4th of July Leakey Style

For the 4th of July weekend we joined our friends Tim and Kelli and many others in Leakey, Texas for the July Jubilee.  This was our first trip to Leakey and I’m sure it will not be our last.  Kelli is from Leakey and still has family there who have an amazing piece of property on the Frio.  We’ve had a very wet past few weeks and we were not going to let a little (ok a lot) of rain stop us.  We took chairs to the river and sat under the “tallest tree in the land” for hours and watched folks jump off of the ”cliff” into the water which was hours of entertainment.  Sterling decided to do his signature jump off of the cliff called the Parachute but it was quickly referred to as the “Bear Hug” which you can see below and see what you think.  There was also a kid name Charlie who was about 11 who was not so sure about jumping off and everyone started chanting “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie” until he jumped so for the rest of the weekend whenever we wanted someone to do something we would chant “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie”….ahh good times!  The weather did let up enough on Sunday for us to float the Frio River and then head back to the swimming hole for some more jumping and hanging out.  We thank Bobby for introducing us to the “Jigger Trigger” aka ”Old Faithful” which is a portable and river friendly shot maker.  You squeeze it and then take the shot from the shot glass on top: www.squeezeashot.com to see it.  Don’t worry I’ve already emailed them for one :)

 

The Parachute aka The Bear Hug

The Parachute aka The Bear Hug

The Swimming Hole

Peru

What an amazing trip to Peru!  We started off the trip with 2 nights in Lima which is 8 million people and is always foggy/overcast only gets a half an inch of rain a year.  Our hotel was located in the Miraflores District which you may have heard about lately in the news because it’s the district in Lima where Joran van der Sloot recently made his “appearance”.  We then headed to Puno for 2 nights to visit Lake Titicaca which is located at 14,000 feet above sea level which gave me altitude sickness and took me about 3 full days to recover fully from.  At the lake we visited the floating islands that are made out of reeds and some ruins just outside of town.  Our next stop was Cusco for 4 nights which is the largest and most popular city for tourists/hikers going to Machu Picchu.  When we arrived in Cusco we were informed that there was going to be a strike on Thursday and there would not be any cars or taxis in the city so there’s no way to get around.  This was fine for us since we were headed to Machu Picchu on Friday.  Needless to say the strike carried over to Friday so we had to do some hotel shuffling and transportation shuffling to make it to Machu Picchu on Saturday.  Luckily everything worked out great and we got up at 4 am to take a bus then a train and then another bus to get there.  Machu Picchu did not disappoint and was everything I could have hoped for.  The Peruvians were very nice people and the trip was great and I would highly recommend it.

Here are a few pictures and to see more click on Elizabeth’s Picasa web link to the left under photography:

Memorial Day Weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend the Thompson Clan headed to Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend and very appropriately to a city very rich in history.   Every Memorial Day weekend we try to get everyone together somewhere new to visit and spend time together.  In the past we’ve gone to Niagara Falls, Savannah, and Orlando.   

On Memorial day we visited the Fort Sumter National Monument which you have to take a boat to and as you approach it the fort seems surprisingly small.  We took a horse drawn carriage tour of the city where we learned a little bit more about the city and about a very unique feature of most of the houses…the piazza.  A piazza is a covered, usually screened in, porch that is attached to the side of a home that is used for more living and entertaining space.  Charleston was a great town and a fun place to spend a weekend with lots of stuff to do.  Thanks to the Thompson Clan for another great Memorial Day trip! 

Here are a few of the pictures and to see more click on my picasa web link to the left under photography.

Carriage Tour

Broad Street

Elizabeth and Brian

Sandra, Max and Mike

Happy Birthday Nona!

