April 2011 Archives

Busy Easter Weekend

It was a beautiful spring day down at Grandma's house in Lewiston. Up where we live, our flowers haven't bloomed yet!


It was a perfect day for the Seaport River Run. The five of us chose the short route (2.9 miles) over the Southway Bridge. We stayed together for about half a mile, but then the ladies pulled ahead. C and I finished after 1h15m. After the race we waited about an hour for a jet boat ride back to the other side. There was some excitement when part of the dock collapsed due to the weight of all the people waiting in line.

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Next we spent some time at Art Under the Elms, where they have jumpy castles.


In the evening we got down to decorating eggs! It was fun reminiscing about how previous generations decorated eggs. Grandma said that in her family of 10 siblings they would decorate 10 or 12 dozen! We only did 18.

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The Easter Bunny borrowed some of our eggs and hid them around Grandma's house. This tricky one in the blinds was the last to be found. E.B. also brought lots of plastic eggs filled with quarters and candy, most of which was, conveniently, gone just before going to church.

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After Church we had a yummy Ham dinner and then went back to the Art show for another extended castle jumping session.

New Ride for the Mugs


Colin likes his hand-me-down "Cat Bike" because it has both hand brakes and foot brakes, as well as a kickstand. But it's lookin' a little small for him and it's hard to ride uphill with just one speed. So today we visited our friends at Paradise Creek Bicycles and came home with a new bike!

We settled on the 6-speed Raleigh Rowdy, tricked out with a kickstand and water bottle holder. We even borrowed a helmet from the shop and had a great ride home together. The Rolling Hills were no match for Colin and his Rowdy. I can't wait to take a longer ride on the Latah/Chipman Trail or up at Heyburn State Park.

Hola Danilo

This week we hosted a student named Danilo as a part of the Central American Youth Ambassadors (CAYA) program at the University of Idaho. Danilo usually lives in San Salvador, except when he's fulfilling his duties as ambassador. He's a super sharp kid; very friendly and smart.


In preparation for hosting, we were warned that the students might not speak English very well. Danilo's English was excellent and we never had problems communicating. Anne, who studied some Spanish in school, was great about using Spanish and asking him how to say certain words. Colin also enjoyed translating and got a big kick out of asking "¿cómo se dice cómo se dice?"

Temperature was a bit of problem for Danilo and his friends. We had many cold days, and even a little snow. We gave him four blankets to use on his bed.

Since the students had activities during the day, our time together was mostly limited to evenings. I think one of the highlights for Danilo was playing ping-pong with myself and our neighbors. He'd never played before, but picked it up very quickly. I wish we could've sent him home with a ping-pong table, but alas, the checked baggage fees would have been atrocious.

We got a preview of what its like to have a teenager who stays out late. The group had a party on Friday night and we all fell asleep before he got back. On Saturday we had to say goodbye. His stay with us was too short, but I'm sure he was excited to get back home to his own family.

Trip Report: Prague 2011

I went to Prague last year for work and had another chance to go again this year for an IETF meeting. This was a relatively short trip and it didn't start out very well.

I planned to arrive in Prague for a meeting on Sunday afternoon, which meant I had to depart here early Saturday morning. In order to get the United miles I needed to get to Seattle. There is exactly one airline flying from Pullman to Seattle: Alaska/Horizon. Unfortunately, a failed computer upgrade kept all their planes grounded on the day of my departure. They put me in a taxi to Spokane, where neither their planes nor queues were moving.

On a whim I stopped at the United desk and asked if they could help get me to Prague, since most of my journey was on their cousin Lufthansa. To my surprise, they could! It certainly helped being a frequent United flyer. I'd get to Prague, but a few hours later than planned, which meant I missed my first meeting.

I did arrive in time to meet my old friend Kenny for dinner. He carpooled over from Mannheim, Germany. We had some really yummy pizza at Pizzera La Ventola (Soukenická 7, Praha) and some touristy gelato (mmmm, stracciatella) in the old town.


My good friend Sebastian and his pal Hugo and I took a train out to Hrad Karlštejn. It was a bit of a hike from the station to the castle. We walked past many lonely shops selling tourist trinkets. Once inside the castle grounds there is not a lot to see until you pay for the tour. Unfortunately, they do not allow any photography inside the castle rooms. The tour was nice, although we were in a large group of chatty people and it was difficult to hear.


Later that evening I spent too much time wandering around the old town. I tried forever to find Pizzera La Ventola again, but failed. I also failed to find a ring that Anne had a good chance of liking.


Above is the picturesque Church of Our Lady before Tyn at sunset. The view from the clock tower was probably spectacular at this time.