Life

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing"
- Helen Keller

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

give away

Fellow bloggers,  Travel with Kevin and Ruth are having a contest to win $100. To anyone interested here is the link in case you don't know what to do with those blue letters :)
http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Baby Shower & More Summer Plans

Evelyn's first "piggy bank" or in this case lamb bank



What a fun day. Originally we planned to have the baby shower for our granddaughter, Evelyn, right at our rig - a fun day in the park right? Wrong. Mother Nature had other ideas. Thursday and Friday were two of the most beautiful days we’ve had this summer but late Friday evening the temps plunged and the rain began. After checking the forecast for the last few days the decision was made to move the shower indoors to my friend Trudy’s house. I am lucky to have such a wonderful friend.  This shower was a couples shower and yes the guys came. We had almost 40 people and it was so good to see so many friends again. 

Because the guys were a part of this instead of the usual shower games we did something a little different. I matted 4 photos of Evelyn with some funny expressions, and one sweet one, put post it notes and pens with them and had the guest suggest captions. Mitch’s friends in particular had a lot of fun with this and the prizes went to the 3 of his friends and one of their girlfriends. What a hoot. Here are the photos with the winning captions. Now its your turn, any suggestions??
Forest Whitaker Impression...

"So I put my hands up, their playing my song, there's a party in the USA."

Did Dad fart again?

Check it out..I can rub my belly and poop my pants at the same time!

Trudy and I had a lot of fun preparing the food. I don’t know how many of you are out on Pinterest but most of the food on the table were recipes we found there. I think I am addicted to Pinterest. It all turned out and though not all of them were hits, in general it was great. Lots of food , lots of presents, lots of good friends - what a great day.

Lately we have been firming up plans for both this summer and this winter, fall is still a mystery though. We have two short jaunts down to the Coralville Reservoir with friends John and Gayle, 5 days in June and a week in July. Then also in July we will spend a week in Wisconsin at the park our friends Evelyn and Kevin (RV Khronicles of Kevelyn) host at. We spent 2 months working at Amazon with them a couple years ago and haven’t had a chance to get together since. This also will be a great jumping off point to visit family in Madison and Waukasha. Then in August it will be off to Minnesota to spend a week near my friend Mary. All in all looks like a great summer.

Our friends John and Gayle have been telling us how wonderful the area around Destin, Florida is and so this winter we are finally venturing that way, I have made reservations starting December 1 at the Destin West RV Resort in Fort Walton Beach. The resort is newer and right on the bay. We plan on staying in that area for about 4 months. We have found for us the combination of being on the move and then staying put for a few months is the way we like it. I love the travel but I also like staying long enough to really get to know an area. Everyone is a little different in their styles of travel but this seems to work for us.

Hope that everyone has a great Memorial Weekend. Happy Trails...............

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Birds, Changes in CR, & Cool Cars

Nuthatch leaving the feeder with the goods.

As usual its been a busy week. Still catching up with friends and just generally running around. John gave me bird feeder for Mother’s Day and we’ve had fun watching all the activity. We’ve had cardinals, tufted titmouse, goldfinches, woodpeckers, nuthatches and the bluejays and redwing blackbirds give it a try. The bigger birds don’t really fit on the feeder buts its funny watching them try. I’m having fun photographing them too, hope you enjoy the photos.



nuthatch

tufted titmouse

Mr Cardinal
This weekend we spent some time in and around downtown Cedar Rapids. Since last August a lot has changed which is refreshing. In 2008 this city suffered a 500 year flood. The river in the downtown area was a mile across. That was 5 years ago. We left on our travels in 2010 and each year we have watched the recovery. What was so discouraging is how little had changed the 1st two summers back. There were still many abandon homes and buildings that needed to come down. By the time we left last August we did notice some of that starting to change and its been 8 months since we’ve been back and we are really seeing a turn around. Downtown they have revitalized the New Bohemia area and Czech Village. One of our favorite new additions is a permanent farmer’s market called Newbo Market. It reminds us of the market we visited in Napa CA but on a smaller scale. It has a produce vendor, pasta vendor, organic dairy, bakery, spices and about 4-5 places to eat.  Then other vendors set up right outside during the good weather months. Its a great place to shop. Also in this area is our favorite  bar/restaurant Parlor City. 
My favorite place to shop!
Outside the market

