After the many events of 2005, the year 2006 is shaping up to be a little less adventurous, but nonetheless fun and exciting. Follow the links to see what we have been up to.
In February we had the opportunity to explore Legoland, about an 1 1/2 hours south of Rancho Cucamonga, in Carlsbad. It is not as large as Disneyland, but it was the perfect size for us to spend a nice day. Many of the props, as you can imagine, were built from Lego blocks. The pictures below give you an idea of the wide variety of things that can be built from Lego blocks.
For Stefan the most enjoyable part of Legoland was the train ride. Jana and Marc had to ride at least 10 times with him, and even after that he didn't really want to go home.
Photo Gallery from Legoland
On Valentine's Day, we spent the evening at home with our friend Nicky. Stefan showed us his wide range of facial expressions and flirted with Nicky. He especially enjoyed opening the various Valentine's Day cards, even if they weren't intended for him.
Photo Gallery from Valentine's Day
In March, Jana and Nicky had a girls' weekend in Las Vegas. They had a great time riding the gondola at the Venetian and enjoying Celine Dion at Caesar's Palace.
Photo Gallery from Las Vegas
In April, we joined a group from Jana's MOMS Club to go whale watching of the coast of Southern California. Stefan had a blast on the boat. We got to see one whale and a calf cruising along, and visited a buoy full of seals.
Photo Gallery from Whale Watching
Heading the call to enjoy and relax, we took a weekend trip to Napa Valley with our friends Vicky and James. We visited the Domain Chandon winery and the Mumm champagne factory. At V. Sattui, we had a picnic in a relaxing outdoor setting. On Saturday, Nicky and her boyfriend Nic met us for dinner and drinks. And on Sunday, we toured the wine country via the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Photo Gallery from Napa
Our friend Shannon and KC visited us in May to celebrate their wedding anniversary at Disneyland, and to join us for brunch at the beach.
Photo Gallery from Shannon and KC's trip to L.A.
In June, we took a trip to Altus, Oklahoma for Stefan to meet his other grandfather - Jana's dad Mickey. Jana's brother Tracy, wife Alishia and son Dylan were also there to attend Tracy's 20th high school reunion. It also gave us an opportunity to visit with our friends Angela and Craig, and their daughters Madison and Rylee, as well as the Ducharme family (Jana's cousin).
Photo Gallery from our trip to Oklahoma
In October, Marc had to join his fellow partners and employees on a short business trip to Germany. Luckily it was timed in such a way that Marc could stay an additional day and participate in celebrating his mom's birthday. Upon arrival, Marc also had a little bit of time to visit with our friend Caroline, and her family, Martin, Sebastiaan and Maurits.
Photo Gallery from Marc's trip to Germany
In October, we finally reciprocated the many visits that Nicky had made to our house, and we traveled to Sacramento. She and Nick had just announced their engagement, and we were very happy to congratulate them on it. We had a really great time. Stefan was the center of the attention.
Since it was close to Halloween, we visited a pumpkin patch on steroids. There were all kinds of pumpkins, many goats and sheep to pet, horses to ride, bunnies to visit, as well as cows and birds.
Stefan also got to visit the zoo in Sacramento. He got to ride the train (very important), hear a lion roar (it was the first time that Jana and Marc had heard a lion roar in real life), and ride the yellow dump truck (even more important than the train).
Photo Gallery from our visit to Nick and Nicky in Sacramento
On November 11, the traditional Rancho Cucamonga Founder's Day Parade took place and the MOMS Club was again there in full stroller gear.
Photo Gallery from MOMS Club Founder's Day Parade
Middle of November, Marc's parents - Stefan's Omi and Opi - were visiting from Germany for 3 weeks. Stefan enjoyed getting to know his grandparents. They took him to the park, played with him in the house and shared meals in the backyard.
Together we also made a quick visit to San Diego's Wild Animal Park. This was Stefan's third visit to a zoo this year.
Unfortunately, we got so wrapped up in our day-to-day activities that we didn't realize that we hadn't taken any pictures until the day before Omi and Opi were leaving.
Photo Gallery from Omi and Opi visiting
During Marc's parents' visit, Stefan was in great hands with his Omi and Opi. They babysat him, while Marc and Jana decided to get away for a long weekend to Monterey, California. It was a lot of fun - visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and exploring some lesser-known parts of Monterey. We walked the Path of History, visited museums, and rode a surrey (a two-person bike) from Fisherman's Wharf to Lover's Point. On our last day, we visited Carmel-by-the-Sea and had a leisurely picnic on the beach.
Photo Gallery from our weekend getaway to Monterey