It’s our last day in Phoenix this time around. Today Joel will get to play music with Terry and friends coming over to practice. Tomorrow we’ll drive to Sonja’s in Albuquerque and stay two nights with her. Stir fry dinner tomorrow! Then it’s an overnight stop in Colorado Springs with Chris and John and another overnight stop in Nebraska before we land for two days in South Dakota. Then Rice Lake, here we come!
I just thought everyone might enjoy seeing Joel playing at the children’s playground… :)
We had a wonderful visit in San Diego this past week. We got to catch up with family and Fiona met lots of her aunts, uncle, cousins and second cousins. The van is repaired and runs great!
We drove yesterday from San Diego to Phoenix to stay a few days with our friends here in Arizona. We all enjoyed the pool yesterday and plan to do so again later today to cool off from the 100 degree plus temperatures.
The plan is to drive from here to Albuquerque in a few days for a short stop, then through Colorado and Nebraska to land at our friend’s doorstep in South Dakota for a few days. There are three little girls there waiting to play with Fiona. Then to Wisconsin for a visit with Joel’s mom and finally ending up in Minnesota for our three week house sitting gig.
The sisters have been reunited! Fiona and Rachelle are together once again after being separated five months. Fiona hasn’t seen her big sister since Rachelle’s wedding in March. She’s very happy to have a few days to spend with her! You can see Fiona’s video about it here.
I’m very happy too that I get to see my two older children as well. We all had a nice dinner and visit on Saturday when we got to Rachelle and her husband’s home. You can see more photos of Rachelle, Fiona and Ryan on our Flickr account.
So Fiona gets to stay with her big sister through Wednesday. Then we’re off to San Diego on Friday where she’ll get to visit with her Uncle Brett and see her Grandma Susan.
The trip from Colorado to get out to California was a lot of fun. We stayed one night with a wonderful Couch Surfing family in Utah and another night with a Couch Surfing couple in Nevada. The trip through Utah was uneventful until we reached the Salt Flats. That was fun! Fiona had a blast running around out there.
We had a leisurely drive from Reno to Sacramento and along the way Fiona got to wade in Lake Tahoe. She bravely climbed rocks to get to where daddy was.
We’ve enjoyed house sitting again for Rita in Colorado. They are coming back one day early so we’re leaving a day early. That’s okay. Nomads must be flexible! We’re so flexible that a week or so ago we changed our plans entirely and decided to head back to California for a short visit.
Fiona hasn’t seen her big sister Rachelle since she got married in March. And since we need to be in Wisconsin the first part of September for a short visit and to pick up school stuff for Fiona, then have a three-week house sitting gig in Minnesota and have just made arrangements to spend several months this winter in New Jersey, we thought we’d better go see some family in California before it’s a year since we saw any of them.
So tomorrow we leave Colorado, stay one night in the Salt Lake City, Utah area (we still need a place to stay there for one night by the way), another night in Reno Nevada with Couch Surfers, and we’ll be in Roseville California Saturday. Fiona gets to spend several days with Rachelle. After a few days there, we’ll head down to San Diego to visit with Joel’s brother and family.
Yesterday we spent all afternoon doing a bunch of things. Our friend Dorothy had given us complimentary tickets to go to Golden Colorado and see the Golden History Museum, Astor House and Clear Creek Park. The drive out there was beautiful. We had to stop and get some pictures of the beautiful green valley. There was a light mist that was refreshing after all the heat we’ve had.
The Golden History Museum has a room full of old musical instruments – yes, that’s where you’ll find Joel! There was a folding organ and a melodeon and Joel can tell you more about all of that.
Of course on the way back we had to try Ripple Yogurt, recommended by Rita. We had several flavors and toppings. And let’s not forget, since it was on the way back, that we just had to go back to Celestial Seasonings again. Though we didn’t do the tour again (we’ve done it twice before and it was too late this day) we did try various teas and bought some cold brew, Victorian Earl Grey, Devonshire English Breakfast, Sugar Plum Spice and Honey Vanilla Chamomile.
