Saturday, August 29, 2015

On The Plane To France

Here I am riding in high style on my way to France for the week. Looks to me a really busy week of meetings and I just noticed that I may be coming down with the cold Clancey had before I left. Not ideal to be sick the week of travel but far better than being sick the day of Ironman. Only another 8 hours and I'll be in Toulouse checking into my hotel and then doing my best to stay awake so I can adjust to the new time zone.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Headed to France Again

I thought that I was going to get to be home for at least a month before I had to be back on the road for work, turns out I was wrong.  Today I got asked to go to France this weekend to support a week of meetings at our French facility.  So today I got my travel booked and will be on a plane Saturday morning so I can be in the French office first thing Monday morning.  The weekend after I get back from France I'll be headed to Madison to do Ironman Wisconsin.  Once again it's going to be a busy couple weeks of being on the road.  Maybe one of these days I get a good solid month of getting to sleep in my own bed.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clancey's Soccer League

I'm pretty sure I posted this last spring but Clancey took a soccer clinic put on by the Cedar Rapids Soccer Association.  They had one of their coaches come down and give the North Cedar kids a full week clinic on soccer.  Turns out that the coaches really thought Clancey was something else and he could be quite good so they personally invited him to join their league in Cedar Rapids.  Today was his first day of practice in Cedar Rapids.  Clancey had a really great time and learned a lot.  While shuttling him to Cedar Rapids 2 times a week may not be ideal it's worth it to give Clancey the experience of playing with good kids and coaches.

First Day Of School

Today marks the first day of school for the boys and the day that Marshall had to go back to Lowden for another year.  At the end of the year last year they decided to move the High School to Clarence which meant that the 6th graders had to head back to the elementary school this year.  Technically Marshall went from Junior High back to being an elementary student to a year.  Seems like the summer went way too fast once again but as you can see from the blog we did have one hell of a good summer.  Going to be hard to top it next year!

Friday, August 21, 2015

State Fair Big Slide 2015

State Fair Day

Today we all piled in the car, I took yet another vacation day, and we headed down to Des Moines for a day at the fair.  As you can see from the pictures above we managed to hit all of the family favorites and even ran into Mema and Papa as we wondered around.  I guess there isn't a whole lot to report about the fair other than we had a good time and now that it's over Christmas Season is offically upon us ;)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jacee Is Home

Monday evening after a 2 month stay in the hospital our neighbor's Joel and Marisa got to bring home there newborn baby girl Jacee.  This evening they invited us to stop over and see Jacee for the first time and, as you can see from the picture, Jen got to hold her.  She is cute as a button and I'm glad I'm fixed or Jen would be bothering me to have another baby.

Monday, August 17, 2015


After 14 hours on the road and fighting tons of traffic around the Gary, Indiana area we are home!  Not that I'm necessarily excited to get to work and be done with vacation but it will be nice to get back to my routine for a while.  Seems like its been forever since I've just been able to go to work and come home and watch a little TV in my chair.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On The Way Home

Here we are at the start of our long journey home so I can get to work tomorrow after being out of the office for 2 weeks.  The plan is to do the full 12 hour+ trek from Beaver Island all the way to Clarence today.  Probably not going to make it home until nearly midnight depending on traffic but it will be nice to get to my own bed for the first time in a while.

Pictures of the House

Papa requested that I put up some pictures of the inside of our rental house so he could check it out.  I guess I should have taken more then two but it's too late now since we checked out and are headed to the boat.  Hopefully this works for you Papa.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Last Day On the Island

Hard to believe but here we are again on our last day on the island.  Just like a lot of years in the past we spent our last day on the beach enjoying out final views of the water.  I guess I did get a 1.5 mile open water swim in but after that I just sat there and relaxed, listening to some music, the waves and watching the boys play in the water.  Not really looking forward to getting back to the real world on Monday but I guess vacations eventually have to come to an end.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Catching Minnows

On our drive around the island yesterday we happened upon an interior lake that we had never visited before.  While we were checking it out the boys noticed there was a whole bunch of minnows swimming near the shore and really wanted to try and catch some.  We told them we would stop at the hardware store to find some nets and come back today to see what we could catch.  The boys spent and hour or so wading in the water trying to catch the fish, turns out it was way harder than expected, but they did manage to catch some.  They had a good time and it was worth the trip down.

Ride Around the Island

With Ironman coming up I figured it would be a bad idea to not do any real bike training for the week I was on vacation.  This morning I went up down rented a decent mountain bike and rode around the island.  I've talked about doing this for the past few years while I was here but never actually made the time to do it so it seemed time to actually do it.  It ended up taking right around 3 hours to go the 30 miles around the island and was a very scenic ride.  I pretty much took the path that we took yesterday when we went and saw Big Rock, Big Birch and Iron Ore Bay only this time it was a tad bit slower.  I'm thinking I'm going to have to make this ride around the island an annual tradition.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Iron Ore Bay

After our stop by the Big Rock and the Big Birch seemed like a good time to drive down to Iron Ore Bay to check it out.  Iron Ore Bay is one of the coolest beaches on Beaver Island so it was well worth the trip.  While we were down checking out the beach Clancey spotted "Elfie" hanging out on an old metal thing in the water.  He was pretty excited to see "Elfie" and figured he was out on his summer vacation before the Christmas Season got in full swing.

