On the Train!:
Morning in Utah (a look at our accomodations). On to breakfast. Meeting a friend in the dome car and taking a picture of another friend later. Getting to wave to the rafters on the colorado near the headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park. A quick run outside the train in Grand Junction Colorado. Some Colorado scenery. By the time we got to Denver it was about bedtime on our last night on the train. Incidently, here is what our compartments looked like. We had two adjoining in a suite with a sink, shower, and toiled in each. Just like in Germany(!), seems we like this dual living quarters business.
First sister - Loralee: Cooling off in the sprinkler and some fun on the Mississippi - e.g. in the canoe, some fun swimming and look what Faye found (it's a fresh water clam if you can't tell).
Second sister - Carol: On the way up she suggested we stop at a park where we got a picture of Claire riding with an indian. We also saw a lock on the Mississippi. Carol had fun showing us the little door where the elf lives who wrote the girls a letter.
Grandma - A picture from Grandma's yard.
Bozzers - We stopped to visit Yvonne's aunt Marianne and her family as well as Yvonne's grandmother Vilt who is the girls great grandmother.
Grandpa - We got to spend some time with Yvonne's father also. He taught me how to use a tree harness to do some tree trimming. We made the tree ready for a tree swing. Perhaps we will get pictures of it later when Yvonne and the girls return. The girls were fascinated by grandpa's workshop where he makes so many wooden things for them.
Third sister - Anita: The first day visiting Anita we all went out in their boat. We had great fun water skiing and swinging and then dropping into the lake from a tree that we found with a rope in it. We also saw some old farm equipment at an antique farm equipment show. My brother in law, Chris, also showed me some modern farm equipment. The girls got to ride on a tractor and we all got seranaded by the Phelps sisters.
Fourth sister - Linda: We got to spend some time at Bakers where we had breakfast and spent some time in their pool. The girls spent enough time in the pool that we felt they had become water safe. Yvonne and Linda also had a good time in the pool.
Elaine and John - Lastly, we visited our friends the Brodemus' where we had a good time wading and floating in the Fox river and sitting around their gazebo.
Second half. After I returned to California Yvonne and the girls stayed in the Midwest for a couple more weeks. They did many things during that time, but I have only included a couple of highlights. First Faye playing the piano for her cousin Dagny. Then there was Faye's first driving experience (on a driving lawn mower belonging to her grandfather Gene. One of the highlights of the second half of the trip (which I sadly could not attend) was the Neal family reunion. Here is the full Neal family reunion picture (large jpg, ~118KB, here is an even larger version ~312KB if anybody really wants to examine it). Here is a picture of just the Neal family cousins (also pretty large, ~150KB). Finally there was some time to visit with our friends the Trowers. For example, the girls together in the pool or in the park. Here is also a pretty fun picture of all the girls with David.
All in all quite a delightful trip. Still, as is often the case with such trips, we are glad to be back home together again.