Monday, November 03, 2014

Another roadrace

Time is just rushing by, and so much has happened. Let's see if I can remember some of it.
 For the time being, we are living back in Oceanside at Ton's AirBnB and are enjoying being close to Aariel, so we only have ten minutes by car, but most mornings I walk ,and it takes me about an hour.

It's always great to arrive and have Gavin ask for Oma as soon as I arrive. We usualy take him to the park where he can do his thing.














And then it's time to hang out with Oma














One of the great things about staying in Oceanside is that I sometimes walk to the Oceanside Pier early in the morning.
Weekend before last, here was a Triathlon, and Patricia and I watched it. The emphasis is on 'watched it,' We did not catch the swim, just the biking and the run.














Patricia got inspired

























video
















After the bike ride comes the running, and that goes along the Ocean, but I don't think the runners are too impressed at this time.

video



Friday, October 24, 2014

Nice surprise

Last weekend, we were going to the Santa Ynez Valley for Patricia's 52nd high school homecoming reunion.  As is our habit now, we booked into a great AirBnB in Los Olivos, and off we went. Our plan was simply to watch the Pirates' Homecoming game and crowning of the Homecoming Queen on Friday nite, go to the reunion lunch on Saturday and drive back on Sunday.

Los Olivos is the small town in the Santa Ynez Valley where Patricia grew up. I got all the stories from times gone by, just like when I took Patricia to Australia for the first time. You might remember that Los Olivos became prominent a few years ago when it was featured in the movie Sideways.

When we got to Los Olivos, we checked into our AirBnB and were made to feel very welcome, Sharon was like a sister and opened her house and made us feel right at home. It was then to our delight that we discovered that Saturday was 'The Day in the County' or for short, 'Los Olivos Day.'

First we went Friday evening to the Homecoming game. As I found out, it is a time when Alumni come home to their old high school to meet with their, by now, also old friends.

It was very fun for me as I have never been to a high school football game, and all the ceremonial goings on around it. Unfortunately our team lost bigtime, 14 to 59, but it was fun to watch and tell them what they should be doing from the stands.

Saturday morning I got up very early (5am) and went for a long 2 hour walk in the country - temps in the 40s, no lights and a beautiful star studded sky.

On my way back into town, all the vendors for Los Olivos Day were busy putting up their tents to display the wares.

Still setting up












Close to 10, we walked our two blocks to see the parade. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, and I was very tempted to join them, just to be seen and wave.
There was humor: "Small Farmer"












and a Big Tractor












Lots of antique cars












The only town I know with a
 flagpole in the middle of the
main street.























There were many other attractions passing by, like The Family School, a Guide Dogs training school, wineries, 4-H kids, a dance school, a dancing horse, etc.
After the parade was over, it was time for looking and shopping for some gifts.



















The day was very full. We sat and listened to a young jazz bands and tasted some great wines.

After this, we went to the reunion with about 25 people (out of a, graduating class of 100) and there was lots of food and great conversations.

Before leaving the valley as always, we went up the mountain to the place were Patricia and I got married and took a selfy.















As always, Patricia is moving the mountain to San Diego












Then it was time to head back to Oceanside.









Thursday, October 09, 2014

It's been a while

We have come and gone, or more like gone to South Africa for three month and come back home to play with Gavin.

I assume everyone has been following our trip on Patricia's blog, and yes, I know she has not finalized it, and that is still in the works.

We have been busy drooling over Gavin and his adventures and learning the ways to negotiating the world around him.
Gavin and Oma

Now we are searching for a place to live for a while, so we can get all our stuff out of storage and from the different places we have stored them at.

Searching for somewhere decent to live for an affordable price is very challenging here in our area.

