Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gap year guest

Sunday Mike's cousin's son Ali arrived in Portland for a visit. Some of you might remember when I posted last fall about his cousin's daughter, who tragically died in a car accident at age 20. Ali is Jenna's brother.

In his "gap year" before he goes to university, he's been traveling around the world: Fiji, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and this week Portland. Mike and I agree that age 18, we wouldn't have felt confident enough to travel around the world, much less completely solo!

It's been fun having Ali stay with us--we have rarely had young male houseguests. The boys have loved hanging out with him. He watched Nicholas on Wednesday morning while Mike went to his writers' group, and Chris enjoyed playing video games and Rock Band with him. He even went to the middle school music concert on Tuesday night--a penance only parents should have to make! (Kidding--I actually enjoy MOST of the concerts. But I imagine most others don't...)

I've also enjoyed hearing another male English accent around the house. You know...that's why I fell for my husband! (Well, not entirely, but it certainly didn't hurt! Neither did the quoting of Jane Austen and Robert Burns.)

Today we said goodbye to Ali as he took Amtrak up to stay with my sister and her family for a few days. He plans to venture into British Columbia and perhaps even get a work visa to stay there for awhile and work. Before he left, we had lunch at the Spaghetti Factory with a beautiful view of the water:

Nicholas adored him--just before I took this photo he was gazing up at him with admiration:

We are all hoping he comes back to visit again--he's a delightful young man, and I hope all three of ours turn out that well!


  1. What a wonderful experience to have!

    I'm curious - is the "gap" year the norm in the UK?

  2. I think a lot of people take a gap year, but not everyone.

    Sounds like fun, eh?