Saturday, February 20, 2010

MiGO Winter Social

From the album:
"MiGO Silver Coin Awards" by Michigan Geocaching Organization
Basswoodbend- Dick and Nancy

These Silver award recipients began caching in June 2003. Since that time, these retired teachers have found over 2500 caches in 41 states. They have attended 37 events, 2 of which were Cache In Trash Out gatherings. In the fall of ‘07, they completed the Michigan County Challenge and had a geocoin minted to honor their 50th wedding anniversary. Having owned 81 caches to this point, you can find their caches in the Michigan Lost Towns series, along the Shore to Shore series and, to rave reviews, the popular Trekking Traverse Trails series. As Traverse City residents, they have also worked with the Traverse City Visitor’s Center and the Convention & Visitor Bureau to bring Geocaching into the Welcome Center in downtown Traverse City. There you can pick up information about the sport and if you look in the right spot, you’ll find a cache waiting to log. So for their contributions to our sport, I am proud to present Dick and Nancy, of Basswoodbend, with the Silver Coin Award from MiGO.

The Winter Social is something we look forward to every year. This year it was held in Lansing - well, it's been in the Lansing area for the last few years, but this venue was right in the Big City.

We had such a good time - we saw people we haven't seen for a couple of years - it's always fun to re-connect. As always, we saw a lot of good friends, and met some new friends too.

There were two major highlights for me - well, maybe three. Every year they award Silver Coins to caching teams who support and advance caching in the State of Michigan. We were thrilled when we were one of the 5 recipients of the silver coin! It was thrilling and so unexpected! We experienced real shock and awe. It's a good feeling to be put in the company of winners past and present whom we have always admired. Wow. In the teaser before the announcement, Chad mentioned how many caches we have found and placed, that we've found a cache in all of the counties of Michigan and in many States and countries. He brought up the Shore to Shore series and the Trekking Traverse Trails series that Dick put together last spring. He also mentioned Dick's connection with the T.C. Visitor Center to promote geocaching in the Grand Traverse area. I'm very proud of Richard!

To put the frosting on the cake, Tim and Susie also received a silver coin - how great is that?!

The five teams receiving the silver coin were Basswood Bend, DinoDuo, TreePlanter, Pairomedicchick, and DeRock. Good company.

The Wolverine Warriors were there with their three great children, the newest of which is their six month old son Braylon (named for Braylon Edwards). They were nice enough to let me hold Braylon as long as I wanted - he is a darling, snuggle-puppy kind of a baby - very content to just snuggle up and observe his surroundings. Gee, that was fun. He is such a great baby.

Jodi took a picture of Dick taking a picture of me.

Justin is wondering if I will ever give the baby back!

The silent auction is always fun for me, and this year was no different. I didn't get the quilt that I bid on 3 times, but the two of us did win 3 auctions and we were happy with them.

All in all, it was a wonderful day - full of joy, adrenalin, and warm fuzzies. We were exhausted afterwards - when I got back to the motel I took a nap right away. Am I getting too old for this? No, that can't be it!

I closed my eyes with memories of silver coins, good friends and a warm bundle of baby boy Braylon.

When Dick logged the event, I realized that he is a much better writer than I am!

As Chad stood at the microphone and read the description of the first coin recipient, lights flashed on in our heads and we glanced at each other in disbelief. the tips of our ears and the backs of our necks reddened. the room suddenly became much warmer. We were stultified! To be placed in the same category as De Rock, Tree Planter, Paramedic Chick, and Dino Duo, not to mention the coin winners of the past years is incomparable. We have long recognized them as outstanding members of the Michigan Geocaching community, but to be grouped with them, and given special recognition by our peers, for behaviors and actions which we perceive to be ordinary and normal in the pursuit of our favorite hobby is overwhelming. We are honored and humbled.
We wish to recognize the BOD and the countless worker bees who labor to make this and all of the MiGO sponsored events a success. We are well aware that they are the ones who deserve the awards and recognition. Thanks to you all and thanks to our friends, old and new, and even those whom we have not yet met for making this day one we will never forget.

From Facebook:
Michigan Geocaching Organization: Beginning in 2005, the Board of Directors established a program by which to recognize the outstanding contributions of MiGO members to our organization and the Geocaching public as a whole. For this purpose, 50 silver MiGO coins were minted, numbered 1-50. For this honor, the Board of Directors chooses those members who have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty in the service of our organization, offering of themselves and their talents freely for the benefit of us all. The contributions of these people have been significant, and will have long lasting effects on our group and the quality of geocaching in Michigan.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Off to the Winter Social

Perfect day for a drive to Lansing for the MiGO Winter Social. We checked in to the Quality Suites - what a nice place! We usually stay at a Choice Hotel because of their nice reward program, so we've seen all kinds all over the country. This one takes the cake. We were dazzled.

