Monday, June 23, 2008

No Toto, we *are* still in Kansas

...at least for one more day! Sorry there haven't been any updates since we got here. If you've been checking the twitter feed you get a little bit of the happenings here and there, and there are also more photos on the flickr page. But every time I thought about doing a blog post, I was either booted off by others wanting to check their email, or I just plain didn't feel like it! Which I guess is a good thing, I'm enjoying not being AS connected as I usually am.

It's been a very good visit with Nanas, and Bret's sis Valina. Even though it's a very small town (I mean like, VERY), we still managed to keep pretty busy. Unfortunately a lot of this was due to some hours of clean up around their property from the tornado that hit a couple of weeks ago. Each day there were volunteers from K-State or Salvation Army cleaning up brush and cutting down broken trees (the photos above is from their back porch looking at the sunrise over some of their broken trees), and the city had the street closed off in order to help further up the hill where unfortunately the homes are in much worse shape. Worse shape meaning roofless in several instances. Nanas were pretty tired, but I think having some family around through it really helped their spirits. It was very sad to see all the damage and the toll it has, yet inspiring at the same time to see the good in people as they came to help. I must say I'm just a teeny bit worried about the van, as it will be sitting outside here for the next month. A tree in the middle of it would make for great photos I suppose, but I'd rather avoid that happening, heh.

We managed to spend a couple hours at the Sunset Zoo during the week, and trust me, you only need a couple of hours because it's a very tiny place. The neat thing about it was how close you could actually get to the animals, and since the weather is more agreeable, they are actually visible (unlike the Phoenix Zoo in summer!).

We also celebrated Nana's 25th wedding anniversary on Sunday. They had a small re-affirmation of their vows, and though it was unfortunate that many canceled due to the tornado, it was perfect all the same. They had their children and their grandchildren with them. It was intimate and beautiful. I asked them if they would perhaps head to Cali or New York and make it legal, but it doesn't really matter if it's not acknowledged in the state they are living in. For now, it's acknowledged by those who do matter, and I can't help but smile at the irony of their "unofficial" marriage lasting 25 years. Take that, haters!

Have I talked about the food yet? I feel like all we've done when we weren't actually moving is eat. I'm trying SO hard to be good, but I'm in the midwest! It's a meat-and-potatoes kind of town. I think I've had my body weight in beef over this past week. We did get treated to a couple of local favorites though. A great breakfast cafe in a converted office space, and some Jamaican food out by the reservoir. They were the sort of places that you wouldn't know about unless you know someone who lives here, and the food was pretty darn good at both of them. Bret and I also got a treat of dinner and a movie, to which we went sprinting out the door to escape the kiddies for a few hours. I know, how original. Dinner and a movie. There's one theater in this town friends- you tell me what else we were gonna do?!

There are also a couple of birthdays! Samantha's was yesterday, and tomorrow is Allison's. (For those who might be a little confused, we celebrated them last month so they could have parties with their friends). Now they are officially 8 and 11, respectively. We had a party for them on Saturday night. They really did enjoy spending their birthdays with their Nanas.

So now our time on this portion of our trek is coming to an end. Tomorrow everyone is heading out horseback riding. I'm staying behind and will start getting things together for our flight to Boston Wednesday. We will be there for one day, then we head down to NYC/Staten Island for the weekend to see more family, then one more week in the Boston area before we leave for London! We will be meeting up with some podcast friends while in MA- the Wicked Good family and ScottyJ! (Or, "crazy Scott" as my children call him.) Hmmm... this might be a good opportunity to pull out the H2 and get some audio. Politics, anyone? ;-)

~Dani

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey,
Glad to be able to follow along. Tell the celebratee's Happy Aniversary from me. Ours was the day after. Happy Birthday to both we love you and can't wai to see you. Don't worry about the Van it's insured. Pictures are great although I get confused with all the sign in's and all. Give my love to all.
Dziadzi Dad

Danielle said...

Their actual anniversary date is May 13, but this was when family could get together to celebrate with them. :-)

And I know yours is the 23rd... I just figured we'd acknowledge it when we get there!

Love you and see you this weekend!