Big Birch

Just down the road from Big Rock is Big Birch which always requires a picture to be taken as well.  They had a new sign in front of Big Birch to remind people to not vandalize the tree by carving their initials into it.  Other than the new sign the tree looked just like it did last year.

Big Rock

It's not a trip to Beaver Island with a stop by Big Rock, which we didn't discover until just a few years.  As we were taking out picture at Big Rock we noticed that a reality sign was posted near by.  Apparently you can buy the parcel of land that Big Rock is on if you want.  As much as Jen and I want a place out on Beaver Island we aren't quite ready to get a place so I guess the Big Rock is going to get sold to someone else.  Hopefully they don't put a big fence around to keep people off.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Afternoon At the Beach

After our crazy long hike this morning we decided that sitting on the beach for the rest of the afternoon seemed like a spectacular idea.  We've noticed that it's been quite a bit warmer this year then it has been every other year we've been here, which has meant warmer water temps for the boys.  While I sat and napped in my chair the boys worked on an epic sandcastle, pretty nice afternoon.

Family Hike

One of the things Marshall wanted to do the most on this trip was to go on a long hike.  There is a really nice trail over by Protor's Tomb that we know about and hiking it has become somewhat of a tradition at Beaver Island for us.  It's about a 4 mile long trail out and back so it take the better part of a couple hours to hike and generally meets Marshall's hiking needs.  This year we found that the trail was somewhat overgrown in places but it was still you could still hike it.  We had a good time but this afternoon we are all going to need to relax because we are all good and tired after that hike.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Afternoon On The Beach

After playing a little frisbee, at Clancey's request, and having our daily trip to Daddy Frank's for ice cream we decided to show Jen and Clancey the beach Marshall and I had found the other day.  It was windy as heck so we really couldn't get it but it sure made for some spectacular waves.  As you can see I bought a slingshot for the boys to play with and Clancey took quite the liking to it.  Hopefully if is isn't too windy tomorrow we can spend the afternoon at the beach and get in the ice cold Lake Michigan water.

Morning Bike Ride

This morning, since it wasn't raining, we decided to head out of a bike ride and check out the lighthouse that we hadn't made it too yet.  Besides being a bit windy out it was a spectacular morning to be our bike riding.  Ended up having a few issues with the bikes that we will have to get corrected before we head out for long ride but the house were staying at looks like it has enough tools to get them up and running again.  Not sure what the afternoon holds but I'm sure we will find something to do.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Picture Of Our Rental House

I just realized looking back on my blog that I haven't posted a picture of the rental house yet.  The house is really nice, except for the lack of internet, and really big.  I'll have to take some pictures of the inside and post later this week when I managed to track down some internet again.

Rainy Morning

With this morning being cloudy and rainy it seemed like the perfect morning to sleep in and play games indoors.  I decided it would be a good idea to bring the Magic the Gathering cards and this morning was a great time to break them out for the first time.  Sounds like the sun is going to come out this afternoon so I'm not sure what the plan is but for now it's just relax and play games indoors.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Found the Beach

This afternoon, while Jen and Clancey were relaxing at the house, Marshall and I decided to go explore a bit and find the beach that is close to our house.  Turns out the beach is only about a quarter mile from our house and you have to walk through some woods and weedy beach.  Once you get here though it's pretty nice and very private.  We are going to have to make a plan to come spend the better part of an afternoon here.

Island Fun

Here is some images of our first day island fun.  When we got here Clancey asked if we could get a Frisbee and throw it around for a bit.  We did that for an hour or so before we were able to head over to our house.  After we got unloaded at the house we headed up to Daddy Frank's for some ice cream.  I promised Clancey that we would have ice cream every day which he plans to hold me too.  

We're here!

We have officially arrived on the island and we can let the relaxation begin!  Jen and I were talking and both agree that coming to the island is a lot like a charging a phone.  When you get here both of our batteries are on nearly empty but by the time we leave our batteries are nearly full and we can get by for another year.  The plan is to savor every last moment here and just time to relax and reconnect!

Officially on the Way

After our little hiccup this morning we are all on the boat, car included and heading to the island.  Since we don't have wireless internet at our rental house and cell phone coverage sucks I had to spend the an hour working on some slides for work, since the boat has internet.  Really wasn't that big of deal though because getting the slides done meant I could spend the rest of vacation not worrying about work.  I didn't make some time to take some pictures from the boat so I could put up a good blog post ;)