Dec 31, 2002 (Lake Tahoe)
Our age is beginning to show. After toasting the new year with champagne (and 7-up for Johnny) at 10:00, all except Andy retired for the night. Andy headed off to Crystal Bay to seek the benevolence of the Gods of Blackjack (he succeeded). Maybe it was the trudging and sledding that did us in.
Dec 29, 2002 (Lake Tahoe)
Margaret, Monica, Mark, Mike, and Johnny went skiing, Andy went snowboarding, and Pat and Lew stayed home to baby-sit Katie. Amazingly there were no mishaps either on the hill or in the condo. Mark shows the effect of skiing the black diamond trails.
Dec 27, 2002 (Lake Tahoe)
Margaret, Mark and the kids along with Andy arrived just before a storm that dumped three feet of snow in the area. The picture on the left is Andy's car after the first day. The second day's accumulation was about the same. Katie appears to have celebrated her first birthday by learning how to run. I suppose walking will be next.
Dec 26, 2002 (Lake Tahoe)
We drove across Carson Pass to Minden, Nevada and then north to Reno where we met up with Monica and Mike, and eventually to Lake Tahoe. It appeared as if everyone in Reno was returning Christmas presents as there was almost total gridlock on the streets. We managed to get to the lake after a full day in the car.
Dec 24, 2002 (Twain Harte, CA)
Once again, we had Christmas in the Sierras with Nancy and Packy Maxwell. They have a new pet named Jessie who appears to be half dog, half rabbit (and very cute). It's always fun to look out of the back window in the morning and see herds of deer passing through.
Dec 17, 2002 (Barrington, IL)
If you were a contributor to Mike and Monica's Chuppah, you may have wondered what happened to it. Well it only took a year, but it is now mounted, framed, and on display in M&M's house. Here it is!
Dec 11, 2002 (Los Angeles)
Ross and Kelly were walking in Doggie Park, when they encountered a man with a pet wolf. For Ross and the wolf it was love at first sight. According to Ross, wolves show their affection by biting your chin. Not sure what to make of that but it does look like he enjoyed the nip more than the lick.
Dec 10, 2002 (Houston)
Pat is at it again with another bridge luncheon. This time she hosted 16 ladies in the party room of our condominium. Good food, good wine, and good bridge until the wine kicked in. No more parties until next week.
Dec 3, 2002 (Houston)
Pat and her friends Dian Sutherland and Judy Massey hosted a Holiday coffee for 175 members of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Guild at Judy Smith's house in Tanglewood. The hostesses were a little nervous when a storm came through, but everything turned out well.
Nov 30, 2002 (Austin)
We drove to Austin for Thanksgiving weekend with Dick, Jann and crew. We packed the car with a lot of stuff that Andy had been storing in Houston, so neither of us noticed until we got to Austin that our suitcase was still back in Houston. Oh well, only Dick, Jann and Andy knew we were wearing the same clothes for three days.
Nov 16, 2002 (Houston)
On a beautiful fall day in Houston (the temperature dipped into the 40's), we went to see the University of Hawaii football team take on the Rice Owls. The Rainbow Warriors prevailed by 5 points in a game that went down to the final play.
Nov 11, 2002 (Houston)
Pat had friends Betty, Carol, Joyce, Judy, Lynn, Sharon, and Virginia over for bridge and lunch. Lew was director, caddy, waiter, busboy, bartender, wine steward, scorekeeper, photographer, and maintenance man.
Nov 10, 2002 (Houston)
I know it's hard to believe, but we have been in Houston for three whole weeks (not counting a 3-day trip to Bryan to play in a bridge tournament). We are heading to Austin for the annual Brown extended family Thanksgiving and look forward to seeing Andy and Deanna as well as the rest of the central Texas clan.
Oct 20, 2002 (Houston)
Our 2,000 mile odyssey is over and we are still speaking to each other. The drive south took us through Oklahoma. We stopped overnight in Ardmore which is more or less the halfway point. If you are so inclined, you can see a bunch of grandchildren photos by clicking here.
