February 2008 Archives

Peru Entry #7

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Friday, February 29th, 2008 -

Well we are home. We had a long day of traveling. Before we got on a plane in Peru we did have some time to kill. So we just walked around the streets of Puno before we jumped in a taxi to the airport.

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A local restaurant
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Look at all those potatoes
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This van was jammed so tight with people,their faces were pressed against the windows
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Here is the city’s movie theater
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On the way to the airport we did make drive through a small town and make a stop at another ancient Inca site.
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Well that is it. After this we headed to the airport in Juliaca to catch a flight to Lima. We had to stay the night in Lima to catch an early morning flight today. We are sad to see our trip end. We had such an amazing trip. We love getting out in the world and getting to know a new culture. We are going to make traveling a major part of our lives. So be sure to check back often to see where our next adventure leads us.

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Peru Entry #6

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 -

Yesterday we hung out on Lake Titicaca again. There are a handful of natural islands on the lake also. So we thought we would check one out. On the way out we stopped at a couple more of the handmade floating islands. We still can’t get over these islands.
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The kids on these islands are so cute.
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The woman hard at work.
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Dinner anyone
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This is their kitchen
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On our way to the natural island
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The people on this island live a real simple life.
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They demonstrated on how they farm.
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I had to give them a hand

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We had a local family make us lunch at their house.
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This island sat right between Peru and Bolivia. That’s Bolivia in the background.
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Ther is so much open space on this island. Just land and animals.
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Waiting for our ride back to Puno.
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Where is the boat
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Well we are heading back home tomorrow. I may do one more post when I return home. Peru has been a blast.

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Peru Entry #5

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Monday, February 25th, 2008 -

Yesterday we had another amazing day. We jumped on a plane to head for the city of Puno. It’s a great starting point to explore Lake Titicaca. We heard about these floating islands that people live on. They call them floating islands because they are handmade. They are referred to as the Uros Islands.The Uros people have been living like this for centuries. These islands are made from totora reeds. They use these reeds to make the islands and their homes. They are also used to make crafts that they sell to tourist. The islands are constructed with many layers of these reeds. They constantly replenish them from the top. It is really an amazing thing to see how they live.

Heading out to the islands. It’s about a 30 minute boat ride from the dock of Puno. Where by the way we had an amazing lunch. Right along the dock there are these small food tents. We had grilled chicken and rice. A great salad and a bowl of fresh fruit and fresh fruit juice. the total bill for both of us was $7.

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We have arrived at the islands.
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There are about 40 or 50 of these islands. When we pulled in we saw a soccer game going on. ALso a volley ball game.I guess each small island has its own team.
Check out this soccer field.
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Here are the ladies playing volleyball
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The huts you see are their homes.
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These boats are their means of transportation.
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This is it. They live jut like this. On these very small islands in these huts. Amazing!
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Stephanie just hoping onto the island. It is so weird to walk on. it’s real squishy.
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This lady is just grinding up some cornmeal.
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These kids that live on these islands are so cute.
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We are making some new friends
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We met this woman on the island. She has 9 kids. Crazy. But they were so nice. The kids offered us a ride on one of their rafts that were made out of reeds.
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This was a large size raft. It has 2 people controlling the raft. These young girls were working hard. There were probably at least 12+ people on the raft.
Our drivers
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She looked like she needed a break. So I took over for a little while.
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Pulling up to another island. We jumped around on 3 different islands.
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What a life all these kids have.
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The largest island actually has what they call a hotel. They will rent you these little huts for the night. $6 a night. There is a mattress in the hut and that’s all you get. They have a store on the island and a restaurant. Where the speciality is fresh trout that they catch in the lake.
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They even have a phone booth.
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Here are the hotel rooms.
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They do have schools
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The entrance to the main island
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One more island to check out.
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This is grandma
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She has lived on these islands her whole life. She is close to 100 year old. They say the people on these islands live to close to 100. They say it has a lot to do with the fact that everything they eat is 100% fresh. It’s something to think about with our own diets.

Back to the puerto. (Dock)
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We needed a quick snack. These ladies had great popcorn.
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Our ride back to our hotel.
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A couple quick shots on the way back to our hotel.
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Peru Entry #4

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Sunday, February 24th, 2008 -

WE MADE IT TO MACHU PICCHU!!!!
The protest finally ended yesterday. So the roads were opened back up for travel. We still couldn’t take the train out of Cusco. We had to drive about an hour+ to the city of Ollantaytambo to catch the train. So our day started at 5a.m. being picked up at the hotel for our journey to Machu Picchu.
On the way to the train we would see some of the road blocks that were blocking the road the day before. It was mostly rocks blocking the streets so cars couldn’t get by.
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This was our view from he train on our way to Machu Picchu
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You first arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes. From there you take 20 minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu.
Walking to the bus station.
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We have arrived. We were excited!
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This is the view from Machu Picchu. Not bad.
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We had a blast just wandering around the ancient Incan Ruins. I still can’t get over how they pulled this place off. It is so high in the mountains. These temples are built on the sides of cliffs with massive rocks. I was worn out just hiking around this place. I can’t imagine if I had 100lb boulders on my back.
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I loved the wild llama’s hanging out
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Stephanie is making a friend
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Check out these little guys we saw wandering around the walls
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I had to stop this wall from falling
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So while wandering around we discovered there is another ancient Inca site even higher up the mountain. It’s called Wayna Picchu. It’s about an hour hike straight up. So we said we have come this far. Why not go all the way. We heard the view was amazing.
Here is Stephanie getting ready to take on the hike.
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Almost to the top.
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Keep going wife we are almost there.
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We made it. Like my friend Mark would say after a long hike. We bagged Wayna Picchu.

Looking down on Machu Picchu
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There are these amazing ruins up here also.
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When we made it to the top it started dumping rain. It made the hike back down interesting.
A couple quick shots of us just before we started back down. We had to put the cameras away after this. It was raining way to hard.
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We made it to the bottom with no injuries. Here is Stephanie pointing up at the mountain we just conquered. We were really worked after that mountain. Hiking at these high altitudes made it that much harder. But we loved every minute of it.
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A few more shots before we headed out.
These stone walls are like a puzzle. They made all these stones fit together so perfectly.
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One of our little friends had an itch.
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We had such an amazing day. This place is a must see. Put this at the top of your places to see list.

Today we jumped on a plane for Puno. To explore Lake Titicaca. More amazing places to see. Be sure to check back soon for Lake Titicaca.

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Peru Entry #3

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Friday, February 22nd, 2008 -

Well we were hoping to head out to Machu Pichu yesterday. But there was a little problem. There is a major protest going on in Cusco. So all the roads to the airport are blocked. We need to head to Mach Pichu by train. But the people protesting are blocking the tracks. So the trains are on hold. The people are protesting because they do not want to much commercial development near their ancient sites. The government in Cusco is trying to pass a law that will allow this. So if these were my ancestors sites I wouldn’t want them to commercialized. So we’ve just been taking in more of the city. It’s actually been a great experience so far.
It looks like the trains are going to be back in business tomorrow. We have our train ticket for tomorrow morning to Machu Pichu. Wish us luck.

Here are a few shots of the people gathering for their protest.
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I was hanging out next to this woman at the protest.
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So the protest doesn’t stop us from walking around the streets. There are always more pictures to take.
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If you want to eat real cheap. There are a bunch of options for lunch right off the street
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I love just grabbing quick shots of people on the street
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Would you order this for lunch. Guinea Pig is real popular here. They serve it with the head and all.
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Since we got stuck in Peru a couple extra days the hotel we are at upgraded our room. The first rom we had was fine just real small. The new room is like a loft. Seating area downstairs and the beds upstairs.
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Well I’m off to explore Cusco for 1 more day. Hopefully I’ll be exploring Machu Pichu tomorrow.

