Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fayetteville, Arkansas - Home of Walmart

We've been in Fayetteville for two days and are now heading to Dallas.   Best day of the year to travel, it will be over 103F along our route!  We will leave by 8 a.m. in hopes we get to Dallas before we melt.  
Juan had the opportunity to speak to a group of teachers from Iraq and Mexico who are in the Fulbright program here in Arkansas.  We met with our friend Leyla who is the director of the program and we had a lovely dinner with a group of friends and then drinks at her house she shares with her partner Kirk.
Yesterday I did laundry while Juan was at the university and attempted to find a new water intake for the rv.   It is getting worn out and water is dripping at a greater rate.   We are using the water tank instead until it's fixed.  We will be in San Antonio and there is a great rv store near our house.  If your ever there, stop by the Texas Rv Supply on Austin Highway.
After a wonderful nap, we headed out to Crystal Bridges.   This is an outdoor park with trails and an incredible art gallery, architecture, restaurant, guest services, and most of all, it's free all the time.  Saturday night Wire and Wood will be playing, too bad we can't stay.  I won't say much more about it as the pictures tell the story.  The interesting part is that this arts center was paid for by the Walton family.   Walmart has its critics although we all shop and rv in their parking lots across the Americas.  
Bentonville is the actual home of Walmart and it is amazing how many companies have moved to the area.   Suppliers, providers, builders, finance, the list goes on.  With have come jobs, new housing, well you get the idea.  Evil Walmart must have an ulterior motive.   But I don't need to go on. 
Turned out to be a fun afternoon and if it weren't for the Waltons we wouldn't have enjoyed such a wonderful day.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Family Visit - Kansas City

Spent Tuesday night in St. Charles, Mo.   The weather was so hot and humid we had to use the A/C.  We found a county park that was reasonable and also gave us a great place to take a morning walk.  We had some leftover pizza in the freezer with a fresh salad for dinner.
We headed out for Kansas City.  I have been closely tied to the news this last week reading the newspapers, online as well as NPR.   What a mess that is going on in Isreal.   It appears the U.S. sides with Isreal as they have nuclear weapons and they are pointed at the U.S. enemies.   The Palestinians have nothing so they are not a concern to anyone.   Israel continues to chip away at Palestine and this will end in a few weeks when people get tired.   It will pick up again in about three years as the underlying issue of territory will never be resolved.   Isreal will continue to take more and more pissing off Hamas.  Why does Hamas exist?  Hmm, I wonder!
Also, China has made strong relations with Venezuela and Argentina preying on their failing governments and economies.   The U.S. could have made some headway into the Americas to improve the continent of the Americas instead of worrying about everyone else's problems in the Middle East.   Build a strong country, neighbors, and then a continent before butting into other countries issues.   Central America is the mess it is because of U.S. intervention over the years and the installation of dictators.   Countries like Mexico get left holding the bag.
Anyway, here we are with my oldest nephew Patrick and his lovely partner Virginia.  Patrick is a professor at the university and Virginia is a registered nurse.  Their son Nick is 12 and enjoying summer.  They head to Germany next week for the rest of the summer.
Today, Thursday morning, we are heading out to Denny's for breakfast before heading to Fayetteville, AR. where we will meet with people from Washington D.C. for a meeting.   Juan will solicit their help with his PhD.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Quick Tour of Cincinnati

It has been a real whirlwind here in Cincinnati.  We are staying at a park right in the middle of town, Winton Woods.  The park gets our five star review.   It sits on a lake, the sites are spacious and far apart, the wifi is fantastic and the price is right at $27.    The weather has been hot and muggy and we have used the A/C twice for an hour in the afternoon during nap time.
We decided to take a trip downtown to the Carew Building which was built in 1929, wow that was the year my dad graduated from high school!   It had fallen into disrepair during the eighties and underwent a complete restoration.   As you can see from the pictures, the building is art deco and the designs and workmanship are truly incredible.