Fiona loves butterflies. She doesn’t necessarily want them flying around her though. We enjoyed our visit to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster Colorado this past weekend. Thanks to our friend Dorothy, a school teacher in the Denver area, we had complimentary tickets.
When you first enter the pavilion there’s a section about bugs. There are scorpions and even a tarantula you can pet. My mom would have loved that! Fiona was not at all interested. She did enter that section but then was almost too afraid to leave. We didn’t spend much time in that room.
Off to the aquatic section. No, still not brave enough to pet the starfish. Neat to look at though. Oh, the gift shop. We’ll go there at the end. The butterflies were beautiful. Though why they have to fly around and startle Fiona, she’ll never understand. The turtle started charging for us. But we managed to get away.
The most fun for Fiona was the section where the kids could take off their shoes and play, learn as they walked through a ‘maze’ and then pretend to ‘fly’ like a butterfly by hanging on to a zip line, raising your feet and pushing off. Yes, Fiona did that! Amazing!
Today ended the six-week house sitting job here in Albuquerque. The homeowner has returned to a clean home and we made a nice dinner for her and her children. Since Sonja’s someone we’ve known for a while now, we’re enjoying an additional day or so with her and then we’re heading to Colorado on Saturday for a repeat house sitting job.
Rita in Colorado had us house sit for her a while back. We must have done a good job taking care of things and the two cats because she’s asked us back for two weeks. Another Rita in New Jersey may have us house sit for a few months this winter.
The six weeks here have been very productive. We’ve gotten lots of work creating websites, Joel’s published two new books (both also available as Kindle version) and re-released another book under a different title. (Check out all Joel’s books on Amazon)
Our two weeks in Colorado will allow us to visit Celestial Seasonings again and get some more tea. Fiona is wants some blueberry tea. We’ll also get to reconnect with Mrs. Parker, the Kindergarten teacher we got to visit twice this past year. And of course I’ll push Joel to continue working on the sequel to his Irish mystery novel.
We had a leisurely drive from Sutherland Nebraska to Longmont Colorado today. Joel and I finished reading and discussing Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work and started his book The War of Art. It inspired lots of great conversation and we learned more about ourselves and each other.
We arrived in Boulder to be able to take the tour again at Celestial Seasonings and see the factory in action as well as enjoy some tea. We then visited the Leanin’ Tree Museum again where we enjoyed some beautiful art. After that we bought ourselves some food to make a great chicken salad and ate dinner by Lake McIntosh.
And best of all I read my older daughter’s beautiful blog post about my being her mom. It’s very rewarding to know that I made such an impact on my daughter’s life.
We’re working here at The Rice Lake Public Library while Fiona plays and reads. This morning I took a photo from grandma’s window showing the lump of snow still not completely melted and the lake in the background. It snowed this morning again. Not much. But it’s supposed to be spring!
I forgot to post when we left Colorado that Rita and Carl gave us some Tiramisu they brought from Prague. It was delicious! The rest stop just before we entered Nebraska was cool.
Hopefully the weather will warm up enough in May to walk along the lake and not feel like we’re freezing here in Rice Lake.
Last Saturday we took a tour of Celestial Seasonings in Boulder Colorado. The tour is free. The factory wasn’t in production on the weekend and we’d love to go back and take the tour again when it is. We enjoyed the tea sampling before the tour. You can sample any of their 75 varieties. Joel’s favorite is Roastaroma. I especially enjoyed the Sleepytime Vanilla. And Fiona’s new favorite? Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. These aren’t varieties we usually find in stores. So we bought a couple boxes each at their discounted price in the gift shop.
We also visited the Leanin’ Tree Museum only two blocks away. The sculpture garden was a lot of fun – especially since you could actually climb on a couple of them.