Sunday, October 12, 2014

Camping

What better way can a grandpa spend a weekend?
...than camping with his son-in-law and grandson?


Watching a couple of ace fishermen...


Taking a walk together...


Watching this ace pitcher throw rocks into a stream...endlessly.


I had a blast (I think the others did as well). Anyone else want to rent a slightly used grandpa?


I'm available!


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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lo-cation Weekend

What did you do this weekend?

When we decided to stay at home rather than travel away for a getaway in October we looked around for what we hadn't done locally. And what a collection of this and that we came up with.

(before you read on you ought to know that when you live in the southwest things are very different then they are in the northeast).

SanTan Brewing Company - a local brewery and eatery that we have wanted to check out for some time. The food was really decent and different. And it was right across the street from where we headed next. We had some fun sitting on the patio now that its a little cooler here and enjoyed the people watching too.

Mariachi music and dancing - You heard that right. Chandler the next town over from us had a small festival in the town center where many locals performed Mexican cultural activities and some crafts as well. It was small time but interesting to do...











Casa Grande Ruins National Monument - 45 minutes away and what a facinating relic to an ancient civilization. It's hard to describe this place - you really need to see it. Discovered in 1600's by a Spanish priest, its what's left from a community that some think are the predecessors to various native american tribes dating back to the 1300's. We even broke out our National Passport book and got a stamp in it. The town of Casa Grande got its name from the big house you see covered by that roof structure.














Left Behind - ok you can make your own judgements on this one, but we went to see it because it opened this weekend, has Nicholas Cage in it, and we wanted to know if it stuck close to the original movie and the book series. No comment except that you might want to rent it in DVD.







Mod Pizza - A new place near us - makes pizza Subway style where you pick your own toppings and it cooks is 4 minutes. Would have been really great except that some jokester decided to loosen the top to the grated cheese at our table :(. The place was good enough to cook me another one. Its not Italian pizza but definitely worth checking out for the fun of it. (check the shaker tops first).



Home for some R&R today. taking it easy catching up with the kids is the order of the day. In the end it was the nicest stay- (i mean loc) cation we've ever had.



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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Southeast fun

I believe the fam all saw these pics, but I don't believe anyone knows quite how much fun our weekend away was. We traveled with Paul and Lynn for the first time (since Keswick camping that is...) and I hope it won't be the last. We just had a blast sharing jokes, talking about life and kids, and learning trivia of which Paul is the *King*.




First we visited Dad and Trish in Atlanta, and had a really nice visit. They are doing well and took us to a cool WWII Air Force base themed restaurant called 57th Restaurant. It was located adjacent to a regional airport and we could see planes taking off and landing...even saw a blimp land. If you look to the right on this pic you will see an airplane wing...there was aon old army jeep right behind me too.


We had breakfast in the am at their house and spent 2 hours recapping everything from Italy where relatives live to the old town in Plainfield. Lots of fun.

Part 2 of the trip was to tour Nashville. This won't be news to all you country music fans (all two of you that is) but Nashville is a HUGE center for music. Lots of things to do around that, including live music venues for dinner and clubbing, as well as the big concert scene. e.g. Ed Scheeran was in town, but being out of it I had never heard of him.

We went to the Grand Ole' Opry because, well because going to Music City just wouldn't be complete without it. The show turned out to be the regular weekly radio program (commercials included). While some of the entertainment was lively, lets just say we now know why they call it "Ole'. Some of the artists were virtually brought back from the dead. Maybe it was the show we picked. Check the lineup before you buy tickets. I didnt take this picture and I have no idea who this is...but we did see Roy Clark, Crystal Gayle. and few young artist, too.



We also went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. This one really is a must see. So many fabulous exhibits...including movies, old cars, recording studios, and everyone's in there as they took a very inclusive approach (did you know Elvis sang country music?...no, I didn't either.)







And what visit to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Parthenon? Yes, you heard that right. A replica of the one in Greece (Bob and Lynn eat your hearts out).




No idea why this one is here, they said they built it as a part of their Centennial celebration a hundred years ago. Oh well, you just have to wonder.



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

DiD U KNow?

Life has been moving pretty fast these days, and we've done so many different things - really enjoying it too. So I though it might be good to share a bunch of things in a list-style form my girls have made famous. I'm going back a week or so - did you know:

- we sold our van - the check cleared so it's official. The buyer has a trust fund which was controlled by the AZ court system so I dealt with a lawyer as a middle man. All went well - whew, relief, and some sadness. Its been a reliable vehicle and faithfully transported Joe to many Drs appointments and fun trips too, but it is no longer needed (btw he is getting around quite well without it now, thank you.)






- We went to an AZ Diamondback's game...and they won! the Chase field has a roof on top that opens, but they kept it closed because the weather was way too hot! They even have a "roof report" where they announce the temp inside and out. Following the game they had a free Third Day concert which was just awesome!





- We've been hanging out with Ken and Terry, our new neighbors and Jamie's in-laws. This week we went to the movies, went to church, shopped at a cool rug store in Scottsdale, had pretzel bun burgers at home...and that's just for starters. No pictures, just lots of fun.

