What a difference a week makes

We’re making good progress on the buildout. All the walls, paint and electrical is done. Carpets arrive tomorrow and the tile and bathroom fixtures go in over the next couple of days. We’re hoping to have everything done within the next two weeks.

Meeting this week with the geothermal guy as that is the next project.

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The Buildout Begins

We’ve kicked off Phase I of our cottage buildout plan. It is a multi-year plan to turn our little cottage into our retirement cottage.

This phase is intended to give us more guest space by adding two bedrooms and a bath in what was the attic behind the loft. We’ve reconfigured the loft a bit, took out one window and added two more, and I think this will be a cozy area for guests.

This will also allow us to re-purpose our current guest bedroom into a study (and overflow bedroom).

Here are some pictures of the project a couple of weeks in:

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Hey Hey from Stockholm

It is often called the Venice of the North. Stockholm is a vibrant northern European city built on a series of islands that extend into the Baltic Sea.

Nordiska Museet

Nordiska Museet

We’ve had a great 3 days here, hiking all over the city, exploring its culture and history and sampling the local food: reindeer, pickled herring, fish stew, to name a few.

The Swedes are a proud people. Proud of their long-running monarchy, their culture and hosting the annual Nobel Prize ceremony and dinner. They are also friendly and approachable, at least for us tourists.

One thing we notice though is that they must have a different technique/custom for avoiding each other as they walk along in a crowd. We’ve all noticed that we’ve had to step aside more here than usual.

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State of Independence

image

We’re taking Linda, Avery and Teya around historic Philadelphia. It has been a while since I’ve been down here and the new exhibit on the site of the president’s house, next to the Liberty Bell is pretty cool.

This area always makes me reflect on what it would have been like to live here then without all the distractions of modern life. The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743. Can you imagine living in a “new world” and thinking, ‘hey, what we need is a philosophical society’?

As other countries struggle to find their own path to liberty I only hope we don’t lose our own way.

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Fun Week at Little York

We’re coming to the end of a fun week at Little York. The week was filled with family gatherings, fireworks and cookouts.

Highlights included the annual Timmerman Family Golf Tournament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fireworks at Little York on the 3rd followed by the annual Boat Parade on the 4th with Sam and Wendy’s holiday picnic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had gorgeous weather most of the week, with a little rain on the 3rd and on 7th, but not enough to impact our holiday. And while it was hot back in Philly, it was much cooler here as we relaxed under the full moon by our campfire.

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Toronto, not Melbourne

Toronto

Toronto, not Melbourne

Well, we thought by now we would be on approach to Sydney and then connecting to Melbourne. Unfortunately, yesterday did not go so well.

We got to the airport on time but, instead of jumping up to Toronto and having a nice leisurely dinner before boarding our trans-pacific flight, we spent 2 hours in a crowded United club in PHL followed by an excruciatingly-delayed flight to Toronto.

All due to heavy thunderstorms, first in Philly then in Toronto.

We landed 30 minutes before our connecting flight was scheduled to take off, so we sprinted through  immigration, customs and to the far end of the airport only to find the doors had just been closed and they wouldn’t board us. As it was, the flight was delayed by 90 minutes, so they could have really boarded us, but, by then, we were rebooked and put up in a hotel.

So, here we are, 24 hours later, sitting in a luxurious Air Canada club and waiting for our departure.

The only good thing is that this is a working trip rather than a vacation. So, a day spent working in Toronto vs working in Melbourne was no big trade-off.

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Down(under) We Go

Melbourne, Australia

We’re headed “down under” and on quite an adventure. Robyn needs to go to Melbourne for some business and I’ve decided to tag along and “carry her bags”. Actually, I’m going to be her traveling chef 😉

We’ve booked ourselves on Air Canada from PHL-YYZ-YVR-SYD-MEL and back on the same route. Total travel time down is almost 31 hours not counting travel time to PHL and from MEL. So it will be interesting.

 All times EDT

dep

arr

Flight

Connection

phl

tor

5/3/2012 15:45

5/3/2012 17:10

1:25

3:15

tor

van

5/3/2012 20:25

5/4/2012 1:13

4:48

1:32

van

syd

5/4/2012 2:45

5/4/2012 18:15

15:30

2:45

syd

mel

5/4/2012 21:00

5/4/2012 22:35

1:35

23:18

7:32

But, the cool thing is that we are in business class with fully reclining seats.

AC Business Class

So we’ll get to sleep pretty well on the way down (and back), hopefully eliminating some jet lag.

We’ll post pix and news as we go, but pretty excited. I haven’t been to Australia since 1989 and I’m looking forward to going back to some of my old stomping grounds and seeing how things have changed.

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