We are on spring break! Today we arrived here in Crested Butte, Colorado. It is beautiful!! Our kids have never seen snow so it's been a fun day. Well, let me rewind.
The first part of the day was, um, trying. Traveling with little kids is just so difficult. My kids were actually pretty good but we got seated behind this witchy, horrible woman who kept shooting us dirty looks and making these exasperated sounding sighs. She made me so uncomfortable that it made my flight miserable and made me restrict my kids more than they needed to be. She even made that same sigh and gave us a dirty look when we were walking out into the parking lot and Finn accidentally tripped on an un-level concrete patch. I mean, like is he not allowed to fall either? Sheesh! On a nice note, On our flight I saw a friend and client of mine, Jennifer Knupp. She had her husband and kids and they were off to Telluride. The last time I saw her and the kids was when I photographed Avery (her daughter) as a newborn.
Is it boys in general, all kids or just mine who can't resist an opportunity to pee outside? Well, my guys had a blast with a quick roadside pit stop to pee in the snow.
You know what they say about yellow snow...
Once we were at the house, the kids were so excited to get outside and play in all the snow!
Sayer had so much fun eating the snow. He ate icicles too!
Steven joined in on the snow eating fun too.
Look how happy Sayer is. That's just amazing.
This little tree is just outside the front door.
After the snow play, we hung out inside drinking hot cocoa and watching The Little Rascals.
I love watching them when they aren't watching me.
I'll leave you with the icicles off the back porch. Sayer wants me to go cuddle with him while we watch a cool Nova episode about bees. More later!
I took so many pictures in Chile! I finally got them all downloaded today. It was so nice to just shoot and not have any expectations surrounding it. I brought very minimal equipment (one camera body, no flash, a 50 mm lens and a 17-35mm lens). It was like being on a scavenger hunt but without a detailed list. I was simply exploring and looking around. Here are a few of my finds...
a view of the coach race
the big horse barn and some of the occupants. One of them was named Farah! These first two are siblings- look at their different demeanors.
the yard closest to the main house
Even on vacation, I can't resist a cute pair of baby feet!
Jan and his puppy
We took a day trip into Villarrica. The town sits lakeside with a huge volcano on the opposite end of the lake. It's beautiful! It was cloudy so I never got a great volcano shot. Sorry! One of the families that we met own a shoe company called Kebba. They make these awesome wooden clogs. I bought myself and my clog loving friend, Brene, a pair. They're super comfortable! The BW picture below is on the wall of their shop. It is their daughter Steffi and her little cousin, Kiki, when they were smaller.
After clog shopping, we went to the family lake house. It was just amazing! I wish we could have stayed longer because I would have loved to see the sun coming up over that lake.
Relaxing, Chile style. The shot on the left is the backyard at the farmhouse. That tree canopy in the background is the little forest I posted about before. The boats were alongside the lake.
I hope you are enjoying the pictures. I really had a great time shooting them!
I have found my favorite place on the farm. Just a little ways off from the main house there is a grove of very tall trees. Right in the center is a tiny house modeled after Snow White. It has little chairs and little beds inside just like the story. Inside the forest it is cool and very quiet except for the sound of birds and running water nearby. Ewe planted this forest in the 70's. He told me that his Father used to always say that when it seems like it is the end of the world, you must build or make something new. So, in the midst of political turmoil with Allende, he planted this forest. I have to keep this idea firmly in my mind. It's powerful.
looking up into the canopy of trees
perhaps the trees are watching us?
and the little house
This is Kiki. I think she is so beautiful! I am hoping to get pictures of the rest of the kids today.
Today we are supposed to go see the volcano at Villarica. I'm really excited about it. More later!
Today is actually Saturday but I am only now getting the images from Friday sorted out. Yesterday was the beginning of the horse show. The first event was dressage with carriages (very cool restored carriages) and afterwards it was jumping. I took in some of the show but then wandered off on my own to find cool stuff to photograph. I also managed to find a cool little hideaway to do some drawing, which was a real treat for me.
The grounds are really pretty and they have an amazing garden.
Next to the garden is a small stable with about 6 stalls. They have other huge barns with many stalls but this must have been an older original one. These two horses seemed to like one another...
and this one decided to give me a closer look
Oh, I completely forgot to post about dinner the other night! On Thursday evening they had a reception of sorts for the horse show attendees. It was mostly the judges, friends and sponsors. They have this huge open cooking pit built into a outdoor dining room aside the house. The room is awesome. The main table is huge- maybe about 40 feet long and made out of a single tree (Steven would love it!). It's really incredible. At the end of the tree table is the pit, which is round and about 6-8 feet across and has a metal grill over it and was filled with hot coals. They had these metal platters hung above it on pulleys. Inside the trays were meats and sausages (both Danny and Steven would have loved that!). At one point, one of the guests asks me if I have tried this one dish and pointed to it. I asked what it was and he says "mountain oysters". I had heard about this kind of thing before and knew it was some sort of body part or organ or something. Sure enough...it was goat testicles. Now I am pretty adventurous and will try lots of different foods but I had to draw the line. Blech! Here they are cooking. the other picture of is some awesome Chilean wine (that I did try!).
