my crew

the most amazing person i know.  smart, witty, talented, patient, funny, sleepy, photogenic, loving, accepting, inspiring, hard working, earnest, and easy on the eyes.  

we almost gave up on hiking to yosemite falls because of the concoction of heat + stress + fatigue.  chalk one up for us. we summoned our collective second wind and ended up (along with a bunch of other people) getting soaked with the overspray of the falls.  sonja was cautious, simon was laughing, and kale was flying around like a monkey.  

this was part of our epic summer vacation '11, which included several parks, gorgeous scenery, a broken down car, a death in the family, lots of interesting food, trees and whales and peacocks, new friends, and a true boys-to-men maturation, minus the sweater vests and bowties .  

inspiration point, overlooking jenny lake.  we hiked up here on yet another tour through the grand tetons in wyoming.  this is some of our favorite country.  we make an effort to get out here annually.  kale really likes the hiking.  simon hates it.  well, he likes eating the snacks out of the backpacks.  i think he doesn't like kale getting ahead, which fuels kale's motor even more.  

we buy a magnet and a shot glass from every place we've been as a family.  it's our mission.  we've got one of those stainless steel fridges that won't hold a magnet on the front, so the side of our fridge is covered in magnetic memories.  for some reason, we don't have a memento from the tetons.  we forget every time and, when we return again, can't remember if we bought something already.

glacier national park.  we had a cabin for a couple of days and allowed that to qualify as camping.  i really think the boys grew up quite a bit on this trip.  kale's got his little fashion plate going on, and simon grew another two inches during our summer travel.  my favorite guys in the world.

this is salem sue.  we decided to pull over on the side of the road and get a close-up view of her.  she is hanging out in north dakota, i think.  you can't miss her.  she is udderly unique.  sorry.

we like to spend time at the feig cabin, 20-some miles north of grand marais in northern minnesota. that's lake superior. it's huge and freezing cold.  the cabin is rustic yet domesticated, but is without tv and internet.  our cell phones don't work up there either.  i always think i'm gonna be bored out of my mind when i'm there.  then i remember how refreshed i feel to have life laid out in front of me instead of flying past me.  the boys like it.  sonja loves it.  i wish the shower head was lower.

simon thought the best thing in the world was a pack of candy cigarettes.  he had the whole thing down - waking up in the morning and reaching for his smokes, tapping off the ashes, and striking this pose.  we hope it stops with candy.

kale got some bret "the hitman" hart sunglasses for his birthday.  they're probably lost by now.  he also got some rey mysterio 619 boxers (you know, underwear for a gift) but won't wear them because the tag in the back bothers him.  but who could resist that smile...   

my idea of a family trip is - pile in the car, tear outta the hotel for our next destination, don't blow any money on extra crap, go go go and see see see.  the boys subscribe to sonja's outlook on vacations.  here they are kicking back with a latte at the grand canyon.  

we spent some time at a five star resort in lake geneva, wisconsin.  our rule on eating establishments when we travel is - you can only eat at one place once and then that's it for the remainder of the trip.  it was originally instated to keep kale from dragging us to burger king all the time.  it's pretty fun, shaking up the food thing.  we all try different stuff with different price points and learn about different cuisine.  occasionally we break our restaurant rule.  we ate at popeye's (not the fried chicken joint, dear god) twice on our trip.  this is us on visit #2, st. patrick's day.