27 April 2008

Adrianne is Engaged!

Adrianne got engaged on 20 April. I only show a couple of photos here, but you can read the whole story on Adri's Blog Blog (link in upper right area of this blog)
She is engaged to Russ Lee, a fine young man she met at School last year. Russ is the youngest of 9 children. See photos of the happy couple on Adri's Blog Blog
Trying on some dresses the following week
The wedding is planned for August 15th (probably, but not final) They will be married in Mesa Arizona, in August. Bring your own fan!

Italy with Jason & Lissa

Jason & Lissa's on-again off-again trip to Europe finally happened. Lissa finally got to feeling better with her pregnancy pains, so they made arrangements and flew on over! One highlight of our time together was taking a trip to Italy. It was a successful time filled with fun, surprises, and seing some wonderful sights

We started in Pisa, to visit the fameous Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was still leaning when we left, despite our valiant efforts to set it upright. There is really not much else to see there, so after an hour of pictures and shoppping the souvineer vendors, we went to Camp Darby and our cozy rooms.

The next morning, we drove up to the Cinque Terra - Five Cities along the coastline all linked together by a paved walking path. It was very beautiful, We did not hike to all the cities, only the first two. This one was very scenic, and we stopped here for ice cream before taking the train back to our starting point. Jason acutally ran into a collegue from work near this site. What a small world! That afternoon we drove over to Vincenza, and spent the night on the army base near Venice.

The next morning we parked on the outskirts of Venice and walked to the main tourist sites. It was nearly as busy that day as it was when Elaine and I went to Carnival a few months earlier. The water was very high, and must have been higher the day before, because there were still lots of elevated walk platforms around, and part of St Marcos Square was still ankle deep in water. But it turned out to be a lovely day, considering the weather report had called for rain! Another famous photo-op in Venice.

The second half of the day we headed up into the Dolimites - or mountains of Northern Italy. Jason had always wanted to see them and do some climbing. Time did not allow for much climbing, but we did see some beautiful sights! It makes me miss the mountains!

13 April 2008

Budapest Revisited

Elaine and I went to Budapest back in 1987, when it was still under communism. We decided to return again to see how it had changed. The weather forecast was for damp and rain, but it was mostly sunny and warm while we were there.

I thought this photo symbolized the change we found overall. The cleaned stones near the top of the church shine compared to the dingy grey of the lower portion. The grimy-grungy appearance is the way we remember most everything in Hungary under communism. Like the signs of spring all around us, the people of Hungary are blossoming after the cold winter of the old regime.

We went out for some night shots - and ran into a full scale depolyment of riot police, protecting the embassies and government buildings from some protestors. TV crews and helicopters were out in force. It was kind of fun and exciting.

Here is another "knight" shot we took.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist that one...