Early Washington ~ Vintage BNF

Reminiscing some good BNF times somewhere between Oct ’98 and ’99’ish on this page. Greg was working with Dell who moved us from Austin, TX to the Seattle, WA area to work with Microsoft in Redmond, WA.

We researched a place to live while in Austin and decided Issaquah (just east of Seattle) would be best for us because it put us in between a lab Greg was building in Kent (South) and the Microsoft offices in Redmond (North). Issaquah is also about 10-15 minutes from downtown Seattle and about 30 minutes to Snoqualmie Pass. Boating and snow skiing the same day!

Sunny still thinks her Daddy is pretty smart anyway ~ a little scary, but smart.

Course Sunny looks scared here too. Was it Mom or Kesley that scared her? She doesn’t remember.

Our Bronco is warming up Sunny’s hands on Snoqualmie pass which was East of Issaquah about 30 minutes. Getting relocated by a large company was a great experience for us. They loaded up our kickin’ Texas Bronco and Corolla on a trailer in Austin and both vehicles were waiting for us in Seattle.

Sunny’s not so scared when she’s warm. Another cool thing about getting relocated was some cash money for expenses, a moving company that even packed, loaded, and moved our trashcan (still full ~ pay attention when working with packers). Since our boat was only 18′, they loaded it into the moving trucks trailer and we ended up trading it in Seattle for an RV (water stays really cold in Washington). Relocation also paid for our dogs and cats (2 each) to fly there with us! Our crazy cat at the time, Rem, had crapped everywhere inside his kennel carrier. Very gross making for an unpopular animal carrier with baggage handling folk. They probably kicked and threw the carrier around making him crap even more. Poor cat was horrified from the whole experience.

Stephanie was one of our first friends in Issaquah where we got an apartment to start figuring the place out. The relocation package offered to get us a furnished apartment for two months ~ when we found out it was just an okay place for like $2500 / month, we chose to take the funds and wing it. Unfortunately we were still waiting for approval and apt keys when the moving company showed up. We started giving away our furniture and stuff to the moving guys to keep ’em happy while the waited.. We did end up in a pretty cool 2/2 apartment (with most our stuff) on a hillside that dropped off the parking lot and opened to a forest in the back. It was beautiful until about a month later when we realized they saw those sucker Texans coming from a mile away ~ it was a moldy forest view because the sun NEVER was able to get to our apt.

That’s Tyler (Stephanie’s brother) ~ we stayed in the complex for six months with these guys who had recently relocated from Florida. We were all prepared for Seattle weather and little sun, but this winter broke records for least days without sun, record rainfall, and there was 30 some odd feet of snow at the passes ~ 3-4 stories high where they plowed it! We loved it.

Sunny went fashion freaky from lack of sun.

We soon met the Bass Family when we dropped into a truck dealer to look at a Jeep we never got ~ that’s Travis and Kim and their daughters Hannah and Savannah that ran the place. We connected with these guys pretty quick because Kim grew up in Texas, Travis in Issaquah but Travis’ parents lived in Texas by the time we met them. Both Kim and Travis actually met at the same obscure University Greg spent two semesters at in Abilene, TX.

These pictures were taken in Eastern Washington just over Snoqualmie Pass when we visited some land Travis’ Family owns. After you drop down the eastern side of the Cascade mountain range, Washington becomes basically a treeless valley with lots of Farms and rolling hills. Very different than Western Washington.

This is also in Eastern Washington near a city called George… as in George, Washington ~ clever, huh? This is with the youth group we became a part of out of Maple Valley during a retreat to a weekend concert called Creation at ‘The Gorge in George’. BTW: that’s our wicked cool RV in the background ~ built on a Toyota pickup, it’s still one of the favorite rides we’ve had.

The Gorge is a great outdoor amphitheater that slopes down towards the Columbia River gorge where large cliffs climb up the other side ~ sunsets watching great live music with a cliff and sunset backdrop are real inspiring.

Everyone camps in a big empty field and they bring portable toilets and showers in ~ very gross with all these people, but probably grosser at a concert like Slayer or something like that ~ this was a relatively mild Christian show.

Except for the wackos we went with…

On a very different weekend where we drink late and wake un-early on the Olympic peninsula ~ Meet Leland.

And Shauna ~ some of our best friends in Issaquah. We met Shauna at the local deli where she made sandwiches for us and ended up spending lots of time with her and her boyfriend Leland.

They actually are some good – looking people.

They both grew up in the Pacific Northwest and we loved to go camping with them on the Olympic Peninsula which put us on the Pacific Ocean front in Washington.