From the observatory you can see all of the city.   This was the largest building in the Midwest for many years at 49 stories.   We took lots of pictures from atop the building and from the view we picked out one more we wanted to walk to.  We counted the blocks from below and headed down the elevator.
There is a lot of things to see in a big city but Cincinnati is a pretty easy place to move around although they have the corner on public parking fees.   Meters are set at 10, 20 and 30 minutes around town so you can't park on the street and expect to go anywhere. 
The building we found used to be the Inquirer building which now houses offices for Hamilton County.  I don't think they realize what a jewel they have it is now falling into disrepair and could use a restoration.   But the U.S. is suffering from funding cuts in education, housing and infrastructure due to military expenditures.
The light fixtures, ceiling panels, radiator covers and heating vents were not stamped off of a press and a million were made to use in buildings all over the world.  This is true workmanship that we won't see anymore.  We need to preserve it.
We wanted to visit the famous Cincinnati Art Museum but it is closed on Mondays.   We headed back for a rest before getting together with my Cincinnati family for a BBQ and drinks.  We had a ball as you can see from the pictures.  There are some family members missing because of work and soccer practice.  A good bunch though and we wish they would come visit in Mexico.
Just the Cincinnati clan, I have nine siblings so the family totals close to 100 from my mom and dad. 
Last but no least, the odd and the weird of my life.  I chose the $999 model.  The cheaper model was $499 but what the heck.  You only die once!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big Day Today

We spent the night in Lebanon, Oh last night.   I think I posted about the park last night.   Not a big fan but it was what we needed to do.  We got the rv cleaned up and ready to go to Cincinnati.  Turns out, the park was a good idea.  I found a Funfinder just like ours.  They only made 35 of them in 2008.  Looks like we got a winner.  The owner said the factory had to replace the complete roof, it leaked like a sieve from day one. 

So now the big surprise!   I couldn't say anything because some of my nieces and nephews have been reading the blog.  I didn't know that but had suspicions.   We arrived to Cincinnati in time for the final day of the Schutzenfest at the Kopling Society.   My oldest brother Bob and his wife Barb are members and were working and festing at the event.   They were surprised to see us pop up all of a sudden.   You know I'm a sentimental guy and it was a big day for me seeing my oldest brother.  He's a good guy and well-known throughout the organization.  It was hard to talk with him because everyone else wanted to talk to him too!  He introduced us to everyone he came across.  
My brother and his wife have three kids; two girls and a boy.   All grown up with kids of their own and one in her second year of the university.   They all showed up too and were working the booths.   A truly united family.   My niece Christine who lives in Cincinnati was there too!   We will all be together Monday at my brother's house for dinner and drinks.
Big brother!
Nieces and nephew Lisa, Mike, Anna, Christine, great nieces Savannah and Kennidy.
 Bob leading the parade!
A big day for me and too much to tell but it was a big surprise!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

In Ohio

We finished our visit to the falls and headed back to the rv on the shuttle bus.  What a tourist trap that has become, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Hard Rock Café, and all the nonsense that goes along with money.   I also found it strange that in the day of  "let's stop using plastic", all the boats that make gazillions of trips up to the falls that they give out disposable ponchos to everyone.  That's like giant trash bags.   Doesn't make any sense but who am I?
We drove across the Rainbow bridge (how fitting) and stopped at the agent's booth.  He didn't know what to do.  He had to get a supervisor because he had never encountered a Mexican plate and didn't know the code for entering it into the system.  Even though we had meats and liquor on board, he waved us through to get us out of his hair.
Not having made a reservation, we went to Buffalo and got a spot at the HD Rv Park.  They always say yes, free wifi, closed circuit security cameras and best of all no charge.   Can't beat it.  Food court nearby, McDs senior coffee just feet away, and a service station with fuel at $3.59.   I forgot to mention, no train running through the park at night either.  You just can't beat it :)
The picture below was taken in Columbus.  I stopped to get a haircut because of the surprise tomorrow.  As we left McDonald's wifi there was a party bus behind us.  A policeman had passed the opposite way and at that moment tons of heavy smoke poured out.  I hit the brakes and yelled to Juan that the bus had blown up.  We got out of the car only to find the cop talking to the driver.   Apparently the bus was malfunctioning and the cop let the guy go.  He entered the freeway behind us and just kept going.  Why wasn't he made to park and have the bus towed?   I'm sending the photo to the Columbus police.
We took off at 8 a.m. and we made it to just outside of Cincinnati, Lebanon, Oh.   An rv park that cost an arm and a leg and they squeezed us into the last rv spot they had.  There are 2 bicycles here for each man, woman, child and pet.   I've never been to a family park and now I know why.  We are going to stay in HD in Cincinnati.   We needed a place though to empty tanks, vacuum and get the place spruced up a bit.  Tomorrow is the big day!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Niagara Falls Canada - Buffalo, NY

Great trip today.  We said our goodbyes to David and Marina this morning.   We had a nice dinner out last night and then a local fund-raising concert that is the precursor to the weekend music fest in Perth.

