Friday, November 29, 2013

Impromptu vacation

Saying good night!

It's been awhile since I've posted anything but life took over. A few weeks ago my mom and dad got an awesome airfare to come visit us!
Using scissors with Mimi
They took the Red eye out of SEATAC and arrived in Boston on the 18th. I had worked the previous two overnights but no big deal. They didn't come to Massachusetts to see me! They came to see their grandchildren and great grandchildren! Eddie and I are just a bonus!
To start with I had an ear ache so I missed the trip out to Bennington, VT. Mom, Dad and Felicia went and had a great time. The next day Anna took off from work so she brought over Robert. We took Robert and Vincent to the Jump & Play in Gardner. What a hoot!! Watching the boys playing and running around.
Snowmen Christmas Bulbs
Of course, there was excellent food to be had, we were all there talking and laughing into the evening.
Thanksgiving Dinner
The next day was the beginning of crafts! Felicia and I had picked out three crafts; first up, baking soda and corn starch ornaments. Second snow flakes with glitter and third, snowmen bulbs!
I have to be honest the baking soda and corn starch dough was awesome!! The texture was nice, it rolled out beautifully and the child had fun playing with it (so did the adults). Again that night we all were there.
Hugs everywhere!
Friday was snow flake day!! I downloaded a few templates but once we got going, no need! Paper pieces everywhere!! But who cares? Then the real fun began! The glue and glitter came out and it was everywhere and still is!! Felicia and Vincent stuck with it for a good while and then they went to play else where. Oh but not Mom, Erica or myself!! We continued cutting, glueing and glittering! My windows are beautiful! A great success in deed!
Saturday was our Thanksgiving Day since we were all off. Corey brought over a deep fryer and we did a deep fried turkey and all the fixings. So good! Dinner was excellent, company was even better!
Of course we had one more craft to do and that was the snowmen Christmas bulbs. These came out amazing! Painted the children's hand with white paint, placed the bulb into their palm, they closed their hand around the bulb then opened. Let them dry, then we used Sharpies to "make" the snowmen!! 
Another great day passed too quickly.
Sunday morning it was time for Mom and Dad to head back home. They left the house with plenty of time to get to Logan but got twisted around in Boston!! So after multiple phone calls and I'm sure a VERY tense ride they made it to the airport but missed their flight. This game us (Eddie and I) another chance to visit! So we drove into Boston and we went out for an early dinner. Again too short!
We got them back to the airport in time for them to catch their 6:35 flight to SEATAC.  As always, it's hard to have them leave, miss them something fierce!! Have to say, we had a wonderful visit and can't wait for the next one!!
Baking Soda and Cornstarch dough decroations
The finished snowflakes
Paper and Glitter throughout the house!
Making silly faces
Making thumbprints

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lolo Loop decsent

Day 2 in Montana! Joe takes us up to Lolo Loop to ride! Great climb up! Even better descent!! What a blast!! Didn't miss any turns and I rode 80% of the climb!! Most excellent.
Jason and myself coming down Lolo Loop Trail

Vacation 2013

So where do I start for this vacation?? I guess by saying, it was one of the BEST vacations ever!! We started by ending off our race season with Root 66 at Wompatuck State Park, the race Landmine, 25 miles of pure mountain biking fun. 

We got down there on Friday afternoon, set up camp, had dinner and visited with the Kovac's family. Then the Esponda family joined a bit later that night. Saturday we rode the majority of the course, ate some awesome food, visited, ate again, went to REI, ate again and went for a night ride. Saturday night we even get a night ride in!! Short but fun.

Sunday was the race, so much fun! I ended up 4th this year in the Cat 2 35+. Was doing awesome till the last mile and half and had awful cramping. So I lost third place to Pam but that's okay! What an amazing season and day!! The following pictures are from that weekend. So, after the race we hung out and visited with fellow riders and friends not wanting the season to really end because as we all know we won't see many of our friends till next Spring since some of us live so far apart. But we had to head out to get ready for the next stage of our vacation!!
That meant driving home, unloading all of the gear, quickly putting away what we could so we wouldn't come home to a major mess! Both Eddie and I had packed 2 different packs. One for the race and the other for our West Coast trip!! Thank goodness we have enough riding gear for all of that! So, even though we're both tired we begin the process of getting ready. Eddie breaks down the mountain bikes and with the help of Corey they get the bikes into the bike cases and loaded into the car! Mean time, the grandchildren are running around, I can't remember exactly what I did but I did something!! Since we already had packed our clothing it was just a matter of getting helmets, shoes, sunglasses and those last minute things into the packs and loaded into the car.
Sarah and I
Camping at Wompatuck
Kathy and Andy
Next Stage, up in the morning bright and early to get to the airport, Corey took us, Thank you!! Dropped us off, got checked in without difficulty. Backpacks and bike cases. Love travelling with those beasts!! Love the looks we get when we're dragging them through the airport. Flight was good, get into SEATAC, bike cases are the last things off the plane, we wait. Great move this year, we rented a truck!! What a cost savings compared to renting a SUV!! Plenty of room too! Load up, drive over to mom and dad's, Auntie Ann is there too! We have dinner, Eddie and Dad put the bikes back together that night, we visit, Auntie Ann leaves for home and we all crash only to get up early the next morning to start the next stage of the vacation. 
Next stop Boise, Idaho to see a dear friend Kristi and her hubby Mike, we hadn't ever met in person. We know each other because of a program called Spinervals and we trained together all throughout the previous winter via Facebook! We drive all day, thank goodness for the smart phone! It keep me entertained the whole time taking pictures, posting, harassing Kristi because she was at work, making Eddie stop so I could go to the bathroom again, taking more pictures. When we were driving down into Yakima, WA there was a great view of  Mount Rainier and Mount Adams!! All I can say is WOW!! 2 major volcanoes right were you live. Hmm-mm. Long drive but we finally made it to Boise! How much fun finally meeting Kristi and Mike. I feel like I've known Kristi for years. So our plan, mountain bike and hang out. We only had 2 days, not enough time at all. Boise is a beautiful city! We had great food and great company. The mountain biking was so different for us! We rode in the foothills, all open, sandy trails, dry, dry, dry. No humidity, I think it was in the 90's. Sure didn't feel like it compared to the New England 90's with humidity! Our 2 days with Kristi came to an end way too fast but we needed to drive up to Missoulla Montana to meet my family. 

