Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Family Festivities

Rob and Rachel like to think of themselves as extreme weekend warriors (in a cosmopolitan way). Until the moment when our family expands by a kid or two, we have tried to see as much of the world as possible. Although Seattle has been home for only six months, we've seen more of the greater Puget Sound area than many locals. We have been known to plan and execute weekend trips to Dallas, Oregon after a five minute discussion. October and November have been no exceptions. We managed to pack an absurd amount of activities into eight small weekends including 1 trip to Tampa to see Andy and Joanne, 1 trip to Houston to see Katherine and Jarrod, 1 "Octoberfest" weekend that included bratwursts and a corn maze in Woodinville, 1 lazy weekend of family photos (Photogenic Family), 1 trip to the Oregon coast for Rachel's grandparents' 60th anniversary, 1 birthday weekend for Rachel, and 1 upcoming Mardock Family Thanksgiving Extravaganza (pictures in a week or so) in beautiful Porterville, CA. Below are a selection of pictures and links to pictures from the past few weeks.

Andy and Joanne recently moved to Tampa, FL for a big promotion. We visited them a few weeks ago and saw Myakka State Park (closer than the Everglades). Below, we're crossing a "canopy walk" in the trees. We also saw gators, wild pigs, and about a hundred hungry turkey vultures. We also visited the Tampa Bellamy's favorite coffee shop, Sumatra Coffee, and enjoyed a great iced mocha. Late night the next day we visited a highly rated coffee shop close to USF with the worlds most expensive coffee. I won't revel the name, but I did submit a clever review here. In addition to coffee, Andy, Joanne, Rachel, and Rob intricately carved pumpkins for a few hours and ate very good BBQ at a local dive. Fun times all around. If you're wondering what to do one weekend, go visit Andy and Joanne in Tampa. I'm sure they would be happy to have visitors.

Canopy Walk, leading to a scary-high observation tower

A couple of weeks later, Rob and Rachel visited their good friends in Houston. Below are Katherine, Jerrod, Ryan, and Rachel. We also saw Jude, Suzy, Ejituru, and Zach. It was exciting to be back in our home of two years. It always feels strange when you return after a long time. Like everything will have somehow changed. But the only change was that Rachel and I felt a big warm fuzzy inside for being back "home."

The best part about Houston is the people

Obligatory beach photo at Yragui 60th anniversary (Rob's always the one taking the picture)

Rachel turned one year the same a couple of weeks ago, and family from the Bellamy and Mardock side came over to say hello. Unfortunately, Rob's habit of taking candid snapshots reveals none good enough to post here (unless you want to see a photo of Chris tormenting Jackson with a party favor).
Jeanne made the amazing spice cake from the recent Sunset Magazine cover

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