Monday, June 28, 2010

A blustery evening

It started out as a pleasant evening with our good friends, the Turners, enjoying some wine and snacks at a Grafton, IL, winery on the bluffs overlooking the town and the Illinois, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers. The rivers are high from all the rain lately so we had to take a few backroad detours to get around some flooding on the way there, but that just added to the fun. We even enjoyed watching a thunderstorm roll down the river valley and pass in front of us - quite a sight!

We found out that this was a line of large thunderstorms with strong winds and a lot of rain and lightning when it quickly came over the hill and descended onto our little perch! First the rain and wind chased us off the large deck and into the first room (still part of the porch). When the wrought-iron furniture started to move - quickly - across the outside deck and the rain started to hammer against our windows, we moved further inside. And there we sat for the next 2 hours waiting for the storm to pass while shuddering with each lightning flash and watching each other’s expressions with every 60+ mph wind gust.

When it was finally safe enough to run for the car we tried to follow the detour road back out only to find it was now a river flowing down the bluff! A U-turn and a different route got us back on the main river road but trapped between two flooded areas. No worries - the Wild Goose bar and grill was right there and open so we opted for a late dinner in a room that was literally right above the swollen Mississippi. The local patrons gave us directions for a route out of town on some very narrow roads that seemed to go almost straight up the bluffs. Surprisingly, the roads and turns were quite well marked, and eventually we found our way to another highway that led us home. All in all, quite a long and adventuresome night! Glad we could share it with good friends.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Still travelin'

From MIchigan to Florida, we’re staying on the road for a little longer. Kitty flew to Tampa on our anniversary, and Greg caught up with her a week later. Spending time with Ruth, Joseph, and Rebecca is so much fun playing games, keeping cool with the water hose and buckets, going to the park, and just hangin’ out together at the house.

After the kids go to bed it’s time to play Settlers of Catan with Kristy and Cameron. We’ve become addicted to this game to the point where we even carry it around on our iPhones and iPod Touch devices so we can work on strategies whenever we have a little free time.

It’s also World Cup time so we’re enjoying a few of the futbol matches with some of our friends from their church who are very passionate fans to say the least! Greg, Cameron, and the kids had some fun playing around with their own soccer match in the park - until Greg managed to mangle his glasses and almost break his nose trying to do a header (what was he thinking?!?).

Monday, June 07, 2010

Michigan Road Trip

9 days, 1535 miles, 5 stops across Michigan to visit with family. And all in the little orange G6 coupe.

First stop - well, that was a night in Indy on our way - but the first stop with family was a few days with Kitty’s parents, where we got to hear the latest family news and just spend some time hanging out together. From there we were able to get together with Kitty’s sister Carol and with Paul and Bradley at church and at one of Brad’s baseball games. His team won, of course, and we got to see him pitch. We also spent an afternoon and well into the night visiting with Greg’s sister Beth and Dennis, Bryan, and Kevin. So much to talk about with everyone! So much to laugh about. And some new family stories that will - well - just stay in the family.

Next (is that the fourth stop?) it was on to Greg’s parents for a few days relaxing along the lake, playing board games, and helping out a little around the house. Okay, so Greg wasn’t in shape to swing that axe, but the tree stump got the worst of it! Along the way we got to share photos of the grandkids and our travels with everyone and to see pics and hear stories of the family get-togethers that we missed this past winter.

Finally, but certainly not least, was a stop in Grand Rapids to visit with Greg’s brother Mike and Mandy, Sonja, and Charlotte - who we finally got to meet after many months of trying. The girls were adorable and we stayed up way too late talking, laughing, and just catching up.

By the time we got home it was obvious that we hadn’t been with this part of our family in much too long. Can’t wait for Christmas when we can see them - and more of the family - again.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Switch to MacJournal

So Greg decided to try MacJournal to create and manage the blog entries offline. And hopefully get more creative with the photos and formatting. Oh yeah, and to download and backup all the previous entries. Something tells me it won’t be quite as easy as the box says it should be.

Wow! Then again maybe it is!! Five minutes after creating a new journal and connecting to this blog all of our previous entries were safely downloaded and backed up ... including all the photos.

Some of the formatting got lost along the way, but that’s not too bad. This could prove to be a wonderful way to capture moments and thoughts wherever we are and keep the blog more up to date. (We’ll have to see if we can resurrect our old website with this as well.)