2008 - Year in Review

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Hello All!
Nothing much changed in 2008; it was just another year of family and fun for us.
We started the year out right with a trip to beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  We enjoyed 4 days on the beach.  While we were there we ventured out into the ocean for some snorkeling and met a nice family of jellyfish. (Ouch!)   It was a lot of fun and a great excuse to get away from the Minnesota winter!
In April, Kim was invited on a holiday to London with her friend Mary Linda.  And if you know Kim, you know she would never turn down a trip to London.  She had the opportunity to stay at a nice posh hotel in Trafalgar Square where a bottle of water was $10!  She saw all the sites of London and spent an afternoon in Greenwich; home of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich Mean Time Clock and Greenwich Market.
After Kim recovered from pancreatitis and surgery in June we attended the Stai Family Reunion (Kim’s Mom) in  Rice Lake, WI.  Afterwards we were off to New York City for a week with Kim’s Mom, sister, nephew and niece.   We visited all 5 boroughs and saw a ton of sites, including the Empire State Building, Yankee Stadium (old and new), Shea Stadium (old and new), Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty.  Kim and her Mom watched “Hairspray” on Broadway staring Norm from Cheers as Edna Turnblad (the mom) while Eric, Nancy, Dylan and Danielle went to a Mets game.
Over the 4th of July weekend we toured the North Shore of Lake Superior with Greg and Celeste Stayer and Celeste’s cousin Joanna.  During the trip we visited the few remaining state parks we had left to complete our goal of visiting all 71 state parks of Minnesota.  It took us exactly 2 years to complete. 
Also in July, we traveled to Omaha for the Williams Family Reunion.  Mom and Dad, all 15 kids and all 30 grandkids were there.  We had pictures taken of the whole group.  The large family picture turned out very nice considering there were 60 people in the photo! It was great to see everybody in Eric’s family again.
August was a very busy month for us.  We went on a long weekend trip to Michigan to see Mackinac Island with Kim’s Mom, Nancy, Dylan and Danielle (again).  We managed to see 3 out of the 5 great lakes on the trip (Michigan, Huron, and Superior).
Finally, to celebrate our 5th Anniversary, we took a 10-day road trip to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and the Mesa Valley of Idaho.  It was beautiful!  All the thermal areas and waterfalls were amazing, especially the Lower Falls  of the Yellowstone River.  We also went on a whitewater rafting trip down the Yellowstone River!  We stopped in  Rapid City for a few days to see Eric’s family and to tube down Rapid Creek in the hills near Hisega.  On the ride  home we stopped in Gettysburg, SD to see Grandma Kate (and Molly and Harry).
The fall season was great! The weather was warm and sunny and we had many visitors.  Kim is back at St. Kate’s for Weekend College and Eric is enjoying his free time on the weekends to work on all the various jigsaw puzzles he collected from our trips.
As far as Swirl, he is still a very naughty cat, but we love him anyways!  He “punishes” us for leaving him so often, but fortunately he has great caregivers (Greg and Celeste)! 
This was a year for family, travel and fun.  We look forward to 2009 and have a few things already planned, including a trip to Houston, TX over the Christmas/New Year to visit Kim’s friend Mary Linda and to see all the sites of the Houston and Galveston area (or what’s left of them after Ike).
We hope you had a prosperous 2008 and wish you the very best in 2009.
Love,  Kim, Eric & Swirl
Visit us at www.kim-eric.com for all the latest updates and photos.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eric and I decided to check out the 2008 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. It was between Rice (which is basically across the street from the stadium) and Western Michigan.  It was interesting being at a bowl game even though it was a minor bowl.  Below is the halftime show where they played...fittingly...Deep in the Heart of Texas.  Very cool!  Overall we had a fun trip to Houston visiting my friend Mary Linda.  :-)


Stubborn White Tiger at the Houston Aquarium

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A video from the Houston Aquarium...a very stubborn tiger.