Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bon Voyage

If anyone needs Sam or I the next couple weeks please check one of these places.We may be here, the Island of Mucura, staying at the Punta Faro hotel,

and also try here, we will be applying a lot of sunscreen and drinking fun drinks with umbrella's in them. If you don't catch us at the Mucura, try...

the Sofitel Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. We may be sitting around this pool
or maybe strolling down these charming Spanish streets, shopping or we will be in this horse buggy and seeing the sights that way. And when you don't find us in the busy streets of Cartagena, go to Tayrona National park and try these little ecohabs, where Sam and I will be staying.
and last but not least check out the World famous beaches at Tayrona National Park, or try one of the many beautiful views.
We are so excited and can't believe it is finally here. Bon Voyage!!! WOOT WOOT

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amtrak 101.

Things to think of before you take a 48 hour train trip across the country.

This is looking down the hall to our bedroom. Each room has doors on them and curtains so you can do anything you want in that little room... you just have to find the room!

If anyone we know wants to do an Amtrak trip this is the one thing I would tell you. UPGRADE. Get a sleeping car. When you upgrade you get all your food included and you have a private room. We played a lot of cards, ate a TON, drank some really really bad wine we smuggled on the train (they have alcohol but it is very expensive).Remember its a train. The sleep is not great and through Nebraska it was quite rough. Pop a sleeping pill and sleep when you can. You are not going to feel like it is the best sleep you ever had in your life. This was our sleeping car when the beds were laid out, and Sam laying on the bunk underneath me. You have a room attendant that comes and puts down your beds and puts them up and wakes you up if your train arrives when you are sleeping. ITS WONDERFUL!Dining car. It kinda starts feeling like you plan your day around your meals. The food is actually VERY VERY good and the service is wonderful. You have what they call community eating, meaning if you don't have 4 people in your party they seat you with people. We got to meet all sorts of people that way. We even sat with a Amish couple, they loved Sam and I. The views from Dinner one night in the Dining Car. OMYHELL it was gorgeous. This canyon is called Gore Canyon and the only way you can see it is by rail or kayak. It was so gorgeous. We saw Bald Eagles, elk, deer and it was breath taking. They have a viewing cart you can sit in and the entire car is windows. GORGEOUS!Sam in the viewing cart. They would announce over the intercom which side of the train would have the best views. So if our room was on the wrong side we would go up to the viewing car. Get your sea legs on because it is kinda hard to walk, but that makes it an adventure!They stop along the way and sometimes you can get off the train. This is in Glendwood Springs, Colorado.

So that is an abbreviated lesson on Amtrak. If anyone ever decides to go give us a call and we will tell you the "in's and out's". You should put going by rail across the Rocky's on your bucket list. It was gorgeous, relaxing an a experience of a lifetime. LOVED IT. But give your riding partner a gas pill because gas and a small sleeping car is pretty brutal. :-)I had to throw this picture in. Its a picture of Sam in front of his high school in Le Mars. I was so surprised how small Le Mars is and how FLAT everything is. This was the first time I had been to Nebraska or Iowa and it was a treat for me to see some more of this beautiful country we live in.

Now Sam and I are getting ready to go to South America on Tuesday.. CAN'T WAIT!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Memories to last a lifetime...

I don't quite even know where to start this blog. So I guess I will just dive in. I am going to do this blog in 2 parts. This part about the experience that Sam and I have went through that is so wrong on so many levels and so right on so many levels that I have to share and then later I will blog about Amtrak, being in Sam's hometown, and all the other stories of our adventure.
We went on Amtrak to Le Mars , Iowa where Sam was raised to say good bye to Sam's best friend. It was heart breaking but I cannot tell you how warm, gracious, and wonderful John's family was to us. They fed us, laughed with us, cried with us and made me feel like part of the family. Here are a few pictures of the celebration of John's life and I will never forget how wonderful everyone was and how heart breaking this experience was. This is John's parents, Ned and Wanda, Sam calls them Ma and Pa Ma Comb. Ned said to Sam when we were leaving "Having you here Sam was just like having John with us". *sigh!
John's family also asked Sam to be a Pallbearer. Nichole (John's wife) exact words to Sam was "Will you be a Pallbearer with the rest of his brothers!" *bigger sigh
Sunday night after John's visitation the family (while all together) decided to get Tyler (John's son) baptized. Nichole invited us along and after we went back to the MaCombs and as everyone sat around the table and cried, looked, at pictures, and talked Sam snapped this picture. PRICELESS. Sam wanted to be at there house every last second we could.
By the back door of Ma and Pa MaCombs house all the nieces and nephews had taken their shoes off and there was this big pile of shoes.

This is Nichole Johns wife. She is the cutes littlest spit fire you have ever met and I love her, hurt for her, and deep down inside know that she is going to make it through this!
Johns Family!!
What a wonderful, emotional week we have had. Sam said to me at one time sitting in the funeral home "Deb, I have never been so sad in my entire life!" and I think that is part of the grieving process. John was buried just like he wanted. In a Minnesota Vikings T-Shirt, a beer in his hand, and surrounded by people that love him.
and by the way. Sam and I are now the biggest Minnesota Vikings fans you have ever met!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

see you on the flip side!

This week has been a tough week. Sam got one of those phone calls that brought him to his knees. Sam's best friend John MaComb died on Wednesday morning. It has been a surreal experience and Sam has the "highlight" reel of him and John's life going through his head.

So Sam and I are headed to Le Mars, Iowa tonight (we will be back in time to go to South America next week). We are getting there by Amtrak and I am sure that John has a grin thinking that he wanted to send Sam on an "adventure" just one last time.
So here is to John MaComb who truly shaped the man my husband is today. A 24 hour Amtrak ride to Omaha, NE, a 2 hour car ride to Le Mars, Iowa and a Celebration of life we would not miss. Our prayers are with you Nichole and kids.

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I will miss you,
Until we meet again.

See you on the flip side John!

Monday, February 7, 2011

FAT that is with a "f" and not a "ph".

Sam and I had a Superbowl Party and I can not even begin to tell you the amount of food we had. I am quite certain I ate my body weight in food.

Thanks for the memories again guys!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tip Tuesday!

When it comes to furniture everyone that is about to buy a piece of furniture should ask Sam and I what NOT to do.
For example the beautiful table we bought last Spring. We love the looks of it but the chairs cost us a small fortune and they are entirely to heavy, and there is a decroative etched edge around the table that catches every crum, water and anything you have on it. This table has brought me more anxiety than any other piece of furniture I have in the house (well almost) I am so worried about it getting scratched or dinged because of the amount we paid for it I have not enjoyed it at all. So for a formal dinig room this table would have been PERFECT but to use in a breakfast nook like we do, IT WAS NOT THE BEST CHOICE!

Okay now on to my second furniture mistake. In our family room (the one we use ALL THE TIME), I wanted a kind of african feel so we also spent entirely to much money on this sofa and I simply HATE IT. If you are as anal as I am DO NOT buy a couch that has throw pillows as back rests. I feel like all I do is arange these pillows every day, all day, all night, all week, all month. I am arranging pillows.
So my tip for you this Tuesday is when buying furniture don't buy it because you love it. Make sure it works for where it is going.
Now I must go and arrange pillows and make sure noone is eating on my table.