Monthly Archives: October 2010

We’re home!

After spending all day and evening in airports (the direct Edmonton/Phoenix flight doesn’t start till November) we’re home.

The start of a 3hr stop over in Calgary...a good beer to be had...

It’s such a wonderful feeling to walk into my warm, clean barn in the mornings.  The horses nickers, the sweet smell of hay and the thoughts of a good day ahead…a treat at so many levels.

The horses all had the day off yesterday.  Linds decided she’d break me in gently to the full assault of pre show season!  Thanks Linds!  I taught some lessons, watered the arena and fed treats to everyone.  A great day!

Greg joined us for breakfast to catch up on the details of the trip and news of Aleks and Neil and Andrew, Kirsten and Mack joined us later for dinner.  It was so good to see everyone today.

Mack showed us his dragon costume…roooooaaaarr.  He was headed to trick or treat at Grandma and Grandpa M’s and Auntie Shirley’s and Uncle Bob’s.  Hope they didn’t get too scared and he got lots and lots of treats!

Daddy caught a dragon (but first he has to put him in his dragon suit!!!)

Today everyone is back at work.  Gonna be an exciting day!!!

Off to feed the ponies…

V

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Home again, home again…

Coach washed and ready for the trip to California, we decided to try to avoid the afternoon sun and headed to the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum, Taliesin West.  This is a museum but also an accredited University for architecture (the smallest U in America).  A wonderfully creative place, full of ideas and beauty.

The front entrance of Taliesen West...find the front door...

A peaceful, lovely view.

The Sunset Terrace and the sunsets would be amazing from here!

The sculpture garden.

End of a great day with dinner with Aleks at Caffe Boa.  Mussels, gnochi, ahi tuna…really good.  Back to the coach for the evening and caught up on all the news on Aleks’ new job.  (Neil spend his last night before his test tied to his desk.)  Aleks is an Entomologist…she photographs bugs, watches bugs, thinks about bugs…all day, every day and absolutely loves her job.  She and her dad had a great discussion about bugs and buggy things for hours, just like when she was a little girl after a weekend fishing trip.  🙂

Off to catch a flight home…thinking of Neil today…

V

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My new addiction…

A last winter I found Audible.com. 

With all the flying back and forth to San Diego, I thought listening to books on my IPod would help break up the flights.  Well it works.  I love listening to books and have “read” more books this year than ever before.  I just couldn’t seem to be able to find the time to sit down and read conventionally.  And now…plug in the headphones and head out…a great walk, mowing the grass, cleaning my barn.

I have read some great books this year.  The New York’s Bestseller list is on Audible so the choice is amazing.  All of Stieg Larsson’s (don’t interrupt me, I’m reading!!, the grass was very short for a time this summer!!!); Ken Follet, ( I tried to “read” Pillars of the Earth many times and just couldn’t get into it…but listen to it…wonderful!, Fall of Giants is very good as well) and the most surprising was a very, very, very long book my son recommended; My Name is Red by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk.  It took a long time to really feel the magic of this book but by the end I was amazed at the intricacies this story threaded chapter after chapter.  I still can feel the wonderful colours and textures of Persia vividly.  Lovely.

Off for a walk “reading” my new book,  At Home, A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson.

V

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Missing my ponies…

The weather is great, we get to golf each morning and are having a great time with the kids (Aleks and Neil) but I miss my ponies!!!

This away time works because Lindsay and Peter take over the reins (literally and figuratively) and move into the house.   Not only do they do their normal jobs every day but mine as well while we are away.  Thank you Linds and Peter!!

The satellite feed in the coach is from Canada so we have been watching the “weather bomb” hit the prairies.  Glad the farm escaped the worst of it!  I’m sure everyone is wearing all their winter blankets especially wimpy Lance.

Here’s the view from the terrace at the eighteenth hole yesterday…

View at lunch at Viewpoint Golf Course

The eighteenth green at Viewpoint.

 

Golf for us is really just a walk along a very green path with lovely ponds, streams and the occasional water feature along the way.  We just happen to be hitting a small white ball (sometimes in the direction we intended!) as we walk along.  It’s a good thing the course is quiet and not very busy at this time of the year so we’re not holding anyone up behind us.  We actually are hitting the ball much better than last year (not losing so many!) but this still is a walk not golf…yet.

