Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Final Week of Trip

Yes, we are finally home again.  We actually got home Monday evening after driving straight through from Lake Tahoe.  We made it in 9 1/2 hours, the last three hours being absolutely horrible travelling on a two-lane highway with so much slow traffic that we had no way of going much over 50 mph in a 65 mile speed limit.  I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get to a decent freeway, which we had about the last 1 1/2 hours.  Needless to say, it was great to be able to sleep in our comfortable beds once again.  I do have to say though that the beds we did sleep in at Rich's and in Reno were very good beds, so it could have been a lot worse.  The biggest problem in Tahoe, of course, was the altitude, about 6500.  Dick and I both had trouble breathing, especially Dick.  We couldn't move around too quickly or we would get out of breath, so we had to move in slow motion.  At least we didn't have to get oxygen though!

We met our niece, Nancy Lee, in Tahoe where we spent her birthday.  Unfortunately, we didn't get many pictures at all and the ones we did get weren't very good but will at least post what we have:

This table is very long. Stacy's three darling children (my new grandchildren) are pictured 
with Nancy Lee, Dick and me. Trent is on Nancy's right, Troy and Lilly are to my right.

I'm not quite sure that I am the only one that had their picture taken with Nancy's birthday cake. It was truly delicious and we ate the whole thing, except for two pieces between the ten of us. I think we all had at least two pieces.

Stacy and Rich behind their super wide bar preparing salad.

Rich's boys, Sean on left and Blaine. They are such great kids and are so good with Stacy's three.  These two families have blended perfectly.

Trent, Lilly and Troy with Winnie in the foreground

Rich has a huge backyard with many many trees. There were a lot to begin with and Rich bought 40 more. I wish I had a picture that showed the whole yard, along with a terrific deck where I love to sit in the sun.

View of another corner of the yard

The next three days we spent in Reno where we attended the Four Freshmen Convention.  It was truly a great success and everyone that attended were so glad they did.  We plan to go to next year's convention which will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Each day was pretty well packed with different events, which we attended.  We had two different sesssions that were called "The Wannabe's" where we sang Four Freshmen songs from musical scores that had all four parts.  At times we sounded pretty darned good, but the idea was just to have fun, which we all did.  We also had a session where people related stories about interesting things that happened to them when they were with any of the many groups that toured over the years.  It was really fun to hear about those experiences.  We had a fairly interesting experience with the current group when we ran into them at the elevator.  We had quite a nice talk with the four of them and Nancy particularly enjoyed talking with Vincent (the bass player) about the years she spent when she worked at Capitol Records in Hollywood when the original group was recording there.  Vincent was really interested in hearing about that time.  I got into a pretty interesting conversation myself with Brian (the lead singer) about Jim Pike who lives in our ward and who we have become pretty close friends with.  Jim was the one who started the Lettermen.  He happened to be at a Freshmen concert and he went up to Brian  afterward and started to introduce himself to Brian and Brian must have had a lot on his mind, because he pretty much ignored Jim.  When I told him about this, he could hardly believe it and he was really sorry that happened. 

I just have to mention how wonderful the hotel was.  The whole affair  was at Harrah's in Reno and they were all so helpful and happy to have us there.  The two dinners they served to us on Friday and Saturday nights were absolutely incredible.  They did such a wonderful job and the food was presented in such an appealing way each night.  We had chicken the first night and it had the most delicious sauce on it.  We had key lime pie for dessert, which is one of my favorites.  Saturday night they served prime rib and it was all beautiful too.  I have a picture of the dessert they served.  It was really terrific, but I can't remember what they called it.  

The Freshmen were amazing both nights and they sang so many neat songs.  The second night was devoted to performing a lot of the love songs from their new album.  We enjoyed it all so much that we were hating the fact that it was over.  But all good things must end and the next morning we were off to Rich's again.  Nancy came back with us as she wanted to spend a little more time with the family, even though she had to get up pretty early to go back to Reno to catch her flight home.  The shuttle didn't work with her schedule so Stacy arranged for her to have a driver who drove her to the airport in Reno.  It is about an hour and twenty minutes from Tahoe.  Everything went smoothly for her and she was quite excited when her seat mates turned out to be a couple of board members whom she had been talking with.  They had to change planes in Dallas to go back to their home in Fort Wayne where the convention will be held next year.  In fact they are in charge of it, so Nancy really did get the inside scoop on what woud be going on there. 

