Events of 2002
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Events of 2002


Visiting Tracy, Alishia and Dylan in Florida

In January, Jana visited a conference in Orlando, and we took the opportunity to visit Jana's brother, Tracy, and his family, including his wife Alishia and their newborn boy Dylan. This was the first time for Jana to see her nephew and we spent a few days with them. We went to the beach in Tampa 2002JanaAndMarcWithDylanAtTheBeachInTampa.jpg (61315 bytes) and it was Dylan's first time in the water. The water was a little cold and he didn't like it very much, although aunt Jana also reports that he normally likes his bath 2002_Florida_05.jpg (36681 bytes)

Since we were already in Orlando and Tampa, we also visited some of the many adventure parks located there. At Disney World's Animal Kingdom, we hung out with Tigger 2002JanaAndMarcWithTiggerInDisneyWorldOrlando.jpg (54491 bytes), we went to Disney's Epcot Center and visited Busch Gardens in Tampa.

Photo Gallery from Florida

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At Animal Kingdom
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The Dinosaur exhibit
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Since it is Animal Kingdom, there were actually some to pet
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Visiting with Dylan
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...and Tracy
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Universal Studios with Troy and Eliza

To celebrate Eliza's birthday, we went to Universal Studios 2002JanaAndMarcAtUniversalStudiosHollywood.jpg (57504 bytes) with our friends Troy and Eliza. We took the Studio Tour, where we saw King Kong 2002_UniversalStudios_06.jpg (37323 bytes), a flash flood nearly surprised us, and Jaws 2002_UniversalStudios_08.jpg (59938 bytes) was ever present. The day was fun-filled with food (primarily pizza) on the Universal City walk, and rides on the Jurassic Park "log ride" and the E.T. adventure.

Photo Gallery from Universal Studios

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Lining up for the studio tour
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Except for Jana, everything in this picture is not real - it is a backdrop.
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The studio backlot where most of the tour is taking place
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Set from an old western movie
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Having fun with Jaws
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Show from the movie "Waterworld"
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Let's see who is here
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It's the Blues Brothers
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Finishing the day with "Charlie Chaplin"


Birthday for Jana

This year, Jana had a milestone birthday and we celebrated at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Several of our friends 2002_JanasBirthday_01.jpg (34483 bytes) were able to participate in the festivities and Jana enjoyed the fabulous day 2002_JanasBirthday_02.jpg (22781 bytes).

Bonaire Vacation

In May, Jana and Marc took a dive vacation on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. It was fun trip with lots of shore diving, some relaxation and good food. See the complete Bonaire trip report for more details.


Visiting San Francisco

In early June, we went to one of our favorite cities in the world - San Francisco, for a long weekend. On the first day, we had breakfast at "Sears" 2002_SanFancisco_01.jpg (48983 bytes) (not the department store, but a long-established restaurant with servers who have been there longer than we are old). But then we were off...taking pictures 2002_SanFancisco_02.jpg (27028 bytes). This is how Jana saw Marc for the most time, as Marc had just bought a new camera and was busy trying it out. You can see some of the results in the photo gallery below (although the pictures on the website are not that great due to the lower resolution).

We hopped on the next available cable car 2002_SanFancisco_03.jpg (63773 bytes) that came our way and off we were to Fisherman's Wharf. The ride on the cable car trolleys was a lot of fun going down the steep hills of San Francisco 2002_SanFancisco_04.jpg (39952 bytes), and narrowly passing by the on-coming cable car trolleys 2002_SanFancisco_05.jpg (45073 bytes). At Fisherman's Wharf we strolled through some of the tourist shops and visited Pier 39, where we had a great view of Alcatraz 2002_SanFancisco_06.jpg (15270 bytes) and the local sea lion population 2002_SanFancisco_07.jpg (44909 bytes). Afterwards we took a taxi cab to Coit Tower, where we were awarded with spectacular views of San Francisco. We were very lucky and had a day without any fog. We could even make out our next destination - the crookedest street in the world - Lombard Street 2002_SanFancisco_12.jpg (44817 bytes). Unfortunately, we didn't have a car, which would have enhanced our excitement, but since we have driven Lombard Street before, we decided to walk it watching all the cars snake their way down. At the bottom, we caught another cab and sped off to the Palace of Fine Arts 2002_SanFancisco_16.jpg (40425 bytes).

