Happy Holidays to all our friends and family.
Here's what we've been up to:
We’ve been busy hiking, backpacking and camping with friends (and Simon!) at various places throughout the nation, as well as visiting family. On the tail end of last year, we canoed and camped in Everglades National Park celebrating New Years in Key West visiting family along the way (see 2003 Holiday Card). In February, we took a trip out to El Paso, TX with Andrew's parents Ellen and Jack Koransky. We did a backpack with the Atlanta Outdoor Club on the Foothills Trail early in the year. We visited Heuco Tanks for a look at some ancient Native American rock art, White Sands National Monument, Carlsbad Canyons, Gila Cliff Dwellings (Ancient Native American cliff ruins). Andrew led a monthly “Weekday Wonder Hike” for the Sierra Club during the summer months. (The Sierra Club honored us with another award this year for volunteering.) Fourth of July we loaded up the bikes and visited friends Jill & John Cioci and their new baby, Hunter, in Lexington, KY. Also this summer we visited friends Anita & Phil Castle in Birmingham, AL and saw the newly refinished statue of Vulcan, God of the Forge (Birmingham was founded on the steel industry). The Koransky family bought a house in Edwards, CO, near Vail, so (of course) we had to go and check it out in August. It’s a nice place that we might have to visit sometime when we’re out there hiking in the aspens. We spent our second wedding anniversary at a quaint little B&B south of the Alpine town of Helen, GA. The Nacoochee Valley Guest House & Bernie’s Restaurant was just what we needed with good food and wonderful staff. Most recently, we ran a 5K (3.1 miles) Jingle Jog in Atlanta that was very cold and lots of fun. This holiday, we plan to do a 3-day trip through the Okefenokee Swamp and then hit Cumberland Island for a 4 day backpack.
As far as other hobbies go, we’re still home brewing and getting better at it all the time. We’ve recently purchased a new camper, getting rid of the old one. This one is much simpler and we’re looking forward to putting it to the test for this year’s Holiday trip to the Okefenokee Swamp and Cumberland Island.
Health-wise, Teresa has had two surgeries this year. In April, Teresa re-injured her knee and had to have a minor arthroscopic surgery, but the recovery went well and she was out hiking and backpacking in no time. In November, Teresa had her second surgery to operate on her sinuses. It was very successful and we are both happy to report that Teresa no longer has sinus headaches.
Family-wise, we had a pretty interesting year. We both have family in Florida and no one was spared with this year's hurricane season. Four major hurricanes crisscrossed the state in about eight weeks. We were glued to the Weather Channel for several days hoping for the best. All in all, the family faired well with minimal damage to roofs and trees. The businesses have been hit hard with a drop in tourism, so if you’ve wanted to visit Florida, they’ll be happy to see you. Teresa's Grandmother, Momo, had a stroke in April which prompted an unplanned visit to Fort Myers. A bit later in the year, we made plans to celebrate Momo's 96th birthday on Labor Day weekend, but Hurricane Frances changed our plans. We finally went down to see her in October and she is recovering quite well, especially for being 96 years old!
Teresa’s beloved kitty Fred passed away suddenly this year at the ripe old age of 16. Fred had lots of little endearing quirks like sitting in between the shower curtains anytime either of us were in the shower and drinking from the Zen fountain. Fred also tolerated the indignation of having a dog in his house. We miss Fred. Simon misses Fred too, although he won't admit it.
Good luck to all our friends that decided to tie the knot this year; Beth & Shannon Price, Claudette & Adam Sukenick, Angela & Robert Morris, we hope you’re as happy together as we are.
Hope everything is good with all of you. We wish you all (y’all) a very Happy and Peaceful Holiday, happy trails!