The lobby

The door to our room. It's about twenty steps from the front desk!

The Great Glass Elevator

More lobby

John and Sharon invited us over for appetizers before we all went out to dinner. It is always so good to catch up on the latest news. It was entertaining to watch the US Olympic curling team in action - we all enjoyed it.

We had planned to go to Outback Steakhouse, but..there was a long wait before we would have been seated. Luckily there is a Carrabba's on the other side of the parking lot and their wait was shorter. We had a super time, and only one thing went wrong...we forgot to bring the camera!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day - cards, flowers, and chocolates. Except as the card says, the hamster ate all of the chocolates! The roses are going to bloom any day now - perfect Valentine.

The Winter Wonder Fest is still happening, so we drove out to the G.T Resort to see what was going on. We saw a hay ride and a sleigh ride, but we didn't really want to participate because it was raining! People were taking pony rides, snowmobile rides, and dog sled rides, and there were lines at each venue.

The dogs were fun to see.

Crowd scene by the carnival rides.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter Wonder Fest

Kathee has been working so hard on the Winter/Wonder Fest that we wanted to be a part of it. Our main attraction was the soup tasting (Soup'r Bowl Taste) in a heated tent in the street in the 100 block of Front. It was very successful - the soups were all delicious! The tent was also "soup'r" crowded and it was a challenge to make it around to all of the tables, but it was definitely worth it!

Good Soup! I voted for the Tomato Bisque from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Their bisque was so delicious and it was piping hot, which is an important quality for soup. The Reuben Bisque from the U&I was a close second. I also really loved the Butternut Squash Bisque from Phil's, and the Loaded Potato Soup from Bubba's, but the Pie Company got my vote.

The staff from the Visitor Center were selling the tickets - they really perked up when Dick walked up to take their picture! Joni is in the center.

At the Visitor Center, huge blocks of snow were delivered for the snow sculptures. It's amazing to me that sculpting the snow can be so artfully done. They are amazing to see.

It's hard to pick a favorite. The lion is spectacular. The two people playing the slot machines are really good, too. There's humor there - one of the players is pulling up his pants with one hand and playing the slots with the other - very clever! I liked the lion best.

This is the Viking face - very impressive. And the horns on his Viking hat were pretty impressive also.

Here's a gnome with a snowboard - I just can't imagine carving snow with such detail and precision. Wow.

In the Jay Smith Walkway there was a demonstration of ice carving - another winter artwork that seems impossible to us mere observers.

There are many ice sculptures downtown in front of the businesses that sponsored them. Here's one of my favorites.

When we got home, we really enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics - another example of excellence that is out of reach for most of us! Loved the speed skating and the ski jumping.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Deer Parade

Yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. we were treated to a parade of deer past our front window! There were nine deer altogether, and they stayed between us and the river for about 10 minutes before heading upstream.

We haven't seen as many deer as usual this winter, so this Bambi Parade was a real treat!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Jana Snow

Jana sent these pictures of the snow in D.C. I don't think it's ever happened that she had more snow than T.C.!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

February Made Me Shiver

So far in February, Jana is snowed in, Tom's trip to Germany is on again, off again, and Dylan is giving carnations to girls at the Middle School for Valentine's Day. (It's a fund-raiser.)

Meanwhile, here at Steiger Central, things have been very low-key. It's a little like hibernation. We're just not doing much. We have solved many problems, though - does that count?

There's a new TV (welcome to the 21st century),

a new credenza to put it on,

a new Apple desktop computer for Dick (which is mostly set up and working),

shopping for a Jeep (still undecided), planning a cruise with Sniders in May to Alaska, planning a road trip in March to visit Jana, dealing with various companies by phone which means navigating their menus and being on hold forever (this can take a whole morning), cleaning out the pantry (that took three days), and then, for the piece de resistance, we got rear-ended again. Oh yes.

One of those icy mornings after gym we tunked the car in front of us sliding on the ice, and the car behind us hit us hard. The most interesting thing about that whole incident is that after the accident, the other cars both just drove away!

(I think that the front end of our car now symbolizes the effect the new coach has had on the Michigan football program!)

We went to the police department (excuse me - the Law Enforcement Center) and the nice man there helped us out. Meemic was johnny-on-the-spot, so that when we contacted Hansen's Collision they already had all of the documentation for the repair. The parts are in and the Rav should be fixed by the end of next week.