At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
In the summer of 1998, the parents ended up taking separate vacations for the first time. (The four older children regularly take vacations with their respective other parents, of course.) Marie-Hélène missed France very much, and spent almost six weeks over there, mostly at La Grée in Brittany. Ian, back in the US work ethic, could not take more than a couple of weeks off. Plus, it took us a while to get over the costs of moving to the USA the previous summer, and a vacation for Ian not too far from home was the order of the day. This was in the middle of the two-year period that the household spent split up, with Nick and Tom in Paris and the rest of us in Santa Cruz.
Yosemite almost made up for all the problems, but not quite. The vacation felt a bit odd. We became more accustomed to separate vacations as time went on: it is simply not possible to leave the average professional job in the US for more than a couple of weeks, yet less than four weeks in France is not really enough for Marie-Hélène to recover her native land. So Ian would stay in the US except for two weeks and Marie-Hélène would go to Paris or La Grée for at least four. Charlie, and then both Alex and Charlie, accompany their maman.
During this first vacation in Yosemite, dad took the photo on the left after the three of us had walked down from the top of these magnificent falls. (People are just about visible to the right of the drop.) We had all swum in pools that were so cold that it felt like your skin was freezing, which was just what the doctor ordered after the dry heat and fatigue of the climb up. The boys kept their father going on the way up, incidentally making him feel very old as the scampered up and down and around him on the upward trail, encouraging him at one minute, and teasing him the next.
During the same trip, we spent one morning on a rented raft drifting down the Merced river in the Yosemite canyon. Check out the knees on the right here! In fact, this (nice) photo below left came first, before they upended their poor, long-suffering father in the other photo!
We almost had other Yosemite pictures to add here after the Colorado Road Trip that Tom and Dad took in July 2004, but unfortunately the photos were all double exposed. We drove across Toulomne Meadows and hiked for a day: the Sierra Nevada version of paradise.
One day, we split up. Never one to take it easy if that can be avoided, Nick wanted to walk/climb with Gael all the way up Half Dome, to the very top. Daphné and Papa were less aggressive about their day, making it to the top of Vernal Falls: see the photo on the right.
Nick and Gael made it to the top of Half Dome and back in something like 8 hours! When they found Daphné and Papa on the Valley floor, they both had that half dead look. But they did what they set out to do, despite being some distance from the peak of fitness.
Here are the three younger adventurers the next day, framed by the Sierra Nevada.
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban