Friday, October 29, 2010

Another birth announcement!!

A beautiful baby girl (as of now still unnamed!) joined the world early this AM!!  Please join me in congratulating Marcela and Benjamin on the birth of their 2nd daughter, who was born at home at 1:34 this morning.  Mom and baby are doing fantastically well!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Honduran Adventures of Fluffy and Curly!!

Mackenzie's two favorite stuffed dogs go on all trips with her. This time, she wanted to do a photo diary of the trip from their perspective -- so here it is!!

Day #1 -- Today, we got to fly with our Mommy, Mackenzie, on TWO big planes to Honduras.  Planes are lots of fun!!  We got to watch TV and play games!!

And of course, we ALWAYS put on our seat belts when the captain told us to!

Sometimes, we just snuggled with our Mommy during the ride.

And after the plane rides, we had to take a long, bumpy ride from the airport to our hotel.  It was like a FOUR HOUR ride over really bumpy roads.  Our mommy put us in the rolling crate (her carry-on bag) to keep up safe during that trip; otherwise, we might've bounced out the window!!  Mommy didn't take any pictures of us that evening, 'cause she was REALLY tired!!

Day #2 -- Today, we woke up Mommy and told her we really, really, REALLY wanted to see the hotel.  So here we are, exploring our new home!!  This is us sitting on the desk in our hotel room.  And of course, we too will only drink bottled water in Honduras.  What self-respecting American dog would want to go home with a case of Monte-Ruffa's Revenge??

We sat on the bed and watched TV for a while, but found out that even Lassie and friends speak Spanish here!!  We just watched the pictures.....

Then FINALLY Mommy took us out to explore.  Here we are, checking out the pool.

We decided to work on our tans a bit.  We're kind of pale (especially Fluffy!!)

The surroundings were so beautiful and the breeze was so nice!!  This was doggy-heaven!

Later that day, Mommy and her family took a drive to visit a nearby fort called San Cristobal.  We explored all the nooks and crannies, 'cause that's what busy dogs like us are supposed to do!

We helped guard the lookout towers.  Those silly humans didn't seem to have any guards in those towers at all, so we took over.  We're such good, responsible dogs!

Here we are again, on guard duty.  We're staying VERY alert!

We even tried to operate the cannon, but nobody would help put in the cannon balls or light the thing!!

Mommy came and took us off the cannon and explained it was only there for decoration.  Silly us!!

Then we all paused for a photo by the gates to the fort.

It was a fun day!!

Day #3 -- After two busy days of exploring and travel, our Mommy was VERY tired.  When we woke up in the morning, she was SQUISHING us!!

Look at her hogging most of the bed.  She hardly left any space at all for us!! 

Later that day, we went up the mountains to visit Mommy's family.  We stayed hidden all day, which is why you won't see us in these pictures.  You see, they had LOTS and LOTS of animals that were much bigger than us, and it made us nervous.  They had this CAT that kept scratching Mommy (why didn't she stop picking it up??  that's what we wanted to know!!).

And they had a BUNCH of big dogs.  Mommy seemed to think they were absolutely wonderful.  We didn't like them at all.  We stayed hidden!

This one has the same name as one of Mommy's big dogs at home (Cody!).  Still, we weren't sure he wouldn't eat us, so we didn't come out of hiding!

We must say, though, that those dogs may have the house with the coolest view in our whole family.  I mean, really -- what dog wouldn't want to live in a place like this?  Lots of room to run around and the best view ANYWHERE!

Our mommy's mom (our grandmother??) was busy all day making cakes.  It smelled really good in the house.  Why didn't we get any people food to try??  That is so NOT FAIR!!

Day #4 -- Unfortunately, on this day, "Grandma" went away to decorate cakes and took the camera with her, so there are no pictures of us.  We wish we could've gone, 'cause we hear we could've jumped up and eaten CAKE!!

And chased chickens, turkeys, and geese around!!!

And played in this BIG field!!

But nobody let us do that, so instead, we stayed in the house with the BIG DOGS and MEAN CAT and hid some more...... sigh...... boring......

Day #5 -- This was the big day; the reaon we all came to Honduras in the first place -- AND MOMMY LEFT US HOME AGAIN!!  That was so mean.....  But Mommy explained that we would've been very bored and would've had to be on our best behavior, so maybe it was OK that we didn't come along.

Here's Mommy, waiting to go into the wedding.

Here's that cake again.  And we never did get any to try....... we're very upset.  But the humans look very happy, so we guess it must've tasted pretty good!

We're still upset that the CHICKENS got to come to the wedding and we didn't.  We're so much better behaved and dignified than stupid birds....

.... and we would've had a lot of fun chasing this big fluffy one away from the food tables!!

And this moth???  We could've eaten an exotic new treat if we'd come too!!

And our "Grandma" found lots of new little friends that could've play with us if we'd come along. But nooooooo.......... we just stayed home in the crate.......... blah.......