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Peru Entry #2

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Thursday, February 21st, 2008 -

Well we had a blast on our first day in Peru. Our 2nd day was even better. Out side of Cusco is what is called the Sacred Valley. More remote towns to visit. Most people do this by signing on to a guided tour. Getting herded arond like cattle from place to place. I will never sign on for that. If you just read up on an area you can do it all on your own. I decided to hire our own driver for the day. Most hotels can help you find a safe and reliable taxi that you can hire for the day. I found one for $50US for the whole day. What a deal. Then you are in charge when and here you stop and how long you stay in a location.
So off we go to explore the Sacred Valley.

Stephanie grabbed the first shot of the day. There are dogs running all over the city. This dog was just hanging out in front of this door outside our hotel.
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Our driver took this picture of us as we were leaving the city. That is Cusco in the backgroud.
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In countries like this you will always find children out working trying to sell stuff to tourist to help support their family. I so wish children didn’t have to do this at such a young age.
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Our fist stop was a town called Pisac. There are some ancient Inca sites to hike to here.
You have to watch out for pig crossings.
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These ladies still are weaving like their ancestors
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We’ve started our hike.

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Stephanie looking cute
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Stop for kiss.
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While hiking on the trail to an ancient Inca site we came across this young boy.
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We decide to get off the beaten path.
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We are headed to this site
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We made it. We are getting good at the self timer shots.
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Stephanie sneaking a picture of me.
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This is fun

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At the end of this hike we needed some food. How about a fresh corn on the cob.
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There are always great pictures in the Pisac market place.
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Next stop Ollantaytambo

There are these amazing Inca fortresses build in the mountainside.
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The bike looks a little big for this kid. But he was flying through the streets
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This old town has a great drainage system that funnels water from the mountain around the town.
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You see these bulls on all the rooftops. They are good luck.
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Next stop the town of Chinchero
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I loved this guy
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So after Chinchero we headed back to Cusco. We had a blast today just wandering around towns. I never get tired of this.

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3rd Anniversary PERU!!!!!

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Thursday, February 21st, 2008 -

Well here we go again on another adventure. When we 1st got married we decided that on our anniversary we don’t do gifts. We travel to a new and exciting location around the globe. So every anniversary we will have a picture of us somewhere new in the world. Last year we did London. How we decided where to go this year was all because of a book I’m reading. It’s about the couple that started Lonely Planet. There is a picture in there of their kids getting pushed through the streets of Peru. That is what sparked our interest in Peru. So we said lets do it. We want to go everywhere so why not Peru for our 3rd anniversary which is Feb 22nd.
We headed out early Monday morning. We arrived in Lima about midnight. So we stayed at a hotel close to the airport. We had to back on a plane the next morning for Cusco. We wanted out journey in Peru to start in Cusco. It’s a good starting off point while we make our way to Machu Pichu. Mach Pichu is at a very high altitude. So we want to stay in Cusco for a few days to get used to the altitude before we started hiking Machu Pichu.
1st Stop Cusco Waiting on our flight. Day 1
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On the plane to Cusco. The fist picture of us together in Peru.
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Walking the streets of Cusco we found this lady just hanging out with her Llama.
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Whenever you are wandering the streets of old towns like this you find great things to photograph.
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Stephanie making friends
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I love the smiles
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You will see many woman spinning wool into yarn.
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time to stop for a kiss
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There are all these cool heads sticking out of the buildings
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You get tires quick walking up and down these steep streets in the high altitude. I had to stop for a break.
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Stephanie made some more friends
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Stephanie needed a break So we stopped in The Plaza De Aramas. The main square in Cusco
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It is so beautiful at night
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Check back in for more real soon

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Whitney & Pete

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Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 -

Yesterday I had a great time photographing Pete & Whitney’s wedding. Pete is the owner of Generations Entertainment. A great DJ company that I refer many of my brides to. Pete has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years. I was so happy when he told me that he had found the perfect woman. Whitney is so much fun. So when Pete asked me to photograph the wedding I was honored.
The wedding took place at The St Regis Hotel. Which is always an amazing place to have a wedding. Pete had the help of Gini Garner of Gini Garner Events. I’ve known Gini for sometime now. She is such a blast. Pete & Whitney knew their day would go off without a hitch with Gini running the show.

