Sylvia Goes to Thailand and Laos.

<p> Trip Notes: <a href=Part1.htm>Part 1</a> -<a href=Part2.htm>Part 2</a> -<a href=Part3.htm>Part 3</a> </p>

Sylvia and Eric's 4th date!&nbsp; A bike ride on the Sammamish River/Burke Gillman Trails from Marymoor Park to Gasworks

We left Marymoor Park at about 9am.&nbsp; Here we are at about half way into the bike ride.

On our way to gasworks, we stopped at the University of Washington to peruse the stacks in the library.&nbsp; Sylvia wanted to see a collection of Horatio Alger books as well.&nbsp; Here is a view down the mall.&nbsp; Mt. Ranier is lost somewhere in those clouds!

We found some 'interesting' sculptures in the library.&nbsp; At least they made cool sounds when we pounded on them.

Here we have one of the reading rooms in the main library.&nbsp; Evidently reading is not the only pastime here.

There were some neat looking, old-style chairs here as well.&nbsp; Sylvia figures this would be a neat piece for her father to replicate in miniature.

After the University, we finally made it to Gasworks Park.&nbsp; Needless to say, our rear-ends were quite sore from the 28 mile trip!

After tooling around gasworks for a bit, we rode into Fremont and had lunch at at a Greek restaurant. Just outside the restaurant was a bus stop with some 'permanent' patrons.

Eric and Sylvia go canoeing on Lake Sammamish

Eric and Sylvia went to Ginko State Park. They also went across the Columbia river to take a look at the Vantage Horse Sculptures. After that they went to Snoqualmie Falls. Needless to say, it was quite a busy day!

Eric and Sylvia went to the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic Mountains as well as stopping at the beach on the way!

Eric and Sylvia take a hike to the top of Tiger Mountain!

Eric and Sylvia go to Newcastle Golf Club for range practice and lunch with Rich and Jane

Sylvia and Eric go to San Juan Island.

Eric at American Camp on San Juan Island

Sylvia and Kristen in condo in Friday Harbor

Sylvia at Grandmother Cove on San Juan Island.

Eric climbing on the abundant logs scattered at Grandmother cove

Sylvia at Grandmother cove

The former officers quarters at American Camp.

Eric having lunch on a big boulder at American Camp.

Misc pictures

Bike camping on Lopez Island.

Eric relaxing against driftwood at our Spencer Spit State Park campsite...right on the water.

This tent really does hold 2 people pretty comfortably.&nbsp; Eric is lofting up his new sleeping bag on top of the tent

The rest of the campsites, and Orcas Island are in the background here.&nbsp; Sylvia is competing for space with the rest of our junk.

After we set up the tent, we went for a bike ride WITHOUT the backpacks (they were really heavy, and threw our weight off when biking, but fortunately it wasn't too far from the ferry landing to the campground).&nbsp; This is Eric overlooking Fisherman's Bay.

This is back at the state park, after our bike ride.&nbsp; This is right outside our campsite.

We met some people digging for clams on our walk around the spit.&nbsp; There were two families, with a bunch of kids.&nbsp; Their legal limit would have been somewhere around 70 pounds, but they weren't going for that much.&nbsp; Apparently some species are good steamed, and some are best fried.&nbsp; You can tell where the clams are by looking for their little breathing holes among the gravel. Plus, sometimes you can see them squirt water out of the hole.&nbsp; Notice the piles of clams.

This is Sylvia at the tip of Spencer Spit.

This is a cabin on Spencer Spit.&nbsp; Evidently a guy called Spencer built it.

On Monday we biked south on the island.&nbsp; Lopez Island has lots of farm and pasture land.&nbsp; These cows weren't very friendly--wouldn't eat my grass offering.. There were lots of calves around--maybe that's why.

This is Sylvia at Agate Beach, the furthest south we got.&nbsp; This is an old seldom-used dock.

Action shot--Sylvia riding her bike right around Shark Reef Park.

Shark Reef Park had a lot of beautiful outlooks.&nbsp; You could see the lighthouse on San Juan Island, where we were about 3 weeks ago.&nbsp; There were some serious rip currents between the islands, to the point of having whitecaps on the water.&nbsp; Looks like there's a couple rivers in the water.

Sylvia at Shark Reef Park.&nbsp; San Juan Island is the one on the right--you can just barely make out the lighthouse on the tip of it.

On our way back we stopped at Bucky's Grill for a late well-appreciated lunch.&nbsp; Eric is happy.&nbsp; He is not on his narrow hard bike seat.

Back at the ferry dock.&nbsp; We misread the times and got in a little early.

...just in time to meet and chat with the designer of this Vision brand recumbent bicycle.&nbsp; This guy on the right just bought one, the designer is out of the picture.

Taking the ferry back.&nbsp; I'm not pregnant, I just have a bunch of junk in my pocket.

Pictures of flowers at Bellevue Botanical Gardens.

Eric and Sylvia went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens on Friday night.&nbsp; Photographic experimentation was the name of the game that night.&nbsp; Here follow some of the flowers and plants they saw.

Here are pictures of Sylvia and a pig at Kelsey Creek Farm Park.&nbsp; Oink!

Eric and Sylvia go canoeing on Lake Washington and also go to Greenlake Park.

We went canoeing Saturday close to the University of Washington.&nbsp; Lucky for us, we had our own canoe, and didn't have to wait in line to rent a canoe.&nbsp; Evidently, from the announcements on the PA system, there were more than a hundred people waiting.

There's lots of bird life around there--it's kind of a wetland area.&nbsp; Heron...

...LOTS of Canadian geese (a big pest around here)

...and I think this was a young bald eagle.&nbsp; Eric, however, thought it wasn't.&nbsp; Who was right?&nbsp; I was.

Here's another heron, this time with Mt. Rainier in the background.

There's some really beautiful waterfront houses around this area, called the Laurelhurst area.

We fed some ducks at the Arboretum.

...and then went to Greenlake, thinking of renting some rollerbladed.&nbsp; Ended up not doing that, just walking around.&nbsp; For some reason, Eric's beard had a session of really heavy growth right around then.&nbsp; See below.

More canadian geese...otherwise known as rats with wings.

A hike up Little Mt. Si.

On Sunday, we went for a hike up Little Mount Si near North Bend.&nbsp; On the way up, we came across some folks climbing a rock face.

This is a view from the top of Little Si of North Bend.

Here is a zoomed in shot (with 4X digital zoom thrown in as well) of a neighborhood where we think Bret and Victoria live (friends of ours).

Here is another shot of downtown North bend.

On the way back down, we saw the strangest thing.&nbsp; A guy was hiking up the mountain with a Siamese kitten following him!&nbsp; Turns out he was the owner of the cat, and he had taken to brining it with him unleashed.&nbsp; The kitten was quite good about following closely!&nbsp; The kitten's name is &quot;Sticky&quot;.

Eric's birthday!&nbsp; And a trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon for the annual Sand Castle Building Contest.

Eric and Sylvia drove down to Cannon Beach, Oregon, to see the annual Sand Castle building contest.&nbsp; Rain was coming down in sheets on the way down.&nbsp; Luckily we had a brief moment of clearing right as we got there.&nbsp; From where we parked, you were able to drive your car down to the area where the contest was held

All kinds of cars...

Some lucky dogs were carried...

A brief moment of clearing lets us get a great shot of Haystack Hill (or something like that).&nbsp; It's an unusual type of rock formation fairly common on the Oregon/Washington coast..

After a little walk we got to the contest area.&nbsp; There was a pretty wide range of skill levels, from church youth groups... little kids who got inspired from all the digging and carving and decided to make their own sculptures.

The really skilled groups had their plots further north on the beach. Some were really well done.&nbsp; One group had a really cute bear looking into a car.&nbsp; Here's some pictures from their plot.

Another group had a &quot;big top&quot; circus theme.

One had a living room theme that was quite realistic.&nbsp; Note the beer can on the table.&nbsp; The couch didn't look all that comfortable, though.

The dot com scene also made an appearance

Castles, not surprisingly, were also pretty popular, ranging from the simple to the much more elaborate.

And we had all kinds of animals, fish, dogs, dinosaurs, dragons, you name it.

Tools ranged from shovels to drywall trowels to feather dusters

This one was cute--Fish 'n Ships.

A couple times Eric had to lift me up so that I could get a good view.

Last year they did this one face up, this time the poor guy was face down in the sand.

Check out the Fremont Solstice Parade and Fair!

The most famous part of the Fremont Solstice Festival is the parade.&nbsp; We saw some pretty unusual people in the neighborhood, as we walked towards the Fremont area.&nbsp; These people here were obviously participating in the parade.&nbsp; Their kid, in the middle here, made a point of walking at least 10 feet behind them before we took a picture.

The Fremont Troll is right underneath the 99 bridge.&nbsp; Note the VW bug is has clutched in his hand.&nbsp; The other guy is the picture is Joe Beda, a friend of Eric's who accompanied us to the fair.

Along the parade route, people were setting up early to get good seats.

Some people were really well prepared.

We decided not to stake out our claim to early, and instead walked around the fair.&nbsp; Lots of food for sale

Vendors selling balloon sculptures.

This guy has been a fixture at the Fremont fair for many years.

The Communist Party was out in force--note the Quotations from Chairman Mao.&nbsp; I bet you can't even get this in China anymore.

Dig the dog...

As we finished with the fair and were walking towards the parade area, we passed the Weird Car parking lot.&nbsp; Note the Jurrasic Park theme on this car...

And then we have the floating sculpture car...

And the broken ceramic tile car...

This one has everything plus the kitchen sink...

Floating babies?

A portable office, with phone, answering machine, everything you could need...

Finally we got our spot along the parade route.&nbsp; An unofficial tradition of&nbsp; the Fremont fair is for naked people on bikes to zip around the parade route right before the more official floats.&nbsp; Check them out!

Another pre-parade attraction is the Bubble Man, who twirls around swinging his bubble wands in the air, creating bubbles and suds for people

Then a guy next to us had some kind of seizure, blocking the parade for quite a while while the ambulance and fire truck got in.

Finally, here's the parade itself.&nbsp; There were no motorized floats allowed, so everything was somehow human powered.&nbsp; These guys put together a massive 4-man bicycle.

Note the men pushing the float at the back.

Planet of the apes?

Here's the rest of the pictures, in random order.

A wonderful trip to Stehekin, on Lake Chelan, in the dry eastern part of Washington State!

Eric poses in front of the 3D relief map at Fields Point, where we caught the ferry.&nbsp; What a long lake!

A guy from the park service gave a little talk on the ferry.&nbsp; He's a school teacher from Missouri, who works for the park service each summer.

Notice people trying to huddle behind the enclosed area.&nbsp; It was actually quite chilly out in the open, exposed to the wind.

Most of the landscape along the lake was like this...quite dry, with scattered pines and lots of rocky outcrops.

We saw the occasional snow-capped peak as well.

Eric managed to sneak into this one...he's right under the flag.

We were dropped off at Moore Point, from where there's a trail to Stehekin.&nbsp; The ferry beached itself on the rocks, and then the crew dropped off a walkway for Eric and I&nbsp; to get to the shore.&nbsp; Then they backed out...

...and took off without us.

We had lunch right at the Moore Point campground.&nbsp; It's a former resort, with swimming pool and all.&nbsp; The swimming pools is now all filled in, and really all you can see of the resort is some flat areas with no trees.

These are the remnants of the old dock.

We found some monster dandelions right off the trail.&nbsp; They have a funny concave shaped seeds.

This is one of several streams that flow into the lake.

About 2 seconds after I said &quot;I wish there were some other people around so that they could take our picture!&quot; these 2 folks came up.&nbsp; We of course immediately asked them to take our picture.&nbsp; They took the first one while I was taking Eric's glasses off...

Eric got some blisters.&nbsp; The bandages didn't stick very well, unfortunately.

At least there was a good view while we were adjusting footwear.

This picture is pretty washed out. However, that boat in the water is a high-speed catamaran that does the whole distance from Chelan to Stehekin in 45 minutes. That's about 4 times faster than the ferry we took.

This is some kind of parasitic plant. Notice the complete lack of leaves, or anything green.&nbsp; Usually this type of plant lives off the roots of other plants.&nbsp; The stalk was somewhat sticky.

This shrub was very common--it's called the Mock-orange.&nbsp; You could tell that it was around before seeing it because it had a very strong sweet scent.

The water looked so inviting that we took off our boots and socks and dipped our feet in when the trail dipped to the shore.&nbsp; Chilly!&nbsp; But very refreshing.

When we got to Stehekin, we got the last spot at the Purple Point campground.

Dinner was Ramen noodles with cheese, cooked on a super light-weight stove that fits in a container that was about 4&quot; by 1.5&quot; by 1.5&quot;.

Me and the lake.

Sunset in Stehekin.

This is the exact same spot where, last summer, Hans and Holly got married!

If this shot looks posed, that's because it is.&nbsp; Eric balanced the camera on a fence post, set the self-timer, and then rushed over to sit on the bench with me.

This is about the cutest little cabin that they have in Stehekin.&nbsp; Wonder if they rent it out?

This is the Honey Bear Bakery Express delivery van...I don't think it's been driven for a while.

The next morning we rented bikes and wandered around.&nbsp; This was at the playground of the Stehekin School.

Eric's inspecting the apples at Buckner Orchard.

Lots of old apple processing machinery was laying around.

Eric risked life and limb and camera to take this picture of me while biking.

All too soon, it was time to leave on the ferry, back to Fields Point.&nbsp; In the background are the &quot;3 B's&quot;, Mt. Boston, Mt. Buckner, and Mt. Booker.

Eric snuck this picture of me, asleep on the ferry.

There was some kind of cow art exhibition in New York involving cows.

There was a public art project involving cows...lots of them... in New York while we were there.&nbsp; And here's a quote:</p> <p>The cows are the brainchild of CowParade Worldwide Inc., an international organization comprised of Swiss and American concerns. They are life-size, fiberglass cows designed by local artists. CowParade is set to debut on Broadway on June 15, 2000. Through the efforts of CowParade Worldwide and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the cows will appear throughout the five boroughs of New York City through Labor Day. Following the exhibition, the majority of the cows will be available to the public at auction with the proceeds earmarked for charity.</p>

Bright lights, big city--New York!

The main reason for heading to the East Coast was to attend Eric's grandmother's 90th birthday party.&nbsp; It was a huge family gathering, everyone in the Vasilik clan attended.

Here's Eric's parents, brothers, and grandmother.

We weren't the only ones taking photos...

After spending Saturday and Sunday in Clifton, New Jersey, spending time with the Vasiliks, we went on to New York City on Monday.&nbsp; Our hotel was great--we had a wonderful view of Central Park from the hotel window.

Monday was our ethnic neighborhood walking tour day.&nbsp; We started out taking the subway to Chinatown.&nbsp; This is a surreptitious subway shot--the camera we had allows you to take a picture without actually holding the camera up to your eye, by looking down at the LCD screen.

Here's some street scenes in Chinatown

There were dozens of outside vendors selling fake you-name-it.&nbsp; The most popular counterfeit was watches (Rolex for $30?)

This woman was selling counterfeit music CDs.&nbsp; I believe all of these people are illegal immigrants.

There were also people selling fake DVDs.&nbsp; Eric has watched a DVD bought from one of these vendors, and apparently they're very low quality.&nbsp; Notice her stand--on wheels so she can quickly move away in case the police come.

Fake perfume was another hot item.

Check out the &quot;doughnut peaches&quot;.&nbsp; They were quite flat, and very sweet and tasty.&nbsp;&nbsp;We bought a couple--luckily they didn't get crushed before we could eat them.

We walked through Little Italy, which is now exclusively a tourist area, chock full of &quot;authentic&quot; Italian restaurants .&nbsp; The next goal was a Hasidic neighborhood which was supposed to be close by according to my guidebook.&nbsp; We walked around that area, but only saw a couple Hasidic Jews, not the crowds we had expected.&nbsp; I asked one of the Hasidic Jews if we were in the right area...he got insulted.&nbsp;&nbsp; Too bad I didn't get a picture of him. On our walk we walked by about a dozen restaurant equipment supply stores, selling used and new deli and restaurant machinery.

Bikes are a popular way to get around in NYC.&nbsp; We saw lots of them locked up with massive chains.&nbsp; I think another means of deterring thieves is having a really ratty bike, like most of them were.

Sometimes chains didn't help.

More street scenes from our walk...

We took a walk to Alphabet City/Thompkin park, because I wanted to see a rougher neighborhood.&nbsp; Eric surreptitiously took these pictures of a big group of young anarchist/punks that were all congregated in one area.

Here's some pictures for you dog lovers out there, especially the ones who have access to dog friendly parks like Marymoor.&nbsp; This is a New York dog area... all 300 square feet of it

That night we met up with Eric's friend John and girlfriend Eva.&nbsp; We went to a French restaurant.&nbsp; Service was...French.&nbsp; The peppered steak was great, though.

Eric MADE them pose for this picture.

Tuesday we went through Central Park.&nbsp; Lots of exposed rock there...

This is in Central Park looking back to the area where our hotel is.

What do you know...we asked a couple to take a picture of us in Central Park, and he turned out to be a patent attorney from Seattle.

We rented some bikes and toured the park that way.&nbsp; There was a footrace going on in the park, the Tommy Hilfinger 4 mile race.&nbsp; By the time we got there, the adult portion was over, but we were just in time for the 3 to 4 year old races.

The Marines had participated in the race as well.

This is the northern end of Central Park, poking into Harlem.

And here's the big lake right in the middle of the park.

&quot;Fleet week&quot; was going on when we were in NYC, so there were lots of Navy men around, doing the touristy things just like us.&nbsp; We asked these guys if we could get a picture with them, and they were quite friendly.

We went to the little pond where you can rent remote control sailboats.

This is me on the Alice in Wonderland sculpture.

This lady was doing the &quot;silent sculpture&quot; act for money right outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.&nbsp; When I put a dollar in the bucket she stretched out her hand to me and smiled.&nbsp; It was a little embarrassing.

And here's the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here's some knights in shining armor from the Met.

And here's my knight next to some shining armor...

The Guggenheim Museum is famous for it's architecture. You see the paintings as you walk down a spiral, inside the building.

You weren't supposed to take pictures, but the spy feature of the digital camera came in really handy here.&nbsp; We would pretend to be admiring a picture, while around waist level we would actually take a photo.

This was Eric's favorite.&nbsp; We got caught taking this one by the guard, and so had to take it from a different angle which wasn't as good.

Around 2 that day, we met Eric's friend David Bau.&nbsp; We walked around 5th Avenue a bit, looking into stores, which were mostly closed.

Glitz capital of the world?

These are from around the Rockefeller Center.

And this is Times Square.&nbsp; Very, very crowded, but I'm not sure I understood what all the crowds were there for.

There were still tons of vendors selling all kinds of counterfeit goods.&nbsp; Oakley sunglasses were very popular, all sold by very dark-skinned Africans.&nbsp; They had the sunglasses in large garbage bags with the sides rolled down neatly, and would pack up and move as soon as they saw police in the area.&nbsp; We actually saw this happen.&nbsp; The cop below was posing for us...

...and later walked up the street where the counterfeit goods vendors were.&nbsp; They packed up immediately, but as you can see below, were selling again seconds after he left.&nbsp; You can still see the cop in this picture (horseback on the street, with the light blue helmet) and the black vendor on the right side is just about to put his bag of sunglasses down again.

Eric got us tickets for the David Letterman show--we were to be part of the live studio audience!&nbsp; I was psyched.&nbsp; Unfortunately, there were absolutely no pictures allowed inside, and the had guards along just about every other aisle of the seats, plus along the back, so were weren't able to sneak any photos.&nbsp; This will have to do.

We saw one of these tiny electric cars as we were waiting in line for the Letterman show.

Wednesday we went to the Financial district...Wall Street!&nbsp; After a pretty hefty wait we were inside the observation area, looking down at all the traders in the pit.

Then we walked to the World Trade Center, and went up.&nbsp; 107 floors!&nbsp; This is looking north to the Empire State building.

The goodyear blimp!

This is us, looking north again

And this is the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

This is me and the World Trade Center.

Then we took the Staten Island ferry--free!&nbsp; You get a great view of downtown Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty

This barge had a huge digging shovel on it, and was dredging the canal.

The Staten Island Ferry...

This is a Navy or Coast Guard base next to Manhatten.

Out and about in Seattle parks.

Eric's in his new office, with a view of the mountains.

We were going to rent kayaks on Lake Union, but it was a little too windy for comfort, so we wimped out.

Here's the view of Mt. Rainier from Seward Park in Seattle. I think this was one of the clearest days in recent history.

Eric was teasing the Canadian geese, throwing them bits of grass and pretending it was bread.

These people were actually feeding the geese for real.

Some pictures with Mt. Rainier in the background.

In the afternoon we went to Discovery Park in Seattle, to watch a production of Henry IV, Part One by Greenstage, a local amateur theatre group.&nbsp; People came with blankets and picnics.

This is the final fight between Henry and Hotspur.&nbsp; Henry kills Hotspur, and holds him in his arms while he dies.

Later in the evening we did some massive batch cooking, planning on freezing most of it.&nbsp; Eric doing some double-fisted stirring here.

Hiking the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River.

The trail was pretty flat, so there weren't any great views, but there was the Snoqualmie River.&nbsp; Right at the beginning of the trailhead, there was a beautiful wooden footbridge.

A closeup each of us.&nbsp; That funny thing on my tongue is a salmonberry.&nbsp; They come in two varieties, one pink colored (like salmon flesh) and the other a dark red (like the one on my tongue).&nbsp; They're not that flavorful, but they are plentiful in the woods.

Here we are having a snack on the riverbank.&nbsp; Nobody else was around to take our picture together, so we took each other's picture.

Here's was the view from our lunch spot.&nbsp; Maybe the back end of Mt. Si?&nbsp; Probably not.

On the way home I went swimming at Chism Beach Park on Lake Washington while Eric took pictures.&nbsp; The water was great!&nbsp; There's a superb view of Seattle from the park.

Luckily my sports bra doubles as a bikini top, and my shorts as a bikini bottom.


Bike camping trip to San Juan Island.

Here's Hans, Holly, Angela, and Eric (Bultemeier) at the start of the trip in Friday harbor.&nbsp; After 3 weeks of bright sunshine, the 22nd dawned rainy and cool.

Angela and Eric take a look at the view on the road towards Limekiln State Park.

You can see Vancouver Island, Canada in the background here.

This is at Limekiln State Park, on the west side of San Juan Island.&nbsp; We asked a guy to take a group picture of us in front of this Madrona tree, but when we looked at the camera, it turned out that it didn't take.&nbsp; So we did one with the self timer.

We went looking around in the tidepools at Limekiln, and found this unusual starfish, with skinny red arms.

The park contained numerous madrona trees.&nbsp; The outer bark of these trees peels away, and leaves a very smooth reddish inner back

The Limekiln lighthouse.

Limekiln is supposed to be a really good place to watch for killer whales (orcas).&nbsp; We didn't see any, but one of the park rangers was doing a program about the whales, and had this handy display of a dorsal fin as a visual aid, so here's the next best thing to a whale.

I thought this tree looks a lot like a face...

The weather started clearing a bit as we left Limekiln State Park.&nbsp; Here's some views south down the coast--some very desirable real estate.

Next we biked to San Juan County Park.&nbsp; It used to be an old farm--below is one of the barns, now used as a signpost..

Eric found a crab, and was playing with it.&nbsp; (okay, okay, it was a dead crab--it's a posed picture)

This park, like Limekiln, is big with scuba divers.

The view looking north of San Juan County Park.

This was a funny little structure right off the road on the way back to the campground (Lakedale).&nbsp; I believe it's a bus shelter for kids to stand in.

Fixing dinner at the campground.

Marshmallows on an open flame.

The next morning dawned a lot brighter.

On the way to English Camp National Historical Park, we found a big patch of thimbleberries.&nbsp; Thimbleberries are very similar to raspberries, but sweeter, with almost a nutty taste.&nbsp; They're very delicate, too, and are usually crushed in the process of being picked.&nbsp; This is probably why they're not commercially grown.

This is English camp.&nbsp; They restored a lot of the buildings to just how they looked when the camp was in operation, all whitewashed.

The camp also includes a formal english garden.

This is a huge broadleaf maple tree on the grounds.&nbsp; Very impressive.

All too soon, we were headed back.&nbsp; It was completely sunny by now.&nbsp; Below are our bikes on the ferry.&nbsp; With bikes, there's no wait whatsoever to get on the ferry.&nbsp; With a car, though, you could wait for hours.

This is the condo we stayed in during our last trip to San Juan Island.

This floatplane says on it.&nbsp; That's some expensive advertising...

Bye bye, San Juan Island!

Weekend trip to Whistler.

This trip inaugurated a new camera, a Cannon Elph.&nbsp; Here's some of the very first pictures from it:

And here's the view from the road on the way up, between Vancouver and Whistler.&nbsp; Quite scenic!

Eric and I weren't alone on the trip--there were some other couples and families with toddlers and babies who came as well.&nbsp;&nbsp; Here's some (not all) of the small fry that came with on the trip.&nbsp; This is Jordan:

And this is Hannah:

We stayed with Rich and Jane at their condo up on Whistler Mountain, in Creekside.&nbsp; The view is outstanding!

The condo feels very homey and lodge-like.&nbsp; Here's some of the rooms:

There was a ongoing moose theme in the condo.&nbsp; If you look closely, you can see 2 moose in the bottom picture.

Rich and Jane's dog Madison enjoyed the cool stone floors on during the heat of the day.

Jane, Rich and Eric went golfing at the Whistler Golf Course Saturday afternoon.&nbsp; I hung out with them for a couple holes while they played.&nbsp; The view was tremendous!

Saturday afternoon Gary and Grace, and Eric and I rented bikes and took a ride around Whistler.&nbsp; I'm happy in this picture because I found a patch of ripe and juicy thimbleberries.

This is all of us with Green Lake in the background.

You could take an float plane tour of the Whistler area from Green Lake.

Late Saturday afternoon we used Gary and Grace's lift tickets and took the lift up to near the top of Whistler.&nbsp; The view kept on getting better the more elevation we gained.

There was a large cafeteria at the top, but it was closed that late in the day.

One company offered helicopter rides for something like $79 dollars for 8 minutes.&nbsp; We contented ourselves with taking some pictures of the helicopter.

Eric and I hiked up to a little mini peak--it was one of those things where when you get to what you think is the top, you see that you've actually only reached a little knob of the ridge.&nbsp; It was good enough for us, though.

Saturday evening we had dinner at a great restaurant called Quattros in Whistler.&nbsp; There were 8 of us, and we had a separate room all to ourselves.&nbsp; Superb food!

On Sunday, Gary, Omri, Eric and I went on a guided mountain biking trip.&nbsp; Jeff was our guide.&nbsp; He's lived full time in Whistler the past 3 years, the past couple years he's worked as a lift mechanic assistant in the winter, but this year he's hoping to be a snowboard instructor.

Omri and Gary riding down the the mountain

Sylvia finally got up the guts to go over this sew-saw type thing that's supposed to build your skills.&nbsp; She did it successfully 3 times before...

Yeoch!&nbsp; That's a grimace of pain, not a smile.&nbsp; And Eric took this picture before comforting her...

That wasn't the only fall we had.&nbsp; Omri had a couple falls to his name.&nbsp; Here's the evidence.

Excursions around Seattle (Chittendon locks, blackberry picking, Boeing Surplus Store).

Around August 3rd, I took some excursions around Seattle with my dad and brother, and sometimes Eric. Chittenden Locks was the first destination.&nbsp; This is how ships travel from Lake Union and Puget Sound.&nbsp; See the water level changing?

The pleasure boats are lined up, waiting to get through.

Right outside the locks is a very nicely done garden.

There's a salmon viewing area at the locks as well, where you can watch the salmon jump up the fish ladder.

Later that evening we went blackberry picking at Marymoor Park. We found some great spots, with big luscious ripe blackberries.

Tom did a little bit of climbing on the climbing wall at Marymoor.

On Saturday we went to the Boeing Surplus store. It's where Boeing gets rid of all it's excess supplies.&nbsp; You find all kinds of weird stuff there, from dozens of slide projectors to strange airplane tools.&nbsp; It's fun to look at, but there's usually not too much a person can use.

Fort Worden and Port Townsend.

This is the lighthouse at Fort Worden, an old military base.&nbsp; Apparently this is where part of An Officer and a Gentleman was filmed.&nbsp; Below is the lighthouse.&nbsp; The roof of the lighthouse-keepers house, right next door, is all white with seagull droppings.

Here's a closer view of the lighthouse

There's a very interesting and huge area of military fortifications that were built in the early part of this century as part of the costal defense system.&nbsp; Here's assorted pictures from the fortifications.

Here's some of the displays they had.&nbsp; Check out the old WWI style helmets

My dad

Here's the former barracks.&nbsp;&nbsp; I don't know if they're occupied now, but somewhere around here is where they filmed An Officer and a Gentleman.

Port Townsend is a fun little artsy town, lots of galleries.&nbsp; </font> Here's a little wooden box that my dad is going to make for me...

The harbor at Port Townsend

Day trip to Mt. St. Helens.

The weather wasn't that great when we went to Mt. St. Helens, but at least it wasn't raining.&nbsp; On the way out there on highway 505, there was a little tourist stop where they had on display a half-buried A-frame, completed just before the eruption.

This is how it looked before the volcano dumped 5 feet of additional mud in the valley.

This area is also a hotbed of &quot;Big Foot&quot; legends.

We saw a cheesy film about the eruption at the gift store, and took some pictures of it:

Another tourist stop on the way to the National Volcanic Monument offered&nbsp;helicopter rides.&nbsp; The gray surface&nbsp; in the valley is left over from when the volcano send millions of tons of melted glaciers mixed with debris down the valley.

This is a bridge along the way which has since been rebuilt.

This is from the area around the Johnston Ridge Observatory and Visitor Center, where we went for a hike on&nbsp; Boundary Trail.&nbsp; The visitor center was very crowded, but it's amazing how much people thin out when you walk out half an hour.&nbsp; Here's some views of Mt. St. Helens and the blowout area--unfortunately the top of the mountain was clouded over.

Note the blown down trees here.

A guy we met hiking found a really old can of coke.&nbsp; Here's a <a href="">link</a> to when the can was actually made (look down on the page).&nbsp; I'll bet it was caught in the mudslide..

Here's some of the wildflowers we saw.&nbsp; Alpine lupine.

Pearly everlasting

Fireweed--very common.

The red flower is Indian Paintbrush.

Sylvia on some blown down trees.

Here's what a tree stump looks like close up.&nbsp; They were all blown over by the explosion.&nbsp; Fascinating how it splinters like this--you never see this in a normal tree stump.

Spirit Lake.&nbsp; If you strain you can see the logs choking up the lake--they're from the explosion.

I was picking up pumice for a souvenir, and felt a little bad about it because there really wasn't too much pumice around.&nbsp; But then I found whole fields of it!

Eric juggling pumice

Okay, so I didn't always stay on the trail.&nbsp; But it was Eric's idea...

This trail felt a lot steeper than it looks here.

The clouds never did disperse from the mountaintop, unfortunately.

After the Boundary Trail, we hiked around an area where the main landscape feature was hummocks.&nbsp; Much of the mountain exploded into dust and ash, but there were also massive chunks that were blown out, without disintegrating. Here's a hummock, showing signs of the rapid erosion that is characteristic.

Sylvia sitting on a hummock, with more hummocks in the background.

You can really see the erosion here.&nbsp; Not only were the hummocks&nbsp;eroding away very rapidly, but there was also 60 to 100 ft of ash and mud deposited in this valley, which is eroding at an enormous rate.

Eric and Sylvia at Coldwater lake--a completely new lake, formed when the explosion created a dam in front of a stream.

Lopez Island Juggling Festival at Steckler's farm!&nbsp; Check out the nighttime naked juggling pictures!

We started the trip with a ferry from Anacortes.&nbsp; Here's Eric and me, close to the ferry terminal.

When we got to the Steckler Farm on Lopez Island, the juggling festival was in full swing.&nbsp; Lots of interesting people!

There was, of course, lots of juggling going on.&nbsp; Here's me, concentrating on juggling 5 balls.

I was REALLY concentrating...

Eric juggling 5 balls.&nbsp; He's a lot more casual than I am.

Eric juggling 7 clubs with John.

Eric and I juggling

We took some breaks as well.&nbsp; I put this flower in Eric's sunglasses.&nbsp; Cute!

This is John, juggling 4 clubs.

Ben, juggling 5 oversized rings

There was lots of club passing going on at the festival.

This guy was a little eccentric, but an amazingly good juggler.&nbsp; He had 3 clubs down to an art--very graceful, like a dance.&nbsp; Too bad we didn't have a video!

Amazingly enough, this one-armed man was a great juggler.

This 16 year old was only only juggling 3 balls here, but he's very, very good.

This is generally what the scene looked like.&nbsp; In the background is the Steckler house.

A local Lopez Island band came and played as well.

There was a lot of non-juggling action going on as well.

This little girl was pretending to be a cheetah.&nbsp; She came around to us, and ripped out Eric's entrails.

This is me trying out what's called &quot;poi&quot;, which is basically a set of balls on a string that you swing symmetrically.

Rope twirling

Umbrella balancing

Cigar box manipulation


Stilt walking.&nbsp; Notice the guy with the kilt.

Eric and I took a long walk around Hummel Lake before dinner.

Here's folks preparing the corn-on-the-cob for dinner.

Before dinner, we stood in a circle for the pre-meal ritual of singing.

Around 9 that night, the NAKED FIRE JUGGLING began!&nbsp; The photos aren't that great...but Eric says &quot;At least you can tell the boys from the girls!&quot;.&nbsp; At first there was a big group juggle of torches, then there were smaller acts.

Here's 2 guys manipulating staffs, lit on both ends.

These 2 women did a club-swinging routine.

Assorted trips in November including Seahawks football game at Husky Stadium and a hike up Mount Si.

The fit and trim Dinarte Morais.

We went with Dinarte to a Seahawks game at Husky Stadium.&nbsp; The mascot came into our area here.

A bike ride along the Samamamish River Trail.

Teasing Kassi Kat with turkey

On a hiking trip to Mt. Si with Jean and Kelly Kincaid, Jean found a mushroom that we thought was a false morel.&nbsp; I looked up the false morel online, though, and it doesn't look like this.&nbsp; Jean is taking a mushroom class at Bellevue Community College.

This is the biggest mushroom we found--didn't know what it was, though.

Jean and Kelly on top of Mt. Si.

Jean and Kelly freezing on top of Mt. Si, about to eat lunch.

It was sunny while we were on top of Mt. Si, but on the way back home it looked like it was about to start snowing there.

Eric's company, Crossgain, had a company movie event that I went to.&nbsp; This is Adam Bosworth, the founder of Crossgain, sticking out his tongue for Eric's picture.

A Crossgain company sponsored flight to beautiful San Juan Island.

John Seghers at the controls of his plane at Paine Field.

Lopez Island

American Camp National Historical Park on San Juan Island.&nbsp; Click <a href="">here </a>for a map of the San Juan Islands.

Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

Approaching the runway at Friday Harbor.

Watch out!&nbsp; Eric's at the controls.

Deception Pass

The San Juan Islands

Hey Dad!&nbsp; This would be a good chair for you to make in miniature!

Part of the Crossgain gang in front of the Spingtree Restaurant in Friday Harbor

Sylvia in John Seghers plane

Eric and Sylvia in front of John's plane

John Seghers and Steve Brandli in front of Steve's plane

John Wadlow, John Schneider (facing away) and Ryan Hennig

About to land in Paine Field.&nbsp; Notice the ferry.

We drove to Eastern Washington, hoping to go apple-picking.

We were going to go apple-picking in the Wenatchee area, but it was a couple weeks too late.&nbsp; So, we just went for a drive and checked out the (mildly cheesey) Washington Apple Commission.

This is the new way of growing apples--on heavy-duty stakes in the ground.&nbsp; This is a demonstration plot at the Washington Apple Commission.

We did pick a backpack full of&nbsp; apples, too, from an orchard that had been picked already.&nbsp; They must have been frozen a couple times, because the temperature had gone down to the 20's a few nights in a row, but they were still great.

This is one of the fans that's used in freezing weather to prevent cold air from killing the blossoms.

Feeding the cats some beef jerky.&nbsp; Their motto: &quot;I'll act like a turkey for some beef jerky.&quot;

A walk in Grasslawn Park is an excuse to take some photos.

A walk in Grasslawn park is an excuse to take some photos.

A cold weather trip to Woodland Park Zoo.

The gray mousy-looking bird is called a Specked Mousebird.

This looked like a mating dance to me...

We figured that the water for the hippos must be heated--the temperature had gone down into the 20's the past few nights.

The Komodo Dragon.

A close up of the Komodo Dragon's tongue, which they smell with.

This is an &quot;enrichment exercise&quot; for the orangutans, so they don't get so bored.&nbsp; Basically one of the employees came around and showed her little toys.

Eric looking cool and studly in front of the elephant area.&nbsp; We're waiting to get into the baby elephant area.

This is the baby elephant, as yet unnamed.&nbsp; Cute!

...and playful!

A birthday party at the zoo while we were eating lunch.

Penguins--they love the cold water.

The grizzly bears were pretty slow...

and lethargic.

The otters, on the other hand, were a lot of fun to watch.


Baby kangaroos

The snow leopards (mother and two young ones) were very playful.&nbsp; About to attack...

Mother comes by...

And walks on.&nbsp; She doesn't care anymore.

A tiger, watching us intently.

A Gila Monster

An iguana

At Terry and Sue's home, with their family.

Thanksgiving at Terry and Sue Lucas house was great.&nbsp; Unfortunately we didn't get a big family shot.&nbsp; Here's Terry and Gregory

Rachael with Cupcake.&nbsp; Cupcake is huge!&nbsp; I wonder who weighs more?

Bill and his two daughers, Terry and Maggie.

Sylvia with Cupcake.&nbsp; Look how long that tail is!

This cat is getting a lot of camera time here!&nbsp; It's because the thing was so massive and sleek, like a panther.

We spent two days in Vancouver, seeing the sights.

The suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon Park.&nbsp; It's not as big as the Capilano suspension bridge, but then again, it's free.

There was an area of Lynn Canyon Park where people have build hundreds of rock cairns.&nbsp; It was very eerie looking.

This one looked a lot like a bird to me

Here it looks like a wall.

Some of the builders incorporated wood into the cairns

Eric is inspired and builds a cairn

The finished cairn.

This is where I lived (middle apartment) for 2 months in Vancouver, in 1993.&nbsp; Not the best of neighborhoods.

The apartment manager lived in this apartment.&nbsp; It looks as junky as it did then, so I assume the same manager lives there.

After that I moved next door, to a newly renovated building.&nbsp; Top floor here

In the evening we took a walk around Robson Street, and ran into a group of people demonstrating against consumerism.&nbsp; Apparently they're trying to make the day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year, into &quot;Buy Nothing&quot; day.

We saw another guy doing ballon sculptures.&nbsp; Homer Simpson turned out great!

Here's the balloon sculptor, underneath Mickey Mouse.

The next morning, we had breakfast in the revolving restaurant on top of the Empire Hotel.&nbsp; Here's a view of Robson Street from the restaurant.

The building that has straps on it, below, is supposed to be very earthquake proof, because the straps hold the building suspended on a central cement column.

We fed some seagulls leftovers from breakfast.&nbsp; As soon as we went on the balcony, they flocked around us.

They were very acrobatic, trying to catch the pieces of muffin we threw them.

A walk in Stanley Park along the seawall path, looking at a yacht club.

This is part of the old zoo in Stanley Park.&nbsp; Most (all?) of it is now abandoned.

There were peacocks wandering around Stanley Park.&nbsp; This one wasn't shy at all.

In the distance, the freight cranes of North Vancouver.

The Totem Pole area in Stanley Park, now closed to visitors.

Sylvia with the sulfur piles of North Vancouver in the background, and a lighthouse.

There's a colony of raccoons in Stanley Park. I've never seen raccoons this unafraid of humans!

One of them went for the camera strap that was hanging down while Eric took this picture.

Some love nibbles

Eric pretends that he has something to feed them.

I let this hotel in downtown Vancouver use my name.&nbsp; I hear it's done wonders for business.

We took some pictures with the self-timer around Jericho Beach Park.

Before we left Vancouver, we drove around the University area, checking out some of the neat houses there.

Eric's new startup company has its first Christmas Party.

A trip to Kelsey Creek Farm and Farm.

Sylvia working on her goals for the next 3 months.

Eric tempts Kassi and Zuzu with beef jerky for stimulating cat photos.

That afternoon, we went to the Kelsey Creek Park and Farm.&nbsp; We found your basic set of farm yard animals.&nbsp; Moo, oink baahh, neigh and cock-a-dodle-doo.

They were quite tame!

Scratching for worms

All bundled up for winter

This not-so-little piggy has not yet gone to market.

Clearly, this horse has had experience posing for pictures!

The horses really enjoyed being fed grass!

The grounds of the park are quite nice.

We then went to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens for some picture taking.

Christmas decorations at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.

The Bellevue Botanical garden was brightly lit with fanciful flowered decorations made with colored lights.

We went to see the lights with Jean and Kay (pronounced Kai)

Here are some more lights!

Can you tell what kind of animal is made of lights here?

Entertainment was provided by a group of singers &quot;in training&quot;.

The grounds of the gardens was once owned by Cal and Harriet Shorts.&nbsp; Evidently they donated the buildings and grounds to the city for the gardens.

Eric and Sylvia visit family in North Carolina for Christmas.

Eric's mom Ann making some braided fruit and nut bread.

For the 2000 Christmas Holiday, Eric and Sylvia visited their families in North Carolina.&nbsp;Eric's parents are in Asheville, Sylvia's in Charlotte.&nbsp; Most pictures are below. And here's some <a href=/pictures/alois/part4>pictures of miniature furniture</a> that Sylvia's father Alois made.

Eric's brother Kevin with his Jack Russell Terrier, Jessie.

Christmas tree at the Vasiliks

Sitting down for a multi-course Christmas dinner

Brian is happy with his waffle maker

Eric's dad Ken is happy with his sweater

Missy hiding underneath the tree.

The whole family after all the presents were opened

View from the dining area Christmas morning

Eric helps his mom out with dinner

Rolling out biscuit dough

At the entrance to the Biltmore Estate

Taking a tour of downtown Asheville

Eric's brother Brian, pictured next to his alter ego, Lollapolluza the Clown

Eric and his mom in Black Mountain, standing in front of the Seven Sisters mountains

A woodturning shop in Black mountain

Ann prepared some tasty appetizers well as colorful borscht soup

Sylvia is mad at Eric because he wouldn't stop gloating over his win at Monopoly

Brian juggling lemons

Eric and his dad look remarkably alike in this picture

Frittata for breakfast!

The walls in the guest bedroom were very uniquely decorated!

Sylvia and the Vasiliks

Sylvia with her father Alois

At the Moestl place

Sylvia's old play house

Sylvia's mom Inge

Sylvia, Mom, and Les

This is where Tom is staying right now, right outside Earthhaven

Also, here's pictures of a visit to Earthhaven, a land-trust cooperative that Sylvia's brother Tom lives at.

This mother and baby goat live at the house as well.&nbsp; Tom built the structure behind them.

Tom is hoping to renovate the old school bus as a living space.

The inside of the bus

We went for a walk to central Earthhaven.&nbsp; There are lots of old unused roads that used to lead to homesteads in the area.&nbsp; We used one of them as a path.

Here's an old crossroads

Tom cleared off the path as we went

Eric and Tom, with some of Tom's friends.&nbsp; Danielle is on the right.

Another nearby house in Earthhaven, with passive solar construction.

Tom on his homesite.&nbsp;&nbsp; He had it graded recently IMG_4869.JPG He has plans for building a nautilus-shaped building on the property

A view of the &quot;tree garden&quot; (in the back) and greenhouse from the homesite.

The greenhouse.&nbsp; Tom painted the mural on it.

Some semi-hollow bricks he made

Bridge he built across the creek that divides the tree garden from the homesite

He had somebody weld these propane tanks into a bell set.

The old Twin Oaks hammock is still there, a little bit worse for the wear

Tom in his outdoor kitchen

The store (unmanned) at Earthhaven IMG_4905.JPG Some funky buildings in the main village of Earthhaven mg: IMG_4911.JPG

There were some problems with the building inspector over this one.&nbsp; They compromised by putting the side supports in

Tom's old house, with his junk still piled around it.

Another view of his house

Tom left this chimpanzee relief inside his old house.

Eric and Sylvia visit Sylvia's brother Tom.

This is where Tom is staying right now, right outside Earthhaven

This mother and baby goat live at the house as well.&nbsp; Tom built the structure behind them.

Tom is hoping to renovate the old school bus as a living space.

The inside of the bus

We went for a walk to central Earthhaven.&nbsp; There are lots of old unused roads that used to lead to homesteads in the area.&nbsp; We used one of them as a path.

Here's an old crossroads

Tom cleared off the path as we went

Eric and Tom, with some of Tom's friends.&nbsp; Danielle is on the right.

Another nearby house in Earthhaven, with passive solar construction.

Tom on his homesite.&nbsp;&nbsp; He had it graded recently IMG_4869.JPG He has plans for building a nautilus-shaped building on the property

A view of the &quot;tree garden&quot; (in the back) and greenhouse from the homesite.

The greenhouse.&nbsp; Tom painted the mural on it.

Some semi-hollow bricks he made

Bridge he built across the creek that divides the tree garden from the homesite

He had somebody weld these propane tanks into a bell set.

The old Twin Oaks hammock is still there, a little bit worse for the wear

Tom in his outdoor kitchen

The store (unmanned) at Earthhaven IMG_4905.JPG Some funky buildings in the main village of Earthhaven mg: IMG_4911.JPG

There were some problems with the building inspector over this one.&nbsp; They compromised by putting the side supports in

Tom's old house, with his junk still piled around it.

Another view of his house

Tom left this chimpanzee relief inside his old house.

In and around Anchorage

Here's some pictures from the flight to Anchorage from Seattle.&nbsp; We had some truly awesome scenery on the way--all kinds of glaciers and mountains.

We went to the Anchorage museum first.&nbsp; Just outside there were some ornamental cabbages, ones that normally grow about half the size of this one.&nbsp; All that sunshine in the summer really makes them huge!

My dad, in front of the museum.

Earthquake park, west of the city of Anchorage, is where you can really see the signs of the serious 1964 earthquake.&nbsp; There were also some very nice looking (but poisonous) fly agarica mushrooms.

The Chugach State Park is one of the largest state parks in the country.&nbsp; We went to the Eagle River Visitor Center north of Anchorage, and took some walks from that area.&nbsp; Great views of the Chugach mountains from there.&nbsp; One huge pond had been created by a beaver dam

They call this flower Butter and Eggs, for obvious reasons.

This was the biggest field of cow parsnip I've ever seen.

Later we drove to Ship Creek, right in the middle of downtown.&nbsp; It's a big salmon creek, not because there's necessarily a huge amount of salmon in it, but it's so convenient that lots of people fish there.

Late in the evening, we drove up to another location in Chugach State Park were you get a great view of Anchorage.&nbsp; The view in the other direction was better, though, kind of like a moonscape.

From Anchorage to Seward

On the 7th we drove from Anchorage to Seward.&nbsp; It's actually only about a 2 hour drive, but we stopped so often it took us about 7 hours to get there.&nbsp; Seward is the southern terminal of the railway.

At one point there were about a dozen cars and tour buses stopped at the side of the road.&nbsp; We stopped as well, and saw what they were looking at, a bunch of Dahl sheep.

A salmon fishing spot off the highway

In Girdwood, there was a jade shop.&nbsp; This one boulder of jade is being processed.&nbsp; You can see the saw cutting through it.

This is the Portage Glacier area.&nbsp; The glacier has receded a lot, to the point that it's not touching Portage Lake anymore.

This is another salmon viewing area, although you can't see too many salmon in this picture.

This is the outhouse at a&nbsp; rest stop we pulled off into.&nbsp; A tour bus had just happened to stop in at the same time.

Here we are in Seward.&nbsp; Seward is a a favorite stop for cruise ships touring Alaska

It's also a big fishing town.&nbsp; Walking around the harbor, almost all the ships you see are fishing boats.&nbsp; It seems the water is too rough to make pleasure boating a very pleasurable experience.

We drove out to a shipyard outside of town.&nbsp; It looks like it's partly a ship graveyard, and partly a spot where they repair boats.

In and around Seward

We explored the Seward area on the 8th.&nbsp; These are some pictures from our drive out towards Lewell Point

There was an old abandoned barge on the shore.

Tom and I took a hike to Tongira Creek.&nbsp; There were, as usual, lots and lots of salmon in the creek, in various stages.&nbsp; It was a beautiful spot.

Later on we drove out to Exit Glacier, where you can actually walk up to the glacier.&nbsp; Here's some pictures from the area.

The glacier has been receding the past couple hundred years.&nbsp; The park service put up signs marking where the glacier was at a particular year, so you can see how it receded.

From Seward to to Valdez via Ferry (Prince William Sound)

On the 9th we drove from Seward to Whittier, and then took the ferry from Whittier to Valdez.&nbsp; You have to take a tunnel from Portage Lake to Whittier, which up until a couple months ago was only open to trains.&nbsp; At Portage Lake, we saw our first iceberg (actually, I don't think they're called icebergs when they're this small).&nbsp; Later on the same day, we saw many, many more.

This is the town of Whittier.&nbsp; We had some time to kill before taking the ferry to Valdez, so we walked around.&nbsp; It was super windy, but a very beautiful day.&nbsp; Highly unusual this time of year.

The building in the background was an old military building that was built to house troops in WW2.&nbsp; It's currently abandoned.

The ferry trip was stupendous.&nbsp; Lots of people bundled up and sat on the observation deck, where they had lounge chairs.&nbsp; The ferry actually has a naturalist on board from the park service, and stops at various locations to give explanations about what we're seeing.

It seemed as though every slope had a dozen waterfalls cascading down the side.&nbsp; Very beautiful/

This is one of the glaciers we saw from the ferry

Tom and my dad.

Looks like some great spots for kayaking.

Those brown spots you see is colony of sea lions.

And even more sea lions...

I thought the color of the water turned out great here.&nbsp; And check out those caves and arches in the rocks!

The beginning of the icefields!

Looks like a little bear, maybe?

The boat had to maneuver pretty well to avoid the ice.&nbsp; We only hit one piece that I heard...everybody made Titanic jokes!

And here we're arriving in Valdez.&nbsp; You can see the pipeline terminal off in the distance.

In and around Valdez

On the 10th we explored the Valdez area.&nbsp; When we were there, there were tons of salmon and, of course, the salmon fisherman weren't far behind.&nbsp; This is from a salmon viewing area just outside of town.

On the other side of the bay from the town of Valdez is the pipeline terminal, and also a salmon hatchery.&nbsp; The sea was alive with fish.

They were very easy to catch, even with bare hands.&nbsp; Tom let it go after he caught it, though.

Tom picked up a handful of salmon eggs from the water.

We drove around the backroads of Valdez some, where the old town of Valdez used to be (before the earthquake of 1964).&nbsp; There were more salmon streams there.

Horsetail falls, outside of town on the Valdez highway.

Tom and I took a hike up Goat Trail, which was an old gold mining route over the glacier.&nbsp; It wasn't build for the views--this is pretty much the only decent view we had.

Later on we walked around the harbor.&nbsp; We saw this fishing boat rolling up it's nets.

There's a &quot;clean your own salmon&quot; area right outside the harbor.&nbsp; It was a treat to see people fillet the salmon quickly and skillfully, with extremely sharp knives that they sharpened every couple minutes.&nbsp; This gentlemen is from Fairbanks, but is planning on retiring in (guess where?) Seattle, and wintering in Arizona.

Much of the fish is wasted when you cut fillets off a salmon.&nbsp; The waste was thrown off a ramp into a cage in the water.&nbsp; I wondered what happened to it afterwards.

Dad and I took a drive on a dirt road out of town, in an area that's also a ski area in the winter.

Later on in the evening, we drove to the salmon hatchery area we'd gone to in the morning, because we'd been told that in the evening the bears come out.&nbsp; Didn't see any bears, but there were many more salmon, even though it was hard to believe.

Sunset over Valdez.

Driving back to Anchorage

On the 11th, we drove from Valdez to Anchorage.&nbsp; This is the bed and breakfast we'd been staying at in Valdez, called L &amp; L's Bed and Breakfast.&nbsp; The blue car is our rental car, a Kia.

The best scenery of the drive was going throught the mountains north of Valdez...magnificent!

Worthington Glacier is one you can access just off the highway.&nbsp; They'd completely redone the whole parking area and paths.

This is me in front of the glacier.

This is one of the many places you can see the pipeline. It's interesting to see how they made it relatively earthquake proof--the pipeline can slide around on the platform, and has flexible fittings.

An old, non-functioning gas station in Copper Center

A lot of the drive was through boring tundra.&nbsp; Miles and miles of short little spruce trees on either side.

This is getting closer to Anchorage, and the Chugach range.

You can see a typical braided riverbed down below.

This is the Matasuka Valley glacier (I think.

I found some raspberries bushes right off the road--loaded with beautifully ripe raspberries.

A junkyard (antique store) that we stopped in just outside of Anchorage.

All the Thazi pictures

Unique site containing thousands of temple ruins, from around 1000 to 1200.

Thousands of years ago, Bagan was a religious center.&nbsp; There are thousands of ruined temples there, in various stages of disrepair.

I rented a horse cart for a day of touring around.

Often jewels are hidden in Buddha statues.&nbsp; Somebody tried to dig these out.

These are images of Buddhist hell.

Another temple.&nbsp; This one was still being used as a temple.

There's a few scattered Hindu temples among all the Buddhist temples in Bagan.

In a lacquerware shop.&nbsp;&nbsp;Most of the lacquerware is exported to Thailand, for sale to tourists there.

Some lacquerware has gold leaf put on it, in a pattern.&nbsp; The finishing step is to wash the gold leaf off that doesn't belong in the pattern. The water that it's washed in is saved and sold to people who get the bits of gold leaf out of it again.

The view from the horse cart.

Abandoned temples

Lunch at a Burmese style buffet.&nbsp; At first I was amazed at the waste, because we ate less than one tenth of this.&nbsp; But my guide told me that whatever we didn't eat went right back into the pot.&nbsp; The women working here were very chatty and open--it turned out that they were part of a group that sang at wedding receptions and other celebrations.

Watching a movie on a VCR.

Dhammayangi Paya was my favorite temple.&nbsp; It was huge and cavernous, with massive echoing hallways and bats flying around.

There were spooky walkways throughout the temple.&nbsp; A good place for a movie.

Evening shot of an unnamed temple

A reclining Buddha

I watched the sunset from the Shwesandaw Paya.

There were some other foreigners there for the sunset as well.&nbsp; The woman on the left was Israeli, the guy on the right French.

On the way to Mt. Popa, a center for spirit worship in Burma, we stopped to watch a field being plowed with oxen.

Sugar palms are cultivated in this area.&nbsp; We stopped at the hut of one of the workers and watched the palm sugar sap being boiled down.&nbsp; I bought a little woven basked of palm sugar candy (basically, just the boiled down sap) for about 25 cents.

To harvest the sap, they cut slits in the palm sugar flower and put bowls beneath the slits.&nbsp; The sap runs into the bowls.

A nat (spirit) temple at Mt. Popa.

All the statues around the edge of the building are of nats.&nbsp;&nbsp;There's an odd combination of Buddhism and nat worship--notice the Buddha statue in the middle.

As part of a religious ceremony, money was thrown into the crowd. It's just about to happen in this picture, that's why there's so many men hanging around.

This picture is a little dark, but the person in the red dress is a man dressed as a woman.&nbsp; Apparently the nat spirits will take possession of a person only if it is a man dressed as a woman, or a woman.

Mt. Popa.&nbsp; There's a staircase to the top, where the temples are, that takes about half an hour to climb up.

Some of the 37 nats that are worshipped.&nbsp; They each died a violent death.&nbsp; My guide's father told him, &quot;Why should we worship nats, if they're not even powerful enough to protect themselves from a violent death?&quot;

This spirit is an alcoholic--notice all the bottles left as offerings.

Praying at the top of Mt. Popa.

There's a well-fed and bold troop of monkeys at Mt. Popa that wait for handouts from tourists.

My room in Bagan.

Gambling at a temple.&nbsp; They throw shells in the bowl, and then win or loose depending on how many of the shells land on one side or another.

Sunset from another temple

Lake region, fascinating stilt houses, rowing with the legs, and unique crafts.

The toilet at the bus stop between Thazi and Inle Lake.&nbsp; It's actually pretty easy to use.&nbsp; You're supposed to wash up with the water in the trough there.&nbsp; I used toilet paper, though.

Pear-apples and flowers for sale at the bus stop.

My hotel room in Inle Lake, at the Remember Inn.

Selling roasted sunflower seeds and a strange large bitter nut, steamed.&nbsp; I tried it, and although I didn't like it at first, it kind of grew on me.

My guide and I took a bike ride (using clunky one-speeds, but comfortable seats) around the lake area.

Tutu at a rice mill.&nbsp; He's standing on a pile of rice hulls, and next to him is a tractor that's used in the rice fields.&nbsp; I don't think it was working, though.

A water buffalo

Inle Lake, from a hilltop temple

We biked through a monastery, and saw Buddhist novices, doing road work.

These little sheets drying in front of a house are made out of cooked and mashed up beans.&nbsp; They're eaten in curries.

Here the beans are first ground, then cooked into a paste, then steamed, dried and sliced up for use in curries.

(In case you haven't guessed yet, beans are a huge part of the local economy here).&nbsp; Beans, roasted like popcorn with salt as a snack.&nbsp; I bought some--very tasty.

This woman is rolling bean paste into balls, which were then flattened and dried.

An oil mill, with the owners. They pressed oil out of peanuts and seasame seeds.

We hired a woman to take us on a short tour of the lake.&nbsp; Here's she's doing the leg rowing that's traditional in Inle Lake.

I met Stephie in Bangkok, and we ended up traveling together a little.&nbsp; Here she is with the &quot;bible&quot; (the Lonely Planet guidebook to Burma).

More leg rowing, with the fish traps that are traditional to this area.

Stephanie and I and two other women took a boat trip around Inle Lake.&nbsp; These souvenir vendors in small canoes held on to the boat as soon as it slowed down, either 2 or 3 canoes on each side, and tried to interest us in their wares.

Pao tribeswoman, in their traditional black costume. Here they're selling pickled tea and sesame seeds.

Myra, bargaining with a souvenir vendor.&nbsp; They didn't know numbers in English, but had numbers written down sequentially in 1000s on a cigarette carton, and would point to them.

A typical house on stilts at Inle Lake

The round gold things in the picture are Buddha images.&nbsp; They've had so much gold leaf plastered on them that they look like shapeless blobs.&nbsp; Notice the &quot;ladies are prohibited&quot; sign at the bottom.

Spinning silk.

One long thread of silk is wrapped around a frame, and then pieces are separated by being tied off so they can be dyed individually.&nbsp; It formed a very distinctive pattern when it was woven.

This is the dyed silk being woven.&nbsp; Her hands are moving very quickly!

At a blacksmith shop, making crude knives.

Cutting cowbells out of a 55 gallon drum

Inle Lake is famous for its floating vegetable gardens.&nbsp; These are tomatoes.

The monks at this temple on Inle Lake got bored, and trained cats to jump through hoops.

I never knew this, but apparently the fiber from lotus flower stems can be extracted and woven.&nbsp; The extraction takes a long time, and the cloth is extremely expensive.

A recliner with a swing-out foot rest.

Transporting large baskets on the lake.

I tried to carry this woman's load, which sounded like a bunch of recycled bottles.&nbsp; What does it feel like to carry something on your head?&nbsp; Not very stable, at least for me.

A black market gas station.&nbsp; These were everywhere on the road, because gasoline is rationed.

Second largest city in Burma, north of Yangon

An early-morning street market in Mandalay

This is a typical taxi in Mandalay, a three-wheeled pickup-type contraption.&nbsp; I took them a couple times, but it seemed like the exhaust was piped directly to the passengers in the back.

A shop selling thanaka, a yellow paste that's used on the face.&nbsp; My guide is in there buying some for his female relatives.

Woman at the market, carrying things on their heads.

A monk supply store, with everything a monk needs--fan, begging bowl, monk undershirt.

Woman praying at the Mahamuni Paya in Mandalay<span style="font-family: Times New Roman; mso-fareast-font-family: Times New Roman; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">.&nbsp; This is a temple where women were not allowed in closer to the Buddha image.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>

A revolving spirit shrine.&nbsp; You toss in money, and try to get it into the bowls.&nbsp; I assume that if you get it into the bowls, your wish is more likely to be granted.

I bought some custard apples at the market.&nbsp; It's a strange fruit--you break it open, and there's these little nodules inside that you suck the flesh off.&nbsp; The large brown seeds are in the middle.

The eastern side of Mandaly palace, surrounded by a moat.

At the base of Mandalay Hill.&nbsp; The outside of temples often have lions like this.

On the left is the taxi driver that took me to the top of Mandalay Hill.&nbsp; Notice the swastika on his shirt.&nbsp; It's a traditional symbol here, but I've gotten mixed reports on what it means.

Sunset from Mandalay Hill.

On our way to Amarapura (we were on bikes) we stopped at a marble carving workshop.&nbsp; Here the worker is finishing up a Buddha statue.

The man who normally carves the faces has been out ill.

This is a very old teak bridge near Amarapura.&nbsp; No bikes were allowed to be ridden across it, in order to preserve it.

A monastery near Amarapura.&nbsp; The monk is washing his hands after eating (they eat with their hands).

The monastery kitchen.

Many pilgrims travel throughout Burma in groups on buses (if they have a little money) or trucks (if they have less), visiting the more famous monasteries.&nbsp; At this monastery close to Amarapura, some pilgrims invited me to lunch.&nbsp; The pilgrims sleep and eat at an area set aside for pigrims at the monastery during their stay, and cook their own food.

The first supermarket I ever saw!&nbsp; They had bar code scanners and everything. I actually found some dental floss here.

Nuns, on one of the two days each month that they go around, asking for alms.&nbsp; Most restaurants and shops have a stack of small bills (very small, less than a cent) that they hand out, or sometimes bananas.

Trishaws normally transport people, but this kid is transporting some corrugated metal.

This game is a lot like hackey sack, except it's played with a large wicker ball. You can't see it in the picture, it's a blur.

Billboards...advertising a fruit drink, and pig food.

Houseboats on the waterfront.&nbsp; This was a very poor part of the city.

Normally there's lots of water buffalo at the waterfront, but I missed them this morning.

Hauling a barrel on a boat

While we were waiting for a ferry, Tutu and I came across an opening ceremony for a building.&nbsp; Lots of soldiers and schoolchildren.&nbsp; Apparently opening ceremonies are a big deal for the government, and they get schools to send over children to attend and provide a crowd.&nbsp; Right after this photo I was told to stop taking pictures, but later I was able to get in close and watch the actual ceremony.

Looking for lice.

Another very poor area on the water.

Scenes from the ferry.&nbsp; These sailboats carry sand that's dug up from sandbars in the river, and used for construction.

Notice the man carrying sand on his head.

Using sail power and rowing

Me with my pet praying mantis.

Mingun Paya--a very impressive old ruin, very much damaged by earthquakes.&nbsp; It was huge, but originally intended to be much bigger; it was only one third finished.

My guide and I climbed to the top.&nbsp; Since we went barefoot (as is always done in temples) Tutu grabbed some leaves to stand on.&nbsp; The sun on the dark bricks was very hot!

We rented an ox cart to take us back.

There's an old age home close to Mingun Paya that we stopped at. Most old people in Burma are taken care of by their family, so these people must feel very neglected.

I went with the women I met in Inle lake--Stephanie, Myra, and Ricki--to a movie theater showing Mission Impossible 2.&nbsp; Notice the hand-painted movie poster.

On our way to the airport, we stopped at some workshops.&nbsp; In this one, gold leaf was being produced.&nbsp; This man is pounding a leather booklet containing a piece of gold leaf in each page.

There's no fans or air conditioners in the gold leaf workshop--it could blow the gold leaf away.&nbsp; The women sweat!

This was a Kalanga workshop.&nbsp; Kalangas are the sequined, stuffed tapestries that Burma is famous for.&nbsp; Most of these were exported to Thailand, for sale to tourists there.

At this brass foundry, almost exclusively Buddha images were made.&nbsp; The brass is poured in between two molds, then the molds are broken and the brass statue remains.&nbsp; The mold in the pit is a seated Buddha image.

This huge statue was commissioned by the biggest movie star in Burma.&nbsp; The hands in this position are supposed to ward off evil, represented by the snakes below.

City in central Burma. Here I visited my Burmese friend Soe's family.

Some kids waving to me as I passed through a train station on the Yangon-Thazi train.&nbsp; I was a real oddity there as a foreigner, and some people pointed at me and stared.

Water vendor, selling to passengers.&nbsp; The vendors would run up as soon as the train slowed down, and try to sell things to people on the train.

Selling roasted chicken to passengers.&nbsp; One guy carried the chicken, the other carried the rice.&nbsp; As soon as you showed even a flicker of interest, they were all over you.&nbsp; It seemed really unsanitary, though, and I didn't try any.

My compartment.&nbsp; Notice the military officer on the right.

Selling bananas to passengers on the train.

In Thazi, I stayed with Soe's family.&nbsp; This is Soe's mother, grinding thanaka to use on the face and arms.

Here I am, with thanaka paste on my face!

Soe's father, mother, and brother in front of their restaurant/guesthouse.

Thanaka for sale at a market.

Soe's father, at his office.&nbsp; He's the local manager of a bank.

Soe's brother and sister, and some of their friends.&nbsp; The two on the left were boyfriend and girlfriend, but you'd never know it--look how she's leaning away from him!

Soe's sister, Nini.

My room.&nbsp; It had air-conditioning, but the electricity was so unreliable that I used the fan instead.

A Buddhist procession outside the hotel.&nbsp; They were asking for donations for the local temple.

Soe's mother and I, both in a typical Burmese style wrap-around skirt worn by both men and women, called a longyi.

I showed Soe's mother how to make an origami crane.

There were three little kids who worked at the guesthouse.&nbsp; They also tried making origami cranes.

Capital city, full of colonial archicture and the huge Shwedagon Pagoda. Lots of pictures of street vendors.

This is a typical bus in Yangon, except it's usually a lot more crowded.&nbsp; Often men are hanging 2 or 3 deep off the back.

These fans have Buddhist doctrine written on them.

These are some of the many street vendors you can see everywhere in Yangon.&nbsp; This woman is selling vegetables for curry.

Fish for sale on the street.&nbsp; Notice this old woman smoking a cheroot, or Burmese cigar.&nbsp; You can also see the scale she used to weigh her fish in the red plastic basket.

More sidewalk vendors.

This trishaw boy hangs out at the entrance to a food market, hoping someone will hire him to take them home with their purchases.

Peeled and spiced (with chili, I believe) pomelo for sale.&nbsp; A pomelo is like a very large grapefruit, but a little less tart.

Selling a glutinous rice/coconut snack on the street.

These boys are playing a game very much like the Italian Boccia.&nbsp; They threw a large stone out, then tried to throw smaller stones as close to it as possible.&nbsp; They were betting--you can see the folded up bills in their hands.&nbsp; I threw one, and did pretty well.

A movie theatre, looks like it was build in the 20's.&nbsp; I think it's an Indian movie, there were a lot of those playing.&nbsp; A substantial minority of Burmese have an Indian heritage, and speak Hindi.

There's so much rain in Yangon!&nbsp; Some buildings were covered with moss and weeds growing out of cracks in the buildings.

Government-sponsored billboards like this were posted in all major cities.&nbsp; This has &quot;dictatorship&quot; written all over it.

Fried shrimp for sale.&nbsp; The frying was done right there on the street.

These three boys hung around me and wanted to be my &quot;guides&quot;.&nbsp; The one in the middle is of Indian heritage, you can tell because he's very dark skinned.

This woman is selling betel nut, which is chewed for a slight high.&nbsp; It's sold wrapped in a leaf, with a coating of lime.&nbsp; It makes your teeth really red, and the sidewalks are full of brick-red stains where people have spit the juice.&nbsp; Notice also the woman has yellow thanaka paste on her face.

I met Angela when trying to figure out what the white paste packaged with the betel nuts was.&nbsp; (It's lime).&nbsp; She learned English in a convent school as a little girl, and speaks it very well.&nbsp; This is Angela and me, having lunch at a restaurant in Bogyoke market.

