Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Mexico trip

Taking a vacation with small kids sometimes isn't a vacation at all.  Just ask Jill about Sun afternoon through Tues morning of last week.  I was laid up in bed with a stomach/ nausea bug, and Jill was on her own taking care of the kids at our hotel in Albuquerque.  We also questioned the decision to take a flight that landed in Indy at midnight on our way home.  Getting back in the swing of things is tough after going to bed at 2:30am.

Thankfully, I was at full strength for the rest of the trip, and we also visited lots of friends that entertained the girls.  So there was some adult conversation here and there, and we were very proud to show off the girls to friends that only knew us as the couple with lots of free time for bike adventures.

Big events were few and far between, but we did manage a zoo/aquarium visit.  That was the hottest day of our visit, so the kids mostly played in the sprayground. Our train from the zoo to the aquarium needed some work, so we had lots of time to sit, sweat, and chat.
When we lived in Los Alamos, Jill had a little sister through the big bros/big sis club.  Her little sister will be a senior at LA high this fall.  Kids grow up quite a bit after 5 years!
This is just to show that we really were not in Illinois.  I got to spend a bunch more outdoor time than Jill by going on a couple of bike rides with my friend Ryan.  Our big ride was from Los Alamos to Jemez Springs and back.  I ordered a green chile cheeseburger from Los Ojos, but they served it without the green chile.  At the time, I thought this would likely benefit my stomach, but things turned for the worse.  On the way back, my side cramped badly.  I was about 2 minutes away from hitching a ride back to LA when I laid on the road's shoulder by the Caldera.  The pain disappeared for the rest of the ride.

However, as mentioned above, I felt lousy for the next 2 days without an appetite.  I hate to blame Los Ojos, so let's just say it was my tummy being wimpy.  Regardless, I had a blast riding with Ryan once again (borrowing his very nice black Kogswell) through the Jemez mountains.
We selected our hotel because it had an outdoor pool.  A bonus was that we got to see some flooding of I-25 from an impressive thunderstorm.

We also stayed at Edie's house in Abq and the Gac abode in LA (and borrowed Edie's car to get there).  Many thanks to our gracious hosts.
 There was no shortage of kids, much to the delight of Clara and even Janny.  Boo's room was a favorite hangout because of his stupendous lego creations.
While driving us back to the airport, Edie said that our visit made it feel like we had never left (except for the little people being with us now).  I think that really good friendships are like that.  We just felt loved from the second we arrived to when we said goodbye, and we loved in return.  We just wish that the time intervals and distances didn't have to be so great.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Today is our 12th anniversary.  Smartly, we married in summer 2000 so that counting the years would be easy, even for big numbers like 12.
I'm about ready to go to bed, so my dozen year review won't be as extensive as you deserve, but here goes.

We've lived in 7 different homes in 4 cities in 2 states.  We've owned 3 different houses.

Of additional geographical interest, we met (Landmark apts), had our first date (Courier Cafe), got engaged (Crystal Lake park), and gave birth to both girls (Carle hospital) all within about a 1/2 mile radius in Urbana.

We've owned 2 cars, one of which we still own, and the other was Jill's prior to marriage which was sold a few months later.  I can't count the number of bikes we've had, but the current number is 8.

We've been to Mexico and Canada twice each and to both U.S. coasts.  We've never left the continent together (I never have, except for a trip to Hawaii.  Jill traveled much more than me before marriage).

We've had one somewhat major health procedure and 2 births.  Thankfully, we've been quite healthy so far.

We've been to 4 funerals.  2 for grandparents and two for friends.  The loss of friends still hurts.

Among our favorite adventures were weekends spent riding from Los Alamos to Taos and back.  The 9/80 work week at the national labs made for excellent weekend adventures.

We got 3 advanced degrees.  I still use mine.  Jill is on hiatus to raise the kids.

We've had ambition to learn instruments (me guitar, Jill piano), but since Janny has been around, motivation and energy have been decidedly lacking.

It's hard to say how we've changed over that time.  I have a little more patience, and I care about other people more (if you're not impressed, you should have known me then).  Jill is more teachable.  Probably having kids has made the biggest changes in us.

I won't attempt to predict the future, but I do hope that we get to settle down somewhere (here would be just fine).  We plan to love each other and enjoy life together wherever we end up and through whatever comes our way.

Chad ♥ Jill

Sunday, July 1, 2012

for real

We had a fun reunion of sorts last week as Jessie and Christi stayed with us during their annual midwest visit.    Wouldn't you know it, Alan was back in town from his wanderings in Japan.  We had dinner together at the newly refurbished Zorba's -- same great food, more updated interior, post-fire.  The plan is to see all of them along with many other friends during our upcoming New Mexico trip.
We found adventure on Saturday in nearby Monticello.  There is a train museum, and vintage trains run between the museum and 'downtown'.  We happened to pick the weekend when the steam train runs.  We ate lunch at the Brown Bag and then made our way back to the station for the return trip.
 Look at us feeling like we're were in the 1940s.  Leg room is slightly larger than modern airplanes, but the ceiling is about 9 ft tall.  Spacious!
 That's real, not simulated, coal smoke coming out of the steam engine.  Heaven knows how much time and effort and cash is needed to keep the engine running.  Surely more than the fares charged ($37 for the 4 of us).
 I only got to take 2 pictures before our memory card was filled.  We bought a new camera last week, but didn't get a new memory card to go with it.  75 pictures go by quickly.  Our old SD card was 256 MB.  New one is 16 GB!  What do we need a hard drive for again?
Clara amuses and frustrates us to no end.  A recent conversion with Jill:
J:  Clara, why did you take off your diaper?
C: I sleeping with no diaper.
J:  Why were you sleeping with no diaper?
C: For real.