Wednesday, January 31, 2018

December 24th - Christmas Eve 2017

This became a bit of a busy day.  A little shopping, some hanging out with the kids and all.  I took some time and did a photo session with the kids on the stairs.  I took quite a few pictures.  I will post some of the best ones here.  It was a lot of fun. 

A little later, we all got bundled up and piled into Eliza's van and Brett drove up to his folks house where his family was doing Christmas.  We had some appetizers and then retired to the living room where the kids opened presents.  Afterwards we sat around and visited with his family.

The Stairs Photo Session

A fun picture where I loaded the girls with wrapped presents

Car fun

Grandpa's house

Sunday, January 28, 2018

December 23rd - Cookies!!!!

The week of Christmas was a very busy week.  Besides some shopping and all the family bonding, there were all the usual holiday activities, despite the mind numbing cold (-35).

The day after Corbin's birthday, Eliza sat her kiddies down and they made cookies together.

It's always fun watching Eliza with the kids doing things.  The kids have a lot of fun learning while making such a mess. 

Their Mimi helped them as well.

Oh, The tree is up

Thursday, January 25, 2018

December 22nd - Corby's Birthday Party

Our youngest (so far) grandson, Corbin,  was born in early December.  They held off on his 4th birthday celebration until we could be out there in the frozen tundra.  Did I mention that this trip was into an unusually cold spell that pushed all the way down the eastern US to Florida?  We were not happy about that.

The night of the party, Brett's mom and dad showed up first, followed by neighbors, friends, and other relatives.  It's always fun watching an adult control the chaos of even one kid in a bunch opening presents.  There was cake, presents, and all around a good time.  Corbin's natural dad, Dustin, showed up and spent some time with the kids.


The Birthday boy and his Lightning McQueen Cake

Some of the attendees

Begin the unwrapping


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Monday, January 22, 2018

December 20th - We fly to Minnesota

We made the decision back before we left North Dakota, that we would fly back for Christmas with our Daughter and her family. Imagine getting on a plane with temps in the 70s and flying to a place where the temp is 20 degrees.  Now imagine that an unexpected cold snap hits the entire eastern US that puts local temps around 20 to 30 degrees below. 

Poor little Gypsy, our travel cat, was not to be left home.  We purchased a soft cat carrier.  It was designed to fit under the seats like a carry-on bag.  We put it opened on the floor a few days before we left so she would get comfortable with it.  She did.  She even slept in it at times.  We drove the truck to San Diego and left it in her sister's care as we got a ride to the airport.  Gypsy did really well on the flight. 

We flew Frontier Airlines.  Cut rate, but the flight out wasn't too bad.  The plane had video screens on the back of each seat and you could pull up many TV stations or movies to watch.  It also had a section for kids that showed a map of the land below us and where we were.  It was cool looking out the window and having the screen tell us what we were looking at. 

Then we land in Minneapolis.  Mama!!! it was cold.  nasty, snow, tired, etc. etc.  A couple of kids with us, Eliza and Brett.  We stopped at a noodle place for a bite and then took the long drive across Minnesota to Moorhead, across the river from Fargo.  For being nighttime, it was typically light.  This is normal, when there are a few street lights, and the snow, overcast, and ice crystals in the air spread the light everywhere.  It's beautiful, but cold. 

Did I mention it was cold???

Time to snuggle in, get ready for Corbin's birthday, Christmas, and New Years.

Nothing but family and grandkids could have gotten us to forsake our warm camper for a place where the air hurts your face.  Soon, we would go to our house and get her Jeep so we would have a car to drive of our own.

Gypsy's first flight.

Arizona, or Colorado, or....

The view after leaving the airport

Someone is not happy


The next morning

Friday, January 19, 2018

December 16th - Somerton Tamale Festival

Every year, in the small town of Somerton, they hold the big Tamale Festival.  When we found out about it, we had to go.  Laurie and I drove down with her friend Amy, and we were to meet Norma and her husband, Dale.  Somerton is not a large town just a few miles south of Yuma.  The biggest thing in the town is a campus of the University of Arizona.  We drove around and found where the festival was and then searched for a decent place to park.

That done, we entered one end of the part of town that was closed off for the festival.  The first thing we came across, was a children's dance class where the dancers were of varying ages and doing traditional Mexican dances if full historic costumes.  It was a fun show to watch a bit.

Strolling down the walk, What we saw, was a lot of booths side by side, each one belonging to a different tamale kitchen.  The people in them were pulling tamales out of warmers, and serving up to the customers.  There was a couple of booths that gave information and directions.  They took your money for a packet of coupons.  Every tamale being sold cost two tickets and you could buy any number of tickets with a discount for a packet of 10 or twenty.  This kept the sellers from having to deal with money.

There were more varieties of tamale than I could imagine.  Veggie, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, and then, pineapple, strawberry and many others.  There is a basic contest between the vendors for the best tamales.  A cheat sheet told you which vendors had what to offer, and the nice people at the front booth told us who were the winners from the previous year.

I'm not a big tamale person.  I don't care for the corn meal casing.  That said, I had quite a few different tamales, and though it wasn't the best food adventure ever, I did enjoy them all.

We met our other friends and walked around and saw what there was to see.  On the opposite end from where we came in, they had a stage with a local band playing some rocking country music.

On our way out, we watched the kids dancing again and then started the long drive home.  I would love to do this sort of thing again.

Somerton, Arizona


The booths

"The Gold Dragon" Really? Chinese and Mexican food?