This is part of our lunch.&nbsp; You dip greens in some hot sauce.&nbsp; The bowl with a spoon is a desert, with coconut jelly and some other stuff.&nbsp; Tasty.

Pomegranates.&nbsp; I bought some, but didn't like them very much.

These were a treat!&nbsp; Lotus flower seeds.&nbsp; I bought a small package for 50 kyat (about 12 cents).&nbsp; The seed is about the size of a blueberry, and you pop the husk off, and eat the inside.&nbsp; Very tasty!

Frying and selling eggs on the street.

A little roadside teashop.&nbsp; The chairs look tiny to western eyes, like they're meant for children, but everyone uses them, and just squats down really low.

This is the computer setup at the Yoma Hotel, where I was able to send email.&nbsp; Notice the fitted green velvet computer covers.

Water, available on the street.&nbsp; People set up these water stations as a public service, to gain merit (in the Buddhist sense).

A rice and oil shop

Notice that the numbering system on this bus is not the standard Arabic numerals that we're used to, but rather the Burmese numbering system.&nbsp; It made it very difficult to catch buses, read prices, etc.

A pickup, with seats inside, is also used as a bus..

A cold water seller.

Another little street-side restaurant.

Pirated software for sale.&nbsp; Notice the Office 2000 package.

Shwedagon Pagoda.&nbsp; Lots of people hang out around the temple, resting. chatting, and praying.

Buddha statues at the Shwedagon Pagoda.&nbsp; The glass cases are for donations.

People resting in Shwedagon.&nbsp; Notice the pictures close to the ceiling. They represent episodes in the life of Buddha.

This is at Shwedagon Pagoda, a Buddhist temple, but it's actually a nat, or spirit shrine.&nbsp; People pray for specific things here, and then lift a rock.&nbsp; If the rock feels light to them, their wish has been granted.

Intricate wood carving at Swedagon Pagoda.

I hired Tutu as my guide in Shewedagon.&nbsp; He ended up being my guide throughout most of Burma.

The actual stupa, centerpiece of Shwedagon.&nbsp; Too bad it wasn't sunny!

These girls work at the temple, earning about 200 kyat, or $.50, a day.

People come from all over Burma to worship at Shwedagon.

Another nat shrine.&nbsp; Notice in the bottom right corner...

...there's cigarettes stuck in the tray.&nbsp; This spirit is very fond of cigarettes, apparently, so to please it, they light cigarettes and stick them there.

Pouring water over this Buddha as an act of religious devotion.&nbsp; Depending on what day of the week you were born on, you use different shrines.&nbsp; Also, Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon are separated out into different shrines as well--I don't know why.

A brick walkway outside the temple.&nbsp; Along this walkway were restaurants, places where the monks lived, and small workshops.

A guava seller on the street.

Bamboo shoots for sale in an evening market.&nbsp; The red ones have been dyed.

The sticks you see below are pounded and used as shampoo.&nbsp; The plastic bags filled with brown liquid is the pre-pounded version.

Get your chickens, fresh!

The seafood section. Some of the women were shy and didn't want to look while their picture was taken.&nbsp; However, when I showed them the picture using the playback feature on my digital camera, they were very interested!


Fresh shrimp for sale.

Gambling on the street

This is the apartment of a friend of Tutu, my guide.&nbsp; The barrel of water in the back is for bathing--you stand in the concrete basin on the left, and pour water over you from the barrel.

An old art deco style chest of drawers, probably worth lots.

Tutu's friend's father, listening to the Voice of America on the radio in Burmese.

A fake TV.&nbsp; Apparently these were common, and were put in for decoration. The family also had a real TV, though.

Tutu's friend and I.&nbsp; I'm headed back to the hotel, in a trishaw.

A closeup of the trishaw and driver at the hotel.

I bought some mangosteens on the street.&nbsp; They're my absolute favorite fruit here.&nbsp; The taste is hard to describe, but oh-so-good!

The view from my hotel.

Tutu in a teahouse.&nbsp; Notice the plates with snacks on them in plastic bags.&nbsp; These are so the flies don't settle on them.&nbsp; The snacks stay out until somebody eats them.

A monk going begging.&nbsp; They wear their robes a special way when they beg, rolled up around the neck. Also, when they beg they don't use umbrellas, only their fan.

Astrologer row in Yangon, with rows of palm readers and astrologers.

The train runs right along the astrologer's shops.

I have my fortune told for the first time by the fortune-teller that Tutu consults.

A shop outside a temple, where you can buy gilded coconuts and bananas to give as offerings.

Nat worship.

Buddhist nuns, begging on the street.

Schoolchildren in the standard green/white costume.

Here I'm having a very civilized &quot;high tea&quot; at the Strand, a fancy renovated old hotel.&nbsp; Rooms are $400 a night, but only 2 out of 32 are occupied.

Little girls playing a guessing game with custard-apple seeds on the street.&nbsp; They grab a handful, and try to guess whether the number of seeds is odd or even.

This game is similar to pool--the players try to knock the chips into the corner holes.

A public phone in Yangon.

Climbing around the ruins of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and a short visit to Stanford.

These are from the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California.&nbsp; There had been an old house, called &quot;Waterfall House&quot;, on the cliff which had fallen into runs.&nbsp; We weren't supposed to climb around it, but it was too tempting...

Staircase leading up into poison oak and eucalyptus

There was an old tramway going down from the highway.

Eric weaing my jacket to add a little color to the picture.

Looking down at the pounding surf.

View that they would have had from the house

If you strain, you can see the waterfall in the middle, that the house is named after.

There's a lizard in the middle of this picure...there were tons of them at an overlook, scattering as we walked the paths.

Eric and Sylvia at the beach

Sylvia at the beach

We took a trip to Stanford and the Silicon Valley just to see it.&nbsp; This is the Stanford campus.

More Stanford campus

A round of golf at Pebble Beach Links with Rich, Jane and Nancy Clayton.

A group shot of the golfers (and golf groupie).&nbsp; From left to right we have Rich, Sylvia, Eric, Nancy and Jane.

Eric and Jane pose at the beginning of the round.&nbsp; See how happy they look?&nbsp; Wait 'till later!&nbsp; Notice the tree in the background.&nbsp; It is near the 7th tee.

The Claytons pose for a shot.&nbsp; Note that the 7th tee tree is getting closer!

Eric and Sylvia.&nbsp; 7th tee is closer still!

Here we have Eric at the 7th tee, stretching for his tee shot.&nbsp; Behind the tee, swimming in the ocean we found sea lions.&nbsp; In particular, there was a mother teaching it's child to swim.

Waiting on the tee for the previous foursome to clear the green (not that we hit greens in regulation all the much).&nbsp; Note the guy sitting down and the guy to the far right.&nbsp; These are our caddies, John and Bart.&nbsp; They made the experience at Pebble that much greater.

Here we have Eric putting, ball in mid flight.

Eric sizing up a chip shot.

Rich teeing up at the 18th.&nbsp; Over the years, the ocean has taken a lot of the fairway.&nbsp; Most of the coast along the course has been cemented (quite tastefully) to prevent further erosion.

Cool ocean views and squirrel drop kicking!

This is the Lone Pine, on the 17-mile drive in California.

Sylvia at one of the 17 Mile Drive stops.

Another stop on the 17 mile drive.&nbsp; There were lots of squirrels around, begging for handouts.&nbsp; Some of them were huge!&nbsp; First I tried tricking them with pieces of paper, but then I found some chocolate to give them, and they went nuts over it.

Eric decides to temp the squirrels to come a little further than they normally would have.

Nine squirrels accost Eric.

Eric drop kicking a squirrel.

Eric and Sylvia build a cairn to mark their visit to Pebble Beach.

Eric and Sylvia balance on the fence.

Arriving in Istanbul.

Our friend Soe drove us to the the airport early in the morning. Thanks, Soe!

We flew through New York, and had a great view of Manhattan on the way in and out.

Our hotel in Istanbul, Hotel Sebnem, had some great handmade embroidery in the rooms.

On our first day, we took a walk along the Bosphoros, very close to Old Istanbul, where we stayed.&nbsp; It was packed with fisherman, trying their luck.

We took a ferry along the Bosphoros.&nbsp; After we saw this palace along the water...

...we asked this man, who looked very Turkish to us, in Turkish, what the building was called (using our phrase book).&nbsp; He stared at us blankly for a few seconds, then said &quot;I don't speak Turkish&quot;, in Australian English!&nbsp; We all had a good laugh over that.&nbsp; The name of the place was the Dolmabahce Palace.

This is the view from the outside patio on which we had breakfast at our hotel.

Just outside the Topkapi palace, which was the living quarters of the sultans from the 1400 until the early 1800. Many of the tourist facilities are heavily guarded, because the Turks want to protect the tourism industry from potential terrorist attacks.&nbsp; This guy was a lot friendlier than he looks.

The road into Topkapi palace.&nbsp; Very pleasant.

We went through a full security check, with metal detectors, upon entering the palace.

The interior courtyard was beautiful.&nbsp; Early in the morning like this, there were very few tourists.

Eric and I at Topkapi palace.

We took a tour of the harem inside Topkapi palace.&nbsp; Some of the most interesting things to see there were the old-fashioned and ornate plumbing facilities, used by the sultan.

This is a Turkish style squat toilet, with facilities for hand washing.&nbsp; Only the best marble for the sultan, of course.

This is the Emperors Chambers.

Many cabinets looked like this, with mother-of-perl inlaid with tortoiseshell.&nbsp; According to our guide, often the sultans made these cabinets as a hobby.

Eric, in the sultan's bedroom&nbsp; Notice that there's no pictures anywhere, only patterns.&nbsp; This is because in Islam, it is forbidden to make images of people or things.

The sons of the sultan studied in this room.

We stopped off at the weapons museum at the palace.

Lunch was at the museum cafeteria, overlooking the Bosphoros.&nbsp; Eric has just taken one too many photos of Sylvia.

These 2 photos are from separate little buildings within the palace grounds, built to commemorate military victories.

Eric is getting a haircut here.&nbsp; Part of the haircut is to burn off hair on the face and the ears.&nbsp; Pretty scary!

The Aya Sofia started out as a Byzantine church built in about 500.&nbsp; In 1453 it was converted to a mosque, and in the early part of this century it was converted again, this time to a museum.

Right outside the Aya Sofia are the ruins of another church, from around the year 400.&nbsp; Excavations appear to be ongoing, and debris is scattered about outside.

This is the inside of the church/mosque/museum.&nbsp; Notice the huge Islamic placards hung up to make it less church-like.&nbsp; The placards show the names, in Arabic, of God, Mohamed and the 4 caliphs.

There's a massive reconstruction effort underway, with some very impressive scaffolding.&nbsp; Notice the elevator going up (the red box near the bottom).

This structure was put in after the church was converted to a mosque.&nbsp; Sermon were given from it on Fridays.

The matched marble panels are original, from around 500 BC, ordered by the emperor Justinian.

There's a little hole in this column, just big enough for your thumb.&nbsp; Legend has it that if you put your finger in the hole and make a wish, it will be granted if it comes out moist..

Here's the upper floor of the church.

The Aya Sofia had some great mosaics.

We guessed that this device measures cracks in the walls, to see if they're getting bigger.

There were many crosses around, since the building was originally a church.&nbsp; All the crosses were obscured in some way, though.

Outside the Aya Sofia were faucets where faithful Moslems are supposed to wash their hands and feet before prayer.

I'm sure these were flat slabs of marble to begin with, but after thousands of people sitting on them, there's a definite butt-shaped imprint in them.

Just a few minutes walk from the Aya Sofia is the Blue Mosque, which is still a functioning mosque.&nbsp; All mosques have a place where worshippers can wash themselves before prayer.

The courtyard inside the Blue Mosque.

Here's a panoramic picture of the Blue Mosque.

The interior of the Blue Mosque.&nbsp; We had to take our shoes off before entering.

Some people use the mosques as a place to rest.&nbsp; The shelves on the side are for storing shoes.

This is at the Hippodrome, close to the Blue Mosque.&nbsp; This is the Obelisk of Theodosius, carved in Egypt around 1500 AD.&nbsp; It's amazing what good shape the carvings are in--I guess that's what happens when you carve something from granite.&nbsp; Evidently the obelisk was at one time three times as tall as it is now!

We took a walk around Old Istanbul.&nbsp; This is an old Islamic cemetery, in a mosque courtyard.

The shoe-shiners often had a very elaborate setup, with burnished brass jars of shoe polish.

Breakfast at the Hotel Sebenem.&nbsp; Breakfast was generally very good, but very standard--bread, butter, honey, jam, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a hardboiled egg.

I just had to get a picture of this store--a snapshot of a snap shop :-)

This is at the famous covered market, or grand bazaar.&nbsp; Most of the shops appear to cater to tourists, so of course there's dozens of places to buy a carpet.

There were small hidden courtyards all around the market.

We stopped to have Turkish tea, always served in small, tulip-shaped glasses, at a cafe within the market.&nbsp; We got charged about twice the normal price for the tea.&nbsp; Should have learned by this time to always ask the price before having anything.

This man was selling pirated software, close to the covered market.&nbsp; There was a cop right next to him, chatting with the vendor, but he walked away when we took out the camera. Notice the guy looking at us anxiously.&nbsp; He appealed to the cop, to try to stop us from taking the picture, but the cop just laughed.&nbsp; He put away his pirated software right after we took this picture.

This is a typical scene in Turkey--lots of men, just hanging out.&nbsp; I wonder if they're unemployed.

We walked to the university, which was originally the Ottoman War Ministry.&nbsp; We got directions to the cafeteria from some friendly students, and had lunch there.

This is the Beyazit Mosque, close to the university.

More worshippers, performing their ritual ablutions.

The Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul. Just before we took this picture, Eric was accosted by somebody waving pictures of naked women right around his chest (where his money pouch was hanging inside his shirt) pretending to try to sell him something.&nbsp; It was pretty obviously a robbery attempt.

Dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel.&nbsp; Chairs and tables were very low--can you tell?&nbsp; I'm having one of my favorites--lentil soup with mint.

This is the waiter at our favorite restaurant-- a very friendly guy.

Bursa, Izmir and Bergama.

We took the ferry from Istanbul to Bursa.&nbsp; On the ferry we met Zeki Bayramoglu, a salesman for a clothing dye company.&nbsp; He goes to Bursa every week to sell dye to the towel factories out there. Zeki is a very generous and charismatic man.&nbsp; He'd been to America for about a year, and really loved it there.&nbsp; He spent the whole day driving us around, showing us the area, and bought us lunch and dinner.

This is one of Zeki's favorite fish restaurants, the Pinar Alabalik, on the road to Bursa. The trough behind is is where the fish are live right before they're eaten.

Zeki drove us up Uludag, a mountain that rises up behind Bursa.&nbsp; Along the road was a farmer selling his products--quinces, apples, and walnuts. He presented us with a large bag filled with everything he sold, as a present.&nbsp; It was the first time we'd tasted quinces--they're tasty, similar to apples, but very hard and a little more acidic.

Zeki and Eric on Uldag.

Eric testing the waters at the Huzur Hotel, which is where we ended up staying.&nbsp; The Bursa area is very famous for its hot springs, and the nicer hotels usually have a facility for &quot;taking the waters&quot;.&nbsp; We ended up not using it, though--too hot and claustrophobic.

Zeki took us to a fish restaurant that evening.&nbsp; If you look at the larger version of the picture, you can see that the fish have their gills pulled over their mouths, to show how red the gills are (and thus how fresh the fish is).

At the fish restaurant.

This is in the covered market in Bursa.&nbsp; It wasn't at all touristy--as a matter of fact, away from the Yesil Cami mosque (the main tourist attraction in Bursa), we saw only 2 other tourists the whole time we were there.

A whole area of the covered market was dedicated to wedding dresses.

20 guesses as to what this is for.&nbsp; Can't guess?&nbsp; Well, around the age of&nbsp; 8 or 9, boys are circumcised in Turkey.&nbsp; There's a big ceremony and party, and the boy gets to wear this special suit. (Oh boy, that sure makes up for it!)

At the Yesil Camii, this young man came up to talk to us.&nbsp; Nuri Yildiz was his name<span style="font-family: Times New Roman; mso-fareast-font-family: Times New Roman; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">--</span>he's a 5th year English student at the university, and he comes and talks with tourists at the mosque to practice his English.&nbsp; Eric has a container of Aryan in his hand--it's a drink made of yogurt, water, and salt, that's sold everywhere.

We bought a scarf so that I could go into mosques.&nbsp; This is me in front of the Yesil Camii.&nbsp; Cute!

Eric met Omur Onan right outiside the Yesil Camii<span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">.&nbsp;</span> He spoke English very well--he had lived in New York many years, getting damaged carpets to repair from museums and carpet stores, sending them to Turkey for the actual repair, and then bringing them back. He showed us some of the repair techniques used.

That evening there was a heavy thunderstorm.&nbsp; Eric spent about half an hour trying to get a picture of the lightening.&nbsp; This is the best one.&nbsp; Needless to say, you have to be fast!

The next morning we took a bus to Izmir.&nbsp; The bus stations are very modern, like airports.&nbsp; The 5 hour bus ride cost $7.50 per person.

This is at the Otel Antik Han, where we ended up staying.&nbsp; The hotel is right in the middle of the bazaar.&nbsp; They were very friendly.&nbsp; The posted price for a double room was $70, but they asked for $29 and we settled on $26.&nbsp; You bargain on almost everything in Turkey.

Next door was a sausage and olive shop.&nbsp; There's a tremendous variety of olives here!

Also in the bazaar was a shop which sold roasted nuts and seeds.&nbsp; We had some excellent pumpkin seeds here, and also pistachios.&nbsp; The owner really knew his stuff, and gave us some Turkish Delight, a soft jelly-like candy, for free.

This is our first few minutes in our new rental car, a Renaut Sahin.&nbsp;&nbsp;Eric misses the big V8 engine in his car at home!

This is the car in Bergama, the site of the ancient Greco-Roman city of Pergamum.&nbsp; Pergamum is at the top of the hill in the background.

The Red Basilca is right in the middle of town.&nbsp; It was originally a temple built to Serapis, an Egyptian god, around 200 AD. Later it became a Christian basilica, and currently part of it is used as a mosque.

On both sides of the main building are towers you can climb up a short ways (most of the stairs have crumbled away).

Right next to the basilica was an olive tree.&nbsp; Later we saw thousands of them, but this is my first close up of an olive tree in Turkey.

This is the hilltop acropolis of Pergamum.&nbsp; Parts of it are very well preserved, like this city wall.&nbsp; It was really exciting to climb on walls that have stood there for millennium.&nbsp; Great views of the area, too.&nbsp; Notice the clouds looming above.

These kilns were everywhere.&nbsp; We wondered what they were, and later discovered that in the middle ages, people took marble from ruins, and burned it in these furnaces.&nbsp; The resulting material (lime, I believe) was used to make the whitewash.

Part of the old city walls.

The weather is about to turn really nasty on us here.

Eric was hit by lightening!&nbsp; It wasn't a full on strike, but he was charged with electricity, and felt it discharge from his body through this foot.&nbsp; Needless to say, we went downhill very quickly.

This guy came up to us and wanted us to take a picture of him with the snail.

What a cool set of doorways!&nbsp; There's been a lot of reconstruction in this area, which was part of a temple complex.

Some of the site was behind bars such as these.&nbsp;&nbsp; Notice the gap in the middle, though?&nbsp; I was able to squeeze through and take a peek at what was behind the bars.&nbsp; There wasn't much, really, but it was fun being there.

Here's me getting out of the restricted zone.

This is the theater at Pergamum.&nbsp; I was very impressed--it was our first theater. Normally they're wider and not as high, but this one was built up.

Eric pretends to be a Roman gladiator.&nbsp; Ericus Maximus!

Sylvia among the columns.&nbsp; This area is all reconstructed.

It started raining, and how!&nbsp; We huddled among the ruins for a while, and escaped the worst of it.

This is a great view of the Temple of Zeus, and Bergama in the background.&nbsp; Most of this building was moved to a museum in Berlin in the 1800s.

Another shot of the theater. The steps are pretty well preserved in this part of the theater, the seats less so.

This is the Temple of Dionysus, right next to the theater.

We met an American from Michigan who took this picture. He was going to go to Egypt through Israel, but I bet he wasn't able to go through Israel, because right about then is when the troubles there started.

Similar shot, in the sun--what a difference!

The theater, and a adjunct building, from below.

Notice the holes in the stone blocks?&nbsp; Apparently, in the Middle Ages metals became very expensive because of a general breakdown of mining.&nbsp; So people dug into the walls, and ripped out the bronze connectors between blocks.&nbsp; We saw this in many ruins.

The road to the middle city.

There's still some excavation going on in the middle city.&nbsp; This must have been a guard dog.&nbsp; Luckily he was tied up.&nbsp; See how friendly he is! -- NOT!

We didn't know what this was at the time we saw it.&nbsp; After seeing many more ruined cities, it was obvious to us--it's a bath!&nbsp; People walk into the water on the steps.

The middle city, with Bergama in the background.

If you look closely, you can see the steps in this picture.

Eric and a freestanding arch.

This was the gymnasium in the middle city.

There's something that looked like an underground tunnel with the top fallen in here.&nbsp; It was huge!&nbsp; We never figured out exactly what it was for.

Sylvia, posing on a column.&nbsp; What a Goddess!

Eric, posing on another column.

This little puppy followed us around everywhere in the middle city.

These blocks look like they've been individually fitted into one another.

More columns in the middle city.

A very well preserved cupola in the middle city.&nbsp; Can you find Eric in this picture?

After Bergama, we drove back to Izmir.&nbsp; We stopped in a huge grocery store, just to see what they were like.&nbsp; I took a few pictures, but this security guard told me to stop.&nbsp; Only later did I realize that we had him on film, telling us to stop taking pictures!&nbsp; The grocery store was incredibly crowded, and huge.

Ephesus, Kushadasi, Priene, Miletus and Didyma.

The next day we drove to Ephesus.&nbsp; Ephesus is probably the largest and best restored ancient city in Turkey, and it has the tourist crowds to match.&nbsp; It was interesting, but not as fun as Pergamum, mainly because you weren't supposed to go into so many areas, and there were so many tourists.

A helpful person on the Internet translated this for us. It says: <p> <table> <tr><td>..... STO.STRO:S.. <tr><td>...PLATEIAS TAUTE:S<td>of this street <tr><td>..O ENTHEN EO:S TOU EU-<td>from this point as far as the <tr><td>KTE:ROU OIKOU TOU AR-<td>prayer-house of the <tr><td>CHANGELOU GABRI-<td>archangel <tr><td>E:L EPI IO:ANNOU<td>Gabriel at John's <tr><td>KAI LEONTIOU TO:N<td>and Leontias's the <tr><td>LOGIO:TATO:N<td>most learned <tr><td>SCHOLASTIKO:N<td>scholars <tr><td>KAI PATERO:N<td>and fathers </table>

This looked like a huge birdbath.&nbsp; I really don't think it was, but I don't have any other ideas.

Here's some of the tour buses at Ephesus.

An ancient road, lined with columns.

This is the theater.&nbsp; Quite well preserved.

Another ancient road with columns.

Supposedly this foot points the way to the red light district in Ephesus.

This is the Library of Celsus, all renovated.&nbsp; The statues in the walls are copies--originals are in Vienna.

The public toilets.&nbsp; Very cozy and intimate.

We had a hard time figuring this one out, then asked somebody with a detailed guidebook.&nbsp; Turns out that this was something like the steam room in a bath.&nbsp; Hot water circulated between the stacks of bricks, upon which a marble floor was supported.

Walking up the Curetes Way.

Lots of cool old Roman roads are still visible on the hillside.&nbsp; Too bad you can't walk up them!

After Ephesus, we drove to Kusadasi.&nbsp; We stayed in what we thought at first was a great hotel, with a nice view of the water, but it turned out that they had no hot water.&nbsp; So that's why they wanted us to pay in advance!

That evening we walked around town.&nbsp; It had rained heavily just before, and I slipped and fell down a marble staircase. I stopped myself with my right hand.&nbsp; You can't really tell here, but the palm of my right hand swelled up tremendously.

The next morning we changed hotels, and took a shower.&nbsp; We also washed clothes, which we'd been doing in hotel sinks the whole time.

Here's the view from our new hotel.&nbsp; You can see the harbor quite well.

After spending some time looking for the supermarket, we found the outdoor market.&nbsp; I haven't seen flattened cabbages like this before.

Walnuts and grapes for sale.

All kinds of peppers for sale.

We have the olive section here.

All kinds of nuts and dried fruits.

Spices for sale.&nbsp; Oddly enough, although we saw spices for sale everywhere, most Turkish food we had didn't seem very spicy at all.

The view from Pigeon Island (within walking distance of Kusadasi), which has a small stone fort on it.&nbsp; It was definitely the place for young couples to hang out--we saw about 4 of them there.

The stone fort on Pigeon Island was locked up, but we were able to poke the camera in a hole on the door, and take a picture of the inside.&nbsp; This is what it looked like--looks like storage for a restaurant.

Kusadasi was a really touristy town.&nbsp; About 2 or 3 cruise ships stopped in every day, and the whole place was oriented towards servicing them.

Sunset from the hotel.

Sunrise from the hotel the next morning. You can see one small and one huge cruise ship coming in, with Pigeon Island between them.

We toured 3 ancient sites today--Priene, Miletus, and Didyma.&nbsp; They're much less crowded than Ephesus, and thus much more fun.&nbsp; Priene was my favorite--it's set high up on a hill, with pine trees everywhere.

This staircase has a gutter built in.

This column had some Greek inscriptions on it.&nbsp; I really wish I knew what it said!

This was the Council Chamber, something like City Hall. As you can see, it was in superb condition.

Another view of the council chamber, with Mt. Mykale rising behind it.

Eric and I, using the self timer on the camera to get some photos.

I imagine some citizens of Priene had problems with slipping on the stone steps as well.&nbsp; Look at the anti-slip grooves carved into the steps here!

An ancient road, with a covered gutter running down the side.

Mt. Mykale, and the city walls.

You can see here how the trees contribute to the crumbling of the ruins.

Gutters ran through houses as well.

Mt Mykale, with pieces of crumbled columns in the middle.&nbsp; We started a game here--to get from place to place, you had to step on pieces of ruins.&nbsp; We called the broken up fluted columns &quot;gears&quot;.&nbsp; They look a lot like gears, don't they?

More gears, looking down on the cotton fields in the distance.

The 5 standing columns of the Temple of Athena.

The theater, with front seats reserved for VIPs.

...such as Eric!

Another view of the theater.

Gutters were kind of a theme here.&nbsp; We thought this looked like the influx for a couple different pipes.

The cotton harvest was in full swing when we were here.&nbsp; Here's a tractor loaded with bags of freshly picked cotton, on the road between Priene and Miletus.

This is the theater at Miletus.&nbsp; This was by a long shot the largest and most complex theater that we saw on our whole trip.

The theater from inside. Notice the upper and lower walkways, some partially collapsed.

Here's the view from inside one of the theater walkways.

Behind the theater was a Byzantine fortress.&nbsp; The building style changed in Byzantine times, and more flat bricks were incorporated into structures.

This was a bath, with hot water pipes running through the walls to keep the bath hot.

A tree growing among the ruins.

The entrance to the Baths of Faustina

A close-up of the doorway to the Baths of Faustina.&nbsp; Eric and I theorized that the holes in the blocks were used to fasten marble slabs.

In this section of the baths there were individual little rooms, where people could relax and bathe.

This is the swimming pool, complete with steps in the corners leading into the water.

The last ancient city of the day was Didyma, which actually wasn't even a city at all, but a temple occupied by a famous oracle.&nbsp; These 2 columns aren't reconstructed, and have remained standing for 1500 years.

Inside the temple was the inner courtyard

Some of the carvings that decorated the temple are still relatively intact.

These utility poles didn't have wires connected to them, nor were there any houses around.&nbsp; I think it's a part of the strange building habits in Turkey, where you see hundreds and hundreds of houses and condominiums that are half completed, but no longer being worked on.

A ruined Byzantine monastary on Lake Bafa.&nbsp; We turned in here for the small village of Kapikiri, on the lake.

The first pomegranate tree I'd ever seen.

In Kapikiri, we stayed at the Agora Pension.&nbsp; It was kind of what I'd imagined a small village Turkish hotel to be like--bathroom and shower downstairs, overgrown with grape vines, very rustic.&nbsp; Overall, it was very charming.

Bafa Lake, Seven Brothers Monastery, Kapakiri, Euromos and LaBranda.

The walkway on the second floor of the Agora Pension.&nbsp; The other guests that night were an archeologist studying the ruins here, and a group of Belgian tourists who'd hired their own van and driver.

A great view of Bafa Lake from outside our door.

This is part of the Temple of Athena, overlooking the lake.

Over the years, people have torn up many of the old buildings to use in fences and buildings.

The mountain that towers over Kapikiri is Besparmak Mt., or Five Fingered Mountain.&nbsp; Notice the solar water heater on the house.&nbsp; They're very common here--I think most water heating in costal Turkey is solar.

Village life in Turkey.&nbsp; Take a good look at the rocks that make up the stone wall--many of them are from torn-down ruins.

Donkeys were everywhere in this village.&nbsp; Maybe this was the one that brayed loudly all throughout the night, and kept us up!

Just outside the village, there were the ruins of a Byzantine castle on an island in the lake.

Leading cows to pasture.

This is the the base of the Temple of Athena.&nbsp; The rooms at the bottom are now used as enclosures for cows.

We took it easy in the morning.&nbsp; There were some books in the pension about the ruins in this area, and I took notes on how to get to one of them, the Seven Brothers Byzantine Monastery (Yediler).&nbsp; We started in the village of Golyake, 4 kilometers from Kapikiri.&nbsp; This goat was tied up in the village.

We had a hard time finding the path up at first, because there was nobody to ask.&nbsp; Maybe they were all working in the fields.&nbsp; But we found one very friendly man who managed to convey to us &quot;follow the arrows&quot;.&nbsp; We found the starting arrow, and the rest was very easy.&nbsp; This ended up being one of our favorite days in Turkey, because it was a wonderful walk with superb views, a great ruin, and we were the only ones there.

Great views, stone walls everywhere, olive trees.&nbsp; Mt. Besparmak was visible almost everywhere.

Sometimes the trail went between two stone walls.

Fences were always homemade affairs, made of brush, branches, and twisted wires..

A view of Lake Bafa from the trail.

If you look closely, you can see the Byzantine monastery in this picture.

There were unusual double-arch windows or doorways at the monastery.

The ruins of the monastery extended over a couple acres.

This fresco, painted under a rock, would have been impossible to find had we not met an older German couple coming down when we were going up who gave us directions. The overhang of the rock was plastered, and the fresco was applied to the plaster.

Many of the faces have been partially hacked off.

Eric took a panorama to get all of the frescos.

Lunch on the rocks.&nbsp; Lunch usually consisted of a loaf of bread, some cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, often some apples, and pistachios or some kind of nuts.

The monks lived in these small cells.

Very small...

But with a really good view.&nbsp; Although I imagine this must have been bricked up a little more--it would be too cold otherwise.

Eric is in the throes of a moral dilemma here.&nbsp; Should he or should he not take a genuine Byzantine brick from the ruins here?

It's such a pretty brick, too.&nbsp; He eventually decided not to bring it. I think the words that did it were &quot;Midnight Express&quot;.

There was quite a drop-off after this arch.

Much of the monastery was built right on top of the boulders that littered this area.

A view of the monastery from below, with olive trees.

Great views on the return trip.

In this picture you can see Bafa Lake, and the Temple of Athena in Kapikiri if you view the higher resolution picture (click on the picture below to get it).&nbsp; We could hear the call to prayer from the village like it was next door!

More great views of the lake area.

The man with the photo had wanted to be our guide up to the monastery, but we had no problem finding it ourselves.&nbsp; The photo he's holding in his hand shows him, pointing out some prehistoric painting that we'd missed along the way.

Back in Kapikiri, it was time for the cows to go home.

Cows and donkeys are kept right in the middle of ancient ruins.

We had dinner with Christoph Loehr, the German archeologist who's on a 2 month contract here, cataloging the ruins right around town.&nbsp; It was great to talk to him and ask him all our archeological questions--I wish I'd written them all down!

We took a walk around town to see the ruins of Latmos, which we'd missed.&nbsp; On the way we saw this typical Turkish oven.

Here's the theater.&nbsp; Some of the seats and steps were carved directly into the rock.

A great view of Kapikiri and Bafa Lake.

Part of the city wall around the ancient city of Latmos.&nbsp; I wonder why they used this particular pattern, with the narrow stones and then the broad ones.

The city walls went high up into the hills.&nbsp; It would have been a really fun hike to go up there and try to follow the walls.

If you look closely, or look at the higher resolution picture (click on the one below) you can see the Temple of Athena and Kapikiri below.

After Kapikiri, we drove up an unmarked side road, looking for other ruins.&nbsp; Didn't find any, but we did find lots of olive trees, with little stone walls around each of them to prevent the earth from eroding away.

These are the ruins of Euromos, not too far from Bafa Lake.&nbsp; In this picture you can see both the finished (fluted) and unfinished (unfluted) columns.

The theater was a little tough to find, but we found it.&nbsp; There isn't much left now, just some seats carved into the rock.

Another one of the unfinished (and un-worked-on) building around here.&nbsp; This one is outside Milas.

We went grocery shopping in Milas.&nbsp; Bread is always sold like this, in glass cases outside the stores.

At the market we bought our usual, tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples.&nbsp; I wish I could pay Turkish prices for fruits and vegetables in the US!&nbsp; This woman is selling persimmons, which I haven't seen in Turkey before.

Next we went to the ruins of Labranda, which Christoph, the archeologist, particularly recommended.&nbsp; The views were outstanding.

A wide set of steps leads down to what I think is the First Andron (a men's religious gathering place).

The caretaker/ticket seller had a nice garden right next to the ruins.

Our best guess at what this was is something like a pipe fitting, where a sewage fixture takes a 90 degree angle.

The caretaker is drying walnuts on top of his roof.

Eric is taking a rest inside the Temple of Zeus.

Looks like the ruins will shortly become even more ruined soon, with these vines tearing them apart..

Eric thought this snake was dead, because it didn't move when he threw a small twig at it.&nbsp; Turns out it was just injured, because after he came closer, it hissed at him.&nbsp; The caretaker smashed it with a stick, saying that it was poisonous.

At home, we posted a question on alt.pets.reptiles.snakes, and were told it's probably an Ottoman viper (Vipera Xanthina), a venomous species found in Turkey. Supposedly extremely rare.

This Roman tomb had a section above, which was apparently for children.

Inside the tomb.

Next to the tomb was a huge boulder with steps carved in it.&nbsp; We climbed up...

And had a great view of the valley.

Bodrum, Stratonikea, Mugla and Fethiye.

After Labranda, we drove to Golkoy, on the Bodrum Peninsula.&nbsp; I had to take a picture of these very weakly constructed docks because they contrast so strongly with the massive megadocks that you see on Lake Washington.

The season was almost over.&nbsp; Many of the tourist facilities were shutting down.

We drove around the Bodrum Peninsula, stopping here and there to take some pictures.&nbsp; These cisterns were everywhere, even though they're not in use anymore.

In Gumusluk, we waded across a little straight to get to an island with some ruins on it.&nbsp; Probably our only venture into the water during the whole trip!

Apparently this wasn't always an island--from the top, you can see the old road that used to lead to the mainland.

Another set of unfinished buildings on the Bodrum Peninsula.

These windmills were set up on high passes, where there was a constant wind.&nbsp; I assume they were for milling grains.

I don't know what these camels were doing here, but here they were, right off a major road in Bodrum.&nbsp; Maybe they give rides to tourists in the high season.

On the way to Mugla, where we spent the night, we stopped in Stratonikea.&nbsp; Stratonikea is a very unusual place.&nbsp; It's a old ruined city, surrounded by a Turkish town that was abandoned in the early part of this century for reasons that have to do with a nearby coal mine.&nbsp; This is the town mosque.

This is inside, taken from an open window.&nbsp; I wanted to go in, but Eric thought it was too dangerous.

Inside a nearby house. It looks like it was a bakery, with the oven and what looks like shelves around it.

I think this was the fountain for men to wash before praying.&nbsp; I would have expected it to be a little closer to the mosque, though.

You can see how the houses were constructed where the plaster fell off.&nbsp; At least one of the houses was wired for electricity--really old wiring and switches, though.

If you click on this to get the closeup, you can see the pomegranates on the tree.

A Roman tomb.

Another broken down building

Some of the stones in the ruins had Christian crosses scratched on them.

The ruins are in the middle of the Turkish village.&nbsp; Notice the half-columns carved onto the wall.

We saw some old bits of pottery like these around.&nbsp; I imagine it's from Roman times, although it does seem odd that it is still relatively intact.

You can see here the holes where people dug out the metal connecting the blocks together.

The theater at Stratonikea. In the background is the abandoned Turkish village, and further off the coal mine.

Many rocks in the ruins were painted by archeologists with marking indicating where they were thought to come from.&nbsp; This one is from the ruined theater.

We drove to Mugla that night, and went out to eat.&nbsp; We stopped at an ice cream stand and got to know Havva Koca (on the right) and Selcan Makas.&nbsp; Havva started talking to us in English--both of them are studying English and teaching at the university.

The main activity of the day was driving into Fethiye.&nbsp; We got some great views along the costal road.

We stopped off at the quiet village of Gocek, which seems to be mainly a yachting port.&nbsp; Here's some of the boats we saw.

This is the marvelous view from our hotel in Fethiye.&nbsp;&nbsp;It was one of our favorite hotels.

Walking around town, we saw this sign--ketchup Cheetos??

We sat at the same table as Pat and Charles Newman for dinner, and ended up talking with them for about an hour.&nbsp; They were a very charming and friendly English couple that has come to Turkey about 10 times over the past 10 years, and have seen many changes.&nbsp; They seemed to have made friends all over town--about 3 groups of people stopped by and said hello to them while we were eating.

We took the road up from Fethiye to Seki today, looking for some ruins that were on our maps, but not in our guidebooks.&nbsp; Turned out they weren't marked, on the road, either.&nbsp; But it was a very beautiful high-plateau area.

We parked and hiked up a trail that looked like a tractor road.&nbsp; This would be a great place for some longer hikes.

This area is used as pasture by lots of goatherds-the ground was covered with piles of goat droppings

The pine trees in the area had really interesting shapes.

A pincushion-type cactus plant that we found.

Marble, called mermer in Turkish, is extracted in this area.

...and processed here as well.&nbsp; It must be really cheap--in Mugla, even cheap restaurants had marbles floors.

Pinara, Patara, Kayakoy, Olimpos and Teremessos.

We did some laundry in Fethiye, but Eric's all-cotton undies and socks didn't dry very well. So, the rear window of the car worked well as a dryer.

Pinara was one of my favorite sites in Turkey.&nbsp; Unfortunately I was feeling a little under the weather with a cold, so we didn't do a lot of hiking.&nbsp; It was beautiful, though.&nbsp; If you click on this picture, you can see the rock tombs carved into the mountain, as well as some ruins in the foreground, and the ubiquitous olive trees.

Eric found this unusual branch, connected to the tree at both ends.&nbsp; How could that have happened?

A very old olive tree.

These are the ruins of the theater in Pinara.

Some close-ups of the theater

The edge of the theater had some neat interlocking rocks.

From higher up in the city we had great views of the theater and surrounding mountains (the Taurus range).

Eric climbed into one of the Lycian sarcophagi that were scattered everywhere, either from earthquakes or tomb robbers.

Here's one that remains relatively intact.

The construction of walls in Pinara was not what we've seen normally--all the blocks being identical.&nbsp; These blocks are all individually fitted to one another.&nbsp; It must take a lot longer to complete.

Eric in one of the tombs carved into a cliff.

This is what the inside of one of these tombs looks like--there's shelves, usually two or three of them, for the body.

There were lots of tortoises around this site.

Here you get a better idea of what the mountain behind Pinara looked like--it was riddled with tombs.&nbsp; It would have been fun to spend a couple days here, and hike to a few of these old tombs.

The view from the top of the middle ruined city.&nbsp; The hike up was a little steep, but on the way down we found the path that we should have taken.

More tombs, these somewhat more elaborate, carved into the hillside.

A Lycian sarcophagus

More tombs carved into the rocks.&nbsp; The insides of them were covered in soot, and have obviously been used for shelter over the years.

That night we stayed in the Otel Beyhan in Patara.&nbsp; There was a great view, but mosquitos got into the room, and Eric went on a middle-of-the-night rampage to get rid of them.

The next day I was still feeling sick, so Eric went alone to the beach and the ruins of Patara.

Much of the ruins are in a swampy area.&nbsp; Probably that's where all the mosquitos breed...

The theater in Patara has sand encroaching on it.

Later on in the day we went to the abandoned village of Kayakoy.&nbsp; Apparently in 1922, there was an exchange of population between Greece and Turkey--the ethnic Turks in Greece were to go to Turkey, and the ethnic Greeks in Turkey were to go to Greece.&nbsp; This village used to be a Greek village, but after the Greeks left, it was never resettled.&nbsp; It's an eerie place to walk around.&nbsp; The buildings have all been stripped of anything useful, and many of them look like they've been destroyed on purpose.&nbsp; None of them have roofs.

One of the abandoned Greek Orthodox churches had some interesting inlaid mosaics, made of black and white pebbles.

The roads often had steps in them--I guess this would be pre-automobile.

Every building had a stove like this...

...and a cistern like this, where water from the roof ran down a gutter into the holding tank

I figured that these cement basins were laundry facilities.

There were many sheep wandering around the village.

Eric, checking out one of the smaller churches.

This is the other main church of the village.&nbsp; The floor is black and white pebble mosaics, but large portions of it have been torn up.

A view from the drive between Patara and Kemer.

We parked and walked down into this gorge off the highway.&nbsp; Unfortunately we couldn't go back very far.

Along the way we saw some more ruins off the road, and had to stop.&nbsp; This picture is very typical of the area--greenhouses (most likely growing tomatoes), beehives, which were everywhere, and the Lycian sarcophagi, also everywhere.

The inside of one of the greenhouses, with tomato plants.&nbsp; It was incredibly hot in there!&nbsp; Hard to believe how anyone could work inside.

One of the beautiful coves along the road.

We stopped and waded into the sea at one point.&nbsp; My toe is pointing to strange looking creature that looked like a sea centipede.

One of our planned stops along the way to Kemer was Olimpos, a very fine and scenic set of ruins.&nbsp; This is an unplanned stop--it's a treehouse hotel/hostel, catering to young travelers planning on staying there for a while.&nbsp; There were some very funky buildings.

There were also sitting areas, for people to hang out, read, and chat in.

The Olimpos site. Lots of tombs, all broken into.

This one was unusual--some very nice carvings on it.

Eric climbs the walls...

...and sits in a window does Sylvia.

A stream runs through the site to the ocean.&nbsp; Very senic.

This is the remnants of a canal system for the city.&nbsp; It made a great walkway.

Eric examining the mosaics in one of the ruined houses.

Steps carved into a rock, leading to a platform that perhaps held a sarcophagus.&nbsp; In the background is the beach, and one of the boats that carries tourists to the beach.

We had a brief chat with a guy at the beach, who was a German juggler.

We spent the night in Kemer.&nbsp; The next morning we stopped at a grocery store to get some lunch supplies.&nbsp; I don't think this name for a sandwich spread would work in the US!

This is Termessos, the last ruins we visited in Turkey.&nbsp; I think this rock won't be there after the next earthquake.

Some of the city was covered in ivy.

We noticed this unusual design cut into some of the rocks--don't know what it means, though.

This is part of what's left of the gymnasium.&nbsp; The mountains provided a very dramatic backdrop here.

Eric, making lunch.

A cupola, still partly standing, close to the gymnasium.

This looks like it was an old stone bridge.

Here's the view from underneath the bridge.

This is what a wall looked like in one of the ruined houses--squares carved into the rocks, presumably for wooden floor supports, and narrowed windows--for defensive purposes, perhaps?

A pile of ruins--fun to boulder-hop around.

Here a panoramic shot of the theater, which had an amazingly dramatic location.

Some more theater shots.&nbsp; This theater was by far my favorite among all that we've seen.

I believe this is from the Temple of Zeus.

Very solid looking walls here

We found these releifs on a toppled column. It was unusual to find something like this--normally it would have been taken to a museum.

A great view of Antalya, a large city, towards the south.

One of the most interesting parts of Termessos was the water system, including cisterns.&nbsp; There were huge tanks built into the ground.&nbsp; They probably could have withstood a long siege.

I was able to climb into one of the tanks and take a look around.

One idea we had about these stones extending out was that they were perhaps there to get an idea, at a glance, of how much water was left.

More stone sarcopgai, laying around, either broken open by grave robbers or earthquakes.

If you click on this to get the higher-resolution picture, you can see that all of the individual dots of white are sarcophagi.

This is a relief, depicting Alcetas, a successor of Alexander the Great.&nbsp; Our guidebook listed it as the most famous sight at Termessos, but I was much more impressed by the theater.

Back in Istanbul.

Back in Istanbul, we were walking on Istiklal Caddesi, a major pedestrian street, when we ran into this demonstration.&nbsp; We got conflicting reports from people we asked questions of on the scene, but here's a report from Amnesty International about it: <a href=""></a>.&nbsp; There were lots of armored police around.

The protesters were immediately hauled off by police on a bus.

Eric was standing on a planter to get these pictures.&nbsp; Here, he inadvertently got a picture of us.

A knife sharpener on the street.

We met Zeki again today--he picked us up at our hotel to bring us over to his family's house for dinner.&nbsp; On the way, we went to look at a few sites, such as the harbor.

We stopped in a massive grocery store to pick up some things needed for dinner.&nbsp; Eric found some really HUGE containers of yogurt here.

Eric and I in line at the grocery store.

At Zeki's parent-in-law's apartment.&nbsp; They lived in Germany for about 20 years, and speak German well, so I was able to communicate with them.

Zeki with wife Jasmine and son Pasha.&nbsp; Pasha was born in the US when Zeki and Jasmine worked there for a brief period of time.&nbsp; They both liked living in the US a lot, and would like to return someday.

The whole family, including Zeki's sister-in-law and her daughter.

Eric holding Pasha, for just a few seconds before the outburst occurs.

We thought Zeki was joking when he told us that Sunday was a national census, and all Turkish citizens had to stay in their homes all day long to be counted in the census.&nbsp; Turns out he wasn't kidding -- you could be put in prison if you were on the streets that day, unless you had a special license.&nbsp; The only people who could apply for this license were those who worked in the tourist industry.&nbsp; Tourists didn't have to stay inside.&nbsp; This street is normally very busy, but today, absolutely nothing.

We saw this census taker going from door to door.&nbsp; Some of the questions they asked were, how many bathrooms are in this house, how many children do you have, are you working, can you read, what is your occupation.

The carpet shops put little kittens in the window to attract tourists to the window.&nbsp; Then the store owners will chat with them, and invite them inside to drink some tea and look at carpets.

This is the Four Seasons hotel, very close to where we stayed, but costing at least 8 times as much.&nbsp; Very deluxe, though.

We're interviewed on Turkish television!&nbsp; We were hanging out in our room, when the guy from the hotel reception desk called and asked us if we'd like to be interviewed for a news program.&nbsp; Here's the cameraman.

And this is the reporter.

We watched the Flash TV program for about half an hour, thinking that they had probably edited us out.&nbsp; But finally, there we were! Here's Eric and I looking at the picture we'd just taken of the reporter on our digital camera.

The hotel receptionist translated for the reporter, who spoke no English.

Eric gets his time in the spotlight.

And here's a random sampling of the cats we saw all over Turkey.

A Quick Overview of our favorite pictures.

Just outside the Topkapi palace in Istanbul, which was the living quarters of the sultans from the 1400 until the early 1800. Many of the tourist facilities are heavily guarded, because the Turks want to protect the tourism industry from potential terrorist attacks.&nbsp; This guy was a lot friendlier than he looks.

This is a Turkish style squat toilet in the palace, with facilities for hand washing.&nbsp; Only the best marble for the Sultan, of course.

Eric gets a haircut.&nbsp; Part of the procedure is to burn off hair on the face and the ears.&nbsp; Pretty scary!

This is the inside of the Aya Sofia in Istanbul, which was first a church, then a mosque, and now a museum.&nbsp; Notice the huge Islamic placards hung up to make it less church-like.&nbsp; The placards display the names, in Arabic, of God, Mohamed and the 4 caliphs.

The courtyard inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

The shoe-shiners often had a very elaborate setup, with burnished brass jars of shoe polish.

This is at the famous covered market, or Grand Bazaar.&nbsp; Most of the shops appear to cater to tourists, so of course there's dozens of places to buy a carpet.

We took the ferry from Istanbul to Bursa.&nbsp; On the ferry we met Zeki, a salesman for a clothing dye company.&nbsp; He goes to Bursa every week to sell dye to the towel factories out there. Zeki is a very generous and charismatic man.&nbsp; He'd been to America for about a year, and really loved it there.&nbsp; He spent the whole day driving us around, showing us the area, and bought us lunch and dinner.

Zeki drove us up Uludag, a mountain that rises up behind Bursa.&nbsp; Along the road was a farmer selling his products--quinces, apples, and walnuts. He presented us with a large bag filled with everything he sold, as a present.&nbsp; It was the first time we'd tasted quinces--they're tasty, similar to apples, but very hard and a little more acidic.

20 guesses as to what this is for.&nbsp; Can't guess?&nbsp; Well, around the age of&nbsp; 8 or 9, boys are circumcised in Turkey.&nbsp; There's a big ceremony and party, and the boy gets to wear this special suit. (Oh boy, that sure makes up for it!)

In the ruins of ancient Pergamum, these kilns were everywhere.&nbsp; We wondered what they were, and later discovered that in the middle ages, people took marble from ruins, and burned it in these furnaces.&nbsp; The resulting material (lime, I believe) was used to make the whitewash.

This is the theater at Pergamum.&nbsp; I was very impressed--it was our first theater. Normally they're wider and not as high, but this one was built up.

We didn't know what this was at the time we saw it.&nbsp; After seeing many more ruined cities, it was obvious to us--it's a bath!&nbsp; People walk down the steps into the bath.

This was the gymnasium in the middle city of Pergamum.

The public toilets in Ephesus.&nbsp; Very cozy and intimate.

In coastal Kusadasi, the first hotel we stayed at had no hot water.&nbsp; The next morning we changed hotels, and took a shower.&nbsp; We also washed clothes, which we'd been doing in hotel sinks the whole time.&nbsp;&nbsp;After this, we always tested hotel rooms for hot water before checking in!

Spices for sale.&nbsp; Oddly enough, although we saw spices for sale everywhere, most Turkish food we had didn't seem very spicy at all.

Sunrise from the hotel in Kusadasi. You can see one small and one huge cruise ship coming in, with Pigeon Island between them.

In the ancient city of Priene, this was the Council Chamber (something like City Hall). As you can see, it was in superb condition.&nbsp; Notice Eric leaping to the speakers column.

An ancient road in Priene, with a covered gutter running down the side.

Mt Mykale, with pieces of crumbled columns in the middle.&nbsp; We started a game here--to get from place to place, you had to step on pieces of ruins.&nbsp; We called the broken up fluted columns &quot;gears&quot;.&nbsp; They look a lot like gears, don't they?

The theater at Miletus. Notice the upper and lower walkways, some partially collapsed.

In the small village of Kapikiri.&nbsp; The mountain that towers over the village is Besparmak Mt., or Five Fingered Mountain.&nbsp; Notice the solar water heater on the house.&nbsp; They're very common here--I think most water heating in costal Turkey is solar.

Donkeys were everywhere in this village.&nbsp; Maybe this was the one that brayed loudly all throughout the night, and kept us up!

We took a hike up to the ruins of a Byzantine monastery near Kapikiri.&nbsp; Fences along the path were always homemade affairs, made of brush, branches, and twisted wires..

There were unusual double-arch windows and doorways at the monastery.

This fresco, painted under a rock, would have been impossible to find had we not met an older German couple coming down when we were going up who gave us directions. The overhang of the rock was plastered, and the fresco was applied to the plaster.

More great views of the lake area from the monastery area.

Cows and donkeys are kept right in the middle of ancient ruins.

A typical market in Turkey.&nbsp; We bought our usual, tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples here.&nbsp; I wish I could pay Turkish prices for fruits and vegetables in the US!&nbsp; This woman is selling persimmons, which I haven't seen in Turkey before.

We drove around the Bodrum Peninsula, stopping here and there to take some pictures.&nbsp; These cisterns were everywhere, even though they're not in use anymore.

These windmills were set up on high passes, where there was a constant wind.&nbsp; I assume they were for milling grains.

This is in the ancient city of Stratonikea.&nbsp; You can see here the holes where people dug out the metal connecting the blocks together.

In Fethiye, we sat at the same table as Pat and Charles Newman for dinner, and ended up talking with them for about an hour.&nbsp; They were a very charming and friendly English couple that has come to Turkey about 10 times over the past 10 years, and have seen many changes.&nbsp; They seemed to have made friends all over town--about 3 groups of people stopped by and said hello to them while we were eating.

In the ancient city of Pinara, we found a sarcophagus that's remained relatively intact.

Here you get a better idea of what the mountain behind Pinara looked like--it was riddled with tombs.&nbsp; It would have been fun to spend a couple days here, and hike to a few of these old tombs.

From higher up in the city we had great views of the theater and surrounding mountains (the Taurus range).

Later on in the day we went to the abandoned village of Kayakoy.&nbsp; Apparently in 1922, there was an exchange of population between Greece and Turkey--the ethnic Turks in Greece were to go to Turkey, and the ethnic Greeks in Turkey were to go to Greece.&nbsp; This village used to be a Greek village, but after the Greeks left, it was never resettled.&nbsp; It's an eerie place to walk around.&nbsp; The buildings have all been stripped of anything useful, and many of them look like they've been destroyed on purpose.&nbsp; None of them have roofs.

One of our planned stops along the way to Kemer was Olimpos, a very fine and scenic set of ruins.&nbsp; This is an unplanned stop--it's a treehouse hotel/hostel, catering to young travelers planning on staying there for a while.&nbsp; There were some very funky buildings.

A stream runs through the site to the ocean.&nbsp; Very senic.

Eric, making lunch in Termessos.

The theater in Termessos.&nbsp; This theater was stunning, and by far my favorite among all that we've seen.

One of the most interesting parts of Termessos was the water system, including cisterns.&nbsp; There were huge tanks built into the ground.&nbsp; They probably could have withstood a long siege.

Back in Istanbul, we were walking on Istiklal Caddesi, a major pedestrian street, when we ran into this demonstration.&nbsp; We got conflicting reports from people we asked questions of on the scene, but here's a report from Amnesty International about it: <a href=""></a>.&nbsp; There were lots of armored police around.

Zeki, whom we met on the ferry to Bursa, invited us to dinner.&nbsp; This is the whole family, including Zeki's sister-in-law and her daughter.

The day before we left was a nationwide census.&nbsp; Everyone except tourists had to stay inside all day to be counted--no kidding!&nbsp; We saw this census taker going from door to door.&nbsp; Some of the questions they asked were: how many bathrooms are in this house, how many children do you have, are you working, can you read, what is your occupation.

We got onto Turkish television!&nbsp; Some reporters wanted to interview tourists and see what they thought of the census, so they went to our hotel and happened to find us.&nbsp; This is a photo of the TV show, which we watched that night.

Misc events in January, 2001.

Sylvia's good friend, Judy, spent a night during her visit to the Northwest.

The next week Eric and Sylvia started taking skate skiing lessons at Snoqualmie Pass

This is the new lodge at the Nordic Center at Snoqualmie.

A few weeks later we went by ourselves on a trail.&nbsp; This is a view of bunch of tree stumps with Highway 90 in the background.

At the midpoint, we stopped in a hut called &quot;Yurt&quot;.&nbsp; It was very nice.&nbsp; Eric had steam coming off him from the exertion!

Sylvia feels a bit cold.

Dagney Layman's 3rd Birthday party with Dominick, Perry and Baby John (and their parents!)

Dagny in a jester mask, opening up her present from Gunar, Angelica, and Dominick.

Perry and Dominick playing trains

Linda playing with the hamster puppet Dagny got from Eric and Sylvia

Perry working on a puzzle

Dagny blowing out her candles!

Perry working on the birthday cake

Dagny and Dominick

The view from the living room

Dagny as a princess

Perry (cowgirl) and Dagny watching Eric juggle

Eric and Perry, juggling

Andrew is busy taking photos

Sylvia shows off her juggling skills as well

Dominick does his best imitation of juggling.&nbsp; It was cute!

Eric visits Terry's new Beach house.

Eric and Terry take the ferry to Whidbey Island.

View of the garage.

The front door.

Terry must sure like to booze it up!!

The great room is nice and large ...

... with a great view of the sound!

Terry's neighbors.

There is a sea wall protecting the houses from erosion.

Terry: master of his own domain!

A view of the ocean.&nbsp; Sometimes grey whales can be seen swimming here!

Behind the house is a cliff

Eric shaves his beard for the first time in about 10 years.

The nervous subject

How the heck do you use one of these?

What do you expect if he only shaved 5 times in his life?

The finished product.&nbsp; How handsome!

Eric and Sylvia walk in Marymoor Park.

Sylvia at the Marymoor climbing wall.

Taking a walk on the east side of Lake Sammamish.&nbsp; This is where the trail ends in private property.

We found this skeleton, but couldn't figure out what it was.

Back at the climbing wall.

Sylvia's father celebrates his 70th Birthday.

Dad's 70th birthday dinner was at a German restaurant in Pineville.

Tom and Maedi Falley came, as well as Helga and Guenther Trummer from Virginia.

The next day, Helga and Guenther came over to show pictures of their kids, and we had lunch on the back porch (it was warm out).

Eric and Sylvia visit Chris and Judy Beaudette.

We actually had some snow the morning that we left (from Seattle), and the plane had to be de-iced.

This is Chris and Judy's apartment in Dover, New Hampshire.&nbsp; They're renting the top left-hand apartment.

This is Gert (sp?), the van that Chris and Judy drove east across the US.&nbsp; It has some engine problems now.

Eric and I took a walk around the neighborhood and took some photos.&nbsp; It's a very nice old-fashioned New England town, with a lot of great Victorian looking houses.

There's some really old houses here as well.&nbsp; The small sign on the left says Dame Tebbett's Tavern, circa 1730.

This is the Dover public library.

Here's the inside of Chris and Judy's apartment, looking towards the kitchen/dining area.&nbsp; It's very sunny and roomy.

And this is the living room, with Eric in it.&nbsp; Also very sunny.

Judy and Chris, back from their run.

Eric playing with Fractal.

Later in the day, we went for a walk in a Odiorne Point State Park&nbsp;&nbsp; Very chilly!

We all made shadow people.

Sylvia and Judy on the rocks

Sylvia and Eric on some driftwood.

Eric trying to pull at an abandoned anchor.

We found lots of old lobster traps on the beach.

This majestic looking old hotel is being renovated.

We stopped at an old cemetery (they're scattered everywhere here) and marveled at the old tombstones

We met up with Chris (he had to work) at the Cafe Kilim, a coffeehouse with a Turkish theme.

On the way home we stopped at Shaws, a grocery store, to pick up some steamed lobsters.&nbsp; Because Eric and I were taking pictures of them, the guy behind the counter asked Chris and Judy, &quot;Haven't they ever seen a lobster before?&quot;

A lobster dinner.

Chris demonstrates the way to get the meat out of the lobster.

On Sunday, we drove around Dover to take some pictures.&nbsp; This is the famous Leaning Barn of Dover.

And here's the local covered bridge.&nbsp; We didn't take a very good look at it, because it was so cold and windy Sunday that we didn't spend more than 5 minutes outside the car.

Dover is a mill town.&nbsp; The mill has been converted to office space, but they left the smokestack.

The waterfall next to the bridge.

The Dover municipal building

We climbed up this green tower to get a view of Dover, but didn't stay up more than a minute or so.&nbsp; Although it was sunny, it was very windy, and, as they say out here, &quot;wicked cold&quot;.

The bundled up figures on the right are Sylvia and Eric.

Chris and Judy pulled off their scarves so that they could actually be recognized.

The Dover Delite ice cream shop, closed for the winter.

The Loyal Order Of Moose in Dover.

We took a drive up along the Maine coast, and stopped a couple times along the way.&nbsp; This couple crossing the road provide a graphic illustration of how cold it was.

This is a lobster pier that Chris and Judy have eaten lobster at a few times.&nbsp; Eric and I learned that a lobster pier is a place you can go to where you can buy steamed lobster, bring your own side dishes, and eat right there.

Another beach park that we stopped at, driving up around Maine.&nbsp; Only Judy and I got out.&nbsp; Eric timed us--we were out 4.5 minutes before we got too cold to continue.&nbsp; It's funny to smell the ocean smells, and see snow at the same time.

We also stopped at the Nubble Light House in Maine.&nbsp; Judy stayed in the car, keeping it warm for us.

The lighthouse has a cable trolley to the mainland.&nbsp; Previously, supplies were transported to the lighthouse via buckets hooked on the cable.

On our way back home, we stopped for lunch at a cafe in Portsmith.

This is the view from the back of the cafe.

Judy was telling me to keep an eye peeled for a widow's watch, and we finally saw one.&nbsp; It's the glass-enclosed structure built at the very top, where the &quot;widow&quot; can look to the sea to see if perhaps her husband's ship has come in after all.

Back at the apartment, we have some hot cocoa.

This is Chris and Judy's new car, a snazzy Toyota Corolla wagon.

This is a chair that I thought might look good in miniature.

Eric, Judy, and I went for a walk around town Monday morning, and checked out the covered bridge again.&nbsp; Most of the construction, especially roof, looks pretty new.

Eric and I, about to head to the Manchester airport.

Eric and Sylvia share heart shaped pancakes.

For Valentine's Day, we made pancakes with a heart motif!&nbsp; The technique is to put batter into a squeeze container and use it to make a heart outline, then fill in the shape.

I suppose this is more environmentally correct than carving our initials into a tree, or spray painting them on an overpass!

We had bananas and strawberries with the pancakes.

Eric also removed his goatee the day before.&nbsp; Funny how that happened right before Valentines day!&nbsp; Sylvia was quite startled by the dramatic difference in appearance.

Kitten-Kat wants part of the pancake action!

Eric and Sylvia take a FREE tour of the Univeristy of Washington.

This junk heap is actually considered art!

There is a status of George Washington to whom the University is dedicated.

This is Red Square, the center of campus.

There is a parking facility beneath Red Square which requires ventilation.&nbsp; Because a single stack looked weird, they built three!

These cameras take photos which are placed on the web so that students can check if it's raining out.

Here we have architecture from the 20's, 60's and the 90's, respectively, left to right.

One of the largest libraries is undergoing earthquake retrofitting!&nbsp; We just had a 6.8 magnitude in the past week!

More &quot;art&quot;

This is the Physics building with more &quot;art&quot; representing an orbital of electrons.

Here is a Foucault Pendulum.

A cool sundial design.

Forestry management is big in Washington State.

The original pillars brought from downtown Seattle where the University first got it's start in the 1860's.

Ivy covered building - very university like.

This is (was) the home-economics building.&nbsp; There are statues of women all over the corners doing varieties of tasks.&nbsp; There is a single status of a man.&nbsp; Can you guess what he is doing?&nbsp; Let me tell you that this was built at the turn of the century!&nbsp; Answer:&nbsp; he's directing the woman with a list of tasks!

The original university building which used to house students, classes and the administration.

A walk along the beach to Alki Point.

Much of Alki Beach has a great view of the Seattle area.

That's why many of the old houses along the beach are being replaced with these expensive city-view condos.

There's a lot of abandoned old piers along the Alki waterfront.&nbsp; You can see the <a href="">Space Needle</a> and the Seattle skyline in the background.

The Alki Beach area is extremely popular with scuba divers.&nbsp; This appears to be a whole class of divers, coming in from the water.

This young daughter of a scuba diver wanted to reclaim her boulder.

The first white settlers in Seattle came here, to Alki Beach. They didn't like it here, though, and ended up moving to Seattle, across the bay.&nbsp; Plaques along the walkway commemorate these events.

Here's my attempt to take some artsy pictures.

In the fifties, the boy scouts erected this mini Statue of Liberty along Alki Beach.

There were a lot of sailboats in the bay.&nbsp; I think there was a race, because they all seemed to be going in the same direction.&nbsp; More divers as well.

Believe it or not, this is Seattle's oldest house, built around 1858.&nbsp; With the vinyl siding, though, you'd never know that it was old.&nbsp; We talked to one of the neighbors who said that the floor is completely wavy.

The Alki Point lighthouse.

Walking around the Madison Park Area of Seattle.

Madison Park had some easily climbable stone animal sculptures that we played around on.

We happened by the Pioneer Association of Washington Museum on the one day a month that it was open.&nbsp; There were about 4 older volunteers there, very friendly and eager to show us around.&nbsp; I felt bad that we didn't do the whole tour with them, but it was sunny and we wanted to see the neighborhood.

The waterfront has very small public beach access areas every quarter mile or so.

Houses around this area are expensive and grand looking.

The ivy growing on the wall was cut away to form this pattern.

A view from the waterfront

One house had an old boot stuffed with plants on their garden wall.

Houses ranged from the very traditional...

to the very modern...

To the very quaint.

I'd love a view like you see through this window!

TulipFest, Deception Pass, Terry and Sue's Widbey House

Workers in the fields were gathering tulip stems just before they bloomed.

On Easter weekend, we headed for the Skagit TulipFest.&nbsp; It&nbsp; was fine when we got there around 10:45 am, but within half an hour, it had become so crowded we were inching along the rural roads.&nbsp; We gave it up and had lunch at Deception Pass, then went to visit Terry and Sue at their Whidbey Island vacation home.

Apparently they will last in cold storage for 2 weeks.

We chatted with this field worker from Mexico for a while.&nbsp; He noticed that I was shivering and said, in Spanish, &quot;It's not cold!&quot;, not expecting that I would understand and reply.&nbsp; A very friendly guy, he's been the the US since 1972 without learning English.

Experimenting with macro photography.

Tulip fields

And daffodil fields

They had pony rides as well.&nbsp; This little girl never got used to it, and cried the whole time.

Deception pass was beautiful and uncrowded, unlike the TulipFest.

It was a windy day.&nbsp; I didn't have a barrette, so I tied a blade of grass around my hair.&nbsp; It worked, too, for a while.

Limpets in a&nbsp; tide pool.

A little too much sky in this picture.&nbsp; Next time we ask someone to take a picture, we'll ask them to include the feet--that way we won't end up with too much sky.

Great views around the point.

This guy didn't look like he had any fear of heights at all.&nbsp; Eric and I got this close as well, but we were on our stomachs.

The Deception Pass bridge.

In Oak Harbor, on Whidbey Island, there was a huge display of support for the 24 servicemen and women held in China, who were returning to Whidbey Island that day.

At Terry and Sue's house on Whidbey Island, their daughter Rachael does the hula hoop

A bald eagle out on the water.&nbsp; The sand was dangerous here--it looked solid, but if you stood in one spot for a while, it could sink in on you.

The bald eagle flew into a nearby tree when we got too close.

Gregory looking for crabs under rocks.

Sue and the new puppy, Lucky Lady.

The whole family.

Here's the area underneath a rock that we moved.&nbsp; You can see tons and tons of little crabs if you click on the picture and bring up the large image.

We found a shrimp under a rock, too.

Some of the houses on top of the cliff used to have stairs leading down to the water.&nbsp; None of them were maintained, though.

The root of this tree had some large stones embedded in it, which survived the uprooting and a stay in the ocean before the tree drifted to shore again.

On the (12 minute) ferry trip back.

Eric and Sylvia go for a bike ride on the Sammamish River trail.

A typical stretch of the Sammamish River trail

An old railroad bridge

In addition to building another bridge across the Samamamish River, a lot of (expensive!) salmon habitat restoration work was done.

Long stretches of the trail are straight and would be uninspiring if you were walking.&nbsp; Biking is about the right speed.

We saw these two men in Army uniform, and asked what they were doing.&nbsp; They have to do a physical fitness test every year or so and have to run 2 miles in around 19 minutes, depending on age.&nbsp; They used this straight stretch to time the runs.

Further down the road we passed the Army reservist who was being tested. He was walking, and we did not think he was going to complete the neccesary 2 miles in 19 odd minutes.

Turf farms are along the trail... well as horse pastures.

