24 June 2008

Home Sweet Cabin

Brooktondale Cabin

In case you wondered how we really like to spend our vacation time, you should have a look at this album. We met up near Ithaca, NY to give a week of badly needed attention to a family property on Geo's dad's side. It was a lovely week. It was great to spend time with all the brothers (sadly Anne and her family couldn't make it) and lots of other relatives too. It rained every day we were there and it was so green. Quite a contrast from the desert. I'm hoping some of George's pictures make it into this album soon and anyone else who has pictures should share them also!

It will probably be another year before we all gather there again, and hopefully this time it will be without so much work involved. But the hard work pays off and it was a pleasure to spend a week there.

20 May 2008

Rim to Rim to Rim (R3)

Some statistics:
South Kaibab Trail is 7.1 miles to the bottom of the canyon from the South Rim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Kaibab_Trail
North Kaibab Trail is 14 miles from the bottom of the canyon to the North Rim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Kaibab_Trail
Bright Angel Trail is 8.1 miles from the bottom of the canyon to the South Rim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright_Angel_Trail

On Friday, Geo and Mark left Prescott around 3 pm. They met Sabrina and Walter at the Mather Campground on the South Rim around 7. They had dinner and went to bed. Wake up came early on Saturday morning. They broke down the camp and moved the vehicles and were on the South Kaibab Trail at 6:55 am. Geo was the first one up on the North Rim around 6 pm. The rest followed shortly. Meanwhile, Simona and I left Glendale at 7:30 am and were in Flagstaff by 9:30. We had some errands to run and then we were back on the road at 12. We made it to the North Rim at 4 pm and had the camp set up before 5 pm. Geo ran into the campsite and sent Simona back with the car to pick up the others (it's about a mile and a half to the campsite from the trailhead).

On Sunday morning, we were up at 5:30 but didn't make it to the trailhead until 7 am. They were quickly off and I got to go take some pictures before meeting back up with Simona at the campground. We packed up by 9:15 and then we hiked on a North Rim trail called Widforss. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widforss_Trail We hiked about 2 miles each way. Then we hit the road to the South Rim. We arrived just after 4 pm because of multiple stops for taking pictures along the way. What a scenic drive it is! We set up the camp and got a shower before Geo arrived at 7:05 pm. He ran from Indian Gardens all the way to the campsite. That took him one hour and 35 minutes. Wow. It took a little longer for Sabrina to summit and then Mark and Walter came along too. We were all clean and had dinner by 10 pm. Mark drove home that night (he had to teach on Monday!) and the rest of us passed out and were up before 6:30 on Monday morning.

The drive home was easy compared to all the little stretches of highway we were on Saturday and Sunday. We got home about 12:30 pm on Monday and we were back to our routines instantly!

Total trail miles hiked: 43.2, with a bit extra for hiking on the rims (just shy of two marathons, which would be 52.4 miles).
Total miles driven: approx. 794 in 3 days.
Hours of sleep (for Krissy): 6 each night (one night without a sleeping bag due to my last-minute counting error).
Hours of enjoyment (for Krissy): the whole trip!

I hope you think that my husband and friends are crazy: this is not normal behavior. R3 is not meant for everyone and certainly not reasonable in 2 days. These people are very lucky. It could have been very bad for them. Thankfully, they survived and are even talking about doing it again!

Enjoy my pictures. I hope to be adding more from Sabrina and Simona soon.

