December 25, 2004

Seasons Greetings Everyone

Well, another year has come and gone.Luckily, we have a calendar to jog our memory about this yearís highlights.

In January we spent a couple weekends visiting our friendsí homes in the central valley.  The holiday season reminds us that we have friends nearby whom we should make an effort to visit.

In February Jan and Jahyen (Jean's sister and brother in law) came to visit bringing the nephew.They started another around-the-world vacation from San Francisco and we were their first stop for a few days.While they stayed with us they fixed our house.


Our bathroom faucet had a knob that would fall off if I failed to tighten a screw which would loosen after each use.Jan and Jahyen couldn't bear to see how un-handy we are and promptly set out to fix our door and replace our lavatory faucet during their stay.We had been living with that scraping door and faucet for over a year and in a few short days it was fixed...just like magic!

In March Bryan's parent stopped by for a visit and we took them to see an Arboretum and a Natural History park.Aunt Fei-Mei took them sightseeing as well.We also acquired a foster cat named Alex.Alex belongs to Bryanís cousin Charlotte and Marcel.We had him while his parents traveled around the world.He will go to Southern California after Christmas, when his parents set up their new home.


April and May were pretty uneventful.We picked up a bay area hiking book and tried out a few day hikes during the weekends.There are actually little patches of nature to play in not too far from our house.It is not like hiking in Washington State but there are a few get-away trails which are well marked with signs.That is good for us.After three orienteering classes I can still barely find my way out of a paper sack.


In June we took a trip to Baltimore, MD and Iowa City, IA.We wanted to visit Baltimore for the emergence of the Brood X, 17-year cicada (see this site for more info).We caught the tail end of the emergence but evidence of the past actions were everywhere in the area.I managed to pack a few of the critters, which I cast in resin later.I wanted to make several for friends and relatives but surprisingly only Mom and Dad took a bug block.I don't know why many of our friends didn't get as excited about the bugs as we did but I checked on the web and we are not alone in our enthusiasm for Brood X.If any of you out there want a bug block just let me know!


After a few days in Baltimore, we traveled with Bryan's parents to Iowa City.The connecting flight from Chicago to Cedar Rapids was a fiasco.That plane only carries about 20-30 people but we ended up with a three-hour delay and lost luggage.We watched Bryan's dad get an award for distinguished alumni at the University of Iowa. We also got some sightseeing done.


The University itself had an art and natural history museum.We also saw an old German commune called Amana which is also where the appliances are made (Amana website).Across the state, we visited a very nice Mississippi Museum in Dubuque. If you ever happen to find yourself in Iowa near the Wisconsin and Illinois borders, I highly recommend it. Here is their website.


At the end of August we flew up to attend Jeanís Dadís retirement party.We didnít know those guys could party that hard.Bryan and I lasted till midnight but I think Dad and his friends finally quit around two or three in the morning.It was a good chance to see most of our Washington friends too.


In October Mom and Dad drove down to visit us from Gig Harbor, WA.They spent a couple of days with us before visiting some other friends and heading back up north. For some reason Mr. Orange was downright scared of Dad and hid under our bed during their entire visit.

We took our big trip of the year to New Zealand in late November.Jean found a good airfare deal so we booked the tickets without having a plan.Bryan had never been there before but took on the job of booking the hotels after Jean decided what we wanted to see.Our priority was to see glow-worms, kiwis (flightless birds), a giant squid exhibit, and sheep.It was a short trip but the weather was great and we packed a lot of sightseeing in.We only had eight days but managed see a bunch of stuff on the North Island.Unfortunately, we never got to the South Island or even hit the Southern end of the North Island.New Zealand requires a 6 week vacation to really enjoy the place and pace. For more about our New Zealand trip, click here.


Well that wraps up the highlights for this year.We would love to hear about your year.


We don't seem to get together with our bay area friends as often as we should.If you are one of our nearby friends feel free to invite yourself to our place.Most of our weekends are pretty free.


Even if you live far away, give us a ring when you are in town.Visitors usually give us a good excuse to check out nearby restaurants.If you are brave, you are welcome to stay with us when visiting.Only relatives seem willing to stay with us.I think there is a rumor among our friends that we either have a very old small house or a very big cat, both of which are true.


Best Wishes

Jean, Bryan, and Mr. Orange

1106 Glenwood Drive

Millbrae, CA94030



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