Off to walk the golf course…

V

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The big move to California has started!!!!

Okaaay, back on the blog !

We have spent the summer working hard and getting ready to head back to Arroyo Del Mar to work with Shannon Peters again for 2011.  Last winter’s work was wonderful and we came home with soooo much homework!!!  Shannon came up to Flying Colours in August and checked where we were headed and set us up with more homework for the upcoming fall.

It’s been so busy around the farm (I have an extra job…Grandma to Mack, the wonder Baby) and we have been slugging out at the basics on the horses (not very exciting) so the blog got put on the back burner.

Baby Mack, figuring out leaves!!

Mack and Daddy (Andrew) cleaning up Grandma's leaves on the JD.

 

Now we’re back on the road!

Linds and Peter took my little car south in September so we don’t have to drive the truck around in California this winter…the little car will be way easier on fuel costs!  Aleks and Neil have been babysitting the little thing in Phoenix. 

We left Wetaskiwin late last Friday and drove to Butte Montana the first night.  After a couple of hours of sleep, I got up and started driving.  We arrived in Las Vegas at 4pm.  So about 23 hours driving over a day and a half and we’re in the sunshine (or so we hoped!).  We ate soo well in Vegas…Mikos Isakaya, a small sushi place near Oasis RV park…wonderful service, fresh, great meal!!!, Vinter’s Grill, west of the strip (half hour or so), wonderfully interesting meal, lovely decor, and Julian Serrano, inventive tapas restaurant at the new hotel, the Aria.

A wonderful added bonus is that we got to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law, Stephan and Mary!  No planning on anyone’s part but we were both in Vegas the same weekend!  We had brunch at the Bellagio and attended the Lion King’s Sunday matinée.  Steve and Mary had a blast in Vegas and they’ll be back, I’m sure!  Ask them about the ‘copter ride over the strip…

As anyone who knows me…I’m a head to bed early girl and this weekend was no exception.  It’s been a busy fall and I really needed to catch up a bit on sleep!!!  And I did!!!!  Steve and Mary headed home early Monday and so for the next couple of days, we dodged the rain, walked a lot, and got the coach washed and waxed.  We headed to Phoenix on Wednesday am.

Ivars with the Vespas new friends...a couple of Harleys!

The new bridge over the Hoover Dam had just opened and we got an amazing view early Wednesday morning.  No traffic, light rain, beautiful light.  Amazing to reflect on what an engineering task this was!  We have viewed the construction from below, as we have crossed the dam under the new bridge for the last several years on our treks to Phoenix.  Really amazing.

New bridge over the Hoover Dam.

 

Hoover Dam bridge

Ivars has a course in Glendale Fridayand Saturday, so we parked the coach at the west end of Phoenix, at Pueblo El Mirage Resort.  Unfortunately they forgot to let us know the golf course is closed for overseeding till the end of the month…we’re headed to Viewpoint tomorrow, their overseeding  on the two courses, was finished last week!

Well we have eaten well in Phoenix, thanks to Aleks and Neil excellent guidance!  The Living Room, downtown, casual tapas and excellent wine bar; Gallo Blanco, at the Clarendon Hotel, modern, amazing Mexican fare in a hip downtown hotel; Smashburger, an alterative to In N’ Out, near the university, excellent sweet potato fries!; and last night we headed to Grimaldi’s, a favorite for our family, in Old Scottsdale, the best pizza in the world (I know, a big statement, but true) and great beer and near to the kids house.  Neil is tied to his desk, studing for his PE exam on Friday so after dinner he heads back home to hit the books…go Neil go!!!

The weather is beautiful and we spent the day outside yesterday.  A long walk around the park, driving range and 9 holes.  Hot tub in the afternoon and Ivars swam lengths.  Today is more of the same after we have the coach washed again.  (We drove in the rain from Vegas and it’s quite muddy…it does rain in the desert!)

Taking advance of our last couple of days here…off for a brisk walk around the park…

V

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