17 Aug 1983
Wed. Afternoon

Dear Mom & Dad,

I can't remember what I wrote in my last letter which I think I wrote the day after Angelique's birthday. So some of this may be a repeat.

We got your package on Aug 4. Please don't be discouraged about it getting here late. You just can't beat this mail system. The next package you send may get here in less than a week (unlikely) and then the next one might take as long as 4-6 weeks. You just can't second guess them. I think the average is about 3 weeks. Thank you for all the presents. Angelique loves the puzzle and coloring book. The slip is a little long yet, but should fit her soon. Steven has been kazooing and tweeting (bird) up a storm lately. I have doubts about being able to keep a white shirt white over here, but it still looks nice so far. Maybe it won't stain as bad as some of our others have. Italian spaghetti sauce rarely comes out totally. Of course the Kisses were a big hit.

We'll either save all the party horns until next year's birthday or use them, part of them, at Steven's party. If Steven gets a party, it will be on a much smaller scale.

The shoes came shortly after that. The red pair and blue pair were exactly what we needed. Thank you! Everyone has been asking where they can get some for their kids. Were they on a clearance sale? One of the cute vinyl sandals you sent Angelique rubs her foot some, but the other is fine. The size 5 pair of thongs were too little for Steven. I gave them to a little girl at church a few months younger than Steven. Her mother was delighted to get them. I also gave them an old pair of Steven's tennis shoes that he just wore for about a month before he outgrew them.

The opera in Rome was very nice. I enjoyed the bus ride up there. It was very pretty with little villages perched on mountain tops and nestled between mountains in the valleys. We drove around the old Roman Forum and Palatine Hill after we got to Rome. I wanted to get out and look around. I think I must have been the only in our group who had never been to Rome before. No one else seemed quite as excited as I felt. The Colosseum looks just like it does on TV movies except you can't drive completely around it any more.

The opera was in the ancient ruins of the Baths of Caracalla (about 2 blocks from the Colosseum) with the stage down in the middle of the ruins. The seats were up on scaffolding facing them. It was all quite impressive.

Yesterday was our anniversary. Michael & I went out to eat at a restaurant that sits right on a lake that opens out onto the sea. They had good food. The cannelloni was the best I've ever had. The veal was just so-so. They specialize in seafood. I suppose we should have tried that. Michael got me a nice Italian cookbook for our anniversary. I got Michael a voltage meter and a VCR tape - "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan."

Oh, yeah, Michael came home with a Video Cassette Recorder the other day. The kids are watching Sesame Street now since some good friends of ours had several tapes of Sesame Street that they are letting us borrow. I sent Diane some money and asked her if she could tape us some more. Steven just sits glued to the TV when Sesame Street is on.

We still don't have our screens up, yet. The guy who said he'll make them sets a time and date and then doesn't show up. I don't know what his problem is. I'm ready to look for someone else.

Shortly I'll be sending you a tape and pictures. The pictures will be of our house and Angelique's birthday party. The tape will be the kids on one side and me explaining the pictures on the other side. I may have to mail them separately to get them there in good shape. The kids have done about half of their side. We should be able to get it finished soon and then I'll send it on. So be watching for it in the mail soon. Don't be surprised if the tape gets there before the pictures or vice versa. Who knows, they may even beat this letter there--or be a month behind it.

Thur. Morn.

Can't think of much else going on right now. I'm about to take Angelique to Camp Volcano in Carney Park (NATO owned). She goes from 10:00 AM till 2:00 PM. They play on the playground and swim in the kiddie pool, eat lunch, have stories and handicrafts. This is her 2nd day. She goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and can't wait to get there. Steven thinks he ought to get to go, too. But they have to be 2 1/2 and be potty trained. There are only 5 more days of camp before school starts. School starts the first week in September. She'll go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30-12:00 to Paddington's School which is only about 1 1/2 miles from our house.

Gotta run to camp.

Get your passports! Freda has already applied for theirs!



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