Tuesday, July 31, 2007

By Request(sort of) - Chicago Pics

Us in Chicago! Really it was all surreal to me, look at those buildings!

And by request, a picture of the Vlachos! Chris and Patty were great hosts!

Elijah, and Jackie a little ways behind him, at the water feature, Crown Fountain, in Millennium Park.

This the Cloud Gate, but everybody calls it the silver bean.

Jackie and Elijah again.
We had the best tour of downtown Chicago, we saw all the sights worth seeing, esp. Wrigley Field. We hope to go back soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Here is a picture of Jackie and Elijah at the beach today. We went to Laurel Lake at the Pine Grove Furnace State Park,
the kids had a blast.

Here is a picture of the smallest bedroom in our home, it is decorated very much like my office back at CLT,
just on a much smaller scale.
Yesterday, we made it over to Lancaster County to see the amish country. It was very cool to see all the buggies. I am sure though that the non-amish of the community get quite annoyed at it if they are in a hurry, I can see how in certain areas they could slow down traffic quite a bit.

When we drove to Lancaster County, we took the York Road out of Carlisle, then headed to Lancaster (the town) on HWY 35, got off on the New Holland Pike and then headed to the Newport Rd, going through such towns as Eden and Paradise, and oddly enough, Intercourse.

Since we have been here in PA, whenever we go anywhere, I have tried to stay away from the Pennsylvania Pike (Toll, I76) and I81. It is fun to head over the old country highways, you get to see all the old farmhouses and old townships. (On a side note, Carlisle is a bourough bordered by a few townships like South Middleton and Middlesex, so to a westerner, this is all kind of strange.) The roads are set up quite different here. Heading out of Carlisle is the Holly Pike, the York Rd, the Harrisburg Pike, Walnut Bottom Road, etc, all named after the destination. In many cases you could go 3 or 4 different ways to one destination. Back home in Colorado, it would be the equivalent of different roads heading out of Cortez, one to Dolores, one to Stoner, one to Mancos, one to Durango, one to Shiprock, one to Farmington, etc. (of course the mountains would make it quite hard), but I think you get the idea.

There has been many little details like the roads above that I have found quite interesting. Another item is ice cream - there are little homemade ice cream and custard shops everywhere, I'm surprised Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins can even stay open here. And of course everyone has their opinion as to which one has the best ice cream.

Ok anyways that is enough of the PA details for now, I'll share a little about what I have been up to lately, besides exploring PA that is. I have done quite a bit of reading lately. I finally finished Lee, an abridged biography of Robert E. Lee, and then read Carl Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years. I am now reading a book called Lincoln's Constitution about the whole states rights/central government sovereignty question, centered around the issues that came up with the Civil War, the south seceding and Lincoln initially overstepping his duties (most likely only because Congress was not in session). After that I have a book on Lincoln's early years when he was a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois. After that I should probably mix it up and read a book that has nothing to do with the Civil War or Lincoln! I did get some good title insurance insight from the Lincoln book - Lincoln's dad lost money on selling his first farm in Indiana because on the title the legal description had one or two of the directions wrong, and they ended up moving away from Indiana mainly because of the difficulty with titles! Not many people would have found this all interesting, but I thought it was great. I also picked up on a funny story in the Lincoln book about General Lee that wasn't mentioned in the Lee book (probably because it is an abridged copy), it was reported that Lee liked getting his hands and feet tickled, and he wouldn't tell his kids a story unless they first tickled his feet. Oh, all good info, I am sure it will come in quite useful these next few years. :)

Catch up

Ok, so I'm not in Colorado anymore, so that means, among others, that I am at a far lower altitude and am pursuing a law degree at Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

I will go ahead and start out by saying thanks to all of you for all of your encouragement in this whole process, I was very encouraged by everybody's positive words for me, it was truly appreciated.

The trip out was quite an adventure! The moving truck barely made it over Wolf Creek Pass, it vapor locked and we had to let it sit for awhile and after that it crawled over the top. Later in the middle of Iowa I had a flat tire, so I spent a couple of hours waiting for the service truck to come while Nicole and the kids headed on the Chicago. Luckily, there was a town nearby that was having a celebration for its 150 anniversary, so there were a couple of bands and activities to kill the time. Overall though, the trip was great. We spent some time in Denver with friends and then the next day met my Grandma Madeline in Fort Morgan for lunch, she drove down from Greeley. That same day we made it to Sutton, NE for dinner at my Grandpa & Grandma Leininger's. While there Jackie got a chance to ride on the combine.

We were able to spend a couple of nights in Sutton and spend time with all of my family there. We then headed for Chicago to stay with Chris and Patty Vlachos for two nights. We spent the 4th of July seeing the sights in Chicago, it was awesome. After Chicago, we made it to Pittsburgh, stayed a night there and then headed to what we now call home, Carlisle, PA.

Since we have been here we have done a bit of painting and a bunch of cleaning in our new home. We are enjoying our home now that we have most of it arranged. There is a big open basement with a bunch of storage. We have set up half of it as a play area for the kids. All of their toys, movies, games, etc. are down there. We found a big ol' comfy couch for them to put down there. On the first floor there is a small kitchen, a dining room and a family room. The picture above is from the family room, the kids are watching a movie on the TV while sitting/laying on their beanbags(Nicole doesn't want them on our new couch :) ). On the 2nd floor is 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. The smallest bedroom we are using for my office. The decoration is just about the same as was my old work office, but on a smaller scale.