These tree trunks in the creek are supposed to be for salmon habitat restoration.

More tribute to salmon.

This is where Eric and I stopped on our fourth date, about a year ago, and had a snack.

We stopped at a different park for a snack this time.

Canoeists on the Sammamish.&nbsp; Not too many of them go the whole way; there's too many long straight stretches.

The first Bothell schoolhouse, from the late 1800's, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On the way back, we stopped at the Chateau St. Michelle winery.&nbsp; Apparently these grapevines are just for show, and they buy all the grapes that they make wines with.

The sides of this little stream were cut straight down.

There's some peacocks wandering the grounds.

This woman was taking her bird out for a walk.&nbsp; The colorful stuff on the back is a harness.&nbsp; Her boyfriend walking with her had a gray parrot.

We met Eric's friend Ramin, who worked with him at Microsoft, running along the trail.

Everybody was out today.&nbsp; The woman with the golden retriever is Susan Bosworth, wife of Adam Bosworth, who is the founder of Crossgain, Eric's new company.

The RV Expo at the Puyallap Fairgrounds.

Gillian demonstrating one of the mini-showers.

Some of the RVs were pretty luxurious

This was the only one we saw with a U shaped kitchen

I like the idea of a slide-out pantry

This cabinet...

...converts to a bunk with very little head room

This one hardly looks like an RV. It cost $225,!

Innovative design--a deck on top of the RV.

Eric and Sylvia visit Seattle's Museum of Flight.

Before any crowds formed, Sylvia and I took a tour of an old Air Force One.&nbsp; It was used by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Lots of space to have meetings!&nbsp; Or, in Kennedy's case, Marilyn Monroe.

The super-secret phone!

This is a mock up of Eisenhower in action! &quot;Nuke 'em!!!&quot;

This lavatory was remodeled for Jackie Kennedy.&nbsp; Evidently she had a really wide butt.

This is the communications center for the aircraft.

Of course, a picture of the cockpit is a must.

Next to Air Force One there was an old A6 Intruder.&nbsp; It has two crew who sit side-by-side.

This is a Fiat G.91.&nbsp; If you thought Fiat cars were small, so were their aircraft!

We then went inside the Museum where we took advantage of a free tour.&nbsp; There were a large number of retired Boeing workers who were giving tours, or just available for information.&nbsp; They were very friendly.

This is a mock up of the original Wright Flyer, mad by students of the UW in the 60's.&nbsp; Evidently it is airworthy, but no one was brave enough to test fly it.

This craft does not have material on its wings to show the detail of it's construction.&nbsp; It's amazing what they did with wood.

I found this plane to be really amazing.&nbsp; It is an early Italian plane which was left un-renovated.&nbsp; What was strange about it was that the nose cone is attached to the propeller and the two spin together.&nbsp; Must have been error prone.

The main skill needed by the airplane builders was working with wood, of course.&nbsp; Here the tour guide demonstrates an original lathe.

Here is the second version of the famous Albatross which was human powered, and was flown across the English Cannel.&nbsp; It weights about 75 pounds!&nbsp; Which is probably just a bit more than the hang glider next to it, but it's wingspan is many times larger.

This is a tri-motor Boeing.&nbsp; Very classy for its time.

This is a replica of the first airplane made by Boeing.&nbsp; Evidently the U.S. Government did not think much of it, so two were sold to the Australians and used successfully.

Much of early flight was dedicated to the delivery of mail, which was dropped off and picked up without the aircraft landing.

This is a very small unmanned plane which travels at about 50 mph, and flew around the world with less than 2 gallons of fuel!

This is an old-fashioned glider, the predecessor to modern day hang gliders.&nbsp; It was built by Cessna!

This was the newest plane on exhibit.&nbsp; A spitfire.

A Corsair.

This helicopter has no tail because it is powered by jets on the tips of the propeller!

A cruise missile.&nbsp; Capable of cruising just above the tree-tops, using a computer and landmarks by which it navigates.

A flying car!&nbsp; Early Americans thought that an aircraft would be something the average person would be able to own and operate.

One of the coolest aircraft at the museum was the SR-71 Blackbird.&nbsp; A Mach 3+ craft.&nbsp; A real cockpit to one was available for pictures.&nbsp; Evidently it is the remains of one which crashed upon takeoff.

It has two HUGE engines which consume 4,000 gallons of fuel an hour.&nbsp; Flying fast does not come cheap.&nbsp; It had to be refueled every 2 hours or so.&nbsp; Must have been very tedious to fly.

These engines were only ever used on the Blackbird.

Upstairs we found the tribute to propellers!

They were carved from wood.

Eric and Sylvia check out the Folklife Festival in Seattle (many hippies) and then have dinner at a Chism Park with The Burds

In general, the street performers weren't that great. A lot of them had about 5 seconds of actual tricks such as juggling, etc, then 5 minutes of back and forth with the audience

This guy gathered an audience by laying down on beds of nails and broken glass.

Another performer, juggling long knives surrounded by men supported by eachother's laps.

Playing the violin and doing the hula hoop at the same time was this girl's stunt

This bluegrass musician has quite a collection of harmonicas! Lots of impromptu bluegrass jam sessions happened at the festival.

The bluegrass groups looked like they were having the most fun.

There was a craft section, where kids could make small kites

Painting henna designs

Jumping rope with a very short rope to make it extra challenging, to the beating of drums.

The central fountain shoots off water in a somewhat random pattern designed to get you to try to time it so you can run in, touch the fountain, and run away without getting wet.

Here's Eric trying to touch the fountain.

And me about to try it.

The girl playing the violin was very good.

This boy knew how to perform. He would look people in the eye and smile. A born showman...

Eric liked the sound of this group

Working on the frame of a fabric-covered kayak.

These guys got pretty acrobatic in their dance.

We listened to this group quite a while. Lots of listeners around this group were doing what I'll call the Grateful Dead dance, for lack of a better word (very unstructured, swaying around)

At Chism Beach Park, Hannah had lots of fun playing in the water and going down the slides.

Eric did too, when he remembered to pull his head in because the roof was very low. Hannah said, "Again, Eric!", wanting him to go down the slide with her so many times that Eric got exhausted!

She needed just a little bit of help getting up the ladder.

Lots of Canadian Geese around, these with half-grown goslings. You could see (and step in) evidence of the geese everywhere...

Eric and I pulled out the juggling clubs towards evening.

Gary got a great shot of us juggling against the Seattle skyline.

Eric and Sylvia visit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle.

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks lead from Lake Union out to Puget Sound. Here's a map of the area:

These huge pistons open and close the locks.

Boats heading into the lock.

Aligning themselves...

Now the gates are closing

And the boats are rising as water is let in

The salmon ladders, unfortunately, were out of commision when we visited.

Another set of boats heading through.

Eric and I take a walk around areas at Microsoft where he used to work.

Building 25

Eric worked on various projects at Microsoft, foremost among them Internet Explorer 4.0 and Internet Explorer 5.0. He started at Microsoft in February of 1995, and left in March of 2000. Here's a chronological list of the buildings he worked in.

Building 2

Building 27

Eric at Building 31

Eric's old office in Building 31. Great office, high ceilings that were good for juggling 7 balls.

Building 10

Eric's office in building 10 (2nd floor in the corner).

Eric worked mainly on Internet Explorer 4.0...

and Internet Explorer 5.0

A lot of new buildings have been built since this map was made!

Eric asks Sylvia to marry him! Sylvia says yes!!

This is what the area at Marymoor looks like...

After Eric and I took a walk around Marymoor park, Eric said we should sit down and talk. Then he popped a ring out and asked him to marry me. We didn't have the camera with at the time, so this is a recreation.

And this is the ring...

At first I was very surprised...

And then I said yes!

We're planning on living happily ever after. Hmmm ... looks like there is more room on the bench!

Eric and Sylvia travel to North Carolina to surprise Eric's mother on her 60th birthday.

On our way out we had a great view of Mt. Rainier above the clouds.

Ann cutting her birthday cake.

We had a good time at the party.

Ann likes the oval shaker boxes, made by my dad, that we gave her for her birthday.

She also got a Panamanian Mola (traditional indian embroidery).

Ken works on the bbq

Eric's brother Brian is a clown in his spare time.

He makes ballon sculptures as well!

Sunday we went for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was kind of a hazy day

Eric's Dad and Mom on the left (Ken and Ann), and brother and girlfriend April and Kevin on the left. This is on a short path just below a lodge along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cold Mountain, the location of the book by the same name.

This is the quilt garden at the Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The whole gang (minus Brian) at the Botanical Garden

Eric got a great close up of a bumblebee

Lotsa color here!

Ann next to one of her pictures hanging at the Botanical Garden.

A view of Mercer Island on the way home

Eric sells his 12 year old Nissan Maxima.

I bought the Maxima in 1989, my first new car. It had clutch problems throughout its lifetime, but it was a great car nonetheless. I sold it to a young boy (his parents bought it for him) from West Seattle. Hopefully it will have a long, happy, life :-)

Eric and Sylvia join Jean and Kay to go cherry picking in the Yakima Valley

You've got to get up into the trees to get the good cherries.

Jean, Kay and Eric

The Seafair Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake, Max Parmacek's birthday, the Heritage Festival at Marymoor.

These two boats were in the racing competition, look very sleek and fast.

I think this one was a family entry.

This one is cute--it's modeled after the "toe truck" in Seattle.

The hula girls with their hula boat.

A modified swim float

This lady is the official milk carton derby inspector. She goes around and makes sure that people don't use too much duct tape, etc.

This flimsy contraption competed in the adult races. They didn't do too well.

My guess as to what a "sheriff explorer" is some kind of boy scount career exploration thing.

A very heavy-duty paddle boat

These boys did pretty well in the kids racing category.

The Pringles man. No free samples, though.

Sparky the Wonder Dog has his own web site.

A modified exercise bike provides the power for this one

Eric next to one of the seafair hydroplanes.

This group of guys competed in the racing category, but they were very slow!

This man's boat was modeled on a crewing skiff, very sleek. He put a sliding device from a rowing exercise machine that he got at a garage sale onto it. Other materials came from the Boeing Surplus Store. It was designed by his dad, a retired Boeing engineer.

He won, of course.

The crowds watching the race

These kids used fin-power!

A modified bicycle works as a power source as well

Some boats got turned around. Others fell off their boat and had to hang on to it.

Sylvia and Victoria at Max's 3rd birthday party.

Max enjoyed his cake!

Younger brother Parker enjoys chewing on anything.

The kids have fun playing in the sprinkler. They would get some water in the cups, put it in their mouths, and spit it out again as far as they could.

Visiting some garage sales on the way home.

In the afternoon, we went to the Heritage Festival at Marymoor park. Here I am throwing an ax at a display they had on old-time recreations. I didn't do too well.

The Washington Civil War Association put on a recreation of a civil war battle at Marymoor, complete with canons and calvary.

Lots of women were dressed in period outfits.

Later, at the encampment, the soldiers were dismissed.

A high-ranking officer and his wife.

They also staged a mock operation on a wounded soldier. Sanitation was not the best.

Old surgical implements.

Bike ride on Preston Bike Trail with Kristen

The trail follows an old railroad grade, so it's mostly flat.

We saw a llama farm along the way.

We also saw a beautiful modern industrial-style house.

A view of Snowqualmie falls from the end of the trail.

Kristen had a sunburn that was peeling in a big way. She got some really good-sized pieces off!

Flying with Steve and Roger to visit Fry's electronics in Portland Oregon.

This is Steve.

This is Steve's plane.

Steve has a special relationship with his plane. He describes it as a love/hate relationship. He loves flying, hates paying so much for it!

Fry's Electronics is a HUGE computer and consumer electronics store which is popular in California's Silicon Valley. To many, it is "Nerdvana".

Roger got shotgun on the flight to Portland. Roger has a private pilot's licence.

Here you can see Mount Ranier in the distance.

It was quite clouded over on the flight out. Fortunately, we got above most of it at 13,000 feet.

Here you can see the airstrip in Portand quite clearly. On the return trip, we could not see the air strip until we were practically past it! Steve is a very good pilot.

Obligatory shot of the lovely couple by the aircraft.

On the flight back I played the role of copilot. This is what I got to look at. Lots of cool dials!

On the flight back, we accumulated a small bit of ice. Steve called it "Light, Clear Ice".

If you look carfully at the wing, you might see some ice on the leading edge. Steve used the de-icing equipment to crack some of it.

Steve uses a special electric cart to push his plane into the hangar.

Rod and Shannon Chavez were kind enough to host our engagement part at their beautiful custom-designed home. The best closeups here are from Gary Burd, who just got a new digital camera.

Before the guests arrive

Andrew and Linda, with daughter Dagney

Linda taking some pictures with Andrew's new camera.

Eric and Adam Bosworth

Settling down to eat BBQ

Gary also recently got a new camera

Rich and Jane, with Kristen on the right

Jean and Kay, Soe, Mei, Michael

Gary, Dinarte, and Grace

Victoria and Brett on the left, Donica on the right

The kids are being read to in Bobby's bedroom. From left to right, Max, Bobby, Hannah, Dagney

They also did somc crafts.

My engagement ring (on the wrong finger, because it's a little too loose on the ring finger)

Rachael and Joe Beda

Dinarte and Eric

Andrew and Rod

Shannon and Bobbie

Terry and Sue

We watch an outdoor production of the Shakespeare play The Tempest

Ariel is about to cause a storm

The ship is going down


We went to the WOMAD music festival in Marymoor Park. There we met Grace and Gary Burd and their daughter Hannah, and Mei Poon.

Hannah puts sunglasses on me. After some practice, she got pretty good at putting sunglasses on herself and other people.

Hannah having fun with her mom Grace

Gary and Grace

The main stage before the Peter Gabriel performance

Peter Gabriel, as seen on a picture taken through binoculars.

Folks twirling colored cloth with a weight on them. It's the latest thing at these kind of festivals.

Getting a cucumber facial for free at the festival

These punks stood out amidst the majority of more hippie style festival-goers.

The main entrance gate to Womad.

Selling hash pipes close to the camping area.

We were hoping to see a real Grateful Dead parking lot type scene in the Womad camping area, but everyone was at the festival, so it was very quiet. Some of the vehicles were interesting, though.

These long ribbons on flexible poles were used to make colorful patterns in the sky, like writing in cursive.

These dancers on the outskirts of the crowds did a very unique, highly personalized and spacey dance.

Earlier in the day we made a quick trip to the Bellevue Art Festival. They have some high quality arts and crafts there. Too bad it's in a parking garage.

Eric and Sylvia go on a three day guided kayak trip around San Juan Island.

This shows a lot of the route that we took. We put in at Snug Harbor, kayaked around more or less clockwise, and camped both nights on Jones Island.

This is the Springtree Restaurant in Friday Harbor. A friend of Eric's that owns it has had management problems and is selling it. We spent Friday night in a hotel close by.

Getting ready to take off on the kayaks

Our guide, Christian

Here we're passing along a shipping channel as a huge container ship passes us.

A colony of nesting birds. It really stunk around there! The white on the rocks is all bird droppings.

If you really strain here, you can see the seals resting on the rocks.

Passing through a field of bull kelp. This was quite difficult to paddle through, but great to hold onto to anchor the kayak.

Eric and I in the kayak. We called it the "Crimson Tide".

This house has a great location, with it's own beach, and an attached peninsula

Our first lunch on Posey Island. We were definately well fed on this trip!

Strolling around the island.

This was the view from the kayak a lot of the time.

Coming up to our campsite on Jones Island. It's a state marine park, with a pretty active moorage there.

The deer on this island were almost domesticated. They would come right up to you if you had food and literally climb on you trying to get it. Apparently they even get into tents.

Another set of kayakers were camped on the south shore of the island.

Taking a walk around the island, we sat down, and Eric leaned back onto a little cactus, native to the San Juans. Very painful! I was picking thorns out of his back that evening.

These cactus plants are quite inconspicuous.

Some pictures of the madrona tree. Very beautiful, with bark that peels similar to a birch tree.

Some of them had weird knobs sticking out.

The western shoreline of the island.

We found some USGS survey markers in rocks on the island.

Some pictures of Eric and me.

It doesn't show up very well in the picture, but it was a beautiful evening.

The outhouses on the island were very well set up. But they still stank.

Mat and Erica eating dinner. Dinner was some kind of chicken curry, with a desert of cake cooked in an backpacking oven (with frosting of BUTTER, brown sugar, and nutmeg.)

This is a rock that was dislodged from the embankment when moving the picnic table around. Apparently it missed smashing our kayak by mere inches!

Breakfast the next morning was omlets with salmon, avocado, sour cream, etc. Very rich.

Christian cooking breakfast, with Alexa helping.

This is the backpacking oven. We also had cinammon rolls for breakfast.

On another walk around the island, we saw this decaying tree trunk. You can really see that the part of the branch that goes inside the tree doesn't rot as fast as the rest of trunk.

More beautiful madrona trees.

A weird twisted tree. Lots of trees were downed in the area, apparently there had been a heavy windstorm in 1991.

These holes are caused by woodpeckers. We heard them early in the morning.

The dock on the north shore of Jones Island.

Sunday we paddled along Shaw island mostly. There were some beautiful houses along the shore.

A fancy spiral staircase leading to a mini-beach.

This cabin had totem poles built into it. Apparently there was some kind of indian preserve there.

A racoon, hunting for mussels or crabs, perhaps.

A teepee and tent

These lucky people had their own seaplane--they could probably get here from Seattle in about half an hour. We speculated that the device on the wing was to scare away seagulls.

Alexa and Hal

A very strange-looking bent tree.

A many-legged starfish.

Roasting marshmallows in the campfire.

Monday morning dawned fairly sunny and bright. Eric was very grumpy though because he hadn't slept well. He's faking the smile in this picture.

The whole gang, minus our other guide Ryan. From left to right, Mat, Erica, Alexa, Rachael, Sylvia, Eric, Felix, Hal, and Christian lying down.

Back on San Juan, and packing for the homeward journey. This is our other guide Ryan.

Labor Day weekend hike on Mt. Rainier

We saw this from the road on the way to Rainier. I was going to make some guesses as to what it is, but I have no idea.

The weather Sunday was wonderful--hardly a cloud in the sky. We got up early and were there by 10:00 AM. Lucky thing, too, because when we got back to the parking lot after 4 hours of hiking on Skyline Trail, there were dozens of cars clogging the parking lot as they trolled for a spot.

We see Mt. Rainier all the time from Redmond. The view is really different from the south side.

A deer in the meadow on the way up the Skyline Trail. The last time we saw deer was in the San Juan Islands. They were about half the size of this one.

Eric and I in front of some glaciers.

Along the trail.

A funny rock column. It didn't look very volcanic to me.

Just beyond the flat area is where Camp Muir is, the halfway point on the climb up Mt. Rainier. With binoculars, we could see people trudging up the mountain towards it.


We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, leftover cake from our engagement party (it had been in the freezer), hard boiled eggs, crackers, brie, and carrots.

A panorama of the view from our lunch spot. Mt. Adams is the large peak on the left, and Mt. St Helens is barely visible above the clouds far off on the right, with a rounded top.

If you click on the picture to get the larger version and look carefully, you can see a dark streak in the sky, which is actually the shadow of the cloud.

Lots of little streams coming from the snowfield melt

Eric with Mt. Rainier in the background.

There was an abundance of gorgeous little wild streams.

Lenticular clouds to the east of Mt. Rainier.

The trail is really well built-up, with fancy bridges even for small streams.

Another babbling brook.

Some more lenticular clouds. If you really want to see some fantastic pictures of lenticular clouds, click <a href=>here</a>.

A strange corona of clouds formed above Mt. Rainier in the afternoon.

Mt. Rainier above Myrtle Falls.

We saw this strange rock formation as we were driving away from Paradise. The most likely cause would have been dynamiting away rock for the road, but I'd never seen that before. However, after posting a question on a geology newsgroup, the consensus was that that was exactly what had caused it.

This is Reflection Lake. It was a little too windy for a reflection, though.

A view of Box Canyon, a narrow slit of a canyon

At the Grove of the Patriarchs. There were some huge old trees there, some of them still standing.

Some of the wildflowers we saw--Magenta Paintbrush...


Purple Aster

Examining Western Anemone and Mountain Lupine.

The Western Anemone looked like the end of a mop to me. Another name for them is "towheaded babies". Yet another that Brian Pendleton told me: "Mouse on a stick".

Ranger's Buttons

Corn lily

I couldn't figure these 2 out...

We drove to Langley and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island

On the ferry over to Whidbey Island.

We spent some time wandering around the antique and craft stores in Langley. This is a chair my dad was thinking of reproducing in miniature.

This is where we ate lunch.

I really like this cactus arrangement that I saw in one of the stores.

Downtown Langley.

The lighthouse at Fort Langley.

The coastline off Fort Langley. You can see the bull kelp out in the water.

This is the lens that was used at the lighthouse.

Eric in one of the concrete bunkers that make up the fort.

Many of these holes were scattered all about the fort. They're the remnants of speaking tubes, the precursors of telephones. When they were operational, they were labeled with the location at the other end. They could actually still be operational today if they hadn't been plugged up.

All kinds of watchtowers, bunkers, and cannons.

The business end of the cannon. Notice the spiral pattern inside. This caused the shell to rotate for greater accuracy.

We figured somebody must of used the cannon for target practice at some point.

Many of the bunkers had stalactites coming from the ceiling.

This is from inside the lookout tower.

My dad and Eric and the beach.

Eric can't resist the temptation to juggle when he spots some well-sized driftwood.

My dad collected stones to use in mounting artwork.

Deception Pass.

Looking east from the bridge over Deception Pass.

Eric got vertigo on the bridge. Is it any wonder, taking pictures like this?

We found out about the World Trade Center collapse.

As we were turning on the TV to do our workout, we happened to turn to the news, and saw what was going on in New York and Washington

Eric sold his pool table on Ebay.

Mike from Portland (in the foreground) bought the pool table on Ebay. His alias on Ebay was "PoolGod". Needless to say he is very much into pool, already has one pool table, and apparently has a t-shirt that says something like "Pool is Life, the rest is all details".

I had no idea a pool table could be disassembled like this.

Mike is planning on re-using the felt, which is of a very high quality.

Three separate pieces of slate were used for the table.

Everything goes into the truck. Good thing Mike brought 2 strong friends!

After packing up the pool table, Mike disassembled the light fixture. Good thing he's an electrician.

We take a ride on the Spirit of Washington dinner train.

About to take the Spirit of Washington Dinner train.

We had some fancy flavored butters with our bread.

A view down the train

A large skateboard park. I wanted to get a better picture, but we were going by too fast.

Boeing on Lake Washington.

Looking across to Mercer Island.

Looking west over I-90.

Downtown Bellevue

It's funny seeing stores that we go to frequently from a different angle. This is Home Depot.

Larry's Market.

This little kid was among the many that waved to us from along the way.

Looking out at Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.

The turf farms along the Sammamish River.

This is a park along the Burke Gillman trail. Eric and I stopped here on our 4th date.

My dad an I the Columbia Winery.

We did a quick tour of the winery. This is the destemming machine.

Hundreds and hundreds of barrels of wine. They're all stacked up on one another, without any vertical supports.

On the way home.

We went on a charter salmon fishing trip out of Shilshoe Bay Marina

We got up at 5:15 to get an early start on the fishing. We left the marina at about 7, though, because we were waiting for another customer. Our boat was the "Fishful Thinking", the skipper was Steve.

This was the fishfinder. The small black dashes are fish.

It was chilly out there! We should have brought warmer clothes.

I caught the first salmon. Frankly, there wasn't much to it, Steve set everything up then I reeled in the salmon when it bit.

This device keeps the lure at a specified depth.

My dad, with his first fish.

Eric reeling one in. As you can see, he got a lot of help.

Steve filleted the salmon for us.

Our last fish of the day

On the way home we went to the Ballard locks. Three salmon are jumping out of the water in this picture!

Salmon in the fish ladder.

The railroad bridge in the background had to go up in order to let the Icy Bay through.

In the gardens.

A tame squirrel. The snack truck parked there sold peanuts specifically to feed to the squirrel.

Cutting up the salmon to freeze

Checking out the Space Needle and the Seattle Center.

The Space Needle

View of Lake Union

The blob below is the Experience Music project, as seen from above.

My dad and I.

I didn't know that cruise ships dock in Seattle...

Downtown Seattle. My very first contract was for Midcom, in the building directly to the left of the large building on the right that has a pyramid on top.

This guy was walking around the outside of the Space Needle. I wonder if it's additional security due to the Sept. 11 events?

We walked around the Seattle Center a little afterwards. It was almost empty.

There's a small memorial next to the International Fountain.

A rainbow in the fountain.

Eric finally solved the puzzle!

Starting at Sand Point, the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale, biking back home to Redmond.

I woke up early--the sunrise was picturesque.

Kassi cat takes an opportunity to crawl into a box...

Eric managed to fit the bikes into the back of the BMW.

We started out at Sand Point Magnuson Park. There was a display of works of art from young artists. I have to say, I wasn't very impressed.

Eric wasn't impressed either.

This was also the weekend of Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale. It was fantastic. Hardbacks for $1.00, paperpacks for $0.50. Lots of great stuff there, but I ended up buying only a couple reference books, including some on sewing.

More art...

Formerly, this was a military installation.

There's sculpture garden, made of parts of submarines partially buried in the ground. Pretty interesting.

Eric and I at the top of the kite hill.

Eric took a backwards biking picture, over his head, while we were biking on the Burke Gilman trail.

On our forth date, we stopped in this very same spot and took pictures...

More biking/photographic acrobatics. Eric took this picture of us holding hands while biking.

Beautiful trees along the trail.

We stopped at a field right off the trail where enthusiasts get together and fly radio-controlled gliders.

Some are launched with the aid of rubber catapults

Others are flung into the air like throwing a discus.

One kid stopped by to show us a "magic" trick.

Later that night we had dinner with Rod and Shannon Chavez.

Soe Htun and I try to find our way up Snoqualmie Mtn.

Soe on the hike. At this point we'd already missed a crucial turn-off.

There's quite a few caves in this area--it's called Cave Ridge.

This is Snoqualmie Mountain, which we wanted to hike up.

I think this might be Guy Peak.

Another one of the caves, which actually had a register.

Unfortunately, a rock had fallen into the entrance.

More great views.

Interesting rock formation--looks like a child's picture of a whale.

Tree trunk

Great place for a campsite.

Yet another cave. I don't know if I would have trusted these ropes.


This was really beautiful when I took it, but it was towards the sun. Eric thinks a polarizing filter would help.

Soe is hoping to win a photo contest by the maker of this backup.

You can see the ski slopes down below.

I believe this is the trail we were supposed to be on.

Beautiful fall colors.

We took the ferry to Southworth, then biked to Port Orchard.

It was chilly on the ferry trip over from Fauntleroy!

They're very paranoid about bags left without people around them. We left our backpacks while we walked around outside, and they requested over the intercom that the owners of the backpacks return to them.

When the ferry docks, they reverse engines to slow down. Really churns up the water.

The road right out of the ferry dock in Southworth is very cute and windy. This houses had a cozy outdoor swing.

It went right along the water most of the way. Too bad the weather wasn't partly sunny, as predicted.

Fancy paint job on this house.

Lots of ducks in the water!

--Bummer! We didn't charge the camera battery properly, and since it was so cold, it went dead, so we couldn't take any pictures. Later on, when it got a little warmer, we were able to take some more pictures. But we didn't get any of Manchester State Park (great little park on the water, with old military fortifications and an old torpedo warehouse). -- tIn Port Orchard, we went to the Sydney Museum, which has some historical artifacts from Port Orchard.

A witch with a spider ring banged into a tree.

A manmade pond, well-done with all kinds of greenery around it.

A neat fort.

Rolling sushi with Hans and Holly, pumpkin carving with the Bultemeiers.

Eric rolling sushi. A very delicate operation, especially when you stuff so much in it!

Holly pressing the sushi roll so it sticks.

Hans is getting ready to make some nigiri sushi, basically raw fish (although we used smoked salmon) on rice.

The collection of yummy sushi!

Eric Bultemeier with the turkey (very tasty) at the Bultemeiers turkey dinner/pumpkin party.

They had a very lively 4 month old cat, Otus. Very camera shy, though--took off as soon as the pre-flash came on.

Pumpkin carving action. Later on we roasted pumpkin seeds--tasty!

Farmer Angie, enjoying some desert.

Superman and his pumpkin.

Some people hanging out

There were 4 Erics at the party. From left to right - Eric, Eric, Eric, and Eric.

The assortment of pumpkins

...and in the dark. Notice the Shrek on the right--pretty cool!

Close-up of Shrek.

Eric holding our "scary eyes" pumpkin.

We took a bike ride, starting at Gasworks Park, going across the canal at the Ballard Locks, then coming back from the South.

At Gasworks Park. These concrete structures look like they might have supported a large pipe.

Some of the old machinery. The park was formerly a plant that converted coal to gas. I'm kind of hidden here because I wasn't actually supposed to be climbing these.

Eric climbing on some old machinery.

Skateboarders, with the Seattle skyline in the background.

More of the old plant

Biking around Fremont we saw this small houseboat. I'd love to live in a boat like this.

Below the I-90 bridge.

The dinosoar sculpture along the trail in Fremont.

The Ship Canal is really beautiful this time of year.

I love this house. Simple, clean efficient, and with an awesome roof balcony.

Crossing the locks, we noticed this scuplture. I don't remember it being there the other times we've visited.

We stopped and had ice cream at a place right across from the restaurant we ate at on our 4th date (also a bike ride).

We saw the Fremont bridge going up...

Biking from Rattlesnake Lake, near North Bend, to Hall Creek.

A "stumpscape". This lake is obviously lots higher in the summer.

We were kind of excited over this "cougar" track. Then after we saw a couple thousand like it, we reluctantly decided they were dog tracks.

Plenty of stumps to support the camera for this picture!

This is the bike trail, a former railroad track. By and large, pretty straight and boring.

Some cool bridges across the valleys.

And some climbers as well.

On the way back, Eric coasted the entire way downhill (7 miles).

Mossy tree trunks.

I believe these signs were left over from when this was still an active railroad track.

Back along Rattlesnake Lake, an old road had been partially covered up to make a walking path. You can still see the painted median.

The old town of Moncton lies beneath these waters. It was a logging/railroad town that was submerged by water leaking from a damned up lake uphill.

We went to the Seahawks/Raiders game with Dinarte Morais

From the left, Charles (the father of a friend of Dinarte's), Dinarte, me, and Eric. The ice sculpture in the middle says "Go Hawks".

Whenever the Seahawks made a touchdown, these guys would run across the field with huge Seahawks flags.

The view from the 50 yard line.

Eric and Sylvia drive up into the mountains to get the centuries best viewing of the Leonid meteor shower.

Eric gets ready for a long night of picture taking. His friend, Joe Beda, lent him a non-digital camera which is capable of much longer, controlled exposure, than our little digital camera.

Sylvia shivers from the cold. Even though we had lots of warm clothes, we were still freezing.

Every once in a while a car would drive up the road we were situated on. Mostly these were other meteor watchers, looking for a good place from which to watch. However, the headlights would overwhelm the exposure.

Off in the distance, Seattle casts light up to the clouds.

This one was caught behind some power lines. The location from which we were watching was a service road for power lines.

The Lucas family invited us to their Whidbey Island home for Thanksgiving.

Eric was a favorite with the girls. Rachael and a neighbor Sydney are sitting next to him

The next morning Eric picked Rachael, Angela, and Sydney up all at once.

Then they attacked with pillows.


Later we went to Fort Casey State Park.

The Lucases and Angela.

Gregory, Angela and Rachael on top of a cannon

Eric and the kids on top of one of the towers.

The Lucases at the lighthouse.


After visiting the lighthouse, we went to some bunkers that are off the beaten path at the state park. This one kind of looks like an Aztec pyramid.

Some of the doors were open, leading into the passageway that looped around the hill. Since we didn't have the flashlights, Terry, Eric, Gregory, and I explored to the dark end by using the flash of the camera - taking a picture, remembering how it looked, walking forward a few steps, and taking another picture with flash.

The end of Fort Casey!

Somerset house, hike in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park

We stopped at Eric's office on the way down for him to do some work. Someone there had little electric scooter that I tried. What fun!

We're looking for a new house. Earlier in the week I had fallen in love with this one, in Somerset. Unfortunately, even though it was still listed, it had already been sold. I was very, very disappointed. Because I refer it so often as "the house I really love", Eric gave it the name "Ralph" for the sake of brevity.

The Somerset area has a great view of Seattle.

Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park is close-by, yet very isolated and private. You could hike there for days.

An old abandoned fruit tree. Very gnarled

On a little bridge in the park.

A former Nike Missle launch site in also in the park. You can't see much of it - at least in the area that's not fenced off.

This holly tree would have made a great Christmas picture.

At the entrance to the trails we got some free maps. We walked the Bagley Seam Trail, Red Town Trail, Quarry Trail, Fred's Railroad Trail, Clay Pit Road, and Military Road Trail.

Traditional Indian Molas

Eric with the Kuna Indian woman who sold us the molas we bought in El Valle.

Molas are created by a reverse appliqu� process in which two to five layers of cloth are basted together, then patterns cut through the layers, exposing the cloth below. <p> We bought 7 Molas for $32 in El Valle from a Kuna woman, and another 7 for $15 in Panama City. <p> For more information, check out <a href=></a> and <a href=> </a>. Try <a href=>making your own Mola</a>.

Panama City, Taboga Island and the Panama Canal

Anand was nice enough to come in the early hours of the snowing morning to take us to the airport.&nbsp; Six to eight inches of snow fell that morning.

Deicing the plane.

In Panama City, we walked down Avenida Central, the main shopping area.&nbsp; Here they're selling medicinal herbs. The big ones are aloe.

This is a strange fruit that I've never seen before, for sale on the streets of Panama.&nbsp; I asked the name of it, but didn't write it down.

Authentic chicheme for sale here.&nbsp; It's pretty good--it's like a thick blended sweet corn drink, with vanilla and other spices.

We'd lost our compass (very handy for finding your way around a city), and bought a new one from Joseph Berger, a Polish immigrant who runs a army/navy store.&nbsp; Very friendly guy.

Here's another strange fruit we tried.&nbsp; Probably wouldn't try it again, but it was interesting.&nbsp; The outside looks like a small round eggplant, and the inside is filled with large seeds with an edible pulp around them.&nbsp; It left a strange gummy paste on my lips.

This is in the Casco Viejo section of Panama city.&nbsp; It's the old colonial part of the city, with lots of tourist potential, but it's also very dangerous because of gang activity.&nbsp; We were pretty nervous when walking around, and finally decided to get out when a police officer on a bike gave us detailed instructions on where to go and where not to go.

Many of the buildings were empty shells, although Eric thought he saw families living in them.

The cathedral.

Plaza de la Independencia

Eric at an old abandoned military building, with a view of the financial district.

You can see the cops in the shade here.&nbsp; They told us they were there to prevent criminals from taking over the building.

Old colonial street

Calle de Pacifico.&nbsp; Many young couples hung around here, sitting on the benches.

The ruins of an old convent.

Outside the San Jose Church (it has a famous golden altar that didn't look too impressive to us), we met a group of young kids who wanted to have their pictures taken.&nbsp; Just from looking at their poses, with the menacing gestures on the part of the boys, they seem very influenced by the world of gangs and rap videos.

This is a street the police officer who was warning us about the area told us definitely not to go into.

Many of the local buses were very colorfully painted.

Writing up notes in our hotel room at the Hotel Covadonga.&nbsp; It seemed pretty basic at first, but after we got back from the provinces, it felt deluxe!

The next day we took a trip out to Taboga Island, an island inside the Bay of Panama.&nbsp; The ferry went through the last part of the Panama Canal, and under the Puente de las Americas (Bride of the Americas) which is part of the Pan-American highway .

On Taboga Island, there's an overlook where you can see all the ships waiting to go through the Canal.

This was our hotel room (Hotel Chu) on Taboga island.&nbsp; Pretty basic, but clean and friendly.

The sitting area at the front of the hotel had a definite 50's style, plastic covered couches and all.

This was the first of these little dugout canoes that we were to see everywhere.&nbsp; They're tiny!

The street our hotel was on. The island, aside from 2 little minivans, was basically pedestrian only.

This cemetery is supposed to date from the 1600's, but we didn't find any old headstones.&nbsp; Most of the graves were in bad shape.

Paul Gauguin stayed on this island for a few months.&nbsp; He worked on the Panama Canal for some time.

Right next door and reachable at low tide from Taboga Island is Isla El Morro.&nbsp; It was the headquarters for the Pacific Steamship Navigation Company, that ran steamships between Chile and Taboga.&nbsp; There's all kinds of leftover equipment and ruins on the island.

Eric with an old propeller

Ruins of the wharf.

A boiler, maybe?

The black thing is the base of an old hand blown bottle.&nbsp; It's amazing how the bottles, over the years, melt into the old iron until it seems like they're a part of it.

Back at the restaurant that belongs to the hotel, we had some delicious papaya (right), pineapple, and fried yucca.

We took a walk on some of the old paths around the island.&nbsp; During World War II, this was strong US military presence here, and you can see many old buildings and foundations.&nbsp; This is an old Quonset hut, built into the dirt.

Here's the entrance.

One of the paths had a really under-engineered utility line along it.

The paths were very fun to walk along.

One of them led us to a great deserted beach, with huge stones.

On the way back, the tide was very low.&nbsp; The wreck of an old boat was on the beach.

I think this is the wheel from a steamship.&nbsp; It was completely exposed at low tide.

Another wreck, and more steamship equipment

The seed on the right was everywhere on the island.&nbsp; They twirled around when they floated down similar to maple seeds.&nbsp; Only later did see where it came from--this large seed pod on the left.

For dinner--mixed seafood soup, with lots of octopus.

The view from the hotel.

These ships are waiting to enter the Panama Canal.&nbsp; The pipes at the bottom are sewage pipes from the hotel.&nbsp; On the Atlantic side, since the difference between low and high tide is only about a foot or so, the outhouses are built directly over the water.

We hiked up to the top of the island one morning.&nbsp; There's an overlook there (formerly a World War II defensive outlook) with an awesome view

On the way, there was a house built onto the hillside.&nbsp; The interesting part of it was that there was a concrete slide down to the house from the road, so they didn't have to carry down the supplies.

We found this strange fruit along the way.

....and this seed pod from some legume.

It was a little tough figuring out what the white things were at the top here of the mountain, but we decided that they were a set of airplane navigation beacons.

Also at the top is a World War II lookout.

with some great views...

This is Isla El Morro, which has the Pacific Steamship Navigation Company ruins on it.

Later in the day, we watched from the restaurant of our hotel while a bunch of kids got ready to go to deliver lunch to the men working on the ships waiting to pass through the canal.&nbsp; Apparently the islanders have a contract to do that, and the kids really enjoy going out to the boats and delivering the lunches in person.

I didn't quite understand the financial aspect of this (maybe it was in exchange for the lunches?) but some of the ships waiting to pass through the canal are fishing boats, and they give the less desirable fish to the islanders, who clean them right at the waterside.

The trash pickup is one of the few motorized vehicles on the island.

There's also a wildlife refugee on the island.&nbsp; Unfortunately, on the road that we thought leads there, we found the island dump.&nbsp; It was quite a disappointment to find that.&nbsp; It was on the one place which would have had a great view, too, because it was such a steep slope.&nbsp; Presumably that's why they used that spot, because there was such a large drop-off that the trash would drop down a long ways.

The funny reddish shadow on the water beyond the trash dump is from the smoke of a big fire burning on the mainland.&nbsp; Lots of fires are set here, mainly to clear out underbrush.

These are more ruins from US installations built during World War II

I'm looking at the spider in this picture...

On the way home we caught up with a group of kids on scooters.

At dinner (I think we were the only ones around--definitely not many tourists there) we found that we could combine the binoculars with the digital camera to make something like a zoom.&nbsp; It worked much better than expected.&nbsp; This ship is way out in the water.

Leaving the next morning, these are some views of Taboga from the dock.

Back to Panama city, and renting a car.&nbsp; Our first driving experience in the city (trying to get out of the city) was pretty nerve wracking, although Eric likes driving aggressively.&nbsp; This car pushed right up in front of us, and then had to back up to turn.

We went out onto the causeway, built right outside Panama City from the dirt and rocks taken from when the canal was built.&nbsp; There's a Smithsonian sponsored wildlife center there, and formerly a military installation.

These climbing cactuses were all over the place in drier climates.

There was a tank with sea creatures in it that you could touch.&nbsp; Eric's holding a sea cucumber here.

And here, a sea turtle.

It's hard to see, but in this middle of this picture is a sloth.&nbsp; You can click on the picture to get the full image.

After the causeway, we went to the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal.&nbsp;&nbsp; It's the last set of locks on the canal.&nbsp; Luckily we were there after 1 PM--before then, there's no ships going through the canal.

These locomotives pull the boats through the canal.&nbsp; The engine is made by Mitsubishi, and cost 2.3 million dollars apiece!

Notice how much the ship goes down

Out to the Pacific!

Surrounding the canal is rainforest, necessary to provide the fresh water that's drained into the canal whenever a boat goes through the locks.

Eric with the car we rented.

Another view of some of the freshwater lakes right around the canal.

Portobelo, Rain Forest, River Kayaking, Carnival in Penenome

We left that same day for Portobelo, on the Atlantic coast.&nbsp; Portobello is mainly known for the ruins of old Spanish colonial fortresses (they were defending the looted gold), and also snorkeling and diving.&nbsp; We rented a cabin on the water.&nbsp; Here's Eric relaxing in a hammock.

This German couple in the cabin next to ours were traveling with 2 girls, one an infant and the other about 2 years old.&nbsp; It seemed pretty tough.&nbsp; Apparently they were having some health problems, so they left the next day to find a doctor.

This is our cabin.&nbsp; It looks very sweet, but was somewhat cramped indoors.

This is the San Juan de Dios Church, built in the17th Century, right in the town of Portobelo.

These are old bridges.&nbsp; I'm not sure if they ever held water, but right now it's basically muck.

This little girl was bathing at an outdoor sink

Turkey vultures were everywhere!

An enclosure for a guard to stand in, inside one of the fortresses.

Most of the fortresses were made from what's called reef rock, or sawn coral blocks.

Eric at one of the old cannons.

There were whole rows of cannons left at the fortress.

These outhouses were typical of the area.&nbsp; They just dropped everything right into the water, for the tide to take out.

There were the overgrown ruins of yet another fortress up on a hill.&nbsp; It actually looks a little like just a hill in this picture, but from another angle you can see that it's an old fortress.

The arch of Santiago Fortress.

This fortress was surrounded by an impressive moat.

More views of the fortress.

We had a brief conversation with this American couple who lived in Portobelo.&nbsp; I really wanted to talk with them at length, because I wanted to know what it was like to live in Panama.&nbsp; They were pretty disinclined to chat, though.&nbsp; We theorized that they were involved in the drug trade.

Walked up to an unnamed fort in the hills above Portobelo, and found these flowers on the way.

This one has a moat as well

It was a little tough getting in.&nbsp; We didn't trust the &quot;bridge&quot; (a couple planks) leading over the moat, so we jumped in and climbed up.

The well inside the fortress.

The fortress turret still had some fairly intact stairs to climb up on.

There were some great views from the fortress of the bay below.

Back in town, we met this retired English couple who were traveling all around the world. For the past 6 years or so had done numerous trips around the world, usually of a couple months at a time.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; The couple was traveling by bus, so we drove them around to the various accommodations that were available in Portobelo.&nbsp; They weren't happy with them, though. They left Portobelo on the next bus, disappointed with what it had to offer.

Later on we got a boat to take us to a snorkeling/beach spot on a nearby island.&nbsp; There was a guy there already who was collecting fruits from abandoned farms on the island.&nbsp;This is his little dugout.

Eric and our things, hung up on a tree.

Eric found a drowned looking rat next to the water's edge.

This tree grew right into the water, and was really easy to climb up on.

Most of the rocks on the beach were coral rocks.

After snorkeling (some nice colorful fish, nothing spectacular), we rested and read on the beach.

Waiting for the boat to return for us.

The beach, from the water.

The boat came, a little delayed because of mechanical problems.&nbsp; We continued to have problems on the way back, as well.&nbsp; The boy was only able to run the engine at a little higher than idle for most of the trip, so it took quite a while.

This veranda out on the beach was a pleasant place to hang out in the evenings, free of irritating sand flies.

We went for a drive to the area around Nombre de Dios.&nbsp; It's mainly a farming area, and we encountered a lot of animals on and around the road.

Hey Dinarte!&nbsp; These people have the same last name as you do!

This bridge was the first of it's type that we'd seen.&nbsp; It looked scary, but later we saw more that were like this that were in much worse condition.

The president of Panama has these signs all over the country, describing various development projects that are underway.&nbsp; The top of the sign says, &quot;President of the republic Mireya Moscoso, combating poverty.&nbsp; It's just some road repairs, though.

This house was in Nombre de Dios.&nbsp; I think the assortment of junk on top of the roof doesn't necessarily mean that they're poor, just unskilled at building, because the coconut palm fronts that are often used for roofing can be made waterproof.

Horses on the road.&nbsp; Later on after dark we met a dog on the road--with unpleasant consequences for the dog.

Sunset from around Nombre de Dios.

Off this rickety old pier...

...we saw this amazingly colored jellyfish.&nbsp; At first I thought it was a child's inflatable toy, because of the brilliant colors.

Eric at dinner, with a whole fried fish.

And Sylvia with octopus stew and fried plantains.

The next day we drove down to Gamboa, hoping to see an old Nazi crane that's supposed to be in use there.&nbsp; We didn't see the crane because it had been moved, but we did see the old abandoned residences for the canal workers.

Some of them had been fixed up for a new ecotourist resort that looked very deserted.

At the Soberania National Park we did a little hike into the rainforest.&nbsp; Unfortunately it was too late for the birds, but we did hear some monkeys.&nbsp; This tree was amazing--it's buttressed roots went out about 25 feet.

I think this is a mimosa flower.

We also walked up to Canopy Tower, on top of a hill in the middle of the rainforest.&nbsp; It's an old military installation that's been converted into a bird-watching oriented hotel.&nbsp; We wanted to take a look inside, but they wouldn't allow us in.&nbsp; And after we hiked up the hill for 25 minutes, too!

This termites nest was typical of the many that we saw, all over Panama.

The Summit Botanical Gardens and Zoo has all kinds of local animals.&nbsp; We didn't see the Botanical Gardens part of it, though.&nbsp; Lots of monkeys, and all kinds of other local fauna

Toucans in touching distance

Not-so-wild boars

And as mentioned, tons of monkeys.&nbsp; Zoos here aren't like zoos in the US, where there's no way you'll be able to touch an animal.&nbsp; Here there's not multiple layers of fencing, and you can touch all you want.

We drove down west of Panama city, to a region of beaches.&nbsp; The town of Playa Coronado is a very wealthy little enclave, with some very comfortable looking houses.

We ended up staying at the XS Memories, in Santa Clara.&nbsp; We chatted a while with the American owners, Sheila and Dennis.&nbsp; They had many frustrations with bureaucrats, untrained personnel, and lax business practices.&nbsp; It's always interesting, talking to people who have moved overseas.&nbsp; This is the restaurant.

Our room

Finally, a shower with hot water!&nbsp; This little device would actually heat water as it came out!

The beach at Santa Clara.

Raw wood is so cheap here that lots of outdoor furniture is made out of it.

The next day we took a kayak trip down the Chame river with Sven, a German guy who's lived in Panama for 7 years.

The river was pretty low--lots of places, we had to drag the canoes.&nbsp; Dragging the gray kayak is Wild Bill, from the Yukon Territory.

Eric and I in kayaks.

A woman by the side of the river, washing clothes.

Some boys going for a swim.&nbsp; Horses are a popular way to get around in the backcountry.

Fishing in the river.&nbsp; When we asked what he was fishing for, he said, &quot;Anything!&quot;

A heron.

Back at the guesthouse where Wild Bill was staying with a Canadian couple.&nbsp; The wife lived there full time, the husband lived there half time, and the other half worked in Canada.&nbsp; Lots of expatriates are seem to be heavy smokers around here.

Dennis, Sheila, and Sven at the bar at XS Memories.

Penonome has Carnival floats that literally float, down the local river.&nbsp; We were told it was at 9, but found out that it was at 3 in the afternoon or perhaps later.&nbsp; Until then, there was the mojadero, or &quot;wettening&quot;.&nbsp; Basically, they load up a lot of tanks with water from the river, and spray people.&nbsp; Here's some tankers loading up

A guy spraying people from a truck on the right...

...and lots of wet drunks

This man was selling little fried chips of plantains for 25 cents.&nbsp; Tasty.

El Valle, More Carnival in Las Tables, Petroglyphs in Nancito, Boquete

After Penonome, we went to El Valle, a town in the cool mountain interior.&nbsp; We stayed at Los Capitanes, run by Manfried Koch, a retired civilian sea captain.&nbsp; He was a charming man who told us many stores about his life as a captain, how he came to be in Panama, and how he lived now.&nbsp; The mountain in the back is called &quot;La India Dormida&quot;, or the sleeping Indian.

The nearby petroglyphs--pretty crazy and garbled--are a local attraction.&nbsp; I wasn't that thrilled, though, because they've been painted over with latex paint, &quot;so that you can see them better&quot;, as the boy we hired to take us to them told us.&nbsp; It ruined the appeal for me, though.

The boy on the right showed us up to the petroglyphs...

...and a local waterfall.

Afterwards, we went on a walk in the area and found this beautiful wooded pasture area.

Leaf-cutter ants carrying leaves and blossoms home to their nest.

Boys playing soccer in the evening.

The front lawn of a nearby resort.&nbsp; This is a ritzy area, close enough for the wealthy from Panama City to come for the weekend.

Lots of luxurious houses...

The next morning, Manfried brought bread from the local market.

We visited the market as well.&nbsp; Good prices on citrus fruits and handicrafts.

We bought some molas, a colorful multi-layered appliqu� sewn by a Kuna Indians.&nbsp; Their women wear a distinctive dress, which includes beads wrapped around the forearm and calf, a mola sewn to their blouse, front and back, a longish skirt, and often a gold nose ring.

These look like miniature furniture, doesn't it?&nbsp; It's not miniature, it's just very roughly hewn wood.&nbsp; You could buy a set like this for about $150.&nbsp; Of course, shipping to the US would be another story.

Near Santa Clara we found the ruins of an old Panamanian army base, which was destroyed in the US invasion in 1989.

Later we went to the Carnival celebrations in the town of Las Tablas, supposedly the best in the country.&nbsp; We learned that unless you're going to be here the full 4 days of Carnival, you really need to plan your trip for when things are happening.&nbsp; We wanted to see the impressive floats we've heard about, but that was another day.&nbsp; We did see huge crowds of really drunk very young people.

We asked a soldier, who was patrolling the streets, where we could go to photograph some floats.&nbsp; He asked his commanding officer, who assigned 3 soldiers to accompany us to an area where some floats were.&nbsp;Having an army escort was cool!

Floats, and other Carnival scenes.

As we were walking with our army escort, a guy on the street dropped a dollar bill.&nbsp; The officer in charge picked it up and returned it to him, probably expecting a &quot;thank you&quot;.&nbsp; They got into a little discussion that I didn't understand too well, and&nbsp; apparently the guy made an insulting comment to the officer.&nbsp; This was the end of our army escort.&nbsp; They were fully occupied in dealing with this guy.

A shave ice vendor on the right, with the red cart.

Drunken guys carrying a cooler of beer around.

A bank building has its windows boarded up in anticipation of rowdy crowds.

Did I mention that there was lots of trash everywhere?

Last year Carnival was cancelled in Las Tablas and lots of other places because of risks from Hantavirus.&nbsp; This sign says, &quot;You can prevent Hantavirus.&nbsp; Keep your patio free of weeds&quot;.

On the way out of town we saw what looked like a cockfighting arena, and stopped.

This gentleman wanted to be photographed along with his fighting rooster.

We were invited to sit down and drink with a lot of very friendly (and also drunk) Panamanian guys.&nbsp; After a fair amount of prodding, they accepted that we couldn't drink any alcohol because we were driving.&nbsp; They tried to arrange a cockfight for us, but it would have taken a while to get started, so unfortunately we had to move on.

We spent the night in Santiago, and had dinner at the local McDonalds.&nbsp; This lady in the cute costume worked there. Service at this McDonalds was about the best we've had in Panama (in general, service is very haphazard).

A project with some funding from China.&nbsp; We heard talk that the Panamanians, now that the US is out, are trying to establish close ties to the Chinese.&nbsp; There's lots of Chinese here--they own almost all of the stores.

Between Santiago and David, the tiny village of Nancito lies 4 kilometers off the main highway.&nbsp; On a hilltop is a scattered set of boulders, many of them which have pre-Columbian abstract designs on them. If you click on this image to get the large version, you can see the carving on the boulder shown.

Here's some close-ups.

Some kids, visiting for Carnival, who were jumping around the boulders.

There was a great view on the way down, of the hillside and ocean.

Blown over billboards were everywhere in Panama.&nbsp; I wonder if they're considered disposable, or what?&nbsp; This is one of dozens that we saw.

We drove way past where we wanted to go (up to Boquete), but on the way, past this PriceSmart (part of Costco).&nbsp; We went in and checked it out.&nbsp; It was fun--an island of America in a sea of Panama.&nbsp; Selection is pretty similar to Costco in the US, except the produce selection is really poor.&nbsp;Prices seem identical.

This is the back terrace of the Pension Virginia, where we ended up staying in Boquete.

View from the back terrace

The town of Boquete, taken from an overlook next to the tourist office outside town.&nbsp; The tourist office, from looking at their visitors book, didn't get many visitors who weren't from Latin American countries.

We hiked up a concrete path into a neighborhood just to get a feel for the place.&nbsp; People were very friendly, and everyone greeted us.

Most houses on this hill looked like shacks, but this one was an exception.&nbsp; They had actually graded out a section of flat land, and built a substantial little house.

View down the path.

Eric resting his back

Genuine coffee beans!

Eric picked an orange for me, and I peeled it as I've seen them done in this area, cut it in half, and sucked on the juice.&nbsp; The oranges are fine, but they're not very sweet.

The Boquete bridge--kind of scary to walk across.

Eric suffered a lot from mosquito bites.&nbsp; Most of them were from Santa Clara, a couple days ago.

The next morning we went on a drive up to the Sendero Los Quetztales.&nbsp; Sendero means path, and Quetztales are a type of tropical bird.&nbsp; We didn't end up seeing any quetztales, unfortunately, but we saw some wonderful scenery.

Another interesting bridge.&nbsp; It's a suspension bridge, but the cables are just stretched over top of the tower, instead of being attached there.

The Palo Alto river, on the way up to the trail.

Scenery from around the trailhead.

The &quot;trailhead&quot;.&nbsp; It was actually extremely confusing.&nbsp; It was right in front of a dirt road that led to somebody's house.&nbsp; We thought that couldn't be it, and walked back to the road, where we found some people who told us that yes, it was it. They were wrong, but it was a fun hike.

Through the barbed wire, up the trail.

Cultivation happens on some very steep land here.&nbsp; If you click on the picture to get the more detailed image (it'll take a while to download) you can see the farmer working on the plot.

Eric and I in the pasture.&nbsp; It felt like a strange melding of tropical and alpine.

Crossing a footbridge.

Posing with a giant leaf whose name I don't know.

I touched this plant, curious, and found that it was worse than a stinging nettle.&nbsp; It irritated my fingers tremendously where I'd touched it.

This plant is from the Melastomatacae family, if I remember my botany correctly.&nbsp; You can easily tell from the 3 main veins going down the leaf.

Short sections of the path we walked consisted of coffee bean sacks, filled with dirt and rocks.

It turned out that the path we were on actually lead the water plant for Boquete.&nbsp; Nevertheless, it was still a great little hike.

An American couple we met from Trout River, Washington, who were also hiking the trail.

A tree with a heavy load of bromeliads on it.

We really enjoyed the landscape...

When we walked back, there were cattle in a field that had previously been empty.&nbsp; Eric thought that the black bull was looking at us threateningly.&nbsp; The farmer on the hill across the way saw us hesitating, and (I thought) motioned to us to not go forward.&nbsp; Confused, we tried to find a path along the stream, but failed.

Then we tried to find a path around on the hillside, but it was hard going.&nbsp; Finally the farmer came down right next to the bull, and motioned us to come straight towards him.&nbsp; I chatted with him. It turns out that the bull was completely harmless, and that when he saw us hesitate, he meant to motion us to walk straight through the field.&nbsp; I'm sure he'll share that story with his buddies!

Finally, we got to the REAL Sendero Los Quetztales.&nbsp; We drove as far as we could and then walked into the rainforest for a while.&nbsp; I enjoyed the previous hike more, there was more of a view.&nbsp; The real Sendero Los Quetztales was in dense rainforest without a view.

However, the road leading up to it was beautiful.

The large diagonals in this field are logs that haven't been cleared out.

A tree fern.

On the way back into town, we went to the oddest place.&nbsp; It's called &quot;Mi Jardin es Su Jardin&quot; (My Garden is Your Garden), and it's a large, elaborately landscaped and decorated park-like garden outside a luxurious private residence, that doesn't charge an entrance fee.&nbsp; There's all kinds of strange and wonderful and sometimes very corny things in it.

We spoke with a man who worked there.&nbsp; He said the owner lives in Miami, and owns lots of hotels and other businesses there, but has kept up this garden as a private hobby for the past 30 years.&nbsp; Apparently it costs $10,000 to $12,000 a month in upkeep.&nbsp; Notice the elevated watchtower in the back

Water slides

The bakery we patronized in town.&nbsp; They had one massively huge and very doughy pastry for only 25 cents that was pretty good, although it took some getting used to.

A cloudy view of Volcan Baru.

In the evening we took a drive up around Volcancito, a small community near Boquete.&nbsp; I really liked this house--simple, clean lines, and with a fantastic view.

Dinner was at El Sabroson (The Tasty Place) in town.&nbsp; This whole meal for both of us, including rice, beef stew, mashed potatoes, salad, and a soda for Eric, and rice and beans, chicken, plaintains, and salad for me, was only $3.55.

Sylvia with Laura and Mathew.

Back at Pension Virginia, we met up with Laura and Matthew, and ended up chatting with her for a long time.&nbsp;&nbsp;Laura is from Tennessee, and has traveled all over the world, especially in Latin America.&nbsp; She's here on her own, traveling by bus, with her 16 month old son.&nbsp; She said that although she'd have a hard time admitting it to people at home, who told her she was crazy to try it, she now thinks that it wasn't a good idea to travel overseas alone with her son.&nbsp; Laura was a really engaging and fun person, and we really enjoyed talking with her. Her boy doesn't allow himself to be held by other people now, because when she was in the San Blas islands, he was such a hit with the natives (being blond and blue-eyed) that they were constantly trying to grab him. Now he stays right next to his mother all the time.

This was our room at the Pension Virginia.&nbsp; Nothing special, except it was very bright and sunny.&nbsp;&nbsp; The first room they showed us was a dungeon--good thing we asked for another room.

The next morning we took a drive around another area close to Boquete, and invited Laura and Matthew along.&nbsp; Matthew liked the horses.

The bridge over the Rio Caldera, with a view of Volcan Baru in the background.

Rio Caldera, from the bridge.

Laura, Matthew, and Eric.

Later on we went to Cafe Ruiz for a tour of the coffee factory.&nbsp; The price paid for a container of picked red coffee beans was only $2.50.&nbsp; When the world price of coffee was higher, the price paid for the coffee beans has been as high as $10.

This is Eusebio, who gave us the tour of the facility.

The large roasting/cooling machine that's now used.

The very first roasting machine that they owned.

Another view of Boquete and the Rio Caldera.

Isla Boca Brave, Volcan, Las Bocas del Toro, back in Panama City

Our destination after visiting Boquete was Isla Boca Brava.&nbsp; There's a (very) rustic lodge there.&nbsp; It's way off the beaten track, and as we were slowly driving down the dirt road there, we found a cashew tree!&nbsp; I first noticed the red fruits hanging in the trees.

The red part is the called the cashew apple, and is edible.&nbsp; This was the first time I'd tried it.&nbsp; It's very juicy, but a little on the bland side, with a strange taste.&nbsp; The thing hanging down is, amazingly enough, the cashew nut!&nbsp; No wonder cashews are so expensive, if it takes a whole fruit to produce one.

We had to take a boat to the island.&nbsp; This is the boatman's nephew.

There were really rustic bamboo lodges to stay in (pretty dark inside)

...and cabins that were quite a bit more comfortable.&nbsp; There was a fantastic breeze blowing through the room during the day, but unfortunately it died down at night, so it was very warm.

You could also rent a hammock to sleep in, for $3 a night.

There was a pet parrot there, Keeri.&nbsp; He was really intrigued by Eric's cap.

We met Quincy and Patrick at the lodge, from Idaho.&nbsp; They drove down from Idaho in a pickup truck, sleeping in the covered back along the way. She's going to be guiding fly fishing trips this summer, and he's a carpenter.&nbsp; They live in a small yurt that he built (a hobby of his).&nbsp; No running water.&nbsp; You meet very interesting people while traveling!

A wasp nest on the beach.&nbsp; The beach wasn't spectacular, the water was very murky and warm.

Steps down to the pier that we landed at.&nbsp; We went down there at night to swish a stick around in the water, and see the bioluminescent plankton.

Eric relaxing before dinner.

When the lights were on, geckos congregated around them, gorging themselves on the moths that hovered around the lights.

The lodge on Isla Boca Brava was on the northeast edge this this marine park.

In the morning, we saw the monkeys that had woken us up.

I had fresh passion fruit juice for breakfast.&nbsp; It was amazingly good!

Lots of hammocks around were made very simply of a piece of strong cloth, folded together, and then tied at the ends.

The bar/restaurant.

We did a day long excursion with Patrick and Quincy, as well as Vince and Peter.&nbsp; The boatman was Elvis, along with his son Elvis.&nbsp; They&nbsp; brought us to 2 snorkeling spots, and 2 beautiful deserted beaches.&nbsp; The snorkeling was poor (cloudy and not much variety).&nbsp; The beaches were great, though.

This is Vince, climbing up a coconut tree.&nbsp; He had just spent a couple weeks in the jungle near Columbia, living with an Indian tribe.&nbsp; He's trying to make this type of travel into a business.&nbsp; Here's his <a href="">web site</a>.

Drinking the green coconut juice.&nbsp; Very tasty.&nbsp; I'm pretty covered up from the sun here, but I still got sunburned (upper thighs).

Eric chops up a brown coconut for meat.

It ended up being a little on the overripe side.&nbsp; Some of the other coconuts we got were great, though.

Hermit crabs were everywhere on the beaches.&nbsp; We held hermit crab races, making a circle in the sand, putting the hermit crabs in the middle, and seeing which one got outside the circle first.&nbsp; These are the tracks of hermit crabs.

Coconut palms sprout just like this.

Bromeliads in the trees on the beach.

Beach scene.

A close-up of the hermit crabs.

Quincy made a sand sculpture of a mermaid.

Riding back in the boat.

Form the left, Quincy, Vince, Elvis (you can barely see him), Patrick, and Peter.

The next day we got an early start out of Boca Brava.&nbsp; It was a long dirt road out...

And along the way, we were stopped by this cattle drive.

We drove up to the Volcan area, again in the cooler central mountain region.&nbsp; It's a beautiful area.

There was a Swiss settlement in this area some time ago, and you can still see there influence in the houses.

If you look closely here, you can see giant thistles.

Scenes from along the road.

I think this might be a cocoa tree, but I'm not sure.

We drove up to the Amistad park area.&nbsp; We drove over this bridge without realizing the huge hole it had!

On the way back, we were more careful.

Some areas here look very alpine.

We also visited a trout farm.

Dinner that evening, at Hotel Cerro Punta, was a solitary experience (we were the only ones in the large dining room) but the food was wonderful.&nbsp; I had fish &quot;a la criolla&quot;, with a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and capers.&nbsp; Eric had a tasty peppered beefsteak.&nbsp; Service was amazing, too--it seemed as though our waitress had been trained at a very fancy hotel.&nbsp; That's VERY unusual for Panama.

Leaving town the next morning, I just had to get another bridge picture.&nbsp; We didn't have to cross this one, thank goodness.

It was fixed up with barbed wire.&nbsp; Better watch where you put your hands!

Volcan Baru is in the background here.&nbsp; In the foreground is the local trash dump.

These are the, to my eyes, very unimpressive lakes of Volcan. They were listed in our guidebook as being very picturesque, but they definitely weren't worth the 20 minute drive on a very bad dirt road.

On the way out to David, we stopped at the workshop of Jose de la Cruz.&nbsp; Here he's writing my name into a piece of wood with a chisel.&nbsp; We ended up buying lots of scraps of interesting tropical woods for my dad.

Flying out to Bocas del Toro.&nbsp; We saw many shallow reef areas like this, just under the surface of the water.&nbsp; I wonder what the snorkeling would have been like there.

In Bocas del Toro, a quiet old banana town.

This is the plane we flew in on.

Bocas del Toro is undergoing a tourist boom now, with lots of talk about investors buying property here.

Bicycles in Panama need to have license plates.

There was an interesting contingent of Spanish speaking hippies here, from places like Argentina and Costa Rica.&nbsp; Most of them made and sell beadwork on the street.&nbsp; It seems like pretty hot work, being in the sun all day long.

Some typical houses here, on stilts.

We rented some bikes and took a tour along the coast.

I think these tires were dropped here to prevent erosion from eating away at the road.

This octagon is for sale.

Lots of beaches here are like this--lots of trash that the tide has deposited.

There's some okay surfing spots here, too.

This boy knocked a coconut of the palm tree for us.&nbsp; Apparently climbing is not the way to do it, you need to use a big stick and knock the coconuts down.

This is the only photo I got of a horse and rider, but it was very common here to see people using horses for transport.

Houses around town.

We took a boat to Isla Bastamiento to visit Russell, an American from Cincinnati that we'd met on the plane.&nbsp; Fare was $2 each for about a15 minute ride.

Isla Bastamiento is very quiet, with no roads (only a concrete walkway).

This is the one of the houses that Russel had built.

He has a system to catch rainwater, which fills up in about a 2 hour downpour.&nbsp; However, his previous renters had used up all the water, and so they were buying water in town.

Here's Russell.&nbsp; He was real character, full of off-color jokes and stories.

This is the boat he uses to get to the village.&nbsp; It's not very far on land, but it's hard to walk, being all swamp and mangrove.

His pier...

We kayaked around the bay in a sit-on-top double kayak that we rented for $7 a half day, getting some nice views from the water.

Russell's place from the water.

Outhouses here are built on top of the water.

One of our favorites--the ice cream man.&nbsp; All over Panama, you could buy a small cone of decent ice cream for 25 cents.&nbsp; There was only one flavor that I didn't like, called grape nut.&nbsp; It was vanilla, with little things that looked like grape nuts in it.

A pier back on Bocas del Toro.

Another pier, in not so good shape.

The view of town from the plane the next day.&nbsp; You can see the airstrip we took off from.&nbsp; This is one of the few places in the world where you can actually walk from the airport to the hotel.

On the way back, we got a good view of Isla Taboga.&nbsp; The small island in the middle is Isla El Morro.

Back in Panama City, school supply sales were in full swing when we walked around the main shopping street.&nbsp; Kids here have to wear uniforms to school.

Shoplifting must have been a serious problem.&nbsp; Most stores had security guards on ladders at all corners.

Shoes, only 10 cents!

We tried some sugar cane juice.&nbsp; It would have been pretty good, but I think the sugar cane that was used was a little dirty.

Kuna indians on the street.

This group of young people, doing a dance on the main street were traveling evangelical Christians from Taiwan.&nbsp; I asked some of them what church they belonged to, but they didn't understand English or Spanish.

We met Ron again, the guy we met first at Carnival in Las Tablas.&nbsp; Friendly guy, doing what he said he does here--hang out.

Selling beans on the street.

The fruit on the right is water apple.&nbsp; We tried some of these, and they were interesting.

The cat colony next to our hotel. They were pretty scrawny looking.

We're home! The sun is coming from the wrong angle here, but this is Lake Sammamish, and somewhere on the left are our houses.

A view of Seattle, including Mercer Island, Seattle, I-90, 520, Lake Union, Downtown.

Notre Dame, the Seine, Louvre, Right Bank

On the way out of SeaTac Airport, we flew right over our neighborhood, and had a great view.&nbsp; Unfortunately we weren't able to get the camera out until we were further east, above the Cascades.

