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Entries about grandkids

A Week of Playing With Grandkids

A week of helping with and playing with grandkids.

sunny 70 °F
View Fall Trip 2019 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Clayton and Jen had asked for us to return to Oregon after our stay in Canada so that we could help with kids for a week. We needed to arrive on time to take our grandson to an ice-skating birthday party on Sunday.

We left Canada on Saturday morning so we could visit Dale’s cousin in Seattle. Of course, U.S. Immigration didn’t like some of our food, after I’d carefully gone through the list of permitted food on the Homeland Security website. Crazy!!! The immigration officer said that we could not rely on the permitted items on the website, and we were given more current information. We decided that we will not bring any fresh veggies or meat across again. It is just too much hassle.

We made it to Seattle by early afternoon and after visiting our cousins we picked up food. It was a great find, we went to the little local Chinese restaurant and found that they made everything in a gluten-free version. We ordered everything gluten-free so that we could share.

After a night in the last Washington rest-stop before Oregon, we made it to Milo McIver State Park. We couldn’t stay in the local county park because we were not going to stay in the RV every night. We got to the park and were told that we could only camp until Friday, as the park was full for the weekend. The ranger gave us a list of available campsites and we grabbed the 1st one. We dropped the RV, grabbed our clothes (everything was dirty), and left for our kids’ house.

It was only with minutes to spare that we arrived to pick up Fynn. Fynn got his stuff, we got the address to the ice-skating rink and we were on our way.
The week was jam-packed with activity; taking care of the babies, making meals, getting big kids off to school and back, taking them to their various activities. But watching the babies participate in gymnastics, playing games with big kids and things like jumping on the trampoline was lots of fun. Dale taught Fynn to play chess, we played lots of Mexican Train and Uno.
The big kids had a school holiday on Thurs and Fri. We took them to our RV and spent Thursday night camping. They had great fun running on the trails in the campground.
On Friday morning we packed up the RV and drove the county campground near Clayton and Jen’s house. We left a forest for a crowded campground. We were happy to be close to the house but sad to leave the beautiful state park.

The kids wanted and we promised to take them to the pumpkin patch, they wanted to go thru the corn maze, eat roasted corn, ride the train, eat honey sticks and drink a milkshake. On Thursday we only had time to walk the maze so we promised to go back on Friday. On Friday we stayed and played, doing everything except eating roasted corn. We had to go back on Saturday for the roasted corn. There we found the best gluten-free apple pie that we have ever had. Unfortunately, there was no apple pie left by Saturday. Alas.
On Sunday, we had breakfast then packed up the remaining things and headed on down the road.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:32 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv family_travel grandkids rv_travel rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 Comments (0)

A day in Oregon City

Spending a day with our birthday boy and family

sunny 70 °F
View Fall Trip 2019 on Miss Chris's travel map.

We told kids that we’d only stay for a day and true to our word we left in the morning, after a filling a breakfast that included roasted green chilis. This was another morning, another day of driving, working our way north. The next stop was Oregon City.

Clayton and Jen’s house was a 7-hour drive but since we had our RV along, we drove straight to a county RV park close to their house. We arrived too late to visit them that night so made our own dinner and had some nice wine.

Jen had asked if we wanted to watch the 2 big kids participate in their jog-a-thon and of course, we said yes. We got to the park just in time to see Zoey walk into the park with her class. Each grade runs as a group and they run or walk for 20 minutes. Zoey, we noted, would run past us but then would walk the remainder of the way. But the run was to raise money so it didn’t matter.
After Zoey ran it was Fynn’s turn. He ran, taking lots of water stops, but he ran. He even let Clayton run a lap with him.
In the afternoon we played at the park with the kids, swinging the babies and watching the big kids run amok. It was fun to play with the kids, we were enjoying our time.
It was Clayton’s birthday and I’d offered to make some dinner but he opted to pick up Thai food. There is a little Thai restaurant nearby that offers many gluten-free items so we always welcome dinner from there. The Thai food went well with the champagne we brought to celebrate.
After dinner, we played with kids, talked to Clayton and Jen and just had a nice evening before going off to the RV.

That evening we started to pack up. We took an inventory of our alcohol, and since we had to leave most of it in the U.S., we packed it up for storage at Clayton’s. We also left food items behind that we knew would give us trouble over the border.

We had a nice breakfast with Clayton, Jen and kids, played for a little while then went on our way.

We drove to a rest stop close to the Canada border then stopped for the night. It was an early evening but we thought it would be better to cross the border 1st thing in the morning rather than try to have any hassles at immigration and get to a campsite late.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:43 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv grandkids rv_travel rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 Comments (0)

Working for Our Dinner

We were put to work on our vacation

sunny 80 °F
View Fall Trip 2019 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Bekki’s parents were at Nate and Bekki’s house prior to our arrival. We always enjoy meeting up with Alan and Julie (Bekki’s parents) as they are really nice and we have much in common, so we were happy to see them.

Bekki had work lined up for all of us parents to do but, as we tell our children regularly, “we are not paid to think and we do only what is good enough for government work”. Our kids knew what to expect from us!