Best of Krissy's R3

17 March 2008

Four Peaks

Normally, I would let the pictures speak for themselves, but this was such an adventure in itself, I must tell you how the day went. Sabrina, Walter, Geo and I set out for this after taking care of family business first in the morning. We gathered supplies we thought we needed (food and drinks) for a short hike. Our plan was made the night before and we had a description of the trail - moderate, 4 mile loop - and we had directions and had looked at the map on googlemaps. Off to a good start. We set off sometime around 11ish from the west side of town. It took 45 minutes to get to the far east side of the valley. Then we drove off towards the turn off from the highway. We spent about an hour looking for our turn, before we finally called in help from my mom and dad. First, I amazed I had signal in the middle of nowhere (near Sunflower, AZ). We talked for about 15 minutes, trying to find out where we went wrong. Finally, my mom sleuthed the answer by googling for other hikers' journals. That worked well. We found our turn and set off for 19 miles of dirt. That took an hour and a half. It was only then I saw the words high-clearance on the sheet of paper we had. The Vibe is a great car, but high-clearance is really a stretch. Oh well, like we could turn back now?
We set off on a lovely road featuring great camp sites and tons of off-wheel recreation vehicles of the 2 and 3 wheel sort. Most of them were quite friendly as they must have laughed at our imposing size. We finally reached the parking area and decided we were underdressed. It was cold on Saturday. Never got over 60. And very windy. It was good we had an odd collection of long sleeves to wear on the hike. And our 4 mile plan quickly doubled when we decided to hike the extra 1.3 miles each way to the trailhead instead of drive. With all the commotion about the cold, I actually forgot to bring snacks along with us from the car. Oops. At least we all had water. So, I did about 8 miles without snacks. No fun. It was 3 hours of walking, in all. I was very happy to get back to the car, where there was plenty of food. We celebrated our very cold hike with a Green Machine, an Odwalla juice. Then we drove back the 19 miles of dirt (another hour and a half) while we studied our Spanish knowledge as a group. Good fun (mucha divertida?)! Who knew Sabrina speaks Spanish too. That makes something like 6 languages she can get by in ;)
We arrived in Fountain Hills and all I could think about was pizza and beer. We thought we'd show our "tourists" the fountain while we were there, and there was a place called Euro Pizza with great pizza, cold beer and a view of the fountain to eat outside while propane heaters kept us toasty! Doesn't get any better than that. I think we got home around 9:30 pm. Not a bad day. No, in fact, a great day!
Four Peaks

29 January 2008

Birthday Party

Well, about 2 weeks ago when we found out Geo's mom needed the coronary bypass operation, we told her surgeon, okay, fine, but she needs to be home by her birthday. We said hospital birthdays are no fun. Well, after a major surgery with a lengthy recovery, we are just blessed to be able to celebrate another birthday with McMom, period! So today we decorated her room, invited a few friends over, and had "high tea" with scones as the birthday pastry of choice (great idea, Andie!!!). Mom seemed to love it and we were all happy to celebrate the day with her. And her surgeon stopped by and was happy to wish her a happy birthday as well. I won't mention that we broke about every rule the Critical Care Unit has, but it's all for the patient's well-being, right? ;)
FYI: the broken rules include 1) no more than 2 family members visiting at a time, 2) no food or drink in the room except patient food, 3) actually, breaking the first rule felt like breaking two at the same time, because it was mostly friends visiting and there were 7 of us there at the same time. Mom's nurses have been wonderful and her nurse today was a doll for letting us entertain mom this way and they even bought her a balloon and a sweet little angel for a present. We are so spoiled!

Enjoy the pictures!

McMom's birthday

22 January 2008

Surgery News

This is better late than never, but for those of you who follow this blog, you probably know about our McMom. She just underwent a scheduled triple bypass operation yesterday and she is doing well, thank God. She's recovering in the Critical Care Unit for now. Hopefully this surgery will improve her chances to travel again, something she was missing as her health started to decline. Thanks for keeping her in your prayers.

We love McMom!

01 January 2008

Happy New Year v 3.0

This is my third posting on or around New Years. Amazing how the time goes. This year, we are NOT setting out on some truly global adventure. I know, how sad. Instead, Geo is turning all his focus on growing his new venture: Arizona Tags and Titles. This is a very worthy thing to do. He's got his new MBA skills, time to put them to use.
I will be attending to all the home fires, some of these haven't even been started yet. It will be a wild adventure for me, I'm sure.
New Year's started off with a bang! Sabrina was here from Germany for the holidays. We threw ourselves a traditional German style party, complete with sparklers, bleigie├čen, feuerzangenbowle and a showing of "Dinner for One" (don't ask). Just after midnight, we started setting off a string of firecrackers and colorful fireworks. The only problem was the very very cold wind.
Our guest list was short and sweet: Me and Geo, Pooja, Sabrina, Walter (also visiting from Texas), McMom, Andie, Michael, Vania and Simona.
I wish you all a happy and healthy year full of blessings. We hope to keep this blog up to date once in awhile...even if we're not living truly globally for the moment.

Keep in touch!

NYE 2008

18 December 2007

Slice of Paradise

This part of Australia, the northern beaches of Cairns and the surrounding areas, is so idyllic, this is the only way I can describe it. We saw everything from the reef to the rainforest in such a short time. We rode on a catamaran, a train, and a skyrail cable car. We petted koalas, kangaroos, cockatoos and experienced culture while having dinner with aboriginal people. I'm not sure what else you could ask for in an adventure. And to top it all off, we beat the Christmas rush! The weather there was warm, but not too hot for me. The humidity was high, but I think I'm even getting used to that! We had some early/late showers, but it never rained on us while we were out and about. Stunning, absolutely stunning...

Cairns and Kuranda