Events of 2008
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Events of 2008

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.


Valentines Day in Huntington Beach

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

View from Huntington Beach pier

Riding some custom-made bikes

Night view from Orange Hill Restaurant



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

Stefan's favorite ride from last year...

...the teacups

But then, he discovered Dumbo

...and Mommy had to go on several rides with him.

But then there was more...the Alice in Wonderland caterpillars

...and Storybook Land

Waiting to ride Casey Jr.

Visiting Minnie's house

Stopping by Mickey's house

...and meeting Mickey himself

Riding the Disneyland Express

Wonder and amazement at the parade

Riding Pooh's honeypots

Meeting Eeyore

...and Pooh

But the best was

...meeting Ariel...

...and giving her a kiss

The last rides for the night

And completely exhausted


Queen Mary with Denise and Ray

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

The Queen Mary

Stefan in charge of the ship

There is a bell to ring

Jana, Denise, Stefan and Ray

Ray and Denise



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

Jacqueline and Stefan

Sebastian is happy that it is Easter


Visiting the Easter Bunny

Stefan is coloring eggs

Stefan's creations


The Nicks Visit

In March, our friends Nicky and Nick visited us.

Photo Gallery from the Nicks Visit



Move to Colorado

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

Stefan, Grandpa, Sebastian, Shirley

Stefan's first Colorado snow

Our new home (at least until we have found our real new home)

View down our street (and from our family room windows)

View from the kitchen

Views from the deck

"Wildlife" around the neighborhood

Taking a walk through our new neighborhood

Deck off the kitchen

Deck off the family room

Dining Room

Family Room


Herd of Bighorn Sheep in our neighborhood


Visit to the Zoo

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

Let's go to the zoo

We are ready to see the animals

Feeding the giraffes is one of the main attractions at the zoo

Enjoying the critters

Mountain Lion

Grizzly Bear

Exhausted from looking at the animals

Great views of Colorado Springs

It was fun at the zoo


Wolfgang Visit

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

Driving through the Rockies

Mesa Verda Park

Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Grand Teton National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Geyser

Salt Lake City


Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs

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

Wolfgang and Jaimee

Going up the mountain

...and we are at the top

Another way to reach the top

Stefan would have preferred the train

Main Street Manitou Springs

Wolfgang's new ride


Flying W Ranch

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

Native American Dance Performance

Mine train

Stefan is enjoying the performance

Sebastian likes to hear Daddy's secrets

The Band

Stefan hits the dance floor


Visit to the North Pole

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



Visit to Altus

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


Cripple Creek

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

Drive through the mountains

The worst hotel ever...

...our room (100 years old)

The bathroom (even older)

Main street Cripple Creek

Stefan would have loved this train ride

Jana got attacked by the (gambling) bear

Views of Pike's Peak on the way back


San Diego

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

View from our room...the hotel pool

San Diego marina and harbor

USS Midway museum

Sleeping quarters for enlisted men

The anchor room

Jana was a little naughty and had to go to the brig

The fun of doing laundry for 4,000 soldiers

...just like in Top Gun (the movie)

Central command for the first Iraq war

This sucker is long

The Air Boss - he controls the flight operations

View from the Air Boss' seat

Reach for the Stars by Wyland

...and the proud owner (collector)


Boo at the Zoo

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



Shirleys Birthday

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



First Snow

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



Thanksgiving and 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

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