Our job was to harvest the corn. This was not just any corn, but rather corn to be ground into a flour, it is dried on the stock. I had picked corn as a 10-year old child, the 1st time I’d seen corn growing. Before that, I didn’t even think of where corn came from other than the grocery store. So, we were to pick this corn off of the stock and put it into barrels. I quit a bit before the others because I wanted to shoot some photos of it all.
This corn was beautiful, cobs of every color. I was surprised when Nate said that the flour would have some color speckles in it but, because the inside of the kernels was white the flour would mostly be white. I took several cobs for our table decoration.
After picking all of the corn and putting the ears into barrels we were tired and hot. We went in for lunch with some nice cold beer/white wine.
Bekki wanted for me to harvest basil but then decided that the basil could wait for another day. We only harvested veggies for dinner.
Alan made soup out of the turkey he had roasted last night for dinner and we played the rest of our day away. Kids made sure that we kept busy playing with them.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:20 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel camping living rv family_travel grandkids rv_travel rv_adventures 2007_gmc_sierra 2007_gmc_2500 Comments (0)

Mesa Verde's Long House

A hike into the Long House

sunny 40 °F
View Fall trip 2018 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Tuesday morning, we had a fairly early hike, and with the drive up to the Mesa, another 45 minutes, made our departure time even earlier. I was a little concerned that there might be ice on the road as it was only in the 20’s but roads were clear.

For those who haven’t been to Mesa Verde, the mesa drive is so beautiful. There are pull-outs that look over the valley, pull-outs that look over the canyons one each side, and in some stretches, there is a drop off on each side with only the road visible. I found myself looking for ruins in alcoves within the canyon walls.

For this day we had a hike into a site we’d never visited before, “Long House”.

“Long House” is a different hike, 2 hours in total which includes the tour of the site, most other hikes only last 1 hour. The hike itself is easy at first, level and paved, but down into the site, the trail consists of steep switchbacks. It wasn’t so hard that we had to stop too many times on the way out, but, we wished we would have brought water.

The ruins are appropriately named as the alcove is long with the site stretching along further than others do. The ranger led us thru the site walking to the rear to see the seep spring, pointing out where the people collected their water. We reflected on how the community must have interacted at the site, possibly gossiping or exchanging ideas while collecting their water or keeping the chaos of children’s games from muddying their water. Coming out of the site the ranger pointed out a hand print on the top of the alcove.
Going into the sites gives one the sense of going back in time and the rangers are knowledgeable and give us a chance to reflect on those who went before us.
We are looking forward to going back.

Posted by Miss Chris 11:00 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip hiking mesa_verde grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra long_house Comments (0)

A Little Time in Balcony House

A walk into Balcony House in Mesa Verde

View Fall trip 2018 on Miss Chris's travel map.

Instead of playing in New Mexico on Sunday morning, we drove off to beat the storm. At least we hoped we were beating it. We wanted to get to Mesa Verde in Colorado where there was no rain in the forecast.

Driving north we always love driving by the “Earthship Homes” in New Mexico and someday we will stop so I can shoot photos of the fun homes. We know we are on the right road when we pass by the homes.

As we started over the pass we discovered that snow had already fallen, fortunately, the roads were not slick. It did snow for a bit while driving but mostly we left it behind after the pass. We did see so many beautiful trees in full fall colors and I was having Dale stop every few minutes so I could shoot more photos. He probably thought we would never get going.
We got into Mesa Verde after dark, and it was really dark. If our truck lights had gone out we would have been goners as part of the road is on a steep hillside. This must be one of the darkest places on earth. We found the campground and backed into our site, hooking up to electricity. We were so happy for electricity as it was below freezing and the heater quickly made our RV warm and toasty.

I had looked online earlier and found that only 2 tours into ruins were available and that this was the last week of the tours for the year. We couldn’t buy tickets online but rather had to go to the Visitors Center to purchase them.

First thing Monday morning we drove down to the Visitors Center, got a Jr. Ranger book for Zaya and tickets for the 2 hikes available. One hike was for that afternoon and the other for Tuesday morning.

Monday’s hike was for Balcony House. I was looking forward to this hike as we go thru a tunnel that was used by the Ancestral Pueblo people. Kids could stand up in part of the tunnel but most of us were forced to crawl. This is also a great site as we could walk in areas where they walked and worked. https://www.mesaverde.org/files/uploaded-images/2013BalconyHs_English.pdf
I had taken photos years ago in Balcony House but lost the negatives and gave the original photos away as a gift so I was so happy to be able to shoot photos again. I didn’t take the tripod but did carry my big camera for better photos.

Zaya was a little concerned about climbing the 30’ high ladder but after doing so wasn’t afraid at all for the others. But I was just a little worried when she was scrambling up the toe-holds etched into the cliff to the exit. She had to stretch her legs to get from one hold to another, then stopped and turned around to talk. I told her to keep her eyes on where she was going. I have no idea how I was planning to catch her if she fell and, since I was right behind her, I couldn’t shoot photos of the toe holds but did turn around and shoot one looking down the cliff. YIKES, how the ancients went up and down carrying babies, food or what have you, I have no idea!
Once again, the Jr Ranger program opened up opportunities for Dale and me to learn more. We visited the pit houses on top of the mesa, learning how they were built and how people lived. We noted the foundation walls of a village around the excavated pit homes. As with our other Jr. Ranger events we had to read every word of every sign with Zaya but again learned so much.
As the mesa top is open 24/7 we could take our time with our only worry being to leave by the time we wanted dinner. We were cold and tired when we returned to the RV but so happy with our exciting day.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:52 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip hiking mesa_verde grandkids grandkids_travel rv_travel grandkids_trip rv_adventures gmc_truck gmc_sierra balcony_house Comments (0)

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