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Fall's Arrival soon!!!
Posted by Tina on Saturday, September 20, 2008 - 03:20 PM
(344 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes "It still makes it to 90 degrees each day but when I head out in the early morning dawn there is a hint of cooling air- a promise that the long hot summer will eventually give way - October please sweep away the humidity!! School has been moving along- lots of budget concerns with the economy downturn and slowing student population growth. I have 5 sections of Marine Science - busy setting up our aquariums and all that involves. Been dealing with some allergy issues- par for the course this time of year. Two weekends ago we headed over to Miami to visit everyone! Upon arrival at Paul and Gloria's I peeked in the door after I rang the doorbell and saw my darling granddaughter Alexa peeking back. Of course I cannot wait to hug her and Paul Andrew and enjoy as always being a kid with them. Alexa cracked us up when her Granddad starting taking pictures and she called out "Cheese"! We got a great shot of Paul, Gloria , Alexa , and Paul Andrew monkeying around on the floor. On Sunday we went to church- still amazed how well behaved my grandchildren are in church... Before heading home Gloria's family served a wonderful dinner - guess we tired out Alexa - she felt asleep in her highchair during the meal! Paul Andrew was still going-played ball with me during the Miami Dolphins game - he kept rolling the ball back and forth using his feet while lying on his back! I wonder if Larry Csonka started out this way....."

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August -Travel, School, and Storms
Posted by Tina on Sunday, August 31, 2008 - 05:30 PM
(362 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " Today is the last day of August and a day before Hurricane Gustav slams into the coastal region somewhere near New Orleans with predicted winds around 140mph. Let's hope this storm is not another Katrina- but it sure looks like it according to all the models.
The first week of August was spent in Brea, California in the LA area. Gene, Dan, and I traveled with Gloria, Paul, Alexa, and Paul Andrew for a week long visit. This was Dan's and Paul Andrew's first visit to California and Gene's and my first visit to southern California. We enjoyed a direct flight on our way out there and I was amazed how well Alexa and Paul Andrew did since 4 and a half hours is still a long time for a toddler and a baby!
We planned to visit the San Diego Zoo and visit Shannon and her family the first weekend. We took the tour bus around the zoo- smart idea -the San Diego Zoo is huge! We sat on the top level which gave us excellent viewing - we could see how long the panda lines were and decided a quick view was better than standing in line for an hour! On Sunday before we headed to Shannon's we visited the La Brea Tar Pits, Beverley Hills, and even drove along the Pacific Highway in Malibu. We took Malibu Canyon Road as we made our way to Shannon's which I thoroughly enjoyed - Paul was driving! It was great seeing Shannon again after 18 years and meeting Milt, and their 2 adorable children Amelie, and Lucas. Over a delicious meal everyone got acquainted - Alexa had a blast playing in Amelie's sandbox! Hope we get together again when they head over to Florida!
The rest of the week we visited a variety of places while Paul worked. We got together with Anna Maria and her granddaughters at a lovely park, at Huntington Beach Alexa and I ventured out into the Pacific Ocean and our legs did not get chilled!
On Tuesday we enjoyed a delicious lunch with the Disney characters. Paul Andrew accidentally punched Dale in the eye when "she" bent down toward him- did not get that on video! On Wednesday I drove the freeway(YIKES) so Dan and I could go to Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park. The rides were fun and Dan got to ride a scaled down version of Dragster- Xcelerator. I really liked Montezuma's Revenge! On Thursday we went to the Discovery Center -it was a great place for children as well as adults but on the day we went there was too many day campers. Wall to wall kids with noise to match... On Friday Paul was able to join us for a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific at Long Beach. Even though I like the setting of the Monterrey Aquarium more I have to say this aquarium has fantastic exhibits . Alexa and Paul Andrew enjoyed seeing all the underwater critters - Gloria let Alexa get her hands in the touch tanks. A wonderful ending to our California trip. The trip back home took longer since we did not have a direct flight but overall the little traveler's did great!
School began the following day after we returned home and we already used our first hurricane day the following week when students started school courtesy of Tropical Storm Fay. This storm gave Estero 10 inches of rain and stayed in Florida for 6 days! It actually made landfall at Cape Romano just below Naples. Thank heavens this was not a Hurricane Gustav!!!!
Well. we have another serious month or two for storms- we can only hope September and October do not get even worse....
"

