Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life is good!

It's been a wonderful and incredible whirlwind! The wedding and the honeymoon and all of the moments and experiences along the way have collectively given us a huge treasure box of memories to cherish.

And now, we are back to real life and there is so much to do! In a sense, easing back into reality has been an adjustment of sorts. The future awaits us and 'today' is the first day of the rest of our lives... but really, we've been living together and we've been a family unit for a while! It's just that at this point in time, I'm feeling really good and happy that it's official. And there is so much excitement for what's ahead!  : )

I am anxious to post all the details about our dream honeymoon and the great people we met along the way in California! As time allows, I will blog about our experiences and what it was like for us to meet up with our Warm Showers hosts -- fellow cyclists who were incredibly kind to invite us into their homes!

These last few days since we've returned home have been crazy busy! We've had unpacking to tend to, thank-you notes to write, bills to pay, business to catch up with, school issues to take care of for my daughter, house cleaning, dog grooming and so many small details to attend to... and the lawn needs cutting, and there is still a pile of wood to split in our driveway...  lol!

David is on his way home from work now, and we are hoping to squeeze in a short ride before dinner as darkness is moving in on us a whole lot earlier these days! I'll try to input more words (& photos too!) into my laptop tomorrow.

All in all, we're exhausted and excited, and what it says on our favorite soft and comfy cotton t-shirts holds true...  "Life is good!!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Here's what we're dealing with now...

Many thanks to our Facebook friend, Michael for giving us a link to a very informative article on traveling with a tandem bicycle!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Napa Valley Here We Come!

It's been a whirlwind of excitement over here in the Etchells' household as we just lived through a dream of a wedding, and visions of Napa Valley are dancing in our heads. :)

The weather here in Connecticut has been nothing short of perfect these days, and last night when David came home from work, we took a tandem ride 'around the block' -- our rural block is just under 12 miles. It was short and sweet, but just enough in that we've been finding it challenging to get all we've needed to take care of done before our departure on Wednesday!

After our ride, we took a drive down to the store to get David some shorts to wear on vacation. He's lost so much weight & he is looking fit and handsome! He is down 2 pants sizes, so he really needed to pick up a few things, and since Kohls was having a big Clearance event for the end of the summer season, it was great timing too!

Then we caught a little something to eat... and yes, it was 8:30 pm by then... and then we went through Walmart to stock our pantry with favorite foods for our house sitter. She will be staying in our home and taking care of it and our dogs and fish while we are away.

We also phoned our hosts in California to let them know of our flights and schedule now that it has been set. Both couples seem like delightful people and they sound excited to have us, as much as we are excited to meet them!

Whew! That was yesterday.

Today, my son Ryan -- who drove up from North Carolina just for his Mom's wedding -- joined me and my daughter, Kayla, and her baby boy, Carter, for lunch. It was great to have them together.

I have one more errand to run today, and Dave will be home shortly. Tonight's task: to figure out how to get our tandem into the travel box.

Many thanks to Don & Carolyn who we met up with at last month's Eastern Tandem Rally at UConn. They sold us their hardshell tandem travel case at an extremely affordable price, which is enabling us to bring our own tandem bicycle along on our trip. Now, what we'll be charged at the airport remains to be seen -- We see what it says regarding flying with a bicycle on the airline's Web site, but we've been told of unexpected surprises and charges that can be assessed at check-in time.

We'll see what happens!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Amazingly Wonderful Wedding Day!!!

Our Wedding Day Tandem Ride ~ after the ceremony!

We had a beautiful day with family and friends!! We are very grateful to have such good people in our lives.

We're off to pick up a box to travel with for our honeymoon, so I haven't time to write right now, but I will soon!! Here are a few photos from our Wedding Day Celebration Ride!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Ready for the Big Day!

It is pouring buckets outside! It's our third consecutive day of nothing but rain, but still that's better than last week's seven days without electricity. Our wedding day is Saturday, and I'll take the rain now if we have to -- just to have a lovely Saturday.  : )

So much going on in attending to all of the many small details in getting ready for the wedding!

My ex - Katie's father - dropped a bomb on us the day before yesterday. He had agreed back in May in an email that was sent to me and my daughter's court appointed GAL... "What also was mentioned was the week of your honeymoon and me wanting take Katie on your days. Of course i will take care of my daughter."

Well, I guess that was his way of gaining some power to enable him to cause havoc in my life this week. Here is the actual complete message I received from him via email on Tuesday of this week: "Katie tells me your getting married this weekend  i am not going to be able to take her  so you will have to make other arrangements."

Nice guy. He really cares about his daughter and wanting her to have some continuity in her life.

Anyway, we have put together a route for Saturday afternoon's celebratory cycling ride. It will bring us around a horse farm and then over to scenic Route 49 and back. About 20 miles total.

It looks like this might be a relatively small gathering for our Wedding Day Ride & Backyard Cookout & Bonfire, but that will be fine. It will be a good opportunity to relax and enjoy the company of friends. If you'll be joining us, please just send me a quick email so that we can plan for food. I know life gets hectic for so many of us these days, and it's hard to keep on top of everything, but knowing this much in advance will make things easier for us on the big day!

Dave and I have not yet purchased our plane tickets for the honeymoon. We're still not sure we can make it happen, but we've been going over the details for our dream get-away to California.

Last night we phoned two couples in the San Francisco area who have offered to host us next week through the Warmshowers.org web site. WarmShowers.org is hospitality site where cyclists offer space in their homes to host touring cyclists. Now that David's son has left for college, we will make space available in our home too, so that we can return the favor to other traveling cyclists who might be in our area.

It was exciting to speak with our prospective hosts. Their willingness to acquaint us with their area and share their slice of life has given us a sense of excitement (and gratefulness for their generosity!). We hope to spend a couple of days at a time with different hosts. One couple we spoke with are retired and they are still quite active, as they regularly plan cycling adventures far away for themselves! Now, that's the kind of "retired" we would like to be someday.  : )

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Please RSVP! : )

I have a backup of blog postings in my head, but we had no power for a full week as a result of Hurricane Irene. Dave & I have been busy catching up with our to-do list around the house now as well as getting ready for our big day on Saturday!!

We've received a few more RSVPs for Saturday's ride & back yard cookout & bonfire. If you are coming, please drop me a note by email (karenmetchells@gmail.com) so we'll have an idea about how much food to plan. If you'll be bringing a dish to share, let us know that too so we can have a good variety for all.

Our ride route will be posted sometime today. The highlight will be Route 49 by the Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm. The scenic views are incredibly beautiful with far stretching acres of farmland meeting up with blue sky. So far, the weather for Saturday looks to be perfect!!

The group ride will depart from our home at 295 Pine Hill Road in Sterling at 4 pm, and we are planning to light the grill at 6 pm. If you wish to bring a non-riding spouse or kids, feel free. This is just a casual gathering, a chance to join us in celebration, relax, and share good food! Hope you can make it!!