Our first view of Paris!&nbsp; This is at the Boulevard Saint Michael Notre Dame RER station.

The view from the balcony of the Hotel California, where we stayed.

I think Hans and Holly stayed at this place, very close-by, when they were here 2 years ago.

Our first purchase in Paris was of a tandoori chicken panini sandwich, from this very friendly Vietnamese guy.&nbsp; He was playing Laotian music on the radio, which I recognized.

It was a shock the first time we saw one of these super small little cars, but they're fairly common in Paris.

Walking towards the Notre Dame cathedral, we saw a bookstore dedicated only to old Jules Verne books.

Notre Dame, and the Seine.

The Prefecture de Police (it faces Notre Dame)

The famous gothic cathedral of Notre Dame.&nbsp; Not many tourists around at all at this time of year.

This is Point Zero in France, right in front of Notre Dame.&nbsp; All road distances are measured from here.

All three entrance doors had some very elaborate iron work.

In the middle ages, these statues next to the entrance doors were brightly painted to help people understand bible stories.

Inside Notre Dame.

Inside, there were many spots where you could light a candle and pray to a particular saint.

Right next to the candles we found this handy blanket to throw over people who have been set ablaze by the candles. I imagine that it's happened before.

Lots of women were wearing fur coats!&nbsp; I assume it's not as politically incorrect as it is in the US.

A statue at the outside door--Adam and Eve eating of the Tree of Knowledge, tempted by a serpent (the top is a woman, the bottom a serpent).

Here you can see the flying buttresses, and some of the gargoyles (which were added in the 1800's).

We relied heavily on a couple guidebooks to tell us what to see.

A lovely park behind the cathedral gives a great view of Notre Dame as well.

These barges on the Seine are supposedly for rent to tourists as a substitute for hotel rooms.&nbsp; Sounds very romantic!

You can stroll along the Seine, taking in the sights.&nbsp; A lot more is happening in the summer months, but there's still some people out and about.

I really liked these little shops along the Seine, which sold mainly old book, manuscripts, prints, and postcards.&nbsp; At night they locked everything up, and you could see nothing but big green metal boxes along the walkway.

This little piggy is going to be a delectable morsel tonight.

The church of St. Julian le Pauvre, or St. Julian the Poor.&nbsp; It, as well as other buildings, was described in detail in part of a walking tour that we took of the area.&nbsp; It was a little rough, because every 10 steps we had to read a couple pages about the history of almost every single building that we passed.

Right next to St. Julian le Pauvre.

I was amazed at how popular roller-blading is in Paris.&nbsp; Seems like many people actually use it as a means of transportation.&nbsp; We had some coffee in a cafe (which are amazingly smoky, incidentally), and saw this couple taking a break from their outing.

In the evening we walked to the Louvre (a massivly huge museum in Paris).&nbsp; The glass pyramids in front were built in the mid 1980's.

Right next to the Louvre is the Arc du Triomphe du Carrousel.&nbsp; We decided that in comparison to the main Arc du Triomphe (much bigger), this should be called the Arc du Pretty Darn Good.

The metro is a pretty efficient way to get around, if there's no strike.

A lot of stores had stands outside where you could choose the baguette you wanted for lunch (like butter and ham, mozzarella and tomato, etc.).&nbsp; Very handy.

This is inside the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre.

And this is the inside of the Louvre.&nbsp; The place is incredibly huge, with tons of different collections.&nbsp; We both enjoyed it, although slow walking down hallways is always a little tiring.&nbsp; Also, Eric was disappointed that the information placards, which were supposed to be there in all languages, were rarely there in English.&nbsp; Our guidebook suggested that we choose a period or section of the museum, and just do that, pretending that the rest is across town.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, a famous old Greek statue.

Some of the very ornate ceilings at the Louvre.

This is the main exhibition hallway, containing the the Renaissance paintings.&nbsp; It's kind of thrilling to walk through and recognize paintings that you've seen in books.

The Mona Lisa is always somewhat crowded.

Lots of art students were copying famous paintings.

This one was in the same room as the Mona Lisa.&nbsp; Huge!

Most of the paintings have a religious theme.&nbsp; Here are the soldiers gambling over Christ's clothing.

And the circumcision of Christ.

This was a fun one--the four seasons, represented in a portrait form.&nbsp; This is Summer...



and Spring.

Painting of many paintings.

Eric and I in front of the Louvre.&nbsp; We asked a French schoolteacher to take the picture--she ended up taking 3, thinking she had only taken one.&nbsp; If you're not familiar with the camera, it's easy to not know when the picture has been taken.&nbsp; Almost everyone that takes a picture for us looks at the camera, confused, afterwards, saying, &quot;I think it took the picture...&quot;

We took a break from the Louvre and took a little walk around the area, the Louvre and Les Halles area.

This little magazine and newspaper stand is typical of the area.

Have I mentioned that there were tons of rollerbladers around?

At the southern end of the Jardin du Palais Royal is a strange sculpture.&nbsp; These multi-height columns were placed here in 1986

Another strange sculpture.&nbsp; I thought this one looked pretty cool.

This woman was feeding sparrows in the Jardin du Palais Royal.&nbsp; I asked her if she was feeding them bread.&nbsp; She said no, that they prefer madelines (a type of cookies) instead.&nbsp; They would come and feed from her hand.

A couple groups of young people were playing the guitar out at the gardens.

Street scene in the Louvre area.

This was somewhere around the Opera Garnier.

We wanted to check out the famous Ritz Hotel, but they didn't let us in.

This the Eglise de la Madeleine, a very strange Greek-looking church.

Later on we went walking on the Champs Elysees.&nbsp; A very happening place.

This is the real Arc du Triomphe, very nicely lit up in the evening.&nbsp; To get to it, you have to walk through a tunnel under about 6 lanes of traffic.

Looking down the Champs Elysees.&nbsp; At the very end you can see the carousel.

On our way back we got a picture of the carousel and the Egyptian monolith next to it.

Back at the Louvre (you can go in and out without buying new tickets), we concentrated on the Greek section.&nbsp; This is from a huge floor mosaic.

These decorations, which were formerly on top of columns, were interesting to us because they were taken from Milet (modern-day Turkey), which we visited last fall.

I couldn't figure this one out--it really looks like this guy is in a wheelchair, but of course they didn't have wheelchairs back then.

The famous Venus de Milo.

This egyptian tablet is apparently of a scribe/sculptor, writing of all the skills that he possesses.&nbsp; Maybe it was meant as a kind of resume?

An Egyptian table. It wouldn't look out of place today.

We saw this ad on the way home.&nbsp; This is one Mercedes that I'm pretty sure isn't sold in the US.

Fashion Show, Sorbonne Area, Pantheon, Mouffetard, Ile de la Cite, Pere Lachaine Cemetary

Breakfast of champions at the hotel.&nbsp; Breakfast was very continental.&nbsp; It consisted of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, with a baguette and croissants, butter and jam.&nbsp; No honey, so I bought my own and used that.

On our way out for a day of touristing, we saw some people headed out to demonstrate and strike.&nbsp; This says something like, &quot;Understaffed, too much worked, miserable salary, uhh...a little more vaseline, please&quot;.&nbsp; We talked to this guy--they were workers at a hospital (this man was a nurses assistant), striking for higher pay.&nbsp; He's been to Seattle before, renting a car here and then driving up to British Columbia.

At the Galeries Lafayette department store, one of the oldest and largest around, we went to a fashion show that they hold every week.&nbsp; We had signed up for it previously over the internet.&nbsp; Very interesting--the first fashion show I've ever been to.

The dress on the left here was the only one that I liked. The rest were too far out for me.

This picture was taken by a couple from Virginia who had signed up for the fashion show as well, but got up too late.&nbsp; We told them to check out our web site and look at our pictures of it.&nbsp; We didn't get their names, but if you make it here, greetings!

This is the inside of the store, built around a huge atrium.&nbsp; I was surprised to see that the store itself seemed a little shabby and in need of renovation.

This coat was in the fashion show, one of the first things that they displayed.&nbsp; Right after Eric took this picture the lady came up and said no pictures.

We found the hospital strikers again, just in front of the opera.&nbsp; It seems like striking in France is a national obsession.&nbsp; They tied up the traffic tremendously--good thing we weren't driving.

Back at the hotel, we went for a walk in the neighborhood (the Left Bank).&nbsp; This is the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages.

Part of the University of Sorbonne, very close to where we stayed.

Lots of interesting stores in the area.&nbsp; We went into a store that caters to medical students, with all kinds of teaching supplies (models of the eye, etc.).

A store of sculpted busts.

A teapot store

Another Jules Verne store (our second)

A typical Parisian cafe, with chairs on the sidewalk.&nbsp; It's a little to cold to be drinking coffee outside, though.

We bought our first crepe from this guy, and almost got ripped off by him. It was 15 F, we gave him 50 F, and got back 25.20 F. He was hoping that we�d think the 20 centime coin was a 10 F coin (they both have a bronze color). After we�d walked away, Eric counted the change and realized we were short. We walked back and told him we didn�t get the right change. First he said he�d given us another 10 F coin, but then he he gave us the right change.

A bookbinder in his workshop.

The next day we walked by the Pantheon on our way to the Mouffetard (a big market street).&nbsp; The Pantheon was built as a church, but is now something like a secular mausoleum.

A pleasant little courtyard close to the Pantheon

Pantheon in the background, and the guy who took the picture for us called the green thing a fountain, but I didn't see a place for water to come out.

Yummy, delicious little tarts in a store window.&nbsp; We tried many pastries like these.&nbsp; I think my favorite was a coffee eclair.

Rue Mouffetard.

A cheese shop.&nbsp; Tons and tons of selection here, as expected.

A fruit stand on Mouffetard.

I bought some Lichee fruits from this vendor.&nbsp; I was really surprised by the fact that they're so popular here--you see the shells everywhere.&nbsp; Apparently they're imported from Madagascar.

Our arch nemesis in walking around Paris were the dog turds everywhere.&nbsp; We had to keep our eyes on the pavement all the time, and call out alerts.&nbsp; The quick little side step we took, when we almost stepped on one, we called the &quot;dog shit dance&quot;.

Lunch at this restaurant.&nbsp; Not too bad at all.

These boats can take hundreds of tourists along the Seine.&nbsp; During the off-season, though, there's just a few on board.

We saw this woman taking pictures both at Notre Dame Cathedral, and here, in front of this famous Metro stop.&nbsp; She propped up a little duck with a picture of a guy stuck inside it (her boyfriend?) and took pictures of it.&nbsp; Hmm...

La Concierge, a famous prison on Ile de la Cite (not far from Notre Dame) where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned.

A view of another huge department store, La Samaritaine.

The tip of the Ile de La Cite, the island that Notre Dame is on.

Scooters were very popular in Paris as a means of transport.

Inside a metro.

Lots of famous people are buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery.&nbsp; It's huge, and is supposed to be the most visited cemetery in the world.

Composer Fredric Chopin

Rock star Jim Morrison.&nbsp; A young woman, dressed hippie style, was sitting on the ground close by here, smoking pot, with a cat in her lap. Another guy, older was standing close by, just standing and looking around.&nbsp; I guess fans come here to experience the aura.

I was surprised to see that there were lots of communist graves here.&nbsp; No crosses, of course.

This is a memorial to the people who died in the concentration camp of Ravensbruck

To the heros of the resistance to the Nazis.

More memorials to concentration camp victims: Buchenwald..

and Sachsenhausen.

Writer Gertrude Stein

Writer Oscar Wilde

It seems like Oscar Wilde's grave has become something of a gay pilgrimage site (he was gay).&nbsp; Lots of lipstick marks on it.

Painter DeLaCroix

Writer Balzac

Playwright Moliere

Nobody famous, just thought the inscription was interesting.&nbsp; It reads in part, &quot;This tomb contains, alas, the three things that made the happiness of this father and husband&quot;.&nbsp; Then it lists the two daughters and the mother, both dying in the early part of the 1800s.

Me, in our hotel room, writing up notes.

Another crepe, this time a plain butter and sugar one.

In the evening we went out to a cafe right next to the Sorbonne, frequented by students.&nbsp; There was an extremely animated group of students there that we took a discrete picture of.

The Sorbonne.

The town of Chartres and it's remarkably well-preserved cathedral.

A visit to Chartres by train, a town about 100 kilometres from Paris.&nbsp; Getting a ticket was easy, and the train left only 10 minutes after we arrived.

This is the cathedral at Chartres, built in the 13th century.&nbsp; It got a little less foggy later in the day.

The entrance to the cathedral.&nbsp; It was very uncrowded, probably both because it's the low season and it was quite cold out.

These figures are typically Romanesque (which is a pre-Gothic style) in that they are very elongated.&nbsp; Contrast them to some of the Gothic figures you'll see in later pictures.&nbsp; This part of the building, along with one of the towers, is the only part left over from the Romanesque cathedral that burned on June 10, 1194 (Eric's birthday!).

Christ on his throne, surrounded by winged animals.&nbsp; Apparently there are more than 4000 sculptures on the outside of the building. Chartres is France's best preserved medieval cathedral--much of Notre Dame in Paris is renovated, but most of Chartres is original.

A beggar outside the main entrance.&nbsp; Her face looks like she's been through some hard times.

One of the features of the Chartres cathedral I was most eager to see was the maze on the floor.&nbsp; This is what it would look like.&nbsp; Pilgrims used to walk it on their knees as an act of penance.&nbsp; Unfortunately, the maze was covered with chairs.

Along with 4 other Americans, we took a guided tour from an English man who has written several books on Chartres.&nbsp; Eric thought it was fine, but I thought he was somewhat curt and not open to questions.

Behind the cathedral is another maze cut into the lawn.

Before walking around in the old medieval town of Chartres, we had lunch at a nice place very close to the cathedral.&nbsp; Eric had some kind of veal sausage, and I had lamb.

Some of the old buildings get wider at the base.

Eric found a cat!

This workbench is that of a bijoutier, or jewelry.&nbsp; If you click on it to see the full image, you can see all the details.

I loved walking around the old town.&nbsp; It was very romantic and picturesque, with all kinds of interesting architectural details everywhere.

This is from the courtyard of the museum

Eric and I behind the cathedral.&nbsp; Notice how bundled up we were--it was cold!&nbsp; Good thing we had lots of warm clothes with, including nylon windpants.&nbsp; Not very chic, though.

Me on the maze

Walking down from the cathedral to the old town.

You can see a close up of the half-timbered building below

Many of the walls were made of this very sharp type of stone.

The ornamentation on these windows is great--click on the lower picture to see all the details.

This is the Collegiale Saint Andre, right next to the Eure river.&nbsp; You can see the beginnings of an arch attached to the building.&nbsp; Previously, the building spanned the river.

The other side of the same bridge.

There were many walkways that went down to the river.&nbsp; Apparently it was because all the tanneries were there, and they had to wash out the hides in the river.

This building was a creperie (where they make the pancake-like crepes).&nbsp; Unfortuantely it wasn't open.&nbsp; Next to it was a bakery where be bought some wonderful eclairs, though.

From what we were able to tell, it seemed like the green crosses were always pharmacies, and that they were required to have a green cross like that.

More cool architectural detailing on the old houses.

We asked a boy that looked to be about 12 years old to take this picture.&nbsp; Unfortunately he didn't get the bridge behind us, which is what we really wanted to get.

A strange modern mural painted on the side of a building.&nbsp; If you click on it to get the full-size image, you can see what looks like bar codes at the bottom.

Some sundials at the cathedral

Back at the cathedral to take some pictures.&nbsp; This is the eastern entrance.

Notice these statues are significantly less elongated, compared to the Romanesque ones.&nbsp; These are all saints that were martyred (i.e.killed). Some of them are carrying the instruments of their execution (notice the stick, of a staint that was beaten to death, and the sword, of a saint that was beheaded.

The dammed, going to hell (an open mouth emitting flames)

The saved, going to heaven.

Inside the cathedral again.&nbsp; I thought it was a little strange to see this very modern looking wall carving.

This is what the maze looks like.

This stained glass window tells the story of the good Samaritan. The windows helped to instruct the illiterate (which was almost everybody) in religion back in the middle ages.&nbsp; The Chartres cathedral is very famous for its stained glass windows, almost all of which are from the 13th century.

The sanctuary area, around the altar, was surrounded by stone carvings.

The cathedral houses the Sainte Chemise, which is supposed to have been worn by Maria when she gave birth to Jesus.

Back at the old Romanesque front entrance to the cathedral.&nbsp; Notice the long braids on the women.

You can see the flying buttresses here, which were used to support the height of the cathedral.

Headed back to Paris.&nbsp; We didn't actually ride this super-speedy train--too bad!

A long automated walkway between the Montparnasse railway station and metro.

Yikes! A metro strike!&nbsp; We'd walked to the train station from the hotel in the morning, about a 35 minute walk, and were going to try to take the metro back, even though there was a strike on. Supposedly 20% of the trains were running, so we figured we would just have to wait a little.&nbsp; But after about 10 minutes of waiting, there was an announcement saying that our metro line wasn't going to get any trains.&nbsp; This is an anti-strike essay taped up on the wall, talking about how the strikers are paid for their strike hours, only work 32 hours a week anyway, etc, etc.

On the walk home we grabbed a cheese and tomato crepe...

...and also stopped at McDonalds.&nbsp; There were notices up about how many precautions they had taken against mad cow disease.

Next day, on our way to the Eiffel tower (gotta see it!) we saw this accordion player in the metro.&nbsp; He was one of many.&nbsp; We even saw one 4 piece band.

Eiffel Tower, Montmarte area, Pigalle, Cluny Museum, Flea Market, Walk around Marais, Fly Home

The Eiffel tower, from the Trocadero area.&nbsp; Lots of north african and black african vendors there, all selling the same things.

You can tell what the weather is like by the fact that most of the collection is hats and gloves, and only a small portion Eiffel tower related souveniers.

I think there was a little bit of a mafia going on there, because each one of them had the exact same items, and I assume the vendors were there illegally.

Walking towards the Eiffel Tower.

This woman was feeding wild cats.&nbsp; She wasn't happy about being photographed.

The base of the Eiffel Tower.

Vendors around the Eiffel tower.

You can really see the size of the tower with this picture.

These were counterweights for the elevator that brought tourists up the tower.&nbsp; There's 3 levels, but the highest was closed.

Pictures from the elevator up.

Paris was pretty gray that day. Central Paris has no tall buildings at all, most buildings are 5 or 6 stories in height.

Looking back at the Trocadero.

When the vendors saw that the elevator on the Eiffel tower was coming down, they rushed over to the exit, forming almost a human blockade, and tried to get people to buy souveniers.

The Eiffel tower from the Champ de Mars.&nbsp; It's supposed to be very nice in summer, but the weather this day was the coldest it ever was for us in Paris, so we didn't linger.

These poster-covered columns were typical in Paris.

Later that day we went to the Montmartre area, which is supposed to be very charming.&nbsp; I was a little disappointed, probably because it was so cold we couldn't really linger much.&nbsp; This interesting building has a sign saying Le Lapin Agile, or The Agile Rabbit cabaret.

A typical stairway street in this district.

The Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.&nbsp; This church was started in 1873 but only completed in 1919.

The vendors of these paintings weren't getting very far on this rainy, cold day.

Not far away is the famous Pigalle red-light district

The famous cabaret, Moulin Rouge.

I thought this was a little funny--a McDonalds right next to an X rated movie place.

Sea urchins and scallops for sale.

Pigeons for sale!&nbsp; I wondered if they just trapped normal pigeons on the street, or if these are bred.&nbsp; I assume they were bred, since they looked pretty large.

Oddly enough, there were lots of guys in kilts around in Paris.&nbsp; I never asked one, but I assume that there was some Scottish group in town.

Eric and I eating dinner that night.&nbsp; We walked around Mouffetard street, which is full of restaurants, to find this place.&nbsp; Eric had capon (castrated rooster) and I had lamb.&nbsp; Not bad at all, although the smoke in the restaurant was terrible.

The next day we went to the National Museum of the Middle Ages, otherwise known as the Cluny museum.&nbsp; The part of liked most were the tapestries.

I thought this was interesting--this medieval tombstone of a cardinal had swastika on it.

This old machine looks like a primitive typewriter.&nbsp; The stand this was in had all kinds of interesting old electical and radio appliances.

Later that day we went to one of the flea markets in the north of Paris.&nbsp; It's said to be Europe's largest. It's in a very different part of Paris--mostly immigrants, north African and black African.&nbsp; We even saw one man, at the entrance to a metro station, begging in Arabic.

Scenes from the flea market.

This seems like a good chair to make in miniature, dad!

An old-fashioned scooter.

This guy was roasting sugared peanuts on the street.

A crepe maker.

All the tobacco stores/combination bars had these red signs above them.

This is the Marais area, close to the Place des Vosges.

This statue was in the middle of the Place des Vosgues, of Louis the 13, who died young.

The park benches were interesting looking.&nbsp; Two benches were back to back, and shared the same backrest.

The National Archive

Centre Pompidou.&nbsp; It was built between 1972 and 1977, and is mainly known as the &quot;inside out&quot; building, since all of the ductwork (plumbing, etc,) was put on the outside.

Surprise, surprise--another stike!&nbsp; This time the workers at a Pizza Hut were asking for the public's support while they intimidated customers who wanted to go in.&nbsp; What a joke.

Here's the sheet they were giving to passers-by.&nbsp; Basically they want more money and better working conditions.&nbsp; One quote, &quot;Because of the way Pizza Hut is exploiting us, they're making millions in profit, and keeping us in a state of poverty.&quot;&nbsp; My thoughts--get another job if you think you're being exploited!

This is the famous Metropolitain Metro station, built in Art Deco style.

On our way home, flying over northern Canada, a great view of the icefields.

The town of Helper, Dead Horse Point State Park

On the way over the pass, we encountered snow and sleet.

We stopped in the town of Helper, an old coal mining town that's dying off. There's an historical museum there with lots of artifacts from the era when mining actually required lots of miners (now it's mostly mechanized). A retired gentlemen who'd spent his life working at one of coal company stores volunteers there, and showed us around (we were the only visitors)

There was a very eclectic assortment of old stuff there. Here's an old dentist's chair

Electric permanent hair wave machine...looks scary.

The cup on the left has a support for large mustaches.

Don't play with blasting caps!

This is a rescue mask, used to retrieve miners (or their bodies) after cave-ins.


Hard to imagine--something this large, and all it is, is a radio.

A self-rescue kit, in case the miner is trapped in a cave-in. It converts carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into oxygen.

The "Last Squad Club" was formed by World War One vetrans. They had a reunion every year, until all but 8 had died. At that point, they opened up a time capsule that had been stored since 1941, in which they'd all put in mementos. The last one to die , in his late 90's, had also been governer of the state and mayor of Salt Lake City.

The town jail.

Helper itself is a sad little town. Lots of empty building on main street.

On our way towards the Canyonlands area of Utah, we encountered some cool clouds.

We met an unusual guy at a rest stop. He was a transient on a bicycle, biking around the country. He gave us what seemed like a rehearsed speech about how he was a poet and a philosopher, traveling around the country working with alcoholics; had had 6 dreams about butterflies, which mean transformation. He seemed coherent enough until he approached us again, after we'd eaten lunch, with the exact same speech.

Our first glimpse of the red rock canyons, along the Colorado River close to Moab.

According to the signs, these are supposed to be dinosoar tracks.

It was much more exciting to find some pictographs nearby on our own.

It was sleety and cold at Dead Horse Point State Park campground that evening, but at least the campsite had a covered picnic table.

Later we went for a walk around the canyon rim, and found these cozy little caves...

...and lots of mule deer.

Dead Horse Point State Park, along the Columbia River, Castle Valley, Corona Arch

Next morning was foggy and cold as well. Eric had slept poorly, and was grumpy. But the views were amazing.

Glad we brought binoculars.

The original plan was to go backpacking in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, but since Eric had slept poorly and the weather wasn't supposed to be great, we spent the night in Moab instead. These are rock formations around the Moab area. The black streaks are called desert varnish.

Driving east along the Columbia River

We took a detour in the small town of Castleton. Interesting houses there.

If my brother Tom lived in Castleton, his place might look like this.

Driving on semi-deserted roads is one of my favorite parts of travel in the Southwest.

We drove around the Manti-La Sal National Forest, with some great views of Castle Valley.

It was snowing in the mountains.

Another view of Castle Valley.

Along the Columbia River west of 191 again, the late afternoon light was great on the rocks.

We stopped and looked at some more pictographs.

In the evening, we took a quick hike to Corona Arch, off highway 279. This little cave looks like it could be a hundred feet high, but it was actually about 8 feet high.

The view from the arch.

The base of the arch looks like a prehistoric dinosoar leg.

Corona arch itself.

Two eye sockets made of caves in the rock make this section look very much like a face.

A narrowleaf yucca plant, flowering.

On the way back to the car.

Canyonlands Syncline Loop trail

In the Island of the Sky district of Canyonlands.

Starting the Syncline Loop trail.

Exposed wood looks like this after some time in the sun.

Random pictures of the trail down to our campsite.

You can catch a glimpse of the Green River in the distance here.

Eric had some blister problems.

It seemed like it was a tradition to add a rock to this particular cairn, so we continued it.

In the riverbed were fresh green cottonwood trees.

Indian paintbrush.

Strange texture to these rocks.

Claret cup cactus.

These are the fossilized remains of the rippled bottom of an ocean.

The view from our campsite.

Eric examining an ant colony.


Neat rocks

Relaxing in camp.

Eric cooking dinner

After dinner we took a stroll. Eric found a heart-shaped rock.

We also found a survey post from 1954, when this area still belonged to the Bureau of Land Management.

This rock looked like a monkey head to me.

There was a bit of sun around sunset, just enough for some great photos of some of the rocks that had fallen from the cliffs.

It was almost a full moon...

Finishing Canyonlands Syncline Loop trail, Wilson Arch, Needles Overlook

The next morning, on the hike out. Yesterday, two guys from the east coast who had tried to hike out this way and turned back tried to convince us that it was too dangerous because of a rockslide. After watching with binoculars as other hikers passed this spot with no problems, we decided to go for it.


A pinyon pine tree, from which pine nuts come.

More blister problems.

After we got to the car, we stopped at the Buck Canyon Overlook, and the Grand ViewPoint Overlook for some great views.

It's too scary to be in any position but on your stomach so close to the edge of a 1000 foot drop.

Wilson Arch, south on highway 191

Eric is like a spec of dust in the eye of the arch...

We spent the night in Canyon Rims BLM recreation area. Great scenery, very deserted.

Maybe a bobcat track?

It's kind of hazy here, but you're looking at the Needles district of Canyonlands.

We were very glad to get this 4 wheel drive Suzuki Grand Vitara at the rental agency. All we'd paid for was a small compact, but I assume they didn't have any of those left.

This area is also used for grazing.

We picked up some firewood, and also some cow patties to try to burn (that didn't work too well).

The campground was gorgeous, with the evening sun hitting it just right.

Rockland Ranch, Salt Lake City

The next morning we climbed to the top of one of the rocks next to the campground. It looked steep, but the rock isn't very slippery.

Most of the rocks have sinkholes like this on top.

The view from the top.

Bob Foster and Eric

Last night the volunteer campground host had told us about a polygamist excommunicated Mormon family that had blasted out holes in nearby rocks, and built homes in them. Bob Foster was the patriarch, and was supposed to be very friendly. He also operated a bed and breakfast there--<a href=",-109.458150&spn=0.007288,0.009989&t=k&hl=en">Rockland Ranch</a>. Bob has had 4 wives, and 38 children. He has a 50 year lease on the land, which is a patch of state land in the middle of BLM lands. He didn't come right out and tell us that he was a polygamist, but did get around to telling us eventually. Interesting guy.

This is the bed and breakfast.

These huge holes are being blasted out for another excommunicated Mormon family. Two of their sons married two daughters of the Foster clan.

One of Bob's daughers invited us in their house. Cozy, but dark, especially in the inside rooms.

This is the bed and breakfast

Bob told us that this is the room he would have put us in, had we spent the night there.

They're pretty self-sufficient here, with a water pump, diesel powered generators, windmills, and a huge stash of food, mainly leftover from the Y2K scare.

This is a new house Bob is building for one of his wives. It goes all the way through the rock, so there's both morning and evening light. The temperature inside stays at 65 degrees all year round.

Here's another hole going through the arch. The wind through this tunnel was amazingly strong.

A storage hole blasted into the rock. The bumper sticker on the cabinet says "Don't steal--the government hates competition". Bob is not a big fan of the government.

Bob took us on a tour of the top of the rock. He's incredibly agile, for someone 74 years old. These ladders and ropes were quite rickety.

The view from the top.

This is an airstrip as well as the road out.

One of the many sinkholes on top of the rock. One of Bob's sons ran around the inside of this hole this 45 times, using centrifugal force to keep him from falling in.

The windmills on top of the rock produce enough energy to run some power tools.

Heading back down was scarier than going up. Bob was amazing. Apparently one of his daughters climbed up and around the whole rock in 30 minutes every day, as a workout.

On our way back to Salt Lake City, we stopped and took a look at Temple Square, which seems to be the hub of Mormonism. Young women, in pairs and dressed extremely conservatively were walking around, available to give tours of the grounds. These were our guides.

The main temple, which you can only enter as a card-carrying Mormon.

Victoria, Jean and Kelly host my wedding shower (thanks to Elizabeth for the pictures).

Victoria, Jean, and Kelly put on a tea party for me at Jean's house. What a festive table setting!

This was pretty much the most risque gift.

Later on we all went to dinner at Spazzos

Kelly drew a cartoon for me on the tablecloth

Surprise! They'd rented a limo for me, and we went for a drive around town.

I'd never seen the inside of a limo before...

A sunny day, so we explore Discovery Park

There's an old military base at Discovery Park, part of which is still being used. I believe these are officers houses.

The view from the top of the sand cliffs.

Out on the beach.

A mussle encrusted boulder on the beach.

Playing with the geoducks. If you press the little dimple in the sand that marks their location, they often squirt water at you.

The Discovery Park lighthouse.

The point right off the lighthouse had waves crashing onto it from 2 directions.

Sold my '93 Toyota Tercel

It was a great little car.

The green SUV behind it is car I'm currently driving, a Toyota Highlander.

We took a hike around Cougar Mountain park, and had a great Easter dinner with friends.

We saw this man getting ready to go Geocaching. We're interested in trying it as well.

In the woods at Cougar Mountain.

Nearby Coal Creek is so named (duh!) because there was lots of coal mining activity going on there about 100 years ago. This was a coal mine.

A waterfall on a bank of clay.

The same waterfall, when the sun was out!

Jean set a wonderful Easter dinner table.

Talking with Jean's father.

After buying a gps receiver, we started finding geocaches.

I'd read about <a href=>Geocaching</a> in the Seattle Times, and we decided to try it out. Bought a gps that fits on my palm pilot (works great!) and went to our first one in Marymoor park. The general location of the geocache

We found it!

Rummaging around for goodies.

The next cache - along a historical red brick road

Hidden in the fork of a tree...

Our last cache of the day, right next to a old Nike missle site.

At Juanita Bay Park (a new park for us, too), we did a multi-cache, solving multiple clues to get the coordinates of the final cache. Working out the clues.

Because of an error in our calculations, we originally thought the clue was out in the water here...

But eventually we found it.

Lots of good bird-watching at the park. This is a red-shouldered blackbird (actually a very common bird around here).

Turtles lined up on a log

Weekend trip along the Columbia River.

Lots of rain and not much sun here, based on all the moss

Vista House, built in the early part of this century, is a famous landmark on the Columbia. It looks pretty funny as it's being renovated with a geodesic dome around it.

The view from the Vista House.

Latourell Falls goes down straight over a cliff

The base of Latourell Falls. Fascinating how you can see the broken off bottoms of all the basalt volcanic columns.

Bonneville Dam

Lots of sturgeon fisherman were there when we visited.

This guy caught a 47 inch sturgeon.

Duck antics - must have been mating season, because the one on the left kept trying to get close to the female, and the one on the left kept chasing him away.

More sturgeon in a nearby viewing area.

Biking on the Columbia River Historic Trail. All bike trails should be like this - easy grade, sunny, and great views.

Unusual geological formation along the way.

We were thinking how cool it would be to have a house out here...sunny, isolated, scenic.

What a wide bike path!

I crawled to the edge of this cliff and looked down - straight down, to the railroad and the highway.

We stayed at the <a href="">Beryl House Bed and Breakfast</a>, Eric's first bed and breakfast. Friendly place.

The next morning we took what's called the "Fruit Loop" drive - more popular in fall harvest time. Great views of Mt. Hood.

Acres and acres of apple harvest boxes.

Another view of Mt. Hood from Panorama Point. We looked for a geocacache here, but didn't find it.

A view of rt. 30 from an overlook.

Pete, at the Dalles Dam visitor center, was very friendly and gave us a tour around. Very knowledgable about the operation of the dam.

Tours used to go there, but since Sept. 11th, it's been closed to visitors. The turbines only turn just over once per second.

Lunch in this diner in White Salmon. Not very memorable.

We were going to head back home via rt. 141. Unfortunately, we neglected to take a close look at the map. It degenerated into a forestry road, and then dead-ended where they'd stopped snowplowing.

A llama farm on the way home.

We finally finished the Mission Impossible geocache. Warning - spoilers ahead!

Starting out in Bridle Trails park

We've got into the hobby of <a href=>geocaching</a> recently. This was by far the most complex geocache that we've done so far. Very exciting! <br><br>

We were led to a pedestrian overpass on 405...

And thence to a mini-park in Kirkland

The Redmond library had a clue for us as well.

What an awesome clue! This book actually had a radio transmitter in it.

Enemy agents were everywhere as we attempted to find this clue. Super hard to find.

Finally found it! The radio transmitter caused the little led to blink...but only when you were very close to it.

This key...

...lead us to the communique from the Director.

And the end!

We searched for geocaches in John McDonald Memorial Park and St. Edwards State Park. Also canoeing around the Arboretum.

The first place we went to, trying to access the geocache, was a dead end - no trail led from there. There was an interesting cable car thing going over the river, but Eric wouldn't let me try it.

This bridge is the entrance to John McDonald Memorial Park

Found the cache!

Then finding a cache in St. Edwards State Park

Engagement party for Tom Fakes and Lisa Whitaker - playing croquet in the backyard.

They live in a huge log cabin.

Canoeing around the Arboretum

Right next to the highway...

The Canadian geese come really close if they think you have food for them.

I flew to Dover, New Hampshire to visit my friends Chris and Judy, who have a 4 month old baby daughter, Sally (the most adorable baby girl in the world).

Judy and Sally

The living room

They have a great backyard, with garden

I think Sally is going to be a nature lover like her mother.

Going for a walk with Sally.

Sally smiles!

Sally at the bookstore with Chris.

Sally getting a bath, one of her favorite times of the day.

Sally also gets regular oil massages.

Judy takes some time to make some of her handmade pressed-flower cards

Sally's toes are so cute...

Chris helps Sally turn onto her stomach.

I got plenty of Sally time as well.

Only Sally could provoke such a goofy look!

The guest bedroom was decorated with jungle murals.

Another bath!

...and post-bath massage

Sally holding up her head.

Walking back home from breakfast Sunday, we broke into a run because it was Sally's feeding time, and she wasn't going to let us forget it.

Judy reupholstered this chair herself.

Judy and I took a drive to a beachside nature sanctuary.

At a birthday party later in the day, Sally gets passed around.

The cake had a definate overabundance of frosting.

Candles get blown out.

The lighting was great on the drive home.

We stopped at Dover Delite, Chris and Judy's favorite ice cream stand.

Would you believe this is their kiddie size cone?

Some final pictures of the house before I leave. The breakfast nook...

View of the newly painted dining room.

The airport in Detroit was really cool - it had a fountain with synchronized jets of water.

We spent part of the Memorial Day weekend with the Lucases on Whidbey Island.

From the left, Angela, Rachael, and Sidney in front of the secret hideaway.

Rachael in her wetsuit - necessary for swimming in these temperatures.

Her first jump!

Sidney showed us a nest of killdeers, right in someone's front lawn.

Some huge barnacles.

Terry finds a sand dollar, a baby jellyfish (?), and a whelk.

I've seen pictures of these small Langley cottages (none larger than 975 sq ft) in home books. One of them was for sale. Unfortunately no open house, though.

We found a cache on Double Bluff Beach Park.

The bluffs in this pictures are actually a steep dirt mountain. We saw kids sliding down it, on things that looked like surfboards. It looked extremely dangerous, and we saw some falls.

Grace and Hannah and Gary, picking up Eric for a bike ride.

Gary and Eric go for a bike ride, and saw cats being carried in a kiddie carrier.

Saturday we took a hike up Tiger Mtn, to Poo-Poo point, where there was a Paragliding Fly-In. Basically, lots and lots of people were paragliding from there. Fun to watch. Sunday we drove up to Bellingham with Soe.

Waiting in line to launch.

This launch didn't go particularly well.

Going backwards on your butt--not a good thing!

The problem launches are always more fun to watch.

Tandem launches too. Usually something appeared to not go according to plan.

Up, up, and away!

At one point I counted 28 paragliders in the air.

At Soe's friends house near Bellingham. Eric is holding the cat, which has a very strange trait - it drools when you pet it. Note the paper towel held underneath.

Eric, Soe, and Jeannie.

They have a beautiful, lush, sunny yard.

Jeannie's husband Michael carved the tree stumps into mushrooms.

Soe and Eric in front of the railroad track, right behind the house.

A cafe in Fairhaven.

Soe told us he used to spend whole days hanging out at this cafe.

Friday evening we went for a kayak trip on Lake Union, and took lots of houseboat pictures.

We rented kayaks at Agua Verde. These folks went kayaking with their dog.

The Eastlake Ave. bridge with a tanker.

A seaplane taking off behind us.

An old ferry, Kalakala

The parade of houseboats begins!

Gasworks Park.

Houseboats with the Seattle skyline in the background.

A houseboat with multiple iron scuptures.

Most of the houseboats float on these huge timbers, some of which look kind of worm-eaten.

Houseboat alley

Wonderful deck.

Most of the houseboats have at least a canoe or a kayak.

This one is very sleek and modern looking, but not that appealing to me.

More houseboat alley.

This houseboat was for sale

I was thinking that this boat was the "bunk and breakfast" that I've heard Seattle has, but I couldn't find anything on it online.

Very boxy looking. I like the idea of a huge deck on top, though.

Another huge rooftop deck.

Eric did most of the paddling while I took pictures.

These houseboats weren't along the main waterfront, and so would have been a little quieter.

This was maybe an old floating fish processing plant?

This houseboat has a hallmark 70's look - funky, lots of tiles.

A very cool modernistic one.

Spare and simple - I like this one.

Another one for sale.

Saturday and Sunday we drove up to Salmon Le Sac to meet some friends for a camping trip. (warning! serious speed trap along the way)

Saturday, stopping on the road to the Salmon Le Sac campground. Right after here is where the cops got us in a speed trap (the posted 35 mph limit was 4 miles back, and it was a wide, new straight road).

Canoeing on Cooper lake with Kristen

Eric and I took a canoe trip as well. It was pretty windy, so we stopped in the middle of the lake at this tree trunk sticking out to relax without being blown down the lake.

We paddled up to the inlet of the river. Very clear water.

Back at the campground, some motorcyclists had these cute little mini pop-up campers.

Lots of teenagers were hanging out at this bridge, jumping from it into the pool below. It was very cold water, though!

From the left, Kristen, Pat, Mark, and Eric, cooking canned biscuits on the fire.

Kids Nicholas and Katherine.

Mark tried the experiment of hard boiling an egg by putting them in the coals. It exploded.

We did a geocache together - one of the clues was "Last Resort"

Katherine found the cache!

Kristen, Sylvia, and Eric

The Taylors.

Our last stop was at Snoqualmie Tunnel. We walked in for about 20 minutes, then decided we didn't want to do the whole thing.

Not using the flash. Spooky!

Juggling, contact juggling, staff spinning, club passing at the Seattle International Juggling Festival

I did a workshop in staff spinning

Quite a crowd gathered for the workshop.

My partner Latif and I passing a spinning staff.

Passing five clubs.

These guys were great - they passed the clubs to the person behind them.

Contact juggling with Greg. Contact juggling is basically moving a ball around your body, without having it loose contact with your body (i.e., no tossing)

Eric passing clubs.

Contact juggling.

Eric took a picture of me with my head in his lap.

Eric doing more club passing.

Travis walking with his son through the twirling clubs.

At the juggling show that night, one onlooker had the bad luck to be called on to participate in an act.

The Mud Bay Jugglers.

Another group...I believe they won the 2000 International Juggling Festival first prize.

Blueberry picking, BBQ with Chris and Judy, E. Colton Burd Baby Shower bbq, and more.

Leftover pictures from last weekend's Shakespeare in the Park at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island (the play was Two Gentelmen of Verona)

Rehearsing before the play

Saturday morning we visited the Parmaceks...

Max and Parker had fun riding around in a little car

Blueberry picking with Ilana and Steve. Note the handy homemade hanging berry buckets.

Bbq for Chris and Judy at Rob and Carol's place. What a well-fed baby!

Judy with Sally, Rob in the background.

Various people hanging out.

Phil with Sally

The Beaudettes - Chris, Judy, and Sally.

This is chef Walter.

A Welcome Home Colton bbq at Anne and Walter Braun's house. <br><br>

Gunnar and his son Julian.

Sylvia and Eric

Anne and Shannon

The Welcome Colton carrot cake

Scott Ludwig and his son Nick.

Ava and Hannah.

Grace, Julian, and Angelika

Walter and Jenee, Grace's sister.

Valerie and Angelina with various kids.

Scott, Val, and Angelina with various kids.

Finally some pictures of Colton!

Hannah lets loose with the pillows.

Anne, Colton, and Sylvia


I played hooky from work and hung out with Judy on Monday too. Had fun taking pictures of little Sally, too!

It was Mad Hat day when I got there...all from Erin's dress-up box

Sally starting solids, too! I think Chris had fun feeding her.

Sally getting dressed.

Sally's playing with Dad's glasses.

On the streets with Sally. Chris and Rob entertained her with a dance.

At Lincoln Park

We saw some passion flowers on the way home.

It looks like part of this house has been chopped off.

Judy with Sally in the mirror.

Sally and Erin.

This house number is the same as my dad's in Charlotte.

The first time I've worn a Baby Bjorn baby carrier.

Mercer Slough, Sandstone Falls, and a Port Defiance (Tacoma) geocache

Eric playing around with the blueberry picking machine at the Mercer Slough blueberry farm.

This one was a great cache (except for the mosquitos). A view of downtown Bellevue over the slough.

Bridge over the slough.

Found the cache under the boardwalk.

With the Taylors - Katherine next to some old mining equipment.

Rummaging around the Sandstone Falls cache.

Nicholas with his geocaching loot.

Sunday we went to Tacoma for the first time, to the Port Defiance park to do a geocache there. It was a driving geocache, and we had to drive around the one-way loop about 4 times because we'd made some mistakes with the calculations. Not a fun cache.

Finally, grumpily, we found it.

We check out a vintage Airstream trailer rally in Bellingham, then walked to a religious rally in neighboring Marymoor park.

There were about 15 trailers at the rally. Last year apparently there were about 30. The participants were very friendly, and most invited us into their trailers.

There weren't just Airstream trailers at the rally. This "teardrop" trailer was the smallest one there.

A serviceable kitchen in the back.

The inside has enough room for one person to stretch out and sit up, but no more than that.

The other non-Airstream trailer was a Shasta, towed by a vintage car.

This shiny trailer was the showpiece of the rally. It took the owner months and months to strip off the clearcoat, and then polish it.

The interior was renovated as well. Cork plank flooring, matching towel sets, redone upholstery.

All the Airstreams had these very functional lamps.

One couple had set up appliances that matched the era of their trailer.

Eric has the fine points of Airstream internals explained to him.

These folks showed us some vintage Airstream calendars. They've spent a lot of time in the deserts of the southwest in their Airstream, photographing flowers.

The "Bambi". I thought this was the smallest airstream trailer, but it turns out there's one even smaller - the Bubble.

Back home - the streets in our neighborhood was were packed with cars from people visiting a religious rally in Marymoor.

They build a huge skateboard park to attract kids. This was the line to get in.

There were tons of kid-oriented play areas at the festival, most of them also with long lines.

The main stadium area was packed - I don't think I've seen that many people at Marymoor, even during Womad.

An impromptu prayer circle.

The food tents had incredible lines in front of them. You'd almost think the food would have to be free, that people were willing to wait in such long lines, but it wasn't.

And of course, there were some serious lines for the toilets.

On the way out, some skateboarders had set up some skateboards to jump over. If you missed the jump, you had to add your skateboard to the stack.

We took a long weekend to go to Whistler with some friends

The day before we left for Whistler, we saw three coyotes wandering around the neighborhood. They weren't frightened away when I stopped in my car, but when I tried to get closer to them, they ran off.

Stopped for a rest in Horseshoe Bay.

A mini-houseboat in the bay.

I surprised Bobby in the act of starting up the fountain

Sylvia and Jordan.

Omri and Heather. Heather had a boo-boo from diving out of her stroller.

Gary and Grace's 2 month old son Colton.

The view from our room

The inside - a very nice compact little suit, with kitchen.

Views of the pedestrian area in Whistler.

There was a Porche exhibition in town Saturday morning. Dozens and dozens of Porches, which I believe were being judged.

Putting on the finishing touches.

Saw lots of mountain bikers out in what seemed like football gear - very well protected. I'd want to be well protected as well, if I did what they did.

Took the gondola up in the afternoon.

Okay, it's a little inconvenient, but what a view...

Jordan, Heather, and Hanna playing on a chessboard.

At Blackcomb base, they had a trapeeze set up, open to everyone. I didn't know it was that easy!

Hannah on a trampoline-type springy device.

Some of the characters around Whistler. I'm pretty sure the town council hires them to walk around and be entertaining.

Gary just got a hug.

Going out to dinner together at Quattros

Gary just didn't know when to stop when it came to desert.

Eric figuring out how much everyone owed.

Shannon Falls, on the way back home.

We were thinking of going through the Museum of Mining, but contented ourselves with looking through the gift shop.

Kristen, Heather and I went to visit Lindsey's place, Skalitude - 160 beautiful, secluded acres in eastern Washington

The newly build sauna

A lot of the trees had a very bright fluorescent yellow/green moss on them.

The guest lodge

Lots of yellow jackets around - they seem to nest in the logs

Valley and sky views

Lindsey has solar power.

The solar cell moves with the sun.

Kristen with some farm machinery

The view back towards the lodge from the other side of the property.

Heather points towards a moth she demolished during the night, after it flew around her head too often.

Our book club spent the night at the cabin of one of our members, Waleen. Then a football game in Dinarte's box - deluxe!

A yummy spread for dinner - lasagna, and then for desert, tiramisu

Too many cooks didn't spoil the broth, in this case!

Jean getting ready to go to sleep in the coveted window seat.

Taking a walk on some of the nearby forestry roads.

The cabin in the morning sun.

The setting is superb.

John, Dinarte, and Gary

Sunday, Eric and I were invited to watch a football game from Dinarte and Tom's box. Very nice. <br> <br>

It seemed like Dinarte was EVERYWHERE!

The Seahawks lost - apparently it was no big surprise.

Gary and Grace.

Gary and Eric

Steve Blatt and Ilana Long join family and friends in welcoming their twins Benjamin and Marina with a Brit Milah and Simchat Bat celebration.

At least 30 or 40 of Steve and Ilana's family and friends gathered at their house for the celebration.

Steve and Ilana were running around, getting things ready.

The Mohel

Waiting for Benjamin to be carried down the stairs.

Evelyn Blatt holding her grandson

Steve isn't looking too happy at this stage.

It's all over but the bandaging!

The blessing

Steve and the Mohel. On the white jacket is stitched "Fastest Mohel in the West".

The Simchat Bat ceremony for Marina.

Marina and Bejamin with mom and dad.

Seattle Center, and checking out the Pacific Science Center.

The rides are still active. Very few people willing to be spun around in the cold air, though.

Some pictures of the exterior of the Experience Music Project. It's hard to believe that building doesn't leak!

Eric and the Experience Music Project, browsing their music files. Very strange UI.

Not many street performers around. This guy was doing a routine with hula hoops.

At the Pacific Science Center - Eric planing with a huge mirror.

The dinosaur exhibit

Red in tooth and claw...

Making a spirograph (?). Most of the Pacific Science Center is really targeted at young kids, which is why it didn't have that much to interest us.

The cockroach exhibit was pretty special, though!

At the planetarium - this is the device that projects stars onto the ceiling.

At Marymoor park, it was the busiest we've ever seen it (on a non-festival day)

More Great Danes than I've ever seen before!

Portrait shots

Thanksgiving dinner with the Lucases, a walk around Tiger Mountain, etc

Waiting for the ferry to Whidbey Island - the Mukilteo lighthouse

Sue stuffing the turkey.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood - the tree has swallowed the sign up.

Eric has to try every single pie available, with ice cream!

The fog hardly lifted the whole time we were there

Rachel carved a butterfly into the sand cliff

Eric carves our web site onto the cliff as well

Taking a walk with Steve and Ilana

We went by the "bus trail", named for the abandoned bus along the way.

Steve and Eric manhandling the stroller between trees and across massive roots. I don't think Steve and Ilana will be taking this trail again soon with their double stroller!

A firefighters monument in Pioneer Square. Many, many homeless people as well.

At the Bryan Ohno Gallery, the featured sculptor Brandon Zebold was very friendly, and talked to us about his works.

Nearby alley

I don't think these rooms are 75 cents anymore...

On the ferry to Clinton. There was almost nobody on board - they must have lost a lot of money on this trip.

Dungeness Spit. We picked the first overcast day in 2 weeks to visit this area for the first time.

Unusual root formation

We didn't appreciate all the unfriendly notices.

At Fort Flagler State Park. We thought this might be on the same scale as Fort Worden, but it's a lot smaller. Still interesting. Very quiet peaceful peninsula.

Feeding the goats. This goat managed to get stick his snout quite a ways outside the fence.

Christmas parties at Dinarte and John's place, and with the Chavez family

Caterers working in the kitchen

Gunnar, Nadia, and Christian

In the living room

Making pastries

Note that the pie to the right is smushed. Apparently one of the caterers put their hands down to lean on the countertop, right on top of the pie. Luckily there were spares.

Terry, Christian, Laurent, and Sylvia

John with the fancy new artificial Christmas tree with built in lighting

Dinarte cavorting amidst the food with friends

Ramin and Doris

Epinine stayed still while Eric positioned all her toys on her.

The mantel with the gifts. John had decided on a white and silver theme.

We fly to North Carolina, visiting family in Charlotte and Asheville

In Charlotte - some of the specialized small machines that my dad made himself, for creating his miniature furniture.

Alex, Juanita, Tom, Eric and I went out to a Vietnamese restaurant - I ordered a basil seed drink that I didn't like all that much. Very interesting texture, though. We were celebrating Juanita's birthday - she's just one day older than me.

Christmas Eve we spent with my mom, Les, and Tom.

Eric playing with Kormi

This stucco job in the South Park area was one of my father's biggest, back when he was doing stucco work.

December 25th we drove to Asheville to spend the rest of our time with Eric's family. We actually got some snow, which you can see on the ground outside!

Kevin with Jessie.

Jessie got some presents as well.

Eric's parents Ann and Ken behind a wall of presents.

For dinner that night - Beef Wellington. This picture was taken on our new tripod, a gift from Kevin.

Working on a train jigsaw puzzle - actually, Ken's gift.

Visiting the Grove Park Inn

Mr. Grove made his money selling patent medicine. There's a display of some of the old advertisements for the medicine.

There was also a gingerbread contest. Some truly amazing creations. It was fun to look at the individual elements, and figure out what food it was from (sticks of gum were used as shingles, etc.). A common element was lots and lots of frosting.

The grand prize winner

A view of the new spa area.

Huge covered patio

A nice view of the Blue Ridge mountains nearby

This must be about the biggest fireplace I've seen

At the Smith McDowell house museum. I believe this is the oldest brick home in Asheville.

They did a good job of disguising the light switch here.

Visiting Dillsboro

At a model train musuem in Bryson City

The founder of the musuem

Afterwards, Ken bought a set of railroad overalls.

Dinner - orange roughy

We also took an overnight trip to visit Chapel Hill, my alma mater. This is Ruffin, one of my dorms. I was on the top floor, in the corner.

Another view of Ruffin

Alexander, my first dorm, was undergoing a tremendous construction job.

Davis library - I spent many hours here.

Inside the library

I worked at this desk for one semester.

...and sorted these newspapers a lot!

The stacks

The student union, with a view to the pit.

Davis Library and the student union (which was closed).

Greenlaw. This is where I had some English classes.

Bingham, another of my classroms.

The undergraduate library is completely renovated, so I don't recognize anything.

My honors thesis is kept at Wilson Library. It's entitled "Reading the Word and the World - A Comparison of Literacy Programs". Rereading it, I'm amazed how left-leaning I was in those days.

An excerpt from my thesis

The campus is attractive, but run down.

The Old Well.

Franklin Street. There was a beggar about every 20 feet, it seemed like.

The laundry that I used when I was a freshman. We walked in it, and it was a mess - all kinds of trash and leaves on the floor. I said loudly, "What a pigsty!". Turned out there was some maintenance workers right in the next room, with the door open.

Gimghoul Castle

From the back

Very small windows. In the words of one visitor - "Light is not its forte".

Front door

Back porch

The neighborhood around Gimghoul Castle is now on the Historic Register, and has lots of interesting old homes.

Visiting Mike and Vicki Lake

They have some huge quartz boulders in their yard

Kevin with Jessie in front of his townhouse, which he'll soon be selling.

There was an amazing sunset on the way back to Ashville.

Walking around Kimberly Road, saw some interesting houses and lots of evidence of the ice storm

A hike with Brian to the Dupont state park. It's an interesting area with lots of exposed rock

I was surprised that a lot of the trail was sandy, and not muddy at all.

We met a guy with some ferrets at Hooker Falls.

Some nice views on the drive home.

I had to stop and get a picture of this nativity scene, using department store mannequins

My father passed away

I set up a <a href=>site</a> for him which which contain pictures, and pictures also of some of his miniature furniture and boxes.

A bike trip over I-90, Kelsey Creek Park with Steve and Ilana, and a pumpkin carving party with Angie and Eric.

In the Mercer Slough area, next to the highway

A strange park on Mercer Island. I think these are vents to I-90, in a tunnel underneath.

The I-90 floating bridge

Looking from Seattle to Mercer Island

End of the bike tunnel in Seattle

Steve, with a giant bumblebee in the background

Feeding the llamas

Ilana in the final weeks of pregnancy!

Sheep wearing coats...for warmth?

Angie and Eric Bultemeier had a fall pumpkin carving party at their place

Eric carving up the turkey


Assorted party scenes

Sorting out the pumpkins seeds from the pulp. Later we roasted them.

His pumpkin looks a lot like him!

The carved up pumpkins, all lit up.

Great picture of Angie and Eric

The best of our New Zealand pictures

Just before we left, some wacko tried to set off a bomb carried in his shoe. So at the airport, they checked our shoes very carefully, because we fit their profile - one way ticket, bought the ticket within three days, and it was an international flight. The inspector was super friendly, though.

This is the Whakapapanui Stream, in Tongariro National Park. Very beautiful little stream, running through what looked like a volcanic basin.

We stopped for tea at this DC 3 airplane, turned into a cafe. It's advertising a cookie company.

Really neat clouds on the way south.

Wellington is a very scenic city, on the water and with lots of hills.

The famous tree ferns of New Zealand.

The view from our dinner table. We really loved having the back doors open.

We actually got to walk up the organists tower in the Nelson Cathedral and watch her play. Looked like a lot of fun - definately a whole body experience, with all the foot pedal usage.

These kids were playing for money on the street. They were pretty good at it, too, and had a few pieces well worked out.

We stopped and took a walk at the Kawatiri junction that has an old railway tunnel and bridge, no longer in service. One thing that's different here - many, many people (especially kids) walk around with bare feet!

We saw lots of converted Japanese buses used as campers. Also some homemade campers, very interesting looking.

This horse galloped up to us when we stopped, kicking dirt over our heads.

Even though we'd only been here a few days, this is probably the thousandth sheep we saw. They're quite timid, and run away when you stop to take a picture.

Headed over Lewis Pass - the St. James Track tarn area. It was incredibly beautiful, with delicate little trees festooned with moss. The pictures don't do it justice.

The landscape on the way to the east coast. Beautiful.

We took a long walk around the coastline.

On the rocks everywhere was this type of seaweed, like strings of tan pearls.

Fascinating how the rocks layers folded like this.

On the hilltop part of the walk. Lots of electric fencing in New Zealand.

Eric found a cat to pet at the top. I wonder if it sat there just to enjoy the view?

Some large boulders on the beach also had tons of embedded fossil shells

New Zealand has many huge and beautiful hedges to separate fields.

This is Castle Hill - an awesome set of limestone outcroppings on the way to Arthurs Pass.

I had to climb into this little hole.

We spent the night at a pull-off at Lake Pearson. Having the doors open makes me feel like I'm outdoors.

At the village of Arthurs Pass, we relaxed in the campervan a while before braving it out to the visitor center in the pouring rain.

At the old townsite of Goldsborough (old gold-mining town), we found this weka, or wood hen, at the parking lot. It's a common flightless bird.

Mmmmm, fish and chips for lunch. It actually wasn't too appealing. They give massive portions of greasy chips (thick cut frech fries) and very heavily breaded fish.

Further south, in Ross, we did some gold panning at the visitor center. It was a blast, and we actually found a good amount of gold!

The river leading from the glacier was wild and flooded. I don't think anyone could have survived a fall into it.

Lunch at a place called Bruce Bay.

There was a great beach on the bay. No sandflies (or maybe it was too windy for them), wild-looking. No swimming, though.

Lots of rocks that were great for skipping!

Going over Haast Pass - this shy bird is the New Zealand Pigeon

We stopped for the night at a little peninsula on Lake Wanaka.

We did the Diamond Lake Track, close to Wanaka. Very scenic, right on the lake, and great views.

He leans, but doesn't fall! This is a room that was built on a 15 degree angle. Walking through it, I stumbled all the time because my mind was telling me that the floors were level, when they actually weren't.

We finally got through the maze. After lots of walking around, I was getting tired and restarted, turning left only. That worked really well.

We started up the Roaring Meg track. It was a distinct second to yesterday's hikes, because it turns out the old gold-mining relics (old huts, equipment, etc) that we were supposed to see were many, many hours into the hike. This is the valley we walked up.

Tuohys saddle, at the top.

The road over the pass to Arrowtown (another old gold-mining town) was really beautiful.

On the way to Queenstown we stopped around this area to do some goldpanning on the Shotover River (where they do the jet boating).

Riding the gondola up the hill next to Queenstown - to go bungy jumping!

Eric's jumping!

Now it's my turn. Never again, though. It was pretty terrifying.

Driving south we picked up some German hitchhikers.

Grocery stores in New Zealand sell huge tubes of refrigerated dog and cat food!

We drove along the Catlin Scenic Route out of Invercargill. At Waipapa Point there was a shipwreck in the late 1800's that killed about 130 people. Getting friendly with some sea lions here.

The Curio Bay fossilized forest. It was preserved by volcanic activy and mudflows, and is now being exposed by the pounding of the ocean. The short lumps are what remains of tree stumps.

Some snorkelers had found some paua, like abalone. They're edible, plus the inside of the shells are beautifully iridescent.

Cathedral Caves. These were a set of about 6 or 7 awesome massive caves, carved out by the ocean. We weren't able to explore as long as we would have liked, because the tide was coming in. A few days after we were here, 4 people drowned in New Zealand because they stayed out on a reef, collecting seashells, while the tide came in.

There were yellow-eyed penguin nesting in the back of the cave! I guess that means that the tide doesn't come all he way in.

Nugget Point is an isolated spot off a bad road. It's a wild and windy peninsula, with a lighthouse and lots of resident wildlife. We spent some time here watching seabirds trying to take off. A lot of them were thrown back into the sea by the wind.

Eric got a childish kick out of Kaka Point.

The Moeraki Boulders, north of Dunedin, were well worth a detour. They're formed by calcite crystalizing around organic nuclei. It's amazing to see almost perfectly round boulders laying in the sand.

This one is still emerging from the mud cliff.

These poor cows are huddled in the far corner of the field, heads away from the wind.

The old gold mining town of Bendigo/Welshtown has very deep mining shafts. It's not an area that you'd want to let your kids wander around unsupervised - lots of them are uncovered, unlike this one.

Some of the former occupants must have enjoyed some really nice views.

The summit of Mt. Cook. At least we saw it from here, because once we got closer in, we never saw the mountain again.

Lots and lots of speargrass on our hike up the Hooker Valley. Unfortunately, not many views of the mountain.

Mountain Daisy

You'll have to use your imagination here - Mt. Cook would be looming over us in the background if it were clear.

An ostrich farm. They were very curious and trotted right up to us.

We had some bad timing with the weather in Christchurch!

In downtown Christchurch, a Japanese couple is getting married along the scenic Avon river.

At the Canterbury Museum, there's a great display on the Antarctic. These are some of the goggles that were used to prevent snow blindness. Notice the tiny slits to allow light in.

This is the "Wizard of Christchurch". He's an eccentric guy that gives very strange speeches in the square, weekdays regularly at 1 o'clock.

The wizard's car - looks like the front of 2 Volkswagen Bugs welded together.

New Brighton and Sumner from Godley Head, a windy, treeless peninsula with great views.

We took a walk in the suburbs around the motor camp. This little boy showed us his kitten.

Our last day in New Zealand, we took a drive to Akaroa, a town that was originally a French settlement. They had just had serious flooding in town, and were cleaning up.

Eric and a street sculpture.

Our last lunch in New Zealand!

Great views of braided riverbeds and hedges on our flight out of Christchurch.

Coming back, we had superb views of Mt. Rainier.

Map of the route we traveled.

We started in Auckland. Because we lost three days due to illness, we did not see much of the North Island.

The blue line traces our route. Each red dot indicates a location we camped overnight.

After taking a ferry ride, we arrive in Picton, finally ending up in Christchurch.

The North Island

We were supposed to start on the 23rd, and my birthday (the 24th) would have been in the air. Eric set up a little birthday cake, complete with glowstick "candles", because he figured he wouldn't be allowed to bring matches on board. How thoughtful! Since we had to delay the trip because I got sick, I had my birthday cake at home.

Just before we left, some wacko tried to set off a bomb carried in his shoe. So at the airport, they checked our shoes very carefully, because we fit their profile - one way ticket, bought the ticket within three days, and it was an international flight. The inspector was super friendly, though.

Poor guy--had to handle Eric's sneakers! Luckily he had gloves on!

In New Zealand! Holy cow - Eric's driving on the wrong side of the road! The first couple hours were stressful, but he got used to it soon and did a great job driving.

New Zealand is such an incredibly scenic country. This is from just south of Auckland. Apparently they filmed the Hobbit town part of the Lord of the Rings here.

Everyone speaks English, of course, and many things are the same as here. But shopping carts are "trundlers".

This visitor center was in the form of a sheep.

We camped for the night at a "motor camp" next to Lake Taupo. There was a huge volcanic explosion in the late 1800's, and from that lots of pumice laying around. This is a pumice rock floating in the lake - the only rock that floats!

A nice healthy breakfast of oatmeal, apricots and kiwis (cheap!), and yogurt.

We saw this plant everywhere along the side of the road - it's New Zealand Flax. To our eyes it was very beautiful and exotic looking, but it appears to grow everywhere there.

Pampas grass was the same - we saw it everywhere.

This is the Whakapapanui Stream, in Tongariro National Park. Very beautiful little stream, running through what looked like a volcanic basin.

Plants in Tongariro National Park - this is the native mistletoe, which is a favorite of the introduced possums. They put metal sleeves around the trees it grows on, so the possums can't climb up.

This is a fern - it starts out all curled up, then the leaves expand.

The landscape from a little hill at Tongariro. Unfortunately it was clouding up.

There's an area at Tongariro that has these weird mounds. Scientists didn't know what caused them, but now they think that they're part of a debris avalanche from a volcano. This is based on the fact that there are similar formations in Mt. St. Helens in Washington State.

We took the desert road south, on the east side of Tongariro National Park. The mountains never cleared up, unfortunately.

I drove too! Driving on the left sure is disconcerting.

We stopped for tea at this DC 3 airplane, turned into a cafe. It's advertising a cookie company.

Really neat clouds on the way south.

In the town of Paekakariki, just north of Wellington.

An interesting puffy grass along the beach.

In the evening, we got to Wellington.

Some sculptures close to the waterfront.

The Lord of the Rings was playing in all the theaters, of course, since it was filmed in New Zealand. This prop looked pretty authentic, even though it wasn't used in the movie.

In the campground close to Wellington, we needed to dump our graywater. We were told to dump in the stream right next to the campground!

This is also called the New Zealand Christmas Tree, or Pohutokawa, because it blooms bright red around Christmas.

A lot of olders cars are still being used in New Zealand.

In Wellington, one of the office buildings was the "Microsoft House"

We took this cable car up to the top of the hill.

Wellington is a very scenic city, on the water and with lots of hills.

Eric became part of a timepiece here - this is a sundial. It was accurate, too.

There's a botanical garden at the top of the hill. This tree is very common all around New Zealand. It's called the cabbage tree.

Can't remember what this one was called.

Moreton Bay Pine.

The famous tree ferns of New Zealand.

This is the New Zealand Christmas Tree again. It has a very beautiful form.

There's an old colonial cemetery right in the middle of town. As a matter of fact, an expressway goes through it.

This reminded us of Grace and Gary's daughter, Hannah! It's a shoe store, though.

Later on we went to Te Papa, the national museum. This is Eric in the museum cafe, where we had lunch.

Our main impression was that it was overwhelming "politically correct", to the point of not being very interesting. Captions are presented first in Maori, then in English.

Taking the ferry to the South Island. Looks like a cruise ship.

The coastline of the South Island is beautiful.

Arthurs Pass and Fox Glacier

I was interested in looking at some fossils here, so just south of Kaikoura we stopped at a spot where there's supposed to be many, along the beach.

Here's some of what we found.

The fossils were crumbling off this cliff.

Pretty coastline.

Some large boulders on the beach also had tons of embedded fossil shells

I was thinking this might be an old dinosaur bone, in cross section...

A stream going into the ocean ran above the surface for a few feet, then disappeared again.

New Zealand has many huge and beautiful hedges to separate fields.

Our first encounter with speargrass. Very sharp, stiff leaves!

This is Castle Hill - an awesome set of limestone outcroppings on the way to Arthurs Pass.

I had to climb into this little hole.

Eric managed to climb to the top.

This place was so amazing that I had a hard time deciding which pictures to exclude!

This little garden area was enclosed naturally by the rocks.

Steep drops here.

I could have spent days here! Unfortunately it started to rain.

We spent the night at a pull-off at Lake Pearson. Having the doors open makes me feel like I'm outdoors.

Since we weren't really able to see the scenery because of the rain, at least we got a rainbow!

At the village of Arthurs Pass, we relaxed in the campervan a while before braving it out to the visitor center in the pouring rain.

They built a sturdy overpass over an area just beyond the pass with very frequent flooding.

You can't see it very well because of the reflection of the map in the dashboard, but this is a rain spout that goes over the highway. Lots of water coming down it!

We had to stop and wait for road crews to clear away landslides caused by the rain. This happened about 3 times on our way to the west coast.

At the old townsite of Goldsborough (old gold-mining town), we found this weka, or wood hen, at the parking lot. It's a common flightless bird.

Lots of clay along the streambanks.

The Tunnel Terrace walk nearby was cool - lots of old tunnels, gold mining waterworks, and gold tailings.

In Hokitika, we stopped to watch glass figurines being made. Lots of souvenier stores selling glass and jade work.

Mmmmm, fish and chips for lunch. It actually wasn't too appealing. They give massive portions of greasy chips (thick cut frech fries) and very heavily breaded fish.

We took a rest at the library in Hokitika. Most of the little communities here have libraries.

Further south, in Ross, we did some gold panning at the visitor center. It was a blast, and we actually found a good amount of gold!

We also walked around the old waterworks walkway. The waterworks were systems of canals and pipes to bring water to the area where mining was taking place, so that the gold could be panned out of the rest of the dirt. The walkway goes through an old cemetery.

Some old canals.

A reconstructed miners cabin. Pretty lonely, dark place to live!

Old pipes and bridge for the water.