Hit the road by 8 a.m. and had a wonderful drive through Ontario all the way to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.  We arrived there by 3:30 with tons of traffic in Toronto even though we took the expressway.
We parked in the rv parking at the falls and took the shuttle back to the falls.  It was a beautiful sight and a great way to end our Canada leg of vacation.  Off we go and in a big hurry.  Juan has the opportunity to meet with someone who can help him with his doctorate.   An ex-director in Arkansas where Juan did another Fulbright.   She will be going out of town on Saturday so we are going to beat feet home.   We have a stop for a family get together in Cincinnati before driving to Kansas City to see my brother, sisters, and my nephew. 
Then on to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the weekend before heading to San Antonio.  Our tenant may be moving in the next few months and we want to get things in order before heading back to Mexico.
BTW, we saw a Canadian gas frenzy.  We had left the Ottawa airport and all the way home gas had dropped to 1.19 per liter.  Lines everywhere and people filling up gas cans.  It is what it is but everyone likes a bargain I guess!
Parked at a Home Depot in Buffalo tonight safe and sound.   Tomorrow is a marathon drive but we can make it.  A big surprise on Sunday, can't wait and I'm not telling.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

On Our Way To Ottawa/Perth

Our friends in Nova Scotia!

It's Thursday morning and we are getting ready to head to the airport.   We've had a wonderful time here in Nova Scotia.  Paula and Jerry are great hosts and have given us the "tour de grand".   The food, the wine, the convivencia have been great. 
It was fun meeting Jill and Andrew and happy that good things are coming their way.   Meeting Karin the mystery guest was a real surprise and we hope to see more them all.   Dinner with Nancy and Terrie (hey I spelled it right) was a lot of fun and we got to see them twice.
I hope everyone here in Nova Scotia that we have seen and met all know that they are welcome in our home in Mexico anytime.  The door is open.
The door is open to all our Canadian friends but we'll save that for later.  As we head out of Canada on Saturday we'll be posting our farewell to Canada blog.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday - A Look At Nova Scotia (Home of the BlueNosers)

Trying to catch up here and only two days behind.   We're here at home at the Gale house for down time.  There are heavy rains and they started last night.   We were all pretty much pooped from the active weekend so the day has flown by. 
Sunday we took a drive up to the lookout to see the Bay of Fundy.  What a sight!  We walked across the street for one of the best ice creams ever.  
After that we drove down to Hall's Harbor.   What a treat especially seeing a sight most will never know.  Hall's Harbor has the world's highest and lowest tides.   We actually saw the tides rise to over 34 feet and after a return in the evening after dinner we saw the tide completely out.   Truly an amazing site.  There is a PVC marker that shows the tide levels.

It was a lovely drive through the countryside with Jerry and Paula.   We headed to Justin and Lindsey's house for dinner.  Lindsey, as you remember, is Kevin and Ruth's daughter.   Cameron and Sadie were happy to see us and we chatted for quite awhile about what we had done since we last saw them in Cabri, Saskatchewan. 
Again, everyone has something special to share with us.   Justin and Lindsey live across the river from the Lockett winery.   We drove over to the winery and took advantage of a tasting.   We ordered a flight of five different wines, each of us choosing one.   Not only was it fun but our server explained each wine and it was great to know that we all pretty much have the same taste in wines.
From there, we returned to the Corkum house where Lindsey had prepared a wonderful dinner.  Lindsey is a chef and makes wonderful desserts.  Justin put the burgers on the grill and we had a great salad fresh from the garden, potatoe salad and strawberry shortcake for dessert. 
After, we played with the kids and talked about their garden and Lindsey returning to work.   Cameron drove around on his tractor and also showed me his hidden fort that he and his dad had built.  Very impressive Cameron!
Before we knew it, Jerry and Paula were on their way back to pick us up.  A great day in the land of the bluenosers.   Once we got home we hit the hay.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fiesta Mexicana - Nova Scotia

