Visits With Family

Recently had several fun experiences with family. First, Quade, Brooke and Noah stayed with us for a week. During that time we had a visit from my sister, Carolyn, and her son, Leland, and his family. The kids all had a great time, but I didn’t put my trusty camera to use, so I’ve got nothing to show for it. Then, after QBN left, we spent a nice afternoon and evening visiting with Dave and Alexis and their family in Studio City. Finally, we got together with Matt, Amy, the kids, and Ashley to see the fun movie, “Despicable Me 2.”

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We had enrolled Quade, Brooke and Noah in a tennis camp at Tustin Ranch Sports Park, run by Fabian Grassini. Every day they were on the hard courts from 8:30 a.m. to noon. They were rank beginners, but I think they had a good time. At the beginning of the week they were lucky to be able to make contact with the ball; by the end of the week their hand-eye coordination had improved significantly.

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A Week in Cancun


I have been terribly remiss in failing to keep this blog current. It is way past time to post something, and what better subject than our trip to Cancun, Mexico?

Under ordinary circumstances we probably wouldn’t have chosen Cancun as a destination, since we aren’t exactly beach people, but we had a timeshare week to use and decided it would be fun to discover what the Mayan Riviera is all about. We had a two-bedroom unit (plus kitchen and living room) and we wanted to share it. My sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Mark Ostler, were kind enough to agree to go with us. Mark is a vacation planner extraordinaire—we really should have paid him to join us.

We stayed at the Royal Mayan resort, one of three Royal resorts in a row toward the south end of hotel row. We had a wonderful view from our balcony, looking out over one of the swimming pools and beyond to the ocean.

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A Wedding Story (Becca & Austin)

Last week ago Dawn and I flew to Salt Lake City to attend the wedding of my niece, Rebecca Ostler to Austin Copeland-Rynders. For the record, the wedding date was October 7, 2012. It was a fabulous event at a beautiful location. Picture taking was fun—all the Ostlers clean up quite nicely! Here are some photos I took at the wedding.

The wedding and reception were held at La Caille,
a picture-perfect venue for a such an affair (though with a tragic history).

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Visit From the Seldens

We had a nice visit with the Seldens on Labor Day—or at least a small percentage of the Seldens. My sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Craig were here, along with their son and daughter-in law, Leland and Tammy, and L&T’s children, Brandon, Vincent and Megan. In addition, Matt and Amy, and their children, Quade, Brooke and Noah, were with us. Dawn fixed a wonderful meal and I barbecued the hamburgers. A fun time was had by all.

(L-R) Vincent Selden, Quade Thurston, Noah Thurston, Brandon Selden, Megan Selden, Brooke Thurston

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Cambridge Reunion

In late August 1967, Dawn and I set off from Ventura, California, in our two-toned 1962 Plymouth Valiant, pulling a U-Haul trailer containing all our earthly possessions. Our destination was Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I was to enroll in Harvard Law School. We had been married slightly less than one year; I was 24 and Dawn was 20. Our emotions vacillated between anticipation, exhilaration and apprehension.

Dawn, our Valiant, and our U-Haul in front of a motel in Lodgepole, Nebraska,
where we spent a night on our trek east.

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Basel, Switzerland

We just returned from a cruise along the Rhine River, from Basel to Amsterdam. It was our “big vacation” for the year and the following posts will be my photographic essay, which I’ll break down by ports of call. First stop: Basel, Switzerland.

Basel’s central square was a colorful place – a hub for the many tram routes throughout the city. The beautiful red building is the Rathaus (Town Hall).

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Colorado Trip

I just realized it has been several months since I’ve posted anything to my personal blog. This will be a quick photo-essay of my recent trip to Colorado during the week of May 28. My purpose in going was to attend a conference in Boulder titled “Aurora Multimedia Workshop: DSLR Filmmaking for Photographers.” I had recently acquired a Nikon D800 with video capability and wanted to explore the possibilities for creating video projects.

After the conference was finished, I took a personal day and drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ll show more photos from that day later in this post, but this was one of my favorites, so I’ll feature it here.

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Christina’s Surprise Party

Our neighbor and friend, Christina Reeve, has hosted wonderful pre-Christmas dinners for a number of years. Chris, a culinary artist, is in charge of the food for these parties, aided by her friend Anita and cousin Gigi, who likewise know their way around a kitchen. Recently, Chris’ daughter, Jessica, (aided by Anita), decided to turn the tables and surprise Chris with a birthday party. Jessica is a director of culinary services for Bon Appetit, a top-flight catering company. As you might guess, the feast was wonderful.

I took along my camera and shot photos of the food. But what I most enjoyed was shooting the people. (I know that last sentence sounds a bit odd.) I enjoy recording the character in the faces of friends we have known and appreciated for many years. Most of my photos are un-posed candids; I simply try to capture a familiar expression. Sometimes they turn out well; sometimes they don’t. Here are the ones I particularly liked from Christina’s party (in no particular order). My apologies to the folks whose photos I missed — there’s always next time.

Christina Reeve — Our frequent host and nearby neighbor for thirty-four years. Apparently she is only three years old (or maybe thirty, if each candle stands for ten years).

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