Day #6 -- Mommy went to visit some really old ruins this day.  She said it was a place called Copan Ruins.  Here she is, climbing down the side of an old temple.  We didn't go along -- it looked just too scary for little dogs like us -- and WAY too big for us to climb up!!

Day #7 -- This was our last day in Gracias, Honduras.  Mommy took us for a ride to visit the town. Here we are, in front of an old church.

Mommy decided to get in the picture with us!!

And then we visited another old church.  This one was REALLY pretty, and didn't even have the gate on the fence closed!!  You mean dogs can just go in and out whenever they want to???

Nope, apparently not.  We had to sit outside on the front step and get out picture taken there.  We guess dogs are not supposed to go inside of churches after all!

Then Mommy discovered this big tree with pretty orange flower on it.  The flowers were HUGE!!

Look at this!!  The flowers were nearly as big as our heads!! (Mommy wouldn't let us eat the flower though!)

And then we visited ANOTHER church!!  This town is full of old churches!!

We got to play on the gates. (Guess dogs aren't allowed inside this church, either!!)

We visited a few other places, and then we had to come back to the hotel so Mommy could finish packing for our trip back to Maryland.  She made sure we were very comfortable in one of her bags!

Then we made another VERY long, VERY bumpy ride back to a big city called San Pedro Sula.  Unfortunately, Mommy was starting to get sick.  She didn't feel good at all.  Look how sick she looks.

In our new hotel, we tried to go to sleep in the pretty bed.....

...... but right across the street from our hotel was a BIG park.  We had to keep sneaking peeks out the window!  It was fascinating being in the "big city"!!

Day #8 -- This was the day we took the two planes back home to Maryland.  Sadly, Mommy was VERY, VERY sick on the plane, and so her mommy didn't take any pictures of us.  But we got to sit and watch out the window as we flew away from Honduras.

Goodbye, Honduras, and goodbye to our Sowers family!! We hope we'll get to come back and visit you again sometime!!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birth-Day...... baby Lorenzo, born this evening at 5:08 pm to parents Holly and Chris (and big brother Jake)!  Lovely homebirth of an 8 lb., 11 oz., 22" long baby boy! Parents and baby are happy, healthy, and doing well -- midwives and birth assistants could do with a bit more sleep!!  :) 

Welcome to the world, little boy!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Day #8 -- heading home!

This last morning in Honduras, we ate breakfast in the hotel's cafe, called the Cafe Skandia. It reminded me of a mixture of an old-style diner and Ikea!! The food was abundant and good, and much of it was traditional American fare, for those who might've been looking forward to returning to French toast or bacon!!

Just outside the cafe was the swimming pool area.  It was clean and lovely; I wish the weather had been a bit warmer, and that Mackenzie hadn't been sick -- she would've loved to go swimming here.

The lobby of the hotel -- a lousy picture I found on the internet somewhere!!

From the dining area looking towards the lobby of the hotel.

There was a beautiful mosaic picture on the wall of this area.....'s a closer look at it.

On the other side of the lobby was a sitting area, with this wood carving surrounding a support column.

Mackenzie wanted her picture taken next to these flowers to show how large the floral display was.

Back in our room, after packing, I took a few more pictures from the balcony.

I read on-line that there are actually TWO statues like this in the park; from my window, I could only see one.  They depict local women who would've done their laundry in the river in times past.

Another look at the cathedral at the end of the park.  I can find no name for except the San Pedro Sula cathedral, so I guess that's what it's called.  I wish we'd had more time -- I would have liked to have a look inside.

The bell tower.

Looking down the side of the cathedral and to the mountains beyond.

We headed off to the airport around 9 AM.  Thankfully, the drive in the "big city" is faster (and easier on the rear ends!) than the drives tend to be in rural areas of Honduras.  I had shown a picture on Day 1 of the size of the airport from the outside.  Here are two interesting shots to show how small it really is.  The departing gates are upstairs, and in these pictures, I'm standing between gate 1 and 2. 

Looking to the closest end, with a snack shop and coffee shop.

And looking down the entire length of the departure gates.  Yup -- that's it!!  No way you'll get lost, like in Atlanta, BWI, or Chicago!! Just one long room with 8 "areas" for departure!  If you can't figure this one out, you should NOT be flying alone!!

A few shots out the window, just to show how uncluttered and slow the airport is.

You'd never see a tarmac this empty at any local airports in the MD/DC/VA area!

At the gift shop in the airport, I found some Honduran jewelry in orange -- Mackenzie's favorite color!  Here she is modeling it -- and even smiling though she felt so sick -- what a trooper!

And finally, on the plane, getting ready to head to Atlanta and then home.

A few last photos taken from the window....

....and then we're off.... we head higher into the sky.....

.....looking at the beautiful land below...

.....and hoping we'll get to return someday....

'Bye, Sowers family and Honduras!