Oct 14, 2002 (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas)
We are greeted by cold weather (32°) and gray skies. Mark, Margaret and the kids are fine. Mark is working hard day and night so we got to play with Johnny and Katie a lot. The post, which overlooks the Missouri River, is very attractive. It looks like a college campus which makes sense as it is the Army's classroom training center.
Oct 13, 2002 (Bella Vista, Arkansas)
Driving north, we stopped to visit some friends from the PRI/BHP days in Hawaii. Tom Pyle also retired from BHP and he and wife Biddy moved to this suburb of Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart) a few years ago. It's quite a nice place.
Oct 11, 2002 (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
Lew's college fraternity classmates get together every two years to rehash the same stories and have a few laughs. One of the guys retired and moved to Arkansas, and he decided to host this year's get together. Hot Springs is quite interesting, and Lake Hamilton is worth a look. The 2004 reunion will be in Savannah. We suggested Houston in August but didn't generate a lot of interest.
Oct 10, 2002 (Hope, Arkansas)
On the way to Hot Springs we stopped in Hope, the boyhood home of Bill Clinton. The old train station has been converted to a Bill Clinton Museum. I asked the guide if they had the infamous blue dress or any other Monica memorabilia. He said no, but they did have Bill's old train set. Oh, well.
Oct 9, 2002 (Shreveport, Louisiana)
We're off! We've never taken a long road trip together so this will be a new experience. The Isle of Capri in Bossier isn't exactly Monaco but it is conveniently located half way to Hot Springs so we may as well spend the night.
Oct 8, 2002 (Houston)
We've been in Houston for eight days so it's time to move'em on out. We're driving to Hot Springs, Arkansas tomorrow with a stop in Bossier City. After a four day reunion with Lew's college fraternity brothers the caravan heads north to Kansas for a visit with the Solomons'. By the time we get back to Houston, the hot weather should be over.
Sep 23, 2002 (Kauai)
We visited the Garden Isle for the first time in many years. We reconfirmed that it is our favorite neighbor island. The scenery is spectacular, particularly Waimea Canyon. One of the trip highlights was an encounter with a Hawaiian monk seal sunning himself on the beach in front of our hotel. We had heard about these large mammals for a long time but had never encountered one in the wild.
Sep 20, 2002 (Honolulu)
Oahu has many miles of wonderful hiking trails. A guide at the Hawaii Nature Center suggested we try a three mile hike in the Makiki Valley. She described it as moderately difficult. She mentioned that it was "kind of" steep in the beginning, but after that it leveled out. Ouch. Kind of and moderate are relative terms, and I'm sure that relative to Mount Everest it was a piece of cake, but we had pretty tired legs for a couple of days.
Sep 15, 2002 (Honolulu)
The weather is hot and humid in Houston (we hear), but it couldn't be nicer in Honolulu. Pat's sister Dolly was here for a couple of weeks of intense tourism. On her final day, we went to lunch at the Halekulani. We think it is still the nicest hotel on Oahu.
Sep 10, 2002 (Houston)
Eat your hearts out football fans - LNL was there as the Houston Texans humiliated the Dallas Cowboys at Reliant Stadium. Even if they don't win another game all year, the season will considered a success. Great crowd on hand for the inaugural regular season game. The noise level was unbelievable.
Sep 08, 2002 (Houston)
Mike and Monica are now officially yuppies, having purchased an SUV. I think Mike got tired of removing Willy's dog hair from his black Mitsubishi. I wonder if Willy and Buddy are considered cousins, even though they are both adopted.
Aug 29, 2002 (Houston)
Pro football has returned to Houston and with it some impressive traffic jams. The new stadium is outstanding and the team may surprise some people. Lew took advantage of Pat's absence and saw the final pre-season game against the Tampa Bay Bucs. The home team lost 17-13 but were quite respectable.
Aug 27, 2002 (Houston)
Pat is in Honolulu while Lew remains in Houston. The only downside of our trip to Maine was that we missed Johnny's third birthday party. Margaret sent along some pictures of the gala event. The highlight was the arrival of a real fire truck and firemen. Click here to see more party pix.
