Friday, October 10, 2014

Family, Friends, Wineries and The Harvest Moon

It has indeed been a very busy summer with grandkids, friends and a little bit of traveling.   Enjoy this montage of pictures (in no particular order) of our activities over the last few months.  We are indeed looking forward to our new adventures “Down the Open Road” starting soon and in sharing with all of you.  Enjoy and drop us a line if you’d like!
As we say . . . stay on the road ‘cos it’s going somewhere nice.Red rose

 Family ~

(l-r)  Ariana, our 13 year old granddaughter, with her pal Quincy; “Three Amigos” grandkids, Joseph (12) and sister Julia (2) and Ariana; grandsons, Jacob (7) and his brother, Daniel (9).     
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(l-r): Julia & Grandpa; Nathan (nephew) and his new fiancé, Brittany; grandkids Julia & Joseph at the ranch
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(l-r): Chuck on his “throne”; Abby enjoying her time outside the front door; Grandpa, Ariana & her Mom (Jeff’s daughter), Jena
(l-r): grandson Joe trying out Grandpa’s John Deer for the first time; Kay’s daughter, Jill and her daughter Julia doing a “selfie”;
Julia enjoying a better view on Grandpa’s shoulders at the Champ horse show.
At the horse show (l-r): Ariana modeling her “new” jacket; Ariana & friend, Amara; Grandpa, Julia, Joe, John (friend) & Jill cheering on Ariana.
(l-r): “Princess” Julia on her 2nd birthday; brother Joe with Julia & Mom (who is still the Queen); daughter-in-law, Michell & Eric (Jeff’s son) with Jacob
(l-r): Jeff’s mother, Dorothy (going on 95); Kay’s cousin Sharon & her mother Mary (Kay’s last living aunt) at age 102-1/2 years!
Friends we connected with while we were home ~
(l-r): Very good friends, Chip & Daisy (from Arkansas/winter in Texas) who stopped to see us on their way back from Alaska; having lunch with a long time friend, Judy;
friends Marietta & Glenn (from Isanti MN) who kept us busy with things to see in California/AZ last winter, and our dear friends from Minnesota who winter in Texas, Connie & Richard (just call him “The Colonel”).
(l-r): having pizza with Alfred & Diane; our berry picking “buddy” Donna and her friend, Brent; dinner with Karen & Ron (who let us enjoy time on their pontoon on the River) Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!
(l-r): Bobbi Jo (our masseuse) when we are home; Kay’s long time BFF since moving to Wisconsin, Janny (our “retired” insurance agent); one of Kay’s bosses from Bremer Bank, Suzie


Jeff & Karen – spent an afternoon with them at the Stockholm Art Fair this summer.

Wineries ~

Perched atop the Alma Bluffs, in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, overlooking the Mighty Mississippi River, this vineyard includes 15 acres which was started in 2003.  The actual winery was built in 2010  to accommodate the 20 estate grape wines that have produced more than 30 medals in Wisconsin.  The free complimentary tastings definitely helped to make individual selections of our favorites!  An absolutely beautiful day for Kay and Karen to be riding in Carol-Jean’s Sebring - “with the wind in our hair” - having a wonderful experience.  Next stop . . .

The tasting room for Seven Hawks can be found in Fountain City, Wisconsin.  Once again, on steep bluff lands overlooking the Mississippi River Valley.  The vineyards include northern hybrid grape vines and plum and cherry trees which produce some of the driest wines we’ve ever tasted.  Not quite our cup of tea, but we still had fun and that is what counts.  These two vineyards concluded the convertible trip for us girls as we took our purchases home to enjoy.  Salute!

A weekend camping trip with the RV introduced us to this winery which sits on a scenic hillside overlooking the Wisconsin River, just across from Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin (25 miles NW of Madison).  The 27 acres of hybrid grapes produce around 220,000 gallons of wine each year receiving numerous awards for its premium grape wines.  We took the guided tour which included the rich history of the winery as well as a visit to the traditional and modern wine facilities.  We were impressed that the emphasis is on education and enjoyment of wine as a responsible lifestyle by the Coquard Family.  The wine tasting experience was very unique.  With the many delicious wines that we tasted, it was hard to make a decision on which ones we wanted to take on the road with us.  We would highly recommend Wollersheim wines.
The Sun goes down . . .
. . . the Harvest Moon comes up ~
Now, we all have a vague idea of what a harvest moon is.  Seems really big and maybe an orange or gold-ish tint and kind of hangs low in the sky?  Well, you would be kind of correct.  But first of all you have to see it!  Clear sky.  No clouds.  Yatta… yatta… yatta.  We were fortunate to see it on the night of September 8-9, 2014.  We had decided to have a campfire outside so we had front row seats.  This picture really doesn’t do it justice though.  Don’t you just hate it when someone says, “You just had to be there to see it”?  And, if you are wondering why it is called the harvest moon, it is because it is so bright that farmers can work the fields and harvest their crops by the light of it.  An extra hour or two can make a significant difference to the farmer that’s for sure.
Before we sign off here is our travel update.  We leave for Pueblo, Colorado on Monday, Oct 20 where we will be visiting our friends, Nancy & Matt, the owners of Haggard’s RV Campground.  It is there that we hope to learn more about using our sluice from some of the experts in the area – and of course, try it out for ourselves!  We will be paying special attention to the weather though, as we want to remain in warmer weather as long as we can before getting to Lake Havasu, Arizona.  There are BLM lands for us to check out from recommendations received so we are anxious to get on the open road.  Plans are to have everything in the motorhome and ready to roll on that Monday so we continue to put finishing touches on getting the house ready for winter, and of course, everything in it’s place in the coach.  As our friends, Nancy & Matt sign off . . . Travel Blessings
Hugs Red rose
Kay & Jeff
"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart." —Eleanor Roosevelt