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Botos Family Album - 2005

The year unfolded, not always the way we expected. Here is a brief pictorial replay of some key events.

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note: Each of the photographs is a thumbnail image of the original. Just click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the picture.

Holidays - 2004

Usually the Christmas holidays get missed in the yearly family album -- since I put the album together in late November. So here are a couple of scenes from the holiday season at the end of 2004.


Taking in the Christmas festivities at Rockefeller Center.

visiting the sites at rockefeller center
feasting at chez lamberti

Feasting on Christmas Eve at Chez Lamberti. And this is just the appetizers!.

christmas day at 31 parkview court

Christmas Day at Dad's.

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A big travel year. Some quick highlights:
  • Sonia & Catherine to Italy
  • Sonia, Carole, & Joyce to Italy
  • Sonia, Dad, & Michael to Vermont
  • Sonia, Michael, Matthew, David, Paula, & Catherine to North Carolina

Sharing treasures after the trip.

treats from  Italy trip # 1

Sonia got a lot of practice packing and unpacking, trying to follow the 'pack light' advice of her mentor, Rick Steves.

sonia heading out on italy trip #2

Last minute baggage check at the airport.

sharing memories of italy

Reminiscing about the trip.


Italy in January

murano street scene

Murano street scene.

to the right...

Epiphany Renaissance parade
[January 6th] in Florence.

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St. Peter's Square in Christmas regalia.

catherine with st mark pigeons in venice
festivities in florence
holiday time in rome
to the left...

Catherine with pigeons on St. Mark's square in Venice.

family at new years


Enjoying family times for New Year's in San Vito and Soverato.

sonia and sandro
[photo by Catherine]

Sonia and Sandro.


You just can't go a day without your gelato. Sometimes you need to have it twice in one day!

italian gelato

lena and sonia in san vito
[photo by Carole]

Lina & Sonia remembering growing up in San Vito.

retirement celebration for sandro
[photo by Carole]

Retirement celebration for Sandro.

Italy in May

Taormina, Sicily with Mt. Etna in the distance.

taomino, sicily with mt etna in background
  milan duomo under renovation

Milan Duomo undergoing restoration work.

beach at soverato, italy

The beach at Soverato.

  paula and david at clator lake,va

Spending less time on campus and more time exploring the area, we found some very scenic spots in the Virginia countryside. Here are some pictures of Paula & David and Dad & Matthew from Clator Lake.

Back in Virginia!

dad and matthew at clator lake, va

Michael and Sonia at the Tree of Life Disney's Animal Kingdom.

  making a glass vase at wheaton village

Crafts people firing a glass vase at Wheaton village. Although the village is only an hour away, we had never visited. This year we made three visits!

michael and sonia at disney animal world
  exhibits at the vermont marble museum

Visiting the Marble Museum in Proctor, Vermont.

kids in the pool at outer banks condo

David happily surrounded in the pool.

Mini vacation #1

This year we took two long weekend getaways: one to Vermont and the other to North Carolina. In Vermont we toured the marble museum [free with coupons!] and learned a lot about the important role that marble played in the early economy of the country.

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Mini vacation #2

On the trip to NC we learned among other things what all those OBX bumper stickers were about! It gave us a chance to re-explore and see how things had changed in our 10+ year absence.

hiking in quechee gorge in vermont

Hiking down into Quechee Gorge at Quechee, Vermont. Coming back up required several rest stops.

playing boggle by the pool

Playing Boggle was a staple activity any time we got together.

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Each evening offered a wonderful sunset.

sunset on obx near sea oats place
The only challenge was remembering to get situated at a good vantage point for the show.
hikers on jockeys ridge

The sunset on Jockey's Ridge was one of the best. Here are our family of hikers climbing to the top of the dune.

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We spent a lot of time together as a family this year, travelling occasionally, but always having a good time!


Food has always been a great family attraction. While we had some fancy meals, we had some everyday favorites. This year was no exception.

dad slicing vegetables

Good eating, of course, requires good preparation.

We all enjoy a wide range of food, including our vegetarians.

Enjoying nachos just like old times. We had a blast!

enjoying nachos just like old times
dad enjoying a lunch of pasta and vegtables

Any meal with pasta & bread is just fine.

  michael & paula making pizza

Michael & Paula making pizza.

salad chef matthew at work

Matthew is an accomplished chef and even has a menu selection for guests on his web site. All part of the plan to attract available females to his pad.

  catherine and the easter bunny

Catherine and the 'Easter bunny'.

The young[er] and the old[er] got along very well together, sharing both time, activities, and exercise. kite fliers

Kite fliers.

walking around wheaton village

Walking around at Wheaton village.

