imgp4388  Finally on our way! We're in a KC-10 headed for McGuire AFB, NJ. It will be a 9 hr flight. It's 9:30am at takeoff. We'll land somewhere around midnight. Sam has his earplugs in for the nap, and is holding travel buddy "Bear" and clutching the patch one of the crew gave him. Behind him are some racks where the air crew will take a nap. They're like little bat caves. You'd look back and see a hand or foot sticking out from between the canvas flaps. imgp4389  One of four pilots, Capt Kellie invited us up to the cockpit. The boom operator took these pictures for us. The crew was amazing - so welcoming and willing to take a few minutes to answer questions from Curious George (me). Here Sam is pointing the way to NJ saying "ovah dayah!" imgp4393  Sitting in a cockpit seat! To his right is the flight engineer (you can't se these people), then up front are two pilots. imgp4394  Little buddy amazed by all the buttons and clouds. He couldn't stop talking abou the experience when he got back to his seat.
IMGP4395  Happy traveler! He was SUCH an angel. I was floored. He never peeped, never had an accident in his pants, talked to himself for about 40 minutes straight while I read and watched him fly bear around...The crew was really amazed by the time we landed. They congratulated him heartily and gave him uniform patches right off their shoulders. imgp4396  What I saw most of the flight - this is the "mess" where they make meals in a little convection oven. Dave hasn't seen this shot yet, but I assume this is much like NR-1's mess. The lunches we bought were MASSIVE - for $3.65 each, Sam and I feasted on sandwich, fruit, snacks, drink. We split one for lunch and saved the other to split for dinner. Our trip to NJ cost us just over $7 :) IMGP4398  In-flight "preschool" lesson about the KC-10's primary mission of refueling other planes with its boom. Sam was fascinated by the boom concept and kept spelling it out, pointing to the boom operator. IMGP4399  The fruit had a funny label - DO NOT OPEN UNTIL AIRBORNE. You could imagine all kinds of nefarious tricks this pear might pull if you happened to let it out before taking off. Hmmm...what would a pear get into....
IMGP4400  Capt Kellie - note patch missing from her shoulder :) Sammy has it and we'll put it on "our" seabag (it was Dave's but it's ours now!). IMGP4401  Sam studying his patch collection. IMGP4403  The only shot of a KC-10 I can get for you. Not allowed to take pictures on the flight line. All the other pictures I took were approved by the crew. IMGP4406  First munchkins! I don't think there are Dunkin Donuts on the west coast, are there? I don't recall seeing any.
IMGP4415  Hmmm...this is at Dad's sporting goods store. He works there part time and has proven to be indipensible to them. Nice store. imgp4416  Bigger hmmm....what would a hunter need this for? I guess it depends on your prey? IMGP4418  In the fishing department where Dad works. IMGP4419  The guys :)
IMGP4421  An impromptu visit to the John Deere distributor turned into a private tour led by Jose. Sam got to sit in the cabs! imgp4423  Ohhhh - tracks! IMGP4426  Mommy had to come up, too :) imgp4428
imgp4429  Levers! imgp4431  Thanks Jose!!! IMGP4432  Jose hoisted Sam in and out of half a dozen tractors. IMGP4433  Turns out he has a 10 yr old son who enjoys taking the keys and driving one of the tractors around in the vast area behind the store. Hey - I'd like that, too! Sounds fun!
imgp4434 IMGP4435 imgp4436  Little guy tractor inside was a big hit. Looks like Sam is calling his buddies, but there's no phone. Just a coincidence. IMGP4438  Look at the nice tractor the parts guy gave him! We found Frank, the parts guy, today when we brought some mac nuts to the store as a thank you.
imgp4439  Grandpa showing me all the features :) IMGP4442  It's called a skid-steer tractor. I hope some day all this tractor knowledge proves useful! IMGP4444  Wow. A long day. We just got back from a little jaunt around the neighborhood, finding leaves to crunch under our feet. Now it's off to dessert, bath and bed. ATT00015  This is day 2 - Tuesday. We were up at normal time and off on adventures! We went to base to run some errands, including making sure all the paperwork was in order for our return trip. Then to Smithville Park to run on the nature trails that weave through woods, along a stream, and over a floating bridge on a lake. It was really a great trail. Very well done.
