Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Here we're in Ketchikan in the totem park--tall trees with totem poles interspersed. A beautiful walk, quiet, dewy, inspirational. At the same park we spotted two bald eagles just sitting in the tree, high above it all. A native flower in its glory and another kind of glory as we saw in Victoria BC--this is a government building, lit up at night. Awesome!

Juneau was our first stop and opportunity to get off the ship. The first picture is the sight we saw from the top of the tram, 1800 ft straight up the mountain. We had time to hike, shoot pictures and take in all the mountain beauty. A stream flows down the huge mountainside where we also caught a glimpse of a single mountain goat. Lots of green and lovely flowers.

Here is the group at the Italian restaurant with Jon and Rebecca in the foreground. The next picture is the illustrious gang of ten in our matching T-shirts which Andrew was responsible for drawing. Great job Andrew--they looked very professional. Lastly, here's the birthday girl with cake-one of the many luscious desserts we indulged in (this huge one I shared).

Andrew and Maren enjoying a snack on the verandah (sorry Andrew, not your best picture :) Maren is standing next to Sarah Palin (poster) and Ryan with Glacier Bay at the backdrop.

Here are some of the fun things we did. Picture 1 is salmon spawning in a tiny area where fresh water mixes with sea water. Just in front of Brooke there are a bunch of salmon laying their eggs. They look just like the rocks Brooke is standing on, but they wiggle back and forth and when finished swim back out into the sea water. Next picture is the "aquarium" a one-room tank with an exceptionally large number of sea life. We also played a bit of ping pong. Since I'm not accomplished at this sport (I don't think any really) I asked to just volley back and forth with everyone. It was a lot of fun, and Kate was always there to go running after the ball for us. Thanks guys!

This is beautiful Glacier Bay. The white pieces in the first picture are icebergs. They are small and not dangerous, but they surrounded us. As you can see it was a beautiful sunny day. The water was clear as glass in the bay, here with not so many icebergs.

Of course, the scenery was fabulous! The weather was cool, but most days were sunny. Sometimes we had fog and clouds, even a tiny bit of rain, but mostly it was just gorgeous as the following pictures show.

Here are some cute pictures of Kate. She was too young to leave home, and I thought she might have a hard time on the trip. But she surprised us. Except for not wanting to have her picture taken, she was perfectly agreeable the whole time. Notice the confidence as she drags her little monkey suitcase. In the first picture, she is dancing all by herself on the dance floor. The last picture is in Sitka.

There were many fun places to gather. Early mornings found many of us in different places working off the delicious food we enjoyed everywhere! The first photo is the gym which included a giant view of where we were traveling. The middle picture is our first dinner at a table for 10. We celebrated my birthday, even though it was a month earlier. Nice thought though! The next picture shows us relaxing in the Crow's Nest, high above the front of the ship. This was an exceptional view and great place to read, listen to music, chat and "hang out."

In the center picture, we're all waiting for the van to pick us up at the airport in Seattle. It's about 2:30 pm and we're supposed to be there at 3:30. We are thinking we have plenty of time, but when we got to the dock at 3:30 and got on--we had about 15 minutes before the ship took off. Other pictures are the infamous guys of the family and a look at one of our many get togethers in the bigger cabin. We enjoyed room service quite a few times--most of the time ordering our favorites--hot chocolate and cookies. We also celebrated Ryan's birthday here with cake and ice cream. Lots of chatting, joking and just happy being together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here is a quick look at Jeannie's home. Of course she and Emmett have done a beautiful job of decorating. They are really good at it. First is the kitchen which looks out onto the huge patio and backyard. Next is the master bedroom, looking out to the backyard also. Next is the entry and breakfast room, and last is the backyard with large trees, gazebo, fountain and 180 ft of new fence. It's a very nice 55 and up neighborhood located close to many wineries, one of which we had a short tour--no samples though. Besides all the touring, we visited several thrift shops where they find many interesting items. Mother and I came home with several new shirts, books and a few other things. Very fun!

Here are a few pictures along the way from Mother's and my trip to Santa Rosa. It was perfect weather all the way. We stayed in Cambria on the coast the first night (the first picture). We visited Cambria Lodge and they have beautiful gardens which we walked through and took this picture. The next picture is of Mother, Jeannie and Emmett in Sonoma eating our lunch in the shade outside of one of many wineries. They really showed us around the area, which we loved seeing. Mother was such a good sport, even though she got a little tired. I think she's glad to be back home again--but we had a lot of fun. The next picture is coming down Highway 1 coming home. The road is windey, but the views are spectacular.

It's been a great year for flowers. The garden has already produced a bunch of tomatoes, a little broccoli, enough strawberries to make freezer jam, and everything is just beautiful. It's been a pretty cool summer so far.

A little cousin time together. We also had a mini music night. Rebecca favored us with a very difficult and nicely done piano solo. Our musicians are improving and increasing. Yay!

Here we are still at Griffith Park. Matthew and Kate are riding horses together and then Kate and Katie together. No one freaked out and they really liked riding. Next picture is on the miniature train--a nice ending before we all came home.

I really enjoyed having Jon's and Ryan's family here for a few days. The first and third pictures are at Griffith Park Observatory. Darice and the kids weren't there that day, but Brooke, Jake and Kate joined us several times during the visit. You can probably see the "Hollywood" sign in the background. Josh is contemplating with Enstein in the 3rd picture. The middle picture is Brent and Josh BBQing hamburgers. They did a good job, but the gas was too low and we couldn't get them to cook. Thank goodness for microwave ovens.