I am happy to have Patricia on my side, She is the best researcher I have ever seen, so there is hope for us,

We just celebrated Patricia's birthday, and that gave us a chance to get some of the family together for our 2014 picture.
The family is growing with leaps and bouds

















With a bit of luck, I will now be posting a bit more often, so I can keep a record of what I have been doing when I start forgetting stuff.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sitting waiting

We're waiting at the airport in Johannesburg for someone to give us a lift out to get closer to home. Last night, we were still hoping to make it to Germany to attend my nephew's wedding in Freiburg, but when we saw Lufthansa was extremely overbooked for the next few nights with an equally long standby list,we realized it was not to be. We investigated Delta for a flight home, same thing there for the night. The flight was hopelessly overbooked, and there were a ton of people on standby with us 27 & 28 in the cue, so we called Hector at the B&B were we had stayed on our arrival here.
Now after having a good night rest, we are back at the airport waiting for another 8 hours until we find out if we can actually get on for tonite. The joys of flying standby! But we wouldn't be able to do this traveling any other way.

This rest just gives me time to reflect a bit on a great time here in South Africa,
One thing that stuck out for me was how relaxed life seems to be, at least in East London. I got used to walking slower and taking my time to do stuff. As an example, our gardener, Nico, annoyed me in the beginning for coming late, and I don't mean just five minutes; sometimes it was over an hour, but by the end of our stay, I just got used to it and was very surprised when he turned up on time on our last day here.

What also made our stay very pleasant here was the cost of everything. We would go for dinner and for a comparable meal at home of $25 per person including wine, we paid about half.

That's the upside for us. The downside is felt by the other side. People here earn very little, like $15 for an 8-hour job cleaning house or gardening.

The experience here made me appreciate even more the life we live. I suppose that is reflected in the statistic that says that we in the US & the Western countries in general are the top 1% of the worlds population.

We had great weather, so we took advantage and walked the beach every day and went on some safaris, Patricia covered all of that in here writings.

Whenever I park my car somewhere, someone would be there pretending to make sure it is safe, and of course, you tip them when you leave, and I found it very appealing how everyone cups booth hands when receiving a gift. The tip for a service like this usually is $0.05US. I am not joking.

We got to make a lot of great friends here, and on our last Sunday, Jimmy & Theone invited us to a great restaurant about half hour drive from East London, right above the beach. We ate lots of oysters enjoyed a fantastic buffet. To top it off, the chef at the restaurant is our new friends Mary & Steve's son.
Steve & Mary

Patricia & Ady

Rod, Jimmy & Theone

Mirjam & Annkathrine


















































Now we have another notch in our house-sitting job reference and new impetus to continue in the profession.


And to cap it off, we have another night in Joburg. Did not make it out of here; better luck tomorrow.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bloggggging

I've been looking forward to making an entry about the great party with friends we had yesterday, including some nice pictures and, something to say.

Well, I can talk about the party, but, there are no pictures. Once again,we had everything prepared: new battery, the right lens on the right camera body. Everything looked great; everybody was happy, and after a few hours, they left, and I had not picked up the camera once, just forgot.
The upside is,we had a great time with our new friends, but no pictures to prove it.

It often happens that when we have a great meal and want to record it, by the time we remember, the food has been eaten.

So I will simply recount what we prepared,
starting with Patricia's sundried tomato pesto, olives, mushrooms sauteed in sherry  ....

When everyone settled down, we served lemon garlic chicken, garlic shrimp - did I mention we love garlic - and a very beautiful looking and great tasting toasted quinoa salad, accompanied by a luscious green salad.

Theona made a great loaf of tomato, olive, rosemary bread that went just perfectly with the entire meal.
I made a Black Forest Triffle to round off the lunch.

We had water, wine and beer to wash it all down and coffee to keep us awake for the rest of the day.

I am looking forward to a Biergarten Party when we get back home, so, Michal, get ready.

Ah, I did take one picture of the empty table before it all started.















The party was for some of our new friends here in South Africa, for the welcoming birthday party and hours watching the World Cup together, for all the tips and recommendations they gave us, and the knowledge that we could always call on them, if needed.