Dinner at the motorcamp at Fox Glacier.

The next morning dawned much clearer at the very wet motorcamp.

Lake Matheson. Apparently you get a really great view of the Fox Glacier from here when it's clear!

At the parking lot for a viewpoint to Fox Glacier, a caravan is having a really hard time getting out. The road actually had a sign saying no caravans, campervans or trucks. We ignored it with our campervan, but it's a lot easier to turn a campervan around.

The river leading from the glacier was wild and flooded. I don't think anyone could have survived a fall into it.

This is as close as we got to Fox glacier.

On the road out, there's a "warm springs"

Visit to Victoria, Saltspring Island, Pender and Gabriola Island. Lots of ferries!

On our first ferry, to Victoria, we saw a sailboat that had floundered on a reef, being salvaged by a crane.

This group from Houston was going to bike around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. They all had amazing little packable bikes, both tandems and triples.

The Beacon Hill Bed and Breakfast is where we stayed in Victoria. Friendly owner, lots of antiques.

The Empress Hotel, a landmark in towntown Victoria.

The inner harbor, looking over to the parliment.

The breakfast room at the bed and breakfast. This is how I imagine people lived in Victorian times, in houses packed with delicate knick-knacks.

The bed and breakfast was full of antiques. This chair would be a good one to reproduce in miniature.

Leaves of the Garry Oak tree, native to the area. The leaves seemed less chewed up by insects on the Gulf Islands.

Jumping rope with a strand of bull kelp.

There was supposed to be a geocache here. We had no luck in finding it, though.

Seals at the Oak Harbor marina. They were very interested when I pretended to have some fish in my hand for them.

A cloud that looks like it has a rainbow painted across it.

A sidewalk artist drawing his subject. They seemed pretty reasonable - $20 CDN for a decent looking portrait.

This portrait reminded me of my friend Victoria

What a waste of time and energy. This woman had just finished sorting out a bag of garbage at a craft festival, fishing out the plastic bottles from the rest of the trash. I imagine the bottles were probably worth about a tenth of a penny.

We walked around the harbor looking at some of the very impressive boats docked there.

This one had it's own helicopter.

More street life

This guy did an act that combined skateboarding, and balancing with juggling torches. Unfortunately the torches had gone out before he got a chance to juggle them.

An art deco era house.

Eric was very interested in the royal geneology charts at the museum

Found this worm-eaten log on a beach on the way to Port Renfrew.

...also this stone mosaic must have been made that same morning.

and this cute little lady too!

Root of a fallen tree.

Along the beach.

Back at the bed and breakfast - the gardener Bob had planted some very unique ferns there.

On Saltspring Island, looking into an old farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park.

Sheep gave us a wide berth on the trail around Ruckle Park.

On our way back to the car, we had a cookie from an unattended farm booth.

The next morning dawned bright and beautiful at the Beddis House bed and breakfast. A very nice place, and very well run. Also, right on the sea.

The shore right in front of the house.

These starfish are very common on the coast here.

We went back to Ruckle park to do a geocache there - the only one on the Gulf islands. We were the first to find it, too.

A petroglyph at Drummond beach park.

There's a studio tour on the island, where you can stop in at various artists at work. We stopped in at one woodworking studio. The most interesting thing there was a little building made of old bottles stuck together with cement.

He also grew and sold trees.

The view from the top of Mt. Maxwell.

At one of the studios in the main town of Ganges, they had taken old childrens jeans, stiffened them somehow, and made them into planters.

Our room at the bed and breakfast.

Looking out to the ocean from the lawn. Great location!

In the afternoon, home baked treats were served.

Down the road was an well maintained estate owned by an eccentric woman who was the heiress to a pharmaceutical fortune. Apparently Saltspring island (which is fairly isolated) wasn't isolated enough for her, so her main residence is at a very isolated island off the west coast of Vancouver island. When she visits this place, she sleeps in a tent.

She owned an orchard and wellhouse across the street from the bed and breakfast, and let the public accss it. This is me in the wellhouse.

A sign posted in Ganges.

An arts and crafts store in Ganges. There were lots of studios in town.

The Salt Spring Island Dollar. They have their own currency there. Apparently accepted in some stores.

This card is similar to the cards my friend Judy makes, but doesn't have the squares cut out of it.

Biking the northen part of Saltspring island. Honestly, it's not a great cycling area. Very hilly, and very little view from the roads.

Vesuvious bay.

Hippies in the park at Ganges.

This fruit was in the supermarket at Ganges. It was labelled a Dragonfruit. I've only seen it once before, at a market in Laos.

The harbor in Ganges.

For dinner we ate at the treehouse cafe. They had open mike night.

The woman in green sang just before we left. She looked as though she's had a hard life.

Sitting out on the chairs in the backyard, watching the boat traffic, was very relaxing.

The bed and breakfast was done up country style, with some antiques, thus the clawfoot tub. I can see why that went out of style - getting in and out is kind of uncomfortable.

Kayaking with Lauren and Coleen, who were also staying at the b & b.

Our guide Matt with a starfish, missing one leg.

Matt also found a sea star (?)for us. Very slimey.

Lauren and Coleen. It was their first time in a kayak, and they did great.

The mud flats that we launched had the most sand dollars that I've ever seen in my life.

On Pender Island.

The view from Oak Bluff on Pender Island. This was the nicest place on the island that we saw. Otherwise there weren't many parks or public areas at all.

The canal between north and south Pender.

Chemianus, town of many murals.

On our way to Nanaimo, we stopped at a bungy jumping place. We spent about 45 minutes watching one woman trying to get up the nerve to jump. She never did.

On Gabriola Island, millstones for crushing wood for paper had been made out of the local stone. We stopped at one of the sites where this was done. It's a strange looking place. Wonder what we would have guessed it was for, if we didn't know about the millstones.

The Malaspina galleries on Gabriola are sandstone rock formations, that look somewhat like waves in the rock.

People had carved their names in the sandstone. After it eroded, it looked as though their names had been carved in relief. I assume that carving the names had compressed the stone right underneath it, and caused it to better withstand erosion.

It's almost scary to stand underneath it - that's a lot of fragile looking rock above you.

This cannonball shaped rock protruding from the sandstone reminded us of the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand.

More millstones, close to our bed and breakfast. These were the discarded ones.

The view from the backyard of our bed and breakfast.

We had a nice view from our room as well.

The next day we went back to Malaspina Galleries to take pictures in a different light.

Beaches on the north end of Gabriola Island.

Barnacles formed just along the edges of where the stones lifted out from the sand.

Eric looking for crabs at Drumberg beach.

There's a petroglyph site at Gabriola Island. There's supposed to be dozens, and we explored a bit, but never saw anything except what was on the beaten track. Guess we didn't look hard enough.

Some parasitic plants in the woods.

A huge raft of logs being barged off to Nanaimo.

The roads on Gabriola were nice and level, mostly. Like little green tunnels.

Photos from the filming of the movie "Purple Hearts" in the Philippines when Eric was in high school.

Our film career began with being clothed in military garb. My brother Brian is pictured second from the left in the front row, shirtless. To his right is Kenneth Crowe, a good friend of mine at the time. The shirtless guy to Ken's left is Kurt Algayer who lived near my family in Magallanes Village, Makati.

I spent the last two years of high school (1981-1983) living in the Philippines (my father was in the Navy). We lived near Manila and I went to the International School in Manila. During my senior year, the filming of the movie "<a href=>Purple Hearts</a>" took place in the Philippines. The filming required numerous American military "grunts" (young soldiers) and students from my high school were perfect. <p> Two or three dozen students got crew cuts, makeup and M-16's and spent one to two weeks running around airfields and rice patties looking tough. <p>The movie is not what I would call a masterpiece :-) In fact, I'm not sure it ever really made it into theaters, but I have seen it on TV several times. You can rent it on VHS. Unfortunately, it does not rank enough to make it to DVD yet and because the VHS has an aspect ratio of 4x3, one of my best scenes was pan and scanned out! Bastards! Oh well, perhaps it will make it to letterboxed DVD and I'll get a chance to see my big scene! <p>It did make it to DVD, <a href="/pictures/2010/purpleheartsmovie">see my scenes here</a>. <p>I also got to spend some time talking to <a href="">R. Lee Ermey</a> early in his career. Ermey has become one of the most recognized character actors of his time.<br><br> Thanks to Brian for supplying the pictures! <br><br>

Here is one with me. I'm standing right behind Ken.

I spent one week filming at about $25 a day. One day we filmed in a rice patty. We all got M-16's with a cartridge of blanks. This was used in the initial scenes of the movie where there is a fire fight and some of the characters are introduced. M-16's are fun to shoot!

The march to the rice patty.

I got to carry around an M-60 for a while too (not pictured here). Just call me Eric "Rambo" Vasilik. To simulate mortar explosions, the explosives people on the movie soaked chunks of cork in gasoline and ignited them next to us. The explosions were quite convincing!

The guy with red hair is Adam Rice who got a speaking part in the film. I believe that he actually went into the military after high school.

This is Jim Hegarty. We both went to Purdue University after High School.

Here is a shot of most of the extras. I'm standing on the left, Jim is next to me. Ken is at the bottom row on the right.

The big guy to the left is the prop manager. The guy in the middle was not from the high school, but worked as a professional basketball player in the Philippines.

On the first day of shooting, we went to a Philippino Air Force base where barracks were set up. I spent most of the days here in various scenes.

One of the first scenes involved an aircraft landing and wounded being taken off. In the movie, the first long shot of the plane when the doors are first opened, I'm the one sitting behind the doors. This is inside the plane.

I was the first extra to receive makeup on the Air Force set. In my case, evidently a bullet grazed my head!

Adam has wrist problems.

Brian's got it worse on his back!

Notice the tube hanging down which is used to pump blood into the wound.

The movie starred <a href="">Ken Wahl</a> and <a href="">Cheryl Ladd</a>.

Brian spent more time on the set and went to another location which I did not.

This was taken at a base in Cavite where my youngest brother, Kevin, was born.

Yes, that is real beer.

Here is the director, Sidney J. Furie. Ask me to tell you the story about when I almost kicked his face in!

Here's one of the posters made for the movie. I bought one of these online and had it framed.

We spent a weekend driving around the Olympic Peninsula, staying overnight at a bed and breakfast in Forks

I just had to get a picture of the Lake Sylvia State Park sign...

I think this was in Aberdeen. It looks like an old high school for which they're going to a lot of trouble to save the fascade. Strange.

At Pacific Beach. This was the first time in a while that we've smelled the ocean - wonderful! You can drive up to this point in your car along the beach.

I climbed on top of a massively huge gnarled rootstock, root side up.

This particular spot is known for the huge burls that the spruce trees are burdened with.

Everywhere you look, the trees had massive tumors bulging out.

The coast

We brought some lunch, and ate at the top of the cliff.

The stones at this beach were ideal for skipping. Unfortunately there was a really steep bank, and heavy surf, so it wasn't easy to skip stones.

Squinting into the sun next to my cairn

At often-photographed Ruby Beach

Eric jumping streams and fording rivers

Eric writes in the sand

These sea caves reminded me of the ones we saw in New Zealand

Eric took a surreptitious picture of a lady at the beach doing headstands

At the Hoh Rain Forest. The air was very damp and cold there, even though it had been sunny everywhere else, and carpets of moss covered most visible objects.

This is called a nurse log - where many saplings grow in a line, having derived their nutrients from a large fallen tree that then disappears.

Sunset through the trees

We stayed at the Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast, with very friendly hosts Bill & Susan Brager

At Lake Crescent. We stopped here to take this picture because I have a very <a href=>similar one</a> taken from the same spot, 3 years ago.

At Fort Worden, an old pre-World War I fort with many abandoned concrete bunkers. It stretches over many acres - you could spend days wandering around here. Unfortunately, we forgot our flashlight.

Here's a map of the fort. Most people only visit the area right next to the road, but there's much more there.

Eric sitting in his throne (actually some modern art, we found later).

We met a guy who was taking large format photos, using a camera that I've only ever seen in photos.

This is what he was photographing.

Climbing up the ladders that were everywhere.

There were funny round lumps of minerals all over the ground. They came from stalactites in the ceiling

The old military jail.

The inside of the mortar batteries. We were going to walk around the loop inside, even without a flashlight (it was pitch dark) but stopped after I stepped into one of the drain holes you see on the floor.

Fort Worden from the hill.

On our way home

A bike ride in Renton, then we go crazy taking pictures because we got a new camera (Canon Powershot S45)!

Biking under the I-405 underpass. We were on the Cedar River Trail, which is pleasant only if you don't go along the section that parallels the Maple Valley Highway.

We stopped by the Renton Historical Museum - used to be a fire station

Talked to the friendly ladies selling tickets. They have a really old cash register there.

Along the way to Lake Washington was an exercise. I found to my chagrin that I can't do the monkey bars anymore - and I used to be a champion on them when I was a kid! I guess I lost too much upper body strength.

And now - pictures taken with the new camera! Eating breakfast at the Maltby Cafe, where you don't get a plate, you get a trough.

Their cinammon roll was about the size of a dinner plate.

Went to a cat show in Monroe. There was judging going on all the time. It wasn't really a place where you could pet a lot of cats, though - lots of them had "please don't touch" on their cages.

We were able to pet this one. Now this was a funny looking cat.

The finalists

Saw this book laying around. Now that's something I've never seen before

After the cat show, we went to an RV show. Someday we'll own one of these suckers.

We headed straight for the Airstreams, my favorites. I'm not sure they're worth the extra money, though. Plus, they don't seem to be as efficient at using space.

This airstream was cool and retro.

Still, I think they emphasized style over funcionality. For instance, they wasted about 3 inches of potential storage space in the bottom of these cabinets in order to have built-in counter lighting.

Various interiors

The van conversions were pretty cool.

Some were just way too luxurious - with full refrigerators, fancy bathrooms, full size TVs, fake fireplaces, etc.

This "Cozy Cruiser" was interesting looking, but I can't say I think it's a whole lot better than a tent.

A mini-hike in Cougar Mt. State Park.

Lots of old shafts and coal-mining equipment left there.

Juggling pictures

Ilana and Steve came over for dinner.

Ilana started to learn how to juggle, too.

Deception Pass, Fort Casey, Langley

Good view of the mountains on the way north

At Deception Pass State Park

Looking over the cliff's edge

Bull kelp waving in the water

At Fort Ebey - our first time there. These fortifications were from 1942 according to the signs, unlike most of the forts in this area which were from before WWI.

There were inside rooms that were fairly well-preserved - still had linoleum on the floor!

Neat cliffside walk

I was pissed at having to pay a $5 parking fee at the state parks - state parks that we've already paid for with our taxes. If there were no state taxes, then fine, I'd be happy to pay for parking, but that's not the case.

At Fort Casey

A former bridge right outside of Fort Casey.

We went to Langley, hoping to participate in the Langley Mystery Weekend - a who-dunnit murder mystery, spread over a weekend. Unfortunately, we arrived pretty late - there's lots of clues to gather, and we only had an hour with which to do it, so we just walked around and saw the sights. This woman was a suspect in the murder, and was out and about, giving people hints.

The site of the "murder"

Another suspect.

Went to an exhibition put on by the Washington Prospectors Association in Monroe - very interesting.

A gold-panning demo

Some of the many tools you can buy to help you find gold

This device uses water to flush away non-gold particles.

A portable dredge and the inventor

Metal detectors were popular as well

We went to a talk given by a man who'd been on a gold-prospecting tour of Cambodia, back when the civil war was still raging. Some very interesting stories.

Some homemade prospecting devices

This device uses magnets to remove the black metalic sand from the gold

Panning for gold

Green Lake was very crowded - we took a walk there with Kristen.

This guy was unicycling with his daughter

We attend Brett and Victoria's 10th anniversary celebration in Las Vegas

Outside Treasure Island, where we stayed - after Eric confirmed that "Lost Wages" is indeed a good nickname from Las Vegas.

Inside the fake outside at the Venetian

And the fake gondolas...

And a fake Pavarotti!

Nothing is what it seems...a live "statue"

Brett and Victoria dressed to kill

In the limo on the way to the Elvis Chapel

A smooth stylin' Elvis!

After they renewed their vows

The whole crowd in front of the Elvis Chapel

And in the limo

At the Hotel Casino Orleans, where we went for a show afterwards.

The show, the Ba-Da Bing, was fun and very interactive - to the point of having us all come up and sing! These are some of the actors

This was my singing part

Brett and Victoria with some of the actors

Pam and David

The white tiger at one of the casinos, pacing back and forth

Playing video poker by the book. We actually did well at that, in contrast to the blackjack.

The water display at the Bellagio

The crowd gathered to see the pirate display at Treasure Island

A ship sinks...

Debbie after her big win at the airport

On the flight out (after a 3 hour delay). Lots of neon!

We watched robots designed by high school teams from all around the country compete with each other, at the FIRST Robotics competition.

The setup. It looked like the object was to knock the stacks of plastic bins over, and push them into your opponents territory.

In action

Prepping for another match

Referees conferring over a close call

An additional object of the competition was for the robots to end up in the white area in the middle, and not allow other robots to get there.

A close-up of some of the robots.

We did a geocache (first in about 4 months) at the University of Washington afterwards. It was a wetlands area we'd never been to before.

Contents of the geocache

Babysitting for Steve and Ilana on Sunday. Eric is holding Marina, and I'm holding Benjamin.

We went agate hunting with Brian Pendleton, at his friends Pat and Shirley's place

Digging up the stream searching for agates.

Eric in the middle of a shovel-full.

Brian and his sons Daniel and David had fun building dams in the stream.

An agate with the sun shining through it.

Dinner later on that night

Daniel juggling the clubs we brought.

Dinarte took some friends out to the Herbfarm restaurant for his birthday. We were camera-less, so these pictures are from Tom and Lisa.

The Herbfarm is one of the best restaurants in the Seattle area, specializing in Northwest cuisine.

These are probably the fanciest, most complex table settings that I've seen

The menu


The fish course (halibut) was one of my favorites

Duck breast

The salad course, with a very tasty goat cheese

Desert consisted of multiple mini servings - a funky jello dish, tasty huckleberry cobbler, and maple flan

A post-desert "little treats" dish.

Dinarte opening presents

Dinarte and John

Some brandy from 1889

We finally got our Canon Elph S400! So far it's been great. Took a walk in Kirkland, hung out with Steve and Ilana and the babies, brunch with Rich and Jane and Ana, then visited an AIA open home.

Waterfront in Kirkland.

Eric pretending to be a statue

Feeding Marina

And Benjamin

And once again...

Rich and Jane with Ana

At Marymoor park

The macro capability seems pretty good

The AIA (architect designed) open house in West Seattle.

The owners must collect old cameras

I'd love an office like this

There was also a spare room type building, separate from the main house.

A little cubby hole for the kids

Judy and Sally were in Seattle for a week, so I went to see them. Sally is so cute! Also went with Steve and Ilana to the semi-annual Mill Creek Garage Sale.

Some houses around the Lincoln Park area

Judy's niece Erin

Sally playing on the couch, after a 4 hour nap.

Judy and Sally

Sally just said a new word!

On the porch

With Steve and Ilana at the Mill Creek Garage Sale. It seems as though almost every third house is having a garage sale - it's a great time for it, since you don't need to advertise. Everyone knows that on the first Saturday in May, there's a huge garage sale here. Marina and Benjamin on a golf cart

Marina poses for a cheesecake shot

Out shopping

Eric's brother Kevin and his girlfriend Petra came for a visit on Memorial Day weekend

They went for a hike on their own on Friday, up Tiger Mountain. This a view of the Olympics from the top



At the Pike Place Market

Taking the monorail (a first for them, and for me too!)

A street performer (in orange) at the Folklife Festival

Watching street performers

This was a little weird - some kind of sound therapy?

This little juggler was performing for money. Technically he was fine, but the showmanship wasn't there yet. I gave him some money anyway.

On the ferry

At Fort Casey

Deception Pass

All of us

Picnic at Newcastle Beach Park with Steve and Ilana. We couldn't find an open grill, and forgot the buns, but Ilana found space on someone else's grill, and I was given some bread after wandering around looking forlorn, so it turned out well.

Steve and Ilana taking off (they got to the park via kayak as well)

Assorted June pictures

Gary and Eric headed off on a bike ride on Tiger Mtn.

With Steve and Ilana and babies at Chism beach park

Hmmm...showing just a little.

Lotsa skin here!

Rented a double kayak around the Mercer Slough area. It was a little small for Eric.

Eric went to San Jose for a conference. His hotel room...

Eric's company did an overnight trip to Whidbey Island. Much fun was had by all.

A trip to Vashon Island

There was a serious catepillar infestation there. They were all over the place, even on the beach.

This dog kept on bringing us balls to throw.

Lots of cute, very distinct houses.

Some kind of shipping antenaes

Someone put a collection of exercise equipment on the side of the road here, as something like modern art...

The Fremont Fair - always a favorite! We went with Steve and Ilana and the babies. This booth was selling the coolest converted kitchen utensils/hats.

Marina likes to feel the beard!

This guy was eating mealworms for money - $1.

A plant shop on the way - very interesting carnivorous plants

A demonstration of fire making with a bow drill

A protest of some sort...couldn't quite figure it out.

A trip to Orcas Island - the ferry terminal area in Anacortes

In Eastsound, Orcas Island. These are typical of the types of shops there

Only in the San Juans!

Crossing over to Indian Island, right off Eastsound - it's only accessible at low tide, and even then you're likely to get your feet wet.

In the island history museum

Some new cottage style houses were being built close to Eastsound. Seemed pretty expensive for what you were getting - starting at 229K.

Stopped at a viewpoint on the way up to Mt. Constitution - there were more dragonflies than I've ever seen anywhere. Hard to get a picture of them.

Awesome views from the top of Mt. Constitution. This is Mt Baker.

To the left is Cypress Island.

On top of the lookout tower.

This full grown dog was being carried around. It weight only 2.5 lbs.

Around Eastsound.

The owner of the bed and breakfast we stayed at, the Double Mountain Bed and Breakfast...

...which had the most amazing views!

Right next door is a very interesting art gallery, that makes wind-driven art. Fascinating stuff.

This one was 24,5000 dollars.

Leaving Orcas. We checked just to see how long the wait was for the next ferry, thinking we wouldn't have a problem coming along in an hour or so, and ended up barely making it.

These pygmy goats were very interested in eating blackberry shoots

A weekend trip to Orcas Island - we stayed in a bed and breakfast with an awesome view!

Waiting for the ferry in Anacortes.

Eastsound, the big town on Orcas Island

Bet you don't see very often

Doesn't look like it's been used recently, though

Interesting houses in this area

The lady at the local historical museum was quite friendly

Beds were tiny back then!

Old camera equipment

We saw these houses being built which remind me of those small cottage houses in Langley. I don't think these were as well designed, though.

Pictures can't do justice to the views off Mt. Constitution. You can see Mt. Baker here.

Hanging out on Mt. Constitution

This is the smallest grown dog I think I've ever seen

The owner of the bed and breakfast

Right next door to the bed and breakfast was an artist studio with some very intersting pieces that moved in any kind of breeze.

While waiting for the ferry, we fed these pygmy goats some blackberry bushes, which the went wild for.

Picnics, parties, fireworks

Rod and Shannon had a July 4th party - what a great view of the fireworks! Assorted party photos.



Gary and Colton

Rod, Shannon and Bobby

Ellen Schneider and her baby Lilly. Lilly should be in a diapers commercial somewhere!

And the grand finale...

Breakfast at Steve and Ilana's with Laura and Randy. Steve is "flipping out".

At the Milk Carton Derby. We were a little late for most of the races, but we still got to see many of the entries

Our first time at Derby Days, Max's Birthday party, the Street of Dreams, etc.

Record crawl for Benjamin!

For the first time ever for both of us, we went to the Redmond Derby days. Dave Bau came with as well. Lots of kids on bikes, and all kinds of floats as well.

Max with his cake

Off to the Street of Dreams with Rod and Shannon. We got there pretty early - later on it was packed.

The houses were nice, but also very similar to one another.

I thought this was kind of funny...they have a book entitled "The Not So Big House" in this huge mansion.

A hammered copper tub

Dinarte and John took Eric out for his birthday at the Barking Frog. David Bau came with us too.

Dinarte and John's cat was so matted that they had it trimmed off in a lion style. Very snazzy.

With Steve and Ilana and the babies at our new house

Eric encouraging Benjamin with a measuring tape.

We visited the Lucases on Whidbey Island

Lunch on the back porch

Rachael and her friend show us their sea treasures.

Taking a walk on the beach

Terry, going out to check on the crabpot. Eric took the picture through the binoculars.

It was a little more difficult than expected, but he did get some nice crabs.

Happenings in August

At a football game with Dinarte and John

Steve and Ilana with Benji and Marina, at Ilana's birthday BBQ

Marina laughing

Eric and Sylvia Juggling

Eric and I brought juggling clubs.

Marina clicking sounds

Deception Pass/Ebey State Park with Steve and Ilana.

BEA Company picnic, baby showers, trip to Oregon coast, football game, trip to Mt. Rainier

We met the Lucases at the BEA Company picnic

Not all that many people showed up, but we had fun anyway.

Terry and Sue Lucas

They had a pig show - an adaption of "The Three Little Pigs". The pigs were new, and weren't all that well trained yet.

Dave Remy and his daughter in the hayride.

There was a corn maze, in the shape of the state of Washington, with paths through it that followed the major highways of Washington. Interesting, but kind of tiring for me.

Eric found a loveable cat to play with.

Ilana threw me a wonderful baby shower!

We painted onesies with fabric paint.

In Seaside, Oregon

We stayed at this bed and breakfast, the <a href="">Guesthouse B&B</a> in Seaside. One of the friendliest bed and breakfasts we've been to.

Ecola State Park

The little islets are covered with bird guano. Eric took this through the binoculars.

The Tillamook cheese factory was a blast!

Cheese Factory

You get to see inside into the packaging plant. Very interesting.

The Octopus tree

The Rams vs. the Seahawks. These pictures are taken through a pair of binoculars

Spying on people on the other side of the field is half the fun.

It was a sold out game

Tom and Lisa

Dinarte and John

One of the cameramen

We took a day trip to Mt. Rainier. Superb weather - too bad I wasn't up for much in terms of hiking! Some cool volcanic rock formations

From this angle you can actually see the peak. We were able to spot people on the top, with our binoculars. It's pretty difficult to see in this photo

I had a hard time crouching down to look through the binoculars!

Lunch around Mirror Lake. A guy who came by said he'd seen a bear just up the trail. We tried looking for the bear, but then decided it probably wasn't a great idea and turned back.

Because it's been so dry, the mountain had less snow than I've ever seen.

Holly came for a visit with Daven; hanging out with Steve, Ilana, Marina and Benji at Remlinger Farm

Holly and 3 month old Daven

Holly and 3 month old Daven.

Eric tries on the Boppy that Holly gave us.

Daven is very cute!


Playing around with a big metal mixing bowl

Playing around with a big metal mixing bowl

At Remlinger Farms - plenty of photo ops!

Benji and Marina celebrated their first year of life with lots of cake, friends, and relatives!

Since they were born in the year of the horse, the theme was Chinese. Plus, they had such cute outfits from Chinatown in San Francisco.

Steve making a goofy face for the camera

Evie with the babies

There were a total of 7 (yes, that's right - seven) cakes!

The kids had lots of fun gettin messy with the cakes!

The kids had lots of fun gettin messy with the cakes!

After playing with the cakes

Marina festooned with ribbons from the presents.

Steve took a nice picture of me...

It's a boy! Our first child is born.

During labor, a machine monitors the baby's heart beat and mommy's contractions. His heart rate is 139 beats/min and the 69 indicates that Sylvia is in the middle of a contraction.

Here are the two plotted against each other. Notice that his heart rate goes down during a contraction, and recovers after it. (Heart rate on top, contraction pressure on the bottom).

Shortly after he is born (10:57 AM, Sunday October 26, 2003), he is weighed. 8 pounds, 6.6 ounces. 20 1/2 inches long.

Sylvia (Mommy!) is happy it's over!

Eric (Daddy!) is pretty happy himself.

Do you see a <a href=>resemblance</a>? I do!

"Breastfeeding is painless" -- NOT!

Lot's of friends came to visit. Terry and Sue Lucas. <a href=>Grace Colton and Gary Burd</a> also visited (I didn't get a picture of them:-)

Ilana Long.

Shannon and ...

Rod Chavez.

Steve (the big one), Benjamin and Marina Blatt (Steve's married to Ilana)

Ready to go home!

The whole <a href=""><b>Family</b></a>!

How to swaddle!

We get a lesson in swaddling from one of the wonderful nurses at Overlake Hospital.

Our first few days at home with Kenneth

Trying to get Kenneth to burp after a feeding.

He'd rather go to sleep ...

... or, have more!

Kenneth will soon get used to the clicking and tapping of keyboards.

He has big hands for a newborn.

Playing with our new son at home

Things to do with a milk drunk child

Kenneth's first visit to a park!

Chillin' at home

Kenny's first bath! We used a special infant tub that Gary and Grace gave us.

Even more pictures of Kenny.

Kenny looking at his reflection

Kenny waking up from a nap.

Ilana holding Kenny

Gary and Kenny

At the Bellevue Downtown Park

Nursing in semi-pubic is awkward

At Zoopas with the Blatts

Next door neighbor Bonnie with her son Jacob

Trying out the baby carrier

Trying out the baby carrier

Ken and Ann Vasilik come for an extended Thanksgiving visit

Eric changing a diaper

Kenny on playpad

Ann and Kenny

Kenny waking up on bouncy chair

Eric burping Kenny

Ken and Ann holding Kenny

Sylvia is looking a little bleary from lack of sleep

Little Kenny seems pretty happy while taking his bath

Father and son

Ann, Ken and little Kenny

Burping Kenny

At the Ballard Locks - the first time in a long time that Ken has pushed a baby carriage.

One of the locks was emptied for a yearly inspection

Ann made some wonderful dinners

Ken worked on annotating some of the slides that Eric scanned.

Ann with the Thanksgiving turkey

Visiting the new house - now being renovated

At Kelsey Creek Park

Thanksgiving dinner

Eric and Kenny napping at Terry and Sue Lucas' house on Whidbey Island

Ilana and Steve visiting

Kenny in the magic swing - it always seems to calm him down

Eric and Ken at the Pacific Science Center - there was model train exposition

Left to right - Kenneth Eric Vasilik, Kenneth Alois Vasilik, Kenneth John Vasilik

Posing with Kenny, and an outing to Green Lake

Benji and Marina walking outside

Kenny playing on his playpad

Kenny smiles

Kenny wakes up

Eric teachs Kenny to suck his thumb

Kenny snoring

Dinarte with Kenny

Steve and Eric and the kids at Green Lake

Marina is wearing impromptu mittens made of socks

Feeding Benji and Marina

Benji and Marina walk outside with shoes for the first time

Kenny grins in his stroller

Rod's 40th birthday party - Rod and Shannon gettin' down

Kenny and Daddy sleeping

Trying to take a Christmas picture with Kenny in a Santa suit - he hated it

This is what we ended up with

Jean feeding Kenny

Eric comes back from a business trip

We did a photo session with Kenny. Such fun!

We take an outing with Kenny to Rattlesnake Lake - first time we've used the baby jogger

Indulging at Todai before starting a "lose the baby weight" diet starting the New Year. The deserts are great - even the green tea/bean cake

At Rattlesnake Lake

Kenny was well bundled up

Preparing to fiord a little stream

We visit North Carolina for Kenny's first Christmas

Ken showing Kenny his new Train (Ken's train)

Ann demonstrating her apple peeling device

Eric and Kenny at the SeaTac airport

Kenny fell asleep almost immediately, confounding sourpusses sitting behind us who expressed dismay at having a baby nearby.

A great view of Lake Washington and Mercer Island

Looks like an lake of clouds.

Eric the Sherpa

At Eric's parents house in Asheville

Kenny in his Christmas suit

Ann decorating the tree

Kevin and Petra doing a crossword puzzle

Ann making lasagna

Kevin, Petra, Brian, Sylvia and Kenny

Kenny's a long baby for being 2 months old!

Lots of presents!

Kenny and the Christmas tree

The best present this year wasn't wrapped

We also dressed Kenny up in a Santa suit


And a surprise birthday cake and presents!

Christmas day brunch was eggs benedict

We found a good use for old bows

Did a geocache at the University of Asheville using Sylvia's new GPS. Kenny was very bundled up because it was freezing!

Found it!

Ken set up his new train set around the tree

Kenny is happy!

Kevin, Brian and Petra working on a jigsaw puzzle

Christmas dinner

Kevin holds Kenny

We went to the Gingerbread house display at the Grove Park Inn. Here's some of my favorites

Cheese-it rooftop - yummy!

A shredded wheat thatch roof

Asheville Monopoly

Brian drawing a caricature of Petra at the Grove Park Inn

We did another geocache the next day - one that takes you to all the landmarks of downtown Asheville

Taking inventory of Ann Vasilik prints

The Ann Vasilik booth at an art store

Ann donated a hand-painted apron as part of a fundraiser for many downtown businesses

The end of the geocache!

Making apple pie

Ken wants to introduce Kenny to trains early!

Visiting at my Mom's house.

Kenny's cousin Natasha, and Juanita holding cousin Conrad.

Natash demonstrates her new sweater.

Ann making some photos to paint from

A picnic spread

We stopped in Sylva just to get a picture of Sylvia in Sylva!

The Sylva courthouse

Ann drawing a portrait of Eric on my palm pilot

Visiting Tom

An interesting land formation on the flight home - don't know what it is

We spend 6 days driving around northern Arizona.

First day - first saguaro cactus sighting

Instead of the compact car we'd reserved, we ended up with this minivan at no extra charge. Pretty convenient.

Our first stop was the archeology experiment/commune of Arcosanti, started in the early 70's and still being worked on. We took a little tour with a woman who lived and worked there.

This is a model of the current and planned version of Arcosanti. What's currently built is outlined in black string.

They sell a lot of ceramic goods, as well as brass. These particular things are ceramic time capsules, which will be embedded into a wall - the white pipe thing is meant to be filled with artifacts.

An open air area. If I understood correctly, these were built by piling up huge mounds of dirt, and then pouring concrete over it.

The tour guide (on the right) explaining the history of the place.

One of the earliest structures built.

It was set in a beautiful area, with canyons behind it

Not many people lived there permanently, and even fewer children. Apparently there was a serious accident recently involving a very young girl falling off one of the concrete structures.

The theater area

Some of the apartments must have a great view.

The foundry where they make their most profitable souvenirs - brass hanging chimes. We were lucky enought to see them actually pouring hot brass into the molds.

It was fascinating to watch, but also seemed very labor intensive, and unsafe - like something you'd find in the third world. Here they're pouring molten brass into one of the molds.

Finishing off the brass. Already it's lost a lot of its heat - note the color is much darker.

Some of the chimes, for sale in the gift shop.

At the Montezuma's Castle National Monument, a set of ruins. Apparently most of it is still original.

We met a man there who dressed up like Lincoln. We saw him and his wife at a few other parks as well.

Lots of beautiful grasses in Arizona.

And cactuses, of course.

Cooling my feet in a reconstuctred old irrigation ditch, at Montezuma's Well.

In the old copper mining town of Jerome.

At the Flying Eagle Bed and Breakfast, in Clarkdale. Very nice place, peaceful and out of the way.

The innkeeper, Inger.

At a local chapel with a very good view. They had lots of exotic cactuses around.

Hiking around Sedona. We borrowed a book from Inger on hiking in this area that turned out very useful.

This area here was supposed to be a "vortex", which is some kind of energy field, new age thing. I don't understand it very well.

Prickly pear cactus fruits.

Beautiful yucca plants.

Living in Sedona would certainly make it very easy to get out and hike - this beautiful area was only about a 10 minute drive out of town.

Eating lunch at a local campground. We attempted another hike here, but it fizzled quickly.

These jeeps, and ones like them, were all over the area, doing tours.

We may not have seen the right area, but overall, downtown Sedona didn't impress me - just tons of tourist shops, along both sides of the road.

The Fay Canyon trail was beautiful - also we hiked it in the late afternoon/evening, when the light was very good

These funny looking plants were all over the place - I think it was a saprophyte.

Hiked up to an arch/ruin. Neither were very impressive, but the view was great from there.

At the end of the trail. Lots of these lizards around.

Taking a drive on a scenic loop, we came across some members of a camera club from New Jersey, who were taking a trip out here specifically oriented towards photography. It was fun watching them lug their equipment around.

They did pick a great spot, though.

Had some messy but tasty ribs at the Haunted Hamburger in Jerome.

Breakfast at the Flying Eagle

Later on we went to a national forest northweset of Flagstaff, where there was a lava cave.

We had a rude surprise when we turned on our (one) flashlight, and realized that it was very weak. We didn't go in very far, because we didn't want to get stuck in the dark. This ice was within about 10 feet of the entrance

Eating lunch at the Grand Canyon.

We went to park ranger lead talk on the geology of the area.

Mule deer were right outside the door of our motel

Lots of canyon pictures coming up!

A heavily traveled trail to the canyon bottom

At the famous El Tovar lodge

Feeding some of the pack mules that carry people down into the canyon.

This was as close as Eric wanted to get.

Driving east along the rim of the canyon.

Got a good view of the river.

After leaving the Grand Canyon, you're immediately in an indian reservation. There was a long row of stands, selling poor quality souvenirs, to walk past before they'd let you get to the view of the Little Colorado River...

...which actually was completely dry!

Saw one of the smallest camper trailers I've seen.

At the Wupatki National Monument. Lots and lots of ruins there - at certain locations, you can see 11 ruins on nearby hills.

Felt pretty herded at a lot of points on this trip - especially in the national parks and monuments, you're very limited in where you can go, what you can do. There's tons of signs similar to this. I don't believe this was even a revegetation area - they just wanted people to stay out of it.

Spotting ruins in the distance.

Volcanic rock at the Sunset Crater National Monument. Vey rough stuff.

Stayed the night at the La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona. It was right next to the railroad tracks, and was a very posh hotel back when rail travel was popular. A few years ago it underwent a major expensive renovation.

Winslow is famous for a mention in the Eagles song "Take it Easy". The town council put up this statue of the singer, plus a mural of the "girl in a flatbed Ford" mentioned in the song.

The only clouds we saw were condensation trails from jets.

At the Petrified Forest National Park. Interesting, but this is another one of those parks where you're hounded and herded, and told exactly where you can and can't go. The painted desert

Beautiful yucca plant

They let you view petroglyphs - from about 50 feet away.

You can see the bark/wood differentiation pretty well on this one.

At the visitors center were posted many letters from people who had picked up a piece of petrified wood, and sent it back later, conscience stricken, after attributing a string of horrible disasters to it. Here's one of the worst.

On our way to Globe, we passed this fire.

The drive down the highway towards Globe was stunning.

The next day we drove back to Phoenix along Highway 88 - another very beautiful drive, only partly paved. I'd like to grow this grass as an ornamental

Damn on the Salt River.

Blooming saguaro cactus

The pedestrian mall area in Scottsdale. I've never seen this many galleries.

Cute cactuses.

We drove around the Paradise Valley area, a very expensive neighborhood. Some of the more interesting houses

It gets hot in Phoenix!

After a long search, we find a house in Somerset.

Photo sessions with Kenny, snow day, a walk at Cougar Mountain State Park, and baby group pictures

Kenny talks

Kenny lifts his head

Kenny focuses on toys

Kenny is Happy

Kenny meets a friend

Kenny rolls over

Kenny rolls over on the other side

Kenny grabs things

Setting up to take some photos

Kenny is starting to lift his head up when he's on his tummy.

We got 3 or 4 inches of snow on the 6th, and took a walk around our neighborhood

Kids were using the hill to sled down

Out with Kenny in the jogger stroller at Cougar Mountain State Park - we did some steep trails

The Claytons came for a visit

Audrey and Kenny are only a month or so apart.

Anna climbing on top of Jane

Ilana took this picture of Kenny

Playing with photos made with candlelight

I had taking tons of photos of Kenny, using the principles in Nick Kelsh's book How to Photograph Your Baby. Basically, turn off your flash, get close up, and take lots of pictures. These are the best of almost 200 (thank goodness for digital cameras!)

Kenny participated in an infant hearing study at the University of Washington Infant Hearing Lab. He earned $30 for doing the study!

More photo shoot pictures...this time using a lamp

Fishing for babies with a pacifier

We had a window replaced that was leaking.

Kenny is grabbing things left and right now!

Eating out with Kenny

Kenny really enjoyed watching the Baby Einstein Galileo DVD...we set him up with his own entertainment center here.

For the first time, we dressed him up in real clothes instead of playsuits. He looks like such a big boy! What a hassle to dress him, though.

Batting away at toys in the bouncy seat

We had a baby play group here, and took pictures of the moms and babies.

We took a weekend trip to San Diego

Our hotel room in San Diego at Holiday Inn (it was part of a package deal)

The entrance at the San Diego Zoo

At the flamigo garden


The orangutans were so entertaining to watch!

This bird was uncaged (in an aviary)

Kenny has on a cute sun hat!


These are the doors to the elephant cage - very sturdy!

This elephant was doing a little dance in front of the door, making the same movements over and over

Elephant toys

They fed the elephants while we were there. Seems like they really enjoy eating smaller tree branches.

For some reason the giraffes were licking this piece of metal

Feeding the water birds. The zookeeper had to constantly use a hose to keep the unwanted birds (mallards) away from the food.

They had some very handy inclined walkways to go up and down hills

Kenny amongst the gorillas

A little girl getting up close and personal with a gorilla

At Torrey Pines Gliderport

Driving to the Mexican border, we noticed the high fence along the highway

At Avenida de la Revolution, the main tourist strip in Tijuana.

They had these little booths set up on every street corner, where you could have your picture taken with painted mules

Also on every street corner - pharmacies, selling all kinds of drugs that you need a prescription for in the US. They were the one type of business that didn't try to solicit you as you walked by - I guess for a pharmacy to do that seems a little sleazy.

Taking a taxi in Tijuana

We had lunch at a very authentic looking restaurant called La Fonda de Roberto, no tourists, with the menu only in Spanish. The food was great and very different from the Mexican food you get here, the waiter was very friendly. That's why we were so disappointed when they tried to rip us off, by adding up 120 and 80 on the bill and coming up with 280. It's hard to believe that it was an honest mistake.

Eric had something I believe was called Dedos de Montezcuma. It was reminded me of a fried seed stalk, and was very unusual to eat. Definately something to try.

This is what it looks like before cooking

They shaped the rice into hearts, since it was so close to Valentines Day. At a local market

All kinds of orange colored pasta

Candy for the pinatas was a big seller

Mexican sweets - sugar saturated fruits and vegetables

In the US, grocery stores always used to have a section of cheap, bagged up old fruits and vegatables. They haven't had it for about 10 years or so - I guess we've become too prosperous and people don't want to buy them anymore. However, this Mexican grocery store still has them.

It's a good thing we walked back across the border - the wait to drive back was long

The border

In Ocean Beach

Hanging out in Coronado

This is the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Very nice grounds - great place to feed Kenny and change a diaper or two.

The Dragon Tree - used as a backdrop to the movie Some Like It Hot

A very friendly guy came up to us and offered to take a photo

They were about to have a wedding here at the hotel

These flowers (bird of paradise?) are quite common in San Diego.

The houses in Coronado, though they may look modest, cost in the millions

Driving up 101, we stopped in the little town of Del Mar. They had a public plaza with a great view, which had (get this!) a couch! We hung out there for quite a while, it was very comfortable. Kenny got to do some tummy time, too.

We had Kenny in the snuggli for a walk on the beach - he did okay.

This guy had a kite-powered little go-cart

The Self Realization Fellowship has a very nice garden that's open to the public

Anna's birthday party, a trip to Bainbridge Island. Okay, so there's a lot of Kenny pictures too - so sue me!

Kenny is ticklish

Kenny on his exersaucer

Kenny "stands"

Kenny plays with Daddy

Anna's birthday party at the Children's Musuem. There was lots of food!

Baby talk

This was Kenny's first party! It hasn't quite sunk in yet.

Kenny asleep on my chest - how sweet!

Bonnie and Jacob

Kenny's pulling my hair!

Out in the park with Anna and Zoe

Kenny likes to pretend he's an airplane (at least, Mommy does!)


Valentines day

A sunny day in February - must get out! We took the ferry to Bainbridge Island.

Great view of the Olympics

Walking through a very nice neighborhood to get to Fort Ward park. I had to get a picture of the palms with the Olympics in the background.

The old gun battery

Kenny photo shoot

Good name for a road, Eric thinks...

At Fay Bainbridge State Park

Picnic in the park

All bundled up

With Marina at the water

Kenny's starting to sit up!

Marina feeding Benji

Mini sailboats being towed

Ilana and Marina

Next to us were some women doing a photo shoot revolving around skimpy clothing and barbies

Eric likes cats, so we checked out a cat show at the Seattle Center

Lots of unusual cats!

This cat needed a bib to drink, otherwise apparently she absorbs water like a sponge and then when she eats dry catfood it gets very messy.

Cat shows can be exhausting!

These cats have more grooming accessories than I do...

They actually have moistened wipes especially for cats!

The competition

At the Seattle Center

Walks and hikes in early March - also Kenny starts solids!

Kenny sits up

Kenny laughs

Kenny sits up some more

Kenny stands

Kenny eats his first solids

Kenny in his exersaucer

Kenny listens to music

Kenny and Jake

Kenny eats some more

Kenny likes his octupus toy

And his monkey!

Kenny with neighbor Jake, only 6 weeks older

At Purim

Kenny's first feeding!

The Bau's came for a visit

The house is still under construction...

At Twin Falls State Park, Eric tries to get Kenny to smile for a picture

Roger Weber invites Eric to fly with him around the Seattle area.

Roger owns a Cessna 205 - an airplane older than me!

Preflighting the aircraft.

The cockpit. Roger let me sit in the captain's seat!

Roger sporting his aviator glasses.

First we flew to Roger's house.

Then to Eric's house!

Marymoor park. On the other side of the river is a popular place to walk dogs.

Eric and Sylvia live close to the main Microsoft campus.

Then we flew to Snoqualamie Falls.

An old, unused, Weyerhaeuser logging facility.

Mt. Si.

Roger pointed out a biplane below us.

We also saw a sky diver.

Boeing's Everett facility where 767's are built. In the distance you can see Gedney, Whidbey and Camano Islands.

Coming in for the landing!

Getting really close now!


Short hikes, and some pictures of Kenny

With Kenny in the backpack carrier, at Tiger Mountain

Our first geocache in a while, at Larson Lake. Kenny helped.

Later on, Kenny played Xbox

Like father, like son?

Kenny's first trip down the slide, at Chism Beach Park

We take a weekend trip to San Francisco

Kenny giggles wildly

At the Point Reyes lighthouse


On the cable car

Simon demonstrating a piston

Simon demonstrating another device

Cork at the dinner table

Driving down Lombard Street

Kenny notices bubbles

I flew down alone with Kenny. Great views on the way down. This is Bainbridge Island.


Kenny enjoying the flight

Dinner that night in San Francisco

We took a tour of Berkeley campus, and saw the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex

Interestingly trimmed trees around campus

Any guesses as to what NL means?

(it means Nobel Laureate - they get their own parking spaces at Berkeley) We ate lunch here. Ann's kitchen in Asheville (Eric's mom) is much better!

At beautiful Point Reyes - the highlight of the trip for me. The blue markers show where the San Andreas fault is.

At the lighthouse, which was unfortunately closed.

Beach views

Picnicking along the trail

This part of the trail reminded me of the last scene in the movie "The Sound of Music"


A view north up the coastline

Herd of deer in the distance

Feeding time at the ranch. There were numerous ranches along the road, from Ranch C to Ranch H and all the letters inbetween.

At South Beach. What great light!

Making footprints in the sand

The conservatory at Golden Gate park

View of Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf

On the cable car

Transamerica building from Chinatown

Playing Go at a park in Chinatown

Chinatown street. Chinatown in Vancouver is lots less touristy

Eric was very impressed by this Lamborgini

Shopping for veggies

Waiting for the elevator in our hotel

Visiting Eric's old friend Simon Field and his wife Katherine. Lots of fun toys, gadgets, and animals.

Simon on the electric scooter

Visiting the treehouse

Simon also raises chickens in a geodesic dome. They're very tame!

He has a web site for his chickens, too.

In his office

Eric with studs (mini magnets)

Union Square

Dim Sum in Chinatown

Driving down Lombart Street

At Fort Point. We just saw the movie Vertigo, where a woman throws herself into the water right here.

Some renovations going on at the Golden Gate Bridge

Inside Ft. Point

The Golden Gate Bridge

Kenny, leaning against the railing at the Golden Gate Bridge.

We visited a pet cemetery at the Presidio

Jeri wedding, Point Defiance Zoo

Kenny playing

Mommy pokes Kenny

Kenny in high chair

Kenny stands

Daddy crawls

Kenny stands in exersaucer

Kenny looks like he's about to crawl

Kenny feeding goats

Kenny and Benji

We got a new MacClaren stroller. You can push it with one finger!

One of the members of my book club, Jeri, got married at the Sand Point Country Club. Great view! Beautiful ceremony as well.

Larry, Jack, Kay

Susan and Jean

Jeri's friends from college came and recited a wonderful funny poem

Daddy and Kenny

Book club members

The babies in our Peps group (Zoe is missing). From the left: Emma, Ava, Katie, Kenny (the only boy), Veronica

At the Point Defiance Zoo

Feeding the goats

The resident peacock

There was a very interesting seahorse collection

Benji and Marina watching the manatees

Kenny on Daddy's car

In the process of cleaning out the garage

Mother's Day, and Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Daddy and Kenny

Mother's Day events

Mommy makes Kenny laugh

Mommy gets breakfast in bed

Visiting our new house, still under construction

View from the deck

At the Bellevue Botanical Gardens - Kenny supports his whole body weight

Steve is busy taking pictures too

Eric blowing bubbles for Marina

I really wanted some nice photos of Kenny for Mother's Day, so we had a photo session

We decided for no particular reason, to do "A Day in the Life of Kenny" - the kinds of things we do on the average day with Kenny

Kenny plays with Mommy's palm pilot

Kenny gets a bath

Kenny gets his hair combed

Kenny is frustrated

Kenny eats

Kenny drinks

Kenny stands

Kenny plays

Kenny gets strapped into the stroller

Kenny doesn't like mashed potatoes

The day started out rough - Kenny work up around 5:30, so Eric fed him, then I put Kenny into his boucy seat where he took a nap

Kenny wakes up from his early morning nap

And plays with Mommy

Hanging out on the bed upstairs while Daddy takes a shower

Kenny loves my palm pilot

He's starting to pull himself up on furniture

Getting a Sunday bath

Kenny gets his hair combed

Eating some carrots

A photo session with Kenny (best of at least 100)

A walk at Marymoor Park with Steve and Ilana and kids

Benji and Marina are almost exactly one year older than Kenny

Kenny gets a diaper change

Going after Mommy's palm pilot again

Yea! Got it!

Kenny can't stop smiling!

The end of a busy day - Kenny is asleep in his crib

Kelsey Creek, Folklife Festival, etc.

Kenny and Jake tearing up magazines

Kenny and Jake drumming

Kenny and Jake hugging

On the tractor

Kenny's first swing ride

Funky hacky sack moves at the Folklife Festival

This kid was trying to juggle seven balls, which is extremely difficult (especially tennis balls!)

The hippie scene at the festival

Kenny eating bananas

Kenny crawling

Sylvia juggling at the Seattle Center juggling club meeting

Eric juggling at the Seattle Center juggling club meeting

Kenny and next door neighbor Jake

At Kelsey Creek Park

Rockin' with Mommy

Kenny enjoys the toy tractor

Swings are fun too - although a little big

The gang on the teeter-totter

More "kids"

Steve and Ilana and the kids looking at the pig

Lots of sidewalk entertainment at the Folklife Festival

I particularly like the bluegrass musicians

Juggling seven balls

Some diablo action

These guys did a take-off of hula dancing that was very funny

And these guys stood in the middle of a walkway with large signs that had bible quotations written on them.

The hippie scene

Kenny, starting to peep up over the top of the coffee table

Made it!

Marymoor Hills neighborhood potluck

Kenny likes his peas

The new Seattle Public Library is very impressive. Lots of lime green

Bad color for a rug in a public place - it's already getting stained

Nice chairs

A spiral walkway goes up the building

Funky chairs - shaped like M&Ms

Interesting pattern caused by these two panels of material with circles cut in them.

Waiting for the elevator, which was extremely slow

Interesting lounge areas

Eric juggling at the Seattle Juggling club meeting

Kenny dressed for warmth

There was also a photography exhibition at the Seattle Center

Kenny and I go to visit Eric's parents in Asheville and my mother in Charlotte

Kenny playing with his granddad

Kenny with his first Cherrio

Ann explains her painting technique

Kenny enjoys looking at the cat

Kenny plays on the dishwasher

Kenny is packed and ready to go

In Asheville with Ken and Ann

Ken and Kenny

Ann and Kenny

Driving to the Arboretum, we saw a house trailer that had slid off the truck, onto the side of the highway

I'd like to have a little herb garden like this.

The quilt garden

In the Vasilik garden

Getting a bath in the sink

Kenny and his uncle Brian

Mom and Les feeding Conrad

Mom with Kenny

Kenny borrows Conrad's little car

Kenny looking at a snake at an Asheville nature center

Watching the pygmy goats

Another splendid picnic lunch

Brian will probably be buying this house

The artist at work in her studio

Kenny explores

July 4th, Milk Carton Derby

Kenny bouncing

Kenny eating creamed spinach

Kenny doesn't want to touch the rough concrete with his knees!

Kenny likes bopping around on the couch

We tried to find a geocache, after not doing any geocaching for a long time. Didn't find it, but we had fun with Kenny in the baby pack.

Lots of kiddies at the Chavez house, July 4th.

Kenny makes a friend

We had a baby time on the kiddie trampoline

Gary took this great shot of us

Kenny at Chism Beach Park

Holly and Daven and Sara came over for a visit

Getting a picture of 2 babies, together, and maybe even looking towards the camera, is almost impossible

Some milk-carton boats at the Milk Carton Derby

This one looks speedy

Finally started dressing Kenny up in real clothes, instead of playsuits

The Seafair clowns

Another speedy files

A lot of milk carton trash at the end of the day

At the Peps picnic - Emma



Kenny and I

After more than a year of remodeling, we move into the new house

The original house

A wooden patio, but no deck

The south side was a little messy

The windows in particular were very dated looking

The master bathroom

Downstairs bathroom

We ended up selling the hot tub

Back side of the house

Kind of like a 1960's apartment block

The water heater burst and flooded the downstairs soon after we bought the house

The two bedrooms that are now the master bedroom

Huge closet in large downstairs bathroom, with mirrored doors

Construction - new windows being put in

Lots of studs visible

Replaced the siding as well...

A lot of rewiring

The kitchen stayed pretty much the same

New tiling at the entryway

I'm not so sure about the light green paint

Kenny's okay with it, though!

Some new landscaping in the backyard

The original measurements that we made

Moving day - the living room was the staging area

Jean came over to help watch Kenny

We didn't think we'd need this many boxes - had to go to Home Depot 3 times for boxes times for extra

Shawna babysat Kenny while we moved

Master bedroom looks barren

Loading up the truck

And unloading at the new house!

We had Wendy Woodside stage the old house for sale

Excursions to various parks, Ava's birthday party, and Kenny starts walking!

Kenny walks!

Kenny walks even further!

Kenny loves balloons

Kenny's first time in a wading pool

Kenny splashes

At Kelsey Creek Park

Ilana took some pictures at Steve's brother's place

At Ava's first birthday party - Kenny loved the wading pool!

He got to play in a sandbox as well

Alison and little Katey

Barbara and little Veronica

Ava and her birthday cake. She burned herself on the candle just after this picture was taken

At Newcastle Beach Park

Angela took some pictures of Kenny in drag

At Foresthill park, a neighborhood park which has just been very nicely renovated. Even has a climbing wall!

Kenny and Benji playing on the xylophone

Kenny playing with a pot of water. He got pretty wet!

Hanging out in August

Kenny walks uphill

Daddy and Kenny

At the Kirkland downtown park

Playing with a leaf

Kenny sitting on the statue - everyone's happy

So THIS is where babies come from - Target!

Groundbreaking at the new community center nearby

Having Kenny on my shoulders is a hazardous proposition if I want to keep my hair!

Angela took Kenny to play at the Redmond Town Center

Playdate with Rochelle and Jake

Eric went biking with Gary and Scott through the Snoqualmie Tunnel

BBQ with Judy and Chris and Sally!

Kenny sitting on a chair

Kenny want to help Erin push the baby stroller

Daven trying out some avocado


Judy and Sally doctoring some sick animals

Ilana's birthday ice-cream social

Kenny wants in!

A weekend trip to Los Angeles

Learning about the scientology e-meter

Kenny likes feeling daddy's hair

The Getty Center

Kenny doing a crab walk

Paddle Tennis

Oil well at Signal Hill

On our way to the hotel from the airport, we were stuck in a traffic jam caused by this fire.

Our hotel - the Le Parc suite hotel. It was ok, not remarkable.

A mutated daylilly

Houses in Beverly Hills

Loved these trees on Rodeo Drive

This shop on Rodeo Drive had an underground display. It felt very strange to step on the glass

Trimmed horsetails were a big component of landscaping in LA

A toney side street of Rodeo Drive

Very prickley!

Along Mulholland Drive

The next morning we went first to Hollywood, which was quite seedy looking. I had no idea LA had a subway system

The walk of stars. I felt gyped - many of the same movie stars have more than one actual star. Seems like having more than one grave for a person - not quite right.

Wig shop

A sampling of some of the hand and footprints in front of the Chinese Theater

There was a Scientology exhibition that we stumbled across. A large part of the exhibition was taken up by the life of L. Ron Hubbard, and what a cool guy he was.

The "Clear". This is what Scientologists say we should aspire to

Doing the Scientology "electropsychometer".

At the end, the woman asked Eric if he'd like any materials. He said "sure", thinking he'd get a free book to look at on the plane. When it turned out they wanted to charge for it, we declined.

Waiting for the tram at the Getty Center - my favorite part of the trip

The Getty Center from the gardens

We took a tour - highlights of the collection.

The buildings and complex were stunningly beautiful. I could have stayed there for days.

See the door?

The cafe

This is the top of...

...this structure. You can see the shadow of the circular top opening on the right.

I loved these - like big bouquets

Kenny was a little tired of being in his stroller so long, so he was pretty loud

On our way to the central garden

Kenny, crawling like a crab on the grass

The 405 freeway

We didn't spend as much time actually looking at the pictures as I would have liked. Here's some of the more famous ones.

Loved these fountains

A fun little kids area, with a replica of the fancy bed we'd seen in the decorative arts section

On the tram ride down

The next day, at Venice Beach

The sport of Paddle Tennis, which we'd never seen before


A weight training area right along the boardwalk.

Houses along the beach

The street performers were disappointing - all talk and no action

Lotsa psychics

Rasta stuff

Car show

Visiting the Zucco's

Bonnie and her daughter Amy with Kenny

They live in a beautiful place on Signal Hill, which still has functioning oil wells

Eric along the promenade

Eric Zucco and the kids

View of Long Beach from the park

Some guys were doing some radio experimentation while we were there

Kenny enjoying the water at the Farmer's Market

At the La Brea tar pits.

Lots of Dire Wolf skulls

If we had gone on a weekday, we could have seen the paleontologists doing their thing

The displays were not a great value for the money, but it was fun seeing actual mini-pits of tar - which we could have seen for free outside

Display in Santa Monica

Another street performer. Again, lots and lots of talk, and very little action.

A display about how the Falun Gong are being tortured in China

Lots and lots of homeless in Santa Monica

Kenny made a friend at the airport on the way home

A day in the life of Kenny - a great excuse to go nuts taking photos and videos

Kenny woke Mommy at 5:30!

Kenny plays with the thermometer

Kenny plays with books

Kenny is not really into disco

Kenny walks to Mommy

Playing with hand puppets

Going down the slide


Getting dizzy

Kenny walks downhill

Kenny watches Benji do somersaults

It was an early morning wake-up

Playing with books

Daddy tries to catch some zz's while Kenny is nearby

Going down for a nap isn't fun

Playing with the phone is, though!

Getting a bottle

Going for a drive Daddy's favorite store - Fry's

Where we had a sandwich and some water in the deli

Kenny helped Daddy set up the TV mount

Love the elephant hand puppet!

Sleeping during a labor day picnic at Luther Burbank

Kenny meets Sylvain and her dog

About to go down the slide

With Steve and Ilana, and Benji and Marina

Hoping for some handouts

Dueling cameras

With Benji and Marina

Finding friends

Daddy gives Kenny a wedgie - good thing he has diapers on!

Kenny watches Mommy and Daddy juggling

Maybe someday I can juggle too!

Hanging out

Ready to go

Somersaults soon?

Bathtime was not fun

Bottle, book, then bed

Bedtime is traumatic too!

Parks, Puyallap, and playin' around!

Kenny eating

Crawling around on the bed

Swinging is fun!

Kenny makes his famous 'gaggle-de-goo' sound.

Kenny kicks his ball

Kenny going up a playground structure

Underage bouncing on an inflatable toy structure at the Issaquah Salmon Days

Kenny juggling

Crawling into the foldable laundry basket

At the Lake Boren Park festival

Getting up close and personal with the bark

Kenny in the backyard

Kenny and Angela

Reading - or at least flipping through a book

At the Puyallap Fair

Pretty talented pumpkin carving

The set of springs a "fling you into the air" ride

Eric getting some target practice

The Washington State Trappers Association booth.

The fruit and vegetable section was pretty interesting. Wish I could get my produce there!

Our "pumpkin"!

Eric sprung for a fancy water massage

This guy was demonstrating mass hypnotism

Kenny playing at his piano

Kenny and Angela

At Lincoln Park

Touching the water from a safe distance

Kenny in his throne, on the deck

At Kelsey Creek Park

Fun on the sheep!

And fun on the swing...

Still liking Mommy's palm pilot

At Cougar Mountain State Park

Watching the game (Seattle vs. 49ers)

Playing with tupperware keeps me busy for a long time!

Hike to Twin Lakes with Melanie and Rochelle

Rest stop

Issaquah Salmon Days - kids area

Kenny's first birthday, and a visit from the grandparents

Kenny with his push toy

Kenny's first birthday!

Eating the cake

Playing with the shape sorter

At the Pacific Science Center

Playing with a blower

Ken doing a center of gravity experiment

Kenny gets a massage

Kenny plays with sand

Walking on the beach

Kenny likes his lemons

Playing with utensils

At the Kelsey Creek Park Family Festival - Kenny got a kick out of the chickens. They weren't so thrilled with him, though.

Lots of kid-friendly activities, but targeted at kids just a little bit older than Kenny

Eric was entranced by this 1928 25 horsepower Black Bear Oil Field Engine

Kenny and Daddy

There were also some booths set up for people who live the way they did 100 plus years ago

Kenny picks out a pumpkin for himself

...and pets a llama

On the deck

"Finger painting" on the foggy window

Jake and Kenny

Emma, from our Peps group, and Kenny

Kenny with some strained peas

Kenny looking chic in an envelope hat

Kenny getting a bath

Benji and Marina's 2nd birthday party! They're all dressed up.

The blowing out of the candles was very well preserved for posterity

Ilana made cake decorations in a moon and stars theme

Kenny didn't quite get the hang of this toy

A cute 3 month old

Marina trying on Grandma's shoes

Past, present, and potential future nannies

Jacqueline, their first nanny

Present pandemonium

Grandma and Grandpa Vasilik came to visit!

Grandma shredding carrots for a carrot cake

Kenny helps assemble his toy


Stuffed grape leaves for dinner

Kenny's birthday cake

What? No Nintendo?

Playing with the shape sorter

At the Woodlawn Park Zoo - dropping coins down a wishing well

Watching the wild dogs

The view from the top of Somerset

Kenny wearing Grandpa's hat

At the Pacific Science Center candy exhibit

Digging for "sweets" - it was actually an amazingly sour piece of candy

A giant reproduction of the tongue

Kenny in an outsize chair

Playing in the toddler area

At the Butterfly House

The home office

At the Museum of Flight

Dinner at Todai

At Discovery Park

Kenny discovers sand

Ann thought the lighthouse was very cute

It was a beautiful morning

Ann painting a mural in Kenny's room

A Halloween football game

Dinarte and John

Kenny in his Tigger costume. The whiskers were soon smeared all over his face

Trick or Treating at Bellevue Square

Ken and Ann on the morning of their departure

Housewarming party, Thanksgiving, and various outings

Kenny combs his hair

Banging pot lids

Kenny in a box

Rachel bouncing the ball for Kenny

Kenny and his new dump truck

Kenny enjoying a post-Thanksgiving lunch

Practicing stepping up

Kenny participating in a study at the University of Washington

Kenny checking out the table of goodies, prepped for our housewarming party.

Party pictures

Kenny and Eric asleep on the couch, after an early morning wake-up.

At the Pacific Science Center - "and that's a small step for a little boy"

Kenny would have loved to touch the "walking stick" insect

...and the butterfly, too

Interesting lenticular cloud next to Mt. Rainier

Fixing the very last pitcher of formula for Kenny - we're switching to milk now!

Playing with Daddy

Kenny getting read to

At Crossroads Park

Benji and Marina

Fitting into a plastic bin

Kenny's first (of not very many!) trip to McDonalds. We just had to go, after watching Supersize Me.

At Newcastle Beach Park. Kenny is very independent, and won't necessarily follow if we walk away

Walking in the woods, about to find a geocache

Got it!

Thanksgiving with the Lucas family at our house

Kenny with the remains of his Thanksgiving dinner, which he enjoyed very much, especially the stuffing

Kenny and his new dump truck

Benji and Marina came over to play the day after Thanksgiving

Kenny is a little too small for Daddy's jacket!

Eric in his Noogler hat

At Alki Beach

Teaching Kenny to throw stones in the water

Loves the water!

Practicing steps

Little Kenny in his birthday suit

At the Seattle Center Xmas train show

Kenny peering through the glass

The train is coming!

Dinner at a restaurant with Steve and Ilana and kids

Walking around Cougar Mountain Regional Park - it was a little too cold for Kenny! I blew bubbles for Kenny

He enjoyed popping them

Parks, and playdates.

Rochelle winks

Kenny blows bubbles

Kenny laughs

Kenny eats bananas

Kenny smacks his lips

Kenny plays with his new beanbag chair

Playing with the yellow truck

At the Bellevue Botanical Gardens "Garden d'Lights"

With and without the flash

Visiting Gary and Grace's new house, currently being remodeled

This was going to be our Xmas photo, but we changed our mind

Lots of pictures of Kenny and Marina and Benji in a big cardboard box

Kenny gets a kiss

Enjoying the new yellow truck

Kenny and our ex next door neighbor Jake

At Waverly Beach Park

Benji and Marina, breaking their way out of the box

And playing around on the beanbag

We complete the Mission Impossible II: Cachistan geocache. Warning: spoilers!

Cleverly hidden in the corner of a brick wall...

Does one ivy leaf look a little different?


The laser pointer fit into this little device, and pointed to a lat/long on the opposite wall

Playing around at Google

At the Kirkland Library - one of these books is not like the other...

This radio receiver was very well hidden on the wall

Looks just like the real thing

Waverly Beach Park

Eric, none-too-surreptitiously, picks up a key

Believe it or not, an old laptop was part of the hunt

Finally - Greetings from Cachistan!

This was the airplane that was commandeered for Mr. Big

And the ticket...

The end of the cache, darn it!

A self-portrait next to the cache box

Haircut, Christmas, etc.

Kenny hiding in his box

Kenny eats with a spoon!

Kenny gets a ride from Benji and Marina

Kenny eating

Johns birthday party

Opening up a present

Kenny plays with his train

Kenny gets a ride

Terry plays with Kenny

Kenny plays with a stick

Kenny's first haircut - I was pretty focused on not cutting his skin with the scissors

It turned out pretty well - Eric entertained him while I cut

Jean inside the box with Kenny

We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that box!

John's birthday (see also the video). The black eye is a racketball accident.

Kenny's little friend from Peps, Emma

At Crossroads with Steve and Ilana and kids

Taking the holiday train ride at Redmond Town Center

At the Redmond Town Center playground

A wonderful Xmas brunch with Jean and Kay. Next time we're definately bringing a booster seat!

Kenny in the shopping bag

The Parmaceks came over cookies and hot cocoa on Christmas eve. Kenny wanted to do everything Max and Parker did!