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  the kids at laurel acres park

The 'kids' at Laurel Acres park.

puzzle builders at work

Puzzling over how to put the picture together.

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Birthday brothers waiting for a place at the Mexican's table.

Doubling up increased the fun for this activity!michael and paula racing up the hill with respective loads

Michael & Paula racing up the hill at Laurel Acres with their respective 'loads'.

david and paula

Celebrating special friendships.


The front porch beauty parlor.

the front porch beauty parlor
Beauty and hygiene were among the ways we passed the time. Of course, doing activities together, was always fun. 'Curing' both our 'mani' and the 'pedi'.
custom pedicure

Dad getting a custom pedicure.

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Special Events

  one last swing on jungle gym

One last swing before beginning.

A unique birthday celebration!

jungle gym in mid disassembly

Dismantling the jungle gym.

All neatly stacked. The jungle gym survived 18+ years including the move from MD to NJ.

jungle gym disassembled

We attended three weddings during the summer among family and friends.

Sonia & Dad.

sonia and dad at lesslie wedding
sonia and dad dancing at lesslie wedding

Dancers. 88 and going strong!

We travelled to Christiansburg for Thanksgiving. Sharing the meal with Paula's Mom, Grandmother, and friends Doreen & Scott.

thanksgiving dinner in va
paula pumping iron

Paula pumping iron at a meet in Moorestown.

part of the weight lifting meet audience

Part of the weight lifting meet audience.

Paula and David made two trips to NJ, so that Paula could participate in weight lifting meets held in nearby Moorestown.

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Random shots


Winter 2005

sonia out in the snow after one of our 13 inch storms

We had a few big snow falls this winter.

carole gates visiting in january

Carole visited while Catherine and Sonia were in Italy. Michael's 'mystery lady friend' was the talk of the neighborhood especially with Carole's flashy red rental car!.

March - #31

one more year -- 31

One more year -- number 31.

  We had a bumper crop of plum tomatoes this year. Most of them when into making sauce for either pasta or pizza. Nothing tastes as good a fresh sauce!tomato garden - step #1

Sonia planting in late spring.

tomato harvest

Part of the tomato harvest.

First batch of sauce in the making.

tomato sauce in the making
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The Valentine lobster was both a delicious meal...

valetine day dinner
lobster detail well as a unique photo opportunity!

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  results of tree trimming

In the spring it was time for some tree trimming. Also a good start for the coming winter fires!

After many years of faithful service, our old mixer was ready for retirement!old and new mixer in kitchen

Old and new mixers in kitchen, temporarily sharing space.

Part of the Amici Della Lingua Italiana club's mission is to help spread appreciation for Italian culture. at amici table at italian festival

Sonia providing information at Mercer Country Italian festival booth.

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Catherine was so happy to be involved in the flood clean-up, that she could just ....

catherine and find during flood cleanup

Catherine displays flood souvenir.

Now that's a mouth full!set of four wisdom teeth

Right after her spring exams, Catherine parted with her four wisdom teeth.

>halloween cat

Catherine celebrates Halloween in August as part of her camp counselor duties.

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Digital cameras

  sonia re-digital

Sonia pre-digital.

Both Michael and Sonia have been busy with their digital camera throughout the year. Sonia has been experimenting with her digital camera and getting lots of opportunity on various trips and events she attends. Michael enjoys taking walks around the yard and nearby woods to find photo opportunities.
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Monarch caterpillar munching on a leaf.

monarch caterpillar munching on leaf
Of course, bugs and close-ups are still Michael's favorites.
bumble on rhododendron

Bumble bee sucking rhododendron nectar.

For more photos, be sure to check out the weekly archive page of 'best of the week' photos.

praying mantis

Praying mantix.

love bugs

Love bugs luvin' each other!


Columbine in bloom.

growing golf balls in my garden

Growing golf balls in the garden.

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Poppies are one of Michael's favorite subjects. Like most flowers, they have elaborate development, bloom, and seed generation cycles. Each cycle has its own particular beauty. Being able to return to the same plant over a period of several weeks and snapping pictures, shows the varied appearance of the 'flower'.

Finding unknown subjects is usually an incentive to learn more about them.poppies and house

Poppies beginning to bloom.

poppy #2

Poppy flower in full bloom..


Detail of poppy pollen.

poppy ready to begin seen generation

Poppy ready to begin seed generation cycle.

poppy seed detail

The above detail of a spent poppy with its seeds will also appear as part of a photo montage in a Norwegian spice & seed catalog.

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Copyright © 2005 Michael Botos. revised: 4/8/2006

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