Teresa and Andrew wish you all a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

Here's what have been up to in 2012:

The past year has been a relatively slow one for us, with its share of ups and downs.  Remember, we’re only mentioning the cool stuff; we certainly have our share of boring days too!

The highlight of this last year was our spring trip to Germany.  We had been planning to go to Europe for a very long time, but always found an excuse to put the trip off time and time again.  Well, this year, we celebrated our tenth anniversary a bit early with an April trip to Germany!  Being the “adventurous” type (at least according to some of our friends), we booked our tickets to Luxembourg, bought a German rail pass, booked our first night hotel stay, and made all other travel arrangements on the go, referring to our Rick Steves guidebook occasionally.  It made for a challenging trip at times, but gave us the less-touristy German experience we wanted.

We started in Trier visiting ancient Roman ruins, including the Porta Nigra, and arriving just in time to see a t-shirt supposedly worn by Jesus.  This relic is placed on display only a few times each century, and we were lucky enough to be in town during the pilgrimage.  From there, we headed towards the Black Forest university town of Freiburg where we enjoyed the beautiful city gates and climbed the Schlossberg tower.  Andrew wanted to experience small town Germany, so we then headed south to Staufen im Breisgau, which has to be one of the most picturesque German hamlets in the country, including rolling hills, another Schlossberg (literally castle hill) with vineyards surrounding an ancient castle ruin you can explore on your own.  In Staufen we ran into fewer people who spoke English, and we found out how bad our German really was!  Somehow, we still managed to get by with only minor embarrassment.

Then it was on to Munich.  Many may not know it, but Teresa was born in Munich.  (Teresa arrived in the states shortly after birth, and had never been overseas since.)  Teresa mentioned her birthplace to some drunk English speaking Germans in a Munich Schneider Wiesse pub.  She would say “Ich geboren in München!” and she enjoyed instant status with some of the residents.  “Ah!  You are Münchener!  Once a Münchener, always a Münchener!”   Some of the spouses would shake their head sadly and say “I was not born in München, I will never be Münchener.”  Next, we headed towards the alps, arriving in Füssen, home of the fairy tale castles Neuschwanstein, and the slightly more austere Hohenschwangau.  We rode a bike from our pension in Füssen to the castles, taking a detour around the beautiful Schwansee (with schwans!) for the full experience.  We also had fun trying to recreate a historic picture of Teresa’s mom pointing at the Neuschwanstein castle sometime in the 1950’s.

For our final stop in Germany, we landed in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a beautifully preserved and restored medieval town where walked the ramparts, took the famous night watchman’s tour, climbed the Rathaus tower for a view of the whole town.  We also escaped the city walls for a walking trip to the Toppler Castle followed by a visit to a picturesque biergarten on the Tauber river before walking back up to town.  Our German trip wound down with full day on the train back to Luxembourg, a last minute reservation at the Hotel Zurich (which, unbeknownst to us, was on a street with numerous strip clubs and was attached to the Discotheque Barbarella which had music blasting until the wee hours [our only slight mishap on the trip really]), followed by a 23 hour London layover and whirlwind tour of the sites of London.

In other travels, we had both joyous trips as well as solemn ones.  We enjoyed a fun weekend visit to Chicago for a Koransky cousin reunion.  Sadly, Andrew’s grandmother, Rose Arbeiter passed away in September, and we took another trip to Chicago for the funeral.  The funeral was touching and a fitting tribute to the last of a generation on Andrew’s side of the family.

On a somber note, our sweet doggy of ten years, Simon, after a couple of relatively minor health battles mentioned previously, he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at the age of thirteen, and we had to say goodbye to him shortly before Memorial Day.  The house still feels a bit empty without him.  We are currently “between dogs”, but do hope to get a new dog sometime in the New Year.

We enjoyed a Thanksgiving trip to Atlanta, where we got to eat too much, spend time with Andrew’s family, including parents Jack and Ellen, brother Todd, wife Meghan, and nephew Jordan David, as well as visit with friends and clients.

We took a trip to Santa Fe over Christmas, enjoying a Santa Fe Christmas tradition with a walk on Canyon Drive filled with art, lights, luminarias (street fires), and farolitos (candle bags).  It even snowed for a white Christmas.

We are planning a Florida trip in January to visit Teresa's side of the family.

Work wise, things are really going well, especially for Teresa.  She just started Salida Temps, which provides temp services to Salida business.  Although she is acting as the temp for now, she hopes to expand, offering more services, and hiring others to do the temp work.  Her Tanda CAD freelance drawing and design services is picking up in a big way as well; she's working with a new contractor, as well as working with individuals on several residences.  In the meantime, her artistic endeavor called HiFi Follies, creating art from old vinyl records, has been picking up interest.  HiFi Follies is in Four Winds Gallery and in Eye Candy Gallery in Salida and she's had several art shows in the Salida area with some success.  She has a new show at Elevation Brewing going up in January and she will be the featured artist at Four Winds Gallery in February with new work never before displayed.  All this has kept her pretty busy!

In other random news… on the home front, we completed our home landscaping project, and hope to complete another major project this year: stucco and windows!  Teresa tried out singing for the first time, joining the Freedom Choir, and (painfully) learning the difference between alto and soprano.  Andrew continues to enjoy singing tenor with the local men’s chorus, You’ve Got Male, as well as the Freedom Choir.  (The men’s group is growing, and truly sounding better with each performance.)  We both continue to enjoy the outdoor opportunities offered here in Salida, including hiking, biking, biergartens, snowshoeing, running, and skiing (actually, Teresa’s knees have said “no” to running and skiing, but yes to Curves, yoga, and she’s still up for a biergarten!)

That about does it for this year... we hope all of this finds you well, and.....

May the Universe smile on all of you with Peace and Happiness!

Teresa and Andrew

What a long strange trip it's been...

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