Sunday came and went way too fast.  We started out with a great breakfast and then started to prepare for the party.  Mystery guest pending, we worked through the morning hanging party lanterns, banners, papel picado, setting up the dining room for the big feast just to name a few things. Paula is a real party planner and did a fantastic job.   We settled down for a short nap before the party but I couldn't really nap thinking about the mystery guest.
Jerry and Paula's daughter Jill and her husband Andrew arrived at 2 p.m. along with the mystery guest.  Big surprise, a friend of Jill's (daughter) works with a woman from Leon, Guanajuato here in Nova Scotia.  Karin was us to meet some Mexicans just as much as we were to know her, the mystery guest.  We talked up a storm all day switching from English to Spanish.  It was a great surprise.
Later, Terry and Nancy came by.   We met them in La Siesta quite a few years ago in the New Year's party to beat all.  That was the party where, "what happened in San Miguel de Allende" stayed in SMA.   It was great to see them along with their newly acquired motorhome.   We were expecting Bill and Gale but they weren't able to make it as Gale had been sick and was taken to the doctor.  
We had drinks out by the pool, the girls went for a swim and we talked about everything under the sun.   Snacks came pouring out of the house.  Nancy made some really great humus, Paula a mean taco dip which was a meal in itself, and Jill and Karin put together a long awaited treat, homemade guacamole.
Dinner time rolled around and the cooks began to take over the kitchen.  Jerry had prepared his famous enchiladas the day before and he was keeping a watchful eye over them as they were being baked in the oven.   Juan had made a huge put of beans for refrieds and was busy working on them while I made some Mexican rice. Dinner  was a success as the wine flowed around the table.   We spent a couple of hours in the dining room finishing up with a great dessert Paula had prepared. 
Off we headed for the fire pit where Jerry had put together a flamer.   He used Sal's technique for creating a color fire and we pulled out the bottle of tequila we had been saving for the party.   I think we finished it sipping it slowly of course.
In the end, it was the best fiesta we have ever had and the best one that will ever take place in the great land of Nova Scotia. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Getting Ready For The Fiesta

An excerpt from Evangeline.

Thus, at peace with God and the world, the farmer of Grand-Pré
Lived on his sunny farm, and Evangeline governed his household.
Many a youth, as he knelt in the church and opened his missal,
Fixed his eyes upon her, as the saint of his deepest devotion;
Happy was he who might touch her hand or the hem of her garment!

I've gotten over the anxiety of the "mystery guest".   Patience is a virtue and I am virtuous person!  I didn't post pics yesterday of our first evening with Jerry and Paula because I ran out of battery and it was getting convoluted.  

I could go back and read what I posted yesterday but I'm not so if I repeat a few things, mea culpa.   Yesterday we got up early and had coffee.  These guys have a very guest friendly house and it is truly beautiful.   We feel very much at home here and would love to boot them out and take over.  I'm working on that but don't want to make enemies.  (just kidding)  :)  Afterall, they are fun to be with. 

Things need to be done for the party so we took off for the liquor store, grocery and also the farmer's market.   Just like in other parts of Canada, the farmer's market is great.   Truly homegrown foods and almost always organic.   You can 't beat that. 

Being a small town Jerry ran into many people he knows as we went through the Sobey's.   When we first saw a Sobey's in Langley, BC we thought it was a department store.   I couldn't see the "B" in the name, I thought it was an "L" like Foleys department store in Texas.   Then we learned and yesterday was another first visiting a Sobey's.  
After a great afternoon nap we received a visit from Pat and her granddaughter Dylan.   Pat is a teacher who worked with Paula in elementary.  Dylan is visiting for a week and they came over for a dip in the pool, a chat and then off to the drive-in movies.

 El mandilón!
El mandió

We started dinner and it was another award winner.   Jerry fixed scallops on the grill and a delicious farm fresh salad with a great bottle of white wine.    We talked at the table for quite a bit and had strawberries and shortcake before hitting the hay.  