ATT00018  The floating bridge. These are cell-phone pictures, so not too clear. There is a large bird sitting on the rail, but I'm not sure you can find it! ATT00021  Sam running part of the way. He did about a mile, actually. He's a little jogger, too! ATT00024  His favorite is pushing the stroller just like mommy. But more off-trail than mommy...he weaves all over just for kicks. He enjoys having "accidents"! imgp4447  I figured out how to feel cold again! Run in the rain then come home to air conditioning :) I curled up for a nap with all this on, UNDER the blankets. I rarely nap, but this rainy day seemed meant for it.
IMGP4450  Playing with Liam, Marilou's grandson. It was great to see the wohle family - Bill, Janet, and sons Alex and Liam - last night for dinner. Liam played a troll for Sam - he hid under cushions and we lured him out with troll food - pumpkin seeds :) imgp4458  Playing with Grandpa in the vast backyard! IMGP4459  Sam learning to catch - he's better with his feet! IMGP4460  Getting a hand with catching.
IMGP4463  Liam and Sam were remarkably gentle with each other despite all the horseplay! No one got hurt :) IMGP4464  This is my old house in Princeton. It seems totally massive to me now compared to our Hawaii digz. Funny - usually people feel like things are diminutive compared to their childhood memories. This trip I feel like NJ is prettier and more spacious than I recall. That gives you some idea how jam-packed O'ahu is... imgp4466  Princeton High School. I stopped in to see if I could find my bio teacher, Mrs. Sprague. Turns out she is the science supervisor. She was in today but we couldn't track her down. School was closed today, so we got to park in the visitor lot and leave the car there while we went for a jog down to the boathouse at Carnegie Lake, where I rowed. imgp4468  We found someone had planted hibiscus in a container! Wow!
IMGP4469  The docks at the boathouse. I remember steering carefully through that bridge and pulling up to the dock in a long 8-man shell. I think I recall they are 60' long? IMGP4473  Nice boathouse! imgp4475  After the jog were were intent on finding a bagel place I remembered. I lost my way so stopped in Palmer Square and asked a couple ladies hanging out with their kids in the little garden. We started talking and within a minute, we realized we knew each other! This is Femke, a high school friend of mine! She is married with two kids, and lives nearby. How crazy! We enjoyed catching up a bit - hard to compress 18 yrs into 10 minutes,  but I'll catch her on my next "deployment" to the east coast. imgp4480  Sam lounding while finishing up his lunch.
IMGP4481  Just a slice of Princeton. It's a gorgeous town, very busy with students, professionals and visitors all sipping coffee, having a nice lunch, talking intently about intellectual things....It was a gorgeous day there. IMGP4482  Such cute houses. IMGP4483 IMGP4491  Sammy gets to ride Dad's tractor and do some mowing! He was so serious at first, but after a few minutes relaxed enough to steer :) He kept looking to either side, fascinated that the wheels were turning on their own!
imgp4495  Just us for dinner, so we made a "Dad concoction" - leftovers seasoned with some yummy spicy things. Sam likes spicy sushi, so I let him try one finger dipped in a drop of tabasco. He immediately said "I need some water!" imgp4499  This is Dad's concoction - spinach salad layered over pulled sweet pulled pork topped with jabanero sauce. Yum! I had the same. IMGP4500  Sam basically did, too...just a tiny wee bit of tabasco for him. IMGP4501  Campfire and s'mores afterwards with the neighbors and their three sons.
imgp4503  Sam loves to make kindling. IMGP4506 IMGP4509  Playing with Tita Bear and Tito Pig who came down for the afternoon. They're checking out Sam's "pipes" here :) IMGP4511  I suggested Doug try "donkey kicks" which is something Sammy and I mess around trying sometimes. Doug is game for anything and knew right away what to do!
IMGP4512  Wow! Glad I had this on fast-frame sports mode! IMGP4513  Whaddya think of that?! IMGP4514  Sam wants to ride the donkey! Mary is saying "don't kick, Dougie, don't kick!" See his blurry feet? IMGP4515  Sam hangs on for the ride, though.
IMGP4516  And feeds the donkey a nice piece of celery afterwards. See Sam's mouth? :) IMGP4518  We had a great time playing in the warm fall sun. IMGP4519 IMGP4522  More tractor riding! It is the country, after all. This would take up a sizeable portion of our yard at home! See how Sammy keeps checking the wheels and the grass flying out from the blades?
