Our Trip So Far-So Good-So Over!

When Debra and I left home on December 2nd, we had high hopes of a nice visit with Isaac and Mandi and some rest in a warm place. Now that we are safe back home, we just can’t believe how well all of that came out. Isaac picked us up late in the evening of the 3rd at Washington’s Reagan National Airport and we got a speedy ride in their very cool new Cooper Mini. Some of Isaac’s awesome cooking and a good nights sleep got us to the Capitol Building at midday on the 4th and a tour of the building arranged by Senator Murkowski. We took some photos, and one of my favorites is this one of the rotunda ceiling.

rotunda ceilingoscar and penelopesunrise in Key Largobeach at Ocean Pointeiguanapirate ladyisaac and pete snorkelI M snorkelloggerhead turtleibispelicanpete and debra
Hanging with Oscar and Penelope was fun and one of those rolling sticky lint removers are a handy item after petting them. We headed to Miami together on Friday and attended a cool art show and then checked in and went to dinner. Had a nice Cuban meal after a short walk from our hotel on the “Miracle Mile”. We had some breakfast on Saturday, went to a Whole Foods and headed south (and West). Found the condo at Key Largo and checked out the beach at Ocean Pointe Resort. The sunrise on Sunday was pretty awesome. There was an iguana or two guarding the docks on the way to the beach. When we headed for Key West on Monday, we encountered some pirates, including the lady that checked us into the state park where there was a pirate gathering. Isaac and Mandi did some snorkling, and I tried it, but the mask just didn’t work out for me. The next day, near Islamorada, we rented better gear (including a prescription mask for me) and with great patience, Isaac and Mandi got me to actually swim a bit with my face in the water enough to see some fish! I will do better next time. After Isaac and Mandi went home, Debra and I visited a nature reserve and museum at Crane Point near Marathon and went on a glass-bottom boat ride at John Pennekamp park where we saw a loggerhead turtle and lots of reef fish. We saw many different birds in the keys, but the pelicans and this Ibis are among our favorites. It was a fun, relaxing trip and I would go back for more. The condo was just about right for us and the owners very easy to work with. Looking forward to seeing or talking to you all sometime over the holidays. Love, Pete

34 thoughts on “Our Trip So Far-So Good-So Over!”

  1. Oh yeah, am hoping Isaac will add some photos and comments to this post. I wish I was better at taking photos. Pete

  2. pete…hey, GREAT post and those pics are terrific! that capitol tour sounds fun…any deja vu wandering through? i especially like the shot of you and debra…that’s a really nice portrait. and the pelican is a great shot…the ibis is cool, too…that’s a new one for me. on the snorkeling trail, it took me awhile to get the hang of it, too. QUITE awhile. that shot of isaac and mandi looks a lot like lydgate park on kauai…they have a breakwater there just like that. anyhow, i’m just not an aquanaut, but snorkeling is as close as i get to feeling comfortable in the water. look forward to seeing some more pics…i’ll check out that link you included, too. more soon…we’re off in a couple days…nuts here in the meanwhile, but it’ll be fun to be off on our own adventure. l,j

  3. Dad, we had a great time on our mini-vacation with you and mom. Sorry DC couldn’t deliver the snowpocalypse you saw last time you were here. Your sunrise photo is way better than mine…I don’t think I got up in time. Your photos look great!

    WordPress says you’re still editing the post so I’m afraid to mess with it, but here’s a link to my Florida set at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/izik/sets/72157610943309205/

  4. Hello all,
    You wouldn’t believe what a hard thing this was for Pete to get done, I appreciate how it turned out very much because it was a real struggle. This is the first time I have seen any of the photos myself and they are great.

    I had a wonderful vacation – thanks to Isaac and Mandi for making their way down the Keys with Ma and Pa Kettle!

  5. Very, very nice post! It appears your trip was just the ticket for an invigorating mid-winter break! Pete, your photos tell a great story and are quite lovely. Those pelicans are really something, eh? Watching them swallow a whole live [fish, critter, child] still wriggling as it goes into their [throat, double-chin, waddle, whatever :-)] is just a kick. Bird-watching is so much fun, especially in a different zone, don’t you think? They’re everywhere! I’m looking forward to perusing Isaac’s photo chronicle in a leisurely fashion once we get started on OUR vacation . . . not long now. Hope everything is merry and bright for the whole ORGanization! Love, Cheri

  6. jon just sent a winter storm warning for christmas in northern california…sounds like a ripper, so cheri may have LOTS of time to be perusing isaac’s photo chronicle 🙂 i just checked the calistoga forecast last night on accu-weather and it was fairly tolerable. sounds like the jetstream has moved south and a whole bunch of weather along with it. more soon. l, j/d/gp