Opening up Mommy's birthday present

Visiting Dinarte and John on Xmas eve.

John loves little kids!

Kenny fell asleep on the way home, so we took the opportunity to put a Santa hat on him!

Christmas morning!

Kenny opening up a present from Grandma and Grandpa Vasilik

He also got a train!

Having a peanut butter and jelly facial

Styrofoam packaging material was fun to wear

Visiting the Lucas family for Christmas - Kenny had fun wih Rachel

Sitting on Lucky

At Lincoln Park - Kenny would have walked right into the water if we'd let him.

Playing with the rocks

Dinarte's birthday bash in Maui, and a side trip to the Big Island

Our room at the Four Seasons

Kenny in the pool

Kenny drinking

Hula dancers

Dinarte does the hula too


Haleakala - base of crater

Middle of crater

Eric hiking

Base of Halemau trail

Windsurfers at Ho'okipa beach

Kenny gets slathered with sunblock

Kilauea crater at Volcanoes National Park

Ocean at Volcanoes National Park

Hale'maumau crater

Kenny gets a ride

Steam bluffs

Steam is hot

Pheasant mating dance

Kenny got his very own infant boarding pass on the flight to Honolulu

There's plenty of leg room in first class...

We forgot toys for the flight over, so I put some pennies and a flower into a water bottle for Kenny as a rattle.

Tom and Lisa

Chuck and Erik

Jonathan and Lucy

Sean and Joe

Sylvia, Kenny and Eric


The view from our room at the Four Seasons

A very nice welcoming cheese platter

They had a little gift package for Kenny, including swim diapers

They also spelled out his name in little sponges next to the tub!

The view on the beach - black volcanic rock, and white coral, that will at some point in the future become sand

Dinner at the Pacific Grill

We loved the hotel

Breakfast buffet - yummy!

Kenny gets to try some papaya

Kenny in his swim diapers

Kenny and mommy at the pool

Kenny plays waiter at poolside, with one of the little iced cloths they hand out.

Beautiful grounds

You could exercise if you wanted to (we didn't)

View from the club level patio

Fresh arrangements in the lobby

The reading area at the club level lounge

Another view from our patio

The setting

At the birthday party. Not all of these photos are ours. <br> <br> <br>

Everyone got "leied"

Erik, Steve and Maria, Dinarte's sister

Eric taking pictures of everyone's leis

The man himself - Dinarte with a very stylish lei

Every guest got a gorgeous lei. We took pictures of most of them.













The group picture

John and Dinarte

Sylvia, Dinarte and Eric

Joe, Dinarte and Sean

Lisa and Tom

Steve and Maria

Sylvia and Eric

Lucy and Jonathan

The gays

The guys

The gals

We had no bow for Dinarte's present, so we substituted flowers.

Beautiful sculpted ice Happy Birthday sign.

The "over the hill" birthday cake

The hula show was top-notch.

Eric gettin' down

Dinarte surrounded by hula dancers

Dinarte and John with the hula dancers, after the show.

Lucy with a palm headdress

These were the most scrumptious little cakes. The one on the far left had its topping licked off by a stray cat.

The next day, we drove to Haleakala National Park, and did a hike down the Sliding Sands trail, and up the Halemau trail. Some views from the drive up.

Science city, on the top of Haleakala, where all the observatories are

There was a group riding horse about to go down the mountain as well - luckily they took a long time to get going, so we never saw them in the crater. As a matter of fact, we saw nobody at all in the crater the whole day, except for 3 people that were walking out when we were about 15 minutes into the hike.

Views of the crater

Thank goodness the weather started to get a little warmer here. At the top it was freezing cold and windy

Our first view of the silversword plant

Cool rocks could be on the moon!

The silversword in bloom

Starting to see a little bit of green again

...then we're back to black lava again...

Starting to get close to the Holua cabin

At Holua cabin

Looking for the old Halemau trail

An old lava flow. The weather is starting to get foggy and drizzly

Reaching the base of the Halemau trail.

Starting to see some huge ferns here, since there's so much more moisture around

The trail out is a very easy walk - gentle steady slope all the way up.

Ohelo berries. I used to pick these all the time when I worked here.

Interesting "pyramid" visible from the trail

Views from the trail up

This very expensive fence surrounds the park. It's meant to keep non-native animals (cats, goats, pigs) out.

After finishing the hike, we had to hitchhike a ride back to our car, at the top of the mountain. It was COLD! Luckily we waited only 15 minutes - the 4th car picked us up. Maybe because I was jumping up and down, and waving. Eric was less enthusiastic.

I lived in both of these buildings when I worked at the park, in 1991/1992.

Beautiful clouds on the drive down

Stopped at a fruit stand to buy some guavas and loquats from a very friendly guy.

And then back to luxury at the Four Seasons! This was the evenings desert buffet

Hanging out in the club lounge

Next mornings breakfast buffet

Dinarte and John spend a lot of time lounging at the pool

Kenny followed their example

Eric got a foot massage the day after the hike. It felt good at the time, but didn't alleviate the soreness for very long.

Afternoon tea - salmon sandwiches, roast duck sandwiches, and egg salad sandwiches wonderful little tea cakes

Hanging out at the beach with Kenny

Hors d'oeuvres that evening were chicken wings, lumpia, crab legs elegantly cut, gazpacho, and sushi

And the desert buffet included poached pears, little crepe thingies, cookies, chocolate truffle deserts, etc.

We hung out in Paia on the way to the airport. It's a unique place, kind of a hippie town. Interesting signs at the local grocery.

The natural food grocery

A world famous windsurfing beach is nearby

On the flight to the island of Hawaii

Papaya tree

We took a very hot walk around noon near Kona - not a great idea.

Kona village

Resting in the shade

The Pu'ukohala Heiau - an old Hawaiian temple.

Hanging out at a park.

The area around Kona was a moonscape of black lava

At Volcanoes National Park

Fern fiddleheads

Thurston Lava Cave

Inside the cave

Desolation Trail - one of the few stroller friendly trails around. It may have been desolated when the trail was first built years ago, but since then lots of vegetation has come up.

Ferns growing in the little cavities where I assume trees were.

The view down to the crater

Interesting volcanic formations

Kenny at an overlook

At the end of the road, there's often lava flows visible in the distance, at least at night. Unfortunately, we saw nothing but old lava flows, which were still interesting.

We postulated that some hot lava may have hit this sign.

At the park museum, we saw this rock pick covered in lava

View of the steam vents

Kilauea Military Camp, where Eric spent some time with his family when he was a kid. There's lots of cottages where folks in the military can stay.

The steam bluffs were nearby

Pretty hot!

Lehua tree

Kenny at the Volcano house, where we had dinner

He slid off the high chair pretty quickly, so we fed him in his stroller

Walking around Kona

Hibiscus in the rain

The saddle road over the island. It was fresh and cool up here...

Mauna Loa. What a broad, flat mountain!

Mauna Kea

At a nearby park

The new tsunami warning system in Hilo

Macademia nuts

We were a little disappointed with this place - it was basically just a big tourist shop with a large macademia nut selection.

Hand-dipping macademia nut cookies. Looked very time-consuming.

A view of the factory. It was pretty much shut down.

At the county zoo

The Lady Amhearst pheasant. The male put on quite a show, chasing the female.

In downtown Hilo. Hilo is very laid back, looks like not much has changed there.

Driving along the coastline

We stopped at Laupahoehoe park, where in the tsunami of 1946, 20 some children were killed.

Around Waimea

You can see the observatories of Mauna Loa here

Fun stuff in January - and we got our new camera! (Canon Powershot SD 300)

Kenny jumps on the beanbag

Kenny wears a diaper only

Feeding the ducks

Finding a geocache

Running around the kitchen island

Playing in the snow

Playing Dance Dance Revolution (I'm better now)

Kenny works out

Sea otters at the aquarium

Kenny and Rochelle

Kenny and his favorite book

Mission Impossible party

Kenny likes the mural his grandmother painted for him.

Eric's first try with his model remote controlled plane

Getting ready to feed the ducks at Robinswood park

Doing the Ginko Tree Geocache in downtown Issaquah (this wasn't the real name of the cache, but I don't remember what it was) This is the fruit of the ginko tree - apparently it has an edible nut, though I didn't try it.

On the deck

Ilana and I on the deck, trying to look for stars before we get too cold

Reading with Benji and Kenny and Marina

Found the cookies!

Giving Benji a hug

Getting ready to play in the snow

At the Seattle Aquarium with friends from Peps - Kenny loves the water

This was an interesting structure - basically a ring filled with seawater, with lots of jellyfish

Kenny and the shark

Sea Anemones

In the box with Rochelle

The Mission Impossible II geocache "post-production" party (put on by Seth!, and the exclamation point is part of his hame). Some props from the geocache

This prop was in the library

Seth! is on the left

Parks, playgrounds, birthdays

Airplane combat

Kenny plays with a new scrubby sponge

Playing train with Daven

Eating beets

Kenny says his name!

More dinnertime fun

Playing with the junk mail

Remote control model plane stunts

Kenny got some matchbox cars

Kenny talks on the phone

Playing with ballons

Kenny tries to juggle

Daddy and Kenny roughhousing

Playing with Benji and Marina

On the birthday party bus

Kenny and Rochelle

Taking a bath

Eating lunch

Frolicking in the hills

Walking uphill

Kenny tries on Jean's purse

Using neighbor Rochelle's pj's as a cape

A rc model plane get-together

Nowadays the model planes are made of styrofoam

Playdate with Holly and Daven

Kenny loves beets!

Putting underwear around his neck is something Kenny loves to do.

At Ana's birthday party - they had a converted school bus that did kid's gymnastics and games

The birthday girl! frosting!

All tuckered out from the party

Static electricity is fun!

At the Experience Music Project (EMP). Fun, but good thing we had two for one tickets - otherwise tickets were $20, and I don't think it was worth quite that much.

Eric plays some guitar

They had a costume display - these boots were from KISS

Michael Jackson's glove

Valentine's day heart-shaped pancakes

Kenny always looks so cute when he's eating

At the Crossroads Park

Standing on a tractor at the Seattle Home Show

Playing at the earth sculpture at Luther Burbank park

Some close-ups

Fun in the dirt

Dogs are always fun

At Robinswood park

Eric flies and crashes his Tuff-E

Ok ... I was doing just *fine* when all of a sudden, the plane lurched downward and smacked into the ground! Ok, perhaps I goofed on the controls. I have alot to learn. The damage looks pretty nasty.

Luckily, foam is easy to fix! Epoxy to the rescue! I'll be ready to fly (and not crash) again tomorrow!

All fixed, and ready to fly again!

Flying the model plane, the Kelsey Creek Park Sheep Shearing festival

Playing with doggies

Going down the slide

Kenny and "Little Boy Blue"

Kenny at the Easter egg hunt

Kenny talking

Giving the stuffed animals a hug

Climbing onto the rocking chair

Spinning around and around

Watching the model plane fly

Pumping water at Kelsey Creek Park

Kenny loved this engine

Sheep herding demonstration

Sheep shearing

Playing under a rug hung over some chairs on the deck

Going down the slide at our neighborhood park

Lots of static electricity!

Soe came for a visit, and we also did a local geocache (the easiest one ever, I think)

Ready for take off!


Steve's birthday party

On the counter with Daddy

At the Easter Egg hunt at Crossroads

Sitting in his drawer. He has a bump on his forehead from falling at the playground

At a local park

Eric flying his model airplane

Kenny likes to watch

At the Kelsey Creek Sheep Shearing festival - Kenny in the hay wagon

Wow! Kenny gets to sit on an antique tractor!

Sheep herding demonstration with border collies

The actual sheep shearing

Kenny petting some llamas

Eric builds and flies his Trainer IFO (T-IFO) model airplane.

The IFO Trainer is an easy to build, rugged RC airplane which is good for beginners. I.E. I can take a heck of a beating and is slow and easy to fly. It is made mostly from carbon fiber rods!

Here is the complete plane, modeled by my lovely wife, Sylvia.

One of the first things you construct is the rudder. This, basically, is a carbon fiber rod bent in on itself, wrapped with kevlar thread and glued (CA - super glue). Two more short rods serve as the post for attaching the rudder and a tail skid.

I super glued my fingers together while making the plane. Nail polish remover took care of this!

This is where the "fuselage" and the "leading edge" come together. The kevlar thread is remarkably strong!

Here you can see the trailing edge as well. There are pieces on the fuselage to hang various electronics.

Here are the elevator/aileron hinges. It's pretty clever how they are constructed.

The whole airframe before the wing material is put on.

This tube will hold the rudder.

Here is the servo cluster. I chose to put three servos on so that I could control the rudder and have elevons. I shortened the servo wires.

Here are the linkages for the elevons.

Mounting the motor was interesting. First I glued two strips of wood to the fuselage rod. Then, I cut some white tubing to provide an opposite surface to the motor spindle. Zip ties are used to hold the motor in place. What I need to do is get a rubber stip between the motor and the carbon to give better traction.

Some kevlar thread is used to give the wing some dihedral. This makes the plane more stable in flight.

The underside of the plane.

Kenny likes airplanes too!

My landing was not the best (it was rather gusty :-).

Vacuum cleaners, dinner out

Playing with the vacuum cleaner

At the Somerset Elementary Playground

Jake visits

Kenny gets to play with the drill (no attachments!)

Reading a Curious George book

Playing with string and the computer

Hanging around the park near Pike Place Market

Lots of homeless people hang out there too

Out for dinner with Steve and Ilana at a Korean grill restaurant


Angela babysat for Kenny

Kenny LOVES vacuum cleaners

Playing with the zylophone

Dinner with the Claytons

Kenny has his first lollipop

Kenny and a little statue

Finally got the video teleconference working with Eric's parents!

Spooky the cat, in "real-time"

Playground at Somerset Elementary School

Ready for take off!

Rochelle comes for a visit

Jake, our ex-next-door-neighbor, comes for a visit

Climbing the ladder

A toy vacuum cleaner, birthdays, playdates, swim lessons, etc.

Kenny gets a toy vacuum!

Using the vacuum

More Vacuuming

Huffing on the hose

Climbing up on Mommmy

Running down a hill

Kenny says "Happy Mother's Day"

Vacuuming - what a joy!

Napping on the couch

Sitting on the chair

Eric with Kenny and Anna

A birthday party for Chris Beltran

Duck shaped sandwiches

Opening presents

Chris got a toy lawnmower that Kenny fell in love with

A swim lesson at the Pro Club

Kenny plays with his toy wagon from his grandparents

A day trip to Bainbridge Island

Panorama of the Battle Park Playground

Walking around a stone starfish

Playing with the tractor

Making music on the wood xylophone

Kenny makes sea lion noises

Throwing rocks at the beach

Eric and Kenny having fun with rocks at the beach

More of Kenny's rock antics

Security was tight on the ferry - strange to see men in black suits with dogs

Watching the water go by

Outside it's windy and cold!

Practicing going up and down the stairs

Standing at the ferry window

The Battle Park playground on Bainbridge Island. This quarter acre was like a playground on steroids! There were all kinds cubbyholes to play hide and seek in, numerous slides and swings, balance toys, musical instruments, towers, tunnels, etc., etc. This spot alone was worth the trip out here!

Earth moving equipment

Little mirrors were hidden everywhere

Lunch at the Bainbridge Baker

Took a drive trying to find Fort Ward State Park, and ended up on this road!

Throwing rocks at the beach

Eric juggling rocks

BBQs, playgrounds, grill

Kenny does Teletubbies

Found some fun toys for Kenny

Kenny jumps

Kenny pets a puppy

Bouncing on a horse at the playground

Jumping into the beanbag

Playing with a bucket of water

Picking strawberries

Ilana doing stand up comedy at the Folklife Festival

Didn't quite get this show - a black fraternity?

One of the better groups at the Folklife Festival

On a bed of nails

Throwing rocks at Carkeet park

Walking in the tall grass

Eric grilling

Playing in the new box

Can't put down the new toys for even a second

Found a friendly puppy on a kite-flying outing

With Benji and Marina at the playground

Splashing on the deck

Daddy makes a house out of the grill box

Picking strawberries in the front yard

At a Mother's and More BBQ

A picture from Eric's camera phone

Ilana does stand-up comedy at the Folklife Festival

Playing around at the fountain

Kenny loved watching people play musical instruments, particularly guitars

Driving a car at the Pacific Science Center

So much excitement - Kenny fell asleep in the car on the way home

At Carkeet park

The train went underneath us as we walked along the overpass

Doing a geocache there, at what remains of an old apple orchard. Kenny had fun walking in the tall grass

Eric innaugerates his new grill

Had Steve and Ilana and kids over for burgers

Then we had a little photo session

Kenny enjoys his new box

In the box with Benji and Marina

We celebrated at our house

John Betts and Grace Colton

The man of the hour - Eric!

Rachel and Joe - she's due anytime!


Admiring an ultra-slim camera

Kay and Jean

Brett and Victoria

Ilana - self portrait!

Blowing out the candles - 40 is a lot to blow!

Terry, Joe, Eric

Eric, on the hot seat answering questions

The Lucases

Hannah and Parker

Terry enjoyed getting down on the floor with Kenny and playing

This was the quiz sheet I prepared for our guests - they had to answer all kinds of trivia about Eric. Ilana and Steve corrected it, and Gary won the prize.

Cougar Mountain Zoo, Seattle Juggling Festival, Whidbey Island, Bellevue Fire Station

Playing with a marble-drop toy

Feeding the deer

Pushing the stroller

A unicycle without a seat

These two - a brother/sister duo - are apparently the best club jugglers in the world right now.

Contact juggling - I was at a seminar that this guy did, a few years back. Bought the book and a ball, but never practiced enough.

One ball juggling

A panorama

Kenny "juggling" clubs

Some amazing hackey sack stuff

Kenny riding his tricycle

Playing chase in the kitchen with Benji and Marina

Terry building a sand castle for Kenny

Eric skipping a rock

A firefighter puts on his protective suit

Playing with a marble drop toy with Daddy

At the Cougar Mountain Zoo

We tried to get Kenny to put his head in the alligators mouth, but he wouldn't!

They had a large assortment of birds

And you're allowed to feed the deer

At the Seattle Juggling Festival, this guy had a very unique (and apparently very difficult to ride) seat-less unicycle.

The motley crowd of jugglers. Strange to remember that I was once very into juggling.

Kenny juggling

And then he wanted to use the club as a toy guitar

The Space Needle

Kevin Krause wedding

Day trip to Whidbey Island - my hair's flying in the wind!

The beach right below Langley

A pretty walk - funny I've never seen this area before, considering how often we've been here

At the Lucas' house

Terry made a toy castle for Kenny

Kenny had lots of fun in the sand

Rachel wrote out names up on the sand wall

A thrift store on Whidbey Island, close to Langley, had an odd assortment of items attached to the side

At Fort Casey

I saw lots of this bright orange fungus on the buds of the wild roses

The sand around Terry's house is like quicksand!

Kenny and Rochelle in Gabriele's basket

Kenny and I got to tour the Bellevue Fire Stations through Mother's and More

While we were there, one of the engines left on a call. It was a false alarm - one firefighter said 99.9 of their calls are false alarms from automated systems.

Kenny got to sit in the drivers seat of the fire truck

Bainbridge Island trip, milk carton derby, kayak trip in Lake Washington, Mercer Island parade, Daven birthday party, Kenny visits the emergency room

Barbershop quartet at the Milk Carton Derby

The pink float went backwards

An old WWII plane at the Milk Carton Derby

This boat looks pretty well made

Kenny playing with Daddy's plane

Getting into Bainbridge Island

Eric flys his model plane

Kenny running back and forth on a suspension bridge

Throwing rocks in the water

Kenny plays air-guitar to Disco music

Beach club on Lake Washington

Kenny cleans up

Kenny plays guitar again

The Seattle Banjo Club in a parade

Kenny picks up candy at the parade

Kenny makes ice cream

Kenny walks in my slippers

Playing with a toy at Tom and Barbara's house

Eric puts together a model plane out of foamboard

At the Seafair Milk Carton Derby - lots of fun floats

This one went absolutely nowhere

I'll be this one was fast

Playing with Daddy's plane

On the ferry to Bainbridge Island with the Claytons

Going through a tunnel at the Battle Point playground

There's a really lovely walk around the park - very peaceful and green.

Playing at the beach

Homeward bound - whew! Long day.

Arriving in Seattle

Eric made a Forth of July cake

We make a flag with colored sugar sprinkles

Fireworks, through the telescope

A kayak trip on Lake Washington, from Enatai Beach Park. Lots of beautiful houses on the shore.

A lonely piece of untended property

I made Kenny a cardboard guitar

The Mercer Island summer parade

Lots of candy was thrown to the kids

Ronald McDonald riding a Segway

Waiting for more floats to come by

Daven had a birthday cake made up to look like a sandbox

Kenny wearing my slippers

Picking blueberries at Larson Lake

At Children's Hospital - Kenny fell and knocked a baby tooth partly out, which they then extracted. Quite traumatic for both Kenny and us.

At Snoqualmie Falls - we had lunch at the Attic

Swimming at local parks, birthday parties, hiking

Splashing in the water at Luther Burbank park

Spray park in Auburn

Swimming at Groveland Park on Mercer Island

More Groveland Park

Elton John?

Climbing into the highchair

Pranev's birthday party

Splashing at Franklin Falls

Kenny playing with a new toy

At the Kirkland Car Show

Luther Burbank Park

At the public spray park in Auburn - a little bit of a drive, but a neat park!

The Parmaceks have a toy car for kids - Kenny really enjoyed the rides he got from Max and Parker

At Ava's birthday party

Katie the youngest from our Peps group, is now the tallest!

Swimming at Groveland Park, on Mercer Island

Got a great picture from Kevin and Joanne's

Kenny pretending to be Elton John

Pranev's birthday party

Badmiton racquets were a bone of contention

Prijanka made this caterpillar cake herself

Kenny had lots of fun eating watermelon

More wet sticky watermelon pictures

Pictures from the Expedia DMO BBQ - that's me in the middle, fully clothed.

At the playground with Benji and Marina - Kenny found a cat!

On a hike to Franklin Falls off I-90, the Denny Creek area. Kenny did very well, and walked all the way in. Our hikes are definately much less ambitious than pre-kids.

It's right below I-90.

The quest for rocks was in high gear

We took a weekend trip to San Juan Island

Strange hallway at our hotel

Watching the alpacas

Watching a jellyfish

The moving sculpture at the sculpture garden

A demonstration of how barrels were made

A smithing demonstration

An accordian player

Kenny jumps

Jumping on the bed back home

At American Camp on San Juan Island

Watching a line of ants marching across the path

Kenny says "cheese" for the camera now!

The Spring Tree restaurant on San Juan Island, formerly owner by a coworker of Eric's is now an art museum.

Intertwined branches of the tree

At a restaurant for lunch

These little vehicles that you can rent were everywhere on San Juan Island

The hallway at the Best Western that we stayed at in San Juan was like none that I've ever seen - it had a bend in it every 20 or so feet, but you could still see all the way to the end.

A Alpaca hobby farm - the owner was very nice and invited us to walk around and see the alpacas. They had a gift shop as well, selling costly alpaca wool items.

They were cute little beasties

At Roche Harbor, prepping for a kayak trip

We took an "open boat" tour of a luxury moterboat at Roche Harbor. Cramped quarters, but luxurious as it could be made.

At a sculpture garden, Eric made an art project... putting leaves and things on light sensitive fabric, and putting that in the sun

There was also a sculpture class going on

Walking through the sculpture garden

We went to the studio on Orcas Island where the guy makes these. I really like them.

Picnic time

At the British Camp historical park, there were volunteers in period costumes, giving talks

This man was making barrels. He had just starting doing the volunteer gig, and was from California, summering on his boat in a local bay.

Eric borrows an accordian from one of the volunteers in historical costumes (there's a name for these people, but I can't remember it.

Playing chase in the maze

Kenny decided he would go home now

There was deer everywhere

At Lime Kiln State Park and San Juan County Park

At our room at the Best Western

Behind the historical museum was an old log cabin

Playgrounds, Peps, potty

Peps friends

Kenny swinging

Ilana reading to Benji and Marina, Kenny, and Daven

Seeing our Peps friends - snacking, all in a row

Veronica gives Kenny a kiss

At Lincoln Park

Uncle Steve and the kids

We went to the Zoo, Jetty Island, Geocaching

Climbing up a tough ladder at the playground

Kenny is musician and audience, at the same time!

More guitar videos

...and still more videos of Kenny and his first day with the guitar

Kenny on the tractor

Finding a geocache

Kenny picking blackberries

Eric flying his plane

Kenny put a lot of Daddy's socks on. And then I asked him to smile for the camera - he hasn't quite got the natural smile down pat yet!

With Benji and Marina at the playground

Kenny, Benji and Marina doing what Benji calls "Super Super" on the slide (all three going down at once)

Socks, safety goggles, and his old guitar (soon to be usurped by the toy acoustic guitar)

Got a new guitar!

Eating a banana all by himself for the first time

Dog show at Marymoor park - it was HUGE! Lots of beautiful dogs

This dog was like a big puffball of fur

Grooming gear - seems like that's a big part of a dog show

At the Woodlawn Zoo

We had a hard time dragging him away from this tractor

They had a little petting barn there

Too many people...there's just too darn many of us!

This monkey put on a real show - he was particularly attracted to one little girl and spread his arms wide to "hug" her through the glass

We watched the raptor show

Kenny talked about this bear later. He said "Bear played with a stick in the water".

We had dinner at an Afgan restaurant on 45th. Interesting noodle dish

Eric was thrilled to see this car...a lambourgini? on the road

Eric bought an ultralight model plane - note that it weighs just more than a penny

An excursion to Jetty Island with the Claytons

Lots of birders there

Smokey the bear, too!

Anna and Audrey

Kenny with his "stuff"

We met this guy who was waiting for the wind to pick up, for kitesurfing. He ended up not going out - not enough wind.

Homeward bound

Pancakes for breakfast (we supervise carefully when he's on the counter)

This pancake turned out like a Mickey Mouse - with the help of some raisin eyes

We did a geocache on an old abandoned airfield very close to our house, one that we'd never heard of. That's one of the great things about geocaching - it shows you areas that you never would have gone to, otherwise.

It also had a helicopter pad

The geocache was hidden under a fake rock, sold on the geocaching site.

Kenny picking blackberries

This is a classic...Kenny is almost always accompanied by his toy guitar, and his toy safety goggles, that he puts on his head. The guitar I understand, the safety goggles - not really. But he loves them.

We did some more geocaches, and went to the Puyallap Fair

Flying the model plane

Kenny perched on the fridge

Some Geocaches - one in Somerset underneath a fungus...

...and one in downtown Bellevue, done by Seth!

At the Puyallap Fair

At the petting zoo

There were some tractors at the fair, and Kenny was very excited to sit on them

An owl At the Google picnic

Flying the model plane at the old abandoned Bellevue Airport

Summer's over - this lifeguard's chair has been taken apart in preparation for winter. We were here at the Groveland Park for a geocache

Kenny has the geocache loot in his hand

Another geocache with the Claytons

Birthdays, Pacific Science Center, Kelsey Creek Family Festival

The puppet show - Kenny got frightened

At the Seahawks game

A stirring rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"

Pumping water

A hayride

Kenny on the firetruck

At the local playground

Pacific Science Center - inside the butterfly house

The Blatts


Puppet show at the Seattle Center

Kenny got scared when the puppet was threatened with fire!

At Newcastle Beach Park

Watching a Seahawks game with Dinarte and John

Kenny enjoyed the snacks

Taking pictures through the binoculars

Some of the guys in the box dressed up in football uniforms

Kenny was there as well

At the Weber homestead - getting tractor rides

Kenny loved it, but he was also a little scared

At the Kelsey Creek Family Fair

Riding old pedal tractors

A hayride. There's a volunteer group that brings antique, working tractors to this festival, and gives rides.

A "girls night out" at the Salish Lodge with Melanie

At our Peps 2 year bday party - we dressed Kenny in his haloween costume, but it was a tight fit and he wasn't happy

Another couch picture - we made these every few months at our peps meetings.

Giving Emma some grapes

We went to the "mygym" open house. Kenny had loads of fun in the ball pit and trampoline

Jean came over for a visit

Jeff and baby Gabriel - what a cutie!

Jack's birthday party, at the Child's Play Cafe. Very nice setup.

Kenny really enjoyed the big firetruck

The cake had a marzipan covering, made by the grandmother

The birthday boy

Kenny's birthday, and his grandparents visit!


"Flying" with daddy's remote control plane wing

Kenny plays "pin the nose on the clown"

Dancing at Benji and Marina's birthday party

Reading with Grandpa

More fun with Grandpa

Construction equipment #1

Construction equipment #2

Construction equipment #3

Construction equipment #4

Walking with Daddy and Grandpa at Kelsey Creek

Swinging at Kelsey Creek

Waiting for Grandpa

Swinging with no hands

At the aquarium

Kenny getting a wheelbarrow ride

Playing with the construction equipment

Blowing out the birthday candle

Kenny opens his "Bob the Builder" present

Hanging out on the deck

At an Easter Seals benefit in Seattle

Eric went flying with Roger Web and took these photos

Benji and Marina's birthday party - Kenny get's a car painted on his cheek

Kenny didn't stray too far from these cheese crackers

Sitting on Hannah's lap

The theme was "under the big top", so Eric and I juggled

Benji and Marina with their birthday cake cones

Reading with Grandpa

Waiting for Grandpa to come up in the morning

With Grandma and Grandpa

We stopped at a construction site to watch some pavement being torn up

At Kelsey Creek Park

Kenny having fun with his new birthday present

At the Bellevue Botanical Gardens

At the Seattle Aquarium - there was a huge group of schoolkids waiting to get in when it opened. We tried to stay ahead of them.

Kenny wasn't that interested in touching the sea life.

Kenny and the octopus

They were doing a lot of work on the pilings at the aquarium

At the South 47 pumpkin farm

Kenny's 2nd birday dinner - beef enchiladas

Attacking his birthday cake

A present from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Petra

Birthday party, snow, having friends over

A towel ride

Kenny uses the scissors for the first time (at home, at least)

Doing flips

Hip-hop dance demo at the new community center

Dance Dance Revolution

Another towel ride

Playing at a birthday party

Kenny opening his first video game

Kenny's school picture

Got a pumpkin from Aunt Jean!

Kenny's favorite outfit

Riding the "magic carpet" towel

Using scissors

Hiding in the cabinet

Playing the guitar on Daddy

A bald eagle from our deck (through the binoculars)

Playing with a mixture of cornstarch and water was lots of fun!

Stepping on a box to turn on the light

A light snowfall - Kenny enjoyed trying to sweep up the snow

A train show at a local church

The new walkway between Bellevue Square and Lincoln Plaza

The new South Bellevue Community Center!

The Rikofs came over for breakfast, and Kenny got to play with Daven.

Hans doing Dance Dance Revolution. He demured at first, but then really got into it.

More magic carpet rides

Birthday party with Alex, a friend from daycare

Kenny's first video game

We took a cruise to the Caribbean with Eric's family at Christmas

Train at the Orlando Airport

Our room on the ship

Playing games with Kenny to amuse him at dinner

Santa Claus arrives on the ship

Getting a present from Santa

Kenny ripping open a present

Playing with his new toys

Kenny playing with Eric's Rubiks Cube

PLaying with Uncle Kevin

A woman won the belly-flop contest

Arriving in Antigua

Our taxi driver on the ride to Nelsons Dockyard was very talkative

The bridge

Kenny playing shuffleboard

Kenny plays more shuffleboard

First time Kenny has clapped at the appropriate time, at a show

At the spray park on Labadee

Walking through the craft market at Labadee

The waiters at dinner would often do a little "show" - walking around with clapping, and maybe singing.

Kenny and I, getting some exercise on the 4th floor deck, which was usually pretty quiet.

The Cruise Comix doing a juggling show

... and some bubble magic

...more bubble magic

...still more bubble magic

On the plane. It went pretty well with Kenny - luckily we were able to take some breaks to walk up and down the aisle.

The plane had an upswept wingspan. Later I read in the airline magazine that it's an innovation that saves fuel.

There was a beautiful train between terminals at the Orlando Airport

We spend the night in Orlando, to not have to do all the travel in one day

Our first view of the cruise ship, Mariner of the Seas - what a monster!

Our room - small but well designed

The space shuttle launch site is visible from the cruise dock, through our binoculars

The "Royal Promenade", in the middle of the cruise ship, is like a little mini street, with shops and restaurants.

Grandpa has a new diet plan - sit next to Kenny, who will easily eat half your food, especially if it's fruit.

At the lifeboat session. Kenny didn't want to put his lifejacket on

The workout room ("ShipShape center"). I got a mini workout most days. I also really learned to appreciate having a TV in our workout area at home.

The pool area

Dinner with Kenny. He did pretty well with the stretched out formal dinners, but still - for a 2 year old, sitting for one and a half or two hours is no fun!

Kenny generally enjoyed his food, though.

First stop - Bahamas

Doing a lifeboat drill

Ours was the biggest around!

The Queens Staircase in Nassau

At Fort Fincastle

Interesting tree at a local church

A conch-shell wall

Hair braiding was a big business at all the stops we made. I didn't think it looked too attractive

View of the pool deck area on the ship

The rock climbing wall on the ship

The basketball court was usually pretty busy

Putt-putt golf course. The time that we played it was so windy, the balls would fly away.

Inline skating course

There's a mini-skating rink on the ship, and there was an actual ice show. Kenny was completely absorbed.

On Christmas Day, Santa came to the ship

There was quite a crowd, waiting for presents

Kenny getting a present from Santa

Looking out the balcony

Kenny scored big with the presents from grandparents and Uncle Kevin/Aunt Petra and Uncle Brian.

Ken got a noise-reduction headset from Brian

A food-garnishing demonstration

The belly-flop competition

In-line skating

Eric at a ribbon folding class with me.

At a formal dinner

Cute towel sculptures

Arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico

As we get off the boat, this lady is just about to tell me to not take photos

We ended up taking a one and a half hour bus tour to El Junque rainforest, which was a bad idea. I wanted to see it because I worked there many years ago, but we really should have just walked around old San Juan instead. This church is at the bottom of the road that led up into the rain forest research station where I worked, next to the grocery store we went to all the time.

Old paths leading to rain shelters

An ant path along the trail

At the top of the observation tower

We did a really quick walk around old San Juan when we came back. This is the fortress of El Morro. It was great, but we meant to go to the other fortress (Castillo de San Cristobal).

It's a steep drop-off here - pretty scary!

Taking a picture of myself through a little slit in the wall, at a little isolated sentry station

Really regretting not seeing more of old San Juan!

We arrived in Antiga

The ship churned up a lot of sediment as it anchored

Taking a taxi to Nelsons Dockyard

Random street scenes along the way

This building was build out of a stone called (appropriately enough) greenstone

Kenny had fun walking on the old anchors

There were dozens of very expensive looking yachts at Nelsons Dockyard

Trail leading to Fort Berkley. We had printed out a geocache located here, but unfortunately forgot to bring it.

Huge aloe bushes

Around Fort Berkley

Lots of this kind of rock formation around

The rock that they used weathered poorly - this is it, exposed to the elements

...and this is inside.

Climbing on cannons

Some goats resting in the shade

Kenny at a photo op

On the way back on board the ship

The "bridge" of the ship

Hanging out at the pool

Kenny enjoyed shuffleboard

Hanging out on the railings

On St. Maarten

After walking around for a bit, we took a water taxi back to the ship

There were some divers next to the ship, inspecting the hull

Waiting for a show to begin. They had some very fancy curtains for the theater

On St. Lucia. This was a very impressive crane that was helping with the loading

We took a taxi to Pigeon Island on St. Lucia. It's an historical park, with old ruined forts and hills to climb - perfect place to be with Kenny.

Kenny climbing some more cannons

Once we got to the top of the hill, carrying Kenny, we sat in what little shade there was

The taxi driver gave Kenny the little orange spaceman that he's carrying here.

On the taxi ride back - this was an unfinished mall

Took a walk around town later on, and went into some of the local shops. It makes you realize just how good we have it here in terms of shopping - everything you could want, a convenient drive away. The local shops (we went to one grocery store, and one variety store) had junky goods, but not even inexpensive.

Kenny slept in a pack n play in our room

On the helicopter landing pad. Kenny fell down here and skinned his knee - here, unlike other areas on the ship, the surface was rough.

The midnight dessert buffet

The dining room where we ate

There was a playtime, sponsored by Fisher Price with exclusively Fisher Price toys. It was only okay.

Kenny gets more presents - trucks!

The library

A kids circus, on the Royal Promenade

Kenny enjoyed his strawberry ice cream

Watching the ice show AGAIN!

On the penninsula of Labadee - off Haiti, and the (leased) property of Royal Caribbean. This is the boat that took us ashore

A beach wheelchair

Playing at the spray park

Goods from crafts vendors nearby. They were nothing if not persistent, but Royal Caribbean must have had some rules on where they could go, because they were only in the crafts market. They also had to be uniformed.

Musicians. I suspected that they were pretty closely watched, because as soon as the Royal Caribbean security guard was away, they were more agressive about selling their CD

We found a lizard - tiny little thing

Ann did a painting of a tree

At the casino

New Years Eve!

Brian drew a caricature of our head waiter, from Poland

He alwo drew one of our waiter from Jamaica

Another towel sculpture

At the Fisher Price playtime again

An ice sculpture demo

The whole clan, with spoons on their noses.

Another towel sculpture

At the farewell show, the captain sang a Rolling Stones song

Docked in Cape Canaveral on our last day - the ship is being cleaned up for the next cruise

These divers went out to see if they could recover a piece of luggage that somebody apparently dropped from a balcony.

Disembarking was a long, drawn out hassle, and you couldn't go in the rooms.

This is a family that Kenny bonded with while we were waiting to disembark. We met them again at the Orlando Airport - the whole family group of 30 had missed their flight, due to a delay getting off the boat.

He made particular friends with this girl, and had a big tantrum when we had to leave.

We took a vacation at the family friendly Club Med Ixtapa, in Mexico

This rubber band was a hit toy, and kept him occupied for a good 15 minutes.

Iguanas coming to chow down at Playa Linda

At the baby pool

On a swim ring at the baby pool

Getting dizzy in the pool

Splashing in the pool

Getting dizzy at the playground

A kids fashion show

A tortilla making shop

Kenny gets the ball in the basket (with a little help)

Making "gorditos del horno"

Peeling coconuts. This man apparently makes $25/week.

Making clay roof tiles

Going on the trapeeze! Sure does look goofy

It was a long flight...

I'd like to say Kenny was fine as long as he had his teddy, but that wasn't true...

First views of Zihuatanejo from the shuttle bus

The GO's (people who work at the Club Med) do a big welcoming parade when people arrive. The first woman on the left was Paula, who worked in the Baby Club with Kenny.

Playing with Daddy's hat in our room.

We went to Playa Linda to see the crocodiles in the lagoon

Building a new pier

This was Playa Linda - much more crowded than the Club Med beach, Playa Quieta

Tree with interesting seed pods on the beach

March of the Mini Club. They seemed to be having a good time

This was Kenny's Baby Club

Wheeling Kenny kenny around on a baby buggy

A family pool party

The Eiffel Tower, in butter

The restaurant at Club Med. Lots of kids.

At the playground

Kayaking in the morning, when the water is quite calm

They had a trapeeze setup for both kids and adults, which I ended up using as well!

Taking the bus into town

Old fasioned looking washing machines for sale

Saw a lot of these in use, usually by street vendors

Lots of indian women on the street with their young kids, who have to stay very close by. Seems like a hard life.

Dried meat hung up

Eric is always a sucker for little kitties. This one looked pretty unhealthy, though.

I ended up buying some wooden bowls from this guy

Playing with Kenny at the little gym

At the beach

Kenny loved the water

And the sand got EVERYWHERE!

Liked the bouncy horse!


The outside play area at the baby club

The pool looked great, but the water was uncomfortably hot

We went on a "countryside tour" one afternoon. These seats were everywhere

Visiting a rural bakery

They use coconut husks to heat the oven

Grinder to get the meat out of the coconut, attached to a flat part to sit on

Got to put the cookies in the oven

They tasted unusual - made of corn flour, not very sweet, and very crumbly

Next we went to a coconut plantation. There were acres of coconuts, in all different stages

The coconut on the left and right have "manzanitas de coco" which are spongy fruits that form inside them when they've sprouted. When they're small, they're tasty, but when they get larger and fill the whole cavity, they're dry and tasteless

Drying the coconuts in the sun

At a clay tile and brick workshop

Drying in the sun

When they have a big order and have to work late, they use this lantern

On our way to a chapel built in the middle of a dried out swamp

This is the "miracle image". To me, it looks a lot like a piece of a picture of the Virgin Mary. But our guide insisted that it wasn't, and that it appeared naturally, and and also that sometimes she opens and closes her eyes, and moves her fingers. Also, apparently it never shows up in photos...

Squatter settlements on the way back

Sailboats on the beach

Eric rented a jetski

Food was abundant and tasty.

The buffet area itself was cavernous.

Tasty breads

And sauces. Unfortunately they didn't say how hot they were!

Prepping to go up on the trapeeze! They cinch the strap extremely tight - it was hard to take a breath!

Whew! Glad that's over. See the video for details.

Kenny gets a lollipop

Some of the women who worked in the Baby Club. We really liked them - they were very attentive and sweet. This is Ana.


This is unfortunately the best family photo we got here. I sure look goofy!

The "bar" area. Lots of strollers

On the way home - Zihuatanejo from the air.

Eric builds a modified mini IFO

Here's the completed plane. Notice the landing gear. This was one of the significant modifications I made. I got the idea from Seth's plane.

I recently built a model RC plane called the <a href=/pictures/2005/04-03-2005>Trainer IFO</a> (Indoor Flying Object), designed by <a href=>Wild RC</a>. I liked it so much, I decided to build the mini IFO, the smaller sibling to the trainer. I learned alot from building and flying the Trainer, and a friend of mine, <a href = /pictures/2005/Tuff-E?medium=img_0344.jpg>Seth LaForge</a>, had also built a mini IFO. I decided to modify the design of the mini quite a bit.

The landing gear can easily be attached by simply inserting the carbon rod into the sleeve. This rod acts both as a landing gear, and supplies protection for the prop. Plus, the plane is effectively flat for travel when removed.

These mounts for the gear were tricky to get on.

The original plans called for a single rod to connect the leading and trailing edges. The components were supposed to be glued to this single rod. I thought this would be too fragile. So, I took two thinner rods and curved them. This provides a platform for the mounting of the receiver, servos, power and battery. The additional weight does not seem too bad.

I still had to include the tail end of the center rod in order to mount the Rudder.

I used a <a href=>Little Screamer</a> motor. So far, I like it alot! Very responsive and powerful. However, this presented the problem of mouting the motor because the motor has a small cylindrical stub at the back for mounting.

I solved this by mounting a metal tube at the nose of the plane. The tube nestles between the two fuselage rods. It is attached with kevlar thread and CA.

The motor is then simply inserted into the tube. Epoxy holds the motor to the tube. Notice the mount for the battery. These are carbon rods with drops of CA at the ends to prevent scratching the covering.

The original plans called for a pull/pull system for the elevons. Too flimsy for my launch and crash style of flying. So, I used the same technique used for the trainer IFO of carbon rods. <p> Also, notice the white tubes. These hold the rudder on. The original plans had much shorter, poor fitting tubes. I found tubes which fit the rods perfectly. This way, the rudder does not flop around at all, and is firmly attached.

The servos and receiver are mounted on balsa which is tied down and CA'ed to the frame. This makes for a nice firm platform. I was afraid that the torque from the servos would stress the single rod fuselage mount. This is a much better and stronger.

The frame before the covering is put on. I was able to put the whole thing together from the thread left over from my trainer IFO kit! I also managed to freeze the hinges twice with CA during the construction. However, they are easily cut off, the CA removed and reinstalled.

I originally tried a 10x4.7 prop, but it was too powerful and the prop hit the nose when turning tightly. So, I went down to a 9x7 which performs perfectly.

Here are the three parts. Much easier to travel with!

Eric's builds his first electric RC plane.

One of my new co-workers at google, Seth LaForge, is into electric RC. I am "leveraging" his knowledge! Seth helped me with a number of questions I had about the construction.

I decided to get into RC airplanes recently. Several years ago, I was into hanggliding, but gave that up for reasons of safety and convenience. Also, I have been toying with learning to fly real planes. But, after starting a new job at <a href=>Google</a>, I didn't feel like to could dedicate the time to learn to fly. So I got the opportunity to get into RC! Here follows is some pictures of my construction of my first RC plane: the Tuff-E.

Here is the completed plane. I purchased the kit from <a href=""> Northeast Sailplane Products</a>. They seem pretty good, and were quite helpful when I had questions.

First I installed carbon fiber strips in the wings (the blackline). This gives the wing extra stiffness and strength.

The the wing is inserted into the wing shaped hole in the fuselage and CA is applied at the joint to glue them together. CA stands for 'cyanoacrylate ' and is, basically, super-glue. Because the TUff-E is made of EPP foam (Expanded Polypropylene) the CA does not eat it up like it would with regular foam. Who knew I would learn so many new terms!

The hole is for two of the four servo's. It was scary cutting into the foam for the first time, but one gets used to it pretty quickly!

My son, Kenny, sizes up the plane so far. I think he is impressed. Then, again, he is only 15 months old!

Here we have the cloth hinges for the ailerons. These are inserted into slits in the ailerons and wings and CA'ed in place.

Ta-Da! Now we have roll capability!

Next is the elevator/stabalizer construction. The two pieces of the elevator are attached by a wood tierod which is epoxied into a cut I had to make. This was one of the toughest parts of the construction. Then, the elevator is hinged to the stabalizer. Mine's a bit crooked.

The the rudder is then attached. This was difficult because there was a hole in the fuselage where a piece of wood was installed to stiffen the fuselage. This blocked where a hinge had to go. I CA'ed a piece of foam into the hole then attached a hinge into the foam. Much cutting of foam had to take place. Measure twice, cut once!

A control horn is installed in the elevator and rudder, as well as the ailerons.

The servo's are installed into the holes in the wings.

I had to epoxy pieces of wood in several places. Here is where the motor will go. These two pieces really strengthen this space. Notice the tip of the length of wood which runs the length of the fuselage.

This is there the landing gear will be installed.

Then, the motor mount is epoxied onto the front of the plane. I had to stretch open the motor recess to make it square. I improvised two bolts attached to nuts which I glued together with CA to do this.

Control rods and sleeves are installed to connect the servo's to the control surfaces.

The electronics are installed. Here we have a Pheonix-25 speed controler, an Electron-6 receiver and an AXI 2221/26 brushless motor.

I had to figure out how to install the tail wheel. The directions were rather sparse in some areas.

I replaced the long antenne with a cool, short one I got at a <a href="">hobby show</a> in Puyallup that Seth and went to.

The main landing gear is installed with screws. It is my understanding that this will probably break off. I will installed it a different way later, giving it more flexability on rough landings.

Ready to go! As of this writing, I have not flown it. In fact, I have not flown much of anything at all! But I have some hours on an RC simulator. Hopefully that'll keen the crashes to a minimum! Wish me luck! (Pictures of pieces of plane to follow :-)

Sledding, parks, Portland

Sledding at Snoqualmie Pass

Kenny does a flip

Kenny on the seesaw

More fun on the seesaw

This jacket was a favorite, but the coating is peeling off, and it's no longer waterproof. I took this picture in lieue of keeping it for sentimental reasons.

Visiting at the Lucas's new house

I arranged a visit to the local fire station with some other Somerset moms. Kenny was very excited

Giving Rochelle a towel ride in the kitchen

Doing some sledding in Snoqualmie Pass! Kenny sure didn't like getting snow in his face.

At Kelsey Creek Farm

When you can't climb into the tractor, we can at least stand next to it.

These horses were exchanging little nibbles. A woman who worked at the farm said that they feel spring in the air.

Eric got a new car.

Visiting Judy and Chris, and their 4 year old, Sally in Portland. This is at the Chinese Gardens

The teahouse

Lots of intricate stone inlay work. Workers were brought in from China for many months at a time.

Having a tea party with Sally in the living room

This is how much it's been raining here in the northwest - the seeds in the bird feeder have been sprouting!

Kenny, Benji and Marina at the park

Kenny uses a knife (plastic) for the first time

I took lots of photos of Kenny today - trying to pick up the little pieces of life that I normally don't take a picture of.

Playing with the cars

Climbing at the park

Bouncing on the trampoline

James gets his workout

Morning milk

Playing with the toy cars is a big part of the day

Kenny hangs out with me when I workout

Preparing to go on an errand

Stopping by Eric's office

At the Peter Kirk park, in Kirkland

Leftover blueberry cobbler for lunch

We bought an asian pear tree at Molbacks

Prepping the asian pear tree to plant tomorrow

Playing with the watering can

Helping to carry in some toilet paper

Dinner at the Phillips

Bouncing with Jack on the trampoline

Visiting friends, Charlotte, Bainbridge Island

Doing the "wobble"

Kenny's cousin Conrad

Playing a whistle

At Battle Creek Park playground

Playing with the toy helicopter

Kenny sliding down a pole

Kenny was doing these great somersaults with running starts - until we started taking a video, then they degenerated.

Jake came over to play. Jake was our next door neighbor in the old house

The Schneiders came to visit one night - Kenny playing with their daughter Lilly

A serious case of static hair

My brother Alex and nephew Conrad and in Charlotte

Mom and Tom

Going geocaching in Bellevue - Kenny found a stick!

Having a snack on a park bench

Kenny holds the cache we found

On a bouncy see-saw

Kenny got a little piano

A pancake breakfast at the Mercer Island Fire Station

They have a very detailed map containing every building on the Mercer Island

At the playground with Benji and Marina

Really neat cloud formation over Seattle

Kenny and Rochelle at the park

At the little University Place playground

A day trip to Bainbridge Island. A favorite is always the Battle Point Park playground. Kenny is wearing his favorite outfit

On a wobbley platform

We bought a helicopter-type toy that you fling up in the air with a rubber band. Kenny had lots of fun fetching it again.

Eric hooked up the toy helicopter to release from his model plane, instead of shooting it up with the rubber band. It worked quite well.

A view of the playground

Beautiful spot on the west side of Bainbridge Island

Stopped in at the Bainbridge Island Library

On the ferry back

At the Everett Children's Museum - we forgot our regular camera, so used the camera on the phone instead. There was a large airplane that was very popular

And a fun water play area

And a place where you could build really tall towers. Kenny had fun knocking this one down

A roof-top play area

Kenny gets new toys, storm clouds, parties

Kenny flies his toy helicopter

Kenny climbs into his crib

Kenny and his new bubble machine

Kenny unwraps his kazoo

Kenny plays his kazoo

Kenny with his toy helicopter

Kenny and Jack on the toy tractor

At the JCC festival

McDonalds Playland

Playing with his toy rocket

An amazing set of storm clouds over Seattle.

Kenny with a new toy

Chris' birthday party at the Rikhofs house

Chris doesn't normally look so goofy, but I asked him to pose...

Keaver's housewarming party - beautiful remodelled house in West Seattle

At the playground

Kenny strikes a pose

Kenny riding a bike (with training wheels) at Jack's house. He looks more like a little boy than a toddler!

Easter egg hunt with Peps group

A beautifully done Easter at Jean's house

Ilana and I took the kids on a nature walk. They collected various treasures in the jar (whatever couldn't get away - slugs, worms, moss, etc.)

Parks, birthday party, daytrip to Fort Warden, biking

Calling all froggies

Playing with a parachute

Two methods of clam digging - shovel and clam gun

Using the clam gun

Kenny's first bike ride

He loved the helmet, and didn't want to take it off.

Helicopters in our neighborhood

Kenny picked a huge dandelion at Lewis Creek Park

Boardwalk at Lewis Creek Park

Birthday party for Ignacio

Rochelle and Jeff were at the party, too

Kenny loved playing in the ball pit

Photo op - it was a very large party!

Kenny asleep in our bed. Cute picture, but this was the beginning of short virus, with a high fever

Digging for clams with Melanie and her mom at Ocean Shores

Our haul

The end result - clam fritters

This picture of the Seattle skyline is unusual in that you can see the foothills before the Olympics, and just beyond Seattle. I've never seen them so clearly before

Biking with Kenny - Lake Sammamish State Park area

Kenny's favorite park was snacking at the boat launch

A long straight stretch of the new rail trail

Kenny in his carrier

A day trip to Fort Warden and Port Townsend - great view of the shipping cranes from the ferry

We had the perfect picnic spot

Kenny bangs rocks together

The kelp beds at Fort Warden. I spoke with an older Japanese couple who were gathering them - they said they made a good soup for women who had just given birth

Looking out one of the old buildings

Fort Warden is a beautiful place to walk around, on a sunny day

We also found a geocache

Talking to Eric's parents for Mother's Day

Kenny found some boats that he liked in the geocache

Eric surprised me with a picture here...

View of the lighthouse from an overlook

One of Kenny's favorite toys - a stick

There was a craft fair at Port Townsend

We have a DVD player in the car - on the way back, we turned it on. Kenny was mesmerized

Starting potty training - Kenny in underwear!

Puget Sound Energy was removing electrical transformers from our neighborhood, and was using helicopters for the job

Birthdays, Northwest Folklife Festival, various park outings

Playing in the fountain at the Seattle Center

Another fountain video

Street musicians playing the the washtub bass

Kenny eating bbq - can I have some more of that please?

Seth flying his new model helicopter

Kenny riding a bike

Another bike videos

Yet another bike videos

Juggling at Kelsey Creek Park

At the Northwest Folklife Festival

The young hippie area

Various street musicians

Kenny enjoying some bbq

Giant dandelion (I know it's not actually a dandelion, but I'm not sure what it is) at Mangusun park

Seth with his new model helicopter

Training flight with Anya

Riding Jack's bicycle at Kelsey Creek Park

Kelsey Creek Park again

For Eric's 41 birthday, we did "make your own ice cream sundae" party at Kelsey Creek Park

From the left - Parker, Kenny, and Max. Kenny ate as much ice cream as anyone.

Rachel with Annie

Kenny says "cheese!"

Eric and I did a little juggling show

A new park - Seahurst Park, in Burien. We've never even been to Burien. But it has a great seaside walk.

We saw lots of divers there

They also had volunteer naturalists explaining about the local sea creatures. One of them, Darrell, spent more than an hour with us, showing us sea cucumbers, chitin(sp?), sea stars, featherworms, etc. He's a retired college professor.

This was the egg case of some snail

Heart mollusk

I think these were called featherworms

Sea cucumbers

Kenny demolished his peanut butter sandwich

This is some device to help build the skybridge to the SeaTac airport

Kenny made friends at Kelly's graduation party

Fremont Fair, Redmond Derby Days, birthday parties, Fourth of July, Whidbey Island weekend

Kenny doing the wheelbarrow

Doing bubbles

The Stomp rocket

At the zoo

Tractor at the zoo

Eric, on stage

Eric on stage, part II

Pranev's birthday party

Kenny and Benji and Marina, on parade

Jumping on a big pile of pillows

Riding Sue's pedal kayak

On the beach

Kenny knows how to enjoy an ice cream cone

Wacky cars at the Fremont Festival

Taking a load off in one of these very comfortable hanging chairs

A lot of people with strange viewpoints converge at the Fremont Fair

These yummy looking treats are, believe it or not, actually for dogs!

Representative of a nudist colony in Issaquah

Preparing for a Thai parade

Kenny enjoying a free sample of applesauce. Some of the natural food companies were giving away tons of goodies.

The Scientologists

This one was a shoe-in to win the wacky car contest...

Car covered with old floppy disks

This one was a hit with Kenny (note all the matchbox cars on it)

More fun cars

Kenny having fun on the bouncy toys

Picking strawberries in the front yard

Kenny playing with the big bubble wand, at the old Bellevue airport

Eating cookies with Daddy

The stomp-rocket

At Kelsey Creek Park

At Annie's 1st birthday party

Annie has not yet realized that this cake is for demolishing. She eventually got fairly well smeared with frosting.

Standing in a tree stump

At the Seafair Milk Carton Derby

Dipping toes in the water

Miss Seafair?

Kenny enjoying his pool on the deck

At the Woodland Zoo

Fourth of July at the Claytons

Kenny wasn't too happy with the fireworks

This ride-on toy, on the other hand, was the greatest

Redmond Derby Days Parade - the Falon Gong

Kenny got loads of candy and all kinds of goodies

I volunteered Eric as a stage assistant at the Redmond Derby Days juggling show

Pranev's birthday party

Kenny had a great time picking up candy from the pi�ata

Kenny got a "nemo fish" ballon sculpture

Biking the Green River Trail, in Tukwila. It's a pretty industrial area

A ton of time-worn tires form the riverbank here

At the end of our ride, we found a cherry tree. Most of them were too high up, but we managed to pick a few.

Kenny and Benji and Marina, playing instuments

On our way to Whidbey Island with the Lucases - Kenny tries on my backpack

On the ferry

A little bit chilly in the wind

Throwing a football with Gregory

With Rachel and Angela

Found lots of jellyfish on the beach

Terry's boat

Kenny really enjoyed these popsicles

He enjoyed pillow fights even more

Going out to fetch the crab pots

Piggy-back ride with Rachel

Enjoying crab for dinner

Jumping on the mattress with Rachel and Angela

Waking up at the Lucas home. This was his first time sleeping outside a crib

I got to ride Sue's pedal kayak. It's quite easy to go zoom around without much effort!

Sue and I pedal-kayaked for about an hour

Enjoying another popscicle

Walking on the beach

Carving into the compressed sand cliff

Enjoying some popcorn back at the house

Bike ride on Green River Trail in Renton, new canon SD700 Digital ELPH, hike on Naches Peak Loop trail at Mt. Rainier

Kenny hiking on the trail

Eating lunch

Wading in the lake

Panorama of the trail

Picking blackberries on the Green River Trail - we were on a bike ride

Kenny picked a whole cupful of blackberries

On a bike bridge

With Mt. Rainier in the background

We saw about 5 structures like this - they looked like shacks homeless people had built

On the Naches Peak Loop trail in Mt Rainier National Park. The scenery was gorgeous.

It was a little tricky crossing some of the snowfields.

It took some coaxing, but I got Kenny to lay down here amongst the flowers

Lunch at a little lake

We also waded around in the lake

Finally a great view of Mt. Rainier

Kenny enjoyed running on the trail, especially when I said, "I'm getting ahead of you!"

Back when I hiked a lot, I used to know what this flower was...

Enjoying another great summer in Bellevue

Kenny bouncing to the music at the daycare picnic

Pulling a kite around

Bubble wars

Drawing a picture

Biking on Lk Washington Blvd

Swinging at Seward Park

Making pancakes

Playing in the pool on the deck with Jack

At the daycare picnic

At the Bellevue Art Fair

Kite festival at Sand Point. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough wind.

Kenny did get to make his own kite, though

He had fun pulling it around

Potluck at Chism Beach Park

Yuliya, on the left, has babysat a lot for Kenny

Some great sunset pictures at Chism

We had a Blue Angels picnic on the deck - here doing bubbles with Benji and Marina

With Priyanka and Ilana and kids

When the Blue Angels are flying, the boats jostle for the best spots right underneath their flight path. This is a picture through the telescope.

Kenny getting a haircut - he actually stayed fairly still this time

Visiting Mt Rainier with Rich and Jane and kids

There had just been a small rockslide here - you can see the puff of dust

Insects chewed up this plant, except for the veins

At the visitor center

Camp Muir, through the telescope

A bike trip on Lake Washington Blvd, which is sometimes closed to cars on summer weekends.

Stops for blackberries were a must

We turned around at Seward Park, which has a playground with old swings - the kind with really long swings, to give you extra height. Kenny was in heaven.

Kenny helps to make pancakes

For some reason, he wanted all his stuffed animals

We did a camping trip to Dash Point State Park. It was the only place I could reserve at such short notice, and wasn't that impressive - crowded and dirty. Kenny liked it, though.

Covering Daddy's feet with sand

Making a campfire

There was a layer of dust on everything

Roasting marshmallows over the fire

Parties, parks, grandparents visit

Kenny plays the guitar

Kenny at the Lewis Creek playground

First time on his new bike

More riding on the new bike

Spinning on a tire swing

Max on a "like a bike"

Party games

Magic tricks at Benji and Marina's birthday party

More magic tricks

Going down the slide

Playing with the new train set

A birthday treasure hunt

Pumpkin carving

Kenny at daycare

Eating an asian pear (which was growing wild) at Lewis Creek Park, with Pranev

Kenny rides his bike at Kelsey Creek park

Ilana had a birthday dinner at a Moroccan place, with belly dancing

Kenny takes a bath

Judy reading a book to Sally and Kenny

A Peps meeting at our house

At the new Woodlawn playground in Kirkland - Kenny and Benji pretending to be chessmen

Ilana makes it up the climbing wall

At Veronica's birthday party

Playdate at Newcastle Beach Park - my friend's son had this, called a "like a bike". He zipped along very quickly on it!

Eating asian pears at Les Grove park

Kenny had lots of fun at the playground there, too

It's a beautiful spot

Beautiful sunset from our house

At Jack's birthday party

The latest preschool fashion - pants on head, shirt on legs

Benji and Marina's birthday party

They had a magician come and do tricks for them

Eric's mom Ann, and Kenny, on the ferry to Bainbridge Island

A picnic at the park

Look at pictures wtih a magnifying glass

We went by Google

Kenny's new train set, a gift from his grandparents

For Kenny's birthday, we did a treasure hunt. These are the drawings Ann did for clues

Birthday dinner - a kid pleasing mac and cheese

Doing the treasure hunt!

Finally, the presents!

I'm three!

Carving up a pumpkin for Halloween

Kenny was a snake for Halloween

Rochelle was a ghost. We went trick-or-treating at a few houses on this street

Windstorms, parties, and Christmas!

Video of Kenny on the balance beam at Evan's birthday party

Sleepover with Benji and Marina

Playing Headsprount, an online learning game

Unwrapping a Christmas present

More presents

Doing a puzzle with Jean

Kenny on the balance beam

Kenny gets sulky sometimes nowadays

Tessa's birthday party

At the football game with John and Dinarte

Hannah and Kenny

Checking out the game with binoculars

Cutting down the tall evergreen tree in a neighbors house.

'Kenny' in orange peel

Kenny was sick over Thanksgiving, and spent 3 days on the living room couch


A snowman on the deck

Decked out with wooden spoon arms...

Kenny with daddy's gloves

Out in the snow along I-90 with Benji and Marina

A visit from Bonnie and Jake, our former next door neighbors

Kenny and the newest addition to their family, Marie!

Windstorm 2006! The power went out for about 18 hours at our house, because of a massive windstorm. We were lucky, though. For some people in the area, the power was out for days! The Eastside was particularly hard hit. The temperature went to 57 degrees inside, so we bundled up.

Cooking macaroni and cheese outside using a burner and the propane tank from our grill.

Newport Drive, towards the library, was closed for many days

This is the road that goes by Tyee Middle School

This is the fence in our backyard

Benji and Marina came over for a sleepover(their house didn't have power)

At California Pizza Kitchen

We watched the Snowflake Lane Christmas display, which was a little disappointing. It was basically just the tin soldiers crossing the street, then playing the drums, some artificial snow falling, and snowflake patterns being projected on the wall.

Christmas Eve, 2006

Kenny wearing Daddy's new cowboy hat

Dropping some expanding dinasaurs in water

Christmas morning - webcamming with Grandma and Grandpa and family in Asheville

A new trainset

An inflatable superman suit

Taking a walk at Lewis Creek Park. This was one of the few sunny days in the past month

The ducks hunted for little creatures in the water

Some of the windstorm devastation at the park

Doing a 48 piece puzzle with Jean on Christmas Day

The aftermath of dinner last night - what a mess

Visiting the Lucas family. They just completed a kitchen remodel

Check out the fancy spice cabinet

Eric loves to play with Cupcake, the Lucas family cat

Kenny was so excited to see Rachel again!

Eric builds his 2Cool radio control biplane.

This is one of the more complex planes I've attempted to build. <a href=/pictures/2005/10-13-2005>Seth built one </a> and I've been using his to get ideas about the construction. I will be deviating from the instructions quite a bit.

I purchsed the kit from <a href=>Northeast Sailplanes</a>. In fact, I purchased 2 after botching the first one. It turned out that I frequently used parts from both kits to build this single plane

The instructions call for a simple application of tape to join the wings to the ailerons. Seth had problems at these joints where the control horns were installed. I decided that I would reinforce the edges of the joint with nylon hinges.

I first made a mock up to develop a technique for installing them.

Simply trace the hinge and cut out a trough. Note the masking tape on the hinge, it keeps the epoxy from freezing the hinge.

I used 30 minute epoxy as much as possible because it does not yellow, and it gives me time to make adjustments. Here I use pliers to make sure the hinge is seated well during the setting of the epoxy.

Now, do this 8 times! I was originally thinking of putting 4 hinges per aileron, but decided that that many might prove too much resistance. So, I put tape between the hinges. This turned out to work quite well.

The original kit called for a small diameter carbon rod to be installed in the wing for stiffness. I had some carbon strips leftover from another kit which would make for a much stiffer wing.

I taped a straight edge to the wing to allow me to make a good cut.

I had to cut a thin trough in which to glue the carbon strip and devised this tool: two blades separated by the handle of another. It cut a perfect trough for the strip.

I put tape on the blade as a reference to make sure I don't cut the trough too deep.

An action shot of the cutting process. It was actually quite easy after all the setup.

The trough EPP is dug out. I found the carbon strip to be a good digging tool.

This was actually the second kit I had bought in my attempt to build this plane. I used the first one on which to experiment construction techniques. Here you can see some cuts.

I used a syringe to inject epoxy into the trough. It was a bit tricky getting it in, but applying it into the trough was a breeze.

Gotta make sure the wing is flat while the epoxy sets!

The bottom wing! Needless to day, I've probably spent more time on the wings then most spend putting the whole thing together!

Here you can see the tape which keeps the middle part of the aileron aligned with the wing. I used 3M Blemderm

The bottom of the lower part of the fuselage needs to be reinforced. Here I glue a piece in. I will glue the sides of this piece after the bottom is set so I can place it properly. This is the nose of the plane. A fiberglass piece where the motor will be mounted will be glued here.

The I glue the bottom wing to the fuselage. It's very important to make the the wing is aligned properly, there is a lot of epoxy involved!

Here I glue the two halves of the upper wing together. There are two pieces of cardboard under the wings to elevate it from the table so the the epoxy around the joint does not come into contact with the table.

Kenny decides to check things out!

I figure it's time to let Kenny fly. But first, some time on the simulator! Note the image on the screen. It looks like the camera caught two frames.

I suppose this is his first video game! He was not so good at flying, but very good at hitting the reset button after the simulated model crashed.

The control horns for the ailerons will mount directly on the nylon hinge, but my experience with the mock up hinges has shown me that with enough force they can be pulled off. So, I epoxy a small sheet of fairly rigid plastic to cover the hinge and the area around to form a better mounting surface for the control horn. Note masking the hinge joint is critical to making sure the epoxy does not get into it.

Again, I used my primitive tool making capacity to put the plastic pieces into place. Now, is the capacity primitive, or is the tool primitive? You decide :-)

Again, I weight them down to form a nice join.

The plastic is actually Styrene which is meant to be used by model railroad hobbyists to make something look like metal siding! One side of the sheet is corrugated. This side is placed down and glued.

Then I epoxy the control horns to the ailerons.

I cut the holes for the aileron servos.

I used a piece of masking tape with the dimensions of the bottom of the servos. This makes placing the holes and cutting them quite easy.

They fit nicely.

Next I make the control arms for the ailerons. They connect the servo to the control horn. The kit came with aluminum control rods with z bends already in them. They fit into the horns very nicely. I am using mini ez connectors to connect to the arm of the servo, so I use the shaft of a heavy pin. I first superglue it on.

But, the superglue (also known as CA or cyanoacrylate) is too brittle and the pin breaks off. So, I use a trick I learned when I built my <nobr><a href=>Mini IFO</a></nobr>. I wrap Kevlar thread around the joint and soak the thread with superglue. Makes for a very strong joint.

The completed control. I realize that I probably should have mounted the control arm blow the servo so that the control rod is parallel to the wing. No biggie.

Testing the aileron.

I'm using an Electron-6 receiver and Phoenix 25 motor controller.

Now I am reinforcing the fuselage for the mounting of the carbon fiber landing leaf spring. I've had problems with the landing springs ripping off of previous models, and Seth's 2Cool also suffered from this problem. I figure I better make this one really sturdy.

