Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Holiday Newsletter 2017

Christmas greetings from Bob and Betsy!

We hope this holiday season finds you all healthy, happy, and keeping warm - if you are up north.   Or cool - if you happen to reside even farther south than us.  With family spread from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to southern Florida, we have to cover all the bases theses days.

Looking back at 2017, this appears to be the year that we decided to actually drag ourselves off the couch, get out of North Carolina, and do some real traveling for a change.  Somewhat in the spirit of “throw a dart at the map”, we spent a week in March exploring Amsterdam.   No schedule, no big agenda.  We took in many museums, attended concerts, ate good food, and enjoyed the Dutch history and architecture.  And hydraulic engineering. I guess we kind of skipped the sex and drugs.  There’s always next time. 

Betsy and I, Nathaniel and Lindsey, and Marc and Barbara Woodmansee (Lindsey’s parents) spent a nice, long Easter weekend in Apalachicola, Florida, exploring the barrier islands.  Lots of early season sun, sand, hiking, and migrating birds.  Plus a sink hole or two.

Nathaniel and I followed that up with a Dad ‘n’ Lad trip to the Miami area, which was a new place for me.  We had a great time playing tourist - visiting the Everglades, Little Havana, South Beach, Key Biscayne, the big Viscaya house, art museums, various botanical gardens, and lots of other fun places.  I’ll bet we took 2000 photos between the 2 of us. 

Bob bookended the summer with two solo “around Lake Michigan” road trips. He got to visit Lorraine in Iron Mountain, Mary in Livonia, lots of old friends, and, as a special treat, all the Dubuque Blichmanns!  The bicycling highlight of the year was the Ride Across Wisconsin, a big two-day ride from Dubuque, Iowa to Racine, WI, with his friends Pat, John, and Bruce.  

Betsy also travels frequently for work, but mainly to suburban Pittsburgh, so that may not count for much in the adventure/fun department. In November we trekked back to Livonia for Betsy’s 40th high school reunion, the first she had attended.  It was a big school, so the experience was a bit surreal. She did manage to connect with some old neighborhood and band friends.  Betsy finished up another year as president of the Charlotte Knitting Guild, keeping the flame for the fiber arts in central North Carolina.    

Nathaniel and Lindsey moved down to Ft. Meyers, FL, where Nathaniel is in the Occupational Therapy program at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Paul flew down from Madison, WI, to help them move.

Our weekend/retirement house up in Brevard, NC is currently undergoing a major renovation.  That’s exciting, but with our mountain base camp out of commission, we missed out on lot of our standard leaf peeping and waterfall hunting this fall.  

And yes, the rabbits are doing just fine.  Skippy, like Bob, is sporting a little more ever-so-stylish grey hair these days.

Here’s to a great 2018!

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