IMGP4523  I made Doug take a ride - he doesn't get to drive much in the City. Look at the mischievous face...Dana and Angel - I know you are certain now that it runs in the family :) IMGP4525  Ok if I just pull 'er into the shed?  No - enough! Sure? (Dad is doing hand across the throat gestures saying stop!) IMGP4526  Some truck time. IMGP4527
IMGP4534  The high hoop! IMGP4536  Super-pants :) IMGP4541  He did not want to be part of the photo shoot this time! IMGP4542
IMGP4543  Whew! Tired! IMGP4544  See? Still not havin' it :) But at least you can see the three of us. Can you find Mary's engagement ring? It's gorgeous! IMGP4545  We got pops in the picture, too. IMGP4549  On the way back from the train station, Sam started saying "But I need cake with CHEESE in it!" The only reason I knew what he was talking about is because one of the air crew had Cheesecake Factory cheesecake dessert leftovers on the plane last Sunday, a week ago. I can't believe he remembered that. So we found a diner and stopped to get three slices to go. He loved it and had some tears when I pulled him away from it so we could save half for tonight. High class taste, huh? He likes creme brulee, too!
IMGP4551  Getting a tour of tanks from Dad - Ft Dix. IMGP4553  Big tracks! This is the Infantry Park. IMGP4554  This is a 105 self-propelled howitzer - WWII vintage. Cool that Dad knows what this is. It was in Dad's first firing battery assignment after commissioning. IMGP4555
IMGP4556  This means: 2nd Armor Division 78th Field Artillery IMGP4557  Learning to march :) IMGP4559  The goose step. The guardian goose step. That's what dad said I should name this. IMGP4560  It gets better! He just told me he could have done "walk like an Egyptian" too! Who knew!?
IMGP4561  Colors is at 5pm regardless of sundown. I guess the Air Force and Army do things that way. Navy and Marine do colors at sundown. imgp4563  Sammy stands at attention for colors. imgp4564  Even a little salute :) IMGP4566
IMGP4567 IMGP4568  I really really enjoy the groundhogs. They are FAST though. I tried to chase one down for Sammy but he got into his hole too quick! This is as close as I've gotten - with full zoom! How can a chubby ground hog move that fast? They are all over Ft. Dix. Too much fun! IMGP4569  The local farm produce stand has this tractor out for display. We couldn't resist. No hay rides this year. Too bad... IMGP4570  But I want the wheels to turn!
imgp4572 IMGP4573 IMGP4575  Morning lounging. Note the wintery clothes! IMGP4576
IMGP4581 IMGP4582  Where I've been going a lot lately...this is the medical clinic at McGuire. Very nice, huh? IMGP4584  THIS is the wee surprise that came along space-a with us! We had no idea there was a baby Krug #2 in there, but alas, here he or she is! I'm 5 weeks. Say some prayers this one stays put :) We are hopeful, and I've had the kindest people work me into their clinic schedule this week before I head out on the road again. Amazing people I've met along the way. I couldn't ask for better medical care. IMGP4587  Feeding ducks at a little park.
imgp4590  Now just one bite at a time for them! IMGP4596  Dad stands guard to keep the LARGE goose from attacking our behinds. He said "I've got your 6" then proceeded to walk down the little walkway away from us. Fortunately the only geese who approached had no beaks. There were some scraggly characters down there, so they got some special treatment. IMGP4600  YUM! Phase 2 as Dad calls it! Sammy is sharing with Grammy, or is Grammy sharing with Sammy? imgp4601  More Grammy! As he pulls her down.
imgp4602  Both licking their lips :) imgp4603 IMGP4604 IMGP4605
imgp4606 ATT00366 IMGP4608  We're on Long Island now, visiting Sam's great grandma in the hospital. She is home now and doing very well! IMGP4611  In front of Richie and Diane's home - they always throw open the doors and welcome us for however long we can stay. Jen gave us her room, and Stacie helps me wear Sam out by showing him some volleyball moves :) Sam loves Uncle Richie's "ra-ra's" and Richie's monkey noises!
IMGP4614 IMGP4616  A little trip to the playground after picking pumpkins out for the front stoop. IMGP4619  He did really well on these - all by himself! They move around a bit - they're not completely stationary. imgp4620  Concentrating here, mom!
imgp4621 imgp4622  Lots of new stuff to try out! IMGP4626  Getting some ra-ras! IMGP4632
IMGP4634 IMGP4635 IMGP4636 att036  Watching Stacie's volleyball game. He really liked cheering!
imgp4643  Getting the meat ready to make kalua pig. We had to do some home-butchering first to get it to fit. We were both thinking - never again! I don't know how Gail does it...Notice I graciously allowed Aunt Diane to have the honors? :) IMGP4646  Mommy and son at the nearby park. We had a picnic lunch then playground time. IMGP4648 IMGP4649  Still trying to get a shot of me in one of these pictures...ah well! :) Caught me mid-hoist this time.
