Sunday, May 24, 2009

Love Actually

Ally and I waited impatiently at the international arrivals gate....the plane landed at 1:41pm, ten minutes early, and by 2pm, we were pacing. Two unaccompanied minors flying from the UK to visit us for a week. Oxford chums who didn't forget their beloved American friend from the first term. What an honor to host such precious children. They arrived screaming, jumping and hugging and they haven't stopped since.

The Wisconsin sign just inside the border from Illinois. I confess I would have never stopped here without the urging of English children determined to discover all that is American.

They've already taken in a softball tournament where the English girls met the team and enjoyed a walking taco among many other junk foods of the day. There isn't a junk food we haven't fed them yet. They started their American journey with Capri Sun juice bags in the car for a good sugar load of corn syrup to prime the pump. Then Nerds purchased at the TA rest stop and that was even before we arrived in Madison. Since then, Auntie Ann's pretzels, Arby's curly fries, Taco Bell, Greenbush donuts, walking tacos, cotton candy, loads of soda and today....Brat fest.

Brat Fest is a Memorial Day tradition in Madison where cheap bratwurst, hot dogs and soda are sold to the community at large with proceeds to benefit local charities. The demographic is a wide swath of humanity. Mostly obese. We fed a family of seven tonight, two courses of brats and a variety of sodas for thirty dollars. I feel we are laying down a very solid foundation of primary goo in the hearts of these previously healthy English children. I am hoping that once they go home, their families will be able to save them with fruits and vegetables.

Some images for a fellow blogger who's traveling in Europe right now but might want to see some familiar scenes from Memorial Day at home.

It's chaos here at my house. Four children is so many more than two. I don't know how parents keep up. Four check ins about nutrition, hair, clothing, sunscreen, activities, rides. My head is spinning. And of course I love it.

I turn around for one last look at the insanity of Brat Fest and find a serene sunset picture. You can't hear the Tilt A Whirl in a picture, thank God.


  1. Holy cow! I could never provide that full a range of American foods to visitors! No wonder my kids never had any friends visit them from Oxford! (No, they never lived in Oxford, but that's besides the point.)
    In fact, the only foods from your list that I myself have ever eaten are the doughnuts (yum!) and the brats (also yum!)

    You are a good person, Julie.

  2. hey, i know it's none of my beeswax, but i didn't see brats on the DASH diet website.