Delightful evening with Madighan…Tom returns today…

Another one of our adorable, fun, and quirky grandchildren, Madighan.

Last night was terrific with Madighan! Right away, we walked across the hotel’s parking lot to Pizza Luce, where we sat in a booth, ordered dinner, and had a delightful chat. After dinner, with a to-go container to bring back home to Miles with garlic bread, we headed back to the hotel to watch a shark movie and work on our crocheting.

On Sunday, I’ll get back to work on my crocheting project for Mad, and we’ll bring food for an early dinner when we return to Greg’s to watch the Minnesota Vikings game and have the food we’ll have brought from Costco, returning to our hotel around 5:00 pm for the rest of the evening.

Tom, TJ, and Tammy are returning from up north today, and they’ll drop Tom off at Billy’s Bar and Grill in Anoka in time for the usual Friday afternoon Lyman family get-together. It will be the final time we’ll see Tom’s siblings and other family members since we’re leaving Minnesota (and the US) on Wednesday to make our way to Quito, Ecuador, in South America. It’s a nine-hour flight with layovers.

This flight, much shorter than most of our flights, should be over in no time at all. Our only apprehension is how we’ll do in the high altitude where we’ll be for three days. Once we know we’re fine, we’ll be greatly relieved and be able to enjoy ourselves. We arrive a day earlier than planned to allow ourselves a little longer to acclimate to the altitude. Hopefully, that works as intended.

It’s hard to believe we’ll leave the US in five days. On Monday, we’ll focus on packing. All of the items we replaced and ordered from Amazon have arrived, and we will soon be able to fine-tune the packing and see where we are weight-wise. We will have to pay for our bags, but we hope we won’t go over our one bag each and one supply bag as the only checked bags we have.

If we go over, since we’ll be gone so long, we have an extra suitcase with a few cracks in its hard-shelled exterior that we can use in a pinch. We don’t want to add a fourth checked bag, but considering all the supplies we needed for the Galapagos cruise, we may be overweight and will have to deal with it one way or another.

This morning, when I went downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast, I met a lovely couple from Michigan, and we chatted for a few hours while another couple traveling with them joined us. The conversation was lively and animated. They enjoyed our stories and sharing their own stories, and I had a great time.

After a while, I realized I needed to get going to start on today’s post since I am going to leave the hotel at 2:00 pm to drive the rental car to Billy’s, so Tom will have a way back to the hotel, which is 45 minutes from Anoka. Tammy and TJ are dropping him off, which is in their neck of the woods, rather than driving him back to the hotel in traffic.

Greg suggested I leave the hotel at 2:00 pm to avoid Friday rush-hour traffic, which I plan to do in less than two hours. If I get to Billy’s early, I can have sparkling water while I wait 45 minutes for Tom’s family to arrive along with Tom at about the same time. I’d rather wait there than be stuck in traffic.

I haven’t driven that far in a few years, and I’m a little apprehensive, but I’ll do my best and be as careful as possible. Driving never bothered me in my old life, but now, after not driving for so long, I question my reflexes. Fortunately, no one will be in the car with me, and of course, I won’t be looking at my phone, only listening to the directions from Maps. Tom will drive back to the hotel at the end of the evening.

That’s it for now. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 6, 2013:

While on safari in the Masaai Mara, Kenya…We could sit for hours and watch the antics of the hippos. Their lethargic movement and playful personalities are a pleasure to behold. For more photos, please click here.