There is massive driftwood on the beaches from the huge redwood trees that fall into the gianourmous rivers and are carried into the ocean where they are sanded thoroughly by the mondo waves and thickacious sand turning the beaches into something like nowhere else ~ you’ll be killed by the driftwood if you’re on the beach at high tide.




Dorky dead.

Really dorky.

Seriously though, dead. Imagine the gianourmous waves slamming this tree around ~ back and forth and back and forth and back and forth ~ then imagine thousands of these stacked on each other like pick up stix for Giants. The noise they make sounds really cool though when they are actually bouncing off each other ~ from a safe distance away of course.

Dead? Really? Are there trees that big out of Texas? I thought everything in Texas was bigger… Not the trees Jaimon. Texas has small trees compared to Washington. That’s also Jenn with her Uncle Davids daughter Kathryn.

These pictures were taken at Boo-Boo’s b-day in San Antonio, Texas during our first visit back to Texas after moving.

Our Boo-Boo is Sunny. She got a kickin’ band and awesome party on Granny’s land for her 3rd b-day ~ This is Jon Barry of The Jon Barry Project out of Austin, TX.

That’s crazy Will behind them that took us on a tour of High End Systems years later.

And there’s Uncle Ernie.

And Uncle Dave.

And all the really cool kids. Notice how big Jenn’s brother Adam is (left in picture).

And Dad’s really long hair.

Sunny’s b-day ~ not Kes.

Britney (Jb’s daughter ~ guitar player above), Cameron (Angie’s son ~ Greg Hudgins wife ~ Greg H. played sax with JB, Greg BNF worked with Greg H. at Dell), Austin, Jake (Jenn’s brother from the freaky story in our vintage Austin pages), Dustin (nephew), Thomas (Uncle Dave and Aunt Linda’s son), and Mike (fashion guy from early Austin page).

Dustin and Austin. Love.

Back in Washington, we found a great house on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah. Took all weekend to clean and do the lawn.

With a hot tub on a huge deck just behind the girls. This is the house that we learned that we would never have a hot tub again. Didn’t use it much after the first month and it was high maintenance. This house reminds us why we prefer to clean and maintain an RV.

We really liked Washington and spent a lot of time exploring.

Thinking this is from our trip to La Push which is and Indian Reservation and the farthest Northwest community in the United States ~ this picture (if we’re right) was taken on a boardwalk near La Push on the land that actually is cut by the channel between the U.S. and Canada with the Pacific Ocean on the other side. La Push was in a dispute at the time over whaling rights and the only road in and out was closed down right after we left ~ we actually passed the picketers on our way out, they were eating La Mcdonalds which seemed ironic to us…

But we got to take a La Pooh before we left.

Greg’s Mom and Grandpa Perry came to see us ~ the ferries were another adventure we took advantage of as often as we could.

This was on yet another of our ‘local’ trips to Victoria, Canada on Vancouver Island.

Sunny rode her Harley there…

And Austin tried to steal one but couldn’t get it started (or off the kickstand).

Melissa and her son Jason from San Antonio came to see us while we lived in Washington.

We went to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada with them. On the way is this really cool suspension bridge just out of the city of Vancouver. A year or so after we visited here ~ a woman threw her baby off the bridge where he landed in the river on rocks some 1000 feet below and lived, with only bumps and bruises!

Big tree.

Goofy shorts. Really goofy look going on here. Why does Greg keep allowing these pictures on the internet? Because his son is in this one.

Whistler ~ in the summer! This is a really great ski resort town. When we got there, we drove around the city and thought it was really lame until we learned you have to park and walk into the city. There are no cars inside the city ~ it’s like a really big outdoor mall.

We took the gondola to the top, thinking it was around 10k feet up? Maybe 5k. It was cold, and snowy. There was no snow in the city below.

And the Asians managed to find us and take pictures with the kids. So we did what we always do when they want pictures, return the favor and get pictures with them.

Jason was really missing out on this trip. Kid had never left Texas and the whole time he was giving us heartache for something. We know he was having fun, he just didn’t realize it. Maybe he does now?

We love to tell the story about how he wanted to go snow boarding really bad and we didn’t have the time or money or something so we decided not to. That’s when he started in on the ‘I feel like I’m missing out’. Then a bird crapped on his head. Seriously.

Then he was worried about his hair being wet from washing the poo out, so he wet his entire head to throw the suspicious off, then he just knew that people would know a bird crapped on his head and we couldn’t convince him otherwise. Now that the story is here, people will know that a bird crapped on your head. We love you Jason. Tough lesson in life about humility and gratitude. Kesley still admires you.

