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Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

With my parents in town ahead of our wedding we made an early trip out to Port Townsend to wrap up some final details and make a trip to the annual Wooden Boat Festival. The weather was stunning for the occasion and the mix of boats, big and small, and of many different styles and backgrounds was impressive to see. It's refreshing to see so much energy, excitement and enjoyment around an interest like this.

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Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival set on Flickr.

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Camping on Third Beach

Back in August a group of friends headed out to the far west coast of the Olympic Peninsula to Third Beach. Despite a light drizzle on the evening of our arrival the weather picked up as the weekend progressed. There is no shortage of driftwood on the beach and armed with a heavy ax we built a substantial shelter and impressive bonfire. Fun weekend.

Weather clearing

Sunset

Camping on Third Beach set on Flickr.

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Trip to Venice

While back in the UK earlier in August, Amy and I took a side trip to Venice, Italy for just a few days.

It's a fairly short flight out of East Midlands Airport into Venice. You ride on a quick bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma and then leave the wheels behind. There really are no cars. Boats, water or by foot are the only means of getting around the city. And that goes for everything else too - food, water, produce, fish and trash. Oakley_20090803_0827

History runs deep and is inextricable from the identity of the city. That said, by visiting in August (holiday season) the ratio of tourists to Venetians was a bit out of balance. We did find ourselves some escape from the crowds later on, however. Oakley_20090804_0721

Gondolas share the water with taxis and huge vaporetto water-buses. It's a wild confusion of traffic. Servezio Gondole

The Palazzo Ducale di Venezia (Doge's Palace) afforded some relief from the heat. The huge ornate rooms are very impressive. And some of the maps depicting the geographic understanding of the world hundreds of years ago were fascinating. Oakley_20090804_0790

The view from the Campanile in Piazza San Marco offers a stunning view of the city. From up there the density of the buildings completely explains the tight mesh of alleys and walkways throughout. View from the Campanile in Venice

Another fun trip.

Full Venice photos on Flickr.

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Trip to England

Barely back in Seattle for a quick change of clothes after the Tabernash adventure and we were on the road again, this time taking a trip back to England to see family and friends, attend a wedding and a garden party.

It was really great spending time with people I hadn't seen in far too long and getting a chance to catch up with those things that make 'home' feel like home. May I present a selection:

Old buildings. Kenilworth Castle in this case. Oakley_20090802_0990

A real chip shop. Yes, that does read 'Fish and chips fried in beef dripping'. No fish and chips on this trip but I did rather enjoy a shopping tour around Morrisons - twiglets, cherry bakewells, malt loaf, real Cadburys chocolate, party rings and other assorted goodies. Oakley_20090802_0958

Staffordshire Oatcakes. Great breakfast to fuel a day of 24 hours of traveling on the way home. Oatcake Heaven, freshly made daily

A feast of home-grown vegetables. Mum has been doing some great work in her allotment. Oakley_20090807_0848

A trip to the Jephson Gardens in Leamington Oakley_20090802_0956

More pictures in the England trip set on Flickr

In just ten days we also packed in an excursion to Venice and were honored to be joined by family and friends for a UK-based pre-wedding garden party. More on those to follow.

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Devils Thumb Ranch

Wedding season is in full swing. This last weekend saw us flying in to Denver and then driving up to Tabernash, Colorado just past Winter Park for a family wedding at Devil's Thumb Ranch.

At a mere 9000ft, even simple things like a walking around leave you winded. The temperature range is quite marked too, from 40F degrees at night to probably 90F during the day with intense sun. The scenery is fabulous, however.

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Friday night was a Western-themed barbecue at Heck's Tavern and perhaps the most fabulous collection of bolo ties ever assembled in a single place.

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The ceremony and reception were a real treat too. As was the very impressive owner's house in which we stayed. Overall, a great weekend all round.

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Reed and Tess's wedding set

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Oakley Manor turns 100

A couple of weeks ago we figured that our fine Seattle Craftsman home was about a hundred years old. Construction details from 1909 are a little sketchy but it seemed as though July 12 was as good a day as any to mark the centennial occasion.

Oakley Manor turns 100

I never fail to be impressed by the quality of dishes brought to a potluck barbecue.

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Fun times.

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Reading digest for 07/06/09 to 07/13/09

Interesting finds from around the web this week:

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Fourth of July

Yesterday was July 4th and America's 233rd birthday. Oakley_20090704_0456

As we headed down to Dexter the Fire Department was already on scene putting out some flames on the side of the road. The combination of 90 degree weather, grilling and random fireworks, it's a busy day for them. Oakley_20090704_0370

Everyone enjoying the sunshine. Oakley_20090704_0436

Tens of thousands of people filling Gasworks Park. We had shade and a great view. Oakley_20090704_0444

Boats on Lake Union after the fireworks. Oakley_20090704_0459

Fourth of July set.

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Vespas on Roosevelt

All was not normal at the Racer Cafe this morning. Some combination of the Vespa Club of Seattle and Westenders Scooter Club were gathering there about to head out on a driving tour to Mukilteo. Who know this city was large enough to sustain two independent interest groups around scooters

With all the scooters lined up along the street, I had to grab my camera and get some shots.

Vespas on Roosevelt

Vespas on Roosevelt

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Vespas on Roosevelt

Vespas on Roosevelt

Cafe Racer, Seattle