Besides being a great Dj. Pete also is a pilot. He loves to fly. Whitney found the perfect wedding detail to reflect that.
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Whitney was all smiles as soon as she put on her dress.
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They also had one of my favorite florists doing the flowers. Amanda from Fantasy Floral Design. I can’t even count the amount of weddings I’ve done with Amanda. She will never let you down.

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It was such a beautiful day for a wedding.
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Here is the very excited groom.
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Here comes the bride
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I wonder what Pete is saying right now
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The flower girl is so cute
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I love the seating cards that Whitney Came up with. I also love the fact that Amanda who shot the wedding with me and myself had a seating card. Thanks Whitney and Pete.
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Pete saying some nice words to his wife
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Pete even took some dance lessons to impress us all
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It was a day wedding. So we decided to take a couple shots at the beach when the reception ended.
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Where is she running off to
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One last shot on the way back up to the hotel
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Congratulations Pete!! It was so great being a part of your wedding day.

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A big day for my son!!!!

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Sunday, February 17th, 2008 -

Well I don’t talk about much of my personal life on this blog. Something I’ve been holding back talking about is that my son has been working hard over the last 6 months to become a Naval Seal. To become a Seal you have to first endure a 6 month program that only about 10% to 20% of the guys that start the program finish. It’s the BUD’s program. (Basic Underwater Demolitions/Seal Training) It’s one of the toughest programs that a person can go through in the military.
I wanted to wait to see how he did before I mentioned it. Well friday was one of the proudest days in my life as a parent. My son Travis made it through BUD’s. He graduated on Friday. It is such a big accomplishment for him to make it through BUD’s. He’s one of the youngest in his class. He just turned 20 last month. He has been training for this for years. It’s been a goal of his since he was in high school.
I couldn’t imagine going through what he has been going through the last 6 months. He loves every minute of it though. One of the biggest tests of BUD’s was hell week. They make you stay up for 5 day’s with no sleep. 24 hours a day training for 5 days straight. Many of the guys who signed up for BUD’s drop out during this week. That is just one of the many extreme tests they put him through.
So like I said I’m so proud of Travis. He never ceases to amaze me.
Now that he has finished BUD’s he goes on to more advanced training.
Monday he starts jump school. He’ll be jumping out of planes at very high altitudes. I’m not sure exactly how high. But I do know that he will have to where an oxygen mask when he jumps out of the plane because they are so high.
Congratulations Travis!!!!!! You are an amazing son.
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Myself with Travis and my daughter Korynn
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I love this certificate they give the guys for graduating BUD’s.
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Heather & Rodney

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Sunday, February 17th, 2008 -

Saturday was a great day for a wedding. It was such a beautiful day. The wedding took place at Strawberry Farms. You feel like you are so far from the city. The wedding planner for the event was the very easy to work with Tracy from RSVP Event and Wedding Design.

The amazing bride
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The ladies in RED!
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Heather’s father is a college baseball coach. I had to put this series of images on the blog. It was like he was getting into it with an umpire arguing over a bad call. He was the coach at Cal State Fullerton when they won the college world series.
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I love shooting around the barn at Strawberry Farms
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The groom getting some love. Rodney is a great guy. He plays pro football. Last year he played for the New Orleans Saints.
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He was cracking me up all day.
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I love catching these proud moments of the father walking his daughter down the isle.
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And the happy groom
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