We had an enjoyable day with the family on Sunday as Rich and Stacy were both home so we spent a very relaxing day with them before we both had to leave Monday morning.  Here are a few pictures we got at the concert Saturday night.

 Here they are, "The Four Freshmen."

Here we are with our name tags.
These are four lovely Filipino women who were at our table. We all got along so well together and Dick was the only man so of course we called ourselves his "Harem." We had the same table and seats both nights, so we really did get to know these four.

This is the lovely dessert I mentioned. The "25 years" was written in chocolate on our plates. It was actually the 25th anniversary of the Freshmen Society, which is their amazing fan club. We have only been members for four or five years. The membership is between 2500 and 3000, so it is quite a large Society.

Our last day in Tahoe was a very relaxing one and Stacy and Rich fixed an amazing dinner  for us.  Rich did cornish game hens on the barbecue.  He cooks them really slow for for almost two hours.  He also did snap peas and fresh mushrooms wrapped in foil on the barbecue.  It was so delicious.  The hens were so tender and juicy.  The veggies were outstanding.  I don't know what seasoning he put on them but it was perfect!!  Stacy made a huge ceasar salad and we had three desserts!!!  Everyone had to have a taste of all three, chocolate pie, lemon pie and strawberries with lots and lots of really thick whipped cream.  We were all so full we could hardly move.  We took enough of everything home in our freezer so that when we got home we had another great meal and all we had to do was warm it up.  Unfortunately Dick gained six pounds during that week and I gained six and a half!!! this rate, our doctor is going to win the bet, but we are right back on it so hopefully we will lose it quickly plus lots more.  We'll see.

Here are a couple more pictures we got of the kids in their Halloween costumes.  They were happy to model them for us.

 Trent and Troy

Lilly and Winnie. We didn't get Winnie in her costume, but she did have one which she modeled for us later but unfortunately we didn't get a picture of her. She had a rufferie uniform. I was told because she was a dog it was a rufferie uniform instead of a referee one.
Oh, by the way, I am now going to do my blog on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays.  I still have to get Dick's help and he is too busy to help me on Tuesdays.


  1. Wow, Darlene, you really lived it up while you were away visiting and at the convention. All the nice singing and entertainment must have been lots of fun.

    It's always nice changing routine but it's also nice returning home to one's own comfortable bed.

    Oh the diet thing... it's such a difficult thing to master. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak especially when there is lots of food present all the time. It's so much more fun to eat tasty food than to cut back.

    It takes an extra 3500 calories more than the body burns to gain one pound of fat. One large piece of cake is about 350 calories, so 10 pieces in ten days would be equal to one pound of fat. Even a small piece of cake at about 175 calories , would be a pound of fat in 20 days.

    I hope that you won't let the extra 6 pounds deter you from getting back on tract. Maybe cut out the cake, cookies and pies and eat more fruits.
    Sugar is so addictive that the body craves it but it robs us of energy and makes us tired. It takes a while for the body to get used to the no sugar diet. The body has a remarkable ability to repair itself if given a chance.

    I'll keep you and Dick in my prayers so that you can both get back on tract with your diet.
    Good luck with this and God bless.
    Big hugs, JB

  2. I got so focus on calories that I forgot to comment about the beautiful pictures of the kids.
    They look so sweet and their Halloween costumes are really cute. What a nice family picture with the both grandparents .


  3. What a great trip you had! The kids are all so cute, and I'm happy you were able to spend so much time with them. Beautiful birthday cake too - yum yum! Even though it was good times and good memories, I'm sure you're glad to be back home in your own house and beds. I think it's fun you went to the concert and met so many great people - thanks for sharing!

  4. All fixed, Mom! Sorry it took me so long. I have been mostly out of touch with blogging while I was on vacation. I will be home tonight and will call soon.

    Looks like you had such a great trip, and I'm glad Nancy got to be there, too. I'll bet you're glad to be home, though, as I will be. 10 days is a little long for me, trip-wise.

    Love you both.


  5. I really enjoyed hearing all about your trip! And the pictures were such a great bonus. I love how you got to talk to the FOUR in the elevator! The food also sounded so yummy wonderful that it was worth gaining those extra lbs for! And I love hearing about blended families that mesh well.
    Glad you are safely home!

