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It's Four O'Clock...Somewhere!

I love flowers!

And while visiting Sis In Law Patricia in Colorado I was intrigued by her Four O'Clocks.  The bloom time of four o'clocks is said to correspond to changes in light and temperature, so they open in the cool of the evening...usually between four and eight p.m., or a bit earlier on cloudy afternoons.  Here they are...before they open for the evening...



Beginning to open...


It MUST be Four O'Clock Now!!!


And when the flowers are open...they are a hummingbird magnet!  I saw some hummingbirds as small as grasshoppers dining on the nectar , but I was never quick enough to snag a picture.

A beautiful alarm clock, for sure.

Ahhh...A SMILE A MINUTE!

We had SEVEN reasons to hurry home from our West Coast adventures...
and here they are.  So check out our weekend of FUN!




Ready To Tailgate...HAWKEYE Style!

A Truck Full Of Grandkids!

Dress Up...And DANCE!

BINGO!

Swinging...By The Playhouse

Jumping For JOY!

A Hot Tub FULL of Kids

Picking Basil To Make Sauce...

My Kitchen Helpers

Lasagna Roll-Ups  (Recipe Later!)

Chef Approved!

Play BALL!

Pizza...At SAM'S  (The BEST!)
So...as you can see...we had seven PRECIOUS reasons to head back to Iowa City...And we loved EVERY MINUTE of our Labor Day weekend spent with our family.

These family memories are truly priceless...And COUSINS ARE AWESOME...

Just in Time...

How many of you check the hoses on your washer every year?  Seriously...How many of you have EVER checked the hoses on your washer?

I've read articles that tell us we should replace the hoses every five years, because if a hose breaks, the flood begins.  But changing those hoses is something we've neglected to do...for YEARS.

Shortly before we left for our two week plus road trip, Handyman Hubby remembered to check on ours while he was downstairs in the laundry room...and THIS is what he found!


A bulging aneurysm of rubber...just waiting to rupture all over our basement!  

So stop reading this blog and head to your washer.  It might save you a world of hurt later.

Either that, or invest in a good life jacket...

Dragging The Gut 2014...and HOME!

So...finally...it was time for the BIG EVENT...

We're Dragging The Gut...With ROYALTY!
Mayor Rick Olson and First Lady Candy of McMinnville
And these photos speak for themselves...







So after MANY passes up and down 3rd Street, it was time to park the car...and EAT!  We headed back to the Blue Moon for their NY Strip Steak Special.  (Two dinners for $20!)  It certainly wasn't fancy...but it filled the bill, for sure...


Iceberg Lettuce and Dressing

Steak, Baked Potato and Texas Toast
 Then it was back to the street...this time to WATCH...


I think this sign in McMinnville  taught me all I need to know about wine...


And before long, it was time for a Farewell "Selfie" with our awesome friends...We'll NEVER forget the FUN we had together...and we hope to show them the same warm hospitality if we can get them to visit us next winter in Florida! (Stay tuned for THOSE adventures!)


These two old friends promised it would NOT be forty years until we meet again...



So...early the next morning we were headed East...even before the sun rose over the Columbia River Gorge.  

A BEAUTIFUL send-off...
toward HOME...






So...after 4,400 glorious, magical miles...and fantastic memories made with family and friends (and with each other)...


We're Home...At Last...Safe and Sound.
With Magical Memories to last a LIFETIME!

And we both thank God for this AMAZING adventure, more than 40 years in the making.
What a trip...

Vines...and Wines

Later that morning, Rick and Candy picked us up and escorted us on an AMAZING tour of the countryside around McMinnville.  The vineyards, wineries, olive trees, foothills and scenery left me nearly speechless...and that says a lot for me!

So here are some highlights of our tour that beautiful day...

So MANY choices!  (And this was only one small road...there are HUNDREDS to choose from!)





A Vintage Olive Press...

When Life Gives You Lemons...
How About An Equestrian Wine Tasting Tour?  (I want to do that NEXT time!)




Absolutely Breathtaking...






I spotted these people enjoying a wine tasting...What a VIEW!


So after watching all of these visitors enjoying their own tastings, we headed back to Mack for some tasty tastes of our own...but on the way we made a swing through one of McMinnville's newest attractions...the home of the famous SPRUCE GOOSE, housed at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum... Check out this link:  evergreenmuseum.org



By this time we were thirsty...and hungry!  So we headed to...

One of Rick and Candy's Favorites...
I ordered some of their tapas to share with our friends.  Rustic bread with local olive oil, Italian prosciutto, and a plate of thinly sliced Parmesan cheese drizzled with a balsamic reduction....
(Another Magical Moment...)



I paired the food with a glass of their Remy's Red...
Perfection...



It was a PERFECT way to end our wine country tour.  Great friends, food, and fun in abundance!  It was hard to believe we were heading for home the next morning...and our time in McMinnville was coming to an end...

Only one thing left to do...
The OFFICIAL Dragging The Gut...
So LET'S DO IT!