IMGP4654  Video games with "little" Richie! Sam loves this time in the man chair watching cars race. IMGP4657  Dessert time! Sam is so loved - he has had EVERY one of his favorite desserts while here - cheesecake, carrot cake... IMGP4659  Do you want to pull the string? IMGP4660
IMGP4661  You can poke it! IMGP4662  Really? IMGP4665  Jen and Sam :) IMGP4667  Off to NYC to visit Doug and Mary (Pig and Bear).
IMGP4669  Wow! IMGP4671  He has been dying to ride a "big fat bus" for months, so I promised him we would in the City. Here's our bus :) IMGP4675  Sitting with Doug and taking it all in. imgp4678  Listening to a well-meaning lady tell us all about how to use a metro card to get around. Doug has one in his pocket that he just used to get us on the bus :)
IMGP4679 IMGP4680 IMGP4682  Out for some brunch at Cowgirl. Mary joined us! imgp4685  Drawing some plants. Sam said this is a "hibiscus" tree! Mary almost fell over :)
IMGP4687  "A HIBISCUS tree???!!! Oh SAM!" IMGP4689  Mary carried Sam ALL over NYC so that she could snuggle him. Her little arms were pretty strong! Here we are dashing home in the rain. imgp4695  Big boy haircut at a NYC salon! imgp4699  He got to sit in a boat!
IMGP4701  He did the clippers just fine, then product in the hair, then blow dryer! IMGP4703  Not so much, mom! IMGP4712 IMGP4714  The policemen turned the lights on for him!
IMGP4717  A street fair... imgp4718  The oldest continually operating drug store in the US - pretty cool inside. One of Mary's friends was promoting her own line of skin care products, so we popped in to support her. IMGP4720  Going out to sushi with the girls :) IMGP4721
IMGP4724 IMGP4726  He's still trying to figure out how to "make" a smile, vs just smile. You never know what you're going to get when you say "Smile, Sam!" IMGP4729  Shrimp paper or something...very tasty! IMGP4731  Mary and Tricia! Trish just adored Sam and was so much fun to talk to. I hope we get to see her on her next trip to Maui.
IMGP4732 IMGP4733  Eating Mary's caviar! He loved it! IMGP4734  Going back for more! IMGP4737  Now we're in line at Magnolia, waiting for cupcakes! He started talking about "gokwit cwupcakes" after nap - before dinner. Well, Mary knew exactly where to take us. But the line is about 30min long or so. We made it, though!
IMGP4738 IMGP4739  Watching them ice the cupcakes. imgp4740  Doug trying to figure out how to hold the big guy without hips! imgp4741  Sam started slipping all over! Pig has nowhere to rest him!
imgp4742  Ok - we'll fly you! imgp4744 IMGP4745  Getting closer to the door! imgp4746  We got our cupcakes and now we're at home enjoying them.
IMGP4749 imgp4750  Messing around with Mary and Trish in his big boy bed. He was doing sommersaults and roundhouses all over the girls. I think Mary got a foot in the head! He was laughing and laughing! imgp4751 IMGP4752
imgp4757  After baff and ready for bead :) Mommy is tired, too! imgp4759  This is a gorgeous dress Mary gave to me from her closet! We are going to figure out if I can borrow shoes from Aunt Diane or Jen so I can wear it this weekend to the wedding in Boston. IMGP4761  More romping before going out to brunch. IMGP4765  We're at a cute little Belgian cafe - and we found a book on pirates in French! Fortunately Mary is learning French for her new job at Yves Saint Laurent, so it was fun to teach Sam some words. He says "c'est magnifique" very well!
