Happy Holidays and best wishes for
a fantastic 2013!
From Liz, Dan and Don
Click here to jump below our card to get to the photos from 2013 adventures, including trips to Yellowstone, Montana, Yosemite and 3 weeks in New Zealand.
2013 Events and Travels
Valentine's Day Big Sur Camp out: In February, we took a weekend off from the season’s below-par Tahoe skiing to camp in the famous and hard-to-reserve Big Sur eco-campsite on the cliffs overlooking famous McWay Falls and Beach. What a spectacular spot! We hiked the hillsides and then shooed away the lookie-loos who wanted to get in on our living room view. Here’s Dan’s album. Springtime in California: See shots of our back yard in springtime, the new neighborhood going up nearby, and Anna, our San Francisco hiking and skating pal. Also see photos of Liz’s childhood home, two of her father Jerry’s inventions and sights from a hike the three of us took along the ridge over Avila Beach. Recently turned 85, Dad still tramps vigorously several times a week. Liz gets a Racing Bike (1100 miles so far!) Want to experience the agonies and ecstasies of getting used to a racing bike? It’s all documented in Liz’s biking blog. We learned it takes a lot more than good fitness to become confident and competent while clipped onto the pedals, riding in a group, shifting gears correctly and becoming desensitized to riding close to fast-moving vehicles. Yellowstone and Montana: For the July 4th holiday, we attended the fun western-style wedding of one of Liz’s Zephyr Adventures co-guides at the Lion's Beartooth Mountain Youth Camp in Red Lodge, Montana, just outside the border of Yellowstone National Park. We made time to explore the park, watch Old Faithful, and get in a couple days of hiking in gorgeous Big Sky Country. Thanksgiving weekend: Don and Dan teamed up to stage this cute Miller family portrait at my request since Dad drove up from Arroyo Grande. On Friday we treated Dad to a hike in SF to Lands End, which resulted in great photos from that sunny day. After Dad left Saturday morning, Dan and I drove east to Mariposa where we met skating pals Anna and Sharon. Photos of the 4-day weekend are in our Thanksgiving album.
And more: Without brother Don, our vacations would be a lot less care-free, and the bird bath a lot less busy. This year he invested in some cutting edge electronics, including a probe that tells him whether our house plants need water. He's becoming the go-to tech tools guy around our house.
Dan’s siblings and their offspring came to his niece Ashley's wedding in Dallas in September. It was a great Kibler reunion, plus we got to visit Alejandro and Paulina from Venezuela.
We are getting greener! Dan has always been interested in solar energy and conservation. Now we have Sungevity solar panels on the roof and a Nest.com thermostat to reduce our electric bill.
New Zealand AlbumsTo celebrate our 30th anniversary, Dan and I decided it would be cool to take a summer ski vacation, so we scheduled a visit to New Zealand from August 13 through September 5, 2013. Per Dan's well-planned but flexible itinerary, we followed the ski trip with sight seeing, hiking and wine tasting on the South Island, and a brief stay in Auckland. As you'll see from the albums (best photos from both of us), New Zealand is a gorgeous country, especially for outdoorsy, adventurous types. Those who love our photography will find a vicarious trip through these images a real treat!
NZ Skiing Album
Our Ski Safari was in the New Zealand Southern Alps. The snow and skiing conditions were marginal, but guide Burto and our group of 11 kept things interesting (new love, disgruntled room mates, hangovers, and a noisy tryst in a hostel with paper-thin walls).
NZ Milford Sound
On our ski rest day, some of us joined a day trip from Queenstown to the famous Milford Sound, starting off with a bus tour, and then taking a ferry west to where the sound meets the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.
NZ Kaikoura Hike and Fur Seals
After skiing, we rented a car and drove up the coast to Kaikoura, a gem on the Pacific where hikers are rewarded with stupendous views of nature, sea wildlife, and peacefully grazing livestock.
NZ Wine Region
Further up the east coast we stopped for a couple days to visit the wineries of the Marlborough region, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc. I loved our bike ride through the vineyards and was glad to survive our day-long tasting tour.
NZ Queen Charlotte Sound
Next stop was Picton, our launching point for a 3-day hike on the ridges overlooking Queen Charlotte Sound, made famous by Captain Cook as an R&R stop. The hiking and accommodations were great, though we had to take a water taxi and miss out on kayaking due to winter weather.
NZ Drive/Hike Northern Mountains
We took the scenic route (aka "Divorce Drive") to Nelson for an overnight stay, bought the best kiwis ever, then made a loop through the beautiful mountains, enjoying scenic hikes along the way.
We spent three days in Auckland, just enough time to explore downtown, hike on an island formed by a volcano 600 years ago, explore a museum, and dine elegantly to celebrate the end of a great trip.
Just a few final shots of things that impressed me about New Zealand.