September 2012, daughter Carmen returned from 13 months teaching and traveling in Asia. She really enjoyed it, despite any rants and discouraging remarks. LOL http://canusing2.blogspot.com
Link to her blog.
I spent as much time with Carmen as possible over the next few months, because no one knew when or where she'd be off to next or how long she'd be gone. When she wasn't off visiting her friends, we just hung out here at the house and talked and talked and talked.
Carmen accepted a teaching job in Moscow, Russia! As far as we know at this writing, the job lasts through May (and possibly into June) with chances of working for individuals after the contract is finished.
So with that in mind, we've now made three more trips to Boise Airport and back. That's three four-hundred-mile round trips in less than a month. Thank God for beautiful scenery, mostly clear highways, and safe travels.
Trip 1: Carmen received, as a birthday present, a private tour* of Warner Bros. studio lot and did some other (whirlwind) sightseeing. Carmen then took the train from LA to Santa Barbara. (Easy, comfortable and relatively inexpensive!) (*A friend/former classmate works for Warner Bros.)
Our son, Dom, drove from Northern California to SB where they both spent a few days visiting their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and each other.
Dom & Carmen on Santa Barbara breakwater
Trip 2: Back to Boise to pick up Carmen.
THEN Hurry up and wait, hurry some more, wait some more. (Waiting for all the paperwork to get finished. Visa arrived with only a couple days to spare.)
Trip 3: Friday, we headed south to the Boise area (again). There was some last minute shopping to do. It was very frustrating trying to find decent winter clothes this time of year. Everything was so picked over. (Also, the city streets were really slick, and the temp around zero degrees.) We finally did find Carmen a nice down coat on sale for $30!!!! (I also bought a new winter coat. The one I've been wearing is at least 10 years old. Yay!)
We also spent a couple hours with my dad, so Carmen could say goodbye.
Sunday morning, Boise Airport, -4 degrees F and foggy. Plane took off late, but at least it did. (Carmen barely made her connection in Salt Lake.)
On the way home, we saw a herd of elk grazing near the highway. No picture, because the roads were iffy right there. J didn't want to try to stop.
Middle of the night/really early Monday morning Carmen called to let us know she made it to Moscow - short one suitcase, and to tell us that it was warmer in Moscow than in Boise. (It is warmer here than in Boise!**)
**We live in "borderline" winter country. This area can be really nasty or fairly mild. Just depends on Mother Nature. Parts of Idaho have extreme winter weather. Other areas have relatively mild and very short winters - what we call the "banana belts". Boise generally is warmer and has a much shorter winter than we do.
We were in a drought - almost 5 months without rain - blowing topsoil and all. Then, we received 26 inches of snow. It has settled some, but now more is predicted.
Friday morning, we started out from the house in beautiful sunshine, 30 degrees, not a even a little breeze. Three miles out of town the wind was howling creating a ground blizzard and forming large drifts. A couple more miles we were detoured around this on the county roads. Thank goodness for 4-wheel-drive, because believe me, it was much worse than this looks. Luckily, once we started up White Bird grade, conditions got better.
(Idaho County Free Press photo)
Also, thanks to J's uncle who lets us stay at his house whenever we are down in Treasure Valley (Boise area).