In spite of all obstacles in our path, we made it to the family get together in the Port Perry area on Saturday evening (long, aggravating story on the piss-poor customer service at local Hertz dealership).

It was important to me because, with my job, I doubt there will be many free weekends during which I can flee to the country again (and the area reminds me of home, with farmhouses and big open fields) until I build up some seniority. That, and I’ve only met some of Mike’s siblings once before. There were three birthdays being celebrated: two of the nieces, now 4 and 6, and Mike’s brother Andrew WHO was a saint to pick us up in spite of being later arriving at his own party.

Four lively, expressive, vibrant girls between the ages of 4 and 11 . . . so far, I seem to be “fun” and “cool” and the girls will ask me to sit next to them at the table and will give me big hugs from behind. I am also the master gift giver so far — luckily, I’ve got lots of experience with little girls and I’ve been making eerily good guesses at birthday presents these days! I think it helps that I’m still, more or less, a big kid. Prob. always will be. And I will help them tickle or tease their Uncle Pickle.

I also love the brother-in-law who doused my coffee with really fine Irish Cream! Mmmmm.

And, after interacting with the two cats at this house over the weekend, I am biting at the bit to get one soon for ourselves. I got an opinion Saturday night that male cats are more friendly/easygoing (once neutered) than females . . . does anyone with cat experience have an opinion or a recommended preference?