Friday, June 16, 2017

Our Last Day with Family in Iowa

On Tuesday Dennis and Chauna took Rich and I and Grandma Kathy to the University of Iowa, where she will join her brother Dalton, as a student, next semester!  The school is only about 45 minutes from their home in Davenport.    Beautiful campus, HUGE............  We toured the grounds, some of the buildings, the Orientation building and the Store......  then lunch before we headed for home!

Lunch was at one of Dalton's favorite places to eat - The Hamburger Inn........  Dennis took a selfie, as we waited for a table!  Yes - we all had burgers!   And except me....everyone got a Pie Shake to go!!

 All the grandparents went home with University of Iowa Grandparent T-shirts, compliments of Dennis!  I think we all hated to see the day end.........we sat and played Mexican train late into the night!!!  And I took my "three generation " picture of Dalton, Dennis and Rich!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Monday in Davenport, IA

On Monday, we hung around the house most of the day.  Dennis had to take Jack and Kim to the airport for their return trip to Florida.  Crystal and Dalton were working, so Chauna, and Kathy and I played two or three games of Mexican Train.   When everyone returned home from work we all went out to dinner at the local diner.  Food was excellent!!!!

Dennis and Crystal volunteer at the local no-kill animal shelter, so Kathy and Rich and I joined them.  We were not allowed to help with the work, or feed the dogs, but we enjoyed being around the animals.

Dennis and Crystal love working with the dogs, and we were so impressed with how hard they work, and how much the animals love them!!!

Tomorrow, off to Iowa City to see the University.   Next week is her official orientation.

Graduation Day

Way behind with updating this!!!  Computer pretty much crashed on me - called for help and had to reset to original settings!  Lost Picasa, where I edit all my pictures, and the program is no longer available!

So.........Sunday was graduation day for our beautiful grand daughter!  The ceremony was not scheduled until later in the afternoon, so Dennis took us for a quick tour of the Rock Island Arsenal, where he works............

"The Rock Island Arsenal comprises 946 acres located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois.  The primary mission of the Rock Island Arsenal is to provide logistical and manufacturing support for the United States Armed Services.  The Rock Island Arsenal is the largest government-owned weapons manufacturing facility in the United States and is home to the Army's only active foundry .............. "

On to graduation ceremony!!!  After everyone was dressed to go, first on the agenda was family photos in the backyard....  Pictures of Chauna with EVERYONE!

The Graduate with Pa Pa and Grandma Do!

Chauna with her Dad and Mom and brother Dalton

The whole family:  Dennis, Rich, Dalton, Crystal, Chauna, Donna

Chauna with a big smile after receiving her diploma!!

Chauna with her boyfriend Ryan Foss.  Both of them will be attending University of Iowa next year.!
So very proud of this young lady!

Chauna with her best friend Lexi. 

We all stopped for dinner after the graduation........then headed back to the house where Chauna, Ryan, Dalton, Kathy (Crystal's Mom), and I played a couple of games of Mexican Train!

Beautiful day...................could not have been any better!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Saturday- Pre Graduation Festivities

Saturday morning we started the yard decorations, covering the tables, filling the coolers, and making sure we had everything ready to start preparing the food!   Below, Kim and Kathy begin hanging the balloons.  Dennis and Crystal already had the graduation displays in place as well as the Future Hawkeye decor!

Capture a few family photos before everyone else starts to arrive.  Below - top, left to right:  Kathy and Crystal,  Dennis Crystal, Chauna and her boyfriend Ryan, who is also graduating tomorrow. Next door neighbors and Chauna's best friend Lexi arrive. 

Below- bottom, left to right: Rich, Dennis, Jack and Kim, relax before everyone arrives and we need to start getting the food ready!  Rich, me, Chauna and Ryan, (mom,Crystal behind Ryan, and neighbors in the the back)

Time to get cooking.........and bring all the goodies out!  Dennis was cooking burgers, dogs, brats, Italian sausage and Chicken. We had all the trimmings for the meat, Kathy's homemade potato salad, slaw and  baked beans, and the coolers were filled with, beer, wine, soda and water.  Everything was delicious!

