Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camping and bottling

Don't you love how, in the my last entry, I boldly claimed that I was going to start posting on a weekly basis... and then promptly disappeared for about two weeks. My bad!

Actually, I'm blaming summer! Despite the notably lackluster weather, our summer plans have somehow run off the rails, and we've now found ourselves in a situation where we feel like we are playing perpetual catch up. Luckily, a lot of our "obligations" have been fun ones.

For starters, two weekends ago, we made our way out to Lake Kachess in the Cascades for our annual Cancerian Camping Trip with my brother, sister-in-law and about two dozen of our closest friends. Camping with that crew is generally more about grilled meat and warm cheap beer. But, Lake Kachess is still a stunning location.

Travis and our friends look out over Lake Kachees.

Big J plays the guitar... well, until the camp host came by at midnight to tell us to stop singing old Pearljam songs.

In addition to sitting around the campfire, playing cornhole and taking a short hike, we also spent a lot of time just floating on Lake Kachess in our inter tubes. Probably my favorite moment of the weekend was an extend float with Sarah, my brother and another friend where we made our way down the lake from the public park back to our campsite. Floating on a lake, drinking beers and talking to friends is definitely one of life's great pleasures.

Sadly, I didn't get an pictures of us floating on the lake, so here's me sitting in a stump throne.

In addition to it being Shahaf's Bachelor Party, this weekend was also the bottling of the 2007 Ranger Rick Red. As regular reader know, me, Sarah, my dad and several of our family friends have been making our own wine. My dad's college friend, Gary, started making wine years ago, and last year brought Sarah and I into the fold. This year was my dad's turn, and we ended up setting up a barrel in the crawlspace below my parents place.

Bottles drying and preparing to be filled.

Gary fills a bottle from a carboy. To the left of him, you can see the corker.

Since the barrel was a new one, it oaked up faster than usual, so this last weekend we got to empty barrel into bottles.

The barrel... recently emptied.

Another neat thing that happened last week was that we got a package in the mail. A week or so ago, I contacted the Washington State Archive and asked them if they had any photos of our house from "back in the day." As it turns out they did have one on file, from 1950 (the year after it was built), so for a small fee they sent me a copy of it. Here it is...

Isn't it cute! To see it today, click here.

It's interesting how buying a house has made me suddenly and massively fascinated in my neighborhood. I try to chat it up with our neighbors. And find myself reading up on Beacon Hill and Georgetown's histories. And, browsing local blogs. I've lived in a number of Seattle's neighborhoods at this point (The U District, Greenwood, Queen Anne Hill, Capital Hill and Belltown) and while there were things I liked about all of them; I haven't ever felt this compulsion to feel connected to it history.

Maybe its because we own the house. Maybe it's because our trip actual strengthened my attachment to Seattle. Maybe its because I'm getting older. Or, maybe it's because we are having our first child. Whatever the reason, I find myself really intrigued by where we live.

And I think we're framing the picture.

Oh, and speaking of having a baby. Here's Sarah!

(Since I didn't get a post in last week, you get to see a double feature!)

Sarah! Camping at 22 weeks!

Sarah! Back home at week 23! She's definitely grown since I started taking her picture at week 19th!


(Complete photos of the Lake Kachess camping trip. Complete photos of the wine bottling.)

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