Posts Tagged With: games

TAHOE SOUTH SHORE

dsc08453-copyThe last two years, we’ve rented a place at Incline Village for Christmas, skiing and playing in the snow. This year we decided a summer family reunion would be a fun change. We arrived Friday night. Doug, who is an expert at barbecuing anything to perfection, fixed hamburgers after our long drive. My camera was packed and I didn’t get a picture. Everyone resorted to a game of pool. It was Doug and Ken, against Laurie and Kristanne.

dsc08452-copyKristanne had never played pool before, and Laurie, who grew up with a pool table, is a shark.

dsc08455-copyShe knows how to bounce those balls.

dsc08456-copyEveryone had a turn at the table, and after the games, everyone decided to be silly. A bit of wine and tequila probably helped.

dsc08459-copyNo one really cared who won or lost. Laughter is what counts.

dsc08460-copyThe next morning, most of us went for hike to the National Park.

dsc08463-copyI was ahead and turned to catch this sisterly hug. Don’t have a clue what inspired it.

dsc08464-copyWe had seen signs about a rope walk in the canopy and thought everyone would like that activity.  But, it was closed. Left to right is Cedric, Ken, Virginia, Austin, who seems fixated on a two finger salute. Then Laurie, Theo and Kristanne. Doug and Owen stayed back at the cabin.

dsc08467-copyWe stopped for a couple pictures, but the sun was at the high, bright time of day and we got a lot of squints and shut eye.

dsc08472-copyWe snacked and reminisced for lunch.

dsc08498-copyAt four o’clock Saturday afternoon, we skyped with my grandson Stewart in Japan where he teaches English as a second language.

dsc08500-copyWe asked him dozens of questions. Here he is explaining that his deodorant melted and he had to shave his armpits. The Japanese people seem fascinated by his facial hair. Komatsu, is a coastal town of about 100,000 people. It isn’t a tourist destination and they don’t see many foreigners. Students are very disciplined and continually kind of bow and say “hye” as a way to indicate they understand. He is learning to use that expression as well and practiced it for us. Technology is awesome and we loved the ability to spend a half hour with Stew.

dsc08511-copyIt was Ken and Laurie’s night to fix dinner, and they prepared a marvelous shrimp dish, with butter and lemon juice and pepper. The kitchen is small here. Everyone went to bed early

dsc08515-copyVirginia made scratch muffins for breakfast Sunday morning. She picked the wild berries on their property on the Eel River.

dsc08481-copyShe also got “into” olives this year and brought 3 different kinds of olives she made from trees growing around Santa Clara. Theo declared they were inedible and about the worst thing you could eat. I loved them and got to bring some home.

dsc08517-copyAt 9:00 a.m. Virginia treated  Kris and I to kayaking.  Ken took pictures of us before he and Laurie went for a ride to see the scenery around Silver Lake.

dsc08522-copyI’ve enjoyed kayaking before, but Virginia wisely chose a double for us since my shoulder is not completely healed. I had to rest from paddling periodically and she had to pull for both of us.

dsc08525-copyKristanne, always adventurous, had never kayaked. She took to it like a duck to water and said, “Hey, I get to mark it off my bucket list.” We rested on a distant beach, then sunned and dried out on a rock when we returned.

dsc08503-copyKristanne and Laurie enjoyed a game of Rumikub in the afternoon.

dsc08489-copyThe boys played pool or read a book.

dsc08529-copyEveryone played 13, the national game of Vietnam. It is limited to four so each of us dipped in and out of the game. It is one of those games where kids have just as much chance of winning as an adult and Theo proved it. Not visible, on the right is Doug, playing DJ and selecting our favorite tunes on the computer.

dsc08487-copyCedric took to the kitchen to bake pies for dinner.

dsc08504-copyThis cabin was as close to wreckage as you can find in a domicile, and the oven temperature was difficult to gauge.  He struggled to get them cooked well. But, as usual, they turned out delish.

dsc08534-copySo, most of Sunday was spent playing games, eating, gabbing…

dsc08480-copy…snoozing.

dsc08539-copyVirginia showed off her skill with Theo’s juggling balls.

dsc08542-copyDuring the evening, Hearts was the game of choice.

dsc08508-copyThere was some high finance going on downstairs with a monopoly game with Austin, Theo, Doug and Owen.

dsc08543-copyKen opted to wade through the New York Times and a San Francisco Chronicle.

dsc08547-copySome of us walked to the beach and watched the fireworks.

dsc08548-copyIt was a lovely, busy, relaxing. three-day getaway with stuff to do for everyone’s taste. Can’t wait until next year.

 

 

 

 

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COUSINS AND COUSINS-A REUNION

I think we licked the plates clean.