The kit comes with a fiberglass plate which is meant to sit at the bottom the fuselage. The instructions call for the spring to be glued to the bottom of the plate. However, I cut out a piece of the inner fuselage and epoxy it into the space to provide a wide area of contact for the spring's force to be distributed.

Then, I cut slits on the sides allowing the spring to be inserted and glued and screwed the two plates together. This should be a rather strong landing gear.

The next step is to epoxy the two halves of the fuselage together. However, I found that the top part of the fuselage was wider than the bottom, probably due to common EPP foam wackiness. So, I decided to first cut out an insert (from a wing from my first kit) and insert along where the joint will be for the two halves. This long piece is slightly wider than the upper part of the fuselage.

Now, when I glue both halves together, they will meet perfectly. Or, as close as one can get with foam. Also, this will strengthen the fuselage. Note that I CA'ed the foam strip in so that when I apply the epoxy and glue the two halves together, the strip will not slip out of place, and the CA won't have dried into a clump which would make the two hard to join, like epoxy would.

The strip to widen and match the two parts of the fuselage seemed like such a good idea that I decided to put a few more pieces in to strengthen the front. If I need to, I can cut them out later.

I marked where I thought the axle for the elevators should go.

I mixed a large batch of 30 minute epoxy to glue the two parts of the fuselage together.

However, I should have read the directions a little closer, for when I was applying the epoxy, it started to set way more quickly than I expected. Note "When mixing large quantities ...". The little cup I was using got quite warm from the chemical reaction.

Here I let the epoxy sit. It's starting to look like a real airplane now!

This is a piece which gets glued into the top front part of the fuselage. It will support a vertical piece which support the middle span of the upper wing. The original plans call for a single strip. Here I reinforce with with another, smaller, strip which greatly strengths the support.

Before gluing the back end of the fuselage together, I noticed than the right hand seam was not glued well. Here I re glue it. The piece in the middle is used to force the two halves of the fuselage together to form a tight seam.

Here I glue the tail of the fuselage together.

I also glue in the hinges for the rudder.

The tail is a pointed a little to the right. I thought about making a vertical cut along the fuselage, straightening the tail and putting epoxy into the gap, but decided that the bend was not much of a problem. In fact, it might make installing the control rods a bit easier.

These are the pieces which make up the axle for the elevators. The two larger washers will be epoxied to the sides of the fuselage over holes. The smaller washers will be expoxied to the tube to hold it in place. Then the control piece will be epoxied last.

Sample assembly! Note that I had to enlarge the holes to accommodate the axle.

The sides of the fuselage slope towards the tail. This will causes the washers to not be perpendicular to the axle and cause binding. I cut out a circular shaped wedge which I will epoxy next to the holes to print the washers parallel to each other.

Gotta get creative when I glue the wedge to the fuselage. I want the entire wedge to make contact.

I score the side of the washer which will take the epoxy to make a better join.

Here I'm gluing one of the larger washers to the fuselage.

I take particular care to make sure that when I glue the second washer on, the axle will be positioned properly. Here I use a long carbon rod and measure the distance to the wing to make sure it is normal to the fuselage.

I use pins to identify the correct position because I will need to apply the epoxy with the washer facing up. If I let it dry with the washer facing a wall, the glue may run and clog the hole.

I used up my first bottle of epoxy! Luckily I have another.

After all that care, the axle is still too low on the right. I thought about cutting the washer off, but I did not want to butcher the tail. So, I decided to change the position of the hole!

Having a second kit has come in handy again! Here I use an extra washer, offset just the right amount to correct the errors of the first. I enlarged the hold of the inner washer in the direction that the axle had to move. Before the epoxy was fully set, I adjusted the position of the new washer to be in the absolutely perfect position.

Here, I glue the control horn to the elevator axle. Gotta make sure it's perpendicular to the rod

Then I insert the axle through the large washers and glue the small washer to the other side to lock the axle in place. To make sure the rod will not slip, I tape it on the other side.

I had to level the fuselage when the last small washer was setting, as it settled into a non perpendicular position onto the rod.

Here I am gluing the elevators to the axle. I have contructed a little jig to make sure the elevator halves are inline with each other and with the fuselage.

Here you can see how crooked the tail is. Fortunately, it should not affect performance, and could actually be useful in easing the installation of the rudder control rod/horn connection.

The installation of the rudder is pretty trivial. I had to flatten the narrow surface which faces the fuselage, and trim the corners of that same surface to allow for full rudder swings.

Next are the wing supports (struts). An aluminum wire is pushed through the strut to give it additional stability. It was a very tactile experience threading it through the middle of the strut!

The the support is glued to the bottom wing. I use a spray can to make sure that it is vertical and a pliers to weigh it down while the epoxy sets. Repeat on the other side :-)

Here is the, shorter, center strut. You can see how the surface it is to be mounted on is sloped to the right. Fortunately, the face of the strut happens to be angled just the right amount to counter the slope of the fuselage. Lucky coincidence! <p>Also, the first time I epoxied this piece in place, I put it about 2cm too far back! Luckily, I caught it in time to be able to carefully remove it and reglue in in its proper place!

Here I epoxy in the remaining nose piece. I made it extra thick to provide additional support.

I want to be able to easily replace the motor, so I am making my own firewall. I found it remarkably difficult to obtain fiberglass laminate board with a thickness of 0.04 inches, which is the thickness of the firewall which came with the kit. However, I found a supply of 0.02 inch laminate which I will epoxy together to form a stronger piece.

I found the 0.02" laminate very easy to work with, I just score it with a blade and cleanly break it to make the pieces I want.

Letting the two pieces set. I helped produce Borland C++ for OS/2. Makes for a great weight now :-)

Here is the original, and next to it, the piece I made. I used a dremel tool to smooth the edges.

The motor mounts in a separate piece of laminate, at the right, which then bolts on to the firewall.

Here is a test piece. Notice the lighter part around the left hole. This was caused by drilling too quickly. The drill bit torqued the local area around the hole and separated the two epoxied pieces.

Here, I use Vaseline to coat the ends of the bolts so that when I sink them into the epoxy to mount the firewall to the nose, the epoxy will not attach to the bolts.

This is actually the second firewall plate I made. Three of the four bolts on the first piece were epoxied in place, even after I epoxied a test bolt which came out fine. Here I test the Vaseline approach.

The top part of the fuselage was longer than the bottom. Here I trim it and flatten the nose in order to recieve the firewall.

I had to dig out four holes in the foam in which the bolts would rest.

Getting creative with positioning the nose up to allow the epoxy to set.

The firewall in place! The bolts came out very easily; the Vaseline worked very well. A lot of time an effort went in to making this part of the plane!

With the motor attached.

I decided to relocate the holes for the aileron servos so that that control arm would be more perpendicular to the control horn. I saved the original pieces and simply epoxied them back into place.

The new holes are higher up. The servo arm will point down.

Here I epoxy the upper wing on to the supports.

I cut slots into my work surface so I could gain better access to the wing. I used a spray can to make sure the top wing was correctly aligned with the bottom wing. I simply place the can next to the bottom wing and adjusted the top wing to coincide with the edge of the can.

Instead of burying an anchor into the aileron, I epoxied tubes to the trailing edge and installed aluminum rods with Z-bends in them to keep the upper and lower ailerons in sync.

I have two separate pieces joined with some heat shrink tubing. After making sure the ailerons are perfectly aligned, I put a drop of CA at the joint to hold it.

The kit calls for a single brace for the wing box on each side, but the carbon rods supplied were rather flimsy and they would only support a force from the bottom of the wing. So, I installed two rods and joined them in the middle with kevlar thread and CA.

Now, I install a control horn for the rudder.

I will mount the receiver as far back as I can. All that extra epoxy has made it rather front heavy. Here I place a piece of velcro which will mate with ...

... with the piece on the receiver.

The tail servos are mounted far back for the same reason.

Then I attach the wheels. I'm using larger wheels than the kit came with. This should make it roll smoother on uneven surfaces.

In order to not stress the carbon fiber landing spring, I use washers to distribute the pressure of the nuts. I CA the nuts together to make sure they do not come loose. I've had problems with other wheels.

The tail skid. Seth glued a stick into the foam. I decided to use the skid the kit came with, and bend a popsicle stick around it for durability.

The complete plane weighs 15.5 ounces (with battery). Kinda on the heavy side.

Sylvia models the plane!

Here I install a piece of foam to brace the front. This way I can pick it up from the front without squishing it.

I had a rough landing (spectator distraction) and touch the leading edge of the wing on the ground. I applied some epoxy to these areas and the bottom of the rudder to keep the foam intact.

I also covered part of the opening here as well. On top of this near the center wing support, I fix a length of velcro for the batteries.

I cut a slot on the side where the battery connector comes out.

I changed out the motor to a Hacker A20-30M. Plenty of power and it seems more efficient than the Eflite 400 I was using. Plus it weighs less.

Eric Sells His 540

It went quickly!

Replaced with a 760!

Visiting Eric's parents in Asheville, NC

We saw some black bears outside the house

More bear video

Helping grandma make breadsticks

At Shindig on the Green, a bluegrass style festival held regularly in Asheville.


Playing with Conrad

At the Biltmore House

Playing with the marble track

Kenny learned to pump his feet on the swing!

Swimming in the pool

The view has been greatly improved at the Vasilik house because some trees were cut down

Eric's mother Ann had this marble track when she was a little girl

Picking tomatoes with Grandma

Got quite the haul

Apples with Grandpa

Kenny with an insect

At a local playground

Wearing Grandma's sunglasses

Kenny got to feed the fishes

We went on a nature walk at the NC Arboretum, and saw lots of different mushrooms

A tour group came by, on Segways

There was lots of Mica - a very shiny, fragile rock

At the greenhouse

They had some beautiful examples of bonsai

Carnivorous plant

Swimming at the local pool

Eating some home grown apples

Visiting Oma and cousin Conrad in Charlotte

Eating lunch at Oma's house

And now time for desert

Bojangles is a fried chicken restaurant chain in the south. This particular location is where I had my first real job.

At Earthhaven, the land co-op where my brother lives

This house at Earthhaven looks pretty well taken care of

This is the house my brother first built

The "hut condo". Looking at the braces, looks like they have some problems with stability.

Tom, me, and Kenny

This is the council hall. School was in session when we went by, so we couldn't go in.

The root cellar

Tom built the railing on this bridge, which leads to the campground. We ate lunch at the picnic tables at the campground.

At Montreat, a christian community near Black Mountain that has a great playground

We did a morning trip to Biltmore House with Brian.

We did the rooftop tour, which allowed us access to some of the balconies and other rooftop areas

This gargoyle is supposedly carved in the image of George Vanderbuilt, who had this mansion built.

It's certainly a peaceful setting. I'd like to have a backyard like this.

Now the Vanderbilt family can't afford to live in the mansion anymore, so they live out back in this RV. (just kidding!)

Lots of beautiful old trees

The gardens

We got permission from some neighbors to pick some of their grapes

Walking around downtown Asheville. I think we have a picture from this same location, but years ago.

Meanwhile, Kenny went with his grandparents to a children's science museum.

I found a praying mantis on the bushes next to the driveway

At Beaver Lake

At the Nature Center

Great photo op at the tractor

We saw some black bears outside Eric's parents home in Asheville - a mother bear with three cubs

Helping grandma make breadsticks

Wearing grandmpa's shoes

At Shindig on the Green

At Montreat - having fun in the stream

A big hunk of quartz

Checking the bridge for trolls

We found a crawdad in the water

Eric reminisces about his time in the Philippines in the later 60's and early 80's.

I lived in the Philippines twice, each for a duration of two years. The first was 1967 when I was 2 years old, and and the second in 1981 where I spent my last two years of high school. This photo was taken in the early 70's. I'm the oldest child on the left. My brother Brian is in the middle and Kevin on the right. My father, Ken and mother Ann.

Both times we lived in Makati, a part of Manila at the time. In 1995, Makati became a city unto its own. <a href=,121.01243&spn=0.074269,0.089951>Google Maps</a>. I was partially inspired to write this because of the recent addition of high resolution satellite imagery on Google Maps.

My father was a Captain in the US Navy and was stationed there, managing construction projects throughout out the South Western Pacific.

His position during his second tour there was that of OICCSWPAC - Office in Charge of Construction - Southwest Pacific.

His office was located in Makati which meant we lived in the area, unlike many Navy personnel who lived in ...

... Subic Bay. <a href=",120.29171&spn=0.062814,0.107288">Google Maps</a>.

Another picture of Subic.

In the 80's there was a fire a floor or two below that where my fathers office was. The fire may have been an arson.

For about a year, I worked for Bank of America. This is my office. I primarily worked on a personnel data base.

Both of these offices were located in in or near the financial district of Makati. The building that housed the Bank of America is somewhere on the north edge of this park.

We lived in a house located in Magallanes Village. This is a present day image of the village. <a href=",121.017323&spn=0.015724,0.026822">Google Maps</a>.

This is a photo of Magallanes Village during our first stay in the 60's. It looks like it was just built!

The house we lived in during the 80's is the one centered in this picture.

An ariel photo of Magallanes Village in the 60's. In the distance is central Makati, much less developed.

Here is a shot of Makati in the 80's.

The new airport (as of the early 80's) with Makati in the background.

This is the house we lived in during the 60's.

This is a closeup of the house as it is now. <a href=",121.01662&spn=0.003931,0.006706">Google Maps</a>.

Here I am pictured with who I believe was my Nanny. Many people living in the Philippines have domestic help.

I attended the last two years of my high schooling at the <a href=>International School of Manila</a> in Makati. <a href=",121.028153&spn=0.00393,0.006706">Google Maps</a>. This is the site of the school when I was there in the 80's. It looks abandoned now.

The school has since been relocated. <a href=",121.058108&spn=0.003931,0.006706">Google Maps</a> and <a href="">Wikipedia</a>

During our second visit there, a nuclear power plant was in construction. My father knew the owner of the company who was pouring the concrete for the plant and we got to visit it. It was never powered up. <a href="">Wikipedia</a>.

There was a small par 3 gold course on the plant construction facilities.

A trip to <a href=>Pagsanjan Fall</a>.

A carved statue on the way to <a href="">Baguio<a>.

I played a couple rounds of golf there.

We stayed at a very nice house at <a href="">Camp John Hay</a>. I believe it was called the "Bell House".

It had a beautiful garden.

Nearby was the <a href="">Banaue Rice Terraces</a>.

The <a href="">Manila American Cemetery and Memorial</a> was near to where I lived.

With my father and brother, Brian.

Names engraved in the memorial.

Murals depicting the war in the Pacific.

During my second stay I was an extra in the movie <a href="">Purple Hearts</a>. I have a site dedicated to my <a href="">experiences during the filming<a/>.

Here I am with my father at the Army Navy Club in Manila.

Update! July 3, 2014. Jeric Chua was kind enough to take a picture of the very same ladder from the Army Navy club pool, 45 years after the one with my father! Obviously it's quite a bit run down and been modified since.

I spent a lot of time at Seafront, a compound used by American military and embassy personnel and families. <a href=",120.993676&spn=0.007862,0.013411">Google Maps</a>

<a href="">Ferdinand Marcos</a> was the "President" of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986.

<a href="">Imelda Marcos</a>.

My mother and I in Makati.

My brother Brian flirting with danger!

<a href="">Rizal Park</a>.

Rizal Park.

Before and after pictures.


I do not seem to be very happy about posing for this.

Near the <a href="">Manila Hotel</a>.

Rizal Monument.

Eric builds a camera and video transmitter into an RC plane.

The first step was to build a power supply for the camera and transmitter. I used an old brushed motor controller which has a built in BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) which is basically a voltage regulator.

I recently saw <a href="">this video</a> of a man who built a video camera into an RC airplane and flew it around while looking at the live feed from his camera, transmitted via wireless. He also installed gyros on his video goggles which control the pan and tilt of the camera. This gives him the ability to "look around" while flying, greatly enhancing the experience. <p> Of course I had to build one for myself. And, I decided to photo-document the process. <p>The video has a reference to <a href=>Black Widow AV</a> where I purchased a 600mw transmitter, receiver and camera.

The camera is very small.

To test the camera and the battery power system, I cobbled a little nest of wires together.

I'm using a "Watt's up" power meter to track the condition of the battery and the amount of power consumed.

To view the signal from the camera, I used the Picture in a Picture feature of my computer monitor!

Here is the entire video setup: Camera, battery, voltage regulator and transmitter.

To test it, I hooked up the receiver to my old slingbox (I have a slingbox pro now!) and used my laptop to view the signal, which had a several second delay due to the slingbox.

Next, I turned to building the plane which will carry all of the video equipment. Like the gentleman who inspired me, I chose an <a href=>EasyStar</a>. It uses a pusher style motor mount, giving a good view up front for the camera.

The EasyStar is the easiest plane I've built. I comes as a 6 piece foam kit. The foam is very easy to work with. The fusilage come as two halves.

I purchased a Mega Motor 16/15/4 coupled with a Phoenix 35. I decided to install the motor controller inside the fuselage to keep the weight back. Hopefully it won't overheat. This setup provides plenty of power ...

... enough power to cut my thumb. I was not used to having the prop near where one holds the plane.

I decided to add ailerons to the wings to provide greater maneuverability. I found an <a href=>excellent description</a> (<a href=,GGLD:2005-17,GGLD:en%26sa%3DG%26as_qdr%3Dall>English Translation</a>) on how to add ailerons. I cut out a template. It greatly aided the cutting of the ailerons.

Here, I am testing how well epoxy adheres plastic to the foam. It turns out, not very well.

So, I used lots of CA. It holds quite well.

I used 3M Blenderm tape for hinges. Fantastic tape for this purpose.

I found I had to cut a greater angle to provide enough throw. Using a straight edge helped a lot.

Next, I made a tape template of an HS-50 which will control the aileron.

I taped off the cutting blade to the depth of the servo, and cut the outline into the bottom of the wing. I then cross cut the inside to the depth of the servo.

Then I simply pulled out the pieces to make a perfect cavity for the servo.

Next I traced the path the servo wire would take.

I constructed a special blade to cut a channel for the wire. Very similar to one I made in an <a href=>earlier project</a>.

The foam in the cut channel comes out easily.

I had to extend the servo wires.

The servo and wire fit snugly. I used more Blenderm to fix the servos and wires in their channels. If I have to replace a servo, it will be very easy.

The completed wings.

I CA'ed HS-55's into the fuselage. I put Vaseline on the servo to ensure the CA would not creep into places it should not be.

I also used Vaseline to make the CA does not get into the control rod sleeves.

The HS-55's fit very well into a corner of the cavities for the elevator and rudder servos.

I CA'ed in a support for the sleeve of the rudder control to give it extra rigidity.

The antenna comes out the "anus" of the plane :-)

The completed plane. Next I need to test it. I found that even with a 2100 battery, the center of gravity was well back of where it should be. This is good, as I will be adding quite a bit of weight to the front of the plane.

I also constructed a mechanism to hang the plane from my office wall.

Kenny can hold the plane as well. Not a good long term solution, though :-)

Next, I turn to the camera pan and tilt mount. I decided to machine a piece of plastic in which the camera would mount. Here is the first proto type.

I used a old disk enclosure for the plastic because it was about the right thickness, and had a 90 degree bend in it already. My Dremel tool investment has paid off :-)

The camera has a 14mm square face which fits snugly. The camera is a <a href=>KX141</a> from <a href=>Black Widow AV<a>.

Here's my third attempt at the plastic part of the mount. The first two were meant to mount on the side of the servo. Here I decided to mount it to the bottom.

Most of the tooling of the plastic piece was done with an exacto knife. Very tedious.

Here's the complete mount. I used an <a href=>HS-5245MG</a> digital servo for the pan. This servo can be programmed to move through 180 degrees or more of motion and seems to be fairly tough.

I used an <a href=>HS-56HB</a> for the tilt. It does not have to support as much weight nor does it have to move as much as the pan servo.

Pan and tilt servo

The metal bracket connecting the pan servo to the tilt I got from <a href=>Lynxmotion</a>. I cut off the part I did not need. Hopefully this mount will be sturdy enough. It weighs in at 68 grams.

Here I load up the Easystar with all the components with which I expect to fly. With battery, it weights 760 grams. Note that I intend to mount the camera pretty far forward. All seems to balance well.

Head mounted Gyro.

Here I have installed the camera at the nose of the plane. I wanted a good field of view without the nose present all the time. I may stick a carbon fiber rod in front of the camera to give me a visual reference as well as a potential indicator of speed. Perhaps I'll even mount a small gun sight on the tip :-)

I purchase a tripod on which the antennas and <a href="">receiver</a> are mounted. Fixed to the tripod are two smaller ball and socket tripods called <a href="">UltraPod II</a>'s. This way the antennas can be pointed in the right direction, and I don't have to extend the coaxial cables.

Snow days, experiments, playdates, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum

The baking soda and vinegar experiment

Eric has fun with baking soda and vinegar too

And so do I

Max and Kenny playing guitar

Sledding in our front yard

3 boys sledding down SE 43rd St.

Another boy going down the same hill, on a wagon

Doing an "experiment" with baking soda and vinegar

Max and Kenny playing guitar

At the water tower next to the Seattle Asian Art Musuem

Looking out towards downtown Seattle

Sitting on the camels, which are replicas of ancient Chinese statues

There was a kids show, of an Indonesian puppet show. Kenny was not a big fan.

Eric took loads of pictures at the conservatory

The selection of catuses was spectacular

Lots of bromeliads

Snow day! We had about 3 inches of snow last night, and most people stayed home today

Pulling Kenny up the street in our sled

Lots of cars couldn't make it up Somerset Blvd last night, and just parked along the hill somewhere

Kenny enjoyed sledding this time much more than the first time!

The Sprague's came over for a snow day visit, and we made some buttered popcorn

Out and about, and also a trip to Vancouver

Singing with Benji and Marina

Getting dizzy on a swing

Otters in the Vancouver Aquarium

The fishtank

Feeding the dolphins

Sharks and turtles

Bouncing on a downed log

We build a snowman in the backyard

Kenny gets to chop parsely on his own chopping board (with a butter knife)

Performing with friends

It looks like the Olympic mountains suddenly have plateaus, but it's just an unusual cloud formation, spilling over the mountains.

At Kelsey Creek Park

Eric imitates Napolean

At Seahurst park

Moonset over Seattle

Visiting Vancouver - the Sylvia Hotel, where we stayed.

It was covered in ivy

Saturday morning wasn't too bad. Unfortunately it started raining in the afternoon

At the aquarium

The otters were lots of fun

The dolphins

Kenny in a little stand-up observation bubble

The otters had toys to play with

Dim Sum in Vancouver's Chinatown

Interesting things for sale in Chintatown

Cool-looking electric bike

The hotel (or condo?) next to ours had a tree growing on top

An original notice from when the Sylvia Hotel was build 1913, as a luxury apartment house

At the Science Museum in Vancouver

This girl was a volunteer for the electricity show

Lots of insects here...

At Woodlands Park in Kirkland

Climbing up the rope (with a little help)

Not many park outings (there was a lot of rain!) but we still managed to have fun.

Games at Max's birthday party

Max slaying a dragon

At the Somerset Elementary School playground

Jean and Kenny reading a book

Singing "Yankee Doodle"

Making heart shaped pancakes for Valentines day

Kenny gets a new bed!

Dressing up...

At Max's birthday party

Denise devised a lot of little games for the kids to play

She also sewed the capes and undercapes, and made the cardboard shields to decorate

Yummy ice cream birthday cake

Kenny was "knighted"

The kids with their knight paraphanelia

At the children's museum in Everett - they had the interior of a jet plane

Preparing for a bat mitzvah

Eric looking handsome in his wedding suit

Kenny got to take apart a broken flashlight

At the Somerset Elementary School playground

Kenny and Gabrielle are big buddies

Kenny and I went to Lewis Creek Park. Since I forgot the bug collecting jar, we decided to collect "treasures", and take pictures of them. Number one - a pencil!

Some daisies

A dandelion



Old bone

Playing with the ducks

Kenny at the Bright Horizons Spring Fest. His class, the Owls, sang some songs. I forgot to dress him in jeans and a white shirt...

Their teacher Angela is leading them in a song

Easter, other fun stuff

Egg cracking tournament

Taking a bath in the big tub

Sheep being shorn

At Talus Rocks

Dying Easter eggs

Some of the finished eggs - they came with glitter

Kenny found the Easter basket!

Investigating the candy in the Easter basket

This is the little cart he made at Home Depot

At a playdate at Rachel's house - Allison got to play with some neat goo.

Kenny getting a bath after a haircut. Also, this is the first bath using the regular tub, instead of the baby tub

At the Kelsey Creek Sheep Shearing Festival



Kenny really enjoyed the sand table

Taking a hike to Talus Rocks with Anil and Pranev and Daddy

Snoqualmie Falls, Fort Worden

Kenny had fun at the YMCA family night

There's a short little train ride you can take at Snoqualmie, just down to Salish Lodge.

Walking the rails

Visiting the Lucas family

Kenny dances

Using the water rocket

Kenny jumping on a new inflatable mattress

We bought a pop-gun

Playing legos

The pipes at Snoqualmie Falls

Kenny and Eric at the base of Snoqualmie Falls. I think Kenny is a little shy about having his picture taken by a stranger (I didn't go down)

The big old log at Snoqualmie

Visiting the Lucas family

At a playground

We had dinner at Maggiano�s. Long wait.

At Lewis Creek Park

The ferry on the way to Fort Worden, for Memorial Day weekend with the Christensens

Kenny and Katie

Alison and their 14 month old baby Liz.

The old fortifications at Fort Worden

A very tame deer walked right by us when we were having a snack

Large container ship going by

Building castles at the beach

Some pictures of the house we stayed in (#9 on Officers Row). The rooms were very large.

This faucet looks original

Butler's pantry, with sliding door to the dining room

Very wide staircase

Sunday was kind of chilly

Some pictures from the Commanding Officer Quarters Museum

An old fashioned sweeper

The servants bedroom on the 3rd floor, with the best view in the house

Portraits of all the commanding officers who lived here

Children's toys from around the turn of the century

The sitting room

Going home on the ferry

Generally just hanging out, waiting for baby #2 to be born...

Musicians at the Folklife Festival

Kenny can actually climb this all by himself now!

A race at the Concrete Canoe Festival

Climbing into a concrete canoe

Swinging with no hands

Kenny perfects his golf swing with Grandpa

A mini string trio

Making Egg in a hole

At Chism Beach Park

Dessert on the deck

In this view shot of Seattle from our house, you can see the foothills before the Olympics. They're usually not visible.

At Forest Hill park with some friends - from the left, Kenji, Kenny, Kimi, and Jack

At the "Concrete Canoe" competition on Lake Sammamish. First time I've heard of concrete canoes. It's a competition participated in by the engineering department of many universities. They had some activities for little kids - in this one, you make your own little boat of tinfoil, and then see how much you can load in it before it sinks.

Creating "slime" with white glue and borax

The concrete canoe races

Kenny carrying the picnic bag by himself

One of the teams

They had to be very careful climbing in...

Lunch at Salish Lodge

Look ma, no hands!

Picking strawberries in the front yard

Pudding with Benji and Marina

Hanging out with Rochelle

Golf in the front yard with Grandpa

Our first days home with Peter

Counting Peter's fingers and toes

At the zoo

Kenny first meets Peter

Kenny at Newcastle Beach park with Grandma

Kenny and Peter

Eric's mom Ann at Mt. Rainier

Kenny gets a baseball glove

Kenny learns to hold Peter

The male Vasiliks

At Woodlawn Park Zoo

Having a snack with Grandma

Waiting for grizzlies to appear

The orangutan and his blankie

Kenny with Peter

The first annual Somerset neighbhorhood July 4th parade

Little hands and feet

July 4th bbq on the deck

Baby Peter's first smile (okay, maybe it was just gas)

Ilana holding baby Peter

Summer with a 2 kid family!

Peter wiggling

Peter trying to lift his head up on the activity gym

A polar bear playing with his toy at the Point Defiance Zoo

It's difficult to get action videos with Peter!

Kenny and Peter

Kenny rolling down the hill

Kenny's pumping on the swing quite well now...

Kenny has fun just walking...

Eric doing the hula hoop

Kenny goes wading in Kelsey Creek

At home with Peter and Kenny

Baseball at the park

Kenny is good at getting up the climbing wall now

The Milk Carton Derby at Greenlake

These guys look like they're about to sink!

They give out lots of free samples at these things!

Picnicing at Greenlake

At the Pacific Science Center

Magic mirrors!

It's been a long day - Kenny's gettting a little grumpy

Kenny gets to cook with Grandma, and wear an apron!

Yummy Frittata for breakfast

At Chism Beach Park - cherries for a snack

Peter trying to lift his head

The neighbors gave us a beautiful cake to celebrate Peter's birthday

At the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma - watching the show

Grandpa, Kenny, and Peter

The grandparents, and Peter. Too bad Peter hasn't learned yet to say Cheese!

A beautiful sunset

Rochelle at the park, with her hair standing on end!

Me and Peter

Breaking the pinata at Steve and Ilana's going away party

Peter, close up

A clown at Robinswood park

Peter on the pillow

Ava's birthday party

Just how big is Peter?

At Seahurst Park in Burien

Snoozing after a picnic

At a street fair in Renton

Some very unusual stilts

Kenny sprays a firehose

He's a little shy sitting on the fire truck

The Renton police have this armored vehicle that they use for drug busts

Visiting with Hannah, who has a new baby just a few days older than Peter

A photo session with Peter

Visiting the Lucas family on Whidbey Island

Kenny loves when Rachel makes big piles of pillows for him to jump into

Playing with waterguns

Collecting treasures on the beach - every shell, broken or not, was destined for Kenny's bucket

The girls helped sort out his shells

Carving names in the sand cliff

Swinging, fishing, photo shoot

On the swing

We took the training wheels off Kenny's bike - also the petals. The theory is that he learns to balance well first, then later you add the petals.

Kenny on the swing at Mercerdale park

Fishing at Gold Creek trout farm with the Parmaceks - Max catches a trout

Cooking and eating the trout for dinner

Another beautiful sunset


Yet another beautiful sunset

A photo shoot with Peter - the best of more than 100 shots. Thank goodness for digital cameras! And also the book "How to Photograph your Baby" - great book.

Kenny and I take a trip to Decatur Island

Grinding corn

Kenny golfs

Kenny and Kenji learn that 15 is not evenly divisible by 2

On the see saw

A pirate treasure map

The treasure is found

At Kelsey Creek Park - shelling corn

On the taxi ferry to Decatur Island to spend a few days with the Price family - Kayoko, Randy, Kenji, and Kimi

A view of the pond in the backyard

A local on the island had build an amzing pirate ship, complete with crow's next, a hold with treasure chest, and a cabin

Poking jellyfish

A fort on the beach, made of driftwood.

A driftwood deer on the Decatur golf course

Kenji is a great golfer - he actually got par on a hole, with a 17 ft put!

Kenny, learning how to hold a golf club

Bouncing on a tree limb

A driftwood see-saw

On the pirate ship

Their truck on the island

Taking a walk at Decatur Northwest

Kayaking with Kenny

On their way to find a pirate treasure map

Found it!

The house on the left was their cabin

Chocolate factory tour, Google picnic, and Kenny learns to ride his bike!

Hand-made chocolates

On a trampoline at the Google picnic

Isaac doing some gymnastics at our house

We get out the Dance Dance Revolution again

Kenny riding his bike!

Sitting on the steps at Boehms candy factory in Issaquah, with Allison and Ethan

I never knew these chocolates were made by hand! At least, at this factory.

Melissa with Peter

Peter and I on the deck

At the Google summer picnic

It was held at the Nestle training facility in Carnation - home of Carnation brand milk products


In one of the bouncy things

Fishing at the trout pond

Eric's coworkers

Waiting for a turn at a trampoline-type thing

Kenny had lots of fun!

Another photo session with Peter

Kenny got a new Knex set for learning to ride his bike

Going to birthday parties, visiting Olympia, new scooter

Kenny zooms around on his bike

Kenny skips

Kenny on the bike, me on my scooter

Eric on the scooter

Peter is starting to grab things

Kenny on the merry go round

Kenny "reading"

Kenny and Rochelle playing on the cardboard box

There was a Hindu festival at Marymoor park that we checked out

We went to Olympia just for a lark - we've never seen the state capitol before

The doors have some very ornate carvings

Lots and lots of marble

This is where our laws get debated and passed

Peter gets a diaper change...

Kenny in front of the state seal

Kenny takes his first picture!

Kenny takes his second picture!

Okay, give the camera back now!

Eric used to work for Ross Hunter

At a playground in Olympia. This is one of the few times I'm wearing the Baby Bjorn

Some houseboats

Eric and I took a bike ride at Marymoor, without the kids

Veronica's birthday party

Biking and doing a geocache at Perrigo park in Redmond - Kenny's looking for the geocache

Found it!

At Kimi's birthday party

Kenny and Peter

At the Pacific Science Center. Kenny loves his dinosaurs!

Kenny and a Triceratops

On my new Xootr scooter at Seward Park

Peter in Kenny's old exersaucer

On the scooter/bike at Green Lake

The playground at Green Lake has one of these merry go rounds - first one I've seen in a long time!

At Anna's birthday party, at the Seattle Children's Museum

Making pancakes with our initials in them

At the Issaquah Salmon Days - Kenny won a little car by spinning this wheel

The salmon are all trapped here and captured, and harvested for eggs

None of them can make it over this weir - unless the water is higher

They sure tried, though

In a little toy train ride

They had an innvative piece of equipment at the playground - this spiderweb type thing

Bike rides, birthday parties, and Halloween

Kenny with his toys

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

Kenny opens up a birthday present

More unwrapping of presents

Peter in his bouncy

Biking at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle. The starting point is at the new sculpture park

All kinds of neat things to see along the waterfront!

Me on my scooter

The pier 86 grain terminal

And a heron watching over it all

We biked next to this rail terminal

...and a huge parking lot filled with old nets

Kenny took these pictures while Eric went back for the car

I'm obsessed with taking advantage of all the nice days - because I know that soon we probably won't have any more! Here, biking on the Soos Creek trail

An old barn along the trail

We found an old pear tree

Max assembled these bionicle monsters

Peter, starting to lift his head up more

Kenny got a whole bag of assorted toys from the Mercer Island Preschool Association rummage sale

At Jack and Kenji's birthday party

The pinata

Peter, strapped in and ready to go

Peter is starting to hold his bottle

At the Woodsides house for a halloween themed Peps group

Kenny opened up some more presents from Grandma and Grandpa - a new shirt and pants

Along the Seward Park trail

Playing with the new Leapster

Jean brought over some home grown carrots

Halloween! Kenny went trick or treating with some kids from the neighborhood - Rochelle, Jack, and Kenji, Kimi and Gabriel

The whole Halloween gang

Some photos of Kenny and Peter

Kenny can get a little too enthusiastic

Kenny took this one - at home with Mommy, Peter, and toys

At Lakemont park

Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, Kenny's birthday party

Me on the giant swing at Camp Orkila

Feeding chickens at Kenny's birthday party

Blowing out the candles at Kenny's birthday party

Peter likes his new Jumperoo

I went with a group from Eastside Mothers and More to Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, for an event called the Women's Wellness Weekend. It was a blast, with lots of friendly people and fun activities. This was our cabin

Taking a tour of the camp - Deer were everywhere

These are the cabins that kids stay in during summer camp. They're pretty primitive, but I'll bet it's lots of fun to stay here.

This camp has lots and lots of waterfront

The view from Cathedral Rock

Michelle doing some archery

On a ropes challenge course

Getting ready to do the giant swing - we all had to pull the "swinger" up


Self portrait on the dock

Part of the Eastside Mothers and More group

Getting ready to take the ferry back to Anacortes

I think Allison from Peps took this picture of Kenny and Peter and me...

Peter giggling

We had Kenny's fourth birthday party at Kelsey Creek Farm Park nearby. We got a tour of the farm from Farmer Jane.

Getting ready to feed some chickens

Petting the rabbit

We had a pretty big group of kids!

The loot!

Taking advantage of a rare sunny day at Discovery Park

Peter in his new jumperoo

Peter gets tickled

Peter tickles Kenny

A Knex train

Overlooking the water at Discovery Park

This tree had a geocache in it

There were salmon in the stream at Discovery Park

Crossing a log bridge

A nice set of shots of Peter and Kenny together

Kenny with his new toolbelt

A Knex train (made by dad)

...and close-up

We visit the Blatts in Cancun for Thanksgiving

Swinging with Benji and Marina on Isla Mujeres

Swimming in the hotel pool

Flying to Cancun

Great views of Mt. Rainier from the plane

Grand canyon from the plane

Kenny and Dad in the hotel pool

Visiting the Blatts - we see Benji and Marina again!

We were at the Blatt's school for a Thanksgiving potluck

Ilana's classroom

Isla Mujeres

Our hotel (JW Marriott) from the back

There was a particular pool at our hotel that was used only for scuba lessons

Our hotel had close to no beach, unfortunately. Good thing the pool was great.

Peter and Kenny in the hotel room

The scuba pool from above

At the entry to our hotel

At the local Wal Mart. Selection wasn't nearly as good as an American Wal Mart. Also - there were tons of sales clerks around, standing in front of the merchandise - the only thing I can think of that they were doing was guarding it.

We have both of these 2 bouncy seats for Peter. They're so much more expensive in Cancun - almost twice the cost.

Hanging out at the hotel

Taking a walk down to the main strip. It wasn't very pedestrian friendly.

Eric and Kenny went to Chichen Itza

The ruins at Tulum. I love visiting ruins, generally. I have to say that I was disappointed with Tolum. Very crowded and touristy, PLUS there were rope barriers set up very far away from what you were supposed to be viewing, so you couldn't even get close. Not at all like Turkey, where you could crawl over everything.

These looked like old souvenier stores

Kenny really enjoyed finding the lizards

The beach at Tulum - very crowded

A guy repairing the mortar on one of the pyramids. The fact that this was happening so casually made me suspect how much of the original all these ruins contain

Interesting fungus on the logs

Back at the pool...

Christmas 2007 with Eric's family in Asheville

Making gingerbread cookies

Peter rocking back and forth

My 40th birthday!

Santa gives out presents with help from Kenny

Peter is entranced by a Christmas ornament

Kenny and Conrad sweeping

Kenny and Conrad playing

Trying to get a few good shots for a Christmas photo

Kenny made a gingerbread house from a kit, with a lot of help from dad.

Grandma and Peter

With uncle Brian too...

The Vasilik's house

There's a new development behind their house. So far, only one house has been built and it hasn't sold yet. But there's lots more plann ed.

The house for sale, from the back

Making gingerbread cookies with Grandma and Petra

Kenny in front of a Christmas Tree at the Grove Park Inn, where we went to see a gingerbread house show.

The winning gingerbread houses had already been taken away to NYC for the Today show.

Back of the Grove Park Inn

Grandpa and Peter

Opening the adult presents on Christmas Eve

Ann, surrounded by her presents

Kevin and Petra

Santa appears on Christmas morning! He looks an awful lot like Brian...

Kenny is cautious at first...

...but then there's presents!

Peter in a Christmas outfit

Brian doing a caricature of Eric

Ann and Peter

In the studio

On the cutting table

Kenny is framed

Peter is entranced by a Christmas display

At the NC Arboretum. We forgot the stroller, so we took turns carrying Peter.

Visiting my Mom in Charlotte - Kenny gets to see his cousin Conrad!

Peter opening up a present

Kenny and Conrad sweeping outside on the patio

Mom and Peter

Tom, Conrad, and Kenny

Mom and Peter

Mom, Peter and Kenny

Ken finishing up the creme brule

Reading with Grandma

We went to Discovery Place in Charlotte. The Imax projection area was pretty interesting.

Doing the Urban Trail in Asheville.

The Grove Arcade

Peter in his high chair

We were thrilled to have our second son, Peter, on June 28, 2007.

Peter in motion

Eric suits up

All ready for the new addition to the family

Peter comes howling into the world, 7 lbs 7 oz.

All cleaned up

Mom and Peter and Peter's grandmother, Ann

The Blatt's come for a visit

We think Peter is pretty darn cute!

The Parmaceks visit

Jean holding Peter

One of our nurses

Ready to head home

Jean and I take a trip to New York City to celebrate my 40th birthday!

First, a few pictures of Peter's first attempt at solids!

Kenny makes Peter laugh

First solids!

Peter in his dragon outfit

Peter after a bath

Arriving in Newark Airport with Jean - the first thing I saw was a "ceral bar", where they sell cereal packs and milk. Interesting - but the mixes were made of mainly junk cereal.

In New York - we started out on Friday, taking the subway everywhere. It's not that easy to find your way around!

Waiting for standby tickets for the Live with Regis and Kelly show.

Inside the show, finally. For details, see <a href=""><b>my blog</b></a>

A tangle of lights up above

In Central Park. It turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day.

Back on the subway. My overall impression of the subway system - dirty, poorly run.

Jean with the Wall Street bull

This sculpture used to be between the World Trade Center towers. Now heavily damaged, it has been placed as a memorial at Battery Park.

What New York looked like in 1767

On Ellis Island

Those immigrants that were detained on Ellis Island for whatever reason slept in these bunk beds. They were raised up every morning for more space.

The whole Ellis Island facility was abandoned in the mid 1950's. This is the kind of stuff they found there.

The World Trade Center site. I wish I'd taken a picture of the proposed memorial fountain. It's not what I would have chosen - it looks like a set of twin graves.

Bikes in New York were all locked up with this type of chain

The sink in our room was very efficient!

The Empire State Building. It's an icon, and neither Jean and I had been up it before, so we had to go. But I have to say I thought it was a big tourist trap. There were very few people there because of the time of year. But the crowd control ropes were still set up AND they looped you all over the place on detours when you could have just gone straight to the elevator, going by photographers, people selling maps, people selling all kinds of stuff. Mail chutes

The view from the top. Looks like some kind of public housing

Looking downtown

You can catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty here.

The companies who have offices at the Empire State Building. I didn't see any big name companies

A market on Union Square

These guys had big bins of stuff they were selling, presumably illegally, on the street. There were packed up at the moment because police were nearby.

The New York public library - looks like they're doing some work on it. It was interesting to see how they covered it only partially. Doesn't look all that bad.

Times Square

This is our hotel room at the Pod Hotel. Tight, but well designed and adequate.

We went to see The Lion King

Jean and I checked out Macy's on our last day. They actually still have wooden escelators.

Kitchen remodel, fun with the kids

Peter crumpling some paper

Kenny loves his legos

Kenny and daddy doing tricks

Peter tearing up paper

We went out with the Christiansons - they have a great camera!

Our kitchen, mid-renovation (new countertop, backsplash, and appliances)

A temporary kitchen in the nook

A trip to Marymoor - a very friendly guy showed us his paraglider. He told us that people who fly both paragliders and hang gliders are known as bi-wingual. Very cute!

Kenny on the stage at Marymoore

Kenny balancing

At the Woodlawn Park Zoo - Peter's all bundled up

Apparently gorillas regurgitate what they've eaten and chew it again? Yech.

Extra tall "garage" for giraffes

The otters were a big hit

Mountain goat

With Max and Denise at Seward Park.

Melissa and the kids and I went to Marymoor Park

Victoria and I took some photos of the kids

Bathtime is fun!

Building a cardboard fort. In the foreground is some equipment from Ikea - ladder swing and regular swing.

Two cardboard boxes, connected by a tunnel.

Wish I were this flexible!

Kenny loves the catalog of lego toys that we got in the mail a few days ago. It's his constant companion.

Parks, daycare performance, first haircut

Peter practices crawling

A unique piece of playground equipment

Peter loves chewing his toy

Kenny's daycare class does a performance

More performance

Yet more performance

Mr. Doug singing a song

A beautiful sunset from our house

At a playground we've never been to - Powell Barnett Park in Seattle. Great equipment, the neighborhood is a little sketchy, though.

Peter loving the swing

Kenny on a funky rope sculpture

Peter is starting to pull up on things

A stranger in Kenny's drawer (actually it's a stuffed pair of his pants, with shoe attached)

Discovery Park

Kenny in a fort

The Fremond bridge troll was a little scary for Kenny

A trip to the University of Washington. Their main plaza area is very uninspiring

They had a very interesting exhibit of children's educational books throughout the years. I don't think that B for Beer and C for coffin would pass muster in children's books today.

Yet more old children's books that would never be published today.

On a cherry tree

Kenny took this picture. Not bad.

At Farrel McWhirter park in Redmond

Somebody needs a haircut!

The SpringFest from Kenny's daycare. This is the Orca class

At a random park in Edmonds, Kenny hopped around a creek

We saw a salmon in the water

Kenny gets his first professional haircut! Up till now, I'd always cut his hair at home. The Before picture



Gasworks Park, Gene Coulton Park, making donuts

A model boat race at Gene Coulon park

Kenny and Peter playing in the closet

Testing the suit Kenny will wear for his Aunt Petra and Uncle Kevin's wedding

The easy way to make donuts - use large size refridgerator biscuits, fry them, then shake in a bag with sugar and cinnamon. No, not healthy, but yummy and fun to try. They're a bit salty.

Shake, shake, shake!

At Gasworks Park with Denise Steiner

Neat grasses

This police boat did a training exercise while we were there

Denise with baby Jil

Peter taking a few very small steps

Rolling down the hill

At Gene Coulon park in Renton

There happened to be a model boat race going on

A turtle, with the Boeing building in the background

At the playground

The entry to the Boeing area

Bike rides with the kids, Fremont fair, Peter's first birthday

Peter's first birthday!

Natascha crosses a river

Over the past few months, Kenny has learned to do the monkey bars

A soda bottle experiment

We did a test bike ride along Lake Washington Boulevard with Angie and Justin, checking out how Peter did in the back carrier (didn't like it that much) and Kenny in his pull along carrier (he liked it okay).

Going down the slide at our local park

I did the Susan Komen Walk for the Cure with some friends. The organizer was Bruce Watson, thus the name Watson's Warriors.

This band, at the Fremont Solstice festival, was very good

Kenny was intrigued by this toy car encrusted car

This car had all kinds of dentures and the like glued on it. One word - eeww...

A chalkboard car...neat

Victoria and Peter

Melissa and Peter

Me and Peter

Just for fun, we bought this pressurized can of instant pancake batter. What will they think of next...

The Crossroads water park

Hans Rikhof at their new house

Peter in a swing

A beautiful sunset

July 4th, beach, Rattlesnake Ridge

A house caught fire on Mercer Island on July 4th. I was wondering if it was a fireworks accident, but the newspaper report said it was something smoldering in the attic. This is through the telescope.

Kenny at the local July 4th parade

Melanie and Gabriel

It looks like Kenny's found out about Cheetos

At Newcastle Beach Park with Peter. He ended up eating a lot of sand - and we could tell in his diaper, the next day!

At the Chittenden locks. Eric and I actually biked here with the kids, though we didn't get any photos of us on the bikes. It was a harrowing ride - Eric thought there was a nice bike path to the locks, but it was mainly on roads.

Kenny and I slept outside on the deck for fun. It got pretty chilly!

Eric and Kenny hiked to Rattlesnake Ridge

Natascha arrives, day trips around Seattle

Natascha crosses a river

Over the past few months, Kenny has learned to do the monkey bars

My niece Natascha came to visit. She'll be going to school at UNC-Charlotte this year. Here we're visiting Gasworks Parks and Google

At Marymoor Park

Natascha tries out the climbing wall

Natascha walked to the top of the hill

At the Twin Falls trail

Natascha went over this log to a little island, and I followed

Hopping over rocks on the way back

Trying to get up the nerve to go from 2 logs to one


Kenny and Natascha went up the hill

Views from the Space Needle

At the zoo

This giraffes stood there for quite some time, trying to reach the lowest leaves

The zookeepers were using spray bottles to "herd" the giraffes. Natascha let Kenny play with her camera

We drove to Mt. St Helens, went to the Google picnic, and took a ferry to Bainbridge Island

A soda bottle experiment

A trip to Mt. St. Helens

This area was logged before the eruption

Along the Hummock trail

A bull?

At the Google picnic

Natascha got a cool dinosaur painting

Doing a soda pop bottle rocket experiment

Natascha went out Sat. night and saw the Seafair parade. Dinner was fish and chips from Ivars - yum!

We took a ferry to Bainbridge Island

At Fay Bainbridge State Park, Natascha bravely got in the water - brrrrrr!

Peter putting rocks in the watering can

Kenny and Natascha made a sand castle

We went to a Mexican restaurant in Winslow because there was such a long ferry line

Natascha took a bike ride around most of Lake Washington on her own

The Blatt's are home! This is their new house on Phantom Lake

They actually have bearing fig trees

We went on an overnight camping trip to Fort Flagler State Park. Lots of hassle camping with the kids, but worth it.

We took a camping trip to Fort Flagler State Park, on the Olympic Penninsula. Beautiful place, weather was great. This was organized the the Mothers and More group that I belong to.

Eric likes doing this to Peter's pants

Kenny, measuring out a tree with his arms

Eric snoozing on the beach

Another interestingly shaped log. A grimacing goat?

Kenny's pants got completely wet, so he's in his underwear

This was right across from our campsite

Peter enjoyed playing in the tent. I enjoyed it too, because it was safe there!

Kara's campsite was the central hang-out spot for the Mothers and More group

Kenny and I walked around in the woods the next morning

At breakfast

Sleepover, houseboats, and Camp Orkila

Kenny does bouncy tricks

Another beautiful sunset Kayaking around Phantom Lake with Ilana


Kenny is excited to have Benji and Marina are over for a sleepover

Kayaking in Lake Union with Eric - as usual, I love looking at the houseboats

These guys had the really neat idea of having garage-door style doors, opening out. That way the open space is both a covered deck (when you have the doors open) and regular indoor space (when the doors are closed). Interesting.

Like the colors on this one.

Headed to Camp Orkila on Orcas Island

The cabin we stayed in was a lot like this, but further into the woods, so it was MUCH darker (emphasis on the dark - you couldn't see inside without a flashlight)

Lots and lots of deer were on the grounds

The campfire theater (though there wasn't a campfire, since the smoke apparently always blew right into the audience) A walk at sunset

There was a game group for preschoolers on Saturday morning. Lots of silly games involving massive amounts of running around

Peter near the dock

Kenny on the beach

Playing field hockey with Kenny in the pavilion

Kenny and Eric shooting BB guns at the riflery

The store, where you can buy t-shirts, etc.

Kenny and I hung out at the beach. Kenny collected some flat rocks for me, and I managed to balance some of them.

The deer were very fond of the apples and pears that had dropped from the plentiful fruit trees.

A campfire gathering, with Ilana front and center

The kids had a good time imitating some of the skits from last night

Kayaking on the "funyaks". They really were, too! Very fast and manuverable.

Playing with clay

A nice view of the dock

One of the red jellyfish that there's been lots of here.

We took a trip to town (Eastsound) and saw this cute little RV. I guess it's just for sleeping...

Also saw this funny bike...

Peter playing with bull kelp

Eric getting ready to do the giant swing

Benji doing the giant swing

Kenny looking a little apprehensive on his giant swing ride

But he enjoyed it...

Out on the rowboats

Dinner at the lodge.

Some great shots of Peter

Steve and Ilana making camp lanyards during the campfire session

The inside of our cabin


On the way home - we "paid" Kenny in Cheerios every time he ran up and down the ferry. At least it kept him busy!

Some trips to the zoo, a houseboat tour, lots of kid picture

Playing with a Lego Mindstorm

Kenny gives Peter a ride on an old sheet

Kenny keeps pace with a leopard at the Woodlawn Park Zoo

Face painting at the zoo

The grizzlies were in fine form

I went on the Seattle Floating Home Association Tour, and got to see lots of houseboats. Loved it! Just the opportunity to walk down some of the docks (which are normally locked) was great.

Lots of them had rooftop decks

Eric and I kayaked by this houseboat recently...

This houseboat was the one on the tour. There was quite a line of people to get in, since there was so much to see there. It was a very expensive luxury houseboat, with lots of interesting features (like a basement).

I really liked the floor - polished concrete with rocks in it. It looks inexpensive, but according to the architect of the house (who was there) it turns out it's actually very expensive. Funny...normally you want to have something that is inexpensive, that looks expensive.

Very fine finishes everywhere

This was in the basement. Hard to believe, a houseboat having a basement. I guess it's basically just a boat, really.

And this is the porthole in the basement

The rooftop deck of the really expensive boat...

I like the look of steel commercial-style exteriors.

This houseboat had a window down to the floats

Very nice built in cabinetry

Interesting entryway "rug"

One of the houseboats had a granite slab made into a table. I like the durability, classic looks, clean lines. But it must be a pain to move!

We were getting rid of things, and I just had to take a picture of one of my previous palm pilots. I've been using the palm system (including this one) now for more than 10 years. 10 years worth of calendar stuff, etc.

This briefcase, too, was a walk down memory lane, so I had to take a picture before putting it in the thrift store pile. I think I got it for just a few dollars at a garage sale.

Playing with the Lego Mindstorm

Working at Expedia. We're moving buildings, so I thought I'd take a few pictures. My coworker Vicki Gottlieb

...and Carol Price

...and me!

The Expedia cafeteria

Kenny counted out all of his small cars - he has 108

Peter enjoyed the cars too

At Seahurst Park in Burien.

The sores on Kenny's forehead are reactions from bandages.

At St. Edwards State Park playground - very elaborate, fun for the kids.

Kenny found a fuzzy caterpillar

With the old Catholic seminary in the background

At the zoo again...

In this picture, Kenny really looks like a big kid to me. I think it's the fact that you can see the anatomy behind his throat so well

I bought some matching shirts for the kids - cute!

At Gene Coulon beach park

Kenny gave peter some rides on this old sheet

Kenny's birthday and grandparents visit from North Carolina!

Peter chases a laser

At Kelsey Creek Park

Peter at Gymboree

Kenny shows what he can draw for Grandma and Grandpa

At the Woodlawn Park Zoo

The Komodo Dragon

The bears were the main attraction - they jumped into the water and splashed around

Going on the carousel

Kenny got a huge Playmobile castle for his birthday from Grandpa and Grandma

Then we cut up a pumpkin

Out for trick-or-treating

For Kenny's birthday party, we had 12 kids here!

Ann drew this pirate, and we played "pin the patch on the pirate

Eric's father Ken, with Kenny and Peter

Kenny got a huge playmobile castle set for his birthday

Playing party games at Kenny's birthday party

At the Museum of Flight. They have a cool pedestrian bridge over to the airpark

We got to go inside the concorde

The cockpit of the concorde

Air Force One plane

A shot of the inside of the museum

After some snow delays (were going to leave the 22nd, ended up leaving the 26th!), we made it to North Carolina for Christmas

On a Segway

Snowy days cause delays! The snow was nice, but it wasn't so nice to have our flight cancelled.

Christmas at home

We were invited to the Lucas family for Christmas dinner

At Eric's parents in Asheville, with Petra and her dog Forest

Peter always headed straight for whatever interested him - which was usually whatever made the biggest mess!

Ho, ho, ho! Santa came to visit us, even though were were late!

Peter helping Grandma with a present

Peter and I went for a walk on the driveway later on...

Visiting at my mother's house in Charlotte - Alex and Juanita

Mom with Peter

Kenny and his cousin Conrad.

The next day we took a Segway tour of the NC Arboretum. We had some gorgeous weather for it. By lucky chance it was just Eric and me on the tour.

Some plants in the bonsai garden

Headed down the trails...

No hands!

In the evening my brother Tom and his girlfriend Johanna came for dinner

At a model train show in Henderson

We visit my relatives in Altheim

My Tante Elfriede, in the kitchen in Altheim

Kenny got to look through a collection of doll furniture

Looking at the ceramics

My cousin Claudia in her store

My aunt Lisl in the store

From the left, Tante Lisl, Claudia, me, Tante Elfriede

The old Moestl house

A wreck of a house next door - used to be a backery...or a mill

There used to be a mill here, but it fell apart

Some other houses down the street

The playground at the Weinlechner Platz was great. There were things there that you never see at American playgrounds, I'm sure because of liability issues.

This is the stable next to the old Moestl house

The signs are still up from when my Onkel Erich practiced veterinary medicine here

The waiting room

A small animal xray machine

All the old instruments

The old living room

Claudia has installed a very modern new woodburning stove

...and redone the kitchen nicely

Kenny found a massive snail in the back yard

Looking back at the house from the backyard

The next day, we walked to the graveyard where my father and other relatives are buried. This is the brewery which is right next to my aunt and uncles house - surrounding it, actually.

A bike trail has been developed in the area

An assisted living home is being built right across the way

The Muelbach

Kenny walking on the trail, towards the skate park

Luckily we had a rain cover for Peter's stroller

Looking at the Ache

The road towards the St. Laurenz church

This house is now a museum - I remember when it was just a house

The St Laurenz church

My father's grave

The Weinhaupl family grave

My grandfather, grandmother, and uncle

Assorted old gravestones

Inside the church

The Rathaus, or town hall

Another of the 2 breweries in town

The bridge, going towards the markt platz

The Zillner's is where we stayed

A map of Altheim

The main square

The modern looking building is my cousin Claudia's store

We had coffee and cakes at my cousin Markus' coffeehouse. In the background are my tante Anni and onkel Karl

An assortment of cakes at the coffeehouse

Luch at a local restaurant

My aunt helped to feed Peter

This store, almost directly across from my aunt Elfriede's house, used to be a food store, then a store selling small electrical devices, now it's a social service center

My uncle Werner

My tante Elfriede

Schulgasse 3

The drogerie (drugstore) from my aunt Lisl

An assortment of small pretty ceramics. Also you can see a miniature chair that my father made

Some pictures from the photo albums. This is the old swimming pool in Altheim

This same furniture is used daily by my aunt and uncle - she inherited it from her aunt

Some pictures of her aunt - Tante Steffie. My aunt Elfriede is second from left

After Tante Steffie's husband lost his job in the depression, they opened a milk store - selling milk and other dairy products

This is the room I used to sleep in when I visited

My aunt Elfriede says she still remembers when this picture was taken - the phototographer told her to listen for the sound of the ocean in the shell

My cousin Markus, in his backery.

These are use to shape the loaves

Some of the baking machines

He build a swimming pool at the top of his house

I had dinner many times - there used to be benches

Peter and his cousin

The actual wedding was in Grainau, a small resort town in southern Germany

Petra and her sisters sing a song

Landing in Munich

The terminal was very impressive - very open and airy

The holiday apartment that we rented in Grainau.

It sure had a great view!

In Kenny and Peter's room

Grocery shopping at Aldi

Ann in the parking lot of the Aldi

An unusual bench...

Another view of our holiday apartment

We took the Kreuzeck gondola up to a nearby mountain

The view from the top

Relaxing at the house

This looks like the remains of an old house foundation

Peter, like Kenny, does not like walking on prickly grass.

At Neuschwanstein castle - an automatic popcorn machine! Cool idea...

Kenny loved to sit with Tim and Toby and watch them play the Super Mario game on the Nintendo DS

The kids table at the gasthaus, before the wedding

This is what we had for desert...huge!

Brian did some caricatures

Petra and her sisters

Petra and the flower girl

At a restaurant - Petra's mother and aunt play with Peter

Dinner at our apartment

We brought some legos with - they were useful!

Some massive dandelions!

Kenny at the wedding rehearsal

Getting ready for the real thing...

The wedding - Tim and Toby, nephews of Petra, were the users. They were very nice to Kenny, and he loved them.

Kenny tried hard to match steps with the flower girl

He looks pretty focused

Kenny and the flower girl

The horn blowers

Some friends of Kevin's

Petra looked wonderful

At the reception

Brian made some caricatures

Kenny got some legos as a present. That kept him occupied most of the evening, thank goodness.

Eric had some fun with them too...

Petra and her sisters sang a song. Also, one of her sisters did some belly dancing, but we had taken the kids home by that time...

We took a walk around Garmish Partenkirchen. Brian was leaving for his Eurail pass trip the next day, so we checked out the train station

An actual manual typewriter for sale!

Some property listings

On the left was our landlady. She baked some wonderful cakes for us. Turns out her birthday and Anns were one day and one year apart.

The internet was available at random times in the hallway, where the wireless access point was.

Kenny climbing the rocks in the yard, just before we left

We had a picnic in a park, halfway to Altheim

We stayed in a vacation apartment in Kuchl, south of Salzburg

Peter walks!

The bells at the Georgenberg church

An automatic toilet seat cleaner in Salzburg

There was a religious procession in Kuchl the day after we arrived. Lots of little kids participated, all in traditional dress.

We ended up following the procession for a while

This was Ken and Ann's landlady

Lots of shooting!

On our way home, fun stuff at the playground

These horses were also on the walk home

The burg at Werfen

The town of Werfen

These boys improvised a soccer goal

A spic-and-span yard

Another view of Werfen

We took a hike up a steep path near the restaurant

This old house was along the path

This old fence was put together - just sticks leaning on each other, but still quite sturdy

Along the hike...

The way down was extra steep

Peter and I stayed home the next day while everyone else went to the Salzbergwerk. They put on the white suits for a little extra protection from the cold and dirt

The underground border between Austria and Germany

Old style mining

A smart car - so cute! We saw them EVERYWHERE

I saw this a couple times. No regular license plate, instead, this funky barcode type thing.

At the castle in Golling

Torture equipment

Diorama of early humans

An old clock

We had ice-creams whenever it was sunny out

The town of Golling

The Golling church and graveyard

A pretty stone wall

This collection of little "leprechan houses" was build along a stone wall

A house along the street where our vacation apartment was

Ann, Kenny and I took an evening walk to the playground

Kuchl has a beautiful little swimming lake

And the playground was outstanding

The next morning I took a walk in the morning with Kenny

Gorgeous day

Then we drove to Hallstatt

This interesting old building stands here in Hallstatt, unused and unrestored

Another great playground in

An old putt-putt golf course

An interesting way of making a wall. I wonder if it was finished?

I stayed in Hallstatt once when I was in my late teens, at a youth hostel there, which is apparently no longer in business.

Another one of those funky license plates

One of the classic views of Hallstatt

The graveyard in Hallstatt

The Charnel House - where all the bones are stored. I remember it from when I was a child.

Hallstatt rooftops

This near-antique was what we used as a high chair for Peter in Hallstatt

It was apparently also a potty-seat

Ken enjoying a beer

Meat and knoedel for dinner

Kenny had some pasta

We took a boat tour

Kenny got to steer a little

Kenny is pretty wiggly

Ann did some painting while we were on the boat

We walked on the "upper walkway"

An art exhibit

I think the youth hostel I stayed at was somewhere around here, but I couldn't find it.

Peter enjoying being out of his stroller

Walking over the "bridge" with Kenny

Peter and I stayed in town while the rest went to Berchtesgaden. I stopped by the library (open only very limited times) and checked email

In the afternoon we took a walk out to Georgenberg. It looks like there was actually a lot to see in the area.

Peter on a bench

This was next to a horse farm

Back at the playground

They had some really neat toys for moving the gravel around

On the way back to Georgenberg

On Georgenberg

Some REALLY cute pictures

Taking the train to Salzburg. The train was very modern and comfortable

They ride lots of bikes in Austria!

The Salzach

Mozart's birthplace

This is the Getreidegasse - a very fancy pedestrian street

Kenny really wanted to eat here, but we didn't

We ended up eating in this little courtyard

I got a mohn (poppyseed) pretzl here - it was disappointing, though

We had Kenny run around this fountain as many times as we could convince him to do so. Anything to get rid of a little energy

This was the Panorama museum -

Later we went up the castle on the top. The view was outstanding.

I remember a lot of this castle from when I traveled here as a child

The field behind our holiday apartment

We drove up to the Trattberg PanoramaStrasse quite close to Kuchl. There was very little traffic on it, we were one of the few cars that day (plus, it was still closed halfway up by snow). Also, some other people walking there told us that they had just seen some boulders coming down from the mountain. A watering trough where we parked

Up the road...

Unfortunately there were biting ants when we tried to sit down for a snack

Some model gliders soared above us

This picture reminds me of the Sound of Music

In the afternoon we went to the main mall in Salzburg for just to see what an Austrian mall is like. Pretty close to an American one.

Once again, the Kuchl swimming lake. Seems like Kuchl would be a great place to live.

A pre-wedding reception was held at the Brownstone, in New Jersey (where a lot of the grooms family lives)

At the Holiday Inn in Clifton, New Jersey. Playing around in the hotel room.

Taking a driving tour of Clifton, where Eric's father Ken grew up. The grave of Eric's grandfather and grandmother

The neighborhood has become VERY arabic. Lots of stores, mosques, etc.

The local park had a tank! It was called the Richard Stockinger Memorial Playground - Stockinger was the name of my father's best friend as a child.

The playground itself was a little shabby looking

But, it did have a cool merry-go-round!

Getting ready for the party. The rest of the party pictures are not from our camera, since we forgot it!

Assorted pictures from the reception

At the airport the next day, heading to Germany

We stayed in Sommersdorf Castle

Peter walks...

Kenny walks on a log

Pumping is more difficult than I thought...

At the mill

Flour being ground

The castle was lovely - a unique experience. Here's a tour.

The entrance to our apartment

The courtyard

The outer courtyard

Lots of gaps through which to shoot arrows

View towards the grounds

The barns

The chapel attached to the castle

The owner's oldster

Taking a walk around the castle

Coffee and cake at the castle.

Playing ball in the courtyard

Touring Rothenburg today.

Remodeling a house here must be difficult - everything needs to be done in the old style

The roofs were very high - at the very top were rope and pulley systems, used to haul goods up to the top floors.

These were touristy "carriages", but without the horses

And with disc brakes

Peter and I spent a lot of time at this church, to get out of the sun and let Peter out of the stroller

Another smart car

A wall went around the entire city, and you could walk around almost all of it, too

Along the wall there were plaques from various groups who had supported the restoration

Sausage cigars

Eric, Ken, and Kenny went to the Medieval Criminal Museum

I assume that this is what they paraded prisoners around town in

On the way back home were were in stop and go traffic on the highway, in the middle of nowhere, for about half an hour.

At the grocery store - interesting canned goods - mangos, figs, and kiwis

And peanut butter!

Kenny watching Ann sketch

Ann and Ken took care of the kids one morning, and Eric and I went on a bike ride. There were a lot of little farm roads with this type of paving

Going through Winkel

There was a dairy farmer strike while we were there


In the city of Ansbach

I've never seen this style of shoe before

It was a hot day, and of course we got ice cream!

A cell phone charging vending machine

We weren't the only ones enjoying ice creams

The Orangerie, at the royal residence in Ansbach

Eric and Kenny boating on the moat

There was a craft/pottery fair on the grounds this weekend - I loved these cactus globes.

A thunderstorm came up - not much rain, but lots of wind

Dr. Crailsheim is the current owner of the castle (his family has owned it for hundreds of years). We had a tour and dinner with him and his family.

Eric in some armor

We went up into a tower, which was fitted up as a kids playroom upstairs

The dungeon, complete with actual mummies

An old wheelchair

Dinner was excellent

Today - Dinkelsbuehl. I liked this better then Rothenburg - it may have been smaller and had fewer authentic buildings, but it also had many fewer tourists and traffic. A balance challenge

I liked this outdoor ping pong table

My lunch. The dumpling was a little rubbery

Then we went to Noerdlingen.

The pottery market was in full swing when we got back to the castle

It was a beautiful evening

On the way to Nurenberg, stopping at a gas station

Ken and Ann went to Nurenberg, and Eric and I and the kids went to Playmobile land. It was very cool - ideal for kids of Kenny's age and older.

We found an American there with a son a year older than Kenny. They played together most of the time there.

Peter enjoyed it tremendously too, though I had to keep him away from the small stuff

The playmobile castle

Today we went to the Freilicht Museum Frankenland. It was an outstanding outdoor village/museum, with old houses that have ben transported there from all over the region. Very worthwhile.

Notice the mousetrap, and how the food pantry cabinet covers the drawers - so that it can all be locked off with one key.

Learning how to work the pump

It must have been tremendously expensive to transport some of these houses here.

Notice how there were no rectangular flowerpots - just a row of round ones

Very frequently the stalls in a room of the house

This was the only loom I saw

Kitchens sure were primitive back then. I wonder what it was like to prepare all meals in them. Of course, they never ate out like we do so frequently.

I believe this was some kind of town couciler's office

Tools for making barrels

For wine

Grape press

I think this was for pressing apples and pears

They had a guy who was actually brewing some beer

More interiors

The beds seemed to all be pretty small

Scales for weighing ingredients - even now most German and Austrian recipes still use weight instead of volume.