Time to cut the cake for the 2017 graduating senior.......who has been accepted at the University of Iowa and will be a part of the 2021 graduating class.  Ryan helps Chauna open all her gifts!  Ryan's sister, mom and grandmother arrive!

More pictures of Chauna opening gifts!  And Dennis releases the balloons.

That evening Dennis, Mike (neighbor), Jack, Kim, Kathy, Crystal, Rich and I, Chauna, Ryan, Lexi and her boyfriend Kevin, Dalton and his girlfriend Sara all head for the River Bandits baseball game.  Dalton had to work during the day - but so glad he and Sara could join us at the game!

It was an awesome day.  Dennis and Crystal did a great job planning, Chauna got some great gifts, everyone enjoyed some delicious food and we all rooted for our home team!!!

Day one comes to an end................

Lake Placid to Iowa!

We've been on the road for eight days, and this is my very first opportunity to update this blog. As I write this, it is after 9:00 pm, and we are getting ready to call it a day here in Maumee, OH.  We've traveled from Florida to Davenport, IA.  We left Davenport yesterday to make our way to Hammond, NY and Black Lake.

So let's get updated!!!   We left Florida about 7:45 am., on Wednesday May 31st. Made our way through Florida with the normal stops: potty breaks, gas, and we stopped along the Interstate in Gainesville for Rich to check his stocks.   Below are a few pictures along the way, including delays from accidents, and rush hour traffic about the time we made Atlanta, GA!

We spent the night at the Quality Inn in Kennesaw, GA, arriving there about 6:45 PM.  Golden Corral was close by - so we grabbed some dinner there, and called it a bed early!

We were up an on our way early Thursday morning; up at 6:00 am, and on the road by within the hour.  A gas stop once on the road, the GA/ TN line by 8:30 and then we gained an hour with the time change.   Always enjoy the scenery and the rolling hills in TN

Continued on, passing through Kentucky and made it to the Illinois state line just after noon.   

This state is by far the ugliest of any so far; the roads, the high grass along the medians, and more rest areas closed then open.  About this time they reported on the news that the economy for the state of Illinois had dropped to "junk status"!

Lots of flat land and farming here.........and then we passed through Peoria, IL.

We traveled about 460 miles that day, and then checked into the Comfort Inn and Suites in Mount Vernon, IL.   This was a beautiful hotel, and our room was very spacious!  Nice desk for Rich and a separate sitting area.  The grounds were beautifully manicured, and in the back was an arrangement of outdoor furniture, a fire pit, and a corn-hole game!  Captured a nice picture of a pretty good size woodchuck out near the bushes.
Beautiful indoor pool and hot tub, Exercise room, and even an outdoor  electric charger should you be driving your Tesla

Next door to the hotel was the Agave Mexican Restaurant - so we decided to just walk over there for dinner.  I had my usual, Chicken fajitas, and Rich ordered the Enchilada Trio ( 1 Chicken, 1 Beef, and 1 Shrimp!)  Excellent food, good prices, and very good service.

Day 3 - Friday June 2nd:   Didn't have so far to drive, so we slept in a little longer, and began the last leg of this trip about 7:45 am.  The usual stops for gas, and for the third day in a row....... breakfast at McDonald's!   Got to the Iowa State line about 12:34 pm and then arrived at our son's house in Davenport IA!  Dennis was shopping for the party on Saturday, but both Dalton and Chauna were at home.  Spent the rest of the afternoon there ( with Onyx joining us, and watching the neighbor's pot belly pig!!!   Dennis had to pick up is step-dad, Jack and his step-sister, Kim, and his mother-in-law, Kathy at the airport that night, so we headed back to the hotel to get a good nights sleep in anticipation of Saturday's planned activities.

