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Christmas 2017

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Christmas 2017


We opened presents a little late this year.  We waited for Mike and Liane to join us.  They went to Liane’s parents early in the morning and got to our place by 10:30am or so.  Liane’s first Christmas with us!

We opened presents with Grandma, ate an excellent roast.  Liane and Mike went back to her parent’s house for a 5pm dinner.  We did the dishes and watched Dr Who.

Merry Christmas!



Christmas Eve 2017

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Christmas Eve 2017

XmasEve122417-2613.jpg  Christmas Eve 2017

Liane, Mike and Pam were all able to join us at Mom and Dad’s.  Pam was really good with Bennet.  We had to drive through a 4″ snowfall.  It was pretty but did slow traffic a bit.  We had lots of fun opening presents.  Molly brought some Costco pies that were really good. We took some really good pictures of the grandkids with Mom and Dad.  I got Dad a new printer and webcam.

Merry Christmas.

Christmas Eve 2017

Grandma Birthday 120217

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Grandma Birthday 120217

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Thanksgiving Nov 2017

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Thanksgiving Nov 2017

Our biggest Thanksgiving ever: 18 people, including Nasse and Vince (Great Lakes Naval Station), Nora and Timothea (Liz friends), niece Molly and everyone else (no Mikey). Things were fun and noisy. We cooked a 24lbs turkey and had a fire outside.  The weather was great.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017


Captiva Oct 2017

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Captiva Oct 2017

Saturday 10/28/17
-UA1189 (same flight as last year). Upgraded, bulkhead. Delayed 2 hours, had to change planes
-Met Ian and Leslie at airport
-Rented big Nisson mini-van, got into the wrong one, initially
-drive to Captiva: Rainy. Felipe Tropical Depression. We saw a serious accident along the road
-Stopped at Jerry’s Lots of wine.
-Stopped at Billy’s. Closed. Ordered bikes online
-Drive to South Seas: some Irma damage, but not really bad. Lots of standing water from the rain today
-Arrived at 1662. (last year: 1663, Ian and Leslie had 1661). Golf clubs already delivered. Questionable decor. We were year a few years ago for Easter
-Cathie and I took the upstairs appartment
-Happy hour on the patio. Lots of bird noises. They were mostly grounded because of the wind and rain
-Dinner at Lazy Flamingo. Key Lime pies
-Watched some of the World Series: Los Angeles vs Houston. Fell asleep before 10pm

Sunday 10/29/17
-Slept until 9am.
-Windy, mostly cloudy. Big waves on the gulf. birds grounded.
-Golfed 18 holes, teed off at 1 finished by 4pm. Really windy, sun started to peak out. Nick and Michael helped us.
-Happy Hour
-New tea pot, coffee maker
-Dinner at Sunshine Seafood. Really good. Key lime pie
-Watched World Series Went to bed LA leading 7-4. Woke-up: Houston won 13-12 in the tennth
-Slept in closest. Really bad sneezing fit. Clariton didn’t help much

Monday 10/30/17
-Cool! In the 50s. Clear skys. Lighter wind, but not good for kayaking
-Ding-Darling. Lots of people (surprise) and good selection of birdies: White Pelican, Reddish Egret, Blue Egret, Great Egret
–Aligators in two different places
–Saw flocks of White pelicans flying in
-Picnic at Baily Track. Saw turtles
-Stopped at CVS. I have a bad cold
-Played 9 holes at 3pm
-Took a nap
-Happy hour at 6pm
-Dinner at Muck Duck.
–Same outdoor performer
–Some empty tables. Got seated right away
–Key Lime pie was frozen. Slightly different than last year
-Star Gazing. The moon was pretty bright

Tuesday 10/31/17
-Cool, calm, clear weather.
-Sailed with Mick up to Cabbage Key
–Sailed about 5mph North, into a North wind.
–A little rough, but no sea sickness
–Lunch at the famous Cheeseburgur place
–Dollar bills and turtles
-Sailed back, slowly
–No wind
–Less than 3mph
–very relaxing. We got warm; took off our jackets
–one hour before sunset we motored in
–It was dark when we got off the boat
–We were happy. He took pictures
-Dinner at RC Otters
-Watched world series and did photos

Wednesday 11/1/17
-Slept until 9
-clear, calm and a little warmer
-Kayaked Buck Key
–Angel and Josh
–I used a new open-cockpit style kayak, green. Better. Loon by Old Town.
–Went around the far side of Buck Key, south toward Blind Pass, then back up Roosevelt Channel
–Bald Eagle hiding in the tree
–Lots of Osprey
–Far side of Buck Key was a little choppy but not bad
–Ian and Leslie tried out their new paddles

We went to our favorite Adventure Sea Kayak at Tween waters inn. We talked to Brian on the phone. Josh and Angel
helped up get launched. For a change, I picked the Old Town Loon Kayak. It had an semi open cockpit with a large
backrest. It was very comfortable. We kayaked around Buck Key in a clockwise fashion. The big event was seeing the
Bald Eagle on the far side of Buck Key.

