2008 is shaping up to be an interesting year again. We spent the first half of the year enjoying the sights and sounds of California before packing our bags for our new home in Colorado. Follow the links below to the many events that make up our year 2008.
Thanks to our friend and nanny, Stephanie, Jana and Marc got to spend Valentine's Day 2008 at the beach in Huntington Beach. After a nice stroll on the pier, we visited our friends Jim, Vicky and Ethan and had dinner at the Orange Hill restaurant.
Photo Gallery from Valentine's Day
After last year's excitement at Disneyland, we decided to take Stefan one more time to Mickey's Magic Kingdom before leaving California later in the year. Stefan had such a fun time this year, as he now knew all the characters and was able to ride many more of the rides at Disneyland.
Photo Gallery from Disneyland
In March, we took some time to spend some time with our friends Denise and Ray and visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
Photo Gallery from Queen Mary with Denise and Ray
Easter is always a special time of year. The flowers are out, the kids get to visit the Easter Bunny, and Stefan colored his first set of Easter eggs.
Photo Gallery from Easter
In March, our friends Nicky and Nick visited us.
Photo Gallery from the Nicks Visit
In June it was time to pack our bags, well actually our whole house, and move to Colorado Springs, Colorado. After a tearful goodbye to our friends, in particular Stephanie, we took a few days to drive to our new home. On the way, we visited Jana's grandfather and his wife Shirley. Then we arrived at our new domicile in Colorado Springs.
Photo Gallery from Move to Colorado
One of the first family outings at our new home in Colorado Springs was a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Our friend Jaimee joined us at the outing.
Photo Gallery from Visit to the Zoo
In July, Marc's friend for a long time, Wolfgang, came to visit us. During the two weeks he was in the US, he took two five-day tours and spent the weekends with us. The first tour covered the Southern Route from Colorado Springs, including Mesa Verde Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Las Vegas, Bryce and Zion Canyon and Denver. The second tour covered the Northern Route, including Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Salt Lake City, Dinosaur National Monument and Rocky Mountain National Park. We included it here to show the amazing tours that one can take when visiting us in Colorado.
Photo Gallery from Wolfgang Visit
We took the opportunity of Wolfgang's visit to explore Pike's Peak, the 14,000ft mountain in Colorado Springs. Our friend Jaimee joined us on the trip as well. Although the day was a little hazy, we saw some awesome views of the Great Plains and the Rockies. The next day we visited the eclectic town of Manitou Springs, which sits at the foot of Pike's Peak.
Photo Gallery from Pike's Peak and Manitou Springs
On the second weekend of Wolfgang's visit, we decided to have a "Chuckwaggon Supper" at the nearby Flying W Ranch. The ranch is in essence a small village of several houses, a mine (with a little train), and a large dining area (well a bunch a wooden benches and tables). The cowboy band entertained us with many songs, and Stefan took the opportunity to ask some girls for a dance (they start young, don't they?).
Photo Gallery from Flying W Ranch
North Pole, Colorado is the home of Santa's Workshop - a fun little amusement park, with lots of rides for smaller kids. Both Stefan and Sebastian enjoyed the many rides throughout the day.
Photo Gallery from Visit to the North Pole
In August, the sad event of Jana's father's passing took us to Altus to be with Jana's brother, sister and extended family. Although the occasion of the visit was distressing, we were able to take the time to visit with our friends, the McKenzies and the Kincannons. To keep the kids entertained for a short while, we also visited a kid-friendly park in Altus.
Photo Gallery from Visit to Altus
In September, Jana and Marc decided to take a quick trip to Colorado's gambling town, Cripple Creek, located about 1 1/2 hours from Colorado Springs. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains, as the leaves had just turned. We had fun gambling, but also the unpleasant experience of staying in the worst hotel - the Imperial Casino. Marc even wrote a review on Trip Advisor, warning others not to stay there.
Photo Gallery from Cripple Creek
Since Marc's parents stayed with us, Jana and Marc took the opportunity for a long weekend getaway to San Diego. We stayed at the Marriott hotel in the Marina and had an awesome view of San Diego's harbor. We visited with our friends Nicky and Vicky, Jim and Ethan and also took a tour of the museum on the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Finally, we located a long-sought-after picture from the artist Wyland in a gallery near our hotel. Jana had been wanting this picture ever since we say it in a gallery on our trip to Key West in 2005.
Photo Gallery from San Diego
The start for this year's Halloween festivities was at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It was called Boo at the Zoo. Stefan and Sebastian dressed up in their Halloween costumes and visited the animals, as well as the many vendors who handed out candy and other goodies.
Photo Gallery from Boo at the Zoo
In October, Shirley, the wife of Jana's grandfather, celebrated her 80th birthday in Grand Junction, Colorado. We took the opportunity to drive to Grand Junction through the mountains (via Aspen, Colorado). It was a long, but beautiful drive. The Rockies are majestic, and driving over Independence Pass, we could enjoy some magnificent views.
Photo Gallery from Shirley's Birthday
On October 22, we had the first snow of the season. It was 65 degrees (18 degrees Celsius) the day before, then it snowed at night. In the morning, Stefan was so excited to go play in the snow and he even built a snowman after returning from school. But by the afternoon most of the snow was already gone again and on the next day it was 65 degrees again.
Photo Gallery from First Snow
For Thanksgiving our friend Jaimee and her girls came to celebrate with us. Within a few days after Thanksgiving, we woke up to snow and the boys had a great time making their first snowman and snow angels.
Photo Gallery from Thanksgiving and Snow
Christmas time this year was quiet for us. We baked cookies and the boys had fun opening presents on Christmas Eve and getting a huge gift from Santa on Christmas Morning.
Photo Gallery from Christmas Time