So here are some of the highlights.
Seeing the stars - We went with the #3 clan north about 3 hours to Abiquiu where they had rented a house that they specifically researched so we could do stargazing. Hadn't seen skies like this for many, many a year. Wife and 3A had a great time trying out there night sky photographic technique.
Sharing good wine - There aren't a whole lot of folks that I ask over if it is a particularly good bottle of wine. Daughter #3 and son-in-law 2B are on the list. I had a fine Bordeaux that I had been gifted and added a 1998 Hermitage then had an adults only meal with the #2's and #3's. Great wine, company, and food.
Cooking both expansive and under control - I struck a good balance by doing a lot of cooking for the first three days we were all together then having enough leftover that it took care of a number of days afterward.
Surprise party for #2 - She is turning 40 later this month and we were successful and completely surprising her.
Success with the smoker and the new grill - I will have to do a separate post just on the new grill I have had fabricated for us. Let me just say it is a marvel of non-moving part flexibility and delivers a superior grilled product with tons of flavor especially when using real charcoal and not briquets. And I have got the process of making spare ribs down to a science on the smoker.
The ultimate family picture - Finally, finally we got everyone in the picture. Even though there were a few potential holdouts, all made it into the shot.
I haven't been terribly diligent about taking pictures but here are some from the beginning.
Some pictures from early on during the invasion
Cousins Bonding Over Thomas the Train
My super, cosmic, custom made, charcoal grill
Still learning how to best use it but some great results so far
View from the rental overlooking Abiquiu Lake
#3 showing 3.2 how to 'take in the view'
Wife studying up for the evening night star shoot
The #3 clan
A study of the many phases of #3
3.1 in intent listening mode
The 'Wild' 3.2
And the 'hip' 3.2
Abiquiu was first set up in the mid 1700's and was a classic representation of New World Spanish Square town planning
The Santos Tomas El Apostol church named for Saint Thomas the Apostle when he was hiding under a Spanish disguise.
Abiquiu hit it big in the late 19th/early 20th centuries when it was a center for the international pinon nut trade. Then the great pinon nut crash of 1924 came and nearly wiped out the town. All that is left are the sad memories of the golden days.