Monday, April 28, 2014


Snow is slow to leave our area but it is finally receding.  This is the last little pile in our yard.  It is in a shaded area beside the old garage.  I think it will disappear soon.  

 My first bulbs are up finally!!  These little crocus are trying to brighten up our corner of the world.
 Our travel documents arrived this past week.  we are excited about our upcoming trip on Viking River Cruses traveling from Bucharest to Budapest.  It is our first experience with this company.  We wanted to try them out so I just picked the most interesting one with the least expensive price with a place to go that sounded interesting.  We would like to eventually take a trip in Russia from St. Petersberg to Moscow but that is much more expensive to take as a 'trial run' with this company and maybe not possible in the future given the state of that area of the world lately.  We may have missed our opportunity to travel to Russia unless something happens with the current leadership.  ANYWAY, this trip sounds interesting and we are going.  I will keep everyone posted on our travels.
 Speaking of traveling, Leo drove out to N.D. this past week to visit Glen and Penny.  He is waiting for the frost to get out of the ground at his house and has wanted to visit them so this looked like a good time.  He waited until there wasn't a forecast of snow in the upper mid-west and took off.  I am glad that he made the trip.
They were all together for Sunday dinner yesterday.  Leo spent a lot of time with this family during his years living in N.D, so they are always happy to see him.  This is the first they have been with him in a few years.

SO, that is all I have for this week.  Enjoy the spring weather if it is coming your way.  Enjoy family and friends and enjoy expanding your horizons with travel if you are able.

Monday, April 21, 2014

OK, OK,One week later, I am posting the final part of our trip.

We arived in Tennessee on Friday afternoon, just in time to join in on the 'Friday Night Sports' activities.  
 H. had a track meet She was doint the long jump, not her favorite event but the coach asked her to do it so she is trying hard.
 Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of someone running and jumping?  Well, I tried several times but this is the best I could do.
 Emily and her kids joined us at the meet.  As you can see, the weather was fantastic and it was a nice evening to be outside.
 A. Looked stylish but I guess the photographer didn't notice her eyes weren't quite open.  Sorry, A.  I will try to capture that beauty another time.
 Waiting is one of the pass times at a track meet.  H. and her team are waiting for their relay race.
 And she is off....
 Looking in fine form...
 And she ran around that track 2 times and saved enough energy to cross the finish line.  Her team isn't the strongest but she gave it her best.
 We left the track meet and grabbed a quick dinner before heading out to a baseball game.  B. did a great job and got on base every time (I think)
 She is pretty serious most of the time while on base.
 However, while in the outfield not so focused.  I had to wait a few moments for her to settle down from a little dance before taking this shot.  It was a great game.
 At home we have a little time to practice the piano.  Both girls are pretty good.

 Saturday we had another beautiful day and we were out the door fairly early, at least early for 7 people that had a great bacon and eggs breakfast served by Matt and having 3 young girls to get 'beautiful' before going out into public.
 They took us to Cheekwood Gardens which were in full bloom with their spring bulbs.  It is hard to beat this beauty, both the family and the flowers.

 The gardens were beautiful, the weather was perfect and we all had a wonderful time.
 Who wouldn't love a family like this?

 I don't know which was more beautiful, the girls or the flowers.  We really enjoyed out time together.
 A pose or two for the eldest.
 The Artist in Residence had built these huts.  They were very interesting.

 Saturday evening we celebrated Diana's birthday with a delicious cheesecake from a local bakery.  It is kind of a tradition to celebrate Diana's birthday when we visit in the spring and I like this new tradition of cheesecake from this bakery.
 OF COURSE, her birthday present from us was a new book, one of my new favorite authors.
 B. and I played a few games with this balancing game that I brought down.  I gave it to them at Christmas but it was missing a piece so I took it down on this trip.  It was a fun game.
 Sunday was the Easter Egg hunt at their church.  B. even shared some of her Jelly Beans with me.
We left that afternoon and headed north.  We needed to be in Kingsley Monday afternoon to attend a funeral of a friend that lost her battle with depression the week before.  She was a wonderful lady that battled this illnes for almost 6 years.  We taught together many years and the one good thing was watching the slide show of all the pictures when she was smiling and having fun with her family.
OF COURSE, we had snow the day after we came home.  It has disappeared by now and the ice is retreating from the bay but we are still a long way from warm weather.  I hope a late spring means a nice and warm summer.

So, there you have it our trip.  I know I probably put in too many pictures but I have a hard time editing my photos.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, our 3,300 mile driving trip visiting family, staying only 3 or so nights at any one spot so they don't get tired of us and covering a lot of countryside.  We always enjoy this spring trip.

Friday, April 18, 2014

North Carolina

I have been a little slow with my posting pictures on the rest of our 3,300 mile journey. Our next stop after visiting Cape Cod was to go to N. Carolina and visit Bud's brother and his family.  
 Joseph is taking drum lessons.  He tries to avoid my camera so I had to sneak up on him to take this picture
 We drove over to visit Olivia at her college.  She is graduating in a couple weeks and has secured a place for herself at Boston College this fall.
 I did manage to get a picture of this part of the family.
 One evening we drove over to visit Barbara, Lisa's mother at her new condo.  She fixed dinner for us and we had a chance to talk with her.
 Olivia's friend took a picture of the whole group.  Everyone looks terrific.
Paul is still playing the piano and singing and playing the violin.  He continues to enjoy his music. 

Bud and Paul went hiking one day.  It is something they like to do when we visit.  I stayed behind and read AND found a nearby quilt store to spend some of my time and money.
Below you see a picture of Paul.  I wanted to show everyone how tall he is now.  He is entering his senior year in high school and thinking about where he wants to attend college.

We had a great time and treasure our chance to spend time with the N. Carolina family.

It was a great trip.  I will post the final part of our trip soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Cape

We left Traverse City on a Thursday. Drove and stopped in North western New York that night.  It was an easy drive except when I fell asleep and Bud got a little off course.  Our GPS didn't want to work in Canada so he had turned it off and we drove south a ways before crossing the border.  It all turned out fine though.  
We arrived at the Cape in the late afternoon, stopped to pick up a few grocery items for dinner and were there in time to let Sofi an Isak get to know us before dinner time.  
It was 'chow time'.  They are so, so, so cute.
 Erik was home from his recent travels and helped with the dinner fixings.
 We felt lucky to meet his friend Lara. She spent quite a bit of time with us so we were able to get to know her a little too.
 Like all kids, the kitchen container draw is always a source of entertainment.
 One evening Erik decided that a fire in the fire pit was needed.  It was a little windy and chilly but it was nice.

 Isak would let me hold him but it took a little longer for Sofi to warm up to us.
 I think this picture is a little out of order .  Maybe computer error on my part but it sure is cute.  Mr. Potato Head is quite fun to play with.

 Sofi is walking very well and Isak is practicing every day.  He takes about 6 steps before falling down but is VERY persistent.  He will 'be off' as soon as he gets that core strength and balance thing down.
Sunday evening Erik fixed dinner for the whole crowd.  It was delicious.
We had a great time with the family.  We were thankful that Erik was around and we were able to spend time with Sara, Leo, Sofi, Isak, Erik and Lara.
We took off Monday morning and are now in N. Carolina  The weather is warm and we are enjoying the family here.