Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hobe Sound, FL Day 1 and 2

We left Carl Petzold's and headed off for FL Sunday late afternoon and we drove through the night to arrive in Hobe Sound in the morning of Memorial Day. The drive was good and I-95 was free of traffic and minimal truckers. Tommy likes to drive right around 60mph and I go a little faster at 65mph, but this is slow compared to the way a lot of folks drive.
We arrived at Barbara's (aka Grandma to R, K & S) and the kids were well rested and excited to get in the pool and go to the beach!
Cousins Lauren, Autumn, and Josh were there, and all the kids got along and played very well together in the pool and in the house and at the beach :)
Above is cousin Josh in the pool, and below is Kyle
Big squirt guns were a hit
Day 2 we rode our bikes about 2 miles from the house to Hobe Sound Beach on Jupiter Island (now home to Tiger Woods and Celene Dion) It's a fun little bike ride from Gomez Ave. through the tree shaded drive and over the Intercoastal waterway bridge to the beach. We did this ride everyday we were there with 4 to 7 kids in tow or on bikes.
First day at the beach the water was warm and the waves were just the right size for Reeve and Kyle.
Stella LOVED the beach. We had to watch her very carefully because she had no fear of running into the waves. Saltwater splashing up into her mouth and eyes did not seem to phase her...
Ahhhh...it was good to go on vacation

Monday, June 14, 2010

Raye Vacation: Part 1 Marshall & Hot Springs, NC

Tom is apart of an Alcohol Fuel Cooperative in Juneau County, WI and a few members from this cooperative and a similar group from Jefferson County traveled out to North Carolina to visit Carl Petzold and see his still and watch how he turns beer into fuel alcohol. It was amazing and Carl and his family could not have been nicer! The other excitement of this part of the trip was the fact that David Blume, famed permaculturist and author of Alcohol Can Be a Gas, flew in from California to meet Carl and see his still in action.
Here is the still:
Carl and his newest still design will be at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair, (and so will we!) this coming weekend.
Here's Jack (a member of the Juneau County Alcohol Cooperative) and Carl talking about his still
Tommy firing up the still
In front of the still is Carl's field (about an acre and a half) that he has planted sugar cane for making the "beer" to distill into alcohol. That 1.5acres will produce enough fuel to run two cars for one year! Currently Carl has been making about 1000gallons of fuel alcohol a month that he is selling to local farmers for use in their farm vehicles. Tom knows oh so much more about the inner workings of how all this can be done, but he's not here right now...
I tried to watch and listen...I really did, but it was HOT and the kids were HOT and Carl had this wonderful little creek that flows into the French Broad River right across the street from his still...the kids and I couldn't resist!
You know what? Those rocks were slippery! I walked out to the sunny center of the stream to stand in the sun and I slipped and fell in the water! Poor Stella and I got soaked! Reeve and Kyle were better prepared with their swim suits on!
They had a blast and the water was the perfect temperature for this HOT North Carolina day.
I think this was the first time ever that Reeve and Kyle have splashed around in a creek bed! Amazingly fun...even after I slipped.
We camped two nights in Hot Springs, NC which is located right on the French Broad River and the Appalachian Trail. It's one of two towns that the Appalachian Trail runs right through. We LOVE our new Eureka tent...this one should last us until the kids are grown and tenting on their own.
Scenes from the campsite:
Before we headed over to Carl's we went for a trek on the Appalachian Trail...following the French Broad River.
Tommy took this picture...
I took this picture of my hot feet cooling off in the French Broad River
Me and my boy Reeve
We spotted a sweet little Red-Spotted Purple butterfly on the trail
This was an awesome way to start our family vacation!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reeve's Ship

We are back from our wonderful trip and I have lots to post about that! My goal will be to post at least something everyday this week. LOTS going on here people...exciting adventures are definitely in our future!

Before we left on our journey to North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Indiana Reeve made this ship out of blocks and lincoln logs...
Reeve very much wanted me to post a picture...or four :)
He made about 5 of these ships because we couldn't stop Stella from destroying them. In order to take these pictures Kyle had to hold her hostage.