Here we took many pictures and experimented with Black and White photography. It is just a beautiful place with many nooks and crannies that invite the visual mind.

From there we walked along the San Francisco Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was extremely windy and it took us literally twice as long to get there than we had anticipated. But on the way we saw interesting sea life, boats, windsurfers and stone art 2002_SanFancisco_19.jpg (25748 bytes). The bridge is always amazing, but we caught it at a special day (no fog) and at a great time with great lighting 2002_SanFancisco_21.jpg (38865 bytes). We took some Black and White pictures of the bridge, which resemble some of the old-time San Francisco pictures we have at home. After the long walk and staying on the bridge for a while, we took a bus back to the hotel where we got ready for our night out at Club Fugazi to see Beach Blanket absolutely hilarious show.

For the second day we decided to explore Golden Gate Park. On our way there, we stopped by Alamo Square 2002_SanFancisco_30.jpg (36261 bytes), where we saw one of the most well-known San Francisco views. Golden Gate Park has many attractions and is very wide spread, so we decided to first start at Stow Lake in the middle of the park, where we walked through a serene setting with large trees, stone bridges 2002_SanFancisco_31.jpg (62323 bytes) and turtles 2002_SanFancisco_32.jpg (33348 bytes). Fortunately, the park offers a free shuttle on the weekends, so we hopped on one of the cars and went to the Japanese Teagarden. On the way, we found this rather odd looking vehicle 2002_SanFancisco_33.jpg (34084 bytes), which everyone was staring at. Inside the Japanese Teagarden, it was very calm, despite the many people visiting, and we were able to take some nice portrait pictures, as you can see below. After reveling in the Asian culture, we then headed west to the Dutch Windmills 2002_SanFancisco_23.jpg (37244 bytes), which are at the end of the park, close to the ocean. We then heeded the call of the Pacific Ocean, where Jana demonstrated her beautiful modeling ability 2002_SanFancisco_24.jpg (23972 bytes). Since we were very hungry after walking and sightseeing, we had a late lunch at the famous Cliff House 2002_SanFancisco_26.jpg (27179 bytes).

Our last stop for the day was 2002_SanFancisco_27.jpg (67271 bytes), where we walked through the Heavenly Gates 2002_SanFancisco_28.jpg (63255 bytes), and had to leave on the evening flight. But we'll be back to this great city.

Photo Gallery from San Francisco

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View of Russian Hill from Coit Tower
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View of Golden Gate Bridge from Coit Tower
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View of San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz from Coit Tower
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View of Fisherman's Wharf, Bay Bridge and Oakland
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Going down Lombard Street
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House on Lombard Street
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We made it down. Now let's hope that no car runs us over.
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Palace of Fine Arts
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A Beauty at the Palace of Fine Arts
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Loving San Francisco style
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View from the bridge into Fort Point
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At the Japanese Teagarden
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This must be the world's steepest bridge
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Birthday Party in Colorado

To celebrate the 80th birthday of Jana's grandpa BJ, we headed to 2002_Colorado_01.jpg (56354 bytes) at the end of June. We flew into Grand Junction and took a car to Parachute, CO.

Since the party did not start until Sunday, we had the opportunity to visit some of the magnificent landscape of Colorado's Rifle Falls and Glenwood Canyon. Rifle Falls is a set of waterfalls 2002_Colorado_09.jpg (56898 bytes) that used to power an electricity generator in the early 1900s. Today, the falls are part of a state recreation park, and it is possible to take some great shots in front and behind the falls. The area also has many caves 2002JanaAndMarcInColorado.jpg (45222 bytes) that we explored during our visit.

In the evening we joined the folk at the senior citizen center for a round of bingo. This was Marc's first official bingo tournament. The competition was furious, but in the end it was all good fun.

On Sunday, the birthday party got into full swing. BJ's and Shirley's friends organized a great buffet and lots of memorabilia for BJ or a.k.a "Burt". It was also an opportunity for many members of Jana's mom, Sharron's, family to get together, including Jana's cousins and aunts.

