More Friends and Family :)
|View off Al and Judi's deck|
The last week or so has been full of visits with friends and family. We arrived at Two Rivers State Park near Waterloo, Nebraska. John had a good friend near here that we made plans so meet. This is part of the group that calls him “Doc” and we did get together with them at a wedding in St. Louis this summer. Al and Judi live on a Lake about 20 minutes from this park. I also have friends that live close to this park, Teri and Alan, but Terri is in Florida on business and Alan was out of town too, so I struck out. I did get to see them last year on our way through so will try to catch them next time through the area. One of the benefits of this lifestyle is getting a chance to visit with old friends.
|Al and Judi|
Tuesday afternoon we drove to Al and Judi’s for dinner. They have a great house on a lake with a beautiful view. We also took a boat ride around the lake. We really enjoyed the visit. John has enjoyed reconnecting with Al and Judi. They had already left Cedar Rapids before I met John so for me the joy is getting to know these friends of Johns that I have heard so much about. Thanks Al and Judi for a great dinner and boat ride!
|Gary, John, Audra, and Sharon|
On Wednesday we moved to Grand Island Nebraska and Hall County Park. My youngest brother lives hear with his family and we always enjoy our time with them. Gary and his wife Sharon have 4 children. The three boys are 25, 22, and 19 and then there is Audra at 9 years old. They also are hosting a foreign exchange student from Austria, Finn. Alex their middle son just graduated from Briar Cliff College and is living at home while he checks out his next step. Aaron the oldest lives in Souix City and is working as an insurance underwriter. Austin the youngest is the kicker for the Southern Missouri State football team and working on an accounting degree.
|Finn kicks off|
|Gary, Finn, Sharon on Parent's Night|
All of Gary’s boys have been talented kickers and soccer players. Aaron and Alex played college soccer for Briar Cliff College. Austin decided to go with football and kicking instead of soccer in college though he was recruited for both. Alex was also recruited for football but chose the soccer route. Now however he has decided to pursue kicking and is trying out for several Arena Football teams. He has a tryout today with the Des Moines Barnstormers. He and his brother Austin hold several Nebraska kicking records. I wish him well as he follows his dream.
|Playing bags with Alex|
We went to the Grand Island Central Catholic football game on Friday night as their exchange student, Finn, is playing football as guess what? Yep that would be the kicker. It was parent night so I tried to get a couple photos of the parent recognition and the game. It was a cool night but we lasted into the 3rd quarter before heading back to the house for hot chocolate.
This morning Gary and Finn took off for Fargo ND to watch Austin’s game. This afternoon we joined Audra and mom Sharon at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie and Pioneers. The museum is actually right next to the park where we are staying. They have preserved the buildings of a small railroad town, several farms, churches, a one room school house and an earth lodge and teepee of the Pawnee Indian tribe. When we paid our entrance fee they failed to mention that none of the buildings were open. Sharon and Audra had visited this before so we were all surprised to find all the buildings locked up for the season. You think they would have mentioned that. They were getting ready for a Halloween celebration tonight so we did get to see all the halloween decorations. It is a very well done preservation and educational museum but I would visit when the buildings are actually open.
|Turkeys were hanging out in the campground.|
Tomorrow we head to Kansas, the park here is closing for the season so it is time to move. We are starting our journey southward towards our job with Amazon in Coffeyville KS. We have a week to ourselves and then a visit to Smith Center and the Excel factory. We have several issues for them to look at and our warranty is up in November so we want them to check things over. We are looking forward to our next stop and some down time before our job starts. We are going to have to start getting up a little earlier. I think one of my favorite parts about retirement is getting up when I’m ready and not to an alarm clock. Working November and December will be a rude awakening.