Monday, July 31, 2017

China Town with the Hoovers July 2017

One of the reasons we ventured down to Florida was because we knew when the Hoovers came back thru Chicago on their way back to Manila, my critters would be a camp. So they stayed with us for a few more days and Bella and Kianna had to make do without Ada and Emmerson. We ventured out a bit but they were also winding down and needed to pack and organize so we kind of took it easy. One of the days we took the train down to the city, walked downtown to meet Brandon's sister, then took the redline L to China town. Lots to see and do in Chinatown but we first went to the food court "mall" area to have some lunch. We settled on a place that focused on dim sum and had a nice meal. Afterwards we walked down the main drag and then got the water taxi back to the train station that services the suburbs and made our way home. Nice day.  Not a lots of photos as I have documented this stretch of Chinatown before but I did like this alleyscape below.

Would be interesting to live in one of these apartments backing up to this alley. My grandparents lived in an apartment building like this in Yonkers, NY and it burnt to the ground - with all sorts of stuff that we had brought back from Malaysia and were storing there. 

And  a nice juxtaposition of the traditional and the contemporary, the Chinese architecture and the quintessential Chicago downtown architecture .... 

Random Stuff Back Home in July

I went on an hours long weeding spree of the back patio and sidewalk - not the most pleasant of activities but looks a lot less green. Unfortunately, it looks like another weeding is just about in order ... 

Emmerson not sure whats going on with that hair!

Neko found probably the most uncomfortable spot in the sun room and slept there fro several hours.

.... in the shoe box

Po in a bit more comfy place - Emmerson's shorts drawer. 

Good Po!

Colorado Wheaton House Reunion 2017

Rocky Mt. High .... sure that phrase has not been overused in the past few years. So I'll leave it at that. A lot of contingencies existed that needed to be addressed before I could consider taking this trip. But things came together and Alicia found a flight 3 days before the departure date that matched up with Mark and Girish and a few of the other participants. We met at the airport in Denver and carpooled up to Darin's place just outside of Winterpark.

And I guess I should explain this reunion as it is a bit unusual for me to be participating as I did not live at the house. These guys all lived together at a house in Wheaton their senior year and I was still living in Wheaton doing various things. So I hung out at the house a lot as a few of my friends lived there. It just so happened that they had a housemate named Kent who they rarely saw so I became the houses surrogate Kent. When they made a time capsule video for the house, I filled in as Kent. So anyway - I was welcome at the reunion - but the reality of it was to go and see Darin and enjoy a weekend away with a bunch of guys and friends.

Obligatory windy selfie in the driveway of Darin's place.

Mark posing outside of Darin's place. We flew in Friday morning and then drove up fighting traffic to Darin's - lots of people had the same idea as we did - get out of the city and up into the mountains. But it was good to chat in the drive up. Once there, we hung out for a bit and then went to a really nice "rustic" mountain lodge type of restaurant. 

Looking good - at least colorful. 

Views from Darins and the restaurant.

This was from the patio of the restaurant. Good eats and a good evening.

Milling about. I think we were one of the only diners other than the folks to the left so that was an added pleasantry. 

The next day we woke up relatively early - I went for a run walk with Girish for about 4 miles or so - beautiful - rather more interesting than chugging around the suburbs of Chicago.  Two of the house fellows were really into cooking and fired up an impressive breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning and also dinner on Saturday night. After breakfast, we headed out for a drive up to a peak in Rocky Mt. National Park and walked about a bit. I had actually been here before back when visiting my mom and Ardis. 

Cool mountain lake - bet it was a bit chilly.

7 of the 10 fellows who attended. Really solid group of guys and very interesting to hear what has been going on for the last 20 years. 

After the mountain peak drive and walk about we drove down a ways and parked near a tributary of the Colorado River. A nice trail ran thru the woods paralleling the river. We walked for several miles just catching up and enjoying the landscape. We came across a herd of elk and this one was relaxing in the grass just off the trail. I sent the picture home and Ada thought it was a llama ..... 

So after the hike we returned to Darins and had a great evening of fellowship, food and a few beverages. Great weekend. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Watching over Peter July 2017

Naples Boat Intercoastal 2017

After a day hanging at Brandon's Dad's house pool and the beach we decided to rent a pontoon boat and head out into the intercoastal. The intercoastal is a waterway that runs up the coast and includes lots of natural landscape and some rather impressive housing developments. This is manatee country - lots of signs as to how to avoid/address them but we did not see any. But there was a lot of other wildlife including several dolphins at various times including a pair that swam around and under our boat for a bit. Really neat trip. We stopped at a beach and had a swim and the girls enjoyed jumping off the back of the boat and swimming about on our own little beach. Really neat venture.

All the girls on the boat.

Emmerson and Ada enjoying the breeze.

And the three of us with the development along the intercoastal in the background.

Lots of signs indicating what to do in the areas where manatees might be present and the storks took advantage of the signs to create their nests.

Sign indicating manatee awareness and a big stork nest.

Emmerson with her tangle of hair - perhaps what happens when mom is not around for a few days ... 

Emmerson in full squint.

Ada looking casual - enjoying the boat ride.

Some nice properties along the intercoastal.

Mini golf course along this property.

A few yachts.

After a while we beached the pantoon boat so the girls could go for a swim.

Emmerson is into doing flips but had never done one off the back of a boat so she was excited to do so. 

One of the houses along the intercoastal was obviously into the wonderful world of McDonalds ....