Welcoming Max, Mary, Paul, and Ivan, 10 July 2011

One of the few downsides of settling in the Bay Area nearly 40 years ago has been the distance from relatives, who mostly live 2,000 miles away. So it was a cause for celebration when Mary–my first cousin once removed and one of a handful of cousins I know really well–and her family recently moved to the area.

The celebration began and ended with food and drinks, with a visit to a local street fair to break up the eating and drinking.

Jesse and Daniel are on the left, Mary, Martha, and Susan on the right. In the background below are Max, Paul, and Ivan. We’ll see some better pictures of them in a minute.

But first the borscht, which Mary made from (very) fresh beets–best borscht ever, and I was a Russian major in college.

Once we had our fill, everyone needed a walk, so we went to the annual Temescal Street Fair on nearby Telegraph Avenue. It was a pretty typical street fair, with two extras.

One was a group demonstrating Capoeira,  introduced in Brazil a few centuries ago by descendants of African slaves. I hadn’t seen anything like it before, here or in West Africa.

The karate-like uniforms, along with powerful arm and leg gestures, point to a martial art; the rhythmic movement and musical accompaniment add an equal element of dance. That’s Ivan and Paul on the right behind the drummer. And yes, those are girls in the picture on the left above. They performed right along with the boys.

The other fun addition to this street fair was a climbing post that went straight up, reaching above the telephone poles. It didn’t take long for the boys to find it, and that’s pretty much where they spent the rest of the time at the fair.

That’s Paul on the left and Ivan on the right in both shots. It was a tough climb, but both made it to the top. I happened to catch a picture of Ivan at the top:

No one could top that, so we headed home for some more food: meat pies from Martha stuffed cornbread from Susan, shrimp salad

from Jesse, chicken from Martha, and tuna.

The boys discovered my u-Surf, a surfboard-like gadget I use for exercise when I’m too lazy to go to the gym. As it happens, their new home is on the ocean where the surfing is good and they’ve already begun surfing lessons. So we hauled it out, plugged it in, and turned them loose on it:

Being quite a surfer myself, I required very little encouragement before climbing aboard as well.

We couldn’t have had more fun together–a great welcome for everyone!

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One Response to Welcoming Max, Mary, Paul, and Ivan, 10 July 2011

  1. Mike Gende says:

    I am forwarding a copy of this surfboard shot to my father! Seeing the inside of your place, as well as shots of Dan and Jesse, remind me of the good time we had there last year. My kids still talk about loving that cheese you had then. Glad some relatives are at last close at hand.

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