Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

After a great week with Kristi, Karl, Kylie, Elle and Cordie we began our Memorial Day Weekend with a picnic Friday evening. As we drove away from their house, Karl said why are we driving 20 minutes to have a picnic when we can do the same thing in our backyard. We all laughed because it is true they live in the woods but we went because we were also going to hike down to a river where Cordie and Elle had a blast in the water. The picture thru the windows is Kristi's view from everywhere in her kitchen and the picture of Kylie and Tracker was also taken in their backyard.

It was a nice start to our weekend as Saturday was our all day drive to Falls Church VA where we spent the night and went to Church before proceeding to Williamsburg VA. Along the way we did Eileen's favorite pastime - walking cemeteries. We did that in Etna NH too but this time it was Westfield NJ.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cordie's Birthday and Baptism

Today was Cordie's big day. We began with Dutch Babies for breakfast along with gifts for the day. Then it was off to the baptism at 10:30. It was a very nice service with a cute video of Cordie and Jesus Christ. Of course Kristi provided fantastic refreshments which I enjoyed too much. We enjoyed our visit with their friends who came to the baptism. Karl's brother and mother were here for the baptism too. After the baptism, we all went to lunch (which I didn't need). When we returned home Karl and Justin started cutting down one of the many dead trees on their property. A problem developed when the tree started falling the wrong way. Karl was very concerned it would fall towards the house and do a lot of damage (I was not concerned as it looked like it was going to settle in between the other trees it was leaning towards). While Kristi, Justin and Phyllis went to buy a come-a-long, rope and ladder in hopes of pulling the tree away from the house the tree just kept settling further into the trees. After about 5 hours the tree was finally safe on the ground and Karl cut it into smaller pieces.

After all the tree excitement Cordie wanted a fire to make Somemores. So a fire was built in their fire pit and we roasted hot dogs and Somemores. For Cordie it was a special day from start to finish.

Friday, May 21, 2010

We Arrived In Time

We left Niagara Falls this morning for New Hampshire. Rather than take the boring Turnpike we got off at a shortcut through the back roads Kristi said would take the same time - so why not take the more scenic route? We borrowed Paige's GPS and took what looked like the same route Kristi told us. Well the GPS had slightly different ideas. At one point it took us up a hill that at the bottom had a sign - do not enter except for local traffic. As we continued up, there were two more do not enter signs. I was a little worried but at that point I had no maps and no idea where else to go. As we got closer to Kristi's I recognized a route Kristi had taken us on but the GPS took us off that road and we wandered through some very beautiful and interesting areas. We made it in time to go to the piano recital for Kristi, Elle and Cordie which was fun to see. When Kylie decided she didn't want to take lessons anymore Kristi decided to take them and she is doing quite well.

The night shots are from our room last night. The long narrow one is to show the Horseshoe Falls but my camera really didn't do it justice. This morning the temperature change was such that the entire river was nothing but clouds floating up and out of the canyon - couldn't even see the falls. We sure had a great day and evening the day before though.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Headed East

We are on our way to New Hampshire for Cordie's baptism. We left Austin Wednesday morning after first stopping to see Zeke at his track meet. The timing was not good for us so we were not able to watch him in any of his events. We made it to Lansing MI about 9 PM and decided to stay there for the night after a rather late dinner. We then headed to Niagara Falls at Randy's suggestion. We are glad he suggested it as we are staying in a hotel above Horseshoe Falls with a beautiful view of the falls and the city. We arrived early enough to take the Maid of the Mist boat ride that takes you along side the American Falls and up to the base of the Horseshoe Falls. It was a fun boat ride. Our only other trip to Niagara Falls was back in 1985 and with all 9 of us, we only took the tour behind the falls.

Next we took a walk through the city which is quite the tourist trap. For dinner we found a Greek restaurant and enjoyed authentic Greek food. Then back to the walk along the river to see the falls in a different light. We made up for our lack of walking for several days.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


For those of you wondering about our Snowbird status, our Realtor just informed us the owner accepted our offer. That however is just the starting point. Because it is a Short Sale it has now gone to the bank to see if they will accept the offer. We are told it will probably take up to 2 months before we know yes or no.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Snowbirds - Well Maybe

When we saw how inexpensive the listings were for condos in Mesa, we decided to see what was available. We started out looking for under $50,000 as we saw a listing for one at $46,000 1/2 mile from the Temple. It. was in a nice development but it must have been rented as it had been thoroughly trashed and it wasn't a short sale or foreclosure. From the time we first saw the listing until two weeks later it dropped to $39,000. If we had time, it might be a good buy, but we don't have the time to find contractors. Eileen wanted a heated pool and after looking at over 45 units we settled on 3 from $36,900 to $55,000. Then I was told all the units had unheated pools, so we decided to go with the $36,900 unit. Just as the offer was being put together, the management company from $55,000 unit called and told us that the HOA was lower than we were originally told and the pool is heated in the winter. So the offer was quickly changed to the $55,000 unit.

The headline also expresses our sentiment that we really don't plan on being true Snowbirds. We just want to get out of the worst of Minnesota winters. When we came home we joked that it would be better to go back to Iceland in the winter than stay in Minnesota but then we will have 3 grandchildren here and none in Iceland.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Having Fun In Arizona

While we enjoyed our time in Utah getting out wasn't much fun. It was snowing just a little but the ground crew did not seem prepared and we sat on the runway for 2 hours waiting to be deiced. I called Heidi to tell her to call Delta before coming to the airport but I decided to call again as we were getting deiced and she said I am so glad you called as I was just leaving as Delta said we were landing in 15 minutes. That would have been quite the miracle.

Martin loves to play with Grandpa and Roxie loves Grandma but she wanted nothing to do with Grandpa. If she wasn't happy about something you just had to say OK you can go to Grandpa and she immediately changed her tune - seems there is nothing so bad as having to go to Grandpa. Well that was until today when she let me hold her and she gave me a kiss.

As always I forget to use my camera even though I have it with me. We have had wonderful meals with Doug's folk - Lamon and LaRae. Lamon is famous for his grilled hamburgers and steaks which we enjoy both of this trip. Tonight was no exception. We had his famous 2" thick steaks fixed just the way I like them - seared on both sides just enough to warm them through - OH how delicious! Makes one wonder why one ever goes out for steak.

Doug and Martin enjoy a game of Soccer
Roxie takes after her Dad
Martin singing in his Dad's mission language