The purpose of this blog is twofold. First and foremost it is in preparation for an upcoming class that I will be teaching at the Lister Academy - it will allow for me to experiment with the technology that we will be using in the class, plus give a forum for my students and I to stay connected.
Secondly, this blog gives a nice side-effect that our friends and family can see what we're up to during our travels. I hope that all viewers (students, colleagues, friends and family) will enjoy the posts and feel free to leave your own comments.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to Northern California

I would never have thought that I'd have even less time to post on the blog once we got back to Northern California. If we could still find time after a full day of hiking in the national parks, then surely it would be feasible when hanging out with family... I couldn't have been more wrong! The thing about hiking is that we typically aimed to be off the trail before nightfall, so even if we were exhausted we were home in the evenings. Family time knows no such limits. I am writing this post after arriving back in NH on August 24th, but I do want to capture and recap some of what went on so that it gives this blog some closure (for now). This post will summarize the family gatherings other than the wedding itself - that will get its own post.

We left San Francisco on the morning of Wednesday the 18th (after quite a hassle with getting our car out of valet parking - we won't go back to the Best Western, Hotel California again), and drove the 6 hours north through Napa and Sonoma Valleys to get to McKinnleyville where Corey and Amber live. There was a cookout at their house so that arriving family and friends from all three families could start to meet and co-mingle. If I haven't mentioned before, it is 3 families because it is a double wedding - Amber is getting married to my brother Corey (couple on right), and her twin sister Ana is marrying a wonderful guy named Adam (couple on left). I've never met any of Amber and Anna's family, or Adam and any of his family, so this was a night that definitely taxed my ability to learn names.

Thursday morning everyone gathered again to go on a small hike in the redwoods. This is an incredible thing to do at any time, but we were especially privileged to have Adam as a guide - a professional in the area of botany and forestry. It was quite a sight for other visitors to watch him guide 30 of our family members through the trails and into the woods, calling our attention to particularly interesting features. As Adam was stopped at some of the trees, various members of the family (generally led by Corey) would run around back and scamper up for exploration and photo shoots. Where you see Carmela and me standing is not between 2 trees - it is up in a forked trunk of a single tree.

That evening, we all had a pizza party at the rental house that we were renting with my father and stepmother. This was the site for even more family to arrive. Then Corey and Amber arranged for a very generous friend, Kimmy, to watch all of the children (there were about a dozen) so that the adults could go out. Adam and his band were playing at the Clam Beach Inn (check out the video below), and it made for a great location for an extended family reunion. There were some family members there that I hadn't seen for more than 15 years - with a whole generation of children that I had never met. It was great to get together, talk about old times, and catch up on the current going-ons.

There will need to be additional posts for the rehearsal dinner and wedding, as well as the time after the wedding.

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