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sickness, short week, ontario

This seems to be a bad year for getting sick; last weekend I left home early on Friday, totally exhausted, then spent the weekend laying around feeling miserable with a fever. It was annoying enough to motivate a trip to the doctor Monday--my first to a new group practice near Briarwood, chosen mainly because they were willing to make an appointment for me that day--but the doctor reassured me that all would be well and that I could expect to be back at work Wednesday. I stayed home Tuesday and did indeed feel well enough to get back to work on Wednesday.

It was a short week--I'd been looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks, planning to visit some friends and family this weekend. So with me recovered (and Sara, fortunately, not having caught anything), I worked at home Friday morning, then picked up our rental car at 2pm, collected Sara from work, and set out.

Driving as I do once a year, I'm prone to stupid mistakes. In this case I didn't realize quite how soon the first exit off the freeway (from 23 to 14) was, so we ended up doing an extra 20-some-minute circuit around the north side of Ann Arbor before we finally got going in the right direction.

That, together with some construction and bad traffic through Detroit, meant that we didn't make it to London until 6:30--I'd been hoping it would be closer to a three or three-and-half hour drive. We were both tired of the road at that point (the seemingly endless decrepit canyonlike Detroit freeways were a particular low point), so it was especially satisfying to arrive at Graham and Nicole's, sit down with some beer, and watch Graham make dosas for our dinner.

Their daughter is much more verbal now, though her answers to yes-no-questions (yes! Noooo?) seem highly experimental at times.

The next morning we had a breakfast-that-couldn't-be-beat at their place, did a little grocery shopping, then ate lunch together at a nice local vietnamese place.

The drive to Waterloo that afternoon was only an hour and a half on back roads. We left a little later than intended, and didn't arrive till about 5.

They fed us some pizza and then took us to a great chamber music concert at the nearby Perimeter Institute. The highlight was the Shostakovich Piano Trio #2, which was wild--I hope I'll get the chance to see it performed again some day.

A late-night snack at the Perimeter Institute's "Black Hole Café" afterwards, and then we back to my Aunt's. The next morning we had a quick breakfast and then road back to the perimiter institute to look for Sara's purse, and were very relieved when a young security guard noticed us peering in and knew what we were looking for.

"Brunch" was at noon at Ruth's lovely apartment in a converted school building a few blocks away. She served us melons and proscuitto, then some great scones (a New Joy of Cooking recipe), and some slightly troubled (but nevertheless very tasty) soufflé.

The afternoon we wandered around downtown Waterloo a bit and did some shopping. Then Helen's friend Mary came down for dinner with us. She'd fed us a very elaborate thanksgiving dinner on a previous visit (in 1994, they thought, our first winter in Ann Arbor), and it was nice to see her again.

We stayed up talking some more, then got to bed in time to make an early start on our long drive back.

For our drive back we decided we'd avoid the Detroit freeways and try surface streets. It was slower that way, and unfortunately not that much more interesting. But we arrived in time, returned the car, and, rather than trying to work the rest of the day as we'd originally thought we might, went to bed and napped. Our sleeping schedule may now be messed up for some time....

So, there was too much driving involved, but we enjoyed visiting with people. Maybe next time we should stay longer, for a higher visit-to-transportation-time ratio.