Embrace the holidays with your brand of glee
Savor, socialize, shop - or ski!
From Liz, Dan and Don
Pause pointer over the photos below to see their captions. Click on them to see a larger photo. Click here to jump below this card and read about our 2010 adventures. To see Liz's slide shows in bite-sized chunks, go to picasaweb.google.com/millerkibler.
We went to Africa!
Creatures of habit, we tailored our weekly workouts of 2010 to the demands of upcoming events. We trained as usual for ski season, Dan's annual Waves to Wine bike fund raiser, and the skate tours I was assigned to guide for Zephyr Adventures. But 2010 was a special year, with more traveling than usual, including the adventure of our lifetimes so far, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and a repeat trip for me to Peru and Machu Picchu, this time as a trekking guide.
When we heard Zephyr was offering a Mt. Kilimanjaro trek followed by a week of safaris in Tanzania, we had to go. So, after months of hiking all over Danville's local hills barely above sea level, on January 31 we found ourselves bracing against the icy breezes at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. That last morning's climb was demanding in many ways, but the prize was so worth it! See our Kilimanjaro Trek photo album.
The following week, our group stayed together to enjoy safaris at three Tanzania locations: Lake Manyara, the Serengetti and the Ngorongoro Crater. (Safari Week album.) Dan and I stayed in Tanzania one additional week on our own so we could explore Zanzibar, the "Spice Island." We stayed in old Stone Town and then enjoyed three final days on the soft sands of the Indian Ocean, relaxing and reading and eating, with a snorkling trip thrown in for variety. (Tanzania People and Places album.)
Skiing and Skating
We finished a very enjoyable ski season, where we had enough snow to end with our traditional Memorial Day weekend trip to ski Mammoth Mountain. In May, I was one of three guides on a 5-day skate tour in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (no camera that week.) Dan and I managed to fit in three backpacking trips to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas. But instead of our usual weeklong backpack in late summer, Dan signed up for the Idaho Silver Country skate tour that I was guiding in August. He basically skated across the northern Idaho panhandle in 5 days. See Dan's YouTube video from this trip. Also, I started the Get Rolling Orbit blog this year to make it easier to share my skate writing along with other topics, including travel adventures, fitness activities and stories, opinions and whatever else I feel like sharing.
More trekking in Peru
When Zephyr's assigned rep couldn't make the trip, I was ecstatic to accept the gig! Since I'd already done this trip as a customer in 2008, it was familiar territory, especially knowing my responsibilities were mostly to make sure Zephyr's customers were happy and verify the new Royal Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu was an excellent choice for hikers with altitude worries. After they headed back home, I got to stay on for 3 more days reasearching the little-known Inca trails connecting Cusco, the Inca capital with the two routes I've already hiked. Since I did have my camera this time, I have way too many photo albums:
- Inca Stonemason Mastery -- the Ruins,
- Hiking to Machu Picchu
- Natural Beauty in the Peruvian Highlands
- Zephyr Trekkers in Peru, Oct. 2010
- Peruvian Lifestyles
- Favorite Scenes.
Dan’s three grandsons had a good year. Dylan graduated from high school and headed off to Kutztown University where he joined ROTC. He also just enlisted in the Army, following in the footsteps of his dad and granddad. His job will be as a top secret interrogator for a cavalry unit. Easy on the waterboarding, Dylan! Chase, the brains of the family, is starting high school with all advanced placement classes. The youngest, Austin, is channeling his Great-Grandfather Wendell as star quarterback of the 85-Pound Patriots.
Dan's still working at Robert Half International -- and they still love him to pieces! I spent most of this year as an indepentent consultant helping with PG&E's SmartMeter roll-out, but now I am back at Chevron as a contractor. Brother Don has very capably taken care of house and home (and Whitney!) while we galavant about. I'm so grateful he's here because our garden is beautiful!
Expect to see more photos of me and some high definition videos next year, because Dan has a fancy new camera.
There is one sober note for this year. Jerry Miller, my Popeye-strong Dad, suffered a stroke in mid November and is facing a few months of recuperation and therapy to regain strength on his left side. We anticipate full recovery and a resumption of independence.
Happy holidays to friend/family number