Lisburn Exiles Forum

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New York, New York

Hi all. On Monday next my daughter will be welcoming an American family to her home.

My daughter's youngest child (aged 12) visited a family in New Jersey for 6 weeks last summer. It was arranged by primary school. It's all vetted, etc. etc. She holidayed with them and enjoyed it very much indeed. The family enjoyed having her and invited her back this year (privately, as she's now at grammar school). They just about took her everywhere while she was there.

Now the mother, her 18 year old daughter and 12 year old are visiting my daughter and family, only for a week mind you. As you know my daughter and husband are just back from Sicily. While they were away, they were having an extension done, with all the inherent mess, only now just completed. They were also having their garden landscaped and decking built. Now, it's a madhouse, clearing up the builders' mess, (oh, by the way, they got a brand new bathroom, shower, tiles, the lot) plus new tiles on their hall. Mad as hatters, or are they?

Anyhow, they're now planning what to do with the American visitors because you really cannot compete with New York, New Jersey, Billy Elliott on Broadway, etc. etc.

They're taking their visitors up round the Antrim Coast, which will be lovely, Giant's Causeway and all the rest. Another day into Belfast, going on one of the tour buses, round all the sights normally only seen on TV, (haven't even been myself) on the big wheel, etc.

They're visiting the American Folk Park in Omagh too.

Of course, and Brendan might be there, they'll be visiting Newcastle, the Mournes and the Dromara Hills too.

BUT, and I'm going with them on this. Well, I WAS invited. Next Saturday morning we're visiting Hillsborough Castle. During August, Hillsborough Castle is open to the public. This year, the Queen's gowns and outfits from around the 1950s will be on display. Now, wouldn't Americans just love that. Wouldn't mind it myself, seeing all those dresses, etc.

My daughter is quite laid back, unlike me. I asked her about food, what she would be cooking. I offered to cook some dishes for her. Suggested the Americans would love champ with cabbage and boiled ham. She looked at me aghast, "Mum", she said, "I don't intend to be doing a lot of cooking" other than breakfast and possibly lunch. She added, "The Americans eat out, so we'll be taking them out mostly for dinner". I suppose I can't blame her. She has 4 children, plus her visitors, so if she can afford it, good for her. I know, if it were me, I'd be slaving over a hot stove.

I said this very thing to my neighbours whom I met in M&S (well, what I said was, "the boss likes me over a hot stove") and we all had a laugh. No joke.