Toni Moore is my cousin by marriage. Her husband of 26 years, Commander James Moore of the Sheriff’s Department (deceased) is my first cousin. Our fathers were brothers.  But, our relationship goes deeper than that. I attended High School with Toni and introduced her to Jim. While visiting the archive, I discovered she was planning a family reunion and she asked me to join them. The afternoon of the Archive meeting, March 16th, I went with her to Costco to shop. Toni is handicapped and can’t drive. On the 17th, it was St. Patrick’s Day, she took me out to dinner for corned beef and cabbage. I think we licked the plates clean.

The humor in those eyes.

Her oldest son is Kurt Moore. He and my son Ken are close in age. We raised our kids together, often camping since no one had any money in those days. We all lived on tight budgets.

Todd Moore.

Her middle son, Todd, was closest to my son Doug’s age, and the two of them were pals growing up. Toni’s youngest son, Barry recently died and everyone is still trying to heal from loss. Todd lives nearby and is indispensable, taking Toni to her appointments, shopping and helping Todd keep up the place. He has one daughter, Briana, and I somehow failed to get a picture of her and her boyfriend.

Kurt's youngest-Teddy and Alex with Gramma Toni.

The relationships get complicated for me to keep straight. Kurt’s youngest children Teddy and Alex, with Gramma Toni are the reason for the reunion. They live on the East coast with their mother and visit twice a year. They normally come for Easter vacation and this year came early. So, Toni planned an early Easter.

Always smiling, Leslie Nolan

Always smiling, Leslie Nolan, is Bob Moore’s partner, who is a brother to Jim.  He doesn’t like having his picture taken and ruins your picture, if he has a chance to.  You have to get one surreptitiously.

Ted Moore with Uncle Bob.

Here he is with his nephew, Teddy.

Greetings as people arrive for the day.

Kurt’s oldest daughter, Sandy arrived with her husband Josh.  Kurt’s son, John is serving in the Army and couldn’t attend.

Great grandpa Kurt knows how to handle little boys.

Now, this is Grandpa Kurt, hauling Sandy’s two newest members of the family over his shoulder into the back yard. He knows a little about how to handle young boys. They are Caleb and Jacob ages six and four, recently adopted.

DSC07919 (Copy)It rained off and on all day, but no one melted. The kids played bean bag toss. Emma, Sandy’s daughter teamed with Teddy and Alexandria, Sandy’s half-brother and sister, and her father Josh.

Emma gets a big jump closer because she is the shortest and youngest in the game. Brother Teddy doesn't mind.

Emma gets a big jump closer because she is the shortest and youngest in the game. Cousin works as well as any moniker, and “cousin” Teddy doesn’t mind.

Caleb is trying to figure out how to get up in the tree holding an egg.

As the day went on, the kids turned to hunting for treasure. Caleb is trying to figure out how to get up in the tree holding an egg.

An egg hiding in plain site-up high.

An egg hiding in plain sight, up high, gives the older kids a shot at the eggs. Some contain money, some contain candy or little toys.

Heavy competition comes with a smile.

Heavy competition comes with a smile as Bob and Josh pair up with…

Todd partnered with Uncle Bob Moore, Kurt partnered with son-in-law Josh Shack

…Todd and Kurt.

Bob Moore, Josh Shack

Looks like Josh nailed it. The rules are much like horseshoes.

Emma with a full bag.

The kids enjoyed their treasures. Emma, in Easter finery, with a full bag.

A green chick that is special.

Jacob enjoyed a green chick that is special because it has a squeaker inside.

Caleb with his new rubber Easter chick.

Caleb liked his rubber Easter chick, too.

Emma looking sweet 16 instead of 12 with frosting pink lipstick.

After dinner, everyone enjoyed dessert. Emma looking sweet 16 instead of 12 with frosting pink lipstick.

Alexandria kissable in blue-she is a freshman in High School

Alexandria, kissable in blue, is a freshman in High School.

Emma with her frosting lipstick plants one on cousin Alexandria

Emma with her frosting lipstick plants one on cousin Alexandria.

Kids get the treatment. Photo by Caleb.

Caleb wanted to try my camera. A quick learner, he took a bunch of pictures and did quite well.

 

Picture by Caleb.

This picture by Caleb is a tad blurry. But, not bad for a six year old’s first time with a sizable camera.

Picture by Caleb

This one was my favorite, where he caught his little brother taking pictures with my phone.  Maybe photography in his future, but without a doubt, a good time was had by all. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE.

 

 

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GREEK CHRISTMAS WAS POPULAR.

DSC07440 (Copy)The first thing to great me at my daughter-in-law’s house, was the table full of sweets and a savory cheese cake. It seemed full until others arrived and added even more good things to the table. Laurie collects elephants- you may have noticed her elephant table cloth.

DSC07441 (Copy)I once did an inventory of her elephant collection and I counted about 700 elephant items, from ashtrays, jewelry to swizzle sticks.  Collecting is fun and appealing and I zeroed in on elephant ornaments that never made it into her inventory.