Polka Band in Czech Village


Czech Village is another little area of CR that was devastated in the flood but much of it has been cleaned up and businesses are back. It was Houby Days (mushroom celebration) in the village this weekend so it gave us an excuse to wander across the bridge and check it out. One of the biggest changes here is the National Czech and Slovak Museum. Last year I posted some photos of how they were raising and moving this building which was an amazing task. It now sits at least one story higher than before and at an angle to the river. They also built a huge addition. It looks beautiful.

Other changes in the city include green spaces where many of those abandon homes were finally taken down, the beginnings of a new riverfront park with an amphitheater, the downtown convention center has had an overhaul, a new US District Courthouse was built, they are developing a medical plaza between the two hospitals to consolidate all the services in one area. So lots of changes.

We also got to see a car show as part of Houby Days. Lots of fun vehicles from new to old, classics to hot rods, a few motorcycles and trucks too. Thought I’d share a few of our favorites.
This is the car John would love to have



This is my favorite



Last I can’t leave without a baby update. She is growing and healthy and so much fun. My friend Mary was here from Minnesota, which was fun all on its own but getting to share Evelyn with her made it more special. Mary and I spent a lot of time together when Mitch and her son Greg were small. She had 3 girls after that so was excited I finally have a little girl to spoil.
My favorite photo of John and Evie so far. 


Mary and Evie
We are getting ready for a shower for Mitch, Emily and Evelyn next Saturday. We are having here at our rig and right now it looks like the weather will cooperate but its a little too far out to count on that yet. We have a tornado watch going on now but I’m hoping all the rain and severe weather will be gone before next weekend. Should be lots of photos from that to share next week. Until then...
Happy Trails.................

Friday, May 10, 2013

Being Grandparents and Reconnecting



We’ve been back in Iowa awhile now and I think it will always feel a little bit like home. It is nice to know where things are, like grocery stores. The other great thing is reconnecting with old friends and family. Randy, a good friend of ours, who actually went with us on one of our first dates, came out one night. That guy sure knows how to make me laugh. He is an avid skier and this year got to check heli-skiing off his bucket list. His stories are amazing.

Today I was grocery shopping at Target and ran into another friend that John use to work with: Chris and his wife Michelle.They have a new little girl named Harper who was with them; she is a cutie. John and I use to babysit occasionally for their older 2 kids, Luca and Carolina. We always thought of it as grandparent practice. They were the easiest kids to be with. Hard to believe that Carolina is 6. She wasn’t even walking last time we saw her. We definitely want to get together with them again and see the older two kids. They reminded me that we need to get together with a few other people John worked with too. There are some more new babies we need to o-o-o-o and ahhhhhh over. Love those babies.
She has her Grandpa's long fingers

Speaking of babies, Evelyn is doing well and we have even gotten to babysit a couple times already. The last time we went to their house and I took advantage of the time to do a little photo shoot. So I hope you are ready for a few cute baby photos!!!!!

The other very, very important person I get to reconnect with is my BFF (gotta be hip) Trudy. I have two friends that I consider sisters of the heart and they are Trudy and Mary. Mary lives is Minnesota but I will get to see her soon.  Trudy is right here in CR so we are doing coffee at least once a week and finding as much other time as we can to get together. Tomorrow we are headed to her house for a Mother’s Day gathering. It’s also her birthday so I have a fun gift for her (can’t give it away as she often reads the blog). Happy Birthday Trudy!!!

We still have family to get together with too. We are having a shower for little Evelyn on Memorial weekend so hope to see them there. We had hoped to see them for a get together on John’s birthday but that was changed when Evelyn decided it was time to make an appearance.




So life is good here in Iowa. It’s always harder to blog when we are staying put but I am hoping I can get it done once a week. It may just be to share more baby photos but who doesn’t like baby photos. :) I do have a list of other things to blog about so maybe I’ll even dust off that list. Until then,
Happy Trails..................