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September 27, 2003

The Whole Doggone Tour Group


We are sad to say goodbye to our new American and Colombian friends, but hope to keep in touch with everyone in the coming months and are happy to have been able to get a picture of the whole doggone tour group that we hung around with all week.

Pictured in the back row, from left to right: Kevin, Julianne, Camille, Beatriz, Patti, Isabel (in the Baby Bjorn), Kristin, Don, Kelly and Rob. In the front row: Annabelle, Kiana, Clara, and Maria Theresa. Not pictured was George, who had to fly home by the time of this picture.

(Click on the picture to get a full-size version).

More pictures and stories from this past week coming soon.

September 25, 2003

Hola from Bogota!


Hi again everyone,

We have had 2 wonderful days in Bogota! We have had a small driving tour of the city. We saw the historical distict and one or two other areas. It's hard to tour a city of 8 million people in a couple hours. We visited the Gold Museum, had authentic Colombian food, visited CRAN today for a very moving/emotional presentation and have been shopping. Mostly we have spent time with a lot of wonderful, caring and giving people. Our hosts have been very gracious and the people at CRAN very proffessional, caring folks. There are also two couples we've met and been hanging out with that are adopting parents like us. One couple is still on the waiting list as we are and the other couple are here with their daughter waiting to finalize her adoption. We've also spent time with a woman who was the first adopted child from CRAN to the US and her father.
annabelle and george - candalaria.jpg

They are great people as well and it is wonder to here her reinforce all the things we have read about raising adoptive children. Today we also met and had lunch with another mother and her daughter from the US who was adopted 7 or 8 years ago. All the stories are facinating and we learn more from each one we hear!

I think we have learned a lot, been welcome with open arms from the folks associated with CRAN and are having a great time. We have been very fortunate to be able to visit Bogota and CRAN before coming for the adoption.

We hope you are all well, and will talk to you when we get home.


Camille manages our adoption process from her office in New Jersey, and works with us and Irene, our social worker. We haven't been talented enough to get pictures taken of us together with Irene, who is down the street from us, but we flew to Bogota for a photo-op with Camille.

Irene, if you're out there, we'll correct this oversight when we get home.

September 19, 2003

No More Basketball

Gund Arena announced today that they were shutting down the WNBA Cleveland Rockers. That was very sad -- we were season ticket holders all 7 summers. Unfortunately, we can't quite come up with the $$ to buy the franchise and continue to operate it locally. I guess the spending priorities of the Cavs/Gund Arena company are clear, because LeBron James will be personally making more money than it costs to operate the entire Rockers team.

On the upside, they owe us some money back, which we will *not* be applying to a Cavs subscription...

No, we're not bitter or sad or anything...

September 15, 2003

Clam Chowder and Coasters

If you haven't tried Dad's Bodacious Clam Chowder recipe, I highly recommend it.

Today it was such a nice day that I went out to Cedar Point this afternoon, and due to the low turnout, I was able to ride in the front seat of Raptor, Millenium Force, Wicked Twister, Gemini and Mean Streak, which is something I've never done.

At around 6pm the pouring down rain started. Luckily though, most rides still operate in the rain, as long as there is no lightning. Dragster doesn't operate in the rain, and neither does the Wildcat, which is the 'wild mouse' coaster. That one gets stuck if the track is wet and they have to walk up there and give it a push.

I rode a couple of circuits on the Magnum with Robert Ward, who as was reported in by the Associated Press, by mid-July, had already logged 1,194 rides on the Magnum just this season alone. Today was his 64th visit to Cedar Point of the season, and I rode with him on his 1,945th and 1,946th circuits before I took off. I guess it's good to know you can easily find a riding partner if you're in the neighborhood of the Magnum. He's shooting for 2,500 circuits on the Magnum by the end of the season. I believe there are either 18 or 21 more operating days left, so he'll probably have to do at least 25-30 circuits per visit. Contrast that with my paltry record of only 3 Magnum circuits for this season.

September 14, 2003

Bodacious Clam Chowder

It has been suggested that I forward my bodacious clam chowder recipe,
developed over a period of five years. If you don't like clam chowder,
or don't like recipes large enough for the Russian army, or are
completely uninterested and don't like to cook....delete immediately.
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon....cubed
1 LARGE container clam juice
3 cans Snow's chopped clams (or equivalent)
1 double chicken breast, cubed
10-12 large shrimp...cut in half inch portions
1 summer squash, quartered and cut in 1/2 portions
1 zucchini squash, quartered and cut in 1/2 inch portions
5 medium red potatoes, cubed
5 pieces of garlic, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 package fresh or frozen spinach, chopped
salt/pepper/emeril's essense or equivalent
24/32 oz of CLAMATO (V-8 if unavailable)
Saute bacon cubes until brown and remove.
Drain unneeded bacon fat
Saute garlic and onion and chicken and shrimp in bacon fat
Place all ingredients together in large saucepan on top of stove and
bring to rolling boil and then simmer for two or three hours.
GOOD STUFF, but enough for many, or repeated meals, or freeze some for
later slurping. I have been working on this recipe for quite some years
and am finally satisfied.....but forgot to tell you to also include two
or three fresh ears of corn, removed from cobs. All family members who
have tried it have recommended that I forward the instructions.
Consider that done. If you try it, I would appreciate hearing how it
came out.