First Snow Shoe in Years

We finally were able to snow shoe on the day after Christmas.  Because of the drought its been several years now, and the snow was amazing.  About a six or seven-foot base.  Plus the added benefit of being able to bring Jamie and Angela along.  Weather was in the low 20’s but we quickly warmed up with the exercise.  We go to our normal spot just near Royal Gorge at Serene Lakes.  The hike was just under three miles.   Check out the photos.


December Trip to see Mom

I went back to Illinois in December for my annual holiday season visit with  my Mom.   Back to my hometown of Lombard.  No snow this time, in fact, the weather was unseasonably warm.  We were busy the whole time getting lots of things done, tech wise.  Computers, wi-fi, and HD-DVR TV.  Working with Comcast was rather taxing to say the least, encompassing two days … but all is well now and way better than before.  Now my Mom is learning to program her DVR.

Also I got the opportunity to take my Mom shopping for clothes for her Xmas present and we had a ball.  As a side note, I loved the fact we saved over $200 by “smart shopping”.  Foodwise, I cooked her spaghetti dinner, based on Kate’s famous recipe, and I had my fill of Portillos Italian beefs and Pizza.  What I missed was a great Chicago Hot Dog.  Oh well, next time.

Lilac Park had fired up their Xmas lighting that weekend so we took a stroll thru the park after the crowds had left and it was absolutely incredible.  What an amazing job they do lighting that park.  It’s impossible to capture in film but at least you can get an idea.  Only about ten months after her hip replacement my Mom gets around perfectly.  She zipped around the park and the stores with her cane rarely even touching the ground.  And she’s  in such great spirits.  Healthy in mind and body.  Amazing at age 91.  A real inspiration.  I am so blessed to have her and I love her dearly.  I can’t wait to see her again in the spring.

Wedding Day in Berkeley

Jamie and Angela got married on September 5, 2015.  The event came off beautifully in spite of the traffic and closed roads due to the Cal football game.  It was held in the Botanical Gardens with the actual ceremony in a wonderful amphitheater in a grove of tall redwoods (??).  A professional photographer took the really good photos, this is just some candids I took with my new little crappy camera.  We stayed at the Rose Garden Inn along with Molly, Neil and the kids, while everyone else chose the double tree.  I liked ours the best.

Loon Lake #1 June 2015

Our first campout this year at Loon Lake, and due to the drought  we found it to be at the 50% level.  Highly unusual since this lake, on opening day is usually full to the tree line.  Apparently the powers that be decided to dump half of it into Union Valley Reservoir.   Not sure why.  Also, this time I tried a bigger, more private site at the end of the campground, #28.  It was terrific.

This time Atticus joined Kate and I, our grandson, for the first couple days.  We played Qwerke (Atticus was amazing!) and Chicken Foot, swam, went kayaking, fished, looked for bones, climbed rocks and did lots of hiking.  I think he had a great time, I know I really enjoyed having him along.  When he left on Sunday morning with Kate and Biggs, Ben was quite sad, until he hit the water, then all sense of loss was gone.  Ben did a whole lot of swimming this time but never tired of it.  He absolutely LOVES the water.

Weather was really hot.  Got up to 95 in the Rv, 87 in the shade.  So we had to run the AC one night for half an hour just to cool it down.  Also lots of bugs.  Kate and I went home with too many itchy red spots.  I think Atticus didnt get as bit.   I hope not.

I didn’t do great in the fishing department but did catch two nice trout while kayak trolling in the morning.  I did “catch & release” to Kate’s dismay.  It rained on Sunday after they left, and I then found holes in this 30 year old RV awning, which I quickly patched with good ole’ duck tape.  Worked good enough.  I’ll probably have to replace it after the season is over.  Only other event was I found a frog on the kitchen counter one morning and had a mouse (or chipmonk) visit in the night and tear up the toilet paper in the commode.  I’m going back again in a week and I surely hope there are less bugs this time.  Also will bring a bigger fan.  The rocks and boulders were quite challenging getting that heavy kayak down to the water but I did finally find a path thru the woods that was relatively smooth for the wheels.  Rather out of the way but at least doable.

Jackson Meadows #3 August 2014

This third visit to Jackson Meadows we took the grandkids, Olallie and Atticus.  They only stayed over one night but we got in swimming, fishing, hanging (in hammock), dominoes, campfire and an all around great time.  I missed them all when kate took them home on Tuesday.  I stayed for a couple more nights.  Got some fishing in, caught 3 rainbows, took home two.  And started some new books.  Also enjoyed my new hammock.  Very quiet campground, with hardly anyone there the first part of the week.  Always the benefit of going during the week and after school has started.  Temperature got down to 49 in the mornings. Here are some pics, Kate took the vertical ones.

2014 Easter Egg Hunt

It has become an annual event for Gramps and Nana to have an Easter Egg hunt out on our property, and this year was great. Gorgeous weather and a really fun time for all. Molly, Neil and our grandkids Atticus and Ollalie, plus our friends Jeff and Laura with their sweet kids Jacob and Shasta. We must have had more than a hundred eggs spread out over the property. Luckily no poison oak was tread upon this year. The food was plentiful with all kinds various hors d’oeuvres, way more than we all could eat. The dogs didn’t eat any chocolate, no kids got hurt, and no significant bugs… oh except for the bungee jumping oak worms who kept dropping down from the trees and landing on peoples heads, spreading their silky webs everywhere. Cocktails were margaritas, bourbon, rum or bourbon and coke (and any other conceivable mixer), vodka and soda, and of course PBR. Also the frogs (Fred and Ethel) in our water tubs were quite a hit with everyone trying to locate the little buggers with huge voices. They are about he size of a thumbnail but check out the photo of one below. Eggs held candy and coin. Atticus managed to trade all his coin for candy from the others and had a huge bag of sweets when he left. We look forward to next year when we all are another year older.