We wish you the happiest of holidays
and a safe and healthy New Year!
Love, Liz and Dan
Jump below to read about the photos in our 2009 Christmas card.
Getting through 2009 the Dan and Liz way!
We stayed close to home this year. Click the photos below to see larger versions.
Early in the year, we did our part to help out the economy and California's air quality at the same time. On the second weekend of January we negotiated a killer deal on a brand new Toyota RAV4 mini-SUV. Liz says, "It's so peppy and fun! It handles like a compact car, and it gets much better mileage than my sluggish old Ford Explorer." On ski trips, Dan was relieved to find that the run-flat tires hold well on the ice and slush we often hit going over Donner Pass. (Alas, Liz still rides shotgun with eyes closed anytime the roads get slippery!).
We skied our favorite Lake Tahoe resorts during a less-than superlative season. Unfortunately, the ski areas were hurting economically and closed early, making it hard to get the full value from our pre-paid Alpine Meadows season passes.
Our annualMemorial Day Ski Weekend at Mammoth Mountain gave us a chance to get in a couple more days of skiing before calling it quits. We are already cross training for the upcoming ski season by slaloming the neighborhood hills on skates. Speaking of which, check out the inline disk brake video we produced on YouTube!
Yosemite is a favorite destination every summer. This year we enjoyed spectacular vistas during our drive home from Mammoth. We spent Independence Day weekend at Tyler Lake in the Desolation Wilderness, where I learned that one Amazon Kindle in the family is not enough! Dan had his own for our Labor Day trip.
Anna and John joined us for a fun Yosemite backpack to Chilnualna Falls, where sparkling pools invited bathing and campsite views embraced the Central Valley. Before leaving the park, we took John on his first visit to Yosemite Valley, where he captured one awesome photo after another. Liz's Yosemite Backpackingphotos are here.
RHI sent Dan to Delhi in India in April to support the Protiviti ESA deployment there. He had a few free days for sightseeing in Delhi and visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. Be sure to take a look at the gorgeous and colorful photographs he uploaded to Dan's Picassa photo album (password free).
Dan got Liz a two-month job at RHI, documenting processes ahead of a data center shut-down. He is so well respected that Liz got hired without an interview!
Liz enjoyed a two-month mini-retirement in the middle of summer when the new managers at Chevron's IT company obediently reduced the number of contractors on staff (their loss!). What a perfect opportunity to catch up with the family: Dad, Don, Jacquie, John and Carlyn, all in San Luis Obispo county.
80-year old Jerry Miller, aka SpiderDad, inspects a geologic curiosity during a hike out to Point Sal with Liz. Hiking is Dad's favorite form of exercise. The long trail, steep hills, and a rattlesnake made this excursion especially memorable!
Nipomo Mesa dune dirt has never been so rich! Jerry dug out a pit with his handy backhoe, filled it with the richest "nutriments" he could find, and planted a crop of wondrous vegetables grown without pesticides. One of his beets was the size of a pumpkin! When Dan and I stayed at Dad's for my 40th high school reunion, he had fresh organic lettuce, corn, tomatoes, green beans, squash, onions, swiss chard, apples, walnuts, potatoes, and carrots. He's learning to can his bounty and has already started growing his winter vegetables.
"Hi Dad!" I am sitting on the edge of Tenaya Lake near Tioga Pass in Yosemite.
As the family photographer, there are very few photos of me each year. (Maybe that's a good thing now that I'm starting to look my age!) Besides our travel albums, I did upload a few shots to Flickr and to my Facebook albums this year. Honestly, I have many photos I'd love to share, but I'm afraid I'll wear out my audience!
To build my Get Rolling "brand," I try to find time to Tweet as Sk8Teacher on Twitter.
We attended the Shrode Family reunion at Lake Tahoe's Camp Richardson. I loved car camping, spending a long, lazy day on the beach, and getting caught up on the lives of distant cousins. Aunt Billie and Bob gave us a tour of their RV lifestyle after we mentioned our interest in that as a post-retirement goal.
Before heading back home, we stopped for a leisurely afternoon of reading in the serene environs of Hope Valley.
Dan leads the way on the Camp Richardson bike path. We like to do skate trail research wherever we go in California. That keeps the trails database in (now defunct) www.CASkating.com, Dan's pet project--and my out-of-print book California Inline Skating--up to date. Dan totally revamped his open source site this year.
Liz is still guiding skate tours and running Camp Rollerblade for Zephyr Adventures. That guarantees significant discounts when we travel as customers!
Don Miller has come to Danville! We're excited to have another IT geek, fellow cat lover, ardent videographer and photographer (that's Don's work to the left) and real estate management insider join the Wembly Drive household for awhile. I have always thought my brother should live closer to Silicon Valley, but San Francisco is closer to Don's heart, since he lived there back in the day.
We are currently in training to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania! We have gotten to know all the top-to-bottom routes on 3,849 foot Mt. Diablo as we work on building up our legs, feet and lungs. Skiing Tahoe will help us with higher altitudes, but the day we reach The Roof of Africa at 19,330 feet, we expect to suffer a little.