News around the house: 2008

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Christmas in Florida

We regret that we don't have the hundreds of photos we tookin Merritt Island and Tallahassee because someone stole the memorycard where they were stored (along with the attached camera). But we do have a few shots of our kayak trip down theWakulla River that Mike took with his new waterproof camera from Santa.

The Wakulla River was just warm enough that we got to gawk at a couple of small gators, butcool enough to ensure they weren't frisky. (Sierra still talks aboutthe summer we forced her to paddle through a hundred huge, hungry alligatorswhile water mocassins dangled from the tree branches waiting to drop onto unwary canoeists. Kathi will admit that might have been just a teensy bit scary when Sierra isn't around to overhear.) We think we found Gayle and Tom's secret fishing hideaway, too!

Thanksgiving

What a marvelous way to start our holiday season (except for the part aboutgaining weight)! Barkley thoroughly exhausted himself begging for turkey, gobbling upturkey, and generally being spoiled by visiting relatives.

Fall

Garden harvest was smaller than in other years, especially the tomatocrop (after very late frosts/snows, crop virus in June, and cool August). Butwe did get about 80 tomatoes and every single one has ripened indoors. Butternutsquash harvest was good, and we still have beets and chard. Tomatillos and jalapeno peppers did very well. Beans, broccoli, cucumbers, and yellow squashwere so-so. Thank heavens for farmer markets!

So far, the fish harvest is the best in two years for Mike! Perhaps theruns are starting to improve again.

Summer

Mike kicked off the late-summer salmon season in Astoria with a keeper on the first day! And cousin Angie droppedby for a visit in late July--her first time back to Portland in five years.

July trip to Montana

We made our annual trek to Montana in time for Don's birthday, this time with Mike's new kayak in tow.

Joan totally wimped out on those water wars that Kathiheard so much blustering about at Christmas, but there's always next year. (Sure, Joan, blame it on frequent flyer availability.) Despite some cool days, we allenjoyed our favorite water sports and hiking. It was a special treat that some of Uncle Dick's family visited while we were there, and that we all got a very colorful lesson from Queen Debbie on the finer points of picking huckleberries!

10th anniversary trip to Orcas Island

Over the July 4 weekend, we headed for the peaceful San Juan Islands. (It's peacefulonly after the harrowing trek through Seattle traffic and the 4-hour ferry wait.) Weenjoyed relaxing in a rustic cabin with a view of water and deer, browsing a few scenicpottery vendors, sampling native cuisine (and chocolate!), scaring the dickens out of Barkley with hisfirst-and-last fireworks display, frolicking at a concert and parade, hiking up Mt. Constitution fora terrific view, and paddling the still morning waters to view eagles, seals, nestingwhite baby seals, and eagles eating nesting white baby seals. One of these days we'll geta zoom lens and take some nice wildlife photos to share; in the meantime, squint real hardand imagine you're viewing wildlife!

Winter

Tropical escape to Maui

In February, we met up in Maui as Mike returned from New Zealand. Mike's parents, Don and Marilyn,flew over with Kathi. They rented a condo for the entire month, but since we are not retired we spent10 days there.

We split our trip between two sides of the island: lush Hana and dry Kihei. Thesephotos show a little of the infamous wet and wind-y road to Hana (with thousands of waterfalls--we've sparedyou most of those photos), some of the reknown black sand and red sand beaches, Charles Lindbergh'sgrave, one of the local fruit stands we frequented (where Kathi rode a bicycle to power the blender for her smoothie), and many miles of hiking in Haleakala National Park. In February, Hana is quite stormy,the waterfalls are raging torrents, and the seven sacred pools are anything but peaceful, yet everythingwas gorgeous nonetheless. In Kihei, we found dry, sunny beaches, enjoyed grilling fish in Don and Marilyn's condo, started each day with a walk along the ritzy Wailea waterfront trail, and visited the Maui Ocean Center.

Mike's sabbatical in New Zealand

Kathi never did figure out how to post the video of Mike's bungee jump. Buttrust us, it was scary...and way cool!


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