This is our annual Christmas themed blog entry; this year, we’ve taken several trips and most of them are outlined in entries. Just scroll down and read whatever interests you. One trip that isn’t mentioned (yet) is one we took to Brooklyn, Iowa to visit a family reunion for members of the family of Georgia’s grandmother Georgiana Kreiss/Mitchell. It was one of those surprisingly warm and wonderful meetings with people you never knew before with whom you have more in common than you thought. We combined this with a trip to visit her family in Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.
Steve has been riding his bicycle a lot – and we even took a trip to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois specifically so he could ride on rail trails there. He’s also been working on the family history – click here to see if you recognize anyone. If you’re related to us, request a user account and you can find out things about yourself and your family and correct any misinformation.
Like many, well be glad to see 2016 in the rear view mirror. We hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Steve & Georgia Carter
If you’ve come here for our 2015 Christmas letter, you’ve found it. This is actually a blog which goes back several years, but you can look at and comment on anything you see here.
Merry Christmas to all our friends and family, and we hope you have a great 2016
Steve & Georgia
We first flew to Budapest to meet with Gabi Papp, who had stayed with us years ago as a Rotary exchange student when he went to Rifle High School. The week after my niece’s wedding in Germany in June, 2006, we visited Gabi at home in Debrecen, Hungary. It was a memorable experience, and when we left we told him that we’d come back either when he was elected Prime Minister of Hungary or got married. Apparently, (and unfortunately for his country, but good for him) politics are not in his future, but Kitti Karakas was.
We arrived at the bustling and confusing Budapest airport at the same time as his younger brother Balint flew in from a trip to revisit old friends from his Rotary exchange experience in Mexico, and we connected at the baggage claim area. The Papp family first took us to their vacation villa on the beautiful Lake Balaton, then after a couple of days recovering from jet lag, and touring the wine country, several ancient and historic areas, and a mineral spa, we went to Budapest for the wedding. Which was remarkable:
We won the prize for the guests who came the farthest to attend the wedding.
Gabi, his wife, and their families could not have been more gracious, and except for the heat and humidity in Budapest, everything was perfect. We were ready to travel overnight to South Africa.
I think we have figured out what to pack, and where it is going to go. I programmed my GPS so that we can find geocaches in South Africa. Here’s the list and note how far the geocaches are from Grand Junction:
The only slightly surprising information is that Lufthansa only allows one checked bag for free, so we’ll have to pay them for the second one. Darned airlines!
UPDATE: We learned that since I was a member of Lufthansa’s frequent flyer club, the second bag was free. Yay!!
The collapse of oil and gas prices has been unexpected. Just before New Years, I filled up our car at the local Kroger’s; with fuel points (enhanced thanks to a 4x promotion for gift cards) at 89.9¢ per gallon. For my South African relatives, that’s 2.75R per liter.
We won’t see that again in our lifetime!
Happy New Year to everyone! If you’re inclined, browse through this blog to see what we’ve been doing the past year. Which turns out, quite a lot.
We’d been looking at houses on and off for some time. We even thought of moving to one of the senior communities in Las Vegas. But Grand Junction has everything we were looking for, not the least of which is close proximity of 3/4 of our grandchildren and our friends from Rifle. All we couldn’t find was a house. Then in August, our Realtor (ask me her name; I can highly recommend her) found a location and home we could afford, near to everything, that fit us perfectly. Three bedrooms in a subdivision with a HOA that takes care of landscaping, the world’s smallest back yard, and a sunroom for Georgia’s sewing. We bought it.
Shoehorning 2200 square foot of crap accumulated over the last 40 years into 1600 square feet has been a challenge. Fortunately, our new home is located not far from the Goodwill store and drive-in collection depot. I made several trips there and to the recycling center.
Moving to a fairly large city (140,000+) from a small town (8,000) has also been what used to be referred to as a culture shock. All of the big box stores are close and well stocked, the restaurant selection is unreal, the downtown area is filled with cool bookstores and shops Colorado Mesa University, with arts and music performances weekly, is about six miles away.
We hope you’ll want to visit us. We’re only a couple of miles from the airport, and the California Zephyr stops daily at the Amtrak station downtown. And our new home has a guest bedroom!