Photo Gallery from Colorado

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Breakfast get-together
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Visiting Rifle Falls
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Jennifer, Denise, DeeAnne and Jana
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It's us again
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A guy and his girls
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Look at what lives in these caves
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Glenwood Canyon
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Bingo Night
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Mickey, Jana and Sharron
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Let's get this party started
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The birthday boy in great company
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Mickey and Sharron
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BJ and Shirley
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Touched by the memories
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Shirley, Jana and BJ
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BJ and his girls


Our 2nd Anniversary

On August 24th, we celebrated our second anniversary of having met through the website. Keeping the tradition alive, we went to the restaurant "Bistro 201" 2002_Bistro201_01.jpg (27000 bytes), where we met in person for the first time 2002_Bistro201_02.jpg (35602 bytes). A further tradition that we indulged in was to order the restaurant's famous chocolate soufflé.

The following day, we decided to drive down the coast and visit nearby Dana Point. Here are some picture from Dana Point and the mission at San Juan Capistrano.

Photo Gallery from Dana Point

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Grand Canyon with Troy and Eliza

For Labor Day weekend, we went our first road trip this year with our friends Troy and Eliza. Our destination was Grand Canyon National Park.

After driving for approximately 8 hours, with a short stop at the funniest ice cream shop on the old Route 66, we arrived at Grand Canyon Village. It was too late to enter the park, but we took a quick trip on a side street and found ourselves staring at a herd of deer.

Bright and early the next day, we drove into the park 2002_GrandCanyon_01.jpg (64929 bytes) 2002_GrandCanyon_02.jpg (67701 bytes) and decided to have a good breakfast to strengthen ourselves for a hike along the canyon rim. The views were just magnificent 2002_GrandCanyon_15.jpg (106342 bytes) and the feeling of grandeur was overwhelming. We walked for quite a distance and saw many different views of the canyon 2002_GrandCanyon_07.jpg (44042 bytes) until we reached Hopi Point 2002_GrandCanyon_08.jpg (49524 bytes). Since we were starting to feel exhausted (city folk we are), we hopped on the park shuttle and saw the rest of the trail from the tourist-approved air conditioned shuttle bus. Before heading back to the hotel we visited the old-fashioned steam train 2002_GrandCanyon_09.jpg (58818 bytes), which transports passengers every day from Williams to the Grand Canyon.

Jana and Marc decided to go on a night-time horseback ride through the forest and saddled up at the local stables 2002_GrandCanyon_10.jpg (52404 bytes). We rode for about an hour 2002_GrandCanyon_11.jpg (58718 bytes) and came to a campground, where the wranglers had already prepared a fire, where we cooked sausages and made smores.

The next day, we explored more of the canyon 2002_GrandCanyon_05.jpg (45278 bytes) by hiking into the canyon for a little while, until we hit "Oohh-Ahh Point". The name became very clear after the canyon walls opened up to a magnificent view 2002_GrandCanyon_16.jpg (48246 bytes) over a large portion of the canyon. At the end of the day, we were very excited to explore the forest in a much speedier way by taking an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) tour through the forest 2002_GrandCanyon_12.jpg (55799 bytes). It was a lot of fun, but it took two washing machine cycles to get our clothes clean again.

On our last day, we spend some time taking special pictures with the canyon always in close proximity. It was a great experience, to be recommended to anyone.

Photo Gallery from Grand Canyon National Park

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Beauty finds beauty
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Parents Are Visiting

Taking a long vacation, Marc's parents, Frank and Sylvia, decided to visit us in Irvine late September 2002FrankSylviaMarcJanaInIrvine_1.JPG (35745 bytes). Before heading out to our Fiji vacation, we were able to spend a little time with Frank and Sylvia exploring the California coast. We showed them around Irvine and Laguna Beach, and visited the pier in Huntington Beach 2002JanaMarcAndSylvia_HuntingtonBeach_2.JPG (63674 bytes), where Frank pointed his new digital camera at everything and everybody 2002JanaAndMarc_HuntingtonBeachPier.JPG (24305 bytes). We were able to spend some time together with Frank and Sylvia, and were able to catch up on what is happening in Germany, the U.S. and the world over making dinner 2002JanaMarcSylvia_AtHome_2.JPG (32782 bytes) and eating it inside 2002JanaMarcSylvia_AtHome_1.JPG (48317 bytes) and outside 2002_FrankAndSylviaInIrvine.jpg (55041 bytes).

