Hello one and all!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Festivus, and a Happy New Year
to all! We hope your year has been a
good one. Nancy and I have been busy
once again this year with both work and play.
The year started off with an unplanned “double
vacation”. We had already planned to
spend Christmas 2002 at our timeshare in New
Smyrna Beach, Florida. Suddenly Ohio
State beat Michigan
and earned a bid to the BCS national championship game. (That’s college football, for those
unfamiliar.) So, Nancy and I flew to Florida
for a week on the beach, jetted home for a day of work and laundry then flew
back out to Phoenix, Arizona
for the Fiesta Bowl on January 3. OSU
won the game 31-24 in double overtime, arguably the most exciting college
football game ever played. (Personally,
my feet didn’t touch the ground for two months after that.) The weekend after the game, we met up with my
college friends Rod and Renée and visited Sedona together. This is a very scenic area that you’ve
probably seen on TV. We did some hiking
and took a hot air balloon ride with our friends.
This July we undertook a more unique experience. We traveled to Nova
for a bicycling vacation. We biked for
30-50 miles each day, spending the evening in a different bed-and-breakfast or
inn. This was intended to be a group
tour, but no one else signed up with the tour company. Instead of canceling the tour, the company
gave the tour for just the two of us.
The countryside was beautiful, the city of Halifax
was great (we recommend the Maritime
Museum and the
Citadel) and the people were all wonderful.
While we’re on a cycling theme, Nancy and I both completed
the MS 150 Pedal to the Point ride this August.
In this fundraiser, you ride 75 miles from Cleveland
to Cedar Point amusement park on Saturday then ride back on Sunday. Many people go to Cedar Point for the evening
after they arrive then spend the night sleeping on a high school gymnasium
floor or in a tent (if they sleep at all).
We opted to head right to the Holiday Inn where we quickly crashed. It was two long days in a row but quite an accomplishment.
Our other big vacation this year was to northern Arizona
and the Grand Canyon. This was intended to be a family vacation
with my parents and two of our nieces where we would take the mule ride down to
the bottom of the canyon one day and back up the next. However, about three weeks before we were due
to leave we got word that the mule rides were canceled due to the need to do
trail maintenance. Although the others
decided to wait for another time, Nancy and I went ahead with the trip, and had
a great time. We visited a cornucopia of
parks and attractions, including Petrified Forest,
Canyon de Chelly, Monument
Crater, Meteor Crater, and Walnut
Canyon. We stood on a corner in Winslow,
Arizona – it was
such a fine sight to see. We got our
kicks on Route 66 and stood in four states at one time in Four
Corners, USA. We hiked three miles into the Grand
Canyon; when we turned to hike back, it was a 2000-foot
climb back up. All in all, it was an
We had a few other trips this year as well:
February we drove to Punxsutawney,
the Groundhog Day festival, where we saw the groundhog and he saw his
March for our 16th anniversary we spent a few days in Las
Vegas with our friends Choo and
Karensa, where we saw comedienne Rita Rudner and the Blue Man Group. (We saw the Blue Man Group again when
they came to Cleveland
June we drove to Toronto
where we saw “The Lion King” musical on stage.
November we flew to Orlando
to spend a weekend at Disney with some friends and co-workers.
Our careers have also been rewarding this year. Nancy
was promoted from project administrator to project manager at Key Bank this
April. It’s definitely a positive
recognition of her skills. She has 3-4
projects that she’s responsible for at any one time. She’s well-thought-of by everyone she works
with and is doing great.
For me, after four years on the road traveling to the same
client in Illinois
week after week, I finished up my time there in April. My commute now is much shorter, from the
bedroom upstairs to the office downstairs.
The project I’m on now allows me to work from home, which is a definite
improvement from traveling all the time.
I’ve had two one-day business trips since April and that’s it.
Another bonus in my career is that IBM has decided to enroll
me in their customized executive MBA degree program at the University
of Georgia. Every three months, I and about 45 IBM
colleagues travel to campus in Athens,
from all over the US
for a week of classes. During the rest
of the time we study from home, watching video lectures and doing group
projects over the phone and Internet. I
will finish in 2005.
We have found a new volunteer activity for ourselves. Cuyahoga
Park is just a few miles away and
we spend a lot of time there already either hiking or cycling. After training this summer we began
volunteering on weekends staffing the visitor center in the park. We give presentations and tell people about
the park (although mostly we tell them how to find the bathroom).
This year has been a milestone in another way. Come January we will have lived here for six
years, which is a record for us. Our
previous record was 5½ years in Virginia. Surprisingly we’re not planning to move
anytime soon. Also living with us still
are the fabulous felines, Snickers and Brutus.
Brutus as you might imagine is still fat, weighing in around 20
pounds. Snickers just sneaks around
trying not to be eaten.
Well, as our Christmas letter makes its way to you, we look
forward to your letters and pictures coming to us. Since we haven’t seen some of you in a while,
we hope that many of the pictures we receive will include you as well as your
children – just so we recognize you when we see you again. J
Well, I think that’s it for this year. We both hope you have Happy Holidays and an
Nancy and Jerry Canterbury