Aug 14, 2002 (York Harbor, Maine)
After consuming copious quantities of lobster, we decided to find out something about lobstering. We arranged a tour with Capt. Tom Farnum, a retired science teacher and part time lobsterman. He has about 50 traps, including one he calls a tourist trap, in which he keeps an eight pounder to show off.
Aug 12, 2002 (York Harbor, Maine)
We had brunch at the York Harbor Reading Room, the oldest social club in continuous operation in the western hemisphere. Invitations are hard to come by, but our fearless leader, John Link, arranged it somehow. We ate outside and the view was spectacular.
Aug 10, 2002 (York Harbor, Maine)
Along with four other couples, we rented a large house in this historic little town in southern Maine. The house is on the banks of the York River which experiences 11 foot tides. We've named the house Fawlty Towers. The omnipresent owners are very entertaining.
Aug 6, 2002 (Houston)
Back in town for a short stay after a quick trip to Florida where we visited Kay and participated in Martin Jacoby's birthday festivities. We plan to escape Houston's heat by going to Maine for a week starting Friday. Our contact number will be 207-363-8333.
Jul 19, 2002 (Barrington, IL)
Before heading back to Houston, we spent a day at Monica and Mike's house in Barrington. They have recently acquired a new dog (Wilbur) and a new cat (Orville). Wilbur is taking Mike and Monica to obedience school. They are doing very well.
Jul 18, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
The week ended with Mark and Margaret packing all their belongings for the drive to their new home at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This included Johnny's construction vehicles which he had been using for a major project on the front lawn. The consensus was that Lake Geneva was a perfect spot for a family get together, and plans are being formulated for a return visit. For more pictures, click here.
Jul 18, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
Andy, Mark and Lew hired a guide with a boat for some lake fishing. The trip got off to a slow start when the guide, immediately after launching his boat, discovered that he had left all the fishing rods at home. We did manage to catch several large and small mouth bass which were cleaned by the guide. The fish was cooked and everyone pretended that they tasted good (they didn't).
Jul 16, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
The house turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The back door opened unto a community association common park area with substantial lakefront which included a dock and roped off swimming area.
Jul 15, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
We took a short drive to a trout farm in Palmyra, WI. The fishing wasn't very challenging as the ponds are heavily stocked with trout. It was Johnny's first fishing experience and he caught three rainbows including a 3.5 pounder. Here is Uncle Andy demonstrating some of the finer points of angling.
Jul 14, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
We took a two hour boat ride around the lake and saw some of the beautiful estates and shoreline. Katie didn't think Uncle Mike needed his hat so removed it for him.
Jul 13, 2002 (Lake Geneva)
Wisconsin, not Switzerland. Andy, Johnny, Katie, Margaret, Mark, Mike and Monica joined us for a week of summer fun in Williams Bay on Geneva Lake. We rented a house via the internet and weren't quite sure what to expect.
Jun 30, 2002 (Houston)
We are back in Houston after a wonderful month in Hawaii. Lew is home nursing sore legs after accepting a challenge from Lee Alden to climb to the top of Diamond Head. The hike is a little strenuous, but well worth the effort as the 360º view from the summit is spectacular.
Jun 24, 2002 (Honolulu)
The wedding guests returned to the mainland, and the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of lunches, dinners (and occasional breakfast), golf and bridge games. The weather has been great (Hawaii no ka oi) except the the usual rain at the Oahu Country Club. Lew managed to get sick after playing only 9 holes in the rain. We are presently "winterizing" the apartment prior to our Friday departure.
Jun 11, 2002 (Honolulu)
Andy, Mark and Lew did something few men ever have - participated in a bridal shower! Vi Dolman hosted the event at her beautiful house in Kahala. Other than the aforementioned, the guests were all ladies. I've always heard that ladies like to tell off-color jokes at showers, but this group must have been inhibited by the male presence.
