!  I can't believe that ...but it's true. She brought one of her children, David, along to hang out for the day.  We went on the Ferris wheel, boat ride and walk the pier.:)

on the boat ride on Lake Michigan

Jen and me

Chicago skyline

Jen and David on the Ferris wheel

Living abroad is hard when you can't see your friends all the time, but it was so nice to met up with Jen.  Too bad, Jeremy was just too tired to make it the whole day at Navy pier, but I am so thankful Jen was able to make it up to Chicago to see us.  Thank you so much for coming up!:)

Stay tuned...the Salinas Family adventures will continue!:)

Live, Laugh, Love

I am sitting in a house I have been coming to since I was a little girl. There is a certain comfort in being able to come back to something familiar. My entire life has been full of moves to different places through my childhood and still as an adult. I have often wondered if I have some gypsy heritage somewhere in my famil line.;) This place in Michigan has been the one constant place I have always returned to year after year. Almost all of my extended family live in Michigan; both of my grandmothers lived and died here, aunts, uncles, and many cousins are still here.

I used to come and spend part of the summer here with my grandmother, and when I sit and eat at the table here or sleep upstairs in bed, I can still remember all the good times we had here together. She taught me to play poker on the front porch and hours and hours of Yahtzee.:) We used to have long talks in the morning when we would eat breakfast, and it’s funny, but I can still feel her warmth here. I can’t explain it, but each year when I come back here, I feel almost like she is welcoming me back.:)

The house where Guy, the kids and myself are staying has been a home from my dad’s side of the family since the 1920’s. My dad also came here as a child. Lake Michigan is just down the street, and you can smell the fresh air coming through the windows (very unlike Nigeria!!!) Just like me, my children love to get ready and head down to the beach and spend hours digging in the sand and building sandcastles.:) They love to take walks by the marina and look at all the sailboats and the sea gulls. They love to go to the local ice cream shop and eat Blue Moon ice cream…

The house is old, and does need repair, but the memories are still fresh in my mind from when I was little, and I am so happy that we can continue to make new memories with our children. I love the expression Jeremy gives me when I tell him that I went to the same beach when I was little….he looks at me and just laughs.:) And that is how the new memories are made…through laughter , love and the joy of living...
Blue Moon Ice cream

catching fire flies

popsicles on the South Haven Beach

making sand castles

Great Grandpa and Great Grand daughter


jumping into Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave's pool

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do You Know the Way to San Jose...I mean Monterey???

It has been really busy around here lately, and I haven't had a good chance to sit down and write about what we've been up to...but I thought before our departure from California tomorrow, I would write a few quick words about the last few days...and the pictures can take care of the rest.:)

On Thursday, the kids and I tagged along with my dad to Monterey. He had a business lunch there, and the kids and I went to the aquarium.  If you haven't been to the Monterey Bay aquarium and you get the chance to should definitely take it!!!

On the way there i had to snap a picture of San Jose....I couldn't get the song out of my head..." Do you know the way to San Jose?"

San Jose

Eating breakfast before the aquarium opened

During the first and second world wars, Monterey was a bustling city of canneries for sardines.  After the wars, the need for canneries greatly diminished, but the remnants of what kept this city going for the first 50 years of the 20th century still remain...

John Steinbeck wrote a poem about the canneries in Monterey

Finally , we got into the aquarium right when it opened...I highly recommend going at this time...especially with small children.  There are so many children activities there, and when you get there isn't crowded and the kids really get to enjoy them.:)


checking out a sea star

making their own waves in a pretend tide pool

more waves

pretending to be animals in a coral reef

giant clam

giant clam


we found Nemo and Dory!!

sea horses

touching a star fish

kelp forest

pretending to be fish in a kelp forest
 The kids LOVED the huge deep sea tank that had so many fish, hammer head sharks, sea turtles and one very interesting fish....The kids were mesmerised...i think they sat there for 15 minutes straight just watching the was so calming:)

deep sea tank

watching the fish

very strange fish

sea turtle

sting ray

Elizabeth thought this exhibit was "outer space"!

Great kids exhibit..taught them why dolphins have fins!

checking out the view of Monterey Bay
watching the fish

Jeremy's favorite fish...the shark!

standing underneath a wave

touching star fish

sea lions in the bay

bad pic..but there was a mother and baby otter in the pic

E loved the sea horses
 Then, on the way home, we went through Castroville which happens to be the artichoke capital of the world...just a little bit of trivia for you.  And, just in case you are interested in even more trivia click here to find out who the very first artichoke queen was.:)  Needless to say, we had to pick up a few artichokes to take home.:)

field of artichokes

sign of a good day!!:)

Very good day!!!

Livermore Valley..where my parents live:)
 This week, we also had a few summer birthdays to celebrate.:)  Jeremy, Dad's and mine are all in the summer.:)  Lots of Leos in the family.:)

it wasn't E's birthday, but how can you tell a 3 year old that??

ready to turn 6!!!!
We've had a very anxious( at times), busy ( all the time) and fun ( all the time) time here with my parents the last 5 weeks.  We'll miss you both terribly...but we'll see you again.:)  Just think, now you can rest up for the next time the kids and I invade your house!:) Love you both so much!!! Thanks for everything!:)