DSC07442 (Copy)The elephant is barely visible in this photo,but no matter, I was having fun.

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DSC07444 (Copy)I would have given this elephant a bigger eye.

DSC07447 (Copy)Laurie is the youngest of two sisters. Michele on the right with her daugher-in-law is her middle sister. Her oldest sister lives in North CarolinaDSC07493 (Copy)Laurie’s brother, Mike and sister-in-law Ramona. At the last minute, we decided to have a wine exchange. Ramona kept everyone in stitches as she examined each person’s choice with two pairs of glasses and a magnifying glass, before she decided which bottle to steal.

DSC07495 (Copy)My oldest and youngest brothers, Bill at 78 and Clark at 60. Michele in the background with her husband Wayne who smoked the lamb roast. Clark was the other clown of the wine exchange, threatening to open and try them out. He got stolen from four times. I guess the threat worked.

DSC07449 (Copy)A good game of liar’s dice was entertaining most of the “kids” the youngest two age 13.

DSC07496 (Copy)My oldest, Ken and youngest Virginia.  I guess men like to grow beards when they have vacation. They vacation from shaving.

DSC07498 (Copy)But the Greek feast was on. Roast lamb, tzatziki, a famous Greek yoghurt dip, with condiments. Greek meatballs with rice, feta and mint, with zucchini feta pancakes and lemon sauce.

DSC07499 (Copy)Roasted potatoes with a Greek dressing…a spicy lasagna with special cheeses…seasoned chicken kababs. DSC07500 (Copy)Spinach filled spanakopitas, a Greek fruit salad and a Greek rice salad. The food, with a bunch of good cooks in the house?  Stellar. Everyone agreed that enough turkey and ham at Thanksgiving should be bypassed for ethnic foods at Christmas. The only thing missing was the famous Greek circle dance and music.

We decided on Mexican food next year, because Virginia just learned how to make home-made tamales, heavy on the filling and light on the masa. Cha, cha, cha.

 

 

 

 

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INCLINE VILLAGE VACATION

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Friday past, Doug, myself, and a lot of baggage loaded into Ken’s seven passenger Tahoe and headed for a rented condo at Incline Village. It has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, a hot tub, a foos ball table, books, television, and, plenty of room for our gang of 11. (Missing was grandson’s Mason and Alec.) Our first stop was the Great Basin Brewing Company for lunch, in Reno.

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Ken is growing a mustache, and his son, Stewart lives in a house close to his campus at Univeristy of Nevada at Reno. All college kids like a free lunch, and it gave Stewart, who has facial hair, a chance to rib his dad on his “paltry” mustache.

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After lunch, we picked up my oldest daughter, Kristanne and her son Austin at the Reno Airport and drove to the condo.

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On Saturday morning, (Virginia and her gang have yet to arrive), Doug, who is known for his fabulous omelets was relaxing when his brother said, I’m hungry now, where is that omelet?  I love this, Doug, in pidgin English, said, “you-want-omelet-now? OK.” Ken got his plate of eggs in about one minute, including a do it yourself kit.

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The omelets were full of veggies, cheese and ham, made to order, and delish.

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Later Saturday morning, youngest daughter Virginia, her husband Cedric and their boys, Theo and Owen arrived. Theo and I started a jigsaw puzzle, all the while wondering if all the pieces are present. It was a challenging puzzle.

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We are a games playing family, and soon Laurie and Kris were playing RummiKub. Virginia read her paper she brought from home.

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Stewart drove up and he, Doug and Ken had a game of Elevator going at the other end of the table.

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It was chit-chat, relaxation and games. Elevator, Thirteen, Phase 10. People jumped in and out of the games, as they changed throughout the day.

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Theo and Austin went out, played in the snow, came in, jumped in the hot tub and came up to make their lunch before going back in the tub. Theo taught Austin to put the “right” kind of potato chips in his turkey and cheese sandwich.

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Cedric tried a hand game Austin brought that is popular at his school. It is a Japanese game where you toss the ball on the end of the string and catch it in one of two cups and on a peg. I think it is Chandra? Much harder than it looks.

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Cedric spent part of the afternoon baking pies for dinner. We all demand a pie fix. His are the best.

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We play a lot of cards. Stewart laments that in his generation only a couple of his friends actually play cards. Virginia brings a card game she discovered in Mexico, an auction game we play only once. I think it is called Ah Fiance.

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Laurie cooked Saturday night’s dinner. A big pot of Mexican chili with cilantro and cheese, her  home-made corn tortillas. A black bean and pepper coleslaw, a bowl of guacamole, and dipping chips. Hardly anyone was hungry enough for desert.

