Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stateside Antics with Family

Coming to the States without a vehicle pretty much meant we were stuck with family. Which was just as well, we missed them a bit. For the first part of our two-week stay, we were with my parents and my sister. While we mostly stayed at home working on things on our stateside to-do list, we did some things with my family. For the first weekend there, one set of my aunts and uncles on my mom’s side were in town. So we spent several meals on the water with them.

DSC04138 As his first meal back in the States, Jonathan got his requisite American cheeseburger.

On one such endeavor, we were almost to our destination when we met my aunt and uncle. They had apparently heard that bad weather was on the way and wanted to pull the boat out of the water. We decided to meet them at Pizza Hut instead. About halfway back, the jet ski that I was riding started beeping and a red warning light came on. Not at all sure what it was and afraid that it was oil or something critical like that, I immediately shut off the ski and waved Jonathan over (my parents were too far ahead already). After some discussion and troubleshooting, we determined it was low fuel. I hadn’t expected this, as when we started off, my dad had said that the amount that I had was sufficient for the trip. The good news is that despite the warning, I made it back safely to the dock. The bad news is that they didn’t tell me until I had arrived in the cove that you can turn off the beeping. I had to listen to its harsh chirps all the way back.

I am apparently really bad about taking pictures with my family, probably because we never really did that growing up except for special occasions. I am sure that it didn’t help that I sent out my camera to get repaired. If you recall, right before we ventured into México, I discovered that there specks of dust on my camera sensor. The only way to get it fixed under warranty was to send it into their Laredo Repair Center. So one of the first things that I did when we got back was ship off my camera to be repaired. They had quoted me a turn-around time of 7-10 days to repair it and then add another few days for mailing. If I was lucky, it would arrive right before we left. If not, I would have to steal my mother’s camera (same model as mine) when I went back. So you can imagine my surprise when I shipped it on Friday, it arrived at the repair center on Monday, and by Friday (only one week from when I had mailed it) it was back in my hands. I was very excited to have my camera back and speck-free.

I don’t normally like to fattening and unhealthy things when I am staying with my family, but when I have been traveling with limits on what I can cook, I find it hard to resist. So, while my sister and Mitchell made healthy meals and my mom made decent meals, I made fattening foods. I did my Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi soup knock-off. I tried some delicious oatmeal-raisin waffles (substitute your own add-ins for the raisins) for which even Jonathan didn’t have suggested improvements. And to finish it off, I made an (eggless) two-layer strawberry cream cake per semi-request of my sister’s boyfriend. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself. It could have been moister, but it could have been a result of the lack of silken tofu. And to finish things off, mom and I tag-teamed to make melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls the last day I was in town.

DSC04141 Per different requirements, one half has sugar-free Cool Whip, one quarter has regular Cool Whip, and the last quarter has whipped cream. This is exactly why we never cooked growing up.

While I was working on the blog and other list of to-dos and cooking up unhealthy deliciousness, Jonathan was either working on his own list of to-dos (mostly generated by me) or fixing my family’s gadgets. There is always something computer or technology-related to fix for my family. But this time, he got to fix the pontoon. It didn’t want to start up when we tried to move it, so he spent an afternoon or two fixing that with my dad. This fixing of watercraft carried on to his family’s and ours when to Mountain Home, AR starting a week after we arrived in the States. When we left Costa Rica, he had planned on fixing his own boat and ski and seeing what he could do for one of his family skis, but as it got closer to going to Mountain Home, the list grew to encompass the new, large family boat and more problems on the skis than originally broadcast. While Jonathan slaved away outside, he soon realized he wouldn’t get it all done in the time we allotted. So, he finished up both skis, and was at least able to point his dad on what he needed done at the mechanics. Our boat will have to wait for another trip, but I think Jonathan is looking forward to another trip back.


While in Mountain Home, we got to spend time not only with Jonathan’s grandparents, but with his parents who came down as well. One especially enjoyable day was going out on the lake. We took the new boat out and tried skiing with a longer rope (memorial day weekend had proven that it wasn’t pleasant to ski behind it with the original rope). The length helped and both Cyndi and I got two decent skis in. The water was cold and resulted in quite a few comedic incidents.

P1020198 Howling like a howler monkey.


Before long, the time we were willing to spend away from Chuck was up. We drove back to Shell Knob on Wednesday and were escorted to the airport on Thursday to do the return flights.


  1. Your strawberry cake made me laugh. But question: Why not just let everyone smear their cake with whatever topping they want? Surely the smearing of white goop [yes, this is what all three of those topping options look like to me] is something each eater of cake can do on their own, right?

    Also, you look like a water skiing pro.

  2. You are probably right... probably would have been easier to let everyone do it themselves. I have this fear though (whether logical or not) that it might not get eaten then ( too much work).

    Alas, far from pro... if so, i would be on only one ski kicking up some major spray like my mother-in-law.