At the end of ’99 (Oct ’99) ~ we closed on our downtown Issaquah home. Just two blocks off Front St, we were able to walk everywhere.

We were settling in. We were involved with the church. Greg helped setup, operate, and tear down the sound system for the church activities and Jenn was involved deep with the youth group. She organized a fall play with the group and Greg made smoothies when they would come to the house. One of the most rewarding memories was when Greg left a quarterly executive meeting of Dell and Microsoft people to come make smoothies. The youth group was very impressed that making smoothies was more important, it’s this kind of memory we like to leave.

On the other side of the church thing (life balance, you know) we did our own Halloween thing in town while the church board was trying to figure out what to do about this ‘Halloween thing’.

Some of our church friends were also into Halloween and joined us for some trick or treating. Can anyone guess which Family is trick and which is treat? (he he…).

Early Austin ~ Vintage BNF

Greg and Jenn met in San Antonio, TX in 1991 when Jenn walked into her friend’s auto shop that shared a garage with Greg’s brother’s shop.  As she stood there waiting for her friend to get off work, Greg walked back and forth a million times being the shy guy he always is.  Finding it strange that he wasn’t staring like some of the other guys he worked with, she moved in on him determined to make him notice her.  What she didn’t know is that he already had.  And he liked.

Being the shy guy he was, she had to help him by leading him into asking her out.  She said yes and the two of them drove off in his hot rod Camero into marriage and babies and domestic life together.  Literally.   We had been together for about a year when we found out that we were pregnant with our first baby, Austin.  We were nervous and scared, but also excited about the fact that we were going to have a baby.  There was a lot of thoughts and talks about having a baby and getting married.  We both agreed that we didn’t want to run out and get married just because we were having a baby, we wanted to get married when we were ready to get married.  Both of our Families have been married and divorced, sometimes several times so we wanted our marriage to last and be something special.  Our marriage was something we needed to come to when we were ready, not so others could justify us having a baby.  That’s their issues, not ours.  We told Family members that we were going to have a baby but that we were not going to get married till we knew we were ready. Some Family members were happy and supportive and others were outraged.  We were disowned and told not to come around again by a Family member that we really wanted to be close to.  It really hurt us deeply that they didn’t want to have anything to do with us or this baby, it made us feel horrible and betrayed.  But, we were happy and loved living together in our little trailer together that Greg used while away at college years before.

We continued to work in San Antonio, Texas and learned more and more about what it meant to be a Family.  About four months into our pregnancy we felt that the time was finally right for us to get married after talking lots about it.  We knew that we wanted to make our marriage last so it was important for us to do it when we knew we were ready ~ we became ready in Vegas on April 10, ’92 in the front seat of our little Toyota truck with the sun coming through the dusty window, parked in the middle of nowhere Arizona on a trip back to Texas from California.  We bought $6 wedding bands from Indians and exchanged vows with each other in front of God and nobody else. Months later with nothing fancy at all, just the two of us in front of the Justice of the Peace in a little old feed store in Texas, we exchanged our vows again on July 13 and made it legal.  The JOP was loading horse feed in his overalls and the fellas he was loading feed with chuckled under their ten gallon hats and it only took him a little bit to get into his black robe, find his bible, and run us through our vows in his dusty office while we giggled the whole way through. We then re-exchanged our $6 interwoven silver rings we bought at a roadside stand from an Indian in Arizona after exchanging our vows in the front seat of our truck back on our trip.

We were young, on our own, and having our first baby so we decided to head to Austin, Texas to start our life, with or without support of extended Family.

Totally in love.

Early Austin Fun ~ Vintage BNF

Early Austin to us refers to that time somewhere between 1992 and 1998 in Austin, TX where we first lived in a travel trailer after moving there from San Antonio ~ then moved into a crack alley house in East Austin near the airport where we dodged bullets from gang fights and feared the local hippie mafia ~ and later moving out near Lake Travis in a killer house that we stayed in for about six months before relocating to Washington for work.

This picture was taken on Greg and Jenn’s baby vacation where we flew to Reno, rented a car and drove to San Francisco, south to Monterey, then PCH (Hwy 1) all the way to Eureka visiting Tahoe on the way back to Reno.

Half Moon Bay is south of San Francisco in a canyon where there is an annual pumpkin festival. Very cool place, and Jenn’s favorite looking fruit and potentially object. Jenn Loves pumpkins.