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By bedtime, the puzzle was unfinished. Theo, Cedric, Laurie, myself and Owen all worked off and on during the day on the puzzle. More tomorrow.

 

 

 

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SAN JACINTO STATE PARK

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Four intrepid adventurers arrived at the base of the 2nd steepest tram ride in the world. We watched as this gondola full of passengers returned. You can’t see the destination at the top from here.

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As we rise above the valley and pass the 2nd tower you can see by the cables how straight up you go, with 80 people sharing a gondola. The gondola has a revolving floor, one of three such trams in the world. These are the largest cars of the three systems and since the floor is moving you have a view of what is behind you, in front of you and to the sides.DSC03232 (Copy)

The sun hit a pinnacle called the lily on the right. Straight up and down.

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Because you revolve, your view is a constant play of shadow and sunlight. Burnished tips of this evergreen growing out of solid rock as they do, attract the eye. Try and plant one in rock and you fail.

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The mountain plants and minerals continually change. The gondola looks in shadow as though a man is standing on top of it and riding it down.DSC03237 (Copy)

Minerals in the rock produce surprising patches of color. As the floor rotates you get a few chances to take pictures through two open windows. But most of the pictures have to be taken through glass, and always while moving.

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Plants get quite stunted as you near the summit of 8,516 feet above the valley floor.

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There was a small patch of ice in the shade at the summit. The park shows a film of the recreational opportunities of this unusual place, a cool place for folks to retreat during hot summers, 54,000 acres of mountain forest, walking trails, tobogganing and winter play in the snow in some year. What’s not to like?

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Spectacular views. A restaurant, gift shop and small museum. DSC03265 (Copy)

Bruce is handicapped and this is a comfortable place for people in wheel chairs or unable to walk stairs. Elevators and ramps bring you everywhere. We were warned that the temperature is 30 degrees cooler than the valley. Pat and I wore extra clothing, but Bruce and Jim decided they were tough and didn’t need anything but their shorts and T-shirts.

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Mineral coloration, the yellow and two bright orange streaks fascinate me.

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On the return trip I heard someone behind me say to her partner: “I thought you were afraid of heights?.” He answered: “No, I ‘m afraid of falling. I feel safe in the gondola.” If you visit Palm Springs, this is a lovely way to stay cool and spend an afternoon.

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We had dinner at Elmers, a restaurant I remembered from somewhere in our travels. We weren’t disappointed. Excellent food, average prices. That was also borne out by the surprising pictures on the wall.

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I guess you could say good enough for presidents…DSC03340 (Copy)

…and kings.

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Scientists…

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…and the rich and famous. There were many pictures of the glitterati here.

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We played a dice game in the dark wearing headlamps. Remember the old Coleman lanterns? The headlamps are very comfortable and cast plenty of light, though I took this shot with a flash. The game they brought is called Farkle, or Zilch. I’ve heard it by other names as well.

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FAMILY & FRIENDS FUN

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People began arriving about 9:00 on Saturday. Setting up their ice chests against a shady wall of the house. Above is Bob and Norma.

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I bought a ping-pong table thinking the kids were getting older and maybe tired of the trampoline. Ken, Ted, Richard and Doug went to work on setting it up.

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They finally realized it was necessary to read the instructions. After that, things went smoothly.

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Everyone was catching up since last year. Grandmother Eunice, mother to Bev and Cathy. Eunice, Cathy, Wendy and Kristanne realized they were all dressed in tie dye.

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Bob and my son, Ken, have a few beers and visit.

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The kids get gifts from Grandma Eunice.

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Tyler ducked the squirt gun. A great way to stay cool.

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The kids like to check the totem to see how the stuff they put on last year held up.009 (Copy)

Cathy wanted her picture taken with my adventurous hat.

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Eunice did too.

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Brother Bill and cousin Terri discussing their favorite snacks. There was probably an equal amount of food inside the house as outside. Everyone kind of spread out.

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The good eats just never end. Virginia, Cami and her mother, Laurie, take a break from the heat outside.

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Anthony and Clint give up the squirt guns for several games of ping-pong.

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Must have been a serious conversation, Stewart, Virginia and Laurie. Earlier there was a card game going on outside and the guessing game, What’s Yours Like, going on inside.

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Brother Clark and Ken discuss the barbecue.

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The kids never seem to tire of the squirt gun wars.

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I caught the smallest and the tallest. Jacob who just graduated high school this year, is 6 foot 2. Abbie, the youngest,  is dwarfed by him.

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The trucks are loaded with tubes and everyone is anxious to go to the flume.  I tried to get a picture of everyone who came and failed miserably this year. And, I stayed away from the flume, so Kris took pictures for me.

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Everyone is getting into their river shoes and ready to go. Ken, Rob and Susie. Rob is foster daughter Susie’s fiance.

But, flume pictures and more tomorrow. I’m slow today because of so many interruptions.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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