Next stage, the drive from Boise to Montana. Of course there was much discussion about which way to drive up to Montana. We went for the most scenic and I'm so glad we did!! What beauty! The mountain passes and mountain ranges were amazing! We made several stops along the way. We stopped along the rivers, overlooks and at a pub that had a full view of the Sawtooth mountains! So beautiful. We had gorgeous weather as we traveled along. One of the BEST stops we had on that drive was at the Sunbeam Hotsprings! Yes, we actually got to sit in the hotsprings! So cool. We had to find just the right spot, not too hot and not too cold, kind of like Goldilocks in the three bears. But alas, we had to continue on our drive to get to Montana. So, we hop into the truck and start towards Missoula. Seemed like it took forever to get there. 

We rented a house in Missoula, MT so that we all could be comfortable, make our own food and just be able to hang out if we wanted too.The house was beautiful, the yard was great!! The Clark Fork river was behind the house too. When we got to the house finally, my brother Joe, Mom and Dad were waiting for us with dinner all ready! Shortly after we arrived my other brother, Jason and Myella and their two beautiful children Elva and Mercury arrived! Now the fun begins!! 
Hugs and kisses everywhere! This is the first time in years we have all been together and what an amazing time I had with everyone of my family members. I don't think I realized how much I miss each one of them till we're all together. There just isn't enough time in the day to tell everything to each other, so we had to settle for 4 days of trying to get everything in. 
The first day of mountain bike we drove 9 miles up to the trail-head of Lolo Loop Trail, then rode another 4 miles up and looked at the views! Beautiful! Then the descent, crazy fun! Went back to the house, had lunch and took a nap. We all got up, had dinner, went fishing then my brothers and I went for a night ride up to the Rattlesnake National Recreational Area, so much fun!! So amazing coming down these huge descents in the dark and only a 500 lumen lamp. It was hard at times to keep breathing and to keep the shoulders and jaw relaxed. Boy, did I sleep good that night!!

Next day, we all kind of went our different ways. Eddie and I checked out Missoula, Jason and Myella went to the fastest Merry Go Round with the kids and to a Ghost town, Mom and Joe hung in the city too. Dad, went fishing. We went fishing later that afternoon too. That night though, Joe, Jason, Eddie and I geared up and headed for Sentinel Mountain to watch the sunset from the top and then a descent in the dark! Yahoo! Some wicked steep areas, sharp corners (tricky in the dark). Good thing Joe rides out there all the time to yell at us when we needed to slow down! We get back to the house, eat some more and visit some more, then bed.

So that takes us to the day Jason and Myella have to leave. I don't think any of us wanted our time together to end so soon! Elva and Mercury are amazing children. I'm so glad we were all able to be together. We were staying for one more day, so Eddie, Joe and I headed out for another day of riding. We decided to hit Marshall Mountain were there is a UCI course, another climb, loved it! Now this descent was STEEP and long compared to anything we have in New England!! What a blast, I know, I've said it before. After that ride we decide to take Eddie over to Rattlesnake Recreational Area since he didn't go with us the previous night. What a wonderful day of riding we had of riding and visiting with each other. That night was just a great time to relax and visit some more.

The next morning was time to head out. We had to head back to Washington State and Joe back to work. It was so hard to leave. So many hugs, some tears and more hugs and we were off to Washington. Mom and Dad in one car, Eddie and I in the truck. Back to Mom and Dad's,  the next day was looking at pictures, getting some printed out, visiting and just bumming around. Time to break down the bikes again and put them back in the cases, pack the backpacks and get ready to leave the next day.

Every time I had to say goodbye to my loved ones was so hard, I had tears every time. Saying goodbye to Mom and Dad gets harder every time. That morning we got up, packed our gear into the truck, gave more hugs, had some tears, more hugs, finally I had to get in the truck and head back to the airport to come back to New England.

To end this long vacation story, I can honestly say that this was one of the best vacations ever and I can't wait for the next one. I dearly love my family and dear friend, I miss them so much it hurts at times. But in the same breath when I'm on the West Coast I miss my wonderful children and grandchildren.