Artichokes and Pink Martini

If you like artichokes, Pink Martini, knitting, then read on. If you are interested in the woes of losing the last 20 lbs or working in education, then read on. If you want to know what it's like to be an empty nester or to share that nest with to two dogs, then read on. If you want to know what the theme is for Monday night dinner, when the kayaks are going out, or who was at the Y at 5am, then read on. If none of this interests you, just hit the button that says "next blog", & read on.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

One last goodbye

Almost time to head back to Chicago so we thought that we would take just one more tour around the lake. Captain, a 3 hour tour if you please.

Nora and Ann get the brunt of the sun and the waves on this trip. Katie's been on this trip before and when Rob drives she feels safer behind the glass.

Lake Wawasee is gi-nor-mous as you can see and is just breath taking if your favorite color is blue.

If you like green, the channel between the two lakes is where you want to be.

We think that marriage agrees with Rob.

Thanks for letting us share in this very fun weekend.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Its time to partay!!!!!

Congrats to the happy couple!!!!! Don't they clean up nicely???? Now, let's see if they can make it through the evening.

First there is the cake. I know what you are thinking, we all thought that too. I must tell you though, the cake was very moist and tasty, it was the frosting that would put you in a diabetic coma.

Ahh the groom on the center of the dance floor. You can tell he is very at ease the way he is clutching his Bud Light for dear life. (BTW when I went to the bar & enquirered about beer my 3 choices were ... Bud Light, Coors Light & Miller Lite ... enough said). We had the DJ play Rob's favorite song, Dancing Queen by ABBA, as all of his new neices ages 10 - 19 tried to teach him the latest moves.

Of course for the latest moves, look no further than Robert. Tess (one of the many neices) and her sister Nora thought Robert was the best partner of the night.

As you can see Gwen (9 today, 10 tomorrow) couldn't watch anymore when they progressed to the more advanced dirty dancing moves.

And now for a group shot of all the Tacomana, past and present. A pretty scarey group we make, don't ya think????

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

All the way up from Lousiville, Tracy and Robert came to join in the festivities. Just a 4 1/2 hour drive for them (through corn fields), they wouldn't have missed it for the world. As you can see, Katie was thrilled to see them. But to be honest, it was like we just saw them yesterday.

Rob being the always gracious host, took them out in the boat to tour Lake Syracuse and over the to big Lake Wawasee. They had a great time by all accounts. Robert and Katie got soaking wet and Tracy was often heard squealing like a school girl (what else is new).

Uhhh Rob, isn't it about time that you get ready for the reception???? Can't play in the lake and drink beer all day now can you????

Friday, July 27, 2007


We'er here!!!! Syracuse is a quiet little berg in the heartland. Only a handful of stoplights, a whole lotta pickup trucks and the sidewalks roll up promptly at 9 pm.

So we went to join the gang at Ann's (Mrs. Rob Ryan) Mom's home. After a little meandering, this is what we found. Below is a view from her deck. Oh yeah, I could live here.

And this would be the view back from the lake to the house. This was a quiet evening. As the weekend wore on it was not uncommon to see 25 - 30 people gathered. Swimming, boating, fishing, knitting (that would be me) or just plain relaxing as you passed the time with some truly wonderful people. Not only is Ann fabulous, but so is her family. Oh yeah, Rob got mighty lucky.

Just for you Paul. Wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and drinking to you. PBR in bottles .... who knew??? No, it doesn't make it taste any better, but it's the thought that counts.

Road to Syracuse, Indiana

After one fabulous day in Chicago, its time to head to Syracuse, Indiana. We had a struggle to get out of Chicago (guess they didn't want to see us go). Then toll bridge, Gary, Indiana (which we were told you didn't want to stop in for any reason) and several more toll road stops. Toll roads confuse me. Why stop an entire highway for 35 cents per car, whacky!?!

Then we were greeted by an beautiful sight: corn fields. You's think we were in Iowa. BTW, most of the corn wasn't quiet as tall as Kevin Costner or an elephant's eye.

As west coasters we got pretty excited by the corn fields. I mean you don't see those on I 5.

But then an hour later, they just kept on coming. So some of the magic wore off.

Corn field after corn field, as far as the eye could see, until the sun went down.

Happy Birthday Mitchy

Hey Mitch are you as old as Johnny Depp yet??? We hope that you have a great b day today. We are sorry that we can't be there sharing it with you, so we thought we would do the next best thing and send you some pictures of where we are.

We know that Chicago has a special place in your heart. I think that Chicago looks it's best when seen from the river.

Now a little quiz for you: Name this building!

Next: What's the name of this fountain and what TV show did it appear in every week?

Now what street are we on?

What building is this???

