Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! ("Our 12 Months of 2009")

December 25, 2009

Hello To All Our

Dear Friends & Family -

This year has been sooooo wonderful!! BUT, all our travels have kept us so busy that the only way to bring you our now customary “12 Months of 2009” is to go to the other side and send it electronically. So – here on our blog - is your Christmas/Holiday letter from us aboard the Magic Bus traveling around the west.


January – There was much Skiing, Sundance and the Freestyle World Cup with lots of family and friends.

February – We celebrated our niece, Deme’s, seventh birthday in Scottsdale - along with sister Barb’s and Mother’s birthdays - and cousins Julie and Mike’s anniversary (also got to sit for cousin Baby Bear!).

Deme enjoying her birthday celebration

March – This is the month we loaded up the Navion and headed east to Beaufort, SC to see the wonderful and amazing triplets - and their Mom and Dad (cousins Bethany & David). Along the way we saw many long-time friends - Kacy and her family, the Clemens, Art Molter & Wendy, golfed with Jim & Rebecca along the Robert Trent Jones Trail, lunched with cousin Dodge!

One of the triplets was enough to wear Gary out.

Elizabeth can handle two with aplomb.

On the Robert Trent Jones golf trail in Alabama.

April – Headed back west through the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore - also found the Cowboy Chocolatier (see our blog below for his address - worth a look!).

After the fog finally dissipated at Mt. Rushmore.

May – Back to Phoenix for a Jimmy Buffett concert, 3-mile cancer walk with sister Barb and niece Deme on Mother’s Day and Deme’s DoReMi presentation of Alice in Wonderland. Elizabeth and Mother Dorthy set sail for an Alaskan cruise while Gary visited his Mother Eloise and daughter and granddaughter.

Walking for the cure in Phoenix.

Elizabeth and Dorthy in Alaska.

June – Lots of golf - despite the rain!

July – GRANDDAUGHTER’s (Haley Erin) FIRST BIRTHDAY celebrated in Park City! Around that was more golf and outdoor concerts with friends.

Haley hittin' 'em with gramps.

The Hengsteler's (Shannon, Heather & Haley).

August - More golf, including the club’s men’s tournament - the Kemosabi - where Gary and his guest (Jim Stinson) WON their flight! Also, a month of visits from many friends - AND, we took delivery of the new and improved Magic Bus!!

The Last of the Mohicans (it is a long story) finally win their flight before crashing and burning in the finals.

September, October & November – September 5th we loaded up the Bus and headed North to Glacier National Park, our first stop in our THREE month road trip that included Glacier, Waterton National Park, Banff and Lake Louise, Whistler, Vancouver Island, Oregon, Central CA, Santa Clarita CA and Phoenix, AZ!! (ALL the details of this trip are given below in a blow by blow description on the BLOG!) We thoroughly enjoyed EVERY part of this trip whether it was the beauty of our many National Parks or the warmth of the friends and family we visited along the way.

Grillin and Chillin'

E & G enjoying Glacier National Park.

Black Bear enjoying the berries of Waterton.

December – Loaded up the car to drive to Beaver Creek, CO, to attend the World Cup ski races with friends. Then, loaded up Magic again and headed for CA and AZ for Christmas. We began celebrating with our first Christmas on the 20th in Lemoore with the Hengsteler (daughter’s) family - Gramma and Gramps (us) gave Haley the pink chair.

Haley enjoying her new chair (climbing gym?).

Then moved south in the state to have Christmas day dinner in Magic with Gary’s Mother, her husband Tom, the Hengstelers and Elizabeth’s Mother, Dorthy.

Christmas Dinner in the Bus

Four Generations

Then over to Scottsdale to celebrate one more time with Sister Barb’s family on the 28th! We will also have the opportunity to visit with many more cousins while in AZ and hope to ring in the New Year with much family and lots of friends there.



Lots of Love – Elizabeth Biaett & Gary Dickey

Monday, December 21, 2009

Home & Gone Again - - - :-))

Just a quick posting to bring you all up to date.

We left Phoenix the morning after Thanksgiving and spent all of three days at home. You see, we had a World Cup race in Beaver Creek, CO that we had to get to. So - after taking care of mail, bills and unloading the Bus - we were off again but, without Magic this time. Just a plain old car trip.

All our usual ski ‘buds’ were there with us to cheer Ted, Bode and the rest of the US skiers to the finish line. Ted took a 4th place in the Super G and Bode took a 4th in the Downhill - good points for both - and a good warm-up for the Olympics!!

After the WC we were actually home for a whole week! During this time we spent lots of time with our many friends in Park City that we had not seen for three months - lots of dinners and drinks to celebrate the wonderful holiday season and warm friendships!

