We started the day by ripping off the deck. It was pretty rotted out, so we quickly abandoned the idea of salvaging or selling it. Except for the 4x6 beam supporting the deck -- we'll probably use that under the existing house to beef up the floor under the 4x8 island.
Here's an old shot from a couple years ago showing the back deck:
The excavator showed up around 3pm. The guy who delivered it was super cool, and he drove it around the house for us. He probably thought we'd knock a hole in the house or hurt ourselves or something, but it was nice all the same.
So the guy left, and we immediately started tearing up the patio slab. It took dad a bit to get the hang of it, but then he was slinging chunks of concrete like a pro. It looks like I was just standing around a lot, but I was running around operating the manual excavator (i.e. a shovel).
After about 2 hours, the patio was piled up in the backyard, as well as all the five trees and bushes we tore out.
After 3 more hours, we had the hole about half dug. There isn't much extra room to pile up dirt, so it'll be tight tomorrow when we finish digging the hole. We should be ready to set up the forms for the footing on Sunday morning!