Now I combining the rest of Thursday with the events of Friday as I don’t recall a huge amount of details and I don’t think a huge amount happened in the evening anyway.
Now this was the first time or possibly the second time that Andrea and Casey had visited their father for Thanksgiving, without wanting to go into to much detail about Andrea’s family history I shall just leave it that Andrea’s Mum and Dad did not separate under amenable circumstances and there were court orders involved. On the plus side it would seem that Andrea’s dad had done a U-turn and got whatever demons he had dealt with and was now a completely different figure from the ogre of her childhood. We arrived fairly late, long after the main meal had taken place but there was still plenty of spread left for us to munch upon. The get together was being held at Andrea’s Paternal Grandparents house and this was a very big house, with a grand piano, a large downstairs game room complete with bar and pool table. Here I was introduced to her rather dipsy blonde cousin and her cousin Ryan who was in the Marines serving in Iraq, this was a big thing for Andrea because she didn’t get to see him very often and it was a double whammy his leave had fallen across Thanksgiving. So this was a nice little family reunion for them. He all had several games of Pool and had a few drinks before the cousins moved on. We then went upstairs and had a long talk with the Grandparents, who told me about a time they’d gone to London parked up and forgotten where they’d parked! That is easily done as London is quite a maze for a native let alone a stranger; I dread to think how much the parking came too!
Casey then showed examples of his artwork which was mostly abstract and some a tad too surreal so he avoided showing those to them. I think by now we were all getting a tad worn as it wasn’t long before we were back in the car en-route to the Red Roof Inn, while we were driving along Casey fund it amusing that some old radio plays were being broadcast on some of the channels on the car radio. This prompted him to muse “wouldn’t it be fun to do a radio drama as no-one does them anymore”, to which Andrea informed him “Oh Nick has several of them with him.”
I was dropped off at the Red Roof Inn fairly late with Andrea and Casey leaving me with the comforting words of “here you are alone at the creepy motel off the highway, just be glad this isn’t Phoenix.” I bid the two “bon-nuit” and put the kettle on and watched the tail end of a film on the T.V. before curling up listening to the first two episodes of the Harvest, an audio play which always amuses me in that the cliffhanger ending to episode one is the appearance of the title character.
I woke at the usual time, did my usual and was picked up by Andrea shortly afterwards and we returned to her house. She was busy sorting things out for going back to college so I idled my way around on the computer for a bit, if I’d thought about it I should of listened to the episode of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue I had missed, (for those of you not in the know ISIHAC is a comedy quiz show dubbed the antidote to panel games and pretty much based on improvisation, with games such as One Song to the Tune of Another, New Definitions and the legendary Mornington Crescent), but ended up being directed to a piss take of the Lord of the Rings. Once Andrea was sorted we sat down to a small but filling meal which admittedly consisted mainly of Turkey sandwiches, but it did the job. We returned Casey to his place and he found to his dismay he had a flat tire on his motor (something I had pointed out when we picked him up), once we dropped him off me and Andrea went off to Detroit and went to the Detroit Zoo. This was the first time that Andrea had been to the Zoo since she was about five so I imagine this was a little bit of a nostalgia for her, although she did ask the odd question “Do you have Zoos in England?”. It was a fun little day out, if a tad on the nippy side. I think one of the most fun moments was being followed temporally by a Peacock, which Andrea decided to do a silly pose by. The Peacock sat around perfectly still for a while, until the shutter went and it decided to walk away… just proving birds don’t sit and pose for you…
We then went around the gorilla enclosure before going to the polar bear habitat, which featured a tunnel which went under the lake and the polar bears were walking on top of it which was pretty cool, although I recall a few children got a bit freaked out this notion. Still that’s children, when I was little I was terrified by a walking tree illustrated in a Rupert book (a trait I share with horror author Ramsey Campbell). This was a fun day and it was one of the few times me and Andrea got a photo taken together. Once we’d gone to the zoo it was time to head off to Royal Oak to remove some more stuff from her old house, we called off at a strip mall on the way to do some recycling of cans. You guys over there have the right idea to encourage people to recycle, returns on the cans and bottles etc, it may not be a lot but it encourages people do it. Once we had done this Andrea had a little bit of a panic when she saw that one of the tires on the car was a little low, I think she was worried it was a puncture and the cost it would produce in replacing it. After a quick examination I noted it was just low pressure and need air… seems I did pay attention to Big Nick’s lectures after all. We then went to a store to purchase a birthday card for Andrea’s friend Erica, whom we would visit in the evening. It turns out that she’d known Erica for 17 years which is quite impressive that they’d stayed that close for so long. We went to Andrea’s house in Royal Oak and sorted out a few things there before going into Royal Oak itself, where I foolishly asked “why on Earth does the train need to keep parping as it goes through, can’t people spot it?” to which Andrea stated sweetly “I take it not many people get hit by trains in England…” The answer is pretty much no, of course it happens but from what I have seen of American Railway in compared to UK Railway is that in the UK the train track is usually much more isolated with fences of in dips, on the whole we don’t have rail tracks going through towns so openly. While in Royal Oak we passed some teenagers who were busy telling each other how old they felt when they saw repeats of the Power Rangers on… Both Andrea and I found that amusing, we were of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Hero Turtle generation and we reminisced about who was our favourite characters were (warning, don’t Google an image search for April O’Neil as it appears that there is an ‘actress’ by that name in a particular type of film), I always liked Baxter the nutty scientist and Splinter the Rat.