Stopped at subway on the way to hotel......... Another very nice hotel.  The hotel is actually about 17 years old, but has been redone from top to bottom.   Spotless and spacious room, indoor pool, sauna, and  the complimentary breakfast included hash, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, toast, muffins and bagels, pastries, cereals and oatmeal..............
Jack ( Dennis's step-dad), Kim (step-sister) would be staying at Dennis' house, for three nights, flying back to Florida on Monday, Dalton was home on break from college.  Kathy would be staying there for a week - so while Dennis offered us his bedroom - we elected to stay at the hotel a few days, and then come over and stay when Jack and Kim left.   We would meet up with the whole crew on Saturday morning and help set up for Chauna's Pre-Graduation Party!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Counting down.........and getting last minute things done

Most all of the work outside is don! Finally!  And we were even blessed just yesterday with some most welcomed, and most needed RAIN!!

The forecast for  rain here in Placid Lakes has been anywhere from 65% to 85% for days!!!  On Tuesday we got real excited as we sat on the back lanai watching the beautiful Blue Heron down by the water...........We could hear the thunder in the background, and the sky was very menacing!  If we had not been sitting outside we would have missed the 2 minutes of sprinkles!!!

 But on Thursday we  finally had some pretty good showers for most of the morning.  Once it stopped I took a ride into Sebring to do some last minute shopping...... Needed a dressy blouse, a pair of Sandals for Rich, hair supplies, bathroom supplies, filter for the refrigerator, a new pot for my bamboo plant, ink for the printer, batteries, graduation card, make a deposit in the bank, withdraw cash, and a few items from the grocery store!

Speaking of the new pot..............this "good luck" bamboo plant has grown significantly since we received it from a good friend back in 2013 when we moved into this house.

Counting down the days now.  Just five more before we begin the first leg to Iowa, so time to start thinking about how everything is going to fit in the car!  We realized a few days ago that we did not have anywhere near the room we had in the Camry in this new Terrain!  So, between the two of us we managed to remove the bench seat in the back.  That will be staying in our garage for the duration of the trip!  Lots of room now for whatever we need!!

Our trip to Iowa is to attend the HS Graduation of our granddaughter.   Dennis' step-father and step-sister, and Crystal's Mom will all be arriving there next Friday, as will we.  Plans are for a party on Saturday afternoon, baseball game Saturday night, and graduation ceremony Sunday evening.  Today we received in the mail the "official" invitation from Chauna.  Not looking forward to the long trip - but really excited about visiting and spending time with the family.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Busy day in the yard!

First - I have to share my Mother's Day flowers again, that I got from Dennis and the family.  It's now 10 days after they arrived by mail.  All the buds have blossomed and they are just beautiful!!

Now - Saturday!  What a day!  It was that one day each year, before we head north, that we check all the sprinklers.  It was a miserably hot day, so getting soaking wet from head to toe was actually quite welcoming!  And getting soaked we did!!! Dripping !   Rich cleaned and adjusted several of the heads, and now we are just praying for rain so that we don't need to move the underwater corrugated pipe in the canal!

More yard work - and that was the pineapple plants.  The one very large plant that was located next to the walk way needed to be removed.  Actually that was a third generation plant. Yes one we planted three years ago!  It was getting very very large and hanging over the sidewalk - which was driving me crazy!!! But four or five days ago, the weight of the pineapple broke the plant.  SO  we needed to harvest the pineapple a little sooner than we normally would have.  It is now sitting outside in the sun to ripen..........the plant is gone and we've moved the bird bath to that area.

If you remember, back in March we harvested one of our largest pineapples and starting the rooting process.  Today we (actually Rich) planted it along with the others on the side of the lanai.  The baby of the bunch!

Needless to say we were both exhausted by the end of the day.  Knowing we would have a busy day, I had made up some Chicken K-Bobs for dinner and had them marinating in the fridge all day!