-Lunch at Condo. Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich
-Golf from 3-5. A little crowded. Really good kid played through us.
-Dinner at Mad Hatter
-Fell asleep to the Astros beating the Dodgers for the World Series

Thursday 11/2/17
-Clear, Warmer, Got up before light.
-Just after 8am, left for marina to rent boat
-Boat up to Cayo Costa
–Followed Intercoastal
–Mostly went 20mph
–Smooth water
–Lots of white pelicans; water too shallow to approach closely
–Picnic on the beat of Cayo Costa State Park
–Nice person gave us a ride back and forth to the gulf side beach
–Water a little cool, but very relaxing. Could have stayed much longer
–Went upto 30mph back
–Captiva Watersports / Beach Bum Boat Rentals
–23ft Ebbtide
–VHF Channel 4
–Very happy to be back before 2pm due time
–ice cream sandwiches
-Straight to the golf course
-Jack took a nap
-Happy Hour
-Simple dinner at RC Otters
-Stayed up a little late to work on photos

Friday 11/3/17
-Slightly cloudy, low 80s, a little wind
-Kayaking at 10am
–Did Buck Key counterclockwise
–Down Roosevelt Channel, back up the far side of Buck Key
–cut through the mangrove trail and back
–Beautiful Bald Eagle, juvenile, being chased by Osprey
–Surprised by a manatee right at the marina, cool!
We launched from the usual spot at Tween Waters Inn Marina and paddled a course counterclockwise around Buck Key.
The first thing we ran into was a dolphin playing with a fish. We couldn’t get any pictures but it was fun to watch,
right in front of us. Then we paddled down the length of Roosevelt Channel and heading North along the far side of Buck Key.
The water was a little choppy. The first big patch of birds were Ibis and Little Blue Herons sitting together.
A whole bunch of them. Next about 2/3 of the way up the key, we saw a jeuvenille Bald Eagle being harrased by some
Osprey. Really cool. We then made our way upto the Mangrove Trail, we worked our way through it and headed back.
At the marina, a manatee swam right up to me, cool! It was a great day on the water!
-Quick lunch, peanut butter and jelly
-Golfing from 2-3:30. Cloudy, a hint of drizzle, some sun peaking through, windy, but not bad
-Roberto picked up our clubs for shipping
-United flight 1189 7:45am to 11:34am, upgraded. All on time.
-Met Ian and Leslie at airport. Big fishing boat, only one engine
-Wendy’s drive through
-Rented really big Tacoma SUV
-Filled back with luggage, barely
-Stopped at Jerry’s. Got lots of groceries
-3BR that we reserved was not available. Rented two 2BR for same price
-1663. Thanks to Bill for helping us.
-1661 and ours are tied together through the back doors. Worked out really well for us.
-Wine and cheese on patio
-Pleated Woodpecker
-Little fat bunnies
-Too late to pickup bikes too late to drop off clubs
-Late dinner at Lazy Flamingo. Watched Cubs game.
-Drove back to condo, watched end of the Cub game. They beat LA 5-0 and win NLCS!! Lots of celebration. W flag. VERY HAPPYT
–Go Cubs Go! Fly The W!


Grandma Birthday 092917

Posted by on 9:56 pm in family | 0 comments

Grandma Birthday 092917


Steve cooked hamburgers for all of us to celebrate Mom’s birthday!!

Purdue Homecoming 092317

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Purdue Homecoming 092317
We were honored to be invited to sit in the President’s sky box for the Purdue Homecoming football game.  That weekend started Friday night with a dinner, in the co-rec, with the Dean of the School of Engineering.  We had to stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Zionsville – all the hotels in town were booked.
Saturday we spent with niece Molly.  We had breakfast with her, toured the new campus library called Wilmeth Active Learning Center, then had lunch at the Presidents Council’s tailgating session.  From there we went to the game and Molly headed back to study.
At the game, we were happy to meet with President Daniels.  In his skybox, we met the famous Joe Barry Carroll, the star basketball player from the late 70s when Cathie and I were in school.  He was very nice and let me tell stories from the perspective of a fan admiring a star’s skills.
The game ended with a loss for Purdue.  Much of the game was close until Michigan ran away with the game. Box Score. It was nice that we were able to in the new Hampton Inn and Suites in West Lafayette.
Sunday, we had breakfast with Molly then I headed home. Cathie stayed another day for meetings with people on campus.

Cubs v Cards 091717

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Cubs v Cards 091717

Cubs vs Cards

At the very last minute, we decided to go to the Sunday afternoon Cubs vs Cards baseball game at Wrigley Field.  Molly, Jeff and Mary came with us. We got really good seats one section back from first base.  The weather was cloudy, and it was supposed to rain, but never did.  The Cubs won, but just barely. Box Score.
Somewhat dramatically, I was hit in the head by a foul ball in the bottom of the 8th inning.  Javier Báez hit me.  I was bleeding, but I really wasn’t hurt.  I could see, walk with balance and didn’t really feel like I had a concussion type injury.  But I know how head injuries work, and I was very worried. The Wrigley Field EMT staff quickly wheeled me off to the clinic behind 3rd base.  I stayed there the rest of the game making sure I was ok.  The medical staff was really friendly and gave me an autographed baseball.
The doctor and the nurse debated whether they should give me stiches or “glue.”  I was stopping bleeding on my own and they decided glue was good enough for me.  They were likewise very worried about me.  Earlier in the game, Schwarber hit  a home run and it hit a women in the face.  They say she was much worse off than me.  I count my blessings and appreciate how seriously I was cared for.
I told this story many times including at my French class.  Since then others have been hit by foul balls and the Cubs are probably going to extend the fences, in part be cause of me.

