Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2006: 9

   Bill returned from his sailing trip on Monday evening, August 28. Cathy returned from work a bit later and then we both went out to dinner at the Black Duck. We had a great homecoming meal. On Tuesday, Bill started working on his trip report and worked on it off and on until Thursday evening. We had another good dinner out at Tisha's on Tuesday night. The weather was threatening most of the week until it erupted on Thursday night, not long after Katie, Tom, Rachel, and their friend Matt arrived en route to Europe. We all got to sleep late on Thursday night and some of us slept in on Friday morning. It rained hard all day and was amazingly windy. We went to Louie's Pizza for lunch and visited the bookstore. We had a great dinner of Shrimp Etouffe after Rachel went off to bed. The power went out just before dessert. We talked by candlelight for a while and then all turned in fairly early. The power came back on at 1:51 AM; Bill woke up when the TV came back on. The wind blew hard and it rained all night. On Saturday morning, the weather started to clear and the wind dropped. Bill drove Cathy in to work at 8:30 AM. The rest of us had WaWa hoagies for lunch. Rachel went in for a nap and Katie, Tom, and Matt headed for the Newark airport at 1:00 PM. Bill got Rachel up from her nap at 3:00 PM and she was accepting of his presence there. Bill fed her a snack and then both he and Rachel drove in to the bookstore in Cape May. Cathy finished her day of work and we all walked or rode the stroller to the Washington Street Mall. We headed home around 5 PM and played with Rachel. We fed her dinner and gave her a bath before her bedtime. After she went to bed (without a complaint), we ate grilled burgers for our dinner. On Sunday, Rachel woke up shortly after we did, so we all ate breakfast at about the same time. After eating, we went for a 4 mile walk with Rachel in her stroller. She enjoyed the walk and commented, in her way, about the dogs, birds, and airplanes that she saw and heard. Then we went to ACME and Rachel threw items in the cart for us. We bought the very last of the summer beach balls for her and she carried it the rest of the way in the store. When we returned home, Rachel ripped up the Parade Magazine with careful relish. We had forgotten her mid-morning snack, but she ate a very good lunch and then headed in for her nap. Cathy made sure that she was gone before Rachel got up so that there wouldn't be a problem with her leaving. When Rachel got up from her nap and had a snack, Bill and she went down to the beach for some digging in the sand. Rachel loved playing in the sand and would have stayed forever, but we went back to the house after an hour and a half. Bill washed Rachel in the outside shower and then brought her inside. When he discovered that she still had lots of sand on her, Bill gave Rachel a bath after she took a leak on the bathroom floor. Rachel and Bill watched an Elmo DVD and played with crayons before dinner. Rachel enjoyed her dinner of string beans, meatballs, and peaches, but started to stall on her milk at the meal. She was upset when Bill called a curfew on the meal and took her upstairs. She gave Bill a hard time with the bedtime rituals, but then went to bed without complaint. On Labor Day, Cathy didn't work. We took Rachel to the Cape May County Zoo. We wanted to use the backpack, but Rachel insisted on her stroller. We began with a session in a toddler playground and then entered the zoo. Rachel enjoyed the animals, especially a Black Bear and a Tiger. She walked quite a distance holding onto Cathy's hand. We returned home for lunch. After Rachel's nap, we all went down to our beach. It was a lovely afternoon and Rachel played in the sand, went into the water with Cathy, and walked along the beach looking for things. She was very interested in a young boy who was fishing. After a thorough outside shower, Rachel joined us for dinner at Lucky Bones. After Rachel went to bed, we enjoyed watching Florida State beat up on Miami. On Tuesday, Cathy had to leave for work early, so Rachel and Bill were faced with a rainy day together. They played with Tarot cards, colored with crayons, read books, watched Elmo on DVD, played with Cathy's keyboard, played ball, and put up with each other. Bill finally had to face a "poopy" diaper and handled the challenge with aplomb. When Cathy arrived home around 5:00 PM, both Rachel and Bill ran to her with open arms. Dinner and Rachel's bath went well and she went to bed without complaint. On Wednesday, Cathy had to go to work in the morning again. This was a different day with clearing sky and moderate temperature, so Bill and Rachel dropped off Cathy and then took the stroller for a power walk on Cape May's promenade. Afterward, Bill and Rachel headed back home for an hour and a half of play before lunch. Bill changed his second soiled diaper and found the job to be easy. After lunch and Rachel's nap, they both went in to pick up Cathy. We all went to the Lobster House for an al fresco meal, watching boats, birds, and leftover tourists. Rachel enjoyed offering her Goldfish hors d'oeuvres to the other outdoor patrons. We saw a nice sunset before Rachel's appointed bedtime. On Thursday, Cathy stayed home with Bill and Rachel and we all (well, two of us) worked on getting ready for heading south on Friday to handoff Rachel to her paternal grandparents and to ultimately arrive in Atlanta to help son Bill and Stacey with the upcoming birth of their baby. We had quite a lot of details to manage, but we were able to open a good period in the afternoon to bring Rachel down to our beach at low tide. She had a ball again. Bill started packing his clothing about 10:00 PM and was done in half an hour. On Friday, we managed to leave at 7:30 AM. We only stopped a couple of times. Cathy did a great job keeping Rachel occupied with various play items. We stopped for lunch near Martinsburg, WV. Cathy and Bill had Subway sandwiches; Rachel had a slice of pizza. We met Lewis and Kathy Leitch in the Burger King parking lot near Lexington, VA for the handoff. Rachel stayed in form by happily going to Kathy and trying to ignore Lewis. We transferred most of our cargo, which was Rachel's and helped install the car seat in the Leitchs' car. After a low key goodbye to Rachel, we continued down the road to Hillville, VA off of I77. We checked-in to a Hampton Inn and drove to the Rio Grande Restaurante nearby where we enjoyed fabulous Mexican food, including Fried Ice Cream and Banana Chimichanga for dessert. We missed Rachel a bit as we headed for bed and felt lucky to have spent some real quality time with her.

        Bill and Cathy