Happy Holidays to You

The highlight of 2008 was Elizabeth’s 65th birthday party in June in Saratoga at the home of son and daughter-in-law Dan and Michelle Larkin. Sharing in the fun of roasting Elizabeth were daughter Katie, son Ruane, grandkids Erica, Shane, Hillary, Connor and Steven, as well as Dick and Peggy, Elizabeth’s brother and sister-in-law. Afterwards, we went to Niagara Falls. Elizabeth thought it ironic that having been literally around the world, she had not seen this major wonder in her home state. Less exciting, but Brian says just as nice, was the celebration of his 75th birthday in our favorite National Park, Shenandoah. In the fall, Elizabeth had a delayed birthday celebration with her sister Jean and friend Betty Kinney in Shenandoah National Park. After three trips, Jean finally saw the park without rain and could verify there really is a valley.

In August, we had an extraordinary trip to Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Elizabeth had visited here 40 years ago with college classmate Barbara Koeppen. She was disturbed to see how much the glaciers had receded in that time.

The year ended with two major trips. Elizabeth went with her friend Harriet Taylor to Vietnam and Cambodia. Ever since Jackie Kennedy said it was her lifelong dream to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Elizabeth has wanted to make the trip. This was a challenging but exciting trip (of course the Typhoon that landed while they were in central Vietnam added to the excitement) The trip got a little scary when the airport in Bangkok was closed by the revolution, and she wasn’t at all clear how she would get out of Cambodia since the only other way was through Vietnam which was not issuing visas. But things worked out, and after 39 hours she got back to Washington, a little dazed but happy.

While Elizabeth was traipsing around Southeast Asia, Brian traveled to Southwest USA to visit five national monuments and parks. He does love the desert! He seemed particularly pleased that he found motels for less than $50.00 a day with free breakfast and internet connections.

Elizabeth had couple of interesting business trips to Maine (which had its first hurricane in decades while she was there) and a wonderfully relaxing visit with her friend Barbara Richardson in Florida in February.

We are grateful that for the most part our family has been healthy this year and the recession has not caused us too much havoc. We are of course thrilled at the election and hopeful for a better future.

We wish each of you a wonderful new year.

For folks with a lot of mileage on them, we put in a lot of miles this year!
"You can't get home from here."