OK, now back to Friday. After the morning events, they had a BBQ up on the hill. From the top of the hill you could see wheat fields for acres and acres and beyond that in the distant horizon, a big volcano. I tried earnestly to capture the grandeur of the wheat fields and the volcano but that is just one of those things that a camera can't interpret as well as the eye. You will have to use your imagination. Lunch was goat (yes, more goat), potatoes, marinated tomatoes, the most amazing sopapillas you have ever tasted (made fresh on top of the hill in a huge fryer) and fresh salsa. It was awesome! I couldn't help thinking about how Danny is a chef and does competitive BBQ'ing and I thought he'd love the way they cooked the goats. So, Danny, these two images are for you!
I am really enjoying my time away from work and "real life" but I keep finding myself thinking "Oh, Steven would love this" or Sayer and Finn would be having so much fun". Traveling without my little tribe always feel a little lonely. I am with my stepmother, Wendy, and she is a great travel companion so I am not really solo. I am also very aware of how hard this trip would have been for my kids and I know that they really need to be a little older before they would be able to do this trip well. Thank goodness for ichat though. I've been able to chat with my guys every morning and see their faces on my screen and even exchange virtual kisses too. However, I can't help but wish that they were here with me enjoying all the new sights, sounds and surroundings. I really miss you guys!
I will leave you with a few more pictures from yesterday. This is one of the coach horses, the coolest tree house I have ever seen and the wheat fields.
Chile is beautiful! We are staying on the farm of a family member. It is a distant cousin of my stepmother actually. They are having a horse show this weekend and the place is filled with people and horses.
The flight in was HARD. I think we figured it was about 20 hours of traveling with only about an hour of sleeping. We were beat when we got here. The family picked us up at the airport in Temuco and drove us around a little doing some quick sightseeing. We took a fast stroll around a local market. I bought Finn a beautiful handmade wool sweater and myself a poncho. You can buy skeins of hand spun and hand dyed wool as well. It's really nice- with a great nubby texture and rich natural colors. There was a ton of fresh fish at the market as well. Here are a few glances at the market. the gnome was on the mantle at a local chocolate shop.
and a bus passing by (you can see me in the reflection)
The family here operates a dairy that produces milk and cheese. It's not a small farmers market type of operation but more like a Chilean version of Horizon or something (the co. name is Surlat). The milk is sold all over the country in the major stores. They also make yogurt. My kids love chocolate milk so I bought some that I am bring home for them. The chocolate is incredible- much richer than what we get in the US. The grandkids of Ewe (pronounced oo-vay, he is the farm owner) have just recently returned from a year long trip around the world. During their trip they got accustomed to "regular milk" vs. fresh-from-the-cow milk so now Ewe has to go into town and buy his own milk for them. Pretty hilarious if you ask me.
the grocery carts outside...
some things are the same the world over...
The year long trip began in Chile in an RV. They drove up through Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and into the US. They went all through CA, Nevada, Alaska, Canada, NYC and down to Florida. Then they flew to Europe and on to China, Australia and Africa. What an amazing journey! Can you imagine your 3 kids in an RV for a year? The youngest is 8 and the eldest is a teenager. I just think it is amazing. Many people never make it out of Texas much less to Africa and beyond!
The kids are great to watch. Each of Ewe's daughters has 3 or more children. They are all around the same ages and have sort of paired up amongst themselves with the cousin they enjoy the most. The two youngest girls are together all day and the two 10 & 11 year old boys are always together. They just run wild around the farm. One minute they ride by on bikes and the next you see them swimming in the lake or climbing into the massive tree house. It must be so amazing to grow up here. I was talking to one of the fathers and he said when they are here that an entire day may go by and they will hardly see the kids. They come in and eat when everyone eats or when they get hungry in between. They just seem like they are in their own world. They are always around and you see them periodically but they are never bored. They are always active! One of my favorite finds here is a little forest right in the middle of the farm. It has a tiny house in the center. I took a ton of pictures and will post those tomorrow. Sayer and Finn would love it here. Watching the kids run free like that makes me miss mine so much. The landscape is amazing. There are rivers, flowers, a swimming pool, a trampoline, horses and even roaming peacocks!
Here are 2 of the grandchildren, Jan and Kai.
Now it is time for lunch so I have to get off the computer and back into the action! More later...