Enjoying my time with my former host family
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
154Trip End Aug 20, 2013
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The next few days I spent relaxing and recovering from the long hike and hearing and seeing the latest developments in my host family and in the area. I enjoyed spending the time with my host family, meeting their son Eric, his wife Maureen and their little two year old son Ethan again. I was surprised that Ethan actually remembered me and that he regularly showed me a picture that I was on with what he said: "This is you.... when you, when you, with no beard". How cute!
So I played a lot with their son at my host family's house, and was introduced to his favorite activity: being on pappi's (my host dad) real tractor and putting on the signal and warning lights. When I had seen him last about a year ago, he had already been fascinated by cars, but no it was more of an addiction, with him always talking about tractors :-)
Besides going hiking in the Adirondacks park, there is one other activity that is a long tradition of mine, and repeated every time I am visiting my host family. Eating at the famous Dinosaur Barbeque Restaurant in Syracuse, a city about 40 minutes south of my host family's house. This place is amazing. The food is sooo delicious, it's almost undescribable. So all of us, Jan, Joe, Eric, Mo, Ethan and I went to the Dino for an early dinner. As usual I settled for the "Big Ass Pork Plate" with Barbeque Beans and mashed potatoes. It was great just like I remembered it. While Ethan was busy watching a kids show on one of the smartphones, we enjoyed the excellent food. Afterwards we went for ice-cream, and I had to learn again that portions in the US are just much bigger than at home. Each of us ordered a small ice-cream, which consisted of about four scoops of ice-cream. I surely don't want to know how many scoops a large ice-cream consists of. Well, it was delicious, although by now I was really, really full. "Welcome back to America, Steffen" :-)
After hanging around my host family's house for another day, my host mom made me go to the doctor to get treatment for my toe, that had anything but recovered from the coral cut in Fiji about five weeks ago
A fun day with a two year old
Another day we all went to Eric and Mo's house in Syracuse. Eric, who is a teacher at the high school that I went to during my exchange year, was still on summer vacation. With Mo, his wife was busy working, Jan, Eric and I played the boardgame Siedler von Catan that they had once purchased in Germany. It was a great game, and even better when I won both times we played :-). Next time I come to the States, I will bring the board game "Ticket to Ride / Zug um Zug" and beat them again ;-).
While Jan and Joe returned home, I stayed at Eric and Mo's house, and we spent the evening looking at some pictures from my world trip. Next day Eric and I spend all day with his little son Ethan. I had a great time and insight into a kid's daily life
Once back at the house, we had some lunch and Eric put Ethan in his crip for his midday nap. Well Ethan didn't feel like sleeping and only wanted to play with his favorite toy tractors. Well Eric made him stay in his crip for two hours, no matter if he slept or not. In the afternoon I helped Eric, and Ethan helped me watering the plants in their garden with a hose. Ethan then made me play horse, by running around the car in the drive way jumping like horses. He also showed me the home of his favorite bugs by lifting a stone in the driveway under which some bugs were living. After some more games like hide-and-seek, Eric, Mo, Ethan and I drove to my host family's house.
On the way Ethan asked me to read another book to him, and I made the mistake of having him choose one
All in all it was a lot of fun with Ethan, although I have to say that playing with a two year old an entire day can be very tiring. I surely didn't have any problem with falling asleep later on :-).
Learning more about the Adirondacks in the official museum
Having been so excited about the hike in the Adirondacks, my host parents had told me about the official Adirondacks Museum and we had decided to go up to the park and visit the exhibition. At first we had thought about taking their canoe and going canoeing in the area, but when we couldn't find all the necessary tools to take the canoe with us, we decided to go for the museum only. I have to say the long drive up to the park's museum, was well worth it. For lunch we stopped in a local restaurant in the town of Old Forge, which served amazing food, all of which was organically grown in the area
It was a great museum and on the weekend we visited there was a special event, with people showing how mountain men used to live back in the days. Very cool and interesting! We then drove back to Old Forge for dinner at the same restaurant we had lunch at, and it was again amazing :-).
It's always a great time visiting my host family
My host family is a huge fan of the series Breaking Bad like I am, and the last season just started. However, I had not yet watched all of the previous season. Fortunately Jan and Joe were eager to watch the previous season again and made me catch up with it one episode at a time :-).
Now my two weeks of visiting my host family is coming to an end. On the 19th of August I will travel by bus to New York city and then take an evening flight to Frankfurt with a later connection to my hometown of Berlin