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8/15/2009 12:00:00 PM
Topanga
California

Half year report Jul-Aug 09 / part 2

Visitors, soccer, visitors, soccer? a fulfilled summer!

December 29, 2009:

Having sent our x-mas note yesterday I noticed on the website that this summer report 'part 2' never got sent.... what a shame and it even was ready right after we sent the first one... A new report about the rest of the year will follow soon, Ciao Niki and gang

July and August were filled with visitors from near and far: (Photos about that on our website www.lawur.com)

JULY 2009

We had hardly been back home from Vienna (Tuesday), when we left Friday morning at 3.30am! This time the four of us drove down to San Carlos/Mexico, a town at the coast of the mainland about 4 hours south from the US border in Arizona. The total drive from Topanga although was 15 hours - but worth every minute to get to see our dear friends, the Martins again! You probably remember that we sailed together for a year to New Zealand, then they went on for another 3 years and managed to circumnavigate, being back in Zihuatanjeo this May, in the same port we all left to cross the pacific in April 2006!  To make their re-entry to land life easier and help with bringing stuff back to the US, we drove down with our big car and a little trailer. Their boat "Ohana Kai" will stay in Mexico for the time being, and Bruce will bring it back up here sometime next year. After a day of packing and closing her up, we spent fun hours in the super warm pool at the hotel, enjoyed a few great authentic Mexican meals and left on Sunday to schlepp back another 15 hours to LA - which we did not even notice because we had so much fun just 'hanging' out with each other! They spent another week with us in Topanga and it was marvelous after not having seen them for 3 years, at least as families (Robert visited them in the Canary islands, before their Atlantic crossing last year). The boys melted together immediately again and there was not one argument the whole time (except the brothers ;o) It was a very harmonious time and we hope we were able to make it a smooth transition for them back into land life. Robert and Bruce were able to go kite boarding once, which they had waited for a long time, too bad Robert wasn't able to take off a bit more :o( On their last night we ended their stay in total LA style and went to the "American Idol concert", which was great and wonderful performance - welcome back to land life!

A few days later our friends Bonnie and Julie and their two boys, Phoenix and Griffin, came for a few days on a stop over up to San Francisco. We spent a great day together at the Universal Studios, where we are now proud owners of season passes, which have been used quite a bit already this summer!  The week after the boys went on a soccer camp together with two other brothers who happen to be team mates (Tate 12 is on Sebastian's team and Cole 10, on Benjamin's). Since the camp was a bit far for us but close to their house, our boys were able to spend all week with them! So I had a few days to myself and finally was able to catch up on many things around the house, spoil myself and had some evenings out with Robert - I did not turn on the stove once! :o))))

AUGUST 2009

Right after the boys got back from camp our next wave of visitors started - the Schmids in their element! Christine and Andreas as well as their 3 kids (Stefan 18, Julia 16 and Lukas 12) came for 4 days before starting their 3 week RV trip through California and Arizona. We used the days together as much as possible - went to the beach (although it was very cold and windy, the boys didn't mind skim boarding and Robert kite surfing ;o), visited the Universal Studios (2nd time for us), went shopping and explored every Abercrombie & Fitch store existing in LA - there is no A&F store in Austria, so it is a high priority for teenagers ;o) We drove around Beverly Hills and Hollywood watching out for stars, no luck this time. It was great having them and showing them around where we live now - who knows maybe one day one of the kids will come over as an exchange student?!

We had a few days in-between - enough time to make the beds fresh and wash the towels.... - before Michi and Richard (we all know each other since childhood) with Johanna (11) and Benedikt (9), came to visit for a week. They first went to San Francisco and then came down Hwy 1 to us. Since the Buxis (short for Buxbaum) were here for a full 7 days we had more time and were able to schedule it not as tight. So we had a few mornings to doddle around and lay in the sun on the new patio. The kids went swimming a lot and at the end of the week gave us a great performance of dives, synchronic swims,... Robert unfortunately had two different business trips that week and only was able to hang out with us for a few days. On Sunday though we managed a family trip trough Beverly Hills and Hollywood ending the day with a perfect "Cowboy" dinner - thick ribs and a ton of cotton candy! Three is a charm and so we once again joined them for a day at the Universal Studios, we still got to see different things (there is enough to do!) and the boys had fun showing them around. Robert, Richard and the 4 kids also got to go to a LA Galaxy soccer game - unfortunately Beckham got (unfairly) disqualified with a red card in minute 15 :o( We had a wonderful time with them and are SO happy that the Buxis finally managed to come and visit us. It always is very special if close friends and family come and see where and how we live, bringing our lives closer together!

The weekends were once again filled with soccer tournaments (both teams did not have one single tournament on the same date!) - never a dull moment. Benjamin's team did really well and won 2/3 tournaments. Sebastian's team has a few new players and a new coach, so they are just melting together, but we are hopeful that they will also have a successful season. Due to our season tickets with the Galaxy's we also got to see AC Milan in July and FC Barcelona in August. Even though the Galaxy's aren't anywhere near those teams' play level , it was great to see such excellent teams play live and up close.

In the meantime our regular days and school has started and as sad as it is but the leisure summer days are over. We hope you are all doing well as well, had a great summer yourself and transission back to school and work is going well. Let us know what's happening, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Hugs and Love From The 4 Schmids Niki, Robert, Sebastian und Benjamin plus Matey

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