IMGP4766 IMGP4768  French toast! All the food was really outstanding. imgp4769  Teaching Sam how to propose (so that we could put Mary's gorgeous engagement ring back on). He got down on one knee and said "Will you Mary me?" and Mary was so cute saying "I will! I will!" then he immediately picked up her blackberry from the chair and said "Here's your blackberry"! imgp4771
IMGP4773  Goodbyes - we're on our way back to Penn Station. IMGP4776  On the train home - he got a little wild! imgp4780 imgp4781
IMGP4782 imgp4783  This is "prim and proper" boy... imgp4786  Sammy is wearing his aloha shirt for a party Jen threw for her parents to celebrate their 26th anniversary. IMGP4788  Here's the happy couple with my little buddy :)
IMGP4790  Great grandma enjoyed lots of good snuggles with Sammy. He got good scratchies from the scratchie queen, too :) IMGP4792  Jen's panna cotta (did I spell that right?) - it was delicious!!!! IMGP4793  The whole dessert spread for about a dozen family members. Do you note the special cake for Sammy? They are so thoughtful picking up all the desserts he loves!!! IMGP4800  Waiting for Nana and PopPop to arrive. See the little box of toys? That's all we have for toys for the trip! Good little buddy finds ways to stay interested in them.
IMGP4801  Here they are!!! IMGP4803 IMGP4806  At the diner for lunch! IMGP4812  Sammy napping with his new Thomas pillow. Thanks Nana and PopPop!
imgp4815  Playing golf with Nana and PopPop. We're on a walk around their townhome community. IMGP4817  They got him a nice train set puzzle, too. IMGP4818  Riding the PopPop horse to bathtime! IMGP4820
IMGP4821  We even got Nana to do bunny hophop! imgp4822 IMGP4823  These are the biggest pigeons you've ever (EVER) seen. imgp4826  We're at Captree where we found a patch of sand to play in, and even a big playground!
IMGP4827 IMGP4829 IMGP4831 IMGP4832  PopPop watched Sammy like a hawk. I don't think he was sure whether or not to believe me that Sammy climbs all this stuff on his own. Lucky buddy to have so many watchful eyes!
IMGP4833 imgp4838  Having fun on a shaky bridge. He ran back and forth, back and forth. imgp4840 imgp4841  Nana soaks up the nice sun, some coffee, and all the fun.
imgp4842 IMGP4844  Lunch afterwards in a nice restaurant overlooking the marina. IMGP4846  Sammy likes PopPop's motorcycle! IMGP4848  PopPop has a wonderful voice and plays the guitar very well. He sang one of his own songs at our wedding - This Very Day.
IMGP4850  Nana cooking a yummy dinner! IMGP4851  We even made some apple cobbler! IMGP4853  Reading time with Nana. PopPop is watching baseball. IMGP4855  Another diner for second breakfast! Sam is a real hobbit :)
IMGP4860  Drawing with Nana! IMGP4862  Doing a nice job coloring. IMGP4866  Yet another diner! IMGP4868  Nice job, PopPop!
IMGP4870  A great playground across the street. IMGP4873 IMGP4879  PopPop kept a watchful eye on the little guy the whole time. IMGP4881  But took a few minutes "off" :)
IMGP4884 IMGP4887  Waiting for Dave at JFK. Poor guy flew 12 hrs, 4 hr layover in LAX, then had to wait 45 min just to taxi up to the gate at JFK. He was really ready to get off the plane. IMGP4889  It was so good to see them together again. imgp4890  Had to stop at a loca deli for an egg sandwich before heading out to the ferry to CT. We're on our way to Boston for Dave's cousin's wedding.
imgp4896  Are we going the right way Sam? IMGP4897  Waiting for the ferry. In enough time, these rocks will turn into sand, right? We'll take what we can get :) imgp4898  Messing around with Daddy on the ferry. imgp4904
imgp4905  Cousin Richie and Jen speeding their way up to Boston. They passed us on the way... IMGP4906  Lake Massapoag where we had a family BBQ (luau!) while everyone else was doing the rehearsal dinner. IMGP4908 IMGP4911
IMGP4914  Playing with uncle Tim! IMGP4915 IMGP4916 IMGP4918  Aunt Lucille and Uncle Charlie. This is Dave's grandfather's sister.
IMGP4919 imgp4921  This is the best I could do for a northeast fall luau. Note the plastic leis? IMGP4922 IMGP4925  Aunt Susan and Uncle Gerry (seated, back to you).
imgp4927  Cousin Chris and brother Tim. imgp4931  Cousin Jen (well - Aunt Jen to Sam, that's what we decided made sense!). IMGP4934  Richie and Sammy messing around. IMGP4936  The little guy ran ALL OVER that night.
