Category Archives: We Still Get Around!

All about trips and travel.

Finally Making the Family Passport Wallet

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Two Christmases ago I gave Dave a paper gift bag. Inside it was a handful of fat quarters, half a yard of interfacing and a velcro strip. Also, the pattern for the Family Passport  Wallet.

For the past 23 years, we’ve been traveling with our passports and boarding passes in this:

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Awful, right? I’d intended to make the new travel wallet and give it to Dave that Christmas, but that didn’t happen what with December being December … and also Christmas. So he got all the materials in a baggie, along with the promise that I would sew it as soon as I could.

Fast forward a year and a half and I’m visiting Kelli for the weekend. I know I can take one small sewing project with me, and the travel wallet it was!

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With its clean lines and many pockets, this project is all about neat pinning, carefully ironing and precise stitching. It sewed up in an afternoon over a glass of wine and a bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips.

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I am very happy with the result!

A Very Canadian Christmas

 

A very Canadian Christmas

Except for the part where there was no snow, it was a very Canadian Christmas. We did all the things we love doing in Victoria—bundled up and went walking, took in an ice-hockey game, warmed up in good coffee shops, and visited with all of Dave’s family.

Perhaps because I was more concerned about cramming ALL OF CHRISTMAS (!) into our suitcases before leaving, I forgot to pack my Canon, so the pictures on Flickr are courtesy of my phone unfortunately. Still, I hope you enjoy them!

One Community: January!

 

I’m not even going to try to limit myself to four photos for this month’s One Community roundup! We spent Christmas and New Year in Canada with Dave’s extended family, and the pictures are just too rich to not share!

Treasure. The heart of our visits to Victoria, BC, is always the opportunity for our boys to get to know their grandparents and older cousins, and spend time playing with their younger cousins. Tau asks about Kai (9) and Tait (6) often and opportunities to see them are rare. So when they do get together, it makes for rich little-dude photo ops like these:

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Cosy pub lunch after watching Kai’s ice-hockey game

Kai loves his baby cousin

Kai adores his baby cousin

Christmas cousins

Christmas cuzzies

Silver.  We were lucky enough to have two big feasts! One on Christmas day and a second a few days later when our oldest niece Kendra and her fiance Zack flew in from Australia where they live. 

At the first dinner, Dave’s sister Trisha placed a handmade cracker on each plate. Inside? A small gift for that person—holiday perfection.

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What this picture doesn’t show is the certifiable CRAZY that defines Walsh get togethers. Twenty-five of us crammed into a home designed for four people, climbing over each other to move from room to room, hunting down your misplaced wine or beer glass, washing and drying dishes in between courses, straining to converse with an aunt or nephew that you haven’t seen in a year over the shouting din. The kids’ table looked like this at the first meal. Not exactly off the pages of Martha Stewart. Right after this, Maceo spilled someone’s juice all over that table.

Just a few of the kids!

Just a few of the kids!

Resolution. There is little room for me-time or reflection on our trips North. I did get out for a nice long walk around our old neighborhood of Oak Bay on Old Year’s Eve though.

Dave and I lived in Victoria for 12 years before moving to San Diego. We married there and put each other through college there. It’s the place where we forged our partnership, struggled to make ends meet, and aspired to live somewhere else. So, returning is bittersweet. Around every corner in this town shrouded in winter is a memory, a feeling, a sense—each one particular and loaded with emotion.

So my walk around the bay, up through the golf course, and back past our old apartment was poignant as I closed out 2013 and looked forward to the new year. Surrounded by our old community, I was very aware of the choices we made twelve years ago to go do something different, and the many blessings we have experienced doing so.

These days, as a working, older mom of small boys, I am beyond torturing myself with New Year’s resolutions. Looking into 2014 is more about focusing on gentle intensions. On small actions that I can give priority, that will lead me to be healthier and more capable. That is all.

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Garden gate, Victoria, BC

Winter. We were fortunate to have moderate weather during our visit. Four years ago, we were in Victoria for Christmas and the cold was bitter! This year we packed warmer clothes, fleecy PJs and slippers, a hot water bottle and heating pad. And it made all the difference.

We are spoiled by San Diego winters—the sunshine, the balmy temperatures, the outdoor opportunities. Winter in Victoria reminded me that our sunshine and longer days are like gold!

Sunrise, Christmas morning

Sunrise, Christmas morning

Mid-morning, overlooking Oak Bay

Mid-morning, overlooking Oak Bay

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Happy New Year, friends!

See you next month!

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and communities with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art.

Each month, one of the hosts picks four words for us to interpret through photographs of what we see around us in our daily lives. You can see my previous entries for July, August and September. Starting this month, we’re opening this project up to anyone who would like to participate! We would love to have you join us! The link-up will begin on October 5th and stay open for one week.

The Rules: Post one or more photos interpreting the words for the month, and add your blog post to the link-up. Please include a link back to the link-up post on your One Community post, and take a look at some of the other links and comment on them. This link-up is all about building community!

Instacamping

 

Our new mega tent

 
Saturday night we took the kids, plus two of Tau’s friends, to our local family “campout.” And I use “quotes” because it involved Dave and Tau pitching our new tent in the afternoon at Lake Poway, then going out for dinner at a local sushi restaurant, driving five minutes to the lake and sleeping the night in the tent, then packing up our gear in the morning and driving five minutes home.

Our city hosts this event a four or five times throughout the summer, and it’s a lot of fun. They offer evening hikes; camp songs and scary stories around the fire; glow necklaces for all the kids; graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate for s’mores; and coffee and danishes in the morning. And it gets us out camping without schlepping out to the mountains. No propane stoves or pit potties or long drives in the car.

Instacamping? Here are some Instagram shots:

Moo and Dad

Rocking this camping thing with my dad

Catching up

Keeping up with the big boys

Marshmallows

Roasting marshmallows for s’mores

In the tent

Guess who thought sleeping in the tent was the best thing ever? 

Best. Dad. Ever.

 

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Taken Hawaii, Nov. 2012.

Canada the Lovely



Earlier this month, we spent a week up north on Vancouver Island.

In addition to catching up with Dave’s cousins, aunts, parents and siblings, we spent a few days up at the family cottage, on the ocean at Saltair. Dave’s brother Stu and his boys joined us, which made for much fun beach combing, boating and crabbing for the kids.

Tau learned to solo kayak, Maceo became an honorary Canuck, we proved that siblings who drink beer together start to look awfully alike, and I got to savor and demolish a whole crab!

The rest of the pictures are here for your viewing pleasure. I’m reminded every time we visit just how gorgeous British Columbia is in its clean, natural beauty. Enjoy!

2011 in Pictures

Every year, Dave and I send our parents a calendar featuring photos from the year that has passed.

It’s always hard to choose just 12 pictures that represent the different seasons of the year.

As 2011 passes, I thought we’d share this year’s calendar shots with you all. Enjoy!