Sunday, July 09, 2017

USA 2017 / South Dakota and Back Home

Our final week saw us doing the last rounds with family and friends with meals and get togethers.
I even read two Australian kids' books, Possum Magic and Wombat Stew, we had given over the years to a group of siblings' grand kids.
They wanted to hear them in a genuine accent (or was it really the adults who wanted that?).
By the looks on some faces they may have found it all a bit strange: "Is that word really pronounced like that?"
There was a well catered Harry Potter themed birthday party by sister Kay for the niece.
Am I the only one in the world that knows zilch about Harry Potter?
What is it with the brick walls and owls?

We stayed a few days with the Gs. The ladies talked (and talked) and sewed. In between meals, Em and I watched numerous old westerns on the 'hokey' (K's description, not ours) Westerns Channel. We don't have that one here on cable much to my regret.
On another night, we were invited to a birthday club get together at the local barn museum.
This was very interesting with so much to see.
But eating a lovely picnic style supper took priority over history so maybe a return visit is in order.

Back at Lake Hendricks we gathered for the traditional greed game and a family lunch. The game had been postponed from Christmas due to the bad weather then so we got to participate.
I won't go into the rules but it was fun and I scored some good loot.
Missing those black socks, Jim?
Talking of weather, we experienced some pretty heavy storm activity while in SD. The last night was particularly nasty. Storm cells with 75 mph winds, hail and torrential rain were spawning tornadoes. When the local TV channel suspends programming to concentrate solely on the weather, you know it is serious. Thankfully we were spared any problems.
Prairie Sunset After a Storm / Pic: Crystal Peterson

I had one last try at fishing and brought in one mini sized bullhead. Lake fishing is obviously not my forte.
I am thinking about petitioning the MN and SD governments to rename Lake Hendricks as Lake Disappointment.
All too soon it was time to leave.
The flights home had only one hiccup. An already tight connection in Denver was made even tighter by a late departure from Sioux Falls but luckily our departure gate to LAX was almost opposite that of our arrival so we made it. Murphy's Law states it should have been 50 gates away.
The transpacific flight was in a 50% empty aircraft and I got three seats to stretch out on and slept for 7 of the 14 hours.
Arrival was on time and immigration formalities quick.
Thankfully, despite the very short connect time in Denver, our baggage made it too. We would not have wanted to misplace 4 x 23kg of predominantly quilting fabric. And a few rust items of course (don't ask!)
Then it was in the car for the 3 to 4 hour drive home which we took very easy with 2 coffee stops on the way.

Everything at home was in order. Our house watcher, Annabelle, and cow watchers, Bob and Jude, had done a great job.
However our bank had advised us by SMS while we were in flight that one of our linked CCs had been compromised late in our trip and both were cancelled. Luckily this did not affect us financially or during our trip and they have both been replaced.
Lesson? Always advise your bank of OS travel and take more than one credit card, both of which we always do.
Jet lag has been minimal and we are gradually slipping back into our normal daily lives.
It was, as usual, great seeing everyone and we appreciated their generous hospitality and fun company.
We hope to do it all again in 2019.

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