IMGP4938  What's under Richie's shirt? imgp4939  It took a while to get it out :) IMGP4941  Stacie and Tim playing volleyball. Sam wanted to play so badly. IMGP4942
IMGP4943  Come back here! IMGP4945 imgp4948 IMGP4950  Dave grilled up enough burgers and dogs to feed 24 people. We had a great time! I think he's on the phone with Bill here, trying to help him find the park. Bill realized he had directions in his wallet after making about 5 phone calls to us - we were juggling greasy hands and starving boy while trying to vector him in :) "Just head for the lake!"
IMGP4952  Coffee for mommy and Sammy in the morning. (OK - he had a "latte") IMGP4953  Sammy got to sleep on a big boy bed at the hotel. Our room was set up so well for us to sleep with him in the room. He did a great job sleeping on a bed with "no sides" for the first time. imgp4955  Just before Cousin Jack and Jackie's wedding in Sharon, MA. This is Uncle Richie, and Jen and Steve. imgp4958  Chris again - all suited up this time.
imgp4959  Jen and sister Stacie. IMGP4961  In the church. Sam was so great. He was the youngest by about a dozen years. The only toddler. He uttered not a peep th entire time. Well, not out of his mouth at least. Shall I reveal this on the web? Ok...I will. He...ahhhemm...let fly with a very long, loud, emission from his rump during a quiet part of the ceremony. We were in the last row, thankfully. But our whole row and the one in front of us was just heaving with laughter. We were trying so hard to be quiet! Dave bit his lip until he drew blood just to stop giggling. Sam knew it was a good performance. He looked up at me with a quiet twinkle in his eye :) imgp4962  Ahhhh.... imgp4963
IMGP4964  Watching the recessional. IMGP4967 imgp4968  Congratulations! imgp4971  Thanks for the great dress, Angel! Now it will have a good story to tell when it "travels" to the next lady.
IMGP4972  Jen's "date" :) imgp4975  Brothers, and nephew. imgp4976 IMGP4977
IMGP4978 IMGP4979 imgp4981 imgp4982  Krugs - Jen, Richie, Diane, Richie, Stacie. We had a great time staying with them for a week. Thanks again, guys!!! Jen gave us her room for 5 days!
imgp4987 IMGP4988  Playing guitar and drums (on a waste can) with Tim. IMGP4989 IMGP4991  I want to do another one! With Steve :)
IMGP4992  OK, last, LAST one! IMGP4995  Showing Aunt Debby the rock on sign :) He learned that in New York. IMGP4998  Breakfast at the hotel. He liked the buffet :) IMGP5001  Romping with Daddy after breakfast, and before I hit the road again to Saratoga. It was really hard to part ways.
imgp5018  Leading a hike with the brothers near the hotel. It was a short trail, but offered a lot of fun nevertheless. imgp5019  "Troll bridge" imgp5020 IMGP5021  Knocking on the bridge with his hiking stick.
IMGP5022 IMGP5023 imgp5024 IMGP5025
imgp5026 imgp5027 IMGP5028 imgp5031  Dan...reflecting on his two deployments to Iraq while in the Army.
IMGP5032 IMGP5033 IMGP5034 IMGP5035
IMGP5036  Throwing rocks into the stream. IMGP5037 IMGP5038 IMGP5040
IMGP5041  No shortage of photo ops! IMGP5042 IMGP5043 IMGP5044
IMGP5045 imgp5046  Love seeing these two together. imgp5047  "I'm a rock climber!" imgp5048
imgp5049 IMGP5050 imgp5053  Popping little seed pods that turn into wormy-like things. imgp5054
IMGP5058  Mommy and Sammy on a dinner date in Saratoga. We went to The Parting Glass, an Irish pub. We had fish 'n chips, and bread pudding. Yum! IMGP5059 IMGP5060  Romping at Saratoga Spa State Park. IMGP5061  Heading toward the Gideon Putnam Hotel where Dave and I had our wedding reception in 2002 (Dec. 28).
IMGP5062  Chasing squirrels! IMGP5064  The "Garden Room" where we had our reception. There was about 3' of snow outside. It was awesome! The hotel was all decorated in Christmas decor. IMGP5067 IMGP5068  My favorite part of my old running route. Sam and I enjoyed loping along pretending to be horses. You'll see all his "galloping" moves.
IMGP5069  Using his hands to hold the reins, and give the "horse" his head to run. He has the right lead most of the time :) IMGP5070 IMGP5071  "I miss running, too!" IMGP5072
IMGP5073 IMGP5074  Out for a lunch date at another favorite place - Scallions. They have really neat decor inside, and a gallery for the artist next door. IMGP5075 IMGP5077  See the calendar on the wall?
IMGP5078  Busy for lunch... imgp5079  Turkey, brie and fig jam on olive bread. YUM! This is what we have every time we come back. IMGP5080  Loved this. Pig and Bear - I thought of you as well. I know you have enjoyed your stays here in Saratoga. IMGP5081  Maureen makes delicious dinners every night. And dessert. This is meatballs for spaghetti.
imgp5082  There she is! imgp5084  Now we're on a little walk behind Skidmore College. The trail system back there is awesome. IMGP5088  Look at all the leaves! imgp5089  This is for you, mommy!
imgp5093  On Tuesday we went to Stockbridge MA to visit with aunt Christine (my dad's half sister) and my friend Connie, from Merck. CC brought Sammy a wonderful book - Make Way for Ducklings. imgp5095 imgp5096  Then we met Connie and went to the playground to work off pancakes and eggs :) He's doing a good job hanging and getting his feet back on that platform. A new skill. He did it over and over again! IMGP5097  There's Connie! She worked really hard to juggle her schedule so she could meet up for just a few hours. She tacked on I think 200 miles to her busy day to drive over.
imgp5098  Look at how much fun they're having. Connie is a blast (not a breath) of fresh air. She's so much fun. We were in Merck training together six (or is it seven?) years ago. Stuck in a hotel in Phila for 9 weeks. What a crazy time. imgp5099  Learning to shaka! IMGP5101  The drive up to the Adirondacks. Leaves all over! IMGP5105  Hanging out after a good breakfast at one of Mo's favorite places.
IMGP5107  Here we are! Ready to hit the trail. imgp5108 imgp5109  Pointing out a "Y" root. He's been finding lots of letters on the trail lately. imgp5110
imgp5111  Still not sure what to do with his mouth when you say "smile, Sam!" imgp5112  Never sure what you'll get... imgp5113  There. That's better. imgp5114  Bouldering - we're almost at the top now. It was 700' elevation and 2.5 miles. He did great. Tired at the end, but so was I (from being his human parachute as he jumped off every possible rock).
imgp5115  "I did it. All by my self." IMGP5117  The view from the top - Heart Lake with the big peaks (4,000'+) in the distance. I've hiked many of these with Maureen. I think I'm 25% done with my winter 46 (46 peaks over 4000 ft). This is Amy, Maureen's daughter. We haven't seen Jenni this trip - she is living on her own now, in an apartment. Oh, and that's Molly, the puppy. imgp5118 imgp5119  Mo with her "baby" who was very tired after the hike.
IMGP5121 IMGP5122 imgp5123  A Lincoln Log bridge. imgp5124
imgp5125 IMGP5127 imgp5131  Sammy will plunk down in anything that looks remotely like sand. imgp5132  Sammy's Mount Jo patch! Yeah!
IMGP5134  Driving through Lake Placid. IMGP5136  A favorite haunt after a big hike. We have chomped down a whole "Marcy cut" of steak. And multiple bowls of clam chowder. IMGP5137  That's where we usually sat. imgp5141  Some little buddy was tired. He slept on the way home, but not as long as I thought. See the patch still in his hand? He was very proud.
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ATT00046  Riding the new tractor with Tim! IMGP5153  The fall festivals are huge - this one at a farm in Saratoga had a little train track, corn maze, hay ride, haunted woods... IMGP5154 IMGP5157  And a butterfly house!
IMGP5162  We squeezed onto a hayride with 120 preschoolers on a field trip. imgp5165  Sam just chillin' and checkin' it all out. He wanted a hay ride so badly! IMGP5171  The haunted woods. IMGP5172  He liked the pirate ship :)
imgp5173  Climbing up the hay "mountain". IMGP5174  And surfing on a hay bale :) imgp5178  I picked my OWN pumpkin! IMGP5180  Riding on a little train now.
IMGP5185  Then we found a new trail through old-growth hemlocks in Saratoga. I couldn't resist going for a little jog :) Sam loved picking out all the blue trail markers on the trees! imgp5187  Hiking friend and legend, Ron Lester. imgp5191  And Tim with Sammy... IMGP5192  Ron brought Maureen a rock from Everest base camp! He trekked it all 37 miles back to civilization to get it onto the plane.
IMGP5193  I had him sign mine - I can't believe I got one, too!  WOW! IMGP5198  Dan and Heather at their new place in Albany. It's very cute. IMGP5205  The great gourd fight of 2007! IMGP5208  Heather thought it looked more  like a swan...not a weapon!
IMGP5209  Yummy breakfast at Cafe Madison, a few blocks from their home. IMGP5210  Then some log rolling to aid digestion...look at Dan's hair! They went really fast down this steep hill. IMGP5211  "Dan! Please catch him!" Sam's head was flying all around! He loved it! imgp5212  Their home. They live upstairs.
IMGP5217  Time to go again. Off to NJ. IMGP5218 IMGP5221  This is the Koehler's place in the town where we used to live - Northern NJ. IMGP5222  We found another patch of sand!
IMGP5223 IMGP5224  And friends Josh and Ang were flying through northern NJ to see family on their way back from Germany. It was so great to catch up with them for some great diner breakfast! Thanks again, Josh, for my outrageous double-decker platters of food! IMGP5227  Here we are with Josh's grandma, and his brother Adam and girlfriend Holly. Look at the food piled high! IMGP5228  Our old barn...
IMGP5229  But the cottage is in good repair and overlooks the river. IMGP5230  The stairs up to the old 3-story house which is totally gone now! IMGP5235  Sammy enjoyed watching this guy roll around to get an itch :) IMGP5239  Here's a picture from long ago. Can you find Doug and me? We were on a trip with 4 moms and 12 kids up in VT.
IMGP5242  Here's my childhood friend, Virginia, and her family. We had such a fun time reconnecting. Virginia has a good memory - she told me about many things I'd forgotten :) imgp5243  Sammy enjoyed a canoe ride on Koehler pond! IMGP5244 IMGP5245  Mary Jo is a good paddler and the colors were beautiful. Thanks for taking pictures of us, Elizabeth!
IMGP5249  Sammy loves sitting in a dog bed any chance he gets! IMGP5254  The whole family enjoying a bbq dinner. That's Mary Jo, sister Elizabeth, Mary Jo's husband Ben, and Elizabeth's son and his friend aka the "big boys" to Sam. IMGP5256 IMGP5257
IMGP5260  Yummy pancakes on the deck then a walk through the woods. IMGP5262  See the leaves falling? IMGP5263  These are properties on the big estate. Such a neat stone house. IMGP5268  Sammy's hiking stick that we collected somewhere on this trip. I have it packed away to take home to Hawaii :)
IMGP5274  Silly buddy making funny faces for our picture! IMGP5276  I found some moss, Mommy! IMGP5277  And a leaf for you, Mommy! (Yes I have this exact one stowed away.) IMGP5279  Such a fun swing in the woods! He loved it!
IMGP5295 IMGP5298  Back at McGuire AFB now, for our second ultrasound to check on Baby Krug #2. imgp5301  Sammy got his own picture of "Thumbelina", as he is calling the baby. 20071009105813421  There's BK2!
IMGP5329  Funny shot - see the bottom? and the stuff on the slide? It's not what you think! IMGP5333  A visit to Aunt Kate and Uncle John in Delaware. IMGP5335  We went to Assateague Island to see the wild ponies. IMGP5337  They were more interested in munching than sticking their heads in our car.
IMGP5338  We took a little hike through the sand hoping to see more ponies. IMGP5339  There was going to be a development here, then a huge storm wiped out that idea. This is one of the last vestiges of the plans. IMGP5340 IMGP5341  These pine needles smelled great!
IMGP5342 imgp5343 imgp5348  The "tree horse"! imgp5349
IMGP5356  Sammy checking out the Delaware beach. He was like...huh? It's cold! And the waves were loud, crashing right on the beach vs out further at the breaks like they do at home. He just stared for a long while. imgp5362  We made a sand angel before we left. snuggles  Snuggle time before bed. lifeguardchair2  At Aunt Kate's just before leaving for NJ.
IMGP5366  Sammy's fuel cell vehicle :) IMGP5370  Dropping off the rental car - there were fire engines at the Exchange so Dad and Sammy had a good time sitting in one and "driving" and seeing Smokey the Bear. IMGP5372 IMGP5373  At the McGuire AFB terminal the day we flew out.
imgp5375  My friend Michelle - the boom operator on the KC-10. Here she is making cookies for the crew! IMGP5378  Our room at the Davis-Monthan AFB where we got stranded in Tucson. IMGP5379 IMGP5380
IMGP5382  Sleeping in mommy's bed in Phoenix before flying out on Hawaiian Airlines. I rolled up some towels as barriers to keep him from flopping over onto my side :) IMGP5383 IMGP5384  We're home!!!!!