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Matt Comes Home for Summer Vacation
Matt drove down from Fort Lewis, Washington to be with his family during his two-week summer leave. He and his friend Mel(anie) went caving and (pub) crawling all over southeastern Arizona — oh, and yeah, Matt introduced Mel to his parents and to Mike and Anna. It was one big happy family reunion.

Jamie, Matt, Mel, Anna, Mike and Cherie outside the Bisbee Grill

Caving with the Kids
Mike, Matt, Anna, and Mel went caving in the Huachuca's at the Coronado National Monument. Flashlights in hand, they scaled walls, crawled down narrow passages, squeezed through tiny holes, climbed atop outcroppings, and shimmied through fissures.

You, too, can explore the cave.

Move the cursor over the picture and explore with your flashlight.

Click on the picture to add additional lights if you're too scared to explore alone.

And down we go, through the opening in the photo below, into the subterraneon depths of darkness and silence, biting rock and soft layers of grey sand and dust, to a world of fantasic shapes, still dripping stalactites (if you're eagle eyed), colors that come alive under your flashlight beam, through rooms, passages, and sink holes. Enter if you dare.

Matt leads the way through the warren of holes and tunnels. Mel is wondering if cleavage attracts nesting bats
Anna squirms through the small opening deep in the cave, assuming the grasshopper position to propel her way through

The walls occasionally drip. No Anna, that's not bat guana dropping on your head
This 20-foot high rock dragon lives deep in the cave and has Mel and Mike backed up against the wall. OK, so maybe that's an exageration, but Mel is literally pinned against the wall as she uses it to negotiate her way over a chasm. Mike, ever valiant, is there to lend a hand.

Mike, Matt, Mel, and Anna shared stories while tucked away, resting, in one of the narrow cave tunnels.

A Night (or Two) on the Town
While Matt and Mel explored the mountains during the day (their pictures of rock climbing are on Matt's Pictures Page), the rest of us had to work. But the nights were for all of us, and we took advantage of them with good food, good drinks, and good times.

Everybody wants to dance with Anna, it seems.

At right, Mel and Anna do a little dirty dancing

While below, Matt twists and shouts with her

We whiled away one evening drinking on the patio bar of the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee. The Blue Moon beers began to pile up on the table, and Cherie topped them with one of her wine glasses before I snapped this photo. " Well, " thinks Anna, " I'll be darned if I'm not gonna be in the photograph too," and she swats away the wine glass.

See everyone's reaction by clicking "Before / After" button below.

Mel's unchanged expression says "I work in a bar—I've seen this all before."

Everyone's in a hugging mood as the nights progress

Matt gives the women in his life a squeeze, left, and Cherie nestles up with Mel and Anna, right.
Cherie and Anna, left, and Anna enjoying Mel's company, right. Note that Anna came dressed for the occation—her fingernails match her beer labels. That's what I call a fashion conscious woman.
As much fun as Anna was having, she missed Mike, so gave him a call at work to hurry him along to Bisbee. She must have told him what to wear, 'cause Mike came dressed in — you guessed it — blue, to match the beer bottle labels. This Blue Moon thing is really catching on

"OK, this hugging thing is getting out of hand," Mel thinks, as the weight of the family lands on her lap

Nothing tops off a fine evening of dining and drinking better than a fine cigar on the patio
Ah So ...
A Lesson in Asian Dining

Mel and Matt, coming from the great Northwest, offer Mike and Anna a lesson in how to authentically hold chop sticks when eating Japanes food...especially when one is set to inhale one's dinner.

Lunch at Tanuki Sushi Bar and Garden

Deer in the Headlights
Guilty pleasures shared in the dark are suddently brought to light by the flash of a camera bulb, and only the skinniest amongst us is proud to be caught with her trophy held high.

Cherie, Matt, Mel, Anna and Mike enjoy Cold Stone Creamery treats on the tailgate of Matt's truck

When company comes over and there aren't enough chairs to go around, we can always double, er, triple, er quintuple up. Small kitchens make for happy families, methinks.
Alas, all too soon Matt's vacation time was up and he and Mel returned to Washington state. We enjoyed the time together. We miss them both already.

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