I’m really missing everyone back home, especially Deanna and my girls. I’ve been thinking about them a lot this whole trip. Last night was the first night I got to talk with all of them. I put them on speaker-phone and Deanna put us on speaker-phone there, too — both sides could talk to each other altogether that way. That was fun. Deanna seems to be doing much better. Her voice is making a strong comeback and it sounds like she is regaining some of her energy, too. She still complains of soreness, though, and I’m sure she feels very much like she’s still in recovery-mode.

For breakfast this morning, Karen heated up some oatmeal for everyone. We mixed it with maple syrup (the “real” stuff) and brown sugar — very yummy. I also had some blueberry juice (another local item), half a grapefruit, and some toast. After that, we all suited up (including Mom and Dad this time) for another trek across the lake. Mom took a fall going down the ice-packed stairs from the deck. She fell in the sitting position, but her back still looked pretty bruised up. She said that she wasn’t in any pain (unless she directly touched it); we’re praying that it still won’t be bothering her tomorrow.

After we got back to the house, Karen fixed us some Dagwood sandwiches, kettle chips, and some kind of tofu-filled quesadilla-looking slices (which were surprisingly very tasty — smile). After lunch, Bryan started the process of preparing the wood-burning hot tub for later that evening by filling it up with water. Not too much later, him, Dad and I took off for an hour or so for some geocaching a couple miles away at a beautiful park with a pond hidden in the middle and lots of great hiking trails.

Upon our return, we warmed up with another amazing dinner: chicken enchiladas, Mexican salad, and for dessert: creme brulee. Mmm-mmm-mmm. Bryan had started to warm up the hot tub now. Tonight it was a four-to-five hour process. Whew! Lots of hard work. While we were waiting, we played some Catchphrase with Mom and Dad. I’m guessing they left at probably around 8 o’clock and we started to get ready to go into the hot tub shortly after their departure. All three of us — Bryan, Karen, and myself — fit pretty comfortably in the tub. It was very relaxing and — I told Bryan — my favorite part of the trip so far.

The temp outside was about 17 degrees, but it was nice and warm in the hot tub. My hair, which had somehow gotten a little wet (probably from running my hands through it a couple times) was frozen solid.  It definitely felt good after a day full of activity. The stars were out (shining bright, compared to what I’m used to) and the night was calm. After getting out, we were all pretty much ready for bed. I had a short phone conversation with Deanna (too short) and then hit the sack. Tomorrow, the plan is to get up a little earlier and head up north to see Joe, Mom’s brother, and his family.

Here’s some video highlights from the day…