The kids were very glad to see us again.

So we left to visit Ireland and Amsterdam on Dell’s dollar.

This was about the only time we actually ‘worked’.  Apparently the Irish prefer drinking and holidays over work. We ‘worked’ with Lynn Duffy (right), Greg, Jenn, John O’Dowd and his wife, Asian guy and his wife, and crazy white American guy from Dell Austin and his wife Jennifer (we suck at names, Lynn and John were just easy to remember way cool Irish people and Jenn remembers Jennifer’s name).

We left Austin on a Monday morning and arrived in Limerick on Irelands western coast on a Tuesday morning after flying all night and checked into our really cool hotel near a castle.

We were very tired and hungry. We went to the hotel’s plush restaurant and couldn’t find a thing on the menu other than biscuits that sounded good for breakfasty time. Biscuits are cookies in Ireland. Car trunks? ~ pop the boot. Cigarettes ~ fags. We also picked up on some of the accent while there after only a week.

Anyway ~ we arranged to start ‘work’ at the factory on Wednesday working through Sunday. Wednesday we toured the factory and solved a minor manufacturing problem towards launching the first Inspiron system in Europe. At 3pm’ish the Irish crew started getting ready for their pints, by 4pm the factory was clear and the pubs were filling up. When we said our ‘see ya tomorrows’ we were told the factory was closed Thursday and Friday for an Irish holiday. ‘So we’ll see you Saturday…’ Nope. Factory’s closed through the weekend for inventory. So begins our expense paid holiday in Ireland!!

And the Irish aren’t very generous with their road size or shoulders. They also drive like drunken Irish maniacs. Oh wait, they are. God we love those idiots!

Those idiots‘ -Cheryl Nodland.

The Cliffs of Moher are between Galway and Limerick and rise over 700 feet above the water as a sheer cliff. Jenn really freaked Greg out by standing here. Someone told us it takes several hours to get a boat under these cliffs to recover those that have fallen ~ they are often never found and space aliens live in the cave.

Glad to have Jenn off that edge ~ Greg bought her this really cool handmade purple wool blanket from a vendor in the parking lot that shows up often in our pictures on the site.

Pubs are kind of a theme in Ireland. We spent a lot of time in them.

With nuns.

After a week in Limerick and mostly Galway on the western coast of Ireland, we drove through the center of Ireland to Dublin on the eastern coast with no plan other than an existing plane ticket home in a week out of Schipool International between Rotterdam and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We researched getting to Amsterdam by boat, train, car, and air. We finally chose air because it was the cheapest!?! Once we got there, we had to find a hotel in a crazy fast paced city compared to Ireland, we were stressed and finally ended up here not really sure how.

Not the finest of hotels in Amsterdam (we hope). The beds were basically foam padding and the bathroom was down the hall shared by the entire floor. Fortunately the floor only had about four rooms. Weird thing about Amsterdam is that the buildings were built according to the property taxes charged at a rate of how much room on the street they take up ~ this made the buildings thin and very tall with pretty extreme staircases.

This is the primary form of transportation throughout Amsterdam and we were very sore.

Amsterdam is laid out next to the North Sea (or a bay of, or maybe a different sea altogether, but definitely salt water as opposed to a lake or something) through a half moon shaped series of alternating streets and canals with cross streets all going to Central Station like half a wagon wheel and prostitution and organic drugs like pot and mushrooms are legal, but not heroin and cocaine that the pushers on the street try to sell you. And the prostitutes have to be ‘registered’ or it’s illegal. Weird.

Sex museum.

When we were in the red light district which is a shopping district for prostitutes in display windows with small bedrooms ~ we walked by a porn shop with no image editing in their window displays and noticed some small children playing right in front of this display as if nothing was there. We also noticed that there was not a plethora of ‘high on drugs’ hallucinating people all over the streets acting chaotically while raping and pillaging and killing and shooting each other. As a matter of fact, we only saw a pair of police one time over four days. Amsterdam was a very populated, international, safe, peaceful, and overall pleasant place to be. The architecture was phenomenal and we found out after coming back to the states that the house that Anne Frank holed up in was just a few houses away from our hotel. Apparently pick pocketing is the only significant threat in Amsterdam ~ unless of course you consider live sex shows in theaters with seating for 100s a threat.

Central station.

We had to get out of this crazy city after a few days so we took the train to Zaandvort (zhon-vort) on the North Sea (positive this time) which was much more relaxing. That’s a lousy picture from our hotel room window with the waves of the North Sea breaking at the mid left and some sort of automotive testing track or race track below that.