Jun 9, 2002 (Honolulu)
Wedding Day! CLICK HERE to see the pictures.
Jun 6, 2002 (Honolulu)
The out-of-town guests all arrived today. Don and Jackie Jones hosted a wonderful dinner party at their hilltop home to honor the bride and groom. The views of Diamond Head and the east Oahu shoreline are spectacular.
Jun 2, 2002 (Honolulu)
Hawaii is beautiful as always. Last evening, we had sunset cocktails at the Outrigger Canoe Club. The setting there is sensational. We acquired a new sofa bed after hearing suggestions that the previous sofa bed had been used as an instrument of torture in the Spanish Inquisition.
Jun 1, 2002 (Honolulu)
Andy and Deanna are tying the knot at the Oahu Country Club on June 9 at 5:00. The ceremony will take place outdoors on the south side of the clubhouse where there are spectacular views of the city, ocean, and the Nuuanu Valley. The wedding coordinator has promised good weather for the event.
May 11, 2002 (Houston)
On the final day of Johnny and Katie's visit to Houston, we visited the Children's Museum where Johnny learned how to drive a Volkswagen bus. Later we returned to the Saint James pool where Johnny went swimming with his new friend William.
May 10, 2002 (Houston)
Today we went to the Houston Zoo. Some of the animals were in cages, but the majority were running around loose accompanied by teachers. Later we went to a pool party at the Smith's where Johnny reluctantly agreed to wear arm supports after falling in twice.
May 9, 2002 (Houston)
Houston has many fine museums. Today we visited the Cockrell butterfly exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science. Katie was quite taken with the bright colors. Johnny thought they looked a lot like bugs and tried (without success) to squash them.
May 8, 2002 (Houston)
The highlight of the day was a visit to Aunt Robyn and Uncle Will's house. Johnny and WD entertained everyone with a piano duet. Hard to believe but they never even rehearsed. Johnny also made friends with WD's friend Buddy.
May 7, 2002 (Houston)
Prince John and Princess Kate are in Houston for a royal visit (the Queen Mum - Margaret - is here also). They seem to be enjoying themselves. A good portion of the afternoon was spent at the pool where Johnny displayed his aquatic skills. Katie had her first pool experience. Johnny also indicated that he had made a career choice (my grandson the doctor).
April 28, 2002 (Philadelphia)
We are in Philadelphia with a group from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In four days, we are visiting six of the area's great museum including the Barnes Collection in Lower Merion. This museum contains one of the world's top assemblages of impressionist art. For example, there are 181 paintings by Renoir alone.
Some of the trip highlights were climbing the museum steps made famous in the movie Rocky, contemplating "The Thinker" at the Rodin Museum, and taking in a Stanley Cup Playoff game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Ottawa Senators (the home team lost in sudden death overtime). A whirlwind trip!
April 21, 2002 (Gatlinburg)
Gatlinburg Tennessee, a town of fewer than 4,000 residents, inexplicably hosts the largest bridge regional in the country. After having participated, we are still not sure why. The surrounding area is beautiful, but we didn't encounter any other bridge players on our excursions. We hiked for about an hour on the Appalachian Trail and saw some spectacular scenery.
April 15, 2002 (Fort Stewart)
We have obtained the opinion of an unbiased observer who has determined that these pictures of Katie and Johnny are indeed cute.
April 11, 2002 (Houston)
Andy and Deanna have decided to tie the knot on June 9. The wedding will take place in Hawaii, but the exact time and place are yet to be determined. Congratulations to the happy couple. Stay tuned for more details.
April 4, 2002 (Houston)
If you are going to make it in the restaurant business with a name that sounds unappetizing, you've got to be good. Here are two in Houston which must have great food because their names are pretty bad.
April 1, 2002 (Houston)
We drove up to Austin for Easter and spent Saturday night with Dick and Jann where we met up with Andy and Deanna. Just received the latest grandchildren pix. Here is Johnny visiting the Easter bunny and Katie doing her three month old thing.