While we were splashing in tropical waters, Marc's parents enjoyed the relaxing times at California's beaches 2002Sylvia_OnTheBeach.JPG (67835 bytes). After our return from Fiji, we were lucky enough to be able to spend some more time with Frank and Sylvia. Together we visited the The Getty (Getty Center) in Los Angeles 2002MarcJanaSylviaFrank_GettyCenter_1.JPG (35884 bytes).Here you can see Frank overlooking the hills of Los Angeles and the famous Interstate 405 freeway 2002Frank_GettyCenter_1.JPG (39265 bytes) , and Sylvia is overlooking Culver City with downtown L.A. in the background 2002Sylvia_GettyCenter_1.JPG (37346 bytes).

Photo Gallery from the Getty Center

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Jana is enjoying the center
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The main entrance way
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The main courtyard connecting the various buildings
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Overlooking the neighboring hills
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Fiji Vacation

In October, we took to the South Pacific and visited several islands in Fiji. The trip included some diving and was also very romantic with Marc proposing to Jana. See the complete Fiji trip report for more details.


Sharron Passing

Unfortunately, sadness overcame the Shelton family at the end of October and beginning of November with Sharron's sickness and passing. Please visit Sharron's page, which we have dedicated for her memory.


Thanksgiving in Victorville

Thanksgiving Denise and Jennifer invited us to join them in Victorville. We hit the road, and in good Los Angeles tradition, came to a very quick stop. The freeways were insanely busy and it took us twice as long as we had planned to get there.

We then had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner. Jana's aunt DeeAnne and her cousin Jamie were also present. After having stuffed ourselves with turkey, stuffing and green bean casserole, we visited Denise and Jennifer's father, who was enjoying the outdoors at a nearby campground. The night ended around the fireplace.

Photo Gallery from Thanksgiving with Family

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DeeAnne, Jamie, Eron, Jana, Jennifer and Denise
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The guys, Marc, Eron and Rosie
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Eron and Jana
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Jennifer and Jana
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Jamie and Jana
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Harlee, Denise and Jana
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Relaxing around the fireplace
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Calling it a night


Christmas in South Carolina

In the morning on Christmas Eve, we boarded a flight to Columbia, South Carolina (with its state flag 2002_SC_Flag.JPG (26185 bytes)) to visit Jana's brother, Tracy, and his family (wife Alishia and son Dylan). On the way, we picked up Jana's father, Mickey, in Atlanta airport with whom we shared a rather bumpy flight to Columbia. The weather was very cold and Columbia had very gusty winds. Tracy picked us up at the airport and took us to their house in Irmo. The neighborhood was cheerfully lit with Christmas lights and after a quick tour of the large and beautiful home 2002_SC_TracysHouse.JPG (56731 bytes), we sunk tiredly in our beds.

After a cheerful squeal from her nephew 2002_SC_Aaaaaghhh!.JPG (41888 bytes) in the morning, Jana rushed out of bed to give him a hug and after a delicious breakfast we started the Christmas celebrations. Dylan sat between a mountain of packages and gifts, and could not help but play with every new toy he received from Santa Claus. Around noon, Jana and Tracy's sister Liane joined us after having driven from Charlotte where she was visiting a friend. We had a scrumptious Christmas dinner with Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, and a delicious chocolate cheesecake and home-made pecan pie. As with all great Christmas dinners, we were completely stuffed by the end of the day.

