Friday, January 20, 2012

10th Anniversary? Howz about a trip to Greece?

We've always wanted to go to Greece. A tenth anniversary is a good reason to take a trip, right? 

We started off with flights straight to Crete. Arrived and checked in to the hotel. I'll take this after a long flight any day.


Tank Wars 2011

The annual 4th of July event. The Willis family gets together to create mayhem with fireworks and plastic toys.

The logical choice for one side of the fight: African animals, horses, farm animals, dogs and dinosaurs.

Serious firepower

The other side of the fight has army men, cowboys and indians, and aliens of course.

Yes, he's holding two firecrackers.

Oh, the humanity!

Tiny T-Rex? Pantone #5467 Smoke-bomb blue.

Lunch break for Henry, Sarah and Josiah

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Flaming Gorge

The Spilker Family has started making summer trips to Flaming Gorge. I am personally hoping that this will become a regular thing. Our extended family took a lot of trips here when I was growing up. We'd fish and run the Green River in inflatable rafts. We camped at the exact same place when I was a kid.

The fish in these ponds are extremely wary! They have grown fat on a diet of Purina Trout-chow. So, we "matched the hatch" by tying dog-food flies. Henry had a blast with Uncle Dave.

Jack with Uncle Al

Genevieve likes it!

This is Tinkerbell. Amy gets mad when I say it looks like a rat. But it really does.

Spilker ladies

This is Batman.....and Josiah

Almost the whole family

Uncle Alan's House

Uncle Alan's house has a nest of baby swallows:

A dock for swimming in the bak yard:

And a nice lake. Heaven for the Spilker kids!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on the Plain - does it make me sound like an old guy if I use this quote?

Amy and I were trying to find a good location for a summer trip. It just happened that there was a conference for my work in Granada, Spain. What a coincidence? Somebody needs to "take the bullet" and go to Spain for a conference, right? So I volunteered, and Amy volunteered with me.

Our first destination was Rhonda, a town up in the hills. It is the home of the oldest bull ring in Spain. This cat was one of the first to greet us. 

I took a lot of photos or random doors in Spain. I thought they were interesting. They'll probably bore the rest of you to tears, but I'm going to include them anyway. This is what happens when Amy leaves the blogging up to her nerdy husband.

This is the Roman bridge that connects the two parts of the center of Rhonda. How would you like to live with this view out of your back window?

Our next stop was Seville. Lots of Moorish architecture.

A nice place to relax in the park.

Views from the gigantic cathedral in Seville.

Serious stained glass!

The windows cast the most amazing light patterns on the floor.

The Spaniards are no slouches in the category of '80s Rock Ballads and the Grande Mullet.

This one is for my brother Alan.......because he speaks Spanish of course!

Amy took a trip to an old olive oil plantation in Granada.

The Alhambra from a distance

Inside the Alhambra

Moorish art does not contain any images of people. Really cool symbols and themes.

Can't argue with the weather in Spain.

I don't claim to be geographically knowledgable at all, but I was really surprised to learn that Spain and Morocco are only separated by 8 miles at their nearest points. So, since we were in Spain Amy and I decided to take a day trip to Tangier, Morocco. It was definitely worth trip with one small problem (below).

We took a brief tour of the estate of a local oil tycoon. Amy likes the Rolls Royce.

This is the oldest tree in Morocco

The downtown market was amazing.

In hindsight we probably should have stuck to the Coke. The food really caused us some problems in the week after our trip. A note for travelers: don't eat the food on the African continent.

But it was really tasty.

We visited a really cool shop with silk and rugs. Amy did her best to pass for a local.....not really.

So, that was Spain and Morocco. We put Spain pretty high on our list of enjoyable vacations.