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July 4th Holiday
Posted by Tina on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 01:17 AM
(400 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes "We had a grand time spending the July 4th holiday with family and friends in Siesta Key, Sarasota this past weekend! Dave's fiance, Lori, is from Sarasota and it worked out that she and Dave would also be down in Sarasota for the July 4th weekend .The weather cooperated 100% for the fireworks at the beach and the turquoise water and talcum powder sand was an unexpected delight! It was great chatting with everyone, relaxing in the calm seas, and playing with the little ones. Paul Andrew seems to be taking to the water like a fish- I can see a future snorkler... Alexa is taking her time checking out this new environment but she enjoyed wading in the shallows at low tide and helping Grandpa Csonka find seashells along the water's edge. She semi-dozed in Grandpa Armand's arms under the beach umbrella and like all of us found the beach breezes relaxing. Paul, Dave, and Dan impressed many beach walkers with their beach sand fortress they created! The evening beach strolls were enchanting- Gloria and I saw the green flash as the sun dipped into the horizon on the last evening- maybe next time Dan and Paul will see this amazing phenomenon!! However, we did not succeed in finding her carving of her initials in the "Point of Rocks" located around the bend on the beach when she was in high school. I say we definitely will have to return again to this lovely beach destination...."

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The Wilds of Wyoming and Montana
Posted by Tina on Monday, July 07, 2008 - 08:12 PM
(407 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes "Yes, my brother Bob was right . Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are UNBELIEVABLE!! Each time Gene and I have traveled out west- California, Washington State, Colorado, Utah... he politely mentioned that we still had not seen the "Best of the West". So we finally flew out in June to Sheridan, Wyoming and began our journey.... our original plan was to spend one night in Red Lodge, Montana and then travel on the much acclaimed Bear Tooth Highway to Yellowstone. An unexpected snowfall stopped all movement in and out of the park. Sylvan and Dunraven Passes in Yellowstone became unpassable due to all the accumulation of snow on these high elevations. So we stayed at the historic Pollard Hotel in Red Lodge a second night- which to say the least was a definite delight. The hotel was beautifuuly renovated and was wonderfully cheery and cozy. I can still envision the apple crisp with the tequilla blueberry ice cream for dessert... We spend the next day exploring the nearby Absarokee Mountains- the spectacular views made us wonder how could the Tetons surpass their majestic beauty. We discovered later that day the Bear Tooth Highway would be closed for several more days due to an avalanche the end of May that had taken out large sections of guardrails . Hmmm this place is definitely Wild!!
On June 13th the passes opened for all vehicles( no snow tires needed)and we were able to head to Yellowstone and spend 2 nights at the Old Faithful Inn as planned. We saw two young moose within 2 miles inside park boundaries and over the next 6 days we were not disappointed. Bison were everywhere with female elk and mule deer next in frequency. The pronghorn ( look like antelope) were often seen in the valleys were sagebrush dominates. Later in the trip we saw coyote, grey wolf, black bear, and finally a grizzley! At Tower Falls we saw Bighorn Mountain Sheep with babies- no male rams in sight. Many of these male mammals just take off for the summer and let the moms do all the work of raising the young! We later saw a beautiful Bighorn Ram feeding in a grassey field by himself and thought about those baby sheep standing on ledges over 250 feet up!!
We stayed in a historic room #46 in Old Faithful Inn - known as the honeyroom room- and even could watch Old Faithful Geyser from the windows in our room! All the thermal activity in Yellowstone is very interesting and HOT - 204 degrees plus!!
After leaving the cauldera (Yellowstone's underground volcano) we made our way to the Grand Tetons. These 11,000 plus mountains do not have any foothills and literally just rise up out of the Earth and literally cast a spell. You just keep looking at them and wonder if the view of these magnificent mountains is real. We stayed at Siignal Mountain Lodge located on Jackson Lake three nights and thoroughly enjoyed the cozy accomodations and delicious food!
The last leg of our trip included a half mile hike up to Hidden Falls, a float trip on the Snake River, a day trip to Jackson Hole, and a very interesting visit to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Yes, I can say without a doubt that Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are the Best of the West! There is so much more than what I have written here but I have to leave a few surprises .....
"

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Paul Andrew and Alexa- Growing Like Weeds!
Posted by Tina on Monday, July 07, 2008 - 06:43 PM
(339 Reads)
Family News Tina writes "It is true in Florida that grass grows before your eyes ! As a child in Virginia I often heard adults refer to the children growing like weeds and I thought it so silly a saying. But now as a grandparent I am amazed that in 2-3 weeks how much growth and change occur with Paul Andrew and Alexa. And like sponges they are always taking in everything around them and then later surprising you with their abilities and talents THEY want to share. No doubt all children display similiar behaviors but each have their own personalties, likes and dislikes, and just when you think you figured them out they can totally surprise you. This grandmother does act a bit silly and "Goofy" at times but thanks to Alexa and Paul Andrew I do not have to make excuses!!!!"

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