We spent Christmas 2011 with the Tracie’s family in Pahrump, NV. Kim’s mom and brother were along. After spending a few days in Vegas we headed to LA to visit Kim’s cousin Steve and his family. We spent Kim’s birthday checking out the surfers at Newport Beach and shopping at Downtown Disney. After our stay in LA we went down to San Diego to visit’s Kim’s cousin Bev. We spent a day at the San Diego Zoo’s very busy Safari Park. We also took Kim’s Mom south of the border to Tijuana for some shopping. It was a very interesting time. We stood in line for almost 2 hours to get back into the States, but at least Mom can now say she has been to Mexico.
In May we attended Abbie’s confirmation. Eric was her sponsor. The next morning Danielle and Kim had an early morning flight to Milwaukee to meet up with the rest of the Bisek family. We went to Miller Park for the Twins/Brewers game. The Twins won so Kim was the only happy person. We also attended Dylan’s graduation from Marquette University. Hank Aaron was the guest speaker and he was great! After the graduation we had a picnic in the park along Lake Michigan.
For the Memorial Day weekend, we traveled to Tuskegee, AL and Atlanta. We spent the weekend with Eric’s Uncle Dennis and Aunt Bev. We attended Bev’s family reunion where meet civil rights activist who marched with MLK in Selma. We visited the Tuskegee Airmen NHS and spent a day touring around Alabama with Uncle Dennis. After that we headed to Atlanta for a few days. We walked through Centennial Olympic Park (1996 Olympics) on our way to the World of Coca-Cola. We got to see the vault that holds the secret recipe (doubt it is actually in there) and the tasting room of different Coke products sold around the world. Some of them were good, others were horrible. After the World of Coke we went to the Georgia Aquarium. Apparently this is the largest one in the world. It was nice, we got to see some whale sharks, beluga whales and the dolphin show was awesome, probably the best dolphin show we’ve ever seen. The next day we did the CNN Inside the Studio Tour. It wasn’t that exciting. In the evening we cheered on the Cardinals at Turner Field. The park was nice but the Brave’s trademark tomahawk music and chop got annoying.
After we returned from Atlanta, Kim flew to Las Vegas. After a planning snafu, Kim spent the first night in Vegas alone and had to pick up Samantha from the airport early the next morning. We went hiking in Red Rock Canyon and eventually picked up Carrie from the airport. We showed Samantha most of the tame Vegas sites including the Hoover Dam. We also went to a birthday party in Pahrump for Tracie’s kids. As soon as Kim came back from Vegas, we attended Beth’s High School graduation and party.
Also in June we went on our annual road trip. This year we followed the Twins to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. In Pittsburgh we went to the top of Mt. Washington on their historic inclines to get a great view of the city. In Cincinnati, we went up to the observatory deck on top of Carew Tower. The building was built in 1929 and is the model for the Empire State Building. We also walked across the Roebling Suspension Bridge. The bridge was built in 1867 and people were so afraid to use it that they bribed the German immigrants by providing free beer and brats if they walked to the middle of the bridge. That apparently got people to use it. This was the model for the Brooklyn Bridge. Apparently New York uses Cincinnati as their guinea pigs.
For the Labor Day weekend we went camping near Fargo with DJ and family. We visited Beth at Moorhead State. We rushed back so Kim and her mom could catch their flight to Reno. While in Reno, they visited with family friends, Dave and Joann, who took them all over the area. Lake Tahoe was very beautiful and cold.
In January, Eric started the Masters of Organizational Leadership program at St. Mary’s University. So he has been busy writing papers. Also in January, he changed positions with Centerpoint Energy. He now works in downtown Minneapolis so we get to carpool every day. He spent the summer refereeing adult soccer games across the metro. Kim still works for Ameriprise Financial and continues to play trombone in the Eden Prairie Community Band. Swirl turned nine this year and had another run in with the Vet. He is fine now but for two weeks we had to try and give him pills…not an easy task.
May you have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Kim, Eric and Swirl Williams