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2003 Adventures

Christmas
Bishop, CA
19-31 December, 2003
1-4 January, 2004

Molly on ATV

Our Christmas in California was filled with wonderful family outings as well as adventures of every sort. We enjoyed cross country skiing, down hill skiing, exploring the valley on four-wheelers, walks with the dog, playing cards, watching movies, eating at our favorite Mexican joint (Amigo's), and catching up with family. In addition, we got a taste of what it's like to live in a small town where the only major grocery store (Vons) is on strike, which meant we either had to cross the picket line or venture into the local hometown market to buy groceries.

During the day, we took off for the slopes. While Brian and Tracy flew down the mountain, I took lessons where I initially learned to snow plow and eventually to parallel. By the third day, with Tracy gone to Tahoe, Brian and I skied together. He was an ever-patient teacher and I tried to be an equally good student, although I can't say that I succeeded for the entire day. However, I made it down a powdery, quasi-mogul covered black diamond run (once :-), and by the end of the day I began to feel like I might be a pretty decent skier next time we make a trip to the mountains. One side note which I must include is how fun it was to ski at June Mountain rather than the more resortified Mammoth Mountain. June was less expensive, had very convenient parking, numerous long runs, and offered somewhat private skiing. We even found a run or two with no other skiers. Compared to the hustle and bustle of Mammoth, where you worry a three year old might plow you over, June was certainly a nice contrast.

In addition to our adventures on the slopes, Brian decided he would like to rent quads (aka four-wheelers) for the day. We were both blown away by the number of trails in the Owens Valley which are available to off-road vehicles. We managed to explore 45 miles worth of trails.and we left several hundred or thousand more for our next visit. Even more impressive than the expanse of land we raced across was the agility and power of the quads. Riding up an extremely long, practically vertical hill was no problem for them; neither was driving with two wheels off the ground on a snowy, slanted dead-end road. Brian absolutely LOVED the experience and now insists on going into every dirt bike and four-wheeling shop we encounter. I enjoyed it as well, and discovered that it was a fair workout to ride all day.

At the conclusion of our trip, we returned to Los Angeles to stay with Brian's grandma. We decided to check out the La Brea tar pits. What an awesome place! Not only was it quite shocking to see pits of tarry, black water in a park in the middle of the city, it was even more incredulous to imagine the animals that once resided there. Millions of Ice Age fossils have been recovered from the tar pits, ranging from Columbian Mammoths and dire wolves, to ground sloths and saber-toothed cats. Scientists are still excavating Pit 91 today. Each summer they manage to dig up approximately 3 squares (3 X 3 X 3), which they investigate and catalogue during the winter months. Surprisingly, paleontologists not only search for and catalogue the large bones, they also painstakingly analyze every square inch of the matrix (muddy-tarry soil), looking for mouse toe bones and ancient bacteria. What a job!

We had a wonderful trip and Christmas holiday!

Christmas Photos! || La Brea Tar Pit Photos! || Map


Thanksgiving
Charleston, IL
27-30 November, 2003

Brian, Alex, Molly, Joan, Buddy, & Melinda

Fun times with family, fantastic food, and frequent fat-burning walks were the theme of our Thanksgiving trip to Charleston to visit the Ware's. We left Thursday morning at 4:00 a.m. to avoid Atlanta traffic, a decision which ended up paying off. We made great time on the way up and were early for our Thanksgiving feast.

After seeing all the renovations my parents had done on their house, we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner. Afterwards we drove out to their land in the country for a much needed hike. The weather was still fairly balmy, but the strong winds were in the process of delivering cold temperatures and snow flurries, a rare treat for us Georgia folk. After our walk, we came home and were able to convince Brian to try playing cards. He is not typically the biggest game fanatic, but during our visit, I think he'd admit to enjoying cards, at least a little. He was certainly a good sport, and willingly played cards all three nights.

