Saturday, April 09, 2016

Helena's Birthday Hike

Current music: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Long After Dark

Lexey and I took a long weekend trip to Phoenix to see our goddaughter as well as her parents and siblings. Super fun trip. We stayed in a really nice Airbnb in the Willo neighborhood and got a few good hikes in. The first hike of the weekend was on Saturday. We were able to sneak Helena away from her parents for an afternoon trip out to Waterfall Canyon in the White Tank Mountains. It was her first hike. We even managed to find a little water in the Sonoran Desert.

More photos here.

Helena checking out some petraglyphs:

Waterfall wasn't flowing, but there was some water in the pool at the bottom:

All that walking can wear a girl out:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Skiing at Vail with Mom

It was her first time skiing in about 20 years. She still looks like a pro. Sean joined us for the morning and is in the video below. We toured all over the mountain: Game Creek Bowl, Mid-Vail, Northwoods, China Bowl, Blue Sky Basin, and Golden Peak.

Blue Sky Basin's Cloud 9:

Grilling at Belle's Camp in Blue Sky Basin:

Almost time for margaritas on Whiskey Jack:

Lenny and Mom:

Lexey and Lenny:

The Meadows:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Honeymooning in El Salto

There is a brewery called Jerome's in the little Andean town of El Salto. El Salto is about 90 minutes out of Mendoza just past Potrerillos. Lexey and I wanted to get a little time in the mountains and get some beers so we took the bus up there.

The town was completely empty. Since it was the week between Christmas and New Year's all the locals were out of town. The brewery was closed. We saw almost nobody except some roaming horses.

After wandering the town for a few hours we caught the next bus back to town. This was not really a bummer. It was an interesting way to see the town and it was nice to get into the mountains and away from the heat for a little bit.

More photos here.

Entering El Salto:

Jerome's Brewery (closed for the holiday week):


After we got back to town and relaxed for a bit we decided to get some dinner. It was after 8pm, so maybe things would be open. Everything is so late at night in Argentina. We went to a place known for Bife de Chorizo (giant steak), but the door was locked. The girl with the key hadn't arrived yet, we were told. So we went for a walk and came back around 9. This was clearly too early, but we did get dinner.

Look at the size of my steak:

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Honeymooning Across the Andes

After visiting Santiago and Valparaiso we crossed the border to Mendoza, Argentina. What a day that was... We started off by taking the subway from our closest stop, Santa Lucia, to Estación Central. After all, our super fancy "cama suite", front-row, top level bus tickets said Estación Central right on them. We planned to have about 30 minutes in the station in case anything went wrong. It was the wrong Estación Central! The damn bus station takes up multiple blocks and we should have gotten off at the next stop, titled Universidad. How is anyone supposed to know this?
The entire extra 30 minutes was spent running around the bus station and getting alternating responses from people we asked for help:
- "Autobuses a Mendoza estan arriba" (Buses to Mendoza are upstairs.)
- "Autobuses internacionales son cuatro cuadras. Van a la calle principal entonces a la izquierda." (International buses are 4 blocks away. Go to the main street then left.)

Finally two women in a shop help us. They called Cata Internacional and found out that is really was 4 blocks away. By this time we had missed our bus so we decided to walk it. Besides, we had no Chilean pesos left. Not even enough for a subway ride.

When we found the Cata Internacional ticket office the man was helpful. He rebooked us on the next bus, but this was not a "cama suite" and we didn't have front row seats. Then he informed us that we needed to go and pay the reciprocity fee in the Internet cafe. It was a bit of an ordeal, but we made it happen.

The bus ride was incredible. I had my GoPro attached to the window taking a photo every 5 seconds and the scenery was stunning. When we arrived in Mendoza we were anxious to get off the bus and get to our hostel. I left my GoPro on the bus! An hour later I noticed. I ran back to the bus station, but someone had already swiped it. Damn. These photos will have to suffice...

More photos here.

Crazy road of solid hairpin turns:


Getting stir-crazy on the bus:

Monday, March 03, 2014

Honeymooning on Christmas Day in Valparaiso

On Christmas Day we took a bus to Valparaiso. This worked well because we needed to learn our way to the bus station via the subway. Valparaiso is a coastal port city built in the hills. The colors and scenery in this city were stunning. I wish we had been there on a day other than Christmas when there would have been more going on. When we arrived in the morning it is completely dead and it wasn't until about 2pm before things starting opening.

More photos here.

Wandering around:

Beautiful steps near a funicular:

Graffiti taken to a different level:

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Honeymooning in Santiago de Chile

Current music: The Civil Wars - Unplugged on VH1

Santiago was different than I expected. The air pollution was intense (possibly due to a volcanic eruption), it is a HUGE city, and very expensive. The food, especially empenadas, were exceptional. We stayed at a lovely apartment on the 22nd floor of a large complex. We found it on

More photos here.

Pisco sours at El Diablito on our first night:

Santiago stretching into the distance from the top of Cerro San Cristóbal:

Santiago's metro:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Honeymooning in Panama City

Panama City is much larger than I expected. Unfortunately, we only had 2 days in Panama. We were not really able to make it out of the city. Next time we will need to get to some beaches, do some scuba diving, and some hiking in the mountains. It seems like a more interesting country than I thought before going.

We stayed in Casco Viejo (the old city). It is beautiful. The area has been restored (mostly) and it is quite a tourist locale. The coffee and food were great. Especially the coffee. Wow. I want to go back just for more coffee. There was even a Belgian beer cafe right next to our apartment. We had booked the Portobello Room in Casa Antigua, but they gave us a honeymoon upgrade to La Muralla. We had our own private entrance to the rooftop patio.

We took a bus tour to the Miraflores Locks. It was an incredible sight to see a ship pass through. A short time later on the bus we saw the same ship heading out to sea.

More photos here.

Enjoying some wine and overlooking the Panama City skyline:

At the Miraflores Locks:

Enjoying some Belgian beers:

From Cancun to Panama

Lexey and I left on our honeymoon on the 12th of December on a red-eye to Cancun via Miami. We arrived in Panama City, Panama on the 20th of December. I will not be recounting what happened between the 12th and the 20th here in a public forum. Ask if you are interested.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


At the wedding I setup an automatically publishing Photoboop. The way it worked was that there was an iPad sitting in a box on the floor below it. That iPad was running ShutterSnitch configured to upload all photos received immediately to my Zenfolio account. The camera attached to the Photoboop was my D90 with an Eye-Fi card in it, configured to upload photos to ShutterSnitch on the iPad.

It worked very well. Not all of the photos made it. For some reason there was no LTE connection at Maggiano's Little Italy so they were uploaded only over 3G. I blame this as the culprit for not all the photos making it.

People at the reception seemed to have fun taking photos and then showing other people the photos from their phones within minutes. Overall, I am glad we set it up. It was no wedding video booth, but good enough.

The entire set of photos is here.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Wedding Reception

Maggiano's in Littleton turned out to be our reception location. They were very helpful getting everything setup with 1 day of notice and be able to have our band, Willie and the Po' Boys. Thanks to Wynkoop for helping us look for a venue and finding one that turned out so well.

More photos here.

Poppy on the dance floor:

Our first dance:

Mom and Lenny:

Dad and Lexey:

Oh yeah, and Uncle Bubby: