A Few More Holiday Pics

Gifts from The Papps.

Pretty food.

Itty bitty gifts for Jane and Lauren.

Jan and her shrimp tree.

Chris and Mom with morning light in front of our “card wall”.

We take our Rummikub games seriously.

We did a little photoshoot of Jan and Kat at the hotel.

Mark’s signature day-after-Christmas soup.


Christmas Day

We spent most of Christmas day prepping for dinner, in a very relaxing way, and enjoying a visit from The Papps. Our Moms and the Tomsics arrived for dinner about 4. We drank wine and opened gifts.

Dinner was served at 6. The menu consisted of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn soufflé, roasted green beans, cranberry salad and rolls. The turkey was good and nicely carved by Chris!

The table was super simple but with lots of candles. I love to use our long wood table. For the first time I set up a buffet on the side chest. It worked well.

Sadly, due to a little illness, the Smiths did not make dinner, but did send over these delicious pies.

The evening had a good vibe! 


Stark Family Christmas

Family, food and festivities… the annual Stark Family Christmas Party was this past Saturday. Lisa and Brendan, for the first time, hosted in the their beautiful new home. Our group was a little smaller than usual. The Bend Starks, Luke, Janae and Iain and Grandma Marian were missed, but everyone else was there and the food, gifts and cheer were in abundance!


Yosemite Weekend

The majority of our weekend in Yosemite was devoted to celebrating Janae and Iain. There was the wedding and reception and then a evening gathering at the Red Wood Cabins. Every single Stark/Smith/Framsted/Kalfayan family member was present. So much fun!

We also had time for some exploring, hiking and just hanging out. Chris and I got in a short sunset hike Friday night. The light in the valley, along the river, was perfect.

We stayed at the Yosemite Lodge. On Saturday, after breakfast in our room we got in a pre-wedding walk around the valley. The early morning sun gave us beautiful views.

After the wedding and reception, before driving out to the Redwood Cabins, we joined up with the Kalfayans and took a short walk to the Lower Yosemite Falls. All of us, except Chris, changed into hiking outfits. Chris hiked around in his wedding garb, but with hiking boots.

We slept in Sunday morning a bit and then hopped on the Yosemite Valley Shuttle to Happy Isles where we headed up the Mist Trail. We only made it as far as Vernal Falls (it’s a tough one). On our way down we encountered Janae and Iain. They were on their way up and they made it to the Nevada Falls!

The rest of our day was spent eating pizza in Half Dome Village (delicious) and covering the Valley, by foot and shuttle. We were back to the lodge by 5ish where we completely collapsed.

We had a quick drive home Monday. Our only stop was at Bravo Farms. We got coffee and bought some cheese. We were home early afternoon. Yosemite in the fall. Nothing better.


Janae and Iain’s Wedding

October, fall colors, Yosemite, family, perfect weather and a wedding! A magical weekend!

Chris and I attended Janae and Iain’s wedding at The Majestic Hotel in the Yosemite Valley this past weekend. The Saturday morning ceremony was followed by a beautiful lunch reception in the Mural Room. The bride and groom traveled from New Jersey. April, Iain’s daughter came from Germany and Iain’s parents from South Africa. The rest of us traveled from California and Oregon. A few of my pics…