Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Our time was growing short in California and we did do a lot trips gear for the kids but there was one trip we did for just for us. We visited the wonderful wineries in California. They had tours and wine tasting with cheese and crackers. I think Inglenook Winery was C favorite. We use to save the labels from the bottles in a scrap book and C got to be quiet a coinsure and when some of the officers were having dinner parties they would consult C what kind of wine to serve with their meal. I don’t want to imply that we were winos it is just that C was fascinated with growing grapes. Now me as a Greek girl I was more interested in the leaves. The Greeks have a dish called Dolmathes. They are grapes leaves stuffed with ground lamb, rice, onions, olive oil, mint and lemon. The ones my parents made are definitely tastier than some I’ve been served in restaurants. You can also purchase them in very large super markets. They do not use meat of any kind in them.

I am so glad C had a good appetite because he would eat whatever I put on the table. Oh, yes there was only one thing he didn’t like and that was okra no matter how it was cooked. He loved the avgolemono soup the best. Our kids ate well also they have a few more dislikes than their dad. Peas happen to be one of them. At one meal our youngest stuffed her pockets with the peas on her plate and asked to be excused to go to the bathroom thinking we didn’t see what she was doing so she could flush them down the toilet. I am sure most of you could match some of these stories.

When we traveled we had our cereal for breakfast with juice and toast and lunch was usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then for supper we usually let them have whatever they wanted. They knew ahead if time they needed to eat the first two meals well to be able to choose what they wanted from the menu at supper.

Our five year tour of duty in California was about over and I was preparing for our trip to the next duty station. C had enrolled in another school that was called “lighter than air school”. It was switching from airplanes to blimps and the school was in Lakehurst, New Jersey instructing them how to land and tying them down so they wouldn’t blow away in a strong wind. We were excited when he was chosen because Lakehurst was only an hour or so from dads’ house.

The cereal boxes use to have toys and games in them and I started to save them. I also bought Golden Books and small toys that could be wrapped. The dime store had little toys like cars, ball and jacks, crayons and comic books that really were comic books. I took the time to wrap each one and put them in a bag and then let the kids pick a prize each day. It worked out well. They had something to look forward getting in the car. Kids could care less about scenery.

We started our trip and C was planning how far we could drive a day before the kids would be unbearable. He planned that we would stop at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico for a good part of a day. Well when we started the kids we unruly, fighting with each other wouldn’t eat their breakfast and wouldn’t keep their hands to themselves. C had enough and said, “If you kids don’t settle down and behave we are not stopping at Carlsbad Caverns”. Well they didn’t stop and neither did we. I saw this cartoon in the comics this past week and cut it out because this is exactly how they behaved. I had a good laugh and had to include it because I know my kids will remember when.

Some many years had past and I saw an article in the paper about Carlsbad Caverns. Our kids were grown and I made a copy of it and sent it to them so they could see what they missed. I did get comments from them and now that they have their ownchildren they understand fully. Kids will be kids no matter whose they are.

My second child loved fried chicken and every night for her meal she chose fried chicken. The one place we stopped the waitress said child’ portion and she piped up a said no I want a big piece. The waitress said “Honey that’s a half of chicken” and looked at us thinking we would say yes a child’ portion. C spoke up and said she would eat it. Well the waitress could not believe she ate the whole thing by herself.

When we reached Texas we stopped in the panhandle and that night for supper our son copied his father and had a steak. The waiters were always surprised at how much our kids ate leaving very little or none most of the time. We had lots of good memories of our trip coming back to New Jersey. My dad was so glad to see us as were my sisters and brothers.

Lakehurst added a phase of our life that was memorable. Until next time, I am Immigrant Daughter.


  1. I just love the bit about hiding peas in the pockets, that's great. Kids come up with the best ideas. I hope you didn't miss any when you had to do the clothes washing. Kids can eat like there's no tomorrow, and seeing a children eat half a chicken is pretty good. You have some wonderful memories Immigrant Daughter. Kind regards, Anita.

  2. K tells the fried chicken story every time we are on a road trip and about to stop for dinner.
    And I think that dislikes are inherited--okra :gag: You can't pay me to touch the stuff =P but yum...dolmathes