Koop's Scoop

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving & Golden Anniversary Party

We went back to NY for a bunch of celebrations this November. We left on Sunday, 11/19, and came home on Sunday, 11/26.

We celebrated Katie's 12th birthday on Monday, 11/20.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom, dad, sister, neice, brother and sister-in-law at my childhood home.

We celebrated my parent's golden wedding anniversary on Saturday, 11/26, with my family and 80 of my parents' friends. It was a great party! We held it at Pete Deising's restaurant and bakery in uptown Kingston.

We spent the week living up at my brother's house in Big Indian, NY. His house is an awesome 1880's farmhouse with lots of "charm". Some of the charm on this visit was a broken furnace... and yes it gets cold in a 3 story house with out a lot of insulation and no heat.

On Friday night we went to my highschool to see a performance of the musical, "Kiss Me Kate," put on by the school's drama club. It was an AWESOME performance! I did children's theatre when I went to this school, but this performance was SO much more of a production than anything we ever put on... You can see the pictures of the performance here:

All in all, it was great to see everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Cub Scout Campout - Huddart County Park

Sean and I went on the fall family campout with our Cub Scout Pack this weekend. It was held at Huddart County Park up in Woodside.

We had approximately 170 people at the campout on Saturday night. There were some hardy souls that went up on Friday night to get things set up for the pack. Sean and I went up after his soccer match. We worked on our Forestry projects and then helped with the Kitchen to try and feed everyone.

The boys did some funny skits and everyone had a great time on the night hike.

A big thank you to the Camping Committee of the Pack that made this such a good campout.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kupec Family visit to NY, July 2006

Kupec Family visit to NY, July 2006
We just concluded a wonderful visit to the Hudson Valley of New York over the July 4th holiday to see Steve's family.Some of the key highlights include:

a) a tour of Opus 40 sculpture garden in Saugerties, NY. We spent a couple of hours touring the grounds and climbing the stone stairways. The kids had a great time trying to find new paths thru the maze-like stone walls. For more see: http://www.agilitynut.com/h/opus40.html

b) Fireworks in Gardiner, NY. Our timing was perfect! We arrived just as it was getting dark. Found a great parking spot in a small shopping plaza just minutes away and walked to the fireworks spot. It was an amazing display for a small town like Gardiner. They pulled out all the stops!

c) A visit to Marie & Seamus' house in Cold Spring, NY. Wow, what a view! They sit on the very peak of Cold Spring and can see West Point across the Hudson River. The back of the house is all glass with a patio that doesn’t end! Well, actually it does end at a lovely build in pool. The kids had a great time playing. The climax of the evening was to be the fireworks display at West Point, but a brief rain burst put our that fire. Seamus saved the “day” with a great fireworks display of his own.

d) visits to Chris & Anique's house in Big Indian, NY. A fun day at the farm with an afternoon spent exploring the creek. The spring floods have really changed the Esopus creek’s path. Last year’s watering hole is gone, but a new one has formed. Chris has clearned most of the debris, but several large trees may become permanent fixtures.

e) Mom's birthday dinner at Postage Inn in Tillson, NY. We were greeted at the door by Jimmy (the kitchen door that is...) and had the dinnig room to ourselves since we came mid-week. The food was great as always. http://www.thepostageinn.com/

f) Boating on the Hudson River with Klinger family in Chelsea, NY. It was hard to get the kids back in the boat after all the tubing they did. I got some great pictures of their adventure. As always, the picnic with Denise and Pete was the highlight for the adults. Their boat has two tables, so we had an adult table with pate, cheese, and other goodies and a kids’ table with salami fruit and cheese. The kids ate their food then came and invaded our lunch! I think the swimming made them very hungry.

g) A party at Denise & Pete's house in Wappingers Falls, NY. Marie, Seamus and Grace; Marty and Brianna; Quido and Scarlette; and the Klinger clan were all there. It was great to see everyone again. It really felt like “old times”. Everyone is doing great and the kids are all getting big! I took the usual group photos.

h) A visit to Pakatakan Farmers Market at the Round Barn in Halcottsville, NY. I think this is Sean’s favorite place! He eats his way through the market. First it was waffles with chocolate and whip cream. We still don’t know how they get their waffles so light and crunchy. Then it was sausage on a biscuit. Finally, the honey sticks were found. We can never get away from there without the honey sticks. I stocked up on my favorite hand made soaps and Steve and Chris bought supplies for dinner. The address is: Pakatakan Farmers Market Round Barn46696 Rt. 30 Halcottsville, NY.

All in all, it was an awesome visit!

Photo Journal:http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=las4ycj.6gj184qn&x=1&y=a7u203

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day visit to Santa Barbara, CA

Memorial Day visit to Santa Barbara, CA We had a great visit to see cousin Laurel in Santa Barbara, CA over Memorial Day weekend.

We headed out on a Saturday morning and had an easy trip down the coast.