This is not a picture for you, but a gift for your kids. High School Musical is here in Chicago and will be playing until September 2. I think you might have to talk Mom into a road trip when you are visitng Iowa. Good Luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Knitting Break

I bet you were all wondering what I was doing when Katie and Margaret were doing all of that reading. I was attempting to knit. Lace knitting is completely new for me. I used to think that lace knitters were crazy. I don't know if my opinion has changed or if I have just join the crazy club. It took me 2 whole days of knitting and ripping before I thought I had it figured out. Then I knitted for two days, until my scarf was about 10 inches long (proud, I was so proud). Then disaster struck. I had one too many stitches, after back knitting, I had one too few, then I tried to correct the error of my needles when I dropped a stitch in the middle of the row. Arrrgh! I took a deep breath and cut the yarn. This picture represents knitting on a 6 hour flight from Anchorage to Chicago.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Margaret

I can't tell you how young Margaret turned today because it makes Dave look like a big, fat cradle robber. Let's just say that we had great fun celebrating Margaret's birthday on our last day in Anchorage. The day started with a stop at the UPS store (woooo whoooo). It seems that Katie & I have helped out Alaska's economy a bit more than expected. The we headed to the movie theater to see HP5. Which got a big thumbs up. Then it was off to a girl's lunch with Margaret's good buddy Gia. Next up pedicures at the day spa. And the grand finale' of the annual turkey dinner with all the fixings prepared by Margaret's Dad. We had a great time and it was the perfect end to our wild week in Anchorage. Thank you so much Margaret & Dave (& Lauren & Kyle & Laura & Keith & Alastar & Kieran & Gia & Mike & Roxy) for a wonderful Alaskan vacation.

Happy Birthday Margaret!!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Helllllllloooooooo, anybody home?

True confessions. Really the only reason that I made this trek was to meet Margaret's friend,Heather. Heather is a famous knitting blogger known even to theYarn Harlot. Though we have never met in real time, we are kindred spirits. Heather is a teacher, a knitter, a fan of Wicked and her favorite color is green (need I say more?). So I took this as a perfect excuse to travel 2,388 miles just to meet Heather.

So here I knit, standing all alone on Heather's front stoop. I wonder where oh where can she be?????

Rainy Sunday

What to do on a rainy Sunday in Anchorage, AK.

Well if you are Katie and Margaret, you lounge in your pjs and read Harry Potter. But not just read quietly.

Margaret: (laughs out loud)
Katie: Don't tell me! What page are you on?
Margaret: 147
Katie: (laughs out loud)
Magaret: What page are you on?
Katie: 147
Margaret: It gets better, just wait til you get to 149
Katie: (laughs out loud) Under the chair???
Margaret: I know!!!!!!
And it goes on like this.

Or if you are me, and are not caught up on the HP saga, you blog, swear at the lace knitting you are now ripping out for the 11th hundred time (I used to think that lace knitters were crazy, knitting that fuzzy dental floss yarn for hours and not getting anywhere. But now I am convinced they are they most gifted and talented people on the planet. And crazy.), and watch the Winston show.

Winston is Dave & Margaret's 3 year old English style Yellow Lab who loves to show off for the camera.

Winston: "Aaawwww OOOoooooo Werewolves of London .... "

Winston: "Take that you squeaky cow, you!!!!"

Winston: "I'm Vulcan Dog, take me to your dog food!!!!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Double Musky, Girdwood

Who knew a world class restaurant would be hiding in Girdwood, AK, but it is. The Double Musky Inn sits in one of the most scenic valleys in Alaska, surrounded by huge mountains worthy of a world class ski resort.

Dave & Margaret, our wonderful host, hostess, cruise directors, travel agents. They have been fabulous and we are having the time of our lives with them, not an exaggeration! We all have similar tastes and like doing the same things, eat the same foods and swill the same beers.

See why we all love Dave?

The Double Musky has been named one of the top ten restaurants in the country. They have published a cookbook with all of their mouth watering treats. This cookbook is so famous that the foreword was written by the illustrious Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens.

So Paul, we drove to Senator Stevens home, because we know that he is your favorite politician. This is the infamous house that corrupt construction built. Let's see if anyone is home, maybe we can get Ted to sign a cookbook for you a Paul.

Keep knocking Dave, someone's gotta be home. No such luck, maybe Ted will be home next time.

Anchorage Weekend Market

On Saturday we went to the Anchorage open air market. It was great with lots of fabulous things to see and eat and buy. Dave was excited to take Katie into a booth with native Alaskan art. Then Dave got Katie to pick up an oosik. I won't tell you what an oosik is, you will have to click on the link. At this point Katie has no idea what an oosik is or she wouldn't be smiling or holding it.

Look at that big smile. Yup, she still has no clue.

Most people really enjoy the Anchorage Market, but not poor Katie. Between her cousin Dave, the oosik and now this grizzly bear that just appeared out of no where, Katie went screaming and running from the market.