Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Back in Minneapolis

Ian and I are back in Minneapolis. We arrived yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon and were welcomed by Richard with open arms. It's nice to be home in our own bed and familiar environs. It was so special to be at Michael & Natalia's wedding. I hope they had lovely days in Paris.

Our drive from Ottawa was so beautiful. On Monday we drove through the Ottawa valley and crossed back into the States at Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan's upper peninsula and yesterday's drive took us through the northern part of Wisconsin across the Lake Superior bridge into Duluth and down highway 35 to the Twin Cities. The fall colors were beautiful and it was interesting to watch the changes from when we began in New York on October 3rd. Our Mazda drove wonderfully and now needs a good car wash and vacuum.

Ian telephoned Ottawa last night to let the kids know we'd made it back home.

Even though we've been working while on the road (thanks to laptops and good Internet connections) being back in the office means noses to the grindstone!

I'm looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving. Euorpe doesn't do Halloween trick or treating. We plan to return to Spain on December 4th for about 10 days. On Friday, December 23rd (the last day of the school term) Alex and Peter will come to Minneapolis to spend Christmas and New Year's with us.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Canadian Thanksgiving

This three-day weekend visit with Alexandra and Peter has been lovely. Today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day! After we take them to breakfast, Ian will drop them off at home and then he and I will begin our drive to Minnesota. Today, we will drive about eight or nine hours to Sault Ste. Marie (pronounced: Sue Saint Marie), cross the border into the US and check into the Hampton Inn.

Yesterday the four of us went by car into neighboring Quebec and drove through its Gatineau Park. We also visited the city of Wakefield with its covered bridge and learned during lunch that there is a steam train that runs between Wakefield and Hull (across the Ottawa River from Ottawa). During the non-winter months it runs several times a day back and forth and has a popular dinner train. After lunch we drove further east to the village of Montebello and visited the Chateau Montebello, which is a large hotel complex. Its main building is the world's largest log cabin. We also drove along the road that winds through its 18-hole golf course. The fall colors were spectacular. I am sure there are more to see as we drive back to Minnesota.

We will see Alex and Peter again on December 23, when they fly to Minneapolis to spend Christmas and New Year's with us. They will return to Ottawa on January 4, as school restarts for them the following Monday.

We should be back in Minneapolis tomorrow (Tuesday) late afternoon or early evening.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Post-wedding note

Just a quick note to let you know we arrived JFK last night safe and sound. We will begin our drive to Lake Placid, NY this morning as soon as rush hour slows down. We'll stay there tonight and then make our way to Ottawa on Wednesday. Our yellow sunbeam Mazda sat waiting for us in the long-term parking lot.

Being in Spain for Michael & Natalia's wedding was GREAT! We really loved being there to witness the ceremony and meet the new in-laws. Having Michael and Natalia come to Riumar for two days was icing on the cake! We look forward to seeing them again when we return for a visit.

We also enjoyed spending time in the renovated chalets. There are still some projects to do, but they are SO much better and the money we spent was well invested.

Our route here took us through Amsterdam and we bought eight dozen Dutch tulip bulbs at the Schiphol airport. We did have to declare them and stop to be inspected by an agricultural US Customs inspector at JFK (which took all of two minutes). The bulbs come with special certificates to clear US and Canadian Customs. We're hoping to plant these at the Stanchfield farm in early November.

We're back in Minneapolis next Wednesday after we enjoy this weekend with Ian's children Alexandra and Peter in Ottawa. Looking forward to that too!