Today is the big day for the Fiesta Mexicana!  Juan made a pot of beans and I will be making the rice along with Jerry's enchiladas and all the goodies Paula has planned and prepared.  It will be a full house.  Tomorrow we will visit Justin and Lyndsey nearby.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Rest of Perth To Nova Scotia

On Wednesday Marina took us to the FieldWork.  It is an art display in the middle of a farm field.  It's a collective project started with a grant received by David and Marina's friend Susie.   Everyone participates in by introducing a project as well as the maintenance and upkeep of the field.  It was a wonderful walk especially through the pine forest which is a bit surreal and reminds me of the forest where the Tin Man lives in the Wizard of Oz.
After, we went visiting.  We stopped by to see Susie who was at work in her studio producing pottery.  She has quite a place and apart from her studio with kiln they  have a lovely home and a huge farm.  Big into gardening in the area, everyone has a home garden that supplies food during the summer.  David and Marina have one too and we have been eating from it daily.  It is a real treat and puts us to shame as we have no excuse for not growing things even when we are not at home having a gardner available to help us.
Susie's studio.  Not sure why we didn't get a pick of this lovely artist.
We said our goodbyes to Susie and invited them to stop by the house in Mexico. (Susie and Cam, he came with David this year before meeting up with Marina).  We met Sylvia at the farm party you saw the other day.  They too are Mexico travelers.  Very nice to see so many Canadians love Mexico.   Sylvia runs a nursery and raises flowers that she sells making bouquets for weddings, graduations and parties.  It is quite a production and the day we were there they had just erected and started up their new cold box for keeping the flowers fresh.
Sylvia frantically planting seeds for the short growing season.
As we were talking here came her husband Frank.  He was at the party last weekend too but he was playing in the band so we didn't get to meet or chat.  Frank is an artist and does wonderful watercolors and prints, many of his adventures into Mexico.  This area is full of artists and Marina says there is a tour that takes you to visit the artists in their studios where you can also purchase their works.  Pretty cool.
Dave and Juan preparing the pizza dough for toppings.
Wednesday night we had pizza, homemade pizza on the grill.  To die for.  These guys really know how to eat.  Cam stopped by and we got into chatting again but we all had to go as we were to be up by 4:00 a.m. to head out for the airport in Ottawa.  
Voila!  Hats off to the chef.
Woke up to a dead solar system, the batteries were below half and we had to shut everything down including the refrigerator.  I felt bad, but we left David and Marina a message asking if they could store our cold foods which we had bagged and left inside the door for them to take care of.
We arrived at the airport at 6:30 with plenty of time to spare.  And guess what?  I had my first Tim Hortons coffee but no picture.  It was good, nothing bad about it.   I'm not a picky drinker and find a McCafe good coffee as well.
On board our first flight it was a small late 50s prop to Montreal.  Language changed immediately once we were in the air and it was French all the way to Nova Scotia.  Juan got plenty of practice.   On arrival, there they were, Jerry and Paula waiting for us waving from down below.   We hit the road and made a stop to see Evangeline, the woman from the poem by Longfellow. 
We arrived to their house which is a storybook place.  Beautiful, and again Canadians take such pride in their home and surroundings.   We all went down for a nap and then it was happy hour out on the deck.   From there, Paula had made chowder.  No no no, it was the best we have ever eaten.  Fresh scallops, lobster, fish and more.   So good I had a second bowl!  Couldn't resist.  
It was an early evening as they had a big day too getting up at 3 a.m. taking Wendy to the airport and then hanging around for us.  Remember what we say about being guests, "guests are like fish, after three days they start to stink".   Look what Jerry plopped down beside me first thing this morning.  Hmm, we will be here until the 17th.  P U!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I'm Getting Lost Here

I'm getting lost here and I am forgetting what we have done and what I have posted.  I had to go back and read what we did.  Monday we went to Ottawa.  I received an email from a reader in Gatineau just across the river from Ottawa in Quebec.   Unfortunately, we had planned on a biking trip on Wednesday (today) with David and Marina.  Monday came about and there was a need for Marina to visit her daughter and granddaughter so we decided at the last minute it was a good day to go.

What a whirlwind.  We packed into the car and off we went to the big city.   We missed some of the heavy traffic and made our first stop at an IKEA store where Marina made a return.   I have never seen an IKEA store so it was a true adventure for me.

Once we arrived at Melissa's house we went our separate ways.   We took the bus from Gatineau to Ottawa.  The bus driver didn't speak English and he wasn't very friendly.   Juan is fluent in French so once we got underway the driver told us it was $7.80 for two persons.  Another culture shock just as public transit in other parts of Canada and the U.S.   Monterrey charges .85 U.S. and that is for a bus with air conditioning and wifi.   Yikes!

Our first stop was the market downtown.  Lots of fresh produce and many foreigners selling goods and speaking many different languages.  We walked around and took some pics before heading over to the river.  There, we saw a now familiar sight.  The locks that run up the river are under operation and again they are manual.  I believe there are seven to nine locks in this one section in Ottawa.  You couldn't pry me away from it.   There were boats as well as canoers and they went up, up and up until they reached the top.  Amazing.

We scheduled a tour of the Parliament building and also had the trip up the Peace Tower.   I had wanted to write a blog just about that trip in particular and title it, "Canada, Lest We Forget".  Too many Americans fail to remember Canada as an ally and all of the lives that have been lost in great wars fighting along side many countries.  It isn't just about American soldiers or American lives.  The Peace Tower is filled with books from each war that have the name of each Canadian who gave their lives for peace.   We counted over 116,000 with the help of the tour guide who knew how many soldiers had fallen in each book.

We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant at the market during our walk around town, El Corazon de Maiz.   It was good but not like home.   I'm getting homesick again!

There is more to tell and I will do it with pictures.  I have some important news I had posted on Facebook two weeks ago but failed to mention here on the blog.  Our road trip ends here and we are heading home from Perth on the 18th.  But wait, we are flying to Nova Scotia tomorrow morning and staying for a week before returning to Perth.  Several reasons but one is we will shave 3000 miles off our trip and save over $1000 in fuel.  The tickets were a great giveaway and we couldn't pass it up.

We want to visit my older brother in Cincinnati and if we didn't do this, we would miss them as they have had a year-long standing engagement the following week.   So, all of this is working out well and we still get to see the East coast.  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Historic Walk Through Perth - A Real Picnic

A bit behind schedule on posting the blog.  Yesterday we went to Ottawa for the day.  Fun, fun, fun but I won't share that until tomorrow.  I still need to post about Sunday.

Love homemade blueberry pancakes.  We've had them two weeks in a row.  Pat made them for us last Sunday in Simcoe and now here at Marina's.  Delicious!

We got up late on Sunday and we're lucky to have enjoyed Marina's famous blueberry gluten-free pancakes served with fresh fruit, yogurt and maple syrup.  We need to take home some extra as the syrup Mike and Pat gave us in Simcoe is going fast. 


After breakfast we read the newspaper and then headed down to Perth for a historic walk through the town.  We were met by people in costume who led us on a walking tour with great acting, telling the story of the city founders and it citizens.   Truly well-done and this group of young actors deserve a big hand.  We learned about the building of the canal through Perth, the corruption charges made against Morris for the misuse of funds and a fatal duel between two law students, Robert Lyon and John Wilson.  Also, the story was told of woman during WWII who put on pants and took to the factories and fields to support the troops while the men were away. 

Back at home for a short nap, we loaded up the Westie and off we went to the locks for a picnic.  Now this is something most people don't get to see everyday.   A system of locks set up on the Rideau Canal that runs from Kingston (Ontario) to Ottawa.  It is a UNESCO historic site and once you're there you discover why.  

The series of locks are operated manually by a park ranger and their staff of four persons.  They open the lock, the ships pass in and the lock is closed.   They open the next one and the boat is moved on. 

At the point where we were, there is a swing bridge that is also operated manually.  

Sunday the winds were very high and boats had docked on one side of the lock hoping and waiting for the waters to calm a bit.   Sure enough, boats decided to take off and we were fortunate enough to watch the process first hand.  It was one of our highlights on this trip.

We had packed a picnic and had veggie and beef burgers, Dave made a great potato salad, beet salad, and their friend Ann brought bean salad and humus.   We pigged out with a few glasses of wine and it wasn't long before we headed back home.   Too windy but too much fun.