December 16th Magic was loaded up again and we were off to celebrate the Holidays with family in California and Arizona. This makes me think - “when will the 12 months of 2009” letter get done and out to all of you????? Perhaps this year I will do the unthinkable - send an electronic letter - perhaps posted on our blog!?!?!??!?! Stay tuned and I will let you know the decision.

Love to you all - E&G

Memory Lane

Well - our last ‘blog title’ was “we’re back” - meaning we had another blog posting. However - many of you thought we were home - early!! Not a chance. So - here is the last week of our 3 month tour ----

Just like all the others, the week was PACKED. This one, though, held many days of reminiscing for Elizabeth. It was decided that Gary needed to see Iron Springs (just outside of Prescott, AZ) and the family ‘cabin’ where summers were spent back in the ‘good ole’ days’. So, we loaded up the car with Mother, friend Phyllis, Gary and Elizabeth and headed north. Gary saw the softball field where we spent many a summer night watching two or three men’s softball games an evening (unfortunately the Dairy Queen across the street no longer exists). Then we headed to Whisky Row - the usual main drag in old turn-of-the-century (1800‘s to 1900‘s) towns where all the miners would congregate at night to drink and ????. Of course, Mother and Phyllis found the oldest bar in town and saddled up!

The Longest/Oldest Bar in Prescott

The Ladies of Whisky Row

A quick lunch on Whisky Row and we were off to Iron Springs. We knew we were getting close when we found Humpty Dumpty - still welcoming everyone!

Humpty Dumpty has gone patriotic.

E & G are rockin'

After pleading with the caretaker, we managed to get into the ‘camp’, which looked about the same as it did 40 years ago!! (The Biaett cabin, however, was nothing like what we lived in!!) The old General Store was just as we left it - as was the caboose that hasn’t moved an inch in all those years.

The old country store hasn't changed at all.

32 KBUS has travelled a lot farther than this one.

The caboose was there on the very tracks that brought the many Phoenix residents up to their cabins way back when. The thought just occurred to me - we began our trip in Glacier National Park where all the lodges were built by the RR’s in order for the ‘touring public’ to have a destination when they rode the trains. Now - here we were in another area that was basically created by the RR’s as a destination for Phoenix residents to get out of the heat in the summer. Very interesting the ‘power‘ and place on our country’s development that the RR’s held.

Another afternoon, I drug Gary to the “original Los Compadres” - my most favorite Mexican food restaurant ever!! Myself and my sisters grew up on their food and still go back there every chance we get when visiting. The original is still the same - even serving on paper plates after ordering at the window.

We also watched lots of football - attending the old rivalry game of Michigan vs Ohio State at Phyllis’s daughters house. AND - of course played more golf - FOUR more days! This week the courses we played provided a lot of entertainment in the way of animal/bird viewing. Unfortunately, Gary did not have a camera (I know - hard to believe!!) the day we had the most entertainment - on the Boulder course. This particular day I had a coyote follow me down the fairway, a whole herd (seriously about 20) of javelina cross the fairway in front of me so I could not hit my ball (2 were especially ‘frisky’!) and eagles on the hunt. We did get pictures another day of some beautiful cranes ----

The Snowy Egret isn't going to find any snow in this neighborhood.

Also, for all the golf fans who are actually reading this, we have included the full list of all the courses we played on our trip at the very end of this posting - enjoy and let us know how many of the same you have also played!!

Our three month trip was concluded with a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family at sister, Barb’s. This was a perfect way to end a fabulous trip - and we were both very grateful for the many friends and family that had shared our travels with us!!

Two more days and we were home:-(

Much Love to All of You - E&G

Golf Courses Played on Fall, 2009 Trip

1 - Old Works, Butte, Montana

2 - Whitefish - North Course, Whitefish, Montana

3 - Waterton Golf Club, Waterton, Alberta

4 - Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta

5 - Talking Rock, Kamloops, British Columbia

6 - Tobiano, Kamloops, British Columbia

7 - Nicklaus North, Whistler, British Columbia

8 - Whistler Golf Club, Whistler, British Columbia

9 - Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai, California

10 - Soule Golf Course, Ojai, California

11 - Phoenician, Phoenix, Arizona

12 - Ranch Manana, Cave Creek, Arizona

13 - The Legend at Arrowhead, Phoenix, Arizona

14 - TPC - Champions Course, Scottsdale, Arizona

15 - Camelback Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona

16 - Legend Trail Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona

17 - Starfire, Scottsdale, Arizona

18 - Vista Verde, Rio Verde, Arizona

19 - Dove Valley, Cave Creek, Arizona

20 - Troon North - Pinnacle, Scottsdale, Arizona

21 - Boulders - South, Scottsdale, Arizona