A room for company

This same house also had some small very oddly shaped rooms. During the war foreign workers lived there.

This building is in the process of being transferred from another location. It's called a Jagdschloesschen, or little hunting castle.

An old mill

With a peacock in the yard

Kenny soaking his feet at the end. It was a hot day!

Peter looks really cool here!

We went to a very quiet old town that was very close to Sommersdorf - Ornbau. This is along the old wall

Storks on the chimneys

There was a very pleasant rose garden along the walkway next to the wall

This was an area between 2 walls - an inner and an outer

We went to a bakery for some treats. I don't think you'd find bubble gum cigarettes in the US! Though I do remember them from when I was a kid.

Back at the castle again

The light was great here...

These are some of the other guests at the castle. They were from the midwest.

Munich. Kenny was too shy to give him any money.

A self portrait

The restaurant we ate lunch at. The waitress was very grim.

We saw these tour guides in red shirts all over the city. From what I gathered, they gave free tours, but at the end you were encouraged to buy a full tour.

Munich had special bike paths running all through it, with lots of traffic.


We paid Kenny one Cherrio for each time he ran around this structure.

The Four Season hotel, with some very expensive cars in front of it.

We spent the night here before our flight to Newark

Hanging out at home, visiting the zoo, Sylvia goes to Palm Springs

Lions close up!

Kenny and Peter on the couch

Peter gets his first haircut!


At Grasslawn Park

We had a chance to meet Anna Cummins, Olympic gold medalist in rowing, at the Somerset annual meeting (she was born in this neighborhood). She was very friendly.

At a visit to the Woodlawn Park Zoo, we got a real treat when the lions came very close to us

Making a geodesic dome out of rolled up newspapers

Kenny with a toy helicopter

A regular morning with the kids - Kenny enjoying his legos!

Playing drums

Visiting Palm Springs with my friend Jean

I was astounded at how many grapefruit trees there are everywhere, laden with fruit

Kyle gave us a tour - this is the Elvis Presley Honeymoon house

At the date shop

A beautiful early morning hike up the Lynkess trail

These beautiful grasses grew wild, but were also in a lot of lawns, looking very ornamental

Creosote bush

Apparently it's unusual for the desert to be green like this (it just rained)

Kyle points out some landmarks

A barrel cactus in bloom

A hillside studded with barrel cactus

Nice little rock bridge

Really enjoyed the rock formations here

A shelter for horse riders

We walked through an area of expensive luxury homes on the way back. This one, though, looked abandoned

Coachella Valley Preserve

These palms almost look like large animals

Biking around the neighborhood close to the condo. Some very, very nicely done remodels of mid-century houses.

An abandoned condo complex

On a dirt path. We were trying to find our way back to the neighborhood where all the stars lived.

We headed over this dam, thinking we could get to the other side of the ravine. But a security guard came running. He was actually very friendly, and told us we weren't supposed to be there, but to go ahead anyway. We decided it was getting late, and headed back, though.

Another early morning hike - this time on the Bump and Grind trail. It wasn't as beautiful as the Lynkess trail. Plus, it was extremely crowded. We saw a roadrunner guarding his nest

A camouflaged cell tower

The view from the top

This guy was doing some serious exercising at the top. Most people were using this trail as a workout

We visited the Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico, for a week

At the crocodile pond

Peter at the beach

Kenny demonstating his soccer skills

Kenny being swung by the trapeze man

Kenny's all set for the flight with his teddy, dvd, and some juice.

The circus/trapeze setup at Club Med

The Club Med beach is great - huge, pretty private, not too wavy.

The Club Med accomodations

This is where we stayed last time we were here, 4 years ago

The main lobby

I always tell Eric, please show your teeth when you smile, but he rarely does!

One of the lifeguards caught an iguana

Kicking a soccer ball with Peter

Peter at the playground

At the crocodile pit at Playa Linda - Kenny's pretty flushed with the heat

There were also lots of iguanas around

This is another all-inclusive club, just north of Club Med

We ended up walking back to Club Med along the beach

Passed some boarded up houses/hotels

We told Kenny that this is where Mexican boys on a time-out went. I don't think he believed us.

The Miramar Bar at Club Med

Sunsets were so uniformly gorgeous that we almost became immune to them

Eric found a cat

Watching a show

We took a water taxi to Isla Ixtapa - great little trip

After snorkeling, we walked around the island.

View back to the mainland

Some awesome cactues

Fluff from these plants were everywhere

This is the beach where we rented a palapa

We met this friendly Canadian couple on the water taxi

This is the Baby Club Med

Watching a puppet show

An obstacle course run by the Petit Club, which Kenny went to

The pool at the Petit Club

Roller blading

After mini-golf for the kids came some coloring time. They were pretty clever about the scheduling of the activities.

GOs came by the pool area with fruit snacks

The pool was great, but whew! That sun beating down was STRONG

Kenny and Eric at the beach

A sand castle building contest

Sand fun with Peter

Kenny enjoyed learning ping pong, too

Kenny in a show

Peter in our room

We took a bus into Ixtapa. There were quite a few armed guards around a bank, which had suffered a bank robbery the day before we arrived.

The pedestrian mall in Ixtapa

Doing a tye-die project with Kenny

Kenny on stage doing a soccer demo

At Kenny's section of the Mini Club (the 4 and 5 year old Geckos)

Kenny in another show - this time he was swung by a guy on a trapeze

Daycare show, Vashon Island, Kelsey Creek Festival

Kenny's daycare show

We watched Kenny participate in a show from his daycare. Peter enjoyed it too!

Kenny's at the end here:

Kenny and Eric found a geocache hidden close to our local playground

At the robotics competition, Seattle Center

It's amazing how many teams were competing, from all over

Peter and Kenny enjoying the Pacific Science Center

Peter really enjoyed splashing at the rock bird bath, at the Blatts

Geocaching at Seward Park

Easter baskets from Grandma and Grandpa

A day trip to Vashon Island. Lots of motorcyclists were out enjoying the weather

The Seattle PI is now out of business...

We saw some really nice looking lenticular clouds off Point Robinson. They were being blown off Mount Rainier.

Kenny and Eric, finding another geocache

Squinting into the sun

Eric the sculptor

Peter and Kenny had fun playing on the trees

Kenny got a cool puzzle at the "Bring your child to work" day, at Google

As always, the food was great!

At the ever popular Kelsey Creek Farm Festival

Peter on an antique tractor

At the Woodlawn Park Zoo, with the Hugebacks, Peter just wants to climb on in

Their son Henry dozed off with his mouth open - very cute!

A beautiful sunset

Biking on the Sammamish River Trail - the first time on a sort-of busy trail for Kenny, on his own bike.

Kenny is thrilled to have his own tennis racquet, and we hit the ball around occasionally at Tyee middle school

When Roger calls and says "Hey, you wanna go flying", you say yes!

Roger in the pilot's seat. We flew from Paine Field to Olympia in Roger's Cessna 205.

This was Kenny's first time in a small plane!

He had a lot of fun.

A private ferry between Herron Island and the penninsula.

It was a perfect day to fly! Great views Mt. Ranier.

Lot's of stuff growing on this lake.

Roger got clearance to fly over Seattle. There was not much air traffic in the area.

The port.

The stadiums.


I-90 from Mercer Island to Seattle.

Seward Park.


Somerset above I-90.


Our House. Roger circled the neighborhood!

I-90 to Issaquah.

Interchange at I-405 and 522.

Roger's Aviation GPS.

Roger and his family live at this lake.

Landing back at Paine Field!

Biking on Green River Trail, a stay at Cama Beach

Peter doing some dancing

Kenny, on the Green River Trail, next the the Rainier Awning facility - apparently they also make yurts. They did the awnings on our house.

Awesome view of Mt Rainer along the trail

I talked to the man who rode this bike with his wife. He said that the main benefits of recumbents are that they're more comfortable, and also there's about half as much wind resitance.

Snacking at a picnic area. This is Peter's favorite time - the little guy just sits behind me in his bike seat otherwise.

There's a neat wildlife viewing tower towards the end of this trail

Kenny with his friend Jack at the top of the tower

Another great view of Mt. Rainier

Preparing to sleep outside on the deck with Kenny

Beautiful sunset

Peter is getting pretty good with blocks!

Doing the Green River Trail, this time with the Blatts

We were lucky enough to rent a cabin at Cama Beach for the weekend. I had called about renting something in September, but everything was completely booked. But it turned out they had a cancellation for this weekend. Cama beach was an old fishing resort, built in the 1930's. This is the gas station.

Next to the playground

Kenny building a toy boat

It actually floated fine - good thing we had outriggers, though, otherwise it would have tipped over like other ones I saw.

Kenny and I explored the beach and found this fort.

Kenny found some crabs and brought them to our cabin

Walking to Camano Island State Park. The walk was a lot longer than we expected.

Windy on the beach!

We did find one geocache in the picnic area

Peter in one of the luggage carriers

Some more views of the state park

I did a mini photo shoot with Peter. He was occupying himself with throwing rocks.

Another photo shoot, this time of Kenny

The interior of the boathouse

I promised Kenny some crackers if he cooperated with the pictures.

Bike rides, Peter's second birthday

Peter's birthday

Peter and the air rocket

Fruit creatures

Kenny found one of these giant dandelions along the Soos Creek Trail.

I did a "midnight" hike (actually we finished around 9 PM) to Rattlesnake Ridge with Ilana and some friends of hers

Biking along the Snoqualmie River Trail with the kids. Nice enough, but those rail trails can be a little boring - they're so straight! We stopped at a playground for some snacks here - always Peter's favorite part of the bike ride.

Throwing some rocks in the Snoqualmie River.

Peter's second birthday! We made a fruit tart type of cake, with berries and kiwis on top.

Kenny made Peter a birthday hat

Kenny also got some presents from Grandma and Grandpa


Reading with Grandma

Video games with Grandpa

Peter in the playmobile castle

Peter playing with the stomp rocket

Kenny sure loves the swing...

At Gasworks Park

Flying the kite with Grandpa

Kenny reading to Peter

Projects, Google picnic, various outings, redecorating the kids room, camping

We did a cool project from Family Fun magazine - cut the bottom off a water bottle, rubber-band some terry-cloth fabric to it, wet it, and dip in dishwashing liquid. Then you can blow into it, and make these long soap snakes...

The Google picnic - tons of activities, lots of fun for the kids, out in North Bend. It never did get very crowded.

Making a green apple frog, with grape toes.

Playing with the water tray on the deck

We went to a Shakespeare play at Luther Burbank park on Mercer Island. The kids were pretty good (we took lots of snacks - I think that was the key!)

Preparing to paint in the kids room - unfortunately it covered up the beautiful murals that Ann painted for the kids.

This is the modified bicycle that Google Maps is using to get pictures of areas such as parks, where you can't take a car.

Ballons were a big hit in our household - Kenny can blow them up by himself

Kenny and I did a hike from our front stoop, down the roads and paths through our neighborhod, down to Coal Creek Parkway, and up another trail from there, where Eric and Peter met us. We got the idea from the Weist family. Now whenever we drive by a certain dip on Coal Creek Parkway, we remember crossing it on our hike.

Kenny spotted this deer

The Tan's house

Interestingly trimmed shrubs

The beginning of the trail

A tunnel under Forest Drive

We found a great huckleberry bush

The creek that we followed

After crossing Coal Creek Parkway, there were lots of old-looking bridges


Sleeping on the deck

The big bag of Duplo legos that I got from a garage sale have proven to be a big hit

Bike trip along the Lake Sammamish Trail

Somebody brought an umbrella Cockatoo to the park where we had lunch

At the Volunteer Park water tower

We rented an electric boat on Lake Union.

Puttering past the Google office

Lots of houseboats. Someday I'd like to live on one of these...

Maybe not this one...


One weekend, we wanted to check out the light rail. So we went to the southern terminus - the Tukwila Park and Ride. It turns out that there's 2 Tukwila Park and Rides, and we went to the wrong one. However, it was an interesting spot, with bike trails and lots of blackberries, too. There must have been some old structure there.

We did finally get to the right station, and got on the light rail train

Ilana and I spent a gorgeous morning hiking Snow Lake

I redecorated the kids room - fresh paint, whiteboard, magnet board and shelves on the wall, a rain gutter bookshelf, and new linens.

These are the rain gutter bookshelves. I found the idea online - it really works well, and is super cheap

I hung a bunch of pictures up on the wall (cut out from a book) on clothespins

An overnight camping trip to Lake Wenatchee State Park, with out Mothers and More group. Peter got pretty dirty!

The lake was beautiful, with very clear water that actually glittered - maybe from fools gold or something sparkling in the water? Cold, but not too cold. There was a nice beach, too.

There were lots of kiteboarders there

Peter really enjoyed climbing around on all the rocks

Eric is well protected against mosquitos

Camping plus kids = lots of dirt!

Sunday was very windy - but some people were still in the water!

Camp Orkila, Pumpkin Carving, Seabrook, Camp Coleman, Kenny's birthday, Halloween

Playing a homemade musical instrument

Kenny's birthday breakfast

Playing with leaves

Kenny's birthday party

Coal Pit Road at Cougar Mountain State Park. We went here hoping to pick up some clay to make some sculptures with. This is the clay pit at the end of the road - from which apparently they make bricks (or at least, used to

There were insect husks all over these reeds. At first I thought they were still alive, and had Kenny sneak up on them quietly.

This will be an interesting place to do some more exploring.

Kenny set the table all by himself - and got Peter in the high chair!

At a Mariners game, sponsored by Murphy and Assoc.

Kenny's first day of school! Needless to say, there were lots of cameras around.

Peter, in a paper crown made by Kenny

For the second year, we went to the YMCA Camp Orkila, on Orcas Island, for Labor Day weekend. Lots of fun - even though the weather was not ideal. Here, some kids gave Peter a crab to play with.

On the bus to the camp

This was our cabin. A little dark inside (all of them are) but very close to the water

Kenny loved the bb guns

...and the clay crafts

Here's what he made

I did a trail riding session - the longest I've ever been on a horse (maybe half an hour)

Just before we went out in a rowboat. Peter's looking happy here, but he was NOT a happy camper - I dropped him off with Eric, and Kenny and I rowed around.

There was a polar bear jump that even kids participated in. The water was VERY chilly!

Finding the "snazzler"

Painting in the arts and craft room

Such a gorgeous beach...

Kenny on the giant swing

A bike ride on the Green River trail

Biking next to a golf course

We made "slime" at home from glue and borax. Fun!

Eric and Kenny went to the Reptile Zoo

With our Peps friends

In the Ferris Wheel at the state fair

A bike ride up in the North Bend/Carnation/Snoqualmie area. There was an obstructed view of Snoqualmie Falls - but they definately needed to cut down some trees!

Snacks are always the most fun part of outings, I think...

We went with our friends the Christiansons to Seabrook, on the coast. It's a very walkable "New Urbanist" type community. The weather was GREAT despite a bad forecast.

This was the house we were in.

We thought these birds were clustered around a fish carcass, but apparently they were just going for little insects in the sand.

Interesting sand formations

We found a dead shark

We had some fun ping pong games at the house

There was a soccer field nearby too

We brought our big bin of duplo legos with - they're always popular.

Peter on a big boy swing!

The Christiansons brought a cute little micro kite along

Building a sand castle. The beach was great, and we were so lucky to get a warm day.

This plant was all over the place. I tried looking it up online, but didn't find anything. Anyone have any ideas?

Kenny in costume.

These are some pictures from Don.

We made a "musical instrument" from instructions in Family Fun magazine. You wet the yarn, and then run your fingers along it, and it makes a weird sound.

At the Kelsey Creek Farm Fair with Tom Leung

Pumpkin carving

These smiles look very plastered I could get!

Making a ball roll from legos and pieces of cardboard

At Camp Coleman with the Y Adventure Guides

Kenny with bow and arrow.

For Kenny's actual birthday, he got to have junk cereal for breakfast.

Kenny playing with the lego Contraptions set.

Kenny's first thank you letter.

Trick or treating

Playing in the leaves at Gene Coulton park

Kenny's birthday party

Solving a puzzle to find the goody bags

Found it!

Kenny made a fort...

At the butterfly house (Pacific Science Center)

Kenny's kindergarten school pictures

Miscellaneous December pictures

The gingerbread house exhibit at Factoria Mall

Kenny's Christmas letter

At the Children's Museum at Seattle Center

After Eric's first solo flight

Ice covers Snoqualmie Falls

Water seeping down to the river has frozen...

Cookie exchange at my house

A picture for Kenny's "Student of the Week" at school

Kenny reads to Peter

A New Years Eve party at the Blatts

We took a cruise to Alaska on the Inside Passage with Eric's parents

Fetching a mini iceberg at the Mendenhall glacier

Views on the drive from Anchorage to Whittier

First view of the cruise boat, the Carnival Spirit. We chose Carnival because they're the only cruise line that will take 2 year olds into their kid program.

Looking back at Whittier

Dinner the first night

Views from Prince William Sound

Kenny also saw the icebergs

And even Peter did!

Ann on the balcony

During the lifeboat drill

Walking around the boat

Look carefully - I think that thing sticking out is an orca fin

Towel animals

I think the crew was practicing towel animals in the gym locker room - that's where this picture is from

I'd love to go on an extended kayak trip around here

Guess where we are?

Tons of bald eagles around - there's one on one of these tanks

Taking a boat out to a kayaking location

Another view of the Carnival Spirit

We went to a very quiet little bay to do some (very slow) paddling

Ken and Ann did the kayaking, too

Later on, walking around in Sitka

Getting on board the tender, to take us back to the ship

Getting into Juneau

At the Mendenhall glacier

I pulled this hunk of ice to shore for the kids to play with

Close-up through the binoculars - someone in a kayak on the glacial lake

You can see the glacial striations on the rocks

Hiking along the Outer Loop Trail near Juneau - Kenny ran ahead and found "surprises" for us

Interesting area of stunted trees

There were lots of good flat skipping rocks here.

Voila! The tide receeded to expose a little land bridge here

Making rock piles, and Kenny had a little "workshop" where he smashed the thin rocks. Peter got to have his binky all day because he missed his nap.

Another view of the Mendenhall glacier

Some old structures near the dock in Juneau - World War II structures? Or old mines?

Near the port in Skagway was a place where people had painted lots of ship logos

A lot of the ports had banks of phones right next to where the cruise lines docked, for the cruise employees

The town of Skagway. Pretty much 100% tourist.

On the White Pass train out of Skagway

The train no longer goes over this rickety old bridge

We saw a bear along the way

At the top of the pass

A beautifully clear little stream ran alongside the train for a while

The old trail

Dinner that night

Pretty windy!

Peter loved the elevators

The town of Ketchikan

There were 4 cruise boats docked here, and one out in the water

Tying up the cruise ship is a major undertaking

Enjoying ice creams

We took a kayak trip in Ketchikan. It was VERY windy, and hard to paddle! Beautiful clear water, though.

These weird things out in the distance are sonar testing devices

Arriving in Vancouver

On our way home, we witnessed a drunk driver hit a car right in front of us, and stayed to give a statement to the state troopers

We went to Lake Chelan for the Memorial Day weekend, with the Blatt and Parmacek family

River Reach Dam Park, on the way to Chelan

At the Rocky Reach Dam park, on the way to Chelan. It was VERY secure - fancy gate, not very friendly looking. It turned out to be a great place for a rest stop.

The fish ladder

The innards of the dam itself

The playground had a toy I'd never seen before - kind of like a little trolley that you wind across

At the Chelan riverwalk

Benji climbing up a tree

Our rental condo in Chelan. It was nicer than expected.

Looking for a geocache along the Riverwalk

Kenny found it!

Peter at the pizza restaurant

The Parmaceks

Playing the nintendo DS

Making breakfast

Steve, back from his run

Taking a hike in the Echo Ridge area

Brett and his lizards

The lizards in their new home

Peter with the Mr. Potato Head toy - one of his favorites now.

Looking for another geocache, around Manson Lake

Eric, Sylvia, Kenny and Peter visit Grandma and Grandpa in Asheville, North Carolina

Conrad gives Kenny a Christmas message

Peter really enjoyed the electric train circling the Christmas tree!

Peter tries to smile for daddy.

Before the it rained, there was some good snowman building material outside.

(this is a few days later)

Good for sledding too!

Kenny with some fancy building blocks!

Kenny and Mom also built an roofless igloo.

Uncle Kenvin brought his Nitendo Wii which was quite popular.

Kenin and Petra.

Petra made Sylvia's birthday cake.

Santa (Brian) made a visit as well!

Kenny and Peter helped with the presents.

Taking a walk around the undeveloped suburb next door - Sylvia identified some bear scat. Bears like berries, evidently.

The development surrounding the house is still incomplete. The bank owns the property now.

Kenny got to make use of his new cooking equipment making breadsticks.

Kevin, Petra, Forrest and Jessie.

Sylvia's niece Natasha came by for a day as well.

Everyone but Ann got a case of stomach flu. Much recovering was had by all.

Tom came by for a visit.

While Eric and Kenny were recovering from the virus, Sylvia and Peter drove to Charlotte to visit her mother, Alex, Juanita and Conrad.

The Vasilik's spend a weekend in Vancouver.

Near the airport there was a playground with a miniature layout of the real airfield. Here is runway 8R.

Going over the Lion's Gate Bridge

<a href=",-123.018063&spn=0.000556,0.000882&t=h&z=21">Lynn Canyon State Park</a>

We stayed at the Sylvia Hotel again. One of the oldest buildings on English Bay.

Taking care of the ivy must take a lot of time!

Kenny and Peter liked playing along the shore. Our first day there was quite nice.

Near Granville Island Public Market, we found a small playground where a woman was feeding the pigeons.

One girl managed to pick one up. Eric tried and got a handful of pigeon poop for his trouble.

We took a very short ferry ride from the Market to the north side of the channel.

Walking back up the beack to our hotel we found plenty of cool things.

Gotta go to teh Aquarium when in Vancouver!


I did not know Santa could scuba dive!

A few pictures I missed

Kenny and Peter playing with some toys - picture from my Nexus One phone

Bye-bye Palm! I started using the Palm late in 1997, and am now switching to the Nexus One, using cloud applications. I miss the keyboard, but do NOT miss synching.

Visit with Judy in Olympia

A Kenny sandwich

At the Gold Creek sno-park.

Eric built a fancy lego sculpture

The Vasilik's spend a week at the Grand Wailea on Maui.

We stayed at the Grand Wailea resort. There have pretty extensive and elaborate grounds there with quite a bit or art.

We ate breakfast on our balcony.

There's a great walkway along the shore. We spent time checking out the tidepools.

One day we drove up to Haleakala National Park. Zero to 10,000 feet in just a couple of hours!

The GPS agrees.

The observatories at the top.

We also went to the 'Iao Valley State Park. This is the 'Iao Needle, "The phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiin god of the ocean."

Three out of four 'aint so bad ...

While we were there, it started to rain <i>very hard</i>. The kids liked it though. Warm hawaiian rain beats cold Seattle rain any day.

At a mall, we found this huge vending machine selling some kind of skin product.

Later that night we walked by and in the Four Seasons hotel where we stayed <a href="/pictures/2004/Hawaii/">6 years ago</a> when Dinarte Morais brought us there for his 40th birthday. It was raining off and on.

One day we enjoyed the brunch at the Grand. Peter loves strawberries.

Kenny and Eric visited the Cane Sugar Museum.

There is an old but very active sugar will there.

The old equipment used to collect the cane for the mill.

A traditional Portuguese Oven used to cook practically everything and, as I was told, even used to heat houses!

Kenny Soup!

A hand driven cane press.

Looking into the sun never yields good pictures.

The Grand's beach is fantastic.

We checked out the Kealia Pond Boardwalk.

Where we met <a href="">Dr. Leisure</a> (George Harker). A very friendly fellow. He seems to be an expert on <a href="">nude beaches</a>.

We spent an afternoon in Lahaina. The banyan tree near the court house is the largest on Maui. It was planted in 1873.

Canyons raised from a Russian ship were used to protect the city.

Peter liked his icecream!

There was a wreck off the Lahaina shore.

Eric and Kenny went to the Aqurium.

A Frogfish. Hardly moved at all.

Nothing remarkable about this picture other than Kenny doesn't have a goofy expression!

Like this.

Sea turtles.

Kenny loved the sharks.


A ray.

I think this diver is cleaning the fish poop from the sand.

We all went to La Perouse Bay.

Lots of rules to follow there.

Shy Peter.

Lot's of sharp volcanic rock.

Great tidepools.

A small hermit crab.

We went on a trip towards Hana. Along the way, we stopped at Hookipa Park where we checked out the surfers.

There were whales there too. It seems they were almost in the waves.

Parrots were present for a photo-op, for a price.

We stopped at the "Fourth Marine Division Memorial Park" before heading back to the airport. Very similar to playgrounds we've seen around the Seattle area.

Weekend at the beach, a day in the life, bike rides, zoo trips, Easter,

Kenny loses a tooth!

Nice sunset picture

Kenny and I went with Ilana and Benji and a number of her friends and their sons, to a seaside vacation home near Hansville, WA. We were lucky to have one very sunny day. The kids enjoyed themselves a lot, and so did the moms!

Awesome rope swing!

We went hunting for geocaches, and actually found one.

Kenny did the YMCA Pinewood Derby

A "Day in the Life" of Peter and Kenny - just like I did many years ago when it was just Kenny. Kenny usually wakes up very early and comes and hangs out in the living room with me.

Peter, waking up

Kenny, playing around whiel getting dressed

The kids get to watch a show on TV while I work out

Peter loves the rope swing

Picking today's clothes

Kenny is helping Peter get dressed, but it's not going so well

More playing

It's cereal today...usually we have oatmeal

Peter being funny

It's a phone!

Kenny and I went swimming at the Coal Creek YMCA

Peter down for a nap

Kenny and I went for a bike ride to Seward Park during Peter's nap. I rode the scooter. Snacks are always a high point of these outings.


At Woodlawn Park Zoo

Really cute shots of Peter

Peter got a little wet playing with the fountains at University Village

Sledding at Snoqualmie Pass

Easter! Kids got an easter basket at home, and then went on an easter egg hunt in Corrie's neighborhood

Kenny wrestling with his old daycare friend Tristan

Eric visiting Dinarte at what's basically a mall at Microsoft

Kenny went to the UK International Soccer Camp over spring break. He absolutely loved it.

At the Bellevue Botanical Gardens, and the playground nearby

Robot fun

Biking on the Cedar River trail in Renton. It's nice for about half a mile, then its a boring trail right next to a busy road.

Bye, bye, bed. We sold Kenny's bed on craigslist to make room for a bunk bed for him and Peter

Peter LOVES puzzles!

Kenny and a toy

A butterfly landed on my back in the butterfly garden at the Pacific Science Center. He was a little tattered, though.

Kenny picked up this star wars mask from the free box at a local garage sale. He was thrilled!

We had our peps friends over to our house for dinner. Baby Victor is there too!

Having a kids table is NICE!

Kenny and Eric went to Camp Orkila with the Y Guides

Mom and Peter at the Kelsey Creek Farm Fair

Later that evening we had some friends over for a potluck

And Peter and I went on a bike ride on the Sammamish River Trail/Burke Gilman trail, where it changes to the Burke Gilman Trail

Peter is just so cute

He's a good kicker too.

Kenny and I went to an elementary school garage sale in Kirkland, and bought so much cool stuff!

At Luther Burbank Park - it doesn't show up well in this picture, but the water rushed out here, making something like a blowhole

Kenny talking about playing the Star Wars Lego video game

Nice sunset

Mother's Day celebration at Kenny's kindergarten glass. Good thing I came - I think there was only one child whose mother was not able to come.

Kenny's class, singing a song

Kenny and his teacher, Ms. Schwartz

We went to the Mima Mounds Natural Area, south of Olympia. Kenny enjoyed using this Scotch Broom puller

This cool structure is designed to look like one of the mounds

Camas was all over the place. Apparently it was a big food source for the indians

A Rolly Polly had the bad luck to be found by Peter

The light wasn't that good, so it's hard to see the mounds very well

Grandparents Visit, Camping Trip.

At Golden Gardens park

It's a zoo!

Kenny loves finding sea creatures. This is at Seahurst park in Burien

Moon snail egg case

This funny blob of gel was all over the place. It was the egg case of the spotted Aglaja

At Peter's preschool, the fire truck came by for a tour

Doing a boy scout rocket event

Peter is happy with his new trike

School field trip to Alki Beach at a very low tide day

Scott and Anna's wedding at Jean's house

The lovely bride

A rainy Memorial day bbq "outside"

A Father's Day/Field Day celebration at school

Baby clam of some sort at Seahurst park

Kenny and Mom

Kenny has quite the collection of Star Wars figureines

At the Pacific Science Center butterfly house

Pictures with Eric's new Iphone

Kenny goes kayaking

At the Greenwood car show

Grandma and Grandpa are visiting! Eric made black forest cherry cake for Peter and Grandma's birthday

At Forest Park in Everett

At Gasworks park, and also doing the "Ride the Ducks" tour

There was a boys and girls club group at the park which had brought big ice blocks to slide down on. It looked like lots of fun!

On the tour boat

Taking the plunge into the water

The tour driver had plenty of props with...

Kenny and Peter at the Cedar River Watershed

We took a short train tour at Snoqualmie Falls

Kenny and Grandma decorating his bike for the July 4th parade

He won a prize! $20 in Baskin Robbins gift certificates.

Waiting for the fireworks from our deck

The next day, we celebrate with the gift certificates

Finding a geocache at Juanita Bay park - Ann actually found it.

I did it!

Kenny on his first kayak trip

At the Milk Carton Derby, Green Lake.

Visiting the Lucas family on Whidbey Island

Peter loved the hermit crabs

A guy taking a walk with his dog showed us this dead skate

Baby starfish

Lots of fun was had with water guns

The dogs fought to swim back in with the stick

We took a bike ride along Alki Beach

A week long camping trip at Fort Worden State Park, and Salt Creek County Park. Eric and Kenny saw a submarine

The blimp hanger. Later we found out that our friends Wendy and Mark had their wedding reception there.

It's pretty large!

The old jail in the visitor center, where the soldiers would sleep it off.

Climbing all around the fort

Some of the driftwood forts that we found on the beach

Sand castle time

Our new pop-up trailer

Kenny and I found this impressive rock pile at the beach

There was sand strategically positioned between the rocks to provide stability

Battery Kinzie at twilight

Eating breakfast (honey nut cheerios every day!) in the trailer

Exploring the large battery section at Fort Worden. It was a little stressful keeping Peter away from the edge!

Snack time!

The ruins of an old searchlight, that rolled out on a track

I found lots of thimbleberries on the way

Getting ready to roast some marshmallows

The morning of our last day, we managed to see the one battery we were missing - Battery Stoddard

At Salt Creek County Park - site of former Fort Hayden

Some of the rocks at this park had these weird markings on them. Fosilized worm casings?

Kenny was happy to play with his army men in the trailer

The low tides were early in the morning. Kenny and I would get up and check for sea creatures each morning

This island was only accessible at low tide

Lots of mussels!


I believe this is the first shrimp I've seen in the wild!

We took a (pretty strenuous) hike up Hurricane Hill, behind Hurricane Ridge, at Olympic National park. It wouldn't have normally been that strenous, except I was carrying Peter most of the way! Beautiful hike, though.

I was planning on identifying a lot of flowers back at the visitor center, but didn't get around to it. So, just pictures without names here.


Makes me want to break out into song... "The hills are alive!"

Peter enjoying some grapes

Some sunset pictures

Peter's last day with his binky (it broke and we didn't replace it)

At Crescent Lake. We were going to take a longer hike, but ended up stopping for lunch at a beautiful little meadow that jutted out in the lake, and then turning around. The water was so blue!

Forgot the swimsuits, but the kids enjoyed themselves anyways

At the Elwha damn, which will be torn down next year.

A giant sea anemone

Some pink seaweed

Peter had fun touching the sea anemones

Kids had fun playing at the actual Salt Creek, which was fairly warm (compared to the ocean, anyway)

Kenny tries to surf on some driftwood

Marshmallow time!

Finally, we saw some sea urchins on the last day

Sea Anemone

There was a baby seal, waiting for it's mother next to the island

Pictures from the Fall of 2010

Swimming at Phantom Lake. The water was warmer than any other nearby lake!

The zoo in Issaquah

Kenny invented this "shooter"

In the pop-up trailer. This was our last camping trip of the year, at Lake Easton with the Mothers and More group

In Roslyn

Peter and a little friend at the group campfire

So cute!

At Emilie's house on Whidbey - the good ones were taken by Emilie!

First flight with Eric

Great view in Wenatchee

These bins are for transporting apples

We took the Wenatchee river loop trail, and found these sand dunes right next to it

Running down was fun!

These was a little miniature train to ride along the river, too

Playing disc golf

A fancy new playground in Wenatchee

The applets and cotlets factory

This man was creating flint arrowheads the way our ancestors did, millenia ago.

At the Cashmere Museum

An old-fashioned barbershop

This is what they had for meals on the trains back then

Lots of boy scout memorabilia at this museum

At the zoo

Eric takes Steve Blatt flying

Kenny's first day of school - first grade!

Peter sleeping peacefully

Peter, getting ready for his first day of preschool

Peter taking a picture of mom

At a medieval festival in VOlunteer Park

For 1 dollar each, the kids were able to fight a medieval knight

The merry-go-round at the zoo

Peter playing a musical instrument - his nose!

Bike trip - Myrtle Edwards park

Cool clouds!

Note the cruise ship in the background

Kenny doing the walkathon at school

At the Issaquah salmon hatchery

Peter enjoys tying big knots

We made a pump with Kenny (based on the Toys from Trash website)

Judy and I met in Olympia for a visit

In Austria

Tante Anni and Onkel Karli


My cousin Claudia

Flying into Amsterdam

On the tugboat Arthur Foss at the new Lake Union park

At Cal Anderson park

There was a great water feature, where you could try to step across the stones without getting wet

Kenny and Peter at the Expedia Halloween celebration

Halloween "loot"

Carving the pumpkin

Kenny's birthday party

We had a crowd at our house, starting their trick or treating

In the backyard with Peter

There was a science exhibit at the Pacific Science Center - Kenny (and Eric and I) got to touch a pig heart)

Collecting leaves

Kenny and Eric built a roller coaster

On a hike with Peter along the Coal Creek Parkway trail..."cracking" a little (and this was not staged)!

We got some snow just before we were to fly out to North Carolina for Thanksgiving

The Vasiliks spend Thanksgiving with relatives in North Carolina.

We went to a park near a local school several times. This gave Sylvia ample reason to play Speedmitten.

The kids had a lot of fun playing with this pinball styled baseball game.

In order to get good photos from the kids, we had to promise to take another where they could be goofy.

Ken shows off his playdough turkey sculpture.

Eric and Sylvia took a Segway tour on the Biltmore Estate.

Kenny was eager to hellp Grandma in the kitchen. Perhaps it was the taste testing that inspired him?

One evening Tom, Jo and Hoyt came over for dinner.

Thanksgiving meal! What a spread!

Forrest does tricks for snacks!

Forrest does some agility moves.

Peter does tricks for snacks!

Ken does tricks for snacks!

Dinner at Sylvia's mother's house. Peter and Kenny get their own table.

Obligatory goofy picture.

Oma, Peter, Eric and Kenny.

Conrad cleaning the trampoline at Alex and Juanita's place. Much bouncing was had.

Kenny and Conrad bouncing.

Peter Bouncing.

Miscellaneous activities during Winter 2010.

Kenny and Peter had fun making (and eating!) a gingerbread house.

Eric was tempted to fly through this hole in the clouds over Widby Island. (He didn't)

Kenny and his Cub Scout Den visit a police station.

Evidently the kids wern't very good, and had to be taken into custody.

Actually, they're just being shown how to dust for fingerprints.

Waiting for birds to eat from your hands at the zoo.

Kenny took to Henry when Angie and Justin came over for dinner.

Peter get a kick out of the carousel at Overlake.


A hat party at the Blatt's.

Peter dancing to the Kinect Dance Central game.

Kenny and his den visit the animal shelter.

Eric decides to clean out his closet by tossing free company shirts he's collected over his career. His first job was with Sun Microsystems.

Then Borland International.

Then Microsoft.

Then Crossgain. This shirt shows a quote from Steve Balmer commenting on a particular exodus of employees, of which the founding members of Crossgain was a part. Not shown are BEA and Google.

Squirrel action at Dinarte and John's.

Kenny builds a big structure with his new connector toy.

Eric on a flight around the Olympic Mountains.

Ruby Beach


The Olympics.

Aircraft carriers at Bremerton.

13 Left at Boeing Field.

Galvin's Fleet.

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.

Kenny sends a message.

A few pictures taken by our neighbor, Melissa.

Clips from Purple Hearts, in which Eric was an extra!

The movie poster. I have one myself!

When I was in the Philippines, attending High School in Manila (1982), a production company was looking for American kids to play extras in the movie "Purple Hearts". I spent a week on the set pretending to be an Army grunt. <p> The movie never made it into theaters, but it did make it to VHS in 1984. Unfortunately, the transfer was pan and scanned. In particular, the scene where I was most visible was "formatted to fit your TV" in such a manner that I was eliminated! <p> Fast forward nearly 30 years later, and I've found a source of the movie in its original aspect ratio with my "big" scene intact! Here follows are clips from that movie in which I participated. <p> <a href="/pictures/2003/01-01-2003">Here are some photos</a> of the set and high school friends of mine who also participated.

Here, at the beginning of the movie, they have us running around a rice patty being ambushed with mortars. They soaked cork in gasoline to make the explosions. They were quite percussive! I'm somewhere out there.

Probably the highlight of the week was when they handed out real M16's (modified to not shoot real ammunition) and 16 fake rounds. They lined us up and let us loose!

This scene was filmed the first day on set. Wounded are airlifted to a mobile hospital. When the doors of the airplane are opened (the airplane was not airworthy), I can be seen slumped at the back of the plane on the right in the shadows.

This is my big scene! I'm preparing a body (of the lieutenant killed in the opening scenes) to be shipped back to the states. I'm the one standing up in the back.

Here I walk across the scene as two actors are talking. I enter the scene at 0:19 on the right, adjusting my cap. Dang I was slender!

A trip to San Diego - Sea World, USS Midway, Zoo and Balboa Park.

The condo we rented was right on Mission Beach.

A cool simulated wave machine.

Not Shamu.

Not Shamu spits at the crowd.

We were in the splash zone, but were spared. Not these folkes.

On the gondola ride.

Booths to dry yourself off after the log ride.

Giant Archimedes' screws powering the log ride.

The Midway was very cool. Lots of volunteers giving information.

A Cessna 172 like this one landed on the Midway during the exodus from Saigon.

He dropped this message to request landing.

Pilots Kenny and Peter.

Chipped beef on toast was pretty standard.

Lots of aircraft on the flight deck.

Peter strapped into a helicopter.

New Guinea Singing Dog at the Zoo.

The gorillas had a lot of space.

This is Kenny today...

and this is a picture of Kenny 7 years ago!

A cool geco.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Monkeys sunning themselves.

Turtles with long necks.

What kind of animal is this?

Gorillas from the air.

Innovative feeding.

Torry Pines glider park.

Balboa Park.

Peter voguing.

Point Loma.

A Sea Hare.

Sylvia really wanted to get a bike ride in and we managed the last day.

Pictures taken by teachers at Peter's Pre School

We travel to Asheville and Charlotte to visit family

A walk around Lake Louise - we discovered delicious wineberries ripening everywhere!

There were wild turkeys everywhere too

At the Western North Carolina Nature Center We have a picture just like this from when Kenny was about 2

Gem mining

Grandfather Mountain

Peter, before his accident

... and after. He didn't want me to touch it for a long time - it looks worse than it is.

Peter turns 4! Grandma made a yummy strawberry cake

Panning for gold at Montreat

Feeing the fish at the Pisgah center for wildlife education

The Cradle of Forestry - we had lots of picnics on our day trips

The Cradle of Forestry has some seriously sturdy picnic tables.

Ann with some of her art

Tom, Jo, Hoyt, and Peter

Eating lunch at Oma's house outside with cousin Conrad

Conrad shows how to do push-ups

Conrad got some pop rocks for July 4th

We camped at Fort Stevens State Park for 3 nights and visited Astoria.

Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon - what a beautiful place! We got an up-close and personal tour of the old guardhouse/prison

The tank testing area

At a wildlife blind. We biked throughout the whole park on the day that we rented bikes

This section of the fort - Battery 245 - is IDENTICAL in structure to the battery at Fort Ebey

The rifle range

The wreck of the Peter Iredale

Miles and miles of beautiful windswept isolation is possible here...

We really enjoyed biking through the park

The bikes we rented from the nearby KOA campsite

The observation tower

A living history demonstration

The old barracks

The moat at the Parados - old civil war era earthworks

Went down to the Columbia river to have our snack

No idea what this is

Mine loading building

Picnic in the grass

Getting ready to roast some marshmallows

Kenny is giving Peter "points" for giving him a head massage

Beautiful views from the Astoria Tower

They sold 1$ gliders to be flown from the top - they were a big hit

We had tuna fish and chips here - interesting, but I prefer halibut

During the tram ride through downtown Astoria, we saw the old staircase from the Astoria Column

Misc. pictures of early 2011

Kenny and Peter putting on a show

At the Somerset Elementary Auction

Kenny's rocket (i.e. Eric's) won the cub scouts rubber band rocket race

A trip to build snow forts at Snoqualmie Pass

Kenny playing tetherball at school

Day trip to Bainbridge Island

We tried cooking and eating some nettles at Coal Creek Park. They were fun to collect, anyway. In terms of taste - I should have made soup instead of just steaming them.

I organized an Earth Day volunteer event at the Bellevue Botanical Garden for the cub scouts

At the Blatts

We took a day trip to San Juan Islan - with Eric flying. This is British Camp

Beautiful beach at American Camp. Nice and sunny too.

Kenny at the Mother's Day party in his first grade class

Neat sunset

Thank you letter, emailed to grandparents...

At the festival of cultures at Somerset, they had a display of what the Japanese earthquake victims used to cook food when they had no other supplies

At Camp Sheppard

Kayaking with Ilana

Kenny doing the cub scout rocket launch

Sally and Judy were there too!

Kenny and Peter put on a show

Cub scout hike to Twin Lakes

Peter was very proud to have his own backpack

Eric was the chaperone on a school field trip to the zoo

Hiking Little Si with Ilana

Ft Ebey cub scout camping trip Peter enjoyed hanging out with the other kids around the fire

Kenny found this fire hydrant out in the woods, in what used to be old military buildings

The old water tower

Kenny graduating from the Tiger den

On a cub scout field trip to the King 5 TV station

July 4th picnic at a local park in Somerset

Kenny and Peter build micro forts in the front yard

Leavenworth and Eastern Washington

The kids and their �forts� in the front yard

The Blatt�s backyard is great for kids

Building at the Adventure Playground on Mercer Island

Peter swimming at Derin�s Birthday party

Camping at Leavenworth - inside the trailer

Peter has �lipstick� on from eating cherries fresh from the trees around the KOA campground

Our next door neighbors had cats

On a hike

Lots of wild cherries!

We rented a bicycle four-wheeler at the Koa

Approaching the Sugarloaf fire lookout near Leavenworth - there was a big fire years ago, that�s why it�s still so barren

We actually got to go inside the fire lookout - way cool!

We had a picnic just outside the lookout - very windy, but we managed to find a wind sheltered spot

We took a trip to Spokane/Eastern Washington. On a path near the hotel we stayed at was a colony of marmots!

Some views of Spokane

A blurry picture, but it�s the only one so I�m including it nonetheless. I used to enjoy roller coasters, but not any more. Must have something to do with aging!

A bike ride along the Centennial trail

At the Grand Coulee damn, we were able to take a guided tour

Irrigation pipes

Steamboat Rock State Park

Each of these layers of basalt columns is a separate lava flow

At Sun Lakes State Park

I was intrigued by this unusual geological formation, with the dips in the cliffs on the right. I wasn�t able to figure out what caused it, until I looked at an aerial view on Google Maps. It can be best seen just southwest of Sun Lakes State Park. It�s caused by rolling hills being ripped away dramatically and suddenly by the Missoula Floods.

At Soap Lake. Sometimes apparently there�s actually some foamy stuff on the sides of the lake, but not when we were there. The water did feel a little weird and soapy, though.

Peter at the Point Defiance Zoo

Luther Burbank Park

Misc pictures from Fall

Picking blueberries

Peter learns to ride his bike without training wheels

First case of road rash

More biking at Newcastle Beach Park

Kenny makes a robot costume

Franklin Falls

We took a guided tour at the old grain mill in Thorpe. Really interesting to see what they did with wood back then.

At the Wild Horses wind and solar farm

This is the base of one of the arms. It's a lot bigger than I thought.

It tapers down to this point

We got to go inside one of the wind turbines

This wind turbine was slowing down and stopping

A sunset with a fire in the Olympic Penninsula

Visiting Judy - she has a particular type of lizard with a fat tail, I forget the name


The Vasilik's throw a going away party before going to Geneva.

Melissa, our nanny, will be taking care of the house.

Cub Scout friends Cary and Jason.

Lisa, Joann.

Sandra and Roger Weber.

Chiyeko, our next door neighbor.

Kobi and David.

Moms group, Francine, Kayoko, Rachel, Francine and Eva.

Kids watching a movie downstairs.

Ilana, Jean and Victoria.

Angie with 2 week old Emmett.

Gary unscrewing the imaginary cap on his cup :-)

Eric and next door neighbor C.V.

Dinarte and Kay


Jean and Jim.

Brett and Steve.

Ilana and Steve.

Brett and Victoria.

Maria Elena and Michael.

The Vasilik Family moves to Geneva. The first three weeks.

Peter posing with our checked luggage in Seattle.

The 747 which will take us to Heathrow where we will catch a plane to Geneva.

Eating lunch (dinner? time is all screwed up for us at this point) at Heathrow. Our gate is not announced until about 45 minutes before departure!

After a "night" of "sleep" we walk around the area our temporary apartment is located.

The swans of Lake Geneva.

The Jet d'Eau.

More swans

A really neat "playground" on the lake which features climbing apparatus made out of old bicycle tires.

Kenny looses a tooth. Is there a tooth fairy that deals in the Swiss Franc? I think so ...

Checking out public transport. The tram is a quick way to get around.

Sylvia is surprised to find a lot of graffiti around the city. I guess this defines it as an urban center!

Checking out the local Ikea where we bought lamps for the kids to read in bed.

Can't leave Ikea without getting hot dogs!

On the second weekend, we went to Le Sal�ve, a small mountain in France, just outside the Geneva border. You can see the gondola in the upper right of this picture.

We went with Paige, a work colleague from Expedia.

A meadow near the top.

As the afternoon wore on, the clouds started to clear.

On the bus going back home.

Visiting the Natural History Museum near the apartment. Great selection of stuffed animals.

What 'Lucy' may have looked like.

In a shoe store near Sylvia's office. There is a slide down to the children's area.

Kenny's birthday! He's turned 8!

A lego AT AT Walker from Grandma and Grandpa.

A friendly cat we found walking around town.

Watches are big here.

A cool type of Merry-Go-Round at a park near the old town.

Another unique piece of playground equipment.

Evidently this is the longest wooden park bench.

We found an Occupy &lt;Something&gt; gathering in the main park during their Kumbaya moment.

A park near the Occupy gathering.

We were approached by a couple of college students wanting to interview us on how we felt about the concept of utilizing children's parks for alternative energy. Sylvia gave her opinion. I don't think it was what they were expecting.

Unusual playground structure. This spun around. Ripe for injury. Eric is inspecting a bus map in the background.

Eric found a women's wallet in the trash which had obviously been thrown away after a mugger/pickpocket stole it and extracted anything of value from it. We were instructed to go to the local police station, but it was closed when we go there. "Banker's hours" seem to apply to most endeavors here.

The local tourist church.

Some dead guy.

An old door.

Did Calvin sit here?

The next weekend we went to the local botanical garden.

Kenny needs to work on his Swiss drinking fountain technique.

A Merry-go-Round at the gardens.

The playground at the gardens.

A horny deer at the gardens?

A carniverous plant exhibit.

We met a very friendly family there. These are their kids with Kenny and Peter.

We tried to get a look at the United Nations next to the gardens, but they were closed

Unicef is nearby as well.

Taking the water taxi accross the lake.

A view of the Jet from the taxi.

Day trip to Montreux and the Chillon Castle

Our first trip on the train. Kenny and Peter are quite excited.

Vineyards cover the landscape on the way there.

Cool cairn sculptures in Montreux.

Sylvia thought these park chairs looked interesting.

Tribute to Freddy Mercury.

The walk along the lake to Castle Chillon.

The Castle!

The main courtyard.

Token knight in shining armor.

A Micrsoft Surface?

Of course they make their own wine!

Kenny simulating an archer.

In the bowels of the castle.

Lord Byron was here.

Executions took place here. Many "witches" were held in the castle prior to "confession" and execution.

Nothing like some good-ole torture.

Remnants of the structure when the castle was built.

Cool shadow movie playing on a wall.

They had a nice lunch room. 3.60 CHF for a bottle of diet coke from a vending machine!

Cool fountain in the courtyard.

The main tower.

There were stairs *everywhere*.

Kenny has a light and a dark side.

Every room seemed to have a large fireplace.

A display of trunks.

I think you can buy this one at Ikea :-)

A not so modern sink and toilet.

Bed warmer, I believe.

The had an exposition on witch hunts. Evidently they were particularly popular in this area.


Yet another fireplace.


View from outside the window.

I wonder if these are original?

A holey door.

Massive locks on this chest.

A stove.

A nook Sylvia likes.

The rock outcropping the castle was built on.

A walkway around the walls.

The entry to the castle.

I found this highway quite elegant.

Clock from 1543

Castle gardens.

What is a castle without some swords?

And a mace.

And a few lances.

Making our way to the very top.

From the top.

The roof on the very top.

Towards Montreux.

From the front.

The Vasilik's spend the weekend in Paris to pick up Eric's visa.

One of these things is not like the others

"MaybeBaby" pregnancy test!

We saw these bicycles used by many all over Paris.

While waiting for the visa, we wondered around. This was on the grounds of an old Army hospital, I think.

And then we went to the Eiffel tower.

While Eric goes back for the visa, Sylvia and the kids climb up to the second stage.

Because the line to the elevator was very long, and it costs money to use (Sylvia hates spending money when there are alternatives).

Cool door.

Ping pong is popular. A concrete table.

Statues and pointy things everywhere!

We took a ride on a Ferris wheel.

How Sylvia gets after frivolously spending money on Ferris wheels.

One of the cool playgrounds we found.

We went to the gardens near the Louvre. Many cool statues.

Chillin' at the pond.

Not sure what this was meant to be.

A fashion shoot on the river?

Notre Dame!

Confessions were being heard!

Joan of Arc

That's quite a chandelier!

Crepes on the street. Nutella of course.

St. Eustace Church.

Another cool playground by the church.

At the Centre George Pompidou we encountered a strange performance art spectacle.

George is not impressed :-)

Near Notre Dame, there were some police divers in the river. Perhaps they are looking for some incriminating evidence?

At the Luxembourg Gardens, we have some exercise class going on.

Kenny and Peter find their own kind of exercise.

The palace at the gardens.

Nearby was a pay-to-play playground. First time we ever paid for the kids to go to a playground. Worth it, as it was a great playground.

Kind of the world.

Cool zip circuit.

Classic Art Deco style entry to the metro.

The Seine.

Near Notre Dame there was a market specializing in birds and small rodents.

Back at Notre Dame. This time the back side.

Can you say buttresses?

Unique swing on the grounds.

And another dish of maximum centrifugal velicity.

Assorted pictures from our first few months in Geneva

This is the shipping container all our worldy posessions were transported in

On one of our first days in Geneva, we were at Parc des Bastion. These university students were surveying people, asking opinions on what we thought about playground equipment being used to generate electricity. Seriously.

Our peps friends. We'll miss them!

One of the many apartments we looked at. Thank goodness we found the place we're in now - this one was in the middle of nowhere.

Cool building we found on our walk to Carouge

The Ronald McDonald house, in Geneva

With my friend Paige at a restaurant

On Paige's deck

At the toy library. It's a neat thing they have here - a place kids can check out toys, and also play with them. Great for rainy days, and Wednesdays, when there's no school.

The famous statues of Protestant leaders at Parc des Bastion

It seems like we've seen the "Occupy XXX" in every major city we've been in recently, including Geneva, Paris, and London

Some pictures of the move into our new apartment

our goods were transported on this elevator to our apartment

Peter loved this little merry-go-round. It wasn't the safest piece of equipment around. That's probably why he liked it so much.

Peter is not happy with mom in this picture.

Something I've never seen before - a hot panini vending machine

A the History of Science musuem. We just discovered this place serendipitously, and enjoyed it. Lots of old scientific instruments.

Right next to the History of Science museum, there's usually some young people doing tightrope walking on weekends

Also there's a parabolic sound reflector in front of the museum. It's amazing how well you can hear voices, even whispers.

The kids and Eric went to a flea market type Christmas sale, where kids sold their own toys. They ended up buying a few things (Power Ranger guys, etc) that they really liked.

A the south end of Lake Geneva is the English Garden. There's a beautiful, bountiful persimmon tree there which I'd love to harvest a few fruits from, but they were far out of reach

Some pictures from the Escalade parade that happened in the Eaux Vives neighborhood

Pictures from the Escalade in Geneva. The Escalade is a fascinating festival that commemorates Geneva's victory in 1602 against attackers from the Duke of Savoy. Lots of Genevans dress up in period costumes, and lots of kids just dress up in all kinds of costumes.

Everything seemed very authentic, down to the candles

It was a little funny to see all these people in period costumes, taking pictures with their cell phones

During the Escalade, the Tower of St. Peter's cathedral is open to visitors, free of charge. It was a little crowded, but there were also some areas that are ONLY open during the Escalade

We got to ring this bell

View of Geneva, including the Jet d'Eaux, from the bell towers

The apartment block centered in this building is where we live.

...and here's a close-up of our building

The monster music box that plays tunes on the bells.

On the outer balcony of the bell tower

This tiny passageway, Passage de Monetier, is open ONLY during the Escalade.

The view of the Jet d'Eaux from our apartment

A concert for Peter's class at school

Christmas at our new apartment. It was pretty rushed and not very traditional, because we flew to London the same day

But Peter really enjoyed his new scooter!

And Kenny was very happy with his Star Wars Lego model

At the CERN visitors center. Eric had a long discussion with a very engaging retired physicist who volunteers there

We saw this amazing cauliflower-like vegetable at the Migros supermarket in Annemasse, France. Thinking back - why didn't we buy it? It was so cool looking, like a fractal vegetable.

Kenny on his scooter - we're about to take the ferry across the water.

I don't think it would have been possible for the tightrope walkers to traverse this one. It was hitting some kind of resonant frequency with the wind

The Vasilik Family spends Christmas in London!

Very close to where we were staying, there was a famous market on Portobello Street.

One of the store was selling old sewing machines! Just kidding :-) They sold clothes, but lined the walls with these sewing machines. We found another like it closer to downtown London.

Also on this street is located the book store featured in the movie <a href="">Notting Hill</a>.

It's no longer a book store, if ever it really was, but they have a sign in the window highliting the movie. Strangely enough, there was a store further up the street which was the focus of a lot of cameras. I think people thought it was the real location.

The living room from the place we stayed. It is the residence of a couple who lends it out when they are away.

Kenny was taking these pictures and has a particular directorial style.

Given that we had to deal with US, Swiss and UK power attachments, we had to build the leaning tower of power.

The Tube was ubiquitous and Sylvia liked it, but Eric liked to take taxis instead.

A special memorial to Princess Diana.

And, a kids park dedicated to Diana as well. She was quite the darling of the British people.

Out and about. These folks were feeding a few pigeons.

Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in Mayfair.

Where is Dr. Who when you need him?

We came upon Buckingham Palace.

The Institution of Civil Engineers. For my Dad :-)

Kenny was particularly interested in seeing Big Ben. It rang 3'oclock for us there.

Some dude on a horse with a sword.

George the 5th.

We never got to the London Eye, but it was huge!

These style of houses were everywhere!

We made the "mistake" of going to the largest mall in Eurore on Boxing Day.

It was nuts. Literally people queuing up to rush in and grab whatever they can.

The British Museum. Really cool.

The courtyard of the original building was enclosed and a circular building built inside.


The Rosetta Stone was the primary attraction. Quite amazing.

Lots of Assyrian and Egyptian stuff.

Giant scarab.

From the Parthenon.

Kenny was interested in the old coins.


Olympic medals for the upcoming games.

Greek Armor.

Roman household items.

Can't leave without looking at a Greek vase.

Bust of emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Emperor Lucius Verus.

Emperor Antoninus Pius.


Emperor Trajan.

Emperor Vespasian.

Emperor Titus.



Gaius Ceasar.


Probably Julias Ceasar.


A war club (?) brought back by Captain Cook!

A model of the solar system.

An ancient game.

Some of the oldest items, dated as far back as 100,000 years!

Where's my Mummy?!

They have a magnificent collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Checking out the Tower of london. Peter with a snack while daddy waits in line for tickets.

It was absolutely packed there!

A drama was being played out to the tourists.

Did I say it was packed there?

The white tower.

The Thames and the Tower Bridge.

Technically, they are animals.

Good armor collection.

Swords of the Kings.

One big gun.

Cannon designed to shoot three projectiles.

A suit for a child.

An indian headdress.

Whimsical dragon.


And cannons.

Changing of the guard.

Huge line waiting to see the crown jewels.

Some of the older parts of the castle.

Off with her head! The location of famous executions.

Carvings in the wall of a prison room.

Traitors gate. Where many prisoners entered the tower.

Outside St. Paul's.

Nobel Street where one can see the original Roman wall.

The Tate museum of Modern "Art".

This is not art.

Neither is this.

Especially not this (a paper shape on a wall).

I think it takes up the awkward place between not art and really not art.

Not art.

A collection of photograpghs. Less not art.

Victoria and Albert Museum.

Herrods. Very big store.

Photo from Westminster Abbey. No photos were allowed :-( Gotta go back. Amazing number of famous tombs.

Back home. More presents!

The Vasilik's spend four days in Rome.

At our hotel, the Residenzia Frattina. We were told that the building dated from the 1600s.

The ceiling in our hotel room looked like the original wood

At the Trevi Fountain.

The Pantheon - the best preserved example of a Roman monument

The Pantheon has a big hole in the ceiling. Apparently it's quite interesting to be in here when it rains.

The parliment building

Familiar, friendly McDonalds. This McDonalds is MUCH cheaper than the one in Geneva - it actually had hamburgers and cheeseburgers for 1 Euro, about 1.30 USD.

These ladies were advertising a particular ski resort, I think.

At the Spanish Steps

We rented one of these 4 wheel electric bikes to go around the Villa Borghese park

Kenny bargained with on of these vendors for a little squishable ball.

At the Coliseum. Very crowded, and much of it was closed off.

Views from the COliseum to the Roman Forum, which I enjoyed much more

This worker was scrapping away at the cement work

It would have been really cool if we could have gone down into the passages beneath the COliseum.

In front of the Roman Forum

Roads, rutted from actual Roman chariots!

The garden of the Vestal Virgins

The Basilica Maxentius, the largest building in the Forum

Peter wanted to display his treasures - his ticket stub, and some daisies he found

This guy looked like an archeologist, taking measurements

At the Piazza Navona, Kenny demonstrates how to use the drinking fountain hole by plugging the main water outlet

Putting on a show

Kenny took a few pictures of our hotel room before we left.

In front of the Castel Sant Angelo

Along the bridge we saw this priest doing some geocaching. We talked to him a bit, he was from the US.

In front of Saint Peter's Basilica. Unfortunately we timed our visit poorly, and were there while it was closed for mass.

The pope, Benedict XVI, giving his weekly homily. He was born in Marktl, Germany, which is about a 30 minute drive from Altheim, Austria, where my father was born. Also, his middle name was Alois, as was my father's first name.

The Vasiliks take the train to Fribourg

We took the train and Kenny and Peter were entertained with the iPad.

We took the recommended waking tour. Turned out to be quite nice.

THe place was almost a ghost town. Of course the law that nearly all shops be closed on Sundays does not help.

Cool set of stairs with a open drainage conduit next to it. I wonder what it smelled like in its heyday :-)

Lots of vertical in this city.

House in the side of a hill.

We found a bunch of fountains on one street, all built in the mid 1500's

Cool covered wooden bridge. Cars and pedestrians share the narrow roadway

Me telling Kenny what the holes in the stone were used for. I assumed posts for old budings.

Peter against a balistraria (arrowslit).

Peter got a kick out of feeding this goat. He also, it seems, got a kick out of the current running through the fence. It did not look like the characteristic electric fence, but at some point Peter started crying and indicated it was the fence. No signs about it either.

Peter, post-shock.

The Berne gate. "Built between 1270 and 1290, the Bern Gate was heightened in the 1380s and shortly after 1400."

Up close at the gate.

A turnstile up a bit at the gate.

Very picturesque.

Cool formations in the river.

This is the emblem of Fribourg

Another view by the river.

Where are all the people?

Peter got a big thrill out of this bouquet of dandelions


Long walk back up the hill.

The Vasilik family visit Amsterdam!

The first thing you notice in Amterdam is there are bicycles <b>everywhere</b>!

There are parking structures dedicated to bicycles.

We frequently saw a mom or dad with two kids on their bike, with a setup like this:

A whole family can ride this one!

Bikes tended to be very "old school". No gears (the terrain is flat). Usually no hand brakes. And, we were told that "nice" bikes stood out and would be a target of theft.

The building with the awnings was our hotel: Hotel de Munck. Expensive, old, primitive. Very nice receptionist. He even lent us his personal power adaptor the first night after we discovered none of ours would work.

Everywhere there are special bike lanes. You have to be careful not to wander into them.

In the nearby park, we found what looked like an old felled tree, but it really was made out of metal!

A special track for walking your bike up the steps.

A "coffeeshop". We never actually went in one but they were everywhere.

Plus lots of places selling paraphernalia.

Healthy snacks.

Dam Square.

There were a lot of "performers" in the square. These weren't the standard "living statues", they were very low rent and low skill.

Later there was a protest against China concerning an "East Turkistan".

Here, the cops seem to be checking their credentials.

We took a the standard canal tour. Nice to sit for a while.

A canal boat turning around.

We saw alongside one of the canals. They're a big competitor of Expedia.

The old locks to the inner city. Now obsolete because of another set of locks covering a wider area.

There were ships like these which are floating hotels.

New construction. The one second from the right is the new library. Very nice.

When we visited the library, we saw this Mouse Mansion

From the top floor of the library

Floating Chinese restaurant.

Houseboats everywhere.

Evidently, the city limits the number of houseboats to about 2,500.

On the Amstel river

Famous view where up to as many as 7 bridges can be seen at once.

Distinctive architecture.

Many buildings have a hoist to bring goods up and down ...

... because the stairs in these buildings are not great for hauling things up and down.

We went to a park where we saw a number of groups working out.

A cool swing desinged for as many as three swingers.

The kids liked getting pushed in this as well.

There must have been a super heros convention in town.

We visited NEMO, a childrens science museum.

One of the demostrations was a giant Rube Goldberg setup.

What is a science museum without bubbles?

The Easter Bunny also visited!

The kids had fun searching for their Easter treasures around the hotel room. Kenny wasn't buying that the Easter Bunny actually brought the presents, until I told him he had to at least pretend to believe, in order to get some loot.

On Easter Sunday, we went to the Zoo. The line was huge. While waiting on line we saw this unusal urinal.

Fun playgrounds at the zoo.

The elusive Patagonian Cavy.

A news crew filming zoo stuff.

In this case, kids were invited to turn over eggs with their noses, simulating what birds need to do.

Prairie dogs.

Good climbing on this!

Peter discovered how to make wings out of his jacket

There was an aquarium at the zoo as well. Here they have a simulation of an Amsterdam canal and the things and fish you might find there.

The piranas were a big hit.

Lion Fish.

Creepy fish things.


Kenny and Peter try to tempt butterflys onto their hands. In the background, this poor three year old fell into a pond.

I'm sure glad cows don't fly! A bird dropped a present on me.

Eric spins Kenny and another child at the playground.

A walkway for chimps to go from their exibit to their sleeping quarters.

It turns out that a newborn chimp died very recently.

It took several days for the mother to mourn the loss of the baby, here on the floor of the enclosure.

I thought there were really small cars in Geneva. They get even smaller in Amsterdam!

The weather wasn't that great, so on Saturday we went to TunFun, a play space which was built underneath an overpass.

There was a slide with about a 5 foot free fall at the beginning

Looks like there is some cleanup needing to be done.

Trams pass right over the playspace.

A bowling alley.

Bouncy house.

Indoor soccer court

The before picture.

We went on a pancake cruise around the harbor. This is a 50's soviet submarine.

Windmills all over the place.

We met Nora and her two children on the Cruise. Very friendly. She answered a lot of our questions about Holland.

Peter and mom on the pancake cruise

Family portrait a la mirror.

This is how recycling is picked up.

Kenny and Peter "reading" comics while we are at a coffee shop (not that kind of coffee shop!).

Pretty picture.

There was a long line for the Anne Frank House - too long for us.

This is the actual house.

Herring is popular.

We visited the "Cat Boat" where there are some permanent residents, and others who are up for adoption.

On the flight back, we met a father and his four children (!) traveling back to Switzerland. We let the kids sit together.

Assorted winter/spring pictures, including Lausanne, Lyon, and Bern.

This skating rink was one of the few good deals in Geneva - free skating, and skate rental only 2 CHF

The bench in the background is supposed to be the longest wooden bench in the world

A model at the Tavel house, one of the oldest houses in Geneva and now a free museum. Geneva was surrounded by massive fortifications until the mdi 1800s.

A sledding trip - we were able to take the train up from Nyon.

Old weaponry at the Geneva Museum of Art and History

These fortifications were discovered when excavating for a parking garage close to the old town of Geneva

Peter discusses the fortifications

In the park next door - Parc de la Grange - after a snowstorm

After a massive wind storm during ice cold weather, this is what you got on Lake Geneva

Rescuing a swan stuck in the ice

Peter gets to go to a birthday party

Back at the Bois de la Batie park - the lake is still frozen

The confluence of the 2 rivers - one glacial, one from Lake Geneva

Sentier de Sous Terre - along the Rhone river. There's some old ruins here, interesting to the kids because of all the lizards basking in the sun there.

Old pumping station

Impressive echo under this bridge

A view from the top, including the pumping station and the Jet d'eau in the background

Another view of the merging of the Arve and Rhone

We took the train to Nyon. It was a very short train ride - only about 10 minutes

The castle of Nyon. Inside was a glass and ceramics museum (not very interesting for the kids) and an old prison (much more interesting)

We had to wait a long time before the museum actually opened

A day trip to Lausanne. Beautiful city, sunny day. Apparently this is the smallest city in the world to have a metro system.

This was a fun little manually-powered merry go round

Biking down the Rhone

Most of the grafitti is just tagging, but these aren't as bad

Biking along Lake Geneva, Jet d'eau in the background

We rented a car and took a trip to the picturesque village of Yvoire. The kids enjoyed skipping rocks into the water most of all

A very long stone bench

Anouk, on Corinna's shoulders, is a friend of Peter's from school

The neighborhood of Eaux Vives held a traditional celebration, burning the embodiment of winter

Biking along the Rhone AGAIN...I think we did this trip 3 times

A weekend trip to Lyon, in France. It was rainy on Saturday, but nice on Sunday. There was some kind of medieval festival going on.

They were demonstating medieval punishments in the street

To escape the rain, we went to a museum of miniatures and film (yes, combined)

This is actually a miniature diorama

... and this as well

My dad would have enjoyed this miniature lathe

At the Roman ruins in Lyon

Some kind of aquaduct?

Great view of Lyon from the Basilica of Notre Dam

They actually have Communist political candiates here

Kenny arranged a gymastic routine

A stroll around the Saleve. This is a jumping off point for paragliding.

The kids took toys with and occupied themselves with them when we took a break

There was an amazing ball-drop contraption at a Buddhist monastary at the top of the Saleve. <a href="">This is the maker's website</a>.

Parc de la Grange (next to our apartment) on a sunny day.

Bern - we spent the weekend in this beautiful little city. Here's Kenny on our way to our hotel

The hotel was fine, except for the beds which were rock hard

Open grates next to the fountains

A well-protected collection box at the cathedral

Views from the top of the cathedral

These metal devices were designed fo