Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Monday, January 4, 2016

Catching up...Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, 3floyds and lots of driving

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. After retiring last fall 2014 we have driven back to IL/IN to spend Christmas with family and friends last year and again this year. We rented a car and took 2 1/2 days to drive back to celebrate the holidays. My brother let us have his bedroom for a few nights while we were in town.  He has a very nice home and has done some great upgrades to the kitchen and the bathroom. We really appreciated his hospitality. Once we got into town we went to my Dad's assisted living apartment and spent some time each day with him. We tried to get him to come to my brothers home on Christmas eve but he refused to go. He didn't feel comfortable getting out side and now being in a wheelchair after having the broken hip last year he felt it was too much trouble so we took dinner to him Christmas eve and a breakfast casserole o Christmas morning.

We had a good visit and appreciated the time we had to be with him. He's 90 years old now and no one knows how many more years we'll have to spend together. Since my brother is still working(until May 1) and lives in town, he has taken on the responsibility f watching out for Dad and does an incredible job. I'm grateful for the things he does while I'm off traveling in my retirement.

Dad and his two boys


Dad still is able to do many things for himself but being in assisted living allows him more freedom and some privacy that he couldn't get in a nursing home. With technology today we have the opportunity to Face Time once in a while too. Dad's really likes his smart phone and computer.


After seeing our friend, Beth, when she was visiting her mom last month here in AZ we set up a little party of the OLD running group. Beth has a very nice apartment in downtown Bloomington, IL and graciously opened up her home for the party. Everyone brought some snacks and beverages and had a wonderful evening reminiscing and catching up.

Kent, Tammy, Beth, Jana and me

Unfortunately Katie couldn't stay for the photo and Jeff couldn't make it but we all had a good time.

On Christmas Day afternoon we headed to Streamwood, IL to visit our daughter, Heather, SIL Paul and grandson Aiden for a few days. Unfortunately I didn't get many photos of the family except these.

Heather was under the weather

Glenda made some cookies

Aiden watching movies on the IPad

Aiden playing games



We had planned on watching Aiden overnight after Christmas so Mom and Dad could have a night to themselves. However, Heather got the flu right after we got there and plans were cancelled. The good thing was we got to spend more time with Heather and Paul that we wouldn't have had.


Aiden couldn't hold still for a photo

In preparing to come to IL/IN we decided to go to a Beer/Wine shop to fine some beer for my brother and family that they couldn't get in the Midwest. As I was looking at the beers a guy walked by and I stopped him and asked him what he would recommend. I ended up with a Four Peaks Kilt Lift'r Scottish Ale. It was a big success. Then while in line checking out, a guy behind us heard us talking about going back to IL/IN and he said we should look for some 3Floyds Brewery beer. This beer is only distributed on IL, IN and MI. So while in the Midwest visiting I got my SIL to take me on a beer run to find some. The most sought after beer for 3floyds is Zombie Dust. Hard to get since the stores only get a limited quantity and only 2 - 4 times a month. Well luck was not on our side for Zombie Dust in IL but I did score some other 3floyds that I knew I would like.(Jinx Proof, Robert the Bruce, Yum Yum, Deesko, Gumball Head and Alfa King).

On December 28, Heather and Paul had to go back to work and Aiden to Day Care(he calls it school) so we left that morning to drive to our daughter, Sommer's home and the other grandkids...Jasmyne, Brooklyne, Caden and Ryleigh. Of course the weather decided to turn ugly and it made a 2 1/2 hour trip into a 4 hour trip but we made it safely. It was great seeing the rest of the family and catching up. Even our SIL's son, Mason, was there for a couple of days before heading back to school in Grand Rapids, MI.

Of course, our daughter had to work a couple days that week so Glenda took charge and we got some groceries to make some meals and cookies for them. The weather stayed cold and windy and reminded us why we didn't want to do winters in the Midwest anymore. Of course I didn't get any good photos of the family but the most important thing is spending time together.

Random photo of kids hanging out


Back to beer, the 3floyds brewery is in Munster, IN and they have distributing in the South Bend, In area so while in IN I asked our SIL, Todd, if he wanted to go with me on a beer run to see if I could score more 3floyds and possibly some Zombie Dust. Since he had some days off we set out the next morning on our quest. The very first beer/wine shop we stopped at I didn't see much in the way of 3floyds so I asked a stock person if they happened to have any Zombie Dust. He looked at me and said "Yes, I do but it's only one 6 pack per person". I said I'll take one and so will my friend. I scored 2 six packs just like that. OK, I had a bit of an obsession with this beer at this point but really wanted to take some different beers back here to AZ to share with friends. I ended up with 2 cases of beer overall. That should do it. 

Zombie Dust

After our beer run adventure we hung out and played card games with the kids, watched football and ate and ate and ate. It was a great visit and looking forward to going back in the spring to see Jasmyne graduate from high school and then spend time with us in Utah.

Well December 31 was the day we had to start back to AZ but we didn't want to do it in more than 2 days. I knew they would be  looong days but I was ready to get back home and we needed to turn in the rental car on January 2. We calculated that it would be two 13 - 14 hours days. We packed up and got on our way after good byes. We made a reservation at a hotel in Weatherford, OK that night. It was a very nice Fairfield Inn by Marriott. Fortunately we gained an hour from Eastern to Central time. Then the next morning after a quick breakfast(free) we continued on. Again we picked up an hour from Central to Mountain time. The roads were great but everywhere we drove through had snow on the ground from a previous snow storm a few days before.




We even had to make some detour on I 44 around St. Louis, MO due to flooding from the Mississippi River. The snow that fell in OK, TX, NM and AZ was rain in the Midwest before temps started to go way down therefore flooding. We didn't allow it to deter us from our mission.

Over all it was a great trip to see family and spend the holidays together. We miss our family and we know they miss us but everyone is making an effort to stay in contact and make the most of the time we have together. Thank yo to our family for opening their homes to us and putting up with us. :-)

We brought back some great memories and unfortunately I brought back a cold with cough and scratchy throat. Yesterday was the worst day but feeling better today. One good thing is the weather here in AZ is going to be rainy all week so I don't have to worry about missing out on my outdoor activities. Also I was able to spend some time writing this post. It was a long drive there and back but it's always worth the effort to be with family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.


4 comments:

  1. Glad to read you had time to spend the holidays with family and friends. Sorry you got that cold.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Thanks Rick and Kathy....The cold had to happen sooner or later. Just glad I wasn't sick during our visit. Hope to see you on the road some day.

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  2. Looks like a wonderful holiday time together. Hope you're feeling better now. I'm just starting to catch up on blogs as well as my own. VERY behind! Looking forward to seeing you and Glenda next week!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Deb. Feeling better. Looking forward to seeing you and Steve too. I hope you're ready for some questions. :-)

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