Monday, August 18, 2008

Traditions: old and new

The last two weeks have seen us observe one annual tradition, start what will hopefully become a new one... and celebrate an anniversary.

First off, the weekend before last, Sarah, our friend Ambika and I loaded our camping gear into the Honda, and headed up into the Cascades again. This time, it was for the Annual Lake Phucquala Camping Trip. This camping trip began back in the misty backwaters of time, when my dad and two of his friends would head into the woods, dragging their sons in tow. As the years have passed, the roster of these camping trips has changed from year to year (this year, in addition to the three of us, it was also my dad, his two friend and one of their wives), but the location has stayed fairly constant over the last half dozen or so years: Lake Phucquala. You won't find Lake Phucquala on any of the maps, namely because it's the name we've given to a small swimming hole between the Salmon La Sac campgrounds and the Lake Tacquala.

Sarah, the belly monkey and I... in the woods again.

Years ago, my parents actually lived up at Lake Tacquala each summer in a small cabin. My father was in Forest Service, and combined with their winter exodus to Sun Valley, Idaho (where he worked as a ski patrol man); I see parallels between those years for them and mine and Sarah's journey last year. A path less taken and adventures outside the usual 9 to 5 lifestyle.

The cabin my parents lived in each summer, years ago.

Sadly, this year, the weather was on the cold side, so we weren't able to take full advantage for the Lower Lake Phucquala swimming hole. But, we were still able to make a trip up to show Sarah and our friend the wild flowers around Tacquala as well as the cabin my parents once lived in.

OK... I was able to do a little floating in an intertube. But, it was cold.

Ambika gets to knock 1 thing off her list of "100 Things To Do Before you Die," ...lay in a field of wildflowers.

In addition to the boozy fun of camping at Lake Phucquala, Sarah and I also got to take part in the Inaugaral Meeting of the Whidbey Island Country Club this last weekend. The Whidbey Island Country Club wasn't an actual country club, instead it was our friends' parents' house on Whidbey Island. Still, we all got dress up in our finest whites, linens and summer party dress and made our way to Whidbey Island.

Everyone dress up for summer, and enjoying a game of croquet all civilized-like.

Sarah and Charity, looking their best.

There we indulged in champagne, cocktails and lawn games ranging from croquet to Lebonese Horseshoes. This time, the weather was our friend, and between the sun and cocktails, everyone had a great time as the afternoon rolled on. Also on hand was a surprisingly large number of dogs and babies. Apparently, Sarah and I aren't the only ones getting domestic these days. Plus, it proved a wonderful opportunity to ride a ferry... something Sarah and I realized neither of us had done since the sketchy ferry rides of the Mekong Delta tour.

Ben and I show off our skills with the mallet.

The less we talk about this, the better.

Here's hoping that there will be a Second Annual Whidbey Island Country Club gathering.

Finally, wedged between those two gathers was a little Anniversary: Sarah and mine's third wedding Anniversary. Our "official" dinner is actually later this week, at the Corson Building. But, we still had a wonderful dinner at Sitka and Spruce.

Honeypie! I love you even more than a did a year ago in Istanbul!

Speaking of Sarah, let's check out how the tummy monkey is developing!
Sarah at 25 weeks! On possibly her last pre-baby trip to the woods!

Sarah at week 26! All dressed up for the country club!

The complete Lake Phucquala photos.
The complete Whidbey Island Country Club photos.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Departures, Birthdays and Weddings

Quick entry this week!

Last weekend was a flurry activity for Sarah and I with one friend having a going away party (he's moving to New York), another celebrating her 30th Birthday, and two other friends getting married to each other. It was the sort of whilrwind of activity that literally makes you sad to see the weekend end, but which also leaves you more tired and harried than when it started. Still, good food, good wine (for me at least) and great company! Who can really complain... even if we are falling behind on chores around the house.

Here's Sarah!

24 weeks!

In that picture, Sarah is all dressed up for our friends Birthday dinner. The party itself was a Marjorie. It's one of our favorites, and actually were I celebrated my 30th Birthday. Good stuff!

But, even though we are behind on our chores and projects at the house, I can definitely tell the nesting instinct is kicking in. The babies room might still a pile of stuffed animals and baby clothes, surrounded by a light dusting of sample paint chips; but we've got a dinning room table...

Hopefully this will mean lots of dinner parties in our future! Although it is odd to think that just a year ago, we were still homeless and living out of our backpacks. How things can change in a year.

From drifting to nesting.