Brussels 090117

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Brussels 090117

Thursday 8/31

-Drove to airport. Cathie took a phone call, I drove
-Good parking place
-No checked baggage. New passports for Jack and Liz. Needed manual checkin.
-got Euro at airport. Small bills for tips/taxis
-UA972 ORD->BRU 5:55pmCT to 9:05amCET
–delayed about 2 hours for maintenance

Friday 9/1

Cathie , Liz

-Landed at BRU late, therefore understaffed Custom lines. Very long
-Got tickets at the kiosk. It only takes ATM cards: CMA card (actually a debit card) worked, none of the others
-Central station had military guards
-We carried our luggage down to the hotel. Lots of cobble stones lots of pedestrian traffic
-Checked into the Hotel Amigo: Rm 140 (classic king), 144 (executive — really big suite)
-Only 140 was ready. We washed up.
-We headed straight to Grande Place
–The Belgian Beer Weekend festival was all setup — Party!
–It went all weekend, full of tasting tents, 1000s of people and 100s of beer choices
–Lunch at Chaloupe D’Or
—Busy servers, mostly ignored us
—Croc Madame, lots of beer
—Harvard Rare books expert. Hit it off with Liz
-We walked around, took a one hour nap. Walked around some more then
-Dinner at Roy d’Espagne — I had an Omlette. Lots of beer
-New Discovery: Elisebeth Cholocate shop. Elizoen Piece. Loved it!!

Saturday 9/2

Le musée de la BD

-We slept well and had breakfast at 9:30, good, but purely continental. No big egg dishes. Not american style . We liked it!
-One of our goals for the week-end was to see the comic museum.
Comic Art Museum/Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée/ Musée de la BD
–Really good. Featured Tin-tin, Astérix and Smurfs
–I bought a sample comic book of each
–We stayed a long time and enjoyed a soft drink in their cafe called Brasserie Horta
-We walked over to the nearby Saint Michael & Gudula Cathedrale
–We’ve been here before. This time we noticed the queue of families waiting for baptisms
–We spent an hour or so here.
-We then had lunch at the square near the Novotel at the Grande Place. We called it the Charles Quint.
–Charge card said The Magic Rubens
–Really good quiche
–lots of beer
–excellent outdoor entertainment
–horses nearby
-Walked back to our hotel, but stopped at the Musée du Costume, nearby
–It was a nice for fee exhibition of wedding dresses
-We took a one hour nap
-Wanted to go shopping, but all the shopping was closed except the Evasion Used Bookstore
–It was a tresure hunt
–I found a book on Dunkerque, Liz found some too
-Then dinner nearby at Cafe Charbon
–Lots of beer, hamberger
–Nice young waiter
-For a night cap, we went back to the Roy D’Espagne to have some beer and share a waffle

Sunday 9/3

Cornelis de Vos

-Got train tickets to BRU from the Gare Central kiosk. Save the trouble of working Monday ticket lines.
-Had a nice light breakfast and walked our way all the way up to the top of the hill to the
-Musée Beaux Arts
–Featuring a Google-style multimedia show analyzing Bruegel’s works
–Most of my pictures were of Bruegel’s
–Surprisingly large amount of water damage from 2016 incident
–Nice, relaxing lunch in the cafe. Quiche/salad/fanta.
-We were thrilled to discover Comic Book Festival
–Fete de la BD
–At the BOZAR building and the Parc de Bruxelles
–Tents with all the famous and not famous names
–Liz made good contacts
–Lots of families visiting
–Perfect complement to our Comic Museum visit from yesterday
-Filigranes Bookstore
–The Parc is really close to the big Filigranes Bookstore
–Lots of people, cafe, titles, buzz — Like Barnes used to be
–Great section on French language learning books. I bought a couple
-Wandered our way back down the hill to our hotel
–stopped at the Gare Centrale to buy tomorrow’s train tickets
–Took a nap at the hotel
-Dinner at Moder Lambic
–Italian restaurant — pizzas and a hamburger
–fun server, knew 4 languages and agreed to speak french to me
–beer truck for the Italian Beers
–outdoor, loud, fun!
–lots of beer
-Last round of chocolates
–Stopped at Elisabeth one more time
–Bought gifts from Leonidas

Monday 9/4

-checked out from hotel. No problem with CMA
-Tried to take an earlier taxi from original 7am reservation
-taxi to Gare Centrale 10euro, much easier than dragging luggage uphill
-took 7:10am train to BRU
-Very light security and customs lines
-UA973 10:00amCET to 11:55amCT
–Noone in middle seats
–slept most of the way
–skipped customs. Used one stop