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Monday, June 25, 2012

Adjusting to being back in Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

Just to an update to let you know that Chuck and I are both doing fine and to show you some cute pictures.

We have been home over a week now and all adjusted to the altitude.

Here is a picture of Lourdes and William.  They were performing traditional dancing at Ivan's school.

And here is Ivan.  He and his friends performed a dance from the Amazon.  Such a cute picture.

Speaking of cute kids, I saw this little one parked near the new cathedral.

We had house guests over the weekend.  Ron and Sharon Rice from Seattle, Washington visited us for a few days as part of their travel through Peru and Ecuador.  We enjoyed sharing Cuenca with them on Saturday and I want to personally thank the Gaithers, the Grimms and the Woods for sharing their Sunday with them. 

Have a great week.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wii...are HOME!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I arrived in Cuenca on Thursday afternoon.  We were dead tired and glad to be back home.

Our next door neighbor, David, met us as we arrived at our door and told us that he was preparing a roast dinner and for us to rest for a few hours and then come over to eat.

We love this guy!  What a thoughtful thing to do.  Our kitchen was empty and we were too tired to shop or even go to a restaurant.

I showered, slept for a couple of hours and then we went to have a fabulous dinner with David.

We were in bed by 7pm and I slept until 7am...12 good hours of sleep.

David invited us over Friday morning for a hearty breakfast.

Karen and Randy had us over for a barbecued lunch.  We met our renters, Marshall and Cathie.  They are delightful folks and we are glad we got home in time to meet them.

Friday afternoon, we shopped for groceries, unpacked and started in on the laundry.

We bought a Wii and Wii Fit Plus while we were in the U.S.  I can't wait to get it installed and start getting in shape.

It was really wonderful visiting all our relatives, but we are glad to be back to our own bed.

We are looking forward to our Sunday walk with Rich and Nancy.

It is sooooo good to be back HOME!!!!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Hugging Family in Minnesota thanks to Amtrak

Dear Family and Friends,

Last week we boarded Amtrak in Seattle, Washington to travel to Minnesota.  Minnesota, where our daughter, son-in-law and ten grandchildren live.

We love traveling by rail and we love traveling the Empire Builder because it's route takes us right through Glacier National Park in Montana. The scenery is beautiful no matter what time of year we travel.

The man in the picture below is a volunteer from the National Park Service narrating about the park, the plants,the animals and the glaciers as we traveled along.

This is Glacier National Lodge built in 1912 by Great Northern Railroad in order to get passengers to ride the train.  When it was built, the only way you could get to Glacier National Park was by train because there were no roads.

As you might expect the observation car is the most popular car on the train.

Another popular car is the dining car.  To look at this picture you would not know that, but I took this picture early one morning just before breakfast was served.  For dinner the tables have table cloths.  It is fun to meet other travelers over dinner.

Our first night on the train we shared the table with a couple who have been researching retirment in Ecuador.  What a small world.  They were full of questions about our experiences.  We advised them that they should visit for a few months before making the decision to move there.  Who knows we may be having a meal with them in Cuenca one day.

We got off the train to stretch our legs when the stops were long enough to permit it.

Here is sunrise the morning we arrived in Montana.

We arrived in Minneapolis about 7:30am.  We rented a car and drove through the countryside to visit the kids.

Here are Merri, Ken and the grand kids, Portia, Paris, Joshua, Petra, Paige, Nathanial, Joy, Kylia May, Raven Lee and Autumn Rose.

We spent one day at their house being entertained every minute.  Here is Paige showing us a magic act with little sister, Kylia May.

The next day was a full day of swimming.  Here is our oldest grand daughter, Portia, holding our youngest grand daughter, Autumn Rose.

The following day we were treated to some of the most beautiful singing we have ever heard.  Our grandson, Joshua is in the North Star Boys Choir.  He has been singing in the choir for five or six years...and toured all over the U.S. and in Europe.  This was his last performance.  His voice is changing so his tour this summer will be his last.

 Here is a picture of Chuck and me with Joshua after the performance.

We had a wonderful always, it is never long enough.

We will be back in Cuenca on Thursday.  We can't wait to see all our friends.  


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cruising Alaska with Matt, Kylie, Bryce and Mickey!

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday morning we stepped off the Disney Wonder.  We spent all last week cruising from Seattle to Alaska and back. Our cruise was fabulous. Here are some pictures to share our fun with you.

We saw beautiful scenery.

Our ship in Juneau.

We saw three black bears grazing along the side of the road.  Here is one of them.

We had a grand time....making family memories.....

Here we all are enjoying lunch outside of Skagway.

Kylie and Bryce holding spoons on their noses.....yes, talent runs in our family!

Chuck and the gang getting ready for another off ship adventure.

Matt and Bryce with a friendly bear.

A good time was had by everyone aboard the ship.

Here is Bryce dressed up for Pirate Night.

Matt turned into Goofy by the waiter with dinner napkins.

Bryce with Mickey.

Everyone of us had a terrific time.  It was a great way to vacation with family.

Tomorrow, Chuck and I are going to board the Amtrak in Seattle  We are headed to Minnesota to hug our kids and grand kids who live there. 

We are in grandparent heaven!