  7. Thank you, Cheri for your kind words. Posting has been a struggle for me, but maybe (like snorkeling)it become easier with practice. And yes, there are birds everywhere and having some good binocs handy are essential. I was amazed at how much life there was in the Keys and so green. I am hoping all that weather talk is just that and you guys have a great time. It’s got to be better than December here, right? I fished today with a couple of clients and a friend and we got eight nice kings. My friend only wanted one fillet of white king and I got the rest of our share. Speaking of sharing, If I could get into your freezer, I would be happy to leave a couple of filets for you guys when we come up next week. Maybe I could leave some with Lisa’s house-sitter? Anyhow, Merry Christmas and have a safe and fun trip. Love, Pete

  8. pete…yeah, rain or shine, we’ll have a great time no matter what. the forecast seems fairly accurate so far…just got a text from rebecca…they’re in astoria (driving to sonoma from seattle) and it’s snowing like crazy. wow. on the king trail, we’d LOVE to score a fillet! dana, D&R’s daughter is feeding cats and so forth while we’re gone…not sure if timing would work out, but maybe. more soon…still miles to pack (or something like that). l,j

    1. isaac…wanted to try the reply link. i LOVE that! many times i’ve wanted to do that…sometimes you want to reply directly and it’s not really in the “org zone”…i end up going over to email for the reply, but THIS new feature makes that a snap. way to go!

      more soon…nice work. l,j

    2. Just upgraded our blog software…if you log in you’ll see a lot of new stuff – let me know if you need help or something doesn’t work. Out here I think the only new thing is comment threading – you can now reply to specific comments, like I’ve done here. Just click the reply link for the comment you want to respond to and continue as usual.

    3. That post is coming soon. I did get around to resizing the photo and would have done it last night, but for some strange reason, I went to bed about 9PM. Today has been a whirlwind of smoking salmon and black cod, date bars and molasses cookies and reading an inordinate number of comments on the org. I got to talk to Aunt Deb (annual recipe call) and it sounds like they are getting our winter there. Still need to go down to the boat and fix the heater for those folks that will fish with me tomorrow. Am hoping to do the post tonight. Actually, I also did some exercises for my back today, too, so maybe that discipline will spill over into regular captpete posts! Love, Dad

  9. Looks like a fabulous trip. Glad you are back. We are looking forward to a January trip to Homer. We get on the plane tonight for California. We are making our lists and checking them twice. I am hoping we don’t forget anything. I need to go find the stockings.

    1. Looking forward to your January trip to see us. Have a safe trip south and you all have a Merry Christmas….will check in on your house sitter on our way by. Love, Pete

  10. It’s only 27 degrees here ths morning! There’s a hard frost covering everything–but at least it’s not snow like there was in Seattle! It’s supposed to warm up, get rainy and windy. We brought our rain coats. If you have space, throw in one or two Christmas cookie cutters. I couldn’t find mine … ??? … and the ones I found here are not Christmas shapes. Can’t wait to see you ll–your little cottage looks very cozy! ~Love, C

  11. Just so no one mistakes the “ll” above for the Roman numeral two, let me say that was supposed to be “all.” Or 4. 🙂 Love!

  12. Well…a little over an hour later, it’s about 40 degrees and getting warmer by the minute. just a few puffy clouds and blue skies all around. we’ll take pictures! the forecast is for rain starting tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens…i suspect we’ll have some nice sunny breaks during the week.

    ok…pete’s gravatar CHIPS comment was really funny, but isaac’s…”Um, Ponch” comment made me laugh out loud. speaking of gravatars, they’re now on the right and like twice as big…is that an org upgrade, or is my laptop just more robust here in CA 🙂 i also noticed that the log-in (post) page looks different.

    can’t wait to see lisa, jon, nathan and marina! give us a call here at the farmhouse with an ETA when you can tomorrow…any idea roughly what time? we can make sure we’re here to catch your call. there is wireless available here, but cell service is very marginal. meanwhile, you have the gate code (email if you can’t find that), and the cottage is open…just drive in and go about 200 yards then take a left through the vineyard and you’ll see the farmhouse and cottage (which has its own driveway).

    more soon…i’ve had four cups of coffee and still feel TOTALLY relaxed. good stuff. l, j/d/gp

    1. Adding the code for the comment threading thing I messed with the avatar code too – they looked better a little bigger on my little laptop’s screen.

    2. We will give you a call tomorrow when we get on the road. We should arrive in San Fransisco about 11:15am. We put the cookie cutters in the suitcase. If there is anything else you can think of let us know. We are looking forward to getting there.

  13. Looks like great, warm fun in Florida! Glad you all had a great time. Can’t wait to see the Homer Wedins this week, and to the rest of you have a Merry Blessed Christmas.
    Love to all,

  14. Jessica and I had a good time at my company’s Christmas Party. We did it at Wally’s spot, the Crows Nest at the Capt. Cook. The girls stayed with Grandpa Doug and Grandma Linda for a few hours.

    Looking forward to Christmas and New Years.