On Friday morning, we woke up to a sprinkling of snow on the ground and the scent of waffles for brunch. Since the family was all together, we decided to celebrate Christmas early rather than shipping our gifts and not getting to share them in person. After opening all of our beautiful gifts, we went on a hike at Fox Ridge State Park and then returned home to play cards. Saturday morning we loaded into the Corolla (Joan, Alex, Molly, Brian, Melinda, and, of course, Buddy - my parents' West Highland White Terrier) to head to Turkey Run State Park just over the border in Indiana. We hiked through the sandstone canyons surrounded by hemlock groves and enjoyed Buddy's limitless energy and enthusiasm for running, sniffing, and getting wet and muddy. On the way home we pigged out at Outback and then drove home with Buddy in the back window of the car, a perfect sized kennel for the white rabbit. :-) We truly had a great time; it was great to see my parents again and to enjoy being with family for the holidays.

Photos!


Sailing - Jen's Visit
Lake Hartwell, GA
8 November, 2003

Jen, Molly, & Brian

The weather was virtually perfect for our sail today! Brian and I, along with a college friend Jen Anderson, enjoyed the gusty winds which filled our sails. Being the most tentative sailor in the bunch, I was initially quite surprised by the incredible lean a sailboat takes on in decent winds. But after a few tacks, I began to realize the boat would not flip. And into the wind we went.

We sailed all morning and made it from the dock to the dam and almost back before the wind died. What a great time!

Jen stayed with us for the rest of the weekend and discovered some of the highlights of Athens. Some of these included the awesome ice cream at the Marble Slab Creamery, fine Italian dining at DePalma's, and best of all, Molly and Brian's home cooked Mexican cuisine. After stopping in Atlanta on the way to the airport, Jen reluctantly headed back to wintery Boston, quite sold on the perks of Athens. We had a great visit and a wonderful weekend.

Photos!



Jeanine & Damon
Concert: Jeanine Thames & Damon Denton
Athens, GA
29-30 October, 2003


Sweet Feast!
Molly's Southern Living Party
Athens, GA
28 October, 2003

Decorating galore was the theme of this evening. Fifteen friends, neighbors, and co-workers attended the Southern Living party I hosted for a fun-filled evening of sweets, holiday shopping, and good times.

Feast photos!


24 Hours of Adrenalin
Conyers, GA
18-19 October, 2003

Los Patacones (Team #502): Brian, Oscar, Molly,
Carolyn, Jason, Pierre, Ivan, & Cameron
 

Mountain biking for 24 hours was an absolute blast, as everyone on our eight person team or any of the other 800+ riders who participated in the event would definitely confirm. Ivan (one of our teammates) moaned for days if not weeks after the race that he was "bike sick"!

The event took place in Conyers, GA at the Georgia International Horse Park - the site of the 1996 Olympic mountain biking course. We entered the event as a corporate team, which allowed us to ride with 6-10 riders in relay fashion. Our team was quite the motley bunch. Our team captain and sponsor Carolyn Arnold drove up from Florida; Cameron Martindell flew in from Washington state; Pierre, a friend of Ivan's from France flew in from Michigan; and Jason a friend of Carolyn's drove up from Alabama. The rest of our team included two of our local biking buddies, Oscar and Ivan (both from Colombia), plus Brian and myself.

The course consisted of an eight mile loop through the woods which might sound pretty tame, but when you throw in the brutal hills (both up and down), tight turns, rocks, roots, and over 1.5 miles of granite slab it certainly kept you on your toes, especially when riding at night with only a helmet mounted light to illuminate the path! Our team kept our laps right around an hour; at the end of the event we had logged 26 laps as a team and placed fifth out of sixteen corporate teams. Amazingly, the top solo riders who entered the race as individuals and took virtually no breaks logged 23 laps! Incredible, isn't it? We look forward to another opportunity to challenge ourselves in such an amazing environment. :-) If you hear of anything or are looking for another team member for a similar event, definitely let us know!



Stingray!
Molly's 8th Grade Science Field Trip
Skidaway Island, GA
9-10 October, 2003
  • Trip Photos

Note: If interested send us an email and we will send you a link to view the photos.



?? & Kitty
Atlanta Braves
Atlanta, GA - Turner Field
26 August, 2003

Atlanta, GA
3 June, 2003



Morning Glory Pool
Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks
Wyoming/Montana
23 July - 2 August, 2003

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