Photo Gallery from Christmas Day

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A Merry Christmas in South Carolina
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Tracy, Alishia and Dylan
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...and the extended family
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Mickey and Jana
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Liane joins the party
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It's a swinging party
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Three generations of Sheltons under one roof
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Now give me a high 5, as it is time for bed...
2002_SC_MaggieMae_2.JPG (44842 bytes) we are all tired.
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Signing off for now

The day after Christmas it was shopping time for Jana and Alishia. The bargain hunters pursued the deals in the largest mall in Columbia, fully equipped with a carousel for Dylan to enjoy. Marc and Tracy headed to Charleston to learn more about the Civil War past of South Carolina, where the first shot of the war was fired on Fort Sumter located in the middle of Charleston's harbor. While the girls were shopping to their hearts' content, the boys hopped on a boat to the old fort and reveled in the historic artifacts and war stories. After returning, Tracy and Marc had lunch while watching dolphins playing in the harbor and cargo ships being loaded. Before returning to Columbia, Tracy and Marc took a trolley ride around the inner city to see the old market, the King street shopping area. The report of such interesting areas prompted the return of the whole gang two days later. Upon returning back to Columbia, Jana's aunt Nelda and cousin Mike stopped by for a short visit on their way to a short vacation in Tennessee.

Photo Gallery from Fort Sumter National Monument

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The entrance...but only to the boat
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Fort Sumter in the middle of Charleston harbor
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...and from the air
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Arriving at the site
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How it once looked
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How it looked after all was said and done
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How it looks today
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On Friday, all of us went to get professional pictures taken. We then had to say goodbye to Mickey, as he headed back to Oklahoma. After a quick lunch, we visited downtown Columbia to take a look at the famous state house, which continued to fly the confederate civil war flag until 2000. Only after many years of protest by the African-American community was the flag removed from the top of the state house, but it continues to fly in front of it by the Civil War memorial. We drove around the city for a little while and then visited the 2002_SC_ColumbiaMuseum_1.JPG (42711 bytes). On the way back, we stopped by Lake Murray, where we witnessed a beautiful sunset over the lake. Then Tracy and Alishia got ready for their "Night Off" and Jana and Marc took care of little Dylan. We bathed him 2002_SC_Dylan_in_Bath.JPG (39285 bytes) and put him to bed and then settled in to watch "Minority Report".

Photo Gallery from Columbia

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The Statehouse
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...with the famous Confederate flag
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...which officially belongs to the monument next to it.
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A monument to the plight of the African-Americans
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A church nearby
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And some squirrels
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Marc's riding an old train at the museum
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Jana is nearly being eaten by a prehistoric shark
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Dylan is intrigued by a mastodon
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Checking it out some more
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And since it didn't move, he is now the big boy!
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Lake Murray sunset
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Tracy and Alishia
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Jana and Marc

Our last full day in South Carolina was spent (re)visiting Charleston. But instead of exploring historic sites, the focus of the day was on exploring the old market, where many different vendors were selling their wares in fully equipped shops, as well as on fold-down table tops. We also explored the King Street shopping area, where lots of little shopped invited the weary shoppers. The final stop on our tour was a stop at the old battery, which had been turned into an exclusive neighborhood with old-style houses.

Photo Gallery from Charleston

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Entrance to the market
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Exit on the other side
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Side view
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Shopping at the market
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Customs house
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At the waterfront
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Love under the fountain
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Cannons from the old battery
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Houses of Charleston
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Unfortunately, on Sunday we had to say goodbye to Tracy, Alishia and Dylan. We enjoyed our visit to South Carolina, and hope to be able to come back sometime in the future.


New Years on the Queen Mary

For New Years 2003, Jana and Marc decided to return to the Queen Mary 2002_NewYearsQueenMary_1.JPG (40129 bytes) 2002_NewYearsQueenMary_2.JPG (43856 bytes) after having had a fabulous party there for New Years 2001.

We checked in at about 4pm, after traffic had just been really bad on the freeway. But soon after we entered our state room 2002_NewYearsQueenMary_3.JPG (58938 bytes). After a short nap, we got ready for the black-tie affair including dinner, 7 parties (everything from Disco and Jazz to Country and Swing), and champagne and fireworks.


Photo Gallery from New Years on the Queen Mary

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View of Long Beach from the port holes
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...luckily the weather cleared up by 2003.
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Getting ready for the big party
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But just a few more pictures before leaving
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Dance floor for the disco music (early in the evening)
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After many dances to disco and swing
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The Swing Band
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The first kiss in 2003
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Watching fireworks on the stern of the ship
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