Sunday, May 25, 2014

A visit from Afghanistan

The Twitter-authorized version of this family photo

After I flew home from the Netherlands last weekend from another friend-visiting day trip in Amsterdam (link), Kathy and baby Levi flew home from the Easons' trip to Bend, Oregon.  Tom and Lora drove Lena home to us the next day!

Rather than one super long Eason family post, we're gonna split this up into two entries.  Kathy will be coughing up the second blog post about visiting Brent and Cheryl in Bend later this week.

A few get-together photos with the Eason family in Salem are below, in honor of Tony's home visit from Kabul, Afghanistan last month:

3 1/2 month old Levi meets Uncle Tony for the first time

A late Easter egg hunt for Lena

"No, THIS way, Daddy!"

Eason family dinner

Levi enters the Grandpa Tom look-a-like photo contest

With the Original

And now for a final quiz:


What happens when someone takes a family photo and nobody is looking?


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Touching down in Amsterdam

Our plane just landed in Amsterdam. The 30 minutes of Schiphol Airport's free WiFi should be roughly 27 minutes longer than necessary to upload this and my previous "...Snow in the yard" blog post, after we clear Customs.

On a side note... Now that we have kids, Kathy and I obviously don't travel overseas as often as before.  So it was a little unnerving when one our Business Elite cabin flight attendants recognized me as "that Delta guy who flies overseas every few weeks to meet up with friends."  I'm not that guy anymore.

Either that flight attendant has an extraordinary memory... or my travel addiction of days past was a little worse than I figured.

Last week's daytrip to the Netherlands was cancelled so I could give Kathy an extended Mother's Day gift. She deserves it!

But Kathy is taking Lena and Levi to Bend, Oregon this weekend, and my flight home from Bend would've been oversold enough that I would risk missing my return to work.  So naturally, I rescheduled with my friends in Amsterdam for today.   This is only a daytrip, but I'm also working on gathering up a few more nearby buddies of mine while I'm in town.

Too bad the PDX friends who flew over to Amsterdam with me today already have plans elsewhere in Europe.  This will be quite the reunion!

...Snow in the yard

The previous Snow on the mountains... post (link) was all about a highly anticipated day of skiing and snowboarding at Mount Hood Meadows in March.

But what happens when the Portland metro area gets hit with a tiny bit of UNPLANNED snow and ice on the valley floor? Well, that depends on whom you ask...

NW Oregonians/ SW Washingtonians:   "Cancel everything. Avoid the roads at all costs. If you must brave the roads, drive as painfully slow or as recklessly fast as possible (whichever is most dangerous and inappropriate for the conditions). And for Pete's sake, don't miss a second of that around-the-clock local TV news coverage of the previous evening's snowflake sightings."

The rest of the country: "Go with it. It's only weather. Have some fun."

Breaking from Pacific Northwest tradition, The Hamilton 4 tend to side with the rest of the country during snow days. We enthusiastically agree that snow is beautiful and fun. And yes, we capitalize the 'T' in our "The."

It wasn't an option to mope around about the unfortunate cancellation of Warner Pacific College's Homecoming weekend events and about the 4 1/2 hour icy commute from PDX airport.  Beaverton rarely gets sticking snow, so we relished those snowflakes like a beach bum soaks up sunshine.

Sledding in the yard

Walking the desolate backroads of Beaverton

Slipping and sliding around with neighborhood friends and family

Walking errands with Todd, Lena, Kathy, Levi, and Shannon

The end is near:  Lena and Grandma Mimi use our last remaining snow to build a snowman.

As Lena and Lora's snowman can attest, the snow and ice quickly melted.  In fact, the local freeze barely lasted through the weekend.  The freeway photo that I live tweeted and later blogged in the "Snow on the mountain..." post of my record long 4 1/2 hour commute home from PDX airport became a melt-y memory.  And now, months later, the Portland metro area is experiencing a record heatwave while I am visiting friends here in Amsterdam!

By the time I returned to work the next week, the ice that had blanketed the streets had mostly turned to slush.  The warm-up was very noticeable on the Delta ramp.

We deiced every one of our Delta airplanes prior to departure, even though the PDX air had warmed up enough that it wasn't really necessary.

Earlier that morning, Kathy had ignored my pleas to stay in bed as I left for the airport...

...selflessly getting up instead at 3:50 a.m. to help me chip off ice off from the Jeep windows.  Do I mention often enough that I have the greatest wife in the world?

By national standards, this year's Portland metro snow event may not have been all that eventful.  But we managed to make an event out of it.

Snow happens.

Coming up on Garth's Blog...

More friend visits in the Netherlands,
Tony drops by from Afghanistan,
Running the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati,
... and more recent overseas adventures with the Hamiltons!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Is the Flying Pig Marathon ready for us?

Note:  I'll be reposting this week's deleted "...Snow in the Yard" sequel to "Snow on the Mountain..." (link) with a bunch of new Lena and Levi photos soon.  Check my previous post next weekend for a TON of new content!

Our Flying Pig Marathon relay team is on board a flight from PDX, and we're about to land in Minneapolis.  We'll be connecting to Cincinnati in a couple hours.

Delta Airlines is sending us to Cincinnati to compete in this race to raise money for various charities. And who says we can't have a little fun in the process? Or maybe a LOT of fun!

So some readers may be asking:

Will my swollen left foot, still inflamed from last month's hiking misadventure with Shaun's dog Sheamus, allow me to complete my leg of the race without reducing me to tears?

And will our two PDX relay teams cross the Flying Pig "Finish Swine" victoriously?

Update 5/5/14--

And now there's one more burning question to answer in the next post...

...Would I actually wear this tutu in front of friends, spectators, and news cameras on the day of the race?

Check back here in a week or two, for extra snow pics with the kiddos... and later, for coverage of tomorrow's race!

This quick overnight trip to Cincinnati is gonna be a literal marathon.