USA Adventures of Steve & Bronni 2008 travel blog

Isabelle enjoying her bouncer

Bouncer comes with its own vibrator for Isabelle's feet

Down beside the Napa River with my new leather cap

At the entrance to a Napa River Inn

Napa River Inn next to the river

Down town Napa

Down town Napa

Down town Napa

Light lunch - club sandwiches and chowder soup

Our little princess Isabelle Rees sound a sleep

Hanging the new gates

Hanging the new gates

The happy owners

The finishing touch with a curved top

Isabelle with Nanna

Isabelle with grandpa

Isabelle's first outing to a restaurant- slept all the way through

Napa - Friday 4th April

It has been brought to our attention on a number of occasions that we’ve been slack in entering our events on this web site – and I quite agree we have indeed been slack. Now that Angela and Isabelle have taken on their new life style back home in Napa we have all been very busy.

Micah and Steve have been busy completing electrical jobs Micah had lined up, with Steve the unpaid “lackey” – having an extra pair of hands helped Micah and Steve got enjoyment helping him out.

As Angela was released from hospital on day 3 (19th March 2008), I’ve also been busy helping her as much as possible, having just had a major operation she really needs to take things easy when she got home, hence I have taken on the job of washing, cleaning, preparing meals, shopping, with occasional help from time to time from the male sector of the household – yep that would be very occasionally. I also had to drive Angela to her various appointments for, not only herself, but Isabelle too.

Outside of electrical jobs, Steve and Micah have been busy for the last 3-4 days putting up new gates at the side of the house on the driveway. The old ones were almost falling down, they are wooden and certainly a little worse for wear, in particular when their dog Jack jumped on them they almost fell over. Jack’s a big dog, he’s Labrador crossed with something else. Angela and Micah are very careful when they have Isabelle anywhere near him.

The driveway is 14’ wide, hence they have made two 7’ wide gates, the frames are made of steel which Steve welded together, and special thanks goes to Chuck (Heidi’s dad) for allowing the boys to borrow his welder for a few days. The timber has been bought and attached to the steel frame and the gates are complete, now and if I do say so, they look rather professional.

We have had a few outings over the past few weeks outside of those chores. Firstly Isabelle has already attended her first funeral, Heidi’s grandfather died (Angela’s sister-in-law). We offered to take care of Isabelle in the chapel, but no chance of that happening with a very protective new papa sitting beside her – the grin still hasn’t come off Micah’s face, he is just so proud of her. Anyway she didn’t utter a sound.

Last weekend Angela and Micah attended a family 21st – we chose not to go but to have some down-time to ourselves. We drove down town Napa and took a short walk along the edge of the Napa River had a cup of coffee at one place, where I purchased a few post cards for mum, then headed off into the centre of town and found a lovely mall to stroll through. We meandered on wide paved walk ways that were dotted with large pots full of brightly colourful flowers. There was outdoor eating, we stopped and had lunch at one place called Gillwood’s Cafe. We sat outside in the sun and had a sandwich and clam chowder, yummo! I forgot how big they make meals here in the USA, hence Jack had a lovely afternoon tea with half a fresh roast beef bread roll, which he savoured for, I guess at least 3-4 seconds.

We are slowly moving our stuff into the van, although a lot of the clothes etc can’t be moved until the day or so before. I still need to do a grocery shop to put things in the fridge etc. Yesterday was an expensive day for the RV – Steve decided he didn’t like the sound the generator was making and we took it down town to have it serviced – then the RV specialist (Griffo it was almost opposite where you left your van) had a look at our 12v batteries x2 – after testing them it was decided they were ‘over and out’ – I guess after whatever number of years they’d been in there (date not clear), their use-by date was up - and two new ones were put in – after 3 hrs labour + batteries we were $600 poorer, but all is good now, we are set for any amount of free camping.

We are planning to depart on Sunday 13th April all being well.

Almost forgot to mention, we had a cultural evening last week, we went to hear the Napa Youth Orchestra play at a venue in Napa. It was great to see young classical musicians do their thing. The first half of the evening there was a group of 19 young people who played JS Bach Orchestral suite No 3 in D major, then a Concerto for two violins in D Minor who played Vivace, Largo ma non tanto and finally Allegro.

The second half of the evening, the youth orchestra, with the help of a few experience players/tutors, played Mozart's Symphony No 40 in g minor. Aren’t you all impressed I almost stayed awake, Steve reckons I nodded off a couple of times, but luckily didn’t snore. The trouble is, in my vast experience at these type of events (I’ve been to two now) if you clap long and loudly at the end of the performance, they keep going and play more – I tried to impress on him, just 3 short quick claps was sufficient. Janine and Soph aren’t you proud I actually went along…humm such browny-points, I must remember to cash in on those one day!!!

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