  6. This was such a fun post. You are a real Four Freshmen "groupie"! I'm so glad you and Dick were healthy and ready to tackle another trip. This one sounded like it went smoothly and the food made me drool right over my keyboard! Loved the family pics. The Halloween costumes were adorable and Winnie is the female twin to our Eddy the boxer! I know my comment section is weird and I just haven't had time to figure out what went wrong there. I'll try to get it up and fixed quickly. I couldn't tell the difference between that beautiful cake and you, the beauty holding it..both are just too sweet! Have a wonderful weekend Darlene. You can bet your boots I'm looking forward to seeing you when we visit Craig and Amy in the Spring. They did find a house and their offer was accepted so they are heading out next week with stops in Utah and other areas to give the kids some sight seeing along the way. Bye!

  7. Hello Darlene, so glad you had a good trip. I was interested in the photos of Rich's garden - how amazing to have all that space. Your descriptions of the food you had have been making my mouth water, and it's only 7.45 am here - I am going to have to go and have breakfast now because you've made me so hungry!
    Thanks for the really interesting information about farming where you grew up. I think I have a photo somewhere with an American potato connection! I will hunt it down and post it!

  8. Welcome back! Glad you had a great trip. Those desserts look amazing, and I love the children's Halloween costumes. I've just realised I kept stalling and forgot to get Ethan one. Am not sure if I have enough time to order one, but I will be in South Africa for a conference next weekend, so am hoping to get to the mall and pick one up for him. Otherwise, we shall be recycling last year's pirate costume!
    Scott has a new position. He started in July. He loves his new job, however they are located by the copper mines. Ethan and I chose to stay in Lusaka. So Scott now comes home every other weekend. :(

  9. OH Darlene what a great post! I so enjoyed reading everything about your visit.
    What a wonderful time you had with everyone. Glad that you and Dick were feeling good and were able to make the long drive.
    I was sitting here thinking how neat that you belong to the Four Freshman Club and went to this convention. You and Dick are such an adorable couple and I love that you do these things together.
    Glad Nancy made the trip too. Your pictures of the kids are darling especially the one of Winnie.
    It's early here but gosh have you made me hungry.
    Thank you for coming by and commenting on my few changes for fall. I am like you now I don't decorate except for Christmas. This past year my age has really crept up on me and all I can do is try and keep this ranch up for my boss which leaves me very little time or energy for my home.
    Take care sweet friend!

  10. Such a busy time you've had Darlene catching up with favourite people. I've enjoyed reading about it here. Glad to see you back safe and sound though with some great pics!
    I liked hearing also about Rich's back yard with all the trees. My brother-in-law did a similar thing in his mid-twenties, and now all the trees are around 40 years old and looking good. When we visit he and his wife, we drive down a long tree-canopied drive, which was once bare when we were all young - it looks wonderful and leafy now.

  11. You seem to have had a wonderful time at that convention. Old friends and music go together hand in hand. My own musical highlights this summer are both legendary and both from North America - Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen. Especially Leonard Cohen is a marvel that no-one can beat.

  12. I am amazed that you were able to drive 9 1/2 hours home. We haven't been able to drive for as many hours as we used too. I am happy you are home safe and sound.
    The pictures of your visit to your family were so good. The cake looked yummy. I loved their Halloween pictures; what adorable children. It is so wonderful that the family blend has worked so well.
    I loved the Four Freshman so I think it was so awesome that you were able to go to this event. You two are just so fun. I would have loved hearing them sing. I also thought it was neat that you got to sing some of their songs too. It's always fun to be with old friends enjoying good music. I like your table companions. I loved going to conventions with my husband and at the dinners I enjoyed getting to know different people. I loved reading your posts and learning about your adventures.
    I think the most difficult thing about traveling and eating is that there is always good food and I always gain on trips. Yup, I just get back on track again.
    Darlene, thank you for writing such an awesome comment on my blog. You are so fun to get to know and I hope someday we do get to meet. I love following your posts and I do enjoy all of the fun things you do.
    I am having arthroscopic surgery on my knee Friday. It shouldn't be too big of a thing; I just want to get over with it.
    Blessings and hugs to you both! I am so happy you have such a great husband. Yes, chocolate is a big problem for me because I love it; what more can I say.