Monday, October 9, 2006

Visitors - welcome and unwelcome

We have just had the pleasure of being visited by Paul’s sister Lari and her husband Allan. These two took the opportunity of their recent misfortune to see a bit of the world and visit siblings Paul and Rowan (in Houston), while living in the USA. Despite some cooler and rainy weather, we still managed to do a few tourist outings. We visited our favourite tourist sites including Sears Tower (this is Luc’s favourite building), Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue, Lincoln Park Zoo, some very funny improvised theatre, etc. We saw quite a bit of our local Lincoln Park neighbourhood and Lari and Allan were able to do a spot of shopping. Lari and Allan found great delight in some of the things that we now find commonplace but were astounded by when we first arrived: including abundant squirrels, breakfast at a local diner and the large book stores such as Borders and Barnes and Noble. The large bookstores were a very welcome change diversion after limited English book store options in Japan. 

Allan felt completely at home with the American sports (he is a huge basketball, baseball and gridiron / football fan) and the casual dress code. We live near DePaul University and track pants, sports jerseys and trainers are de rigueur. 

Unfortunately, the visit coincided with a visiting flu virus that left us a little lacking in energy and enthusiasm. This last week we ALL have a bout of hand-foot-and-mouth disease – another common virus that has taken the time to visit us (see Paul’s blog entry). Luc had a case of this virus in Brisbane – that generally leaves one immune. A different strain of the virus has seen him contract it again – as well as Paul and myself (adults are usually immune due to contracting this as a child). As a consequence, we have all been laid flat. The boys and myself have been housebound for most of the week – which is just as well as the virus is contagious. I had been speaking to a nurse at the paediatric practice to monitor the situation. Excessive spots on Nic, prompted us to make a visit to the doctors last Friday to have it checked out. After spending some time in the waiting room, playing with toys and doing the rounds, Luc took his time joining us in the examination room. As he was leaving the waiting room, Luc announced to everyone that “I have spots”, repeating this several times in case people weren’t aware of his predicament. I was horrified. Luc’s spots had gone by this stage and I could only imagine that everyone thought he must have some highly contagious disease! 

Photo: Allan and Lari in front of the Crown fountain at Millennium Park

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