House Portrait

In April a group of us (E, Brian, Mariam, Scott, Mandy, Marion, Mark, Jessica, Stephen and Mike) attended the Houston Heights Candlelight Dinner and Auction where we “won” a custom home portrait by Melinda Patrick.  I was so excited we “won” because this was by far my favorite piece donated to the auction.  Last week we received the final painting and it’s perfect.  To see more info about Melinda visit her website http://www.melindapatrick.com/ Below is the picture of the house and the painting:

Home Picture

Home Portrait

Texas Hill Country Tour

A couple of weekends ago we (E, Brian, Mariam, Stephen and Jessica) loaded into the car and traveled to the Hill Country for Kelli and Tim’s wedding in Comfort Texas.  The wedding was very nice and was the best “Texas” themed wedding I’ve attended.  Tim called it “y’allternative” and it lived up to the name!  Friday night we got to Comfort just in time to close down the only restaurant open until 9:00 and then proceeded to the bar across the street called the “Meet Market” which was a serve yourself bar with some locals filling in for their friends who own the bar who were out of town for the weekend….needless to say we shut it down at 11:30.  We then headed to the “Cocky Rooster” which was described to us by the locals as “rough” and we should go at our own risk…so of course we did.  It turned out to be a night of goldschlager shots and lots of local entertaining people watching.  Saturday morning we got up and headed to Fredrickburg for a day of shopping and talking along the main street then to the wedding.  Sunday around lunch we headed over to Luckenbach http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/) for a Lone Star Beer and to hang out with “With Waylon and Willie and the Boys” (just kidding just could not resist).   Then we headed over to Becker Winery for the lavender festival and did a wine tasting.  It was a great weekend and a great reason to celebrate Tim and Kelli’s new life together!

Luckenbach Texas

Becker Winery

NOLA – Jazzfest

Bourbon Street, Crawfish, Jazzfest, Beignets and dancing (sometimes even on the bar) - it must be New Orleans!  This was my first Jazzfest and the first time back to the Big Easy post Katrina and it did not disappoint.   We met Dave and Christiana on Friday night at the airport and headed to dinner at Brennan’s then out to Bourbon for a few drinks.  Saturday we got up and went to brunch at Mother’s then Chris gave us the tour of Tulane and the Garden District on the Street Car which was a first for us.  Sunday we headed to Jazzfest with perfect weather and fabulous food (crawfish monica and crawfish enchiladas),  After the festival we went for hamburgers at Port of Call then hit Coyote Ugly for some drinks, shots and dancing!  Monday morning we headed to the best brunch we’ve ever had at the Oceana Grill – who serves Petunia’s breakfast – this is a do not miss for brunch while in NO which was recommended by Jennifer Torres – thanks Torres!

Vacation Planning

After months of discussions and looking through books we have decided and planned our next vacation…PERU!  We are both very excited and have wanted to see Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Lake Titicaca (yes it sounds just like it’s spelled) for awhile and now we will.  Guess I’ll need to practice my picture taking skills to get the “perfect” shot of Machu Picchu!

Crawfish Boil 2010

The one thing about Houston is that if you don’t like the weather just stick around because it will change.  This is so true after this past weekend.  Last week was great weather with lots of sunshine until Saturday when the rain moved in and the temperature dropped 30 degrees.  Sounds like perfect weather for a Crawfish Boil right?  Everyone made the best of it and the Crawfish Boil went on with 2 tents and 2 fire pits.  A special thanks to our Cajun Cooks – Shane and Viet – we appreciate your crawfish expertise.  Maybe next time the weather will cooperate. 

Trip to Austin

The first weekend of March a few of us went to Austin to celebrate Mariam’s birthday.  Friday night Elizabeth, Brian, Mandy, Scott and Mariam went to dinner then to the Broken Spoke,  a true “Texas Honky Tonk”, for a little country dancing.   Saturday night the rest of the crew (Jennifer and Aaron, and Jennifer T.) arrived in Austin and met up with Amy A. and we went out to dinner then out on the town to a hookah bar then out for some dancing.  It was a great weekend with amazing weather which would make anyone want to live in Austin!

Honeymoon – Trip Of A Lifetime

After the wedding we left for French Polynesia aka Tahiti.  It was like living in a postcard!  We were there for 11 nights where we spend 1 night in Tahiti, 3 nights on Morea, 2 nights on Huahine, 2 nights on Vahini and 3 nights on Bora Bora.  Here are a few shots which ofcourse do not do it justice.