But we had a few other things happening in 2005 as well, and these events are all listed on this page.
In January we spent a long weekend in Key West, Florida. It was our last trip before Jana was advised not to fly anymore due to Stefan's arrival. The weekend was a lot of fun. We explored the town of Key West. It has a rich history, including many famous residents, such as Ernest Hemingway, President Harry Truman and the occasional shipwreck plunderer. Many of the houses reflected that history and provided a nice backdrop the the stories that Key West told.
We also took a sunset cruise on a catamaran and dined on fine food. A special spectacular is the daily festival in honor of the setting sun. Along the marina artists, jugglers and entertainers amuse the crowd while the sun is setting and when it disappears behind the horizon everyone toasts and waits for the green flash (which we did not see).
The highlight of our visit, though, was the dolphin watch excursion we took on the morning of our departure. The water was flat and we spent 45 minutes with a large pod of dolphins. They jumped, swam alongside the boat, slapped the water and eyed us curiously. It was a truly amazing encounter that makes us long to come back one day.
Photo Gallery from Key West
On Father's Day, we spent the afternoon with our friends Troy, Eliza and Sara and their family. Troy had gotten a new smoker, where he slow-cooked some of the best ribs we had eaten in a long time. We had a great time - such that we completely forgot to take many pictures.
Photo Gallery from Father's Day
On June 26, 2005 our friends Shannon and KC got married at the house of KC's parents in Ogden, Utah. We were invited for a 4-day wedding weekend that included a welcome barbeque, lunch at a great restaurant, massages for the gilds, a visit to the Hills Air Force Base Museum for the boys, the wedding (obviously), sightseeing in Salt Lake City, and a short visit with our friends Eric and Charlotte.
We wish Shannon and KC all the best for their future together.
Photo Gallery from Shannon and KC Wedding
To celebrate the completion of our pool, we hosted several pool parties. The first one was with our friends Troy, Eliza and Sara. Troy and Marc also used this opportunity to clean the pool and spa from the ground up - using the latest in snorkel gear technology.
Photo Gallery from Pool Party with Troy, Eliza and Sara
For our next party, we invited our friends out to our new house and pool. For some of our friends it was the first time to meet Stefan. We were glad to reconnect with several of them after the past few months of hectic activities, such as birth of Stefan, moving and getting the house completed.
Photo Gallery from Pool Party with Friends
In September we visited Seattle. It is one of our favorite places to go and September usually has good weather. This time we decided to take the Underground Tour, which shows the former building ground of the city that was eventually raised to conquer the original swamp land. The tour took us past many remains of old Western building and artifacts. After having spent a couple of hours underground, we had reverse our views and rode the elevator to the top of Smith Tower to enjoy some great scenery of Seattle.
Another reason for coming was to introduce Stefan to our friends. We had a great dinner at Palisade Restaurant where Kathy and Bonnie, and their husbands Marty and Tom had a chance to meet our little boy. Kathy also offered to baby-sit Stefan the next day, while we enjoyed a night out for our wedding anniversary.
While Jana was having lunch with her girlfriends, Marc and Stefan toured the Museum of Flight, which showed the early years of the Boeing Aircraft Company and highlighted other elements of the adventures into air and space.
On our last day, we took a Harbor Cruise around Elliott Bay and saw the Seattle skyline, shipping wharfs and the local sea lions. This was another great visit to the Emerald City.
Photo Gallery from Seattle
During 8 weeks in September, October and November, Marc had to work on a project in Weehawken, New Jersey. Weehawken is right across the Hudson River from New York City. So, Jana and Stefan decided to join Marc for a couple of weeks. Although the weather was quite bad, we had the opportunity to sightsee quite a bit.
Jana's sister Liane joined us one weekend to take a tour bus through some of the famous parts of Manhattan. We got to see famous landmarks, such as the Chrysler and Empire Sate buildings, the Flatiron Building, Trump Tower, UN Headquarters, and many more. Luckily Liane was also there when Jana unexpectedly got a kidney stone the following Monday and we all had to spend some time in the emergency room at the local hospital.
Another weekend we went back to Manhattan to meet Tiffany, one of Jana's friends from her time at Boeing. We walked through Central Park and had lunch at a local deli. After we said goodbye to Tiffany we spent some more time in FAO Schwartz (a famous toy store - watch Tom Hanks in "Big" and you will see). We also went up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Stefan took all of this in with his natural curiosity and enjoyed being carried around by Marc, even when it was cold and rainy.
Photo Gallery from New York
In between spending time in New York, Marc had another assignment for client in Jacksonville, Florida. Jana's brother Tracy and his family live there and so we took the opportunity to visit for a week. It also allowed us to participate in Dylan's 4th birthday celebrations. This visit was also Stefan's first dip into the sea. We went to Jacksonville Beach and Stefan stuck his toes in the water. We also made a quick visit to St. Augustine, but it was so hot that day, that we decided to head back to the air-conditioned environment at the Shelton house.
Photo Gallery from Jacksonville
A few months after Stefan is born, Jana joined the MOMS Club of Rancho Cucamonga East, which is a support group for moms. She has participated in various events and playgroups and is getting engaged more and more. It has been very beneficial to be able to share experiences with other moms and get out of the house.
In November, the MOMS Club participated in Rancho Cucamonga's Founder's Day Parade, and Jana and Stefan proudly walked the streets of the Victoria Gardens shopping mall.
Photo Gallery from MOMS Club Parade
In November, Marc had to go to Utah for business. So, we took the opportunity to visit our friends Shannon and KC again. They took us to Park City and showed us around. It is a quaint little ski town. Some snow was already on the ground and Stefan got his first taste (literally) of snow. This should hopefully be a good preparation for our Christmas trip to Germany.
After visiting Park City, we stopped at an Outlet Mall. While Jana was shopping, Stefan got to take his first ride by himself on a swing set.
Photo Gallery from Utah Visit
Our last trip in 2005 took us to visit family and friends in Germany for Christmas and to celebrate the New Year. It was a long flight to Frankfurt, but Stefan immediately took charge when he got into the flight deck. Since he had to take some rest time, a comfortable bassinet was provided for him, which he did not utilize entirely.
Upon landing in Frankfurt, Marc's family greeted us at the airport. Uncle Lars was eager to meet his nephew. After our arrival he immediately hit the Christmas Market in Bonn to shop for some unique ornaments.
For Christmas, Anke and Leoni joined the celebrations. Stefan and Leoni were immediately best friends, and Leoni helped a lot when it came time to feed Stefan or entertain him. As always, Christmas Eve was packed with gift giving and family time. It was very enjoyable. We also got the chance to visit with Kaisser Opa, who at 97 is still physically in good shape. With Stefan, Marc, Marc's dad and Kaisser Opa, four generations came together under one roof.
After Christmas, our friends Cecile and Roland visited us, and Stefan was delighted to meet some new people. We enjoyed their company very much and were sad that it had to end after only a few hours.
In between Christmas and New Years, we had planned to travel to various cities in Germany, but a powerful snow storm destroyed most of our plans. We still managed to go to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. This was the holy grail for Jana, as the Kaethe Wohlfahrt Christmas stores were located there. We shopped for several hours, but also had a chance to see a little bit of this beautiful medieval town.
For New Years Eve, our friends Caroline and Martin invited us over to their place, where we celebrated with them and their son Sebastiaan. Caroline was pregnant with their second child, Maurits, and at the time of writing this, Maurits had been born. Congratulations to the Huellen family for their newborn.
After 12 days of time with family and friends, not to forget the snow and cold weather, we made our way back home to California.
Photo Gallery from Christmas in Germany