My next door neighbor Craig - my 'brother from another mother' - excelled in gymnastics and has been a gymnast ever since. He has also been a gymnastics coach for a long time. He finds it quite rewarding work to be so involved in the process of young developing gymnasts. The boys that he's worked with over the years are lucky to have him as their coach, their mentor, and their friend.
I consider myself lucky to have him as my friend too. My friendship with him is quite literally the longest friendship of my life. We like to joke that he was my first husband since we all liked to play 'house' a lot as kids. So many of my fondest memories from growing up include Craig and his sisters Rene'e and Andrea as well as my sisters Amy and Jill. We were two trios combined to make up one cohesive clan.
In winter you'd find us bundled up playing in the snow - sledding down our big hill, making snow forts, or performing ice skating dance routines on the pond across the street; come warmer months we'd be in our treehouses with walkie talkies, playing marco polo in the pool, doing tricks on the trampoline, or maybe even taking a road trip to the beach. We loved the outdoors and still do as adults.
Craig came out for a visit both last summer as well as recently. I am super happy that he plans on it being an annual trip. We had a really fun time together and I felt like I was 10 again when we spontaneously started playing 70's music on my Fisher-Price record player in the living room and dancing around like drama queens to act out the songs. It was hilarious - and since he's a gymnast and I have dance experience we were able to have fun with some fancy, and quite goofy, maneuvers. It's a shame there aren't any pictures.
Washington state is such a beautiful place with stunning natural landscapes especially on the coast and in the mountains. And since Craig, being a gymnast and all, is capable of some pretty stunning poses it's exciting to combine the two through photography.
One of the days he was here we hiked up Mt. Rainier. It was the two of us plus my husband Shawn. I'd been to Mt. Rainier a few times but never did much hiking upwards. We were all pleasantly surprised at how quickly we reached the snow fields. It was pretty neat hiking through snow in the middle of summer. The wildflowers blooming were amazing and the marmots and chipmunks were absolutely adorable. It was an overcast day which did block some of the potential views but we were pleased with the eerie and magical quality it gave to the scenery. I hope you enjoy the photos. We sure had fun taking them!
I also included some fun photos from his trip out here last year when we went up to Ruby Beach as well as up into Capital Forest for a panoramic view.