Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Michele!

Happy Birthday Michele!  Each of our birthdays is a cause for celebration! but I think this might be a milestone birthday...hmmmm...

Ryan and Kelly along with Doug, pulled together a fun wine-tasting party to honor Michele...she has two really wonderful kids.

Enjoy your day...enjoy your year ahead...may your every wish come true!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Hiker At Half Dome...

...Was lost.

Kevin texted me this afternoon that another hiker/climber fell off Half Dome.

Dave said that after they all finished their climb, they heard from quite a few people they knew who said that it was the scariest, most dangerous thing they had ever Dave said: "How come they never said this to us before we left?"  and I said:  "Well, you're not telling anyone NOW!"  So there you go....

Lauren said it was amazingly beautiful...but not worth the risk.  Dave said it was way scarier than he anticipated.  Kevin...well, he seemed more exhausted after the whole thing.

OK.  So, I guess each person needs to decide for themselves whether to do it or not.  But my crew said once is enough.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Surviving Half Dome

This is Half Dome In Yosemite National Park.
Dave, Lauren and Kevin climbed to the top.
I was you might have guessed...look at it!  Sheeesh
It's a 20 mile hike & climb ...
(from the parking lot, which they don't tell you about)
13 hours with a short rest at the top....
Walking uphill for 6 hours straight
an elevation gain of 4800 feet
The final ascent was with cables attached to the rock face.

See the cables going up the side of the cliff?
They had to hold on to the cable while climbing the rock.

And worse than that....they had to climb down....

If you fall, here's where you go....

If you look at the pictures on the Yosemite website,  the cables look like they're at a 40 degree angle.  Well, it's more like an 85 degree angle!  Lauren said those Yosemite photos are bogus.  You can see at the top that it goes down to about a 45 degree angle but what they don't show you is that   
3/4 of the ascent is really, really steep.  Two weeks ago, a girl from the town next to ours, Hayley LaFlamme from San Ramon, who was an experienced hiker, fell 600 feet to her death. 
That's how I sent off 3 of my family members. 
Another young hiker from Fresno died last week when he slipped on the rock steps along the trail.
I had a wonderful day, knowing all of this.  

They did, however, make it to the top...

Ages: 23, 20 and.....60! 

Here's Kevin on what they call the "diving board"

Ahhhh.  I'm sooo glad I did not see this happening!  Hey!  Where's Uncle Doug?  He would have loved doing this!!

Kevin's fiancee, Lauren, said she wondered how this plan ever got past me.  All I can say is...after many years, I know when I'm up against a brick wall.  They knew I was worried er.... thinking positively about this endeavor...

Kevin's frat brother, Keegan, joined them on the trip.  He probably won't be saying "yes" to Kevin about anything else anytime soon! 

Dave said he was amazed at Lauren's courage and strength.  She did tell me that, half way up the cables, she started bawling quietly to herself because she didn't know how she was going to keep going.  She was also terrified because Dave's shoes didn't have enough traction and his feet kept slipping and she was afraid he would slide - like Hayley from San Ramon.  But they both made it.  


Dave said Kevin was always out in front of them at a good clip and had to wait for them to catch up.  I can add that, although he was really tired after the climb and slept like a rock in the car, on the way home, he wasn't hobbling around on sore feet and joints like everyone else.  He got up at 6 a.m. for work the next day.  Crazy.  

It looked amazing at the top...

They did complain, however, about all the barking spiders along the trail  ***    ;)

Then of course, they had to come down... descending those same cables on the rock...

Beautiful along the way, they said...

The Vernal Falls...

Bye Half Dome...

You're beautiful from the valley floor too...that's where you'll find ME!!!
And all my bears made it back, "...home again, safe at last".

Monday, August 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Drew!

Happy Sailing In The Year Ahead
We wish we could be there to celebrate with you.  

Make a birthday wish (or two...or three or four...)

                                                   We Love you!  
              Mom, Dad, Lauren and Kevin  & Lauren

Sunday, August 7, 2011

They're Engaged!

                Lauren And Kevin Are Engaged

We are all very, very excited!  Actually, we're thrilled!  We have known Lauren since she was 16 and we've watched her grow up along with Kevin and they have been a wonderful, devoted couple all these years.  They love one another very much and have stood by and supported one another through all the challenges of high school, college and careers. 

They met - totally out of the blue - in the summer before Kevin's Senior year in high school when he was stopped at a red light in a car filled with his buddies, and Lauren's car which was  filled with her girlfriends,  pulled up alongside.  Kevin decided right then and there that he was going to meet that girl.  Definitely love at first sight in this case!  It turned out that they were each going to one of the two high schools in Pleasanton.  Well, the romance took off and lasted all through college and into their budding careers.  Kevin may think it was a lucky day for him when he met Lauren but it was a really lucky day for all the Baylys because we have all come to know a lovely girl who is beautiful inside and out, and we love her very much.  Along the way, Dave even picked up a golf buddy in Lauren's dad, Paul, and they have been regulars for years now.  All four of us parents have sort of watched the two "kids" growing up longer kids now, embarking on life together. 

So, Saturday was the big day as Kevin proposed at the beautiful Phelps Winery in the Napa Valley.

Here's the before picture...

And here's the after picture...

Kevin clued both sets of parents in to his Proposal Plan and asked us all up for dinner to help celebrate.   So we had a wonderful dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni where we popped open a bottle of champagne and celebrated.  It was a wonderful day...    

 ...and the love story continues...

We wish them a world of happiness - they have worked so hard for it.  And now we have a wedding to look forward to!