S: 2011 A Year of Great Adventures in Foreign Lands!
BC: 2011 was exciting! 2012 here we come!
FC: 2011 A Year of Great Adventures in Foreign Lands! (along with some fun back home too!)
1: 2011 was an Exciting Year! | But some of the best times are just when you're home chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool.
2: Fun Gatherings in the Beginning of the Year! | My Dad's 57th Birthday The Annual UCPD Crab Feed SuperBowl Party with Kevin
3: Home Improvement Projects! (It only looks like it was just John.)
4: Jessica & John visit the United Kingdom
5: Out with Dave! | Notting Hill Market and Little Amsterdam Canals
6: A visit with Mark, Tania and Tayte Chipstead, England | A drawing by Tayte for John
7: We went all over London! Westminster Abbey, the Parliament Building | Westminster Abbey was where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. We were there about a week before the wedding.
8: A View of London from the London Eye
9: Visiting the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
10: The Crown Jewels and a Collection of Armor and Tools are all in one building!
11: Romantic Dinner Cruise on the Thames River
12: Driving Around Scotland! | John in front of St. Andrews Bay, Jessica in front of the Old Course of St. Andrews Golf Course and us relaxing at a pub in St. Andrews, Scotland drinking beer and a Shandy (half beer half Sprite!)
13: Glamis Castle Scotland | Glamis Castle is actually still inhabited and was the home of the Queen Mother (mother of Queen Elizabeth II, wife of King George VI)
15: Daffodils everywhere in beautiful Scotland as we drove! We stopped in Tomintoul for whiskey, Balmoral for coffee and even made it to the top of the Cairngorm Mountains via the Funicular in Aviemore.
16: I braved the bridge above the very swift and powerful Inverness river. We then took our lives into our own hand posing next to Loch Ness!
17: Exploring the Urquhart Castle Ruins (left) and Eilean Donan Castle (right)
18: Driving through the Scottish Highlands and on to the Isle of Skye! | We stopped often to explore and hike. It was beautiful up in the clouds.
19: We stayed in the little town of Portree in Skye, Scotland and had a fabulous seafood dinner. The next day we drove around Skye and saw the Old Man of Skye, a large pinnacle on the island.
20: A giant pothole and flat tire stopped us cold on a beautiful Saturday in the Scottish countryside. We had no cellular signal and had to drive on a partially inflated tire to reach a small farm with a big pig and an emergency phone booth. It took about three hours to be towed and get a new, expensive tire but then we were on our way through Glencoe to Edinburgh!
21: It became more popular after being featured in The Da Vinci Code. | Rosslyn Chapel was covered for 10 years to protect it while restoration was completed. We visited a few months after the scaffolding was removed. | Rosslyn Chapel
22: Holyrood Palace was the home of Mary, Queen of Scotts and is the residence of the Royal Family when they are visiting Scotland. | Holyrood Palace Edinburgh, Scotland
23: Edinburgh Castle We toured the castle on a warm, sunny day and ended our great vacation with a romantic dinner at The Witchery just outside the Castle walls.
24: Hanging with the Family | We spent time with John's Aunt Liz and Uncle Graham and Jessica's brother Victor, her mom Catalina and her father Adrian.
25: Chillin' with Friends Mariana's house warming party with Enrique, Kenny and the girls. Kitty chills are by herself because she is so cool.
27: I Finished! My legs hurt a little after the marathon but my sunburn was the worst! You can see where I haphazardly rubbed on sunblock. Good thing I ran the marathon before I had my MRI. No more soccer after those results came back. :(
28: Yosemite! July 1 after a year of record rainfall = huge waterfalls! It was Paul and Catalina's first time to Yosemite so course we went on my favorite hike (the Mist Trail)!
30: Vernal Falls Yosemite, CA The waterfall was stunning! There was so much water and it was moving so fast! (Three people went past the rail and over the waterfall in the week after our visit.)
31: The Trek to Nevada Falls
32: Nevada Falls Yosemite, CA We made it to the top!
33: We had An Excellent Day in Yosemite!
34: Girls' Day Out at Berkeley and Stanford! | Noemi, Gladys, Jazmin, Jenni and I had an awesome time at Berkeley in the morning and Stanford in the afternoon.
35: Just Chillin' At the Lake Tahoe Ritz Carlton with John's company. Out having dinner with Sally and Kevin. Celebrating Mariana's Birthday. Chilling with the Boss and Miss Kitty.
36: Project Closet It started out a simple project. It was anything but. First, we found mold. The HOA thought the problem was fixed and closed the report - but it wasn't. We found an entry point - for the dead rat that had been living in our wall and stockpiling snails. (No wonder kitty kept staring at that part of the wall.) The roof repair guys said we had no leaks. The plumber said thee were no leaks. They made us feel like we were crazy - until an October rainstorm proved we had a huge leak in the roof. It took 9 weeks but finally we had our custom closet.
37: Kickin' it in the Casa | This year we planted tomatoes and basil! John also made a beautiful hydrangea garden.
38: Chicago! August, 2011 Our first day we walked along Lake Michigan and visited the Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain and tons of statues!
40: An Afternoon at the Adler Planetarium! Chicago, August 2011
41: Fun at the Field Museum! Chicago, August 2011
42: Meeting up with Friends in Chi-Town Had some authentic Chicago style pizza with Azucena and Fabian and then headed to the top of the John Hancock Building for drinks. | Breakfast with Azucena at Yolk.
43: Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Soldier Field Chicago, IL September 25,2011
44: Having a Great Time at the Museum of Science and Industry
45: We ended our Chicago Adventure by exploring the U-505 Submarine at the Museum of Science & Industry. Its capture turned the tide of World War II!
46: Langkawi, Malaysia October, 2011 My first time in the lap of luxury! Business Class Flights (8 in total roundtrip!) and a stay in a Four Seasons Resort!
48: Kayaking out to the big island in the Andaman Sea. We saw large schools are tiny silver colored fish jumping out of the water around the island.
49: Langkawi was like a deserted island paradise. The gorgeous sunsets and the warm, clear Andaman sea was so serene. Being there was such a treat.
50: Sydney, Australia November, 2011 | We left on a Monday night at 6pm and booked our tickets the night before at 11pm! Thank goodness Quantas ended their strike!
51: We went to a zoo of Australian animals! And I saw a Rainbow Lorikeet just randomly walking near the Rocks and Circular Quay!
52: Soaking up the Sun at Manly Beach, Australia! | We came, we saw Canberra and met with the TGA, we conquered (eventually)! And all of a sudden it was time to go!
53: Back to Normal Life | Well, kind of normal. There was that whole IPO thing. Yay! October 19, 2011.
54: Christmas 2011 A Christmas of Firsts! My first year making tamales! Our first year sending a photo card! Our first year hosting Christmas! My first year hosting a cookie party!
55: Christmas Cookie Making Party! | Sally, Vicki and Annie and I had a great time making gluten free and sugary cookies!
56: Christmas with Friends & Family
57: More Holiday Fun with Friends & Family
58: Christmas with the Dummetts with John, Jessica, Annie, Kevin and Nora
59: A Great End to the Christmas Season!