- Speaking of church, our church is in the middle of a series on how God Speaks today. They've titled it "The Voice" and each week they have had finalists from the singing contest show of the same name. This week we had Bif Gore, one of the contestants singing and leading the worship. Very cool.



- Our front yard has some additions...we added some river rock to improve drainage during monsoons and added pavers where the side gate is so we can keep our garbage cans outside behind the gate. This gives even more room in the garage to get in and out of the cars, and it doesn't stink anymore in there. Oh, and the best front addition is a cool metal plant sculpture. It may look weird if you just look at it alone, but it really looks great in place and completes the picture out front.


- the garage workbench project is complete (yeah). And the office is also 99% done - all I need is a valance / cornice which I think I am going to make and cover with a piece of fabric. TBD.



- we got a new bed - its a temperpedic, and a new bed frame, which is wonderful, except for a small problem with the footboard. The threads inside the metal post are stripped and the company had to replace the entire footboard...they came out to install the new one and that one was stripped also, but this time on the other side. oh well. they are going to try again. NC to us, so its kinda humorous. (the rest of the room is undergoing a makeover as well - more to follow in time).


- FB doesnt stand for facebook anymore, it stands for fitness blender@ 0 J and D have totally converted me to the new style of workout and it is awesome. Im hooked, even if i spend 10 mins when the workout is complete recovering. This picture is from the ABS challenge a few months ago; just imagine me laying flat on this same mat dead.



- thats about it for now, and Summer isn't even over yet!




Sunday, August 17, 2014

Show Low?

We took a trip to Show Low, AZ this weekend.

Yes, that's right, Show Low. Strange name right? We thought is was too. But its a real town up north about 3 hours. Its at about 6,000 feet elevation so it was great for getting out of the heat. Some of the people we know own cabins up here. Can you guess from this picture where it got it's name?




We went to a history museum to find out. And we found out lots of things besides. Like that the town was founded by Mormons (no big surprise out here). And that they did a fabulous job documenting everything, I mean everything. They even had a cool working miniature train exhibit. And Andy would have liked this one...



An entire display on old surveying equipment! We also had to ask about this very strange phenomena that we noticed right away at just about every street corner. Couldn't explain it but we had our guesses...



You probably guessed - this is a camera for catching people who ran the traffic lights (like I said they had lots of them). But why were they all covered up?

The curator confirmed our suspition...the police installed them but the town's people had such an outcry because they hated them. so they covered them all till they could figure out what to do. Oh well. Out for Mexican food in the evening (btw we have eaten more Mexican food in the last 4 years than we did our entire lives!)

We spent the night and then went to this wonderful recreation area called Fool's Hollow Lake (another funny name).









Really nice and had a great walking path that surrounded the lake. Even with the temperature being cooler (80's) the sun was still strong. So we packed up and headed home via Payson.

So did you guess? The name Show Low came from a card game - apparently some epic game to settle a dispute between two men over who would own the ranch they lived on. The game, seven-up, was to be used and went late into the night...until finally one of them supposedly said - whoever can "show low" will win. The deuce of clubs (also the name of the main street in town) has become the symbol in the town logo.

So they say this is the Wild West, then this must be how the West was won!


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Guess who had a birthday?

You'll never guess...well maybe you will when you see the pictures.










It was a festive occasion. We celebrated while we were in San Diego with our Small Group. They went out and bought the cake as a surprise, but they did check in with me to see what kind.

Can you guess what I said?
Yep, a perfect 10.
Both the birthday girl and the cake, that is!


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Monday, June 23, 2014

What? A real vacation?

We had a wonderful opportunity to get away on vacation this past week - to cruise to a place as enchanted as it was relaxing...Bermuda!



What can be said that would describe this week - perfect weather, beautiful beaches, terrific food, and no cell service!
















Vickie and I had the time of our lives; a virtual second honeymoon. It took a while for us to get acclimated but by day three we both relaxed and started to get in the groove. We sat down with the upcoming day's options in front of us every evening and found out how much we wanted to do or not. It was a piece of cake really, since we both enjoyed the dinner service in the restaurant so much we made that our top priority. The entertainment was also high on the list each day.

After three days at sea we arrived and started our excursions ashore. These we figured out on our own, and chose a different beach each day to visit. Each was different from the one before...we found everything from seclude snorkeling beaches, to popular wave filled locations. Each one was wonderful in its own right. The transportation was good on two of the days - but one day the ferries to Hamilton went on strike which made things a little crazy - we figured out alternatives and made it work just fine.














There were plenty of places to enjoy on the ship as well. we had an inside cabin so we didn't hang out there, but found the lounge chairs on the more secluded decks and the lounges with live entertainment the most relaxing. Vickie had the misfortune of getting a cold-type bug on the last day, so she spent most of that day resting, but by evening we were in the restaurant again eating and went to the show that night as well.









And now I sit on the plane writing this, anticipating 107 degree weather back home, and our next trip somewhere relaxing. But then again, people come to where we live to relax most of the year. So, no complaint today; only a grateful heart for what we were able to enjoy after 33 years...btw - anyone every heard of a 3rd honeymoon?




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