    Love, Ben

  15. Looking forward to confirmation that you all made it to where you are going. Talked to Anna and Rob’t and Deb and Bill and it sounds like it is pretty dicey in the Seattle/Everett area. Hope all the air connections work out and you have a cozy time in Sonoma! Anxious to see photos of the vineyard. Found a whole bunch of San Francisco travel books that we should have sent with you….oh well…know you’ll have a blast. Love you all…safe travels. Pete

    1. Aw, I’m going to miss the CHiPs-look avatar, but the straw hat one is pretty good too. Maybe next Ben and Jess can get avatars.

      Our Seattlite friends on teh Facebooks have been complaining about the snow all week…sounds pretty crazy. That’s not a bad airport to get stuck at though.

  16. so far so good on flights…the anc-sea and sea-sfo are still listed as on-time. we’ll check when we get up to see if you made it out of sea-tac. and…if you’re delayed a bit, we can hold dinner for awhile. can’t wait to see you guys! love, dad p.s. looking forward to the jimmy buffet avatar, pete…as of tonight, “ponch” is still ridin’ high 🙂

  17. Good to hear the flights are not delayed. Amazing with the weather reports. Yeah, Seattle is a good one to get stuck at. You can priceline the Hilton or Hyatt and get a nice room for under $100. I love the food options at Sea-Tac. Steamers and a Caesar at Anthony’s. Wine and cheese (I love the mac-n-cheese) at Vino Vollo. Anyhow, I spent way too much time at gravatar.com and still have the same image, even though I thought I did everything right. I think Isaac has a lock on ponch. Pete

    1. You might need to hit shift+reload to get rid of Ponch – you might have that image cached. I’m seeing the parrot-head on the iPhone.

  18. just wanted to update everyone on the wedin-burpees adventure (and also see if we can break the magic “30” mark on this post!). have received a half dozen email updates from jon’s iPhone…they have dodged one bullet after another – including a sprint to make their connection in seattle after getting in late from anch – and are now winging their way to SFO! lots of flights were cancelled out of seattle…their flight was one of the few that got clearance! bottom line, they’ll be about an hour late into SFO…not bad at all. it’s raining here – as predicted – but nice and cozy with NFL games in the background. tom, anne, doug and teresa are on their way from san francisco today, too, and we’ll have a nice family BBQ at the farmhouse here to welcome everyone. l, j/d/gp

    1. Hey Jack:
      Yeah, this new “Reply” feature really pads the comments. ‘Bout time to start over with a “Christmas at the Vineyard” (sounds like a movie on Lifetime) and we can start over again. GOOD to hear the kids are on the way and almost there. Had a good day of fishing. Nice military couple from ER. She a captain headed for helicopter flight school and he a parachute packer. Got them each two kings and a small halibut, a couple cod and a greenling. Good company, very nice weather and even though the Espar quit on us, pretty pleasant temps. Hope you get a shot of California sunshine sometime soon. Have fun. Love, Pete

  19. hey pete…i hadn’t planned on being the magic #30 but i’ll take it! it’s been a movie all right, but hopefully, we can avoid the cheesy drama of the lifetime variety. and yeah, i’ll start a vineyard post soon. jon, lisa and the kids arrived just as we were starting to serve dinner at 7…they were originally due here between noon and one, but they were VERY LUCKY to make it at all…a TON of flights got canceled…they were among the fortunate few who got out. anyway, the gillian gang is all here – along with the wedins, burpees, hubbards and grays – and we had a wonderful family dinner here at the farmhouse to kick off everyone’s arrival for the reunion and christmas week. we got a tree for the lodge this afternoon, and we’ll all gather up there christmas day for dinner, presents, etc. sounds like a perfect day on the water…nice score on the kings!

    as for sun this week, i’m hoping we’ll see a few brief appearances…if not the actual sun, at least some cloudy dry spells. after raining steadily all day, it finally let up about an hour ago…we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

    i’ll try to get around tomorrow and grab some pics at the cottage, lodge and here at the farmhouse. thought about a group shot tonight, but everyone was so tired from their travels, decided to hold off on that for a bit. more soon. have a great week! love, jack

    1. If you want to make a quick post with one or two photos from the iPhone, try out the WordPress app ( http://iphone.wordpress.org/ ). The photos do not get added to the ORG photo album but it works well otherwise.

      Good to hear you all made it safely through the weather gauntlet to your holiday gathering.

  20. isaac…thanks for the tip. on the run here this morning, but do i download an app at that url? i’ll check it out later. weather here is dandy! so far so good…i’d describe it so far as partly sunny for the most part…with a few scattered showers…and RAINBOWS! more soon. l,j

  21. isaac…two things: first, this comment puts this post into the comment stratosphere. second, thanks for the lead…i went to the app store and downloaded the app. haven’t used it yet since my fat fingers make posting from the iPhone a real challenge. but…i will. fun stuff. l,j

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