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Christmas Holidays

December 18 to January 6

Written January21, 2010

and February 13 (pretty late!)

Friends and Families,


OK. I am finally getting around to doing a diary of our Christmas vacation. One of the advantages of doing it so late is that I have forgotten most of the details, especially anything bad or inconvenient. So, here goes. (I am using a simpler format with all the pictures hiding behind a link, here and at the end.)

First Phase - Marianne as Grandma

Marianne went ahead of me, before Thanksgiving, mostly to play with little Ava. She says that she enjoyed visits to Gabby and other family and friends, but we all know the truth. I leave it to her to add some details.


Next -- John Flies Over to Fresno

After four more weeks of work, John took the long flight to California. The 12-hour flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco was uneventful. -- too long, a full airplane, lengthy security checks, but these are all normal for flyers today. Frankly, I'd drive, if I could. Then I had a short hop over to Fresno, again nothing remarkable although the gate agent did threaten that fog in the valley might cause us to fly over and back. In the end, we made it just fine.

The ten days I spent in California were filled with eating, and celebrating, way too much eating. Marianne's sister Katinka put on a nice spread early on but the biggest celebration was the surprise birthday party for Marianne's mom's 90th birthday. Everything about the party was great, from the food through the rock-and-roll dance that Marianne and Mamo put on!

We had our Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve day. There was a big gathering at Marianne's mom's house with little Ava ending up the center of attraction -- like usual. Christmas really is better with kids, even if they are too young to understand what all is going on. It was all fun.


Third Phase -- Colorado for Christmas

Early on the 25th, we took a plane from Fresno to Denver. Flying on Christmas Day was no problem as everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirit. Brian met us at Denver International Airport and brought us back north to Longmont. There we had another run at opening Christmas presents, with Rich being the center of attraction. Again, fun for everyone.

During our four-day visit we had a visit to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. This is a great place for kids and adults. We also managed some cold walks while we were in Longmont. The weather was good, if cold doesn't matter, since the sun was out most of the time.

The stay was quick and it seemed too soon that we were going back through airport security, this time a most serious process in the wake of the recent threat on a Detroit-bound flight.


Last - Virginia and Maryland for the New Year

Our last stop was Virginia and we opened gifts again, with Ryan on center-stage. He has become a pretty grown up almost-three-year-old and was enjoying all the new Christmas toys. It was great to have some time with him since the grandkids are growing so quickly without us. Oh, yeah, it was nice to see Geoff and Suzanne too.


So, that was it: a hectic three week trip, but one where we saw all the kids and grandkids. That's the best it can be.




John and Marianne



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