Alrighty then. Back in the states we continued goofing off with friends ~ this time we took the babies to Maricopa River Ranch Resort on the Guadalupe river near Canyon Lake between Austin and San Antonio (wouldn’t it be easier to look it up on mapquest or something?).

Melissa is one of Jenn’s best friends from San Antonio. Melissa and Jenn met while pregnant together with Ashley and Austin. By this time we had all our babies and Melissa had two ~ that was five babies and five adults sleeping in one hotel room.

Those are parenting gang signs ~ note the baby bottle next to the Bud Light…

Yo yo yo ~ babies in the crib, we be chillin tryin’ hard to look cooler than the teen group that showed up and was tryin’ to look all cooler than us Family types.

But they turned out to be the wimpy ones and went to bed early, yo. Dawg. Schnizzle.

So we made sure they were out cold…

And tied all their shoelaces together…

After mixing up the pairs. Laces and shoes were wet from a day on the river so we made sure to double tie the knots really, really tight. Quite fun the next morning listening to them blame each other and never suspecting the Family group with babies next door.

We did a lot of camping with Melissa and her kids. That’s Jason, one of his friends, Sunny, and Ashley.

This is in Bastrop State Park near Austin. It’s very cool through here where a relatively small strip of large evergreen forest cuts through Texas North to South from around Longview to Smithville (where Hope Floats was filmed).

We miss you Melissa…

And babies grow up fast…

So once upon a time we thought we were brilliant that we hung on to some Dell stock options for a couple of years and were able to buy this $2500 boat with the proceeds. A friend from Dell sat on the same ones for several more years and ended up buying a $200k boat with the same proceeds. We sold ours for $2500 years later. Wonder what he got for his?

Feeling cool cause he’s got a white steering wheel.

Hot and sexy. Greg loves this goofy woman more and more everyday.

Jeff. Where are you? Jeff?

So we finally moved out of crack alley into this house by the lake in Lago Vista (near Austin). For some reason, we thought a flowery design carpet was just right for us.

That’s our nephews / cousins Trey and Dusty from Houston. They were pretty disappointed that our ‘lake house’ was actually on a hill and not on the water… We took ’em to the lake in our boat anyway. Great times.

Austin started public school in Lago Vista. The school was only like a mile away but the bus picked him up anyway. This was really a great community.

Where we got a lot of sun. There’s the kickin’ Bronco that we like so much.

And that really cool purple blanket from Ireland that we still have, somewhere.

Another great business vacation on Dell was in San Jose where we checked in to the hotel and actually saved Dell money by opting for the Great America weekend package where we got five free weekend passes to the theme park (like Six Flags). Greg was responsible for Dell Inspiron DVD software and we were trying to be first to market with DVD on a portable, it broke late on the Friday before it was to ship on Monday so Dell needed Greg on a plane Friday night to San Jose to fix the problem over the weekend. We agreed to go only if Dell would send the entire Family ~ we ended up negotiating a bonus to pay for it. Dell was first to market with DVD on a portable and we had a blast in San Jose playing at Great America, visiting the Winchester Mansion, and getting car-sick driving fast up a windy mountain to see an observatory before our plane left that afternoon ~ we missed the plane, puked heavily, and stayed another day.

That’s a view from the road of our Lago house. It sat on about an acre among several oak trees and had a great view of the hill country and lake out back. There was a huge porch that wrapped around half the house and a giant garage that could hold like four cars. The thunderstorms out here were great, for the six months we lived there…

Before Dell relocated us to Washington state for an opportunity we did NOT wanna pass up.

See what we mean about Granddad’s eyebrows? What’s up with that ~ maybe we should get him to remove his glasses for pictures. We’ll try that next time.

That’s James, kid, and Steve hanging out with us during our last days in Lago.

And Misty, James’ wife. Misty gave us our first tickets to BNL ever. Misty worked in a club and her friends dad was working security for HORD Fest and gave her tickets and she took us with her knowing that Jenn had started loving the BareNaked Ladies. Mmmmmm. We also saw Blues Traveler and some other great bands. The best part was the mud and watching Ed Robertson get stuck in a Mustang and pulled out by some cowboy that had no idea Ed was a Rock Star. Great times.

We took a trip to San Antonio before moving to Washington and visited their world class zoo.

One of the last days these kids lived in Texas full time. So are they Texans? Greg wasn’t born in Texas but he got there as fast as he could. Somewhere a village is missing its idiot.

Adios Melissa. See you soon.