We arrived in time for a late lunch and spent the afternoon exploring the area. There was a great craft fair being held on at the park on the ocean.

Later, we picked up Laurel for dinner at a restaurant on the Wharf. The pelicans were very entertaining. The people fishing would feed them by tossing fish into the air and the pelicans would snatch the fish right out of the air.

We stayed at the Hotel Pacifica on the west side of town. It is the site of a historic building owned by a man who revolutionized the nursery business when California was just being developed. (We can thank him for many of the imported flora). The room was well worth the price. It was a large two room suite. We asked for an additional folding bed and all four of us slept very comfortably. (The kids don’t share a bed very well anymore). The lobby had free beer, wine and soda for Happy Hour. In the morning there was a free breakfast for all guests (made to order). The pool was great and the hot tub even better.
Hotel website: http://www.pacificasuites.com/

On Sunday morning we tried to go on a whale watch to see the Channel Islands, but we ‘bailed’ after the harbor patrol declared a small craft warning and the tour operator advised that gale winds that would prevent us from getting close to the Channel Islands. Instead, we spent the morning riding our bikes on the city’s self guided tour. We stopped at the Stearns Wharf and went the "Ty Warner Sea Center". The highlight for me was bottom dredging at the working sea lab. The kids got to touch baby leopard sharks and a variety of other sea creatures. The candy shop on the wharf is a "must" stop too!
Ty Warner Sea Center: http://www.sbnature.org/seacenter/ .

The bike tour also took us to the beautiful City Hall and we got to see a panoramic view of Santa Barbara from the top of one of the towers. We didn’t ride all the way to the mission, but we had a nice lunch at a restaurant across the street from the City Hall's gardens.

After our bike ride, we picked up Laurel and drove to the Mission Santa Barbara for the "I Madonnari" Italian Chalk Art festival and fair. The Mission is stunning and the self guided tour was very informative. Katie was recalling what she learned about the missions from her California history class. The kids loved the gift shop. The chalk art festival was wonderful! We stayed until 5PM to hear a musical performance in the Mission's chapel.
Mission: http://sbmission.org/home.html
Festival: http://www.imadonnarifestival.com/im.html

After that we headed to the Botanic Gardens for a brief visit. Laurel really wanted us to see the house from the “Wind in the Willows”, next time we will get there earlier. Learn more about the Gardens here: http://www.sbbg.org/.

On Monday, we headed to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. This is a small, but "full" museum. The kids loved the visit and especially the whale skeleton in the park area outside the museum. You can learn more here: http://sbnature.org/.

For dinner, we found a great Italian restaurant (using one of the SB local websites) with an outdoor Bocce ball courtyard called Arnoldi's. Great fun! We even got Laurel to try her hand at a game of Bocce. See them here: http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/review_read.asp?pk_restaurant=585 .

On Tuesday, we said goodbye to SB and headed to our appointment at the Hearst Castle. The trip up the coast was beautiful. We stopped at a small Mexican restaurant near the castle for lunch, called El Chorlito. http://www.elchorlito.com/ .

The Hearst Castle itself is beyond description. You have to experience it to begin to understand how impressive it is... Our tour guide was very funny and immensely informative. We want to go back for the evening tour (full period costumes, music, etc). See more here: http://www.hearstcastle.com/ .

We headed home very satisfied and happy.

Photo Journal: http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=76k8a4n.b04l0qpb&x=1&y=-vvy19v

Monday, April 03, 2006

Skiing 2005-2006

We rented another ski house this ski season with other three families. This year the house was up near Tahoe-Donner above the village of Truckee. We skiied Northstar with a couple of other resorts thrown in for good measure.

Sean tried snowboarding for the first time and really enjoyed it (thanks to Bob E for teaching him!).

Both he and Katie can now out-ski Mimi and I. They've got no fear and have basically skiied all of the "marked" terrain at Northstar and much of the off-piste that I'm willing to take them. I'm very proud of them.

Pictures here:

Friday, December 02, 2005

Visit to Florida Keys

A week of bliss in the Florida Keys... highlights included fishing, eating, drinking, treasure museums, eating, drinking, dolphin swims, eating, drinking, shopping, eating and drinking.

Check out some of the fun here:


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Visit to Dominican Republic

We just returned from a visit to the Dominican Republic - it was awesome!

We spent a week in Carbrera on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic with 9 other couples for our friend, Bob Emberley's, 40th birthday. It was simply one of the best vacations I've ever had... Get a load of the villa here: http://www.villalazyheart.com

Highlights of the trip for me:
a) visit to Cigar Factory where I picked up a roll of 25 hand rolled cigars
b) hooking a large marlin on a deep sea fishing expedition (but it through the hook B(
c) hanging out with 18 really cool folks
d) trying to learn to speak Spanish with our bartender, Diones
e) playing two rounds of golf at Playa Grande

Pictures here:

Enjoy, but don't get too jealous! Steve