March 24, 2002 (Houston)
We had a chance to catch up with a lot of old friends at the ACBL nationals here in Houston. The bridge was nothing to write home about, but what the heck, since we were home, there was nobody to write to anyway.
March 7, 2002 (Houston)
We're back in Houston having avoided a freezing week. This was probably our last visit to Fort Stewart as Mark and Margaret are moving to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas this summer. It was our first visit with granddaughter Katie (she is very cute). Her big brother Johnny is her bodyguard. We also helped Kay move to a new apartment in WillowWood (C103).
February 23, 2002 (Houston)
Still catching up on the paperwork and planning a trip to the east coast next Friday. We will be visiting the Solomons family in Fort Stewart and Kay in Fort Lauderdale.
February 15, 2002 (Houston)
Andy, Deanna, Mike and Monica arrived to help Robyn and Will celebrate at their wedding reception. You can see them in this nice group picture. Also, here is a nice picture of Pat and her brother Dick.
February 12, 2002 (Houston)
Back in Houston after a great six weeks in Melbourne. It will take a while to sort through an accumulation of mail. Some magazines may remain unread.
February 1, 2002 (Kyneton)
We spent the weekend with our friends Anthony and Heather at their farm in Redesdale (near Kyneton). Pat helped Anthony put up apricot preserves. We were awakened in the morning by the screeching of yellow-crested cockatoos.
January 26, 2002 (Melbourne)
Australia Day is the only opportunity to visit Government House, home of Queen Elizabeth's representative. This explains the long queues. The house is magnificent. The formal dining room was set for 54 guests, as it was for the Queen's last visit.
January 24, 2002 (Melbourne)
Back in the car to visit the Mornington Peninsula. We drove to Sorrento and Portsea, the weekend getaway spots for inner city Melburnians. We have also managed to take in three stage plays since we have been here - Mamma Mia!, Bombshells (a one-woman show rumored to be headed for Broadway), and a revival of Sweet Bird of Youth starring Guy Pearce. All were excellent.
January 19, 2002 (Melbourne)
The Royal Melbourne Zoo has a summer concert program which is very popular. We took a "hamper" of wine, cheese and sandwiches and enjoyed a program of big band jazz. We also got to say hello to a wombat.
January 17, 2002 (Melbourne)
Lew was designated driver as we visited several wineries in Victoria's Yarra Valley. The others sampled the wines. Lunch at the DeBortoli Winery followed by a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary wrapped up a very pleasant day.
January 15, 2002 (Melbourne)
The 2002 Australian Open is underway and we spent the day at Melbourne Park. We saw, among others, Pete Sampras, Marat Safin, and Anna Kournakova. Although the others were Grand Slam champions, interest centered around Anna and her stylish blue outfit. Pete and Marat won, but Anna lost.
January 13, 2002 (Melbourne)
We visited the home of the late Australian artist Lin Onus to meet with his family and with his collaborator Michael Eather. It was interesting to see that a large print of "Ginger and My First Wife Check the Mailbox" is on the living room wall with several of Onus' original works. We had acquired the original when we lived in Melbourne.
January 12, 2002 (Melbourne)
We took advantage of a beautiful day in Melbourne by walking through the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Gardens have been infested with 20,000 fruit bats, which can be seen hanging upside down in the trees. Later, Lew and Packy went to the Melbourne Cricket Grounds to see Australia take on South Africa.
January 11, 2002 (Melbourne)
Packy and Nancy Maxwell made the trip from Twain Harte, California to Melbourne in somewhat more than 24 hours, and were ready for bed when they reached the apartment, but we insisted that they remain vertical as long as possible. Here we are in front of the Flinders Street Station, and then later at the Fitzroy Gardens.
January 6, 2002 (Melbourne)
We have arrived in Melbourne after a 15 hour non-stop flight from Los Angeles. Our apartment has a spectacular view of the Melbourne skyline (see left). The temperature was in the high 40's when we arrived on Thursday, but by today (Sunday) it was nearly 100. A short spring. Despite a bit of jet lag, we have been on the go.