Friday, October 28, 2016

10 October 2016

We are home at last and have never slowed down. Once arriving in Idaho Falls we immediately negotiated the purchase of a condominium on 815 Linden Place in Idaho Falls.

Plus settling down in the 11th ward, we spoke in sacrament meeting and reported to the Stake High Council our mission. An additional note, is to inform that John Hoffman ( a good friend of mine) died of cancer. I remember him well and his wonderful wife Nola from Jackson, CA
The details of buying a home and trying to ready ours for sale is physically and emotionally difficult not to mention the expense of financing a residence before selling your home is complex. 

Fortunately, the interest rates are low. Dawn and I have worked daily on cleaning, repairing and packing our home on 13th street. Not to mention painting, storing and fixing up the new purchase. So much to do and we are short on time.

Seeing Woody and Julia has been great and Josh and his family were up to pick up a car from Woody as well as take “stuff” from us to clear out our house.

The weather was warm initially but has rained several days this month. I was able to golf two day before the wet weather. Dawn and I are resuming our membership at the YMCA and rejoining old friends and making new friends.
Walking the Green Belt once more!

Potato harvest on the church farm

Dawn, sister Chris and Brenna

Painting new condo

Julia and Dawn stuck in a web at Cedar Park

Julia golfing once more

At the movies

Sam at ISU choir

Tate with his "new" Fiero from Woody

Temple by the river

Family photo on the Green Belt

As the month nears the end we are planning to move all our belongings to the condo and complete the preparations for marketing our home. Halloween is Monday and then November arrives with an entirely different perspective (elections and all)!

09 September 2-16
The month of September is here. We are due to finish our mission in two weeks. Labor Day week end in Nauvoo was “wild” with thousands of people celebrating the Grape Festival. There was a car show of extraordinary proportions. There must have been over 300 hot rods and classic cars.
Kelly and Zilla Griev were visiting Nauvoo. They came by to say hello to Dawn. Bro. Griev was the manager at Vicks’s grocery store in Sacramento. Dawn worked under him.  

We had a wonderful Bar BQ in honor of those leaving Nauvoo Temple mission. The O’Briens, Ludwigs, Fellows and Russells are all finishing up the next two weeks. Our schedule has been hectic since there are so many meals in visiting all our friends and co-workers. We will miss those who have been so incredible while working in the temple.

Finally the 14th of September arrived and Dawn and I said good bye to our friends in Nauvoo and traveled south through Missouri to St. Louis. We stayed at Quality Inn in Florissant, MO. We were hoping to go to the temple but it was closed for cleaning.

Next we traveled to Memphis, TN and actually stayed in Arkansas at the Roadway Inn in West Memphis, AR. Later that evening we drove 20 miles through Memphis to the temple. It was a small but beautiful temple and we were the witness couple.

The next morning we traveled to New Orleans, LA where we stayed at the Roadway Inn and Suites. Wow, what a switch. This place was old and small rooms with minimum facilities. The two night we were there gave us enough time to regroup and prepare to board the Dream cruiser. We attended church in New Orleans the 18th of September . Then we arrived at the NOLA port and parked our car on the 6th level of the parking garage and went through check-in before boarding and locating our apartment on the 10th level. Our room was large and had a balcony with view of the ocean. It was delightful.

For the next 7 days we relaxed and enjoyed all the amenities of the trip to Roatan Honduras. When we arrived at port in Roatan we met up with our dive group (4 of us) at traveled to the Pristine Bay to dive with the Black Pearl Divers. Mike our dive master was older and relaxed. No problems on the first dive but the second dive Dawn lost her regulator at the end of the dive at 20’ and panicked. We surfaced with her holding her breath (not a good idea!). Fearful she would die she screamed she would never dive again.

The next day we arrived in Belize and grouped up with folks going to the zoo. It was an hour bus ride to the Belize zoo. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of animal life and living in their native environments. The most impressive animal was a black jaguar named ___________.
Finally we arrived in Cozumel after a nights travel through rain. We were fearful of bad weather but it turned out to me perfect conditions. Meeting with our hosts the Sand Dollar dive group we filled out our forms and were boated to the dive shop. There were 17 divers on the Express dive boat and 4 dive masters. The equipment was top of the line and brand new (Scuba Pro). The instruction was terrific and the groups were small. Carlos was our dive master and explained we would be diving at 50’ in a current along the national park reef. Dawn and I were the first in the crystal clear water of 84 degrees. She did find and we had a marvelous time. Only a slight problem with her scuba mask at the end of the second dive.

When we returned to port on Sunday  and immediately started towards Tyler, TX on our journey home. Driving through Dallas was difficult. We had heavy rain, accidents and construction for 30 miles. We traveled 416 miles (6 ½ hours) and stayed in the Comfort Suites (a very nice motel). That evening in a driving rain we had sushi before retiring.

The next day on the 26th of September we drove to Amorello, TX (7 hours 450 miles) and stayed at the SLEEP INN & SUITES WEST MEDICAL CENTER. Again a wonderful place to stay with great breakfast.

The next morning the 27th of September we drove to Westminster, CO near Denver (6 ½ hours 434 miles). On our way there we stopped at the Denver temple and attended an endowment session. Then we visited Pauline (our old neighbor in IF) before going to our motel. The traffic was difficult. We stayed at the Quality Inn along hw 36.

Early on the 28th we left our motel and headed to Ft. Collins on our way to Laramie, Wy on our way to SLC Utah. This was a big travel day of (8 hours 521 miles). The most remarkable sight we encountered were the numerous prong horned antelope through northern Colorado and all along the Wyoming road way. Just a not to say we have encountered the following animals dead along the highway: raccoons, opossum, armadillo, white tailed deer, mule deer, antelope, rabbit, and a variety of unidentifiable.

How glad we were to arrive at Jon and Holly’s late afternoon for dinner and relaxation. Driving those long distances leaves me pulsing with vertigo and nervousness from traveling 85 mph in heavy truck traffic.

Just before we arrived home we had two events to attend. The first event was the wedding reception of Mat Munsee who was a missionary in Mozambique. He and his bride Lorie Anderson had their reception in Morgan Valley outside of Ogden, Utah. We stayed with the Munsee’s before the Nauvoo mission. Dawn had a ladies bike ride in the valley.

The death of Sandy Carden (Dawn’s cousin) led us to Salt Lake City to her funeral. She was a teacher at the Cordon private school in SLC for decades and was buried in Logan, Utah. We met many of Dawn’s family members at the Blue Bird cafĂ© before driving home to Idaho Falls.

Once home we have started an amazing project of buy a condominium and fixing up our house for sale.

Grape Stomp 5K

Ft Maddison rodeo with the Marshals

Bro. McDonald playing the farewell on the bag pipes

St.Louis Zoo

The beautiful St. Louis arch

Having breakfast at Shony's in Mississippi

On board the trolley in New Orleans

Coming to port in Cozumel Mexico

At the Belize Zoo

Favorite bird of Belize Tocan

The black jaguar

A splendid time at the zoo

The Carnival Dream 

Mrs. Porter in Denver

Sister Munsee at the reception

Lunch after the funeral in Logan