Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - The Year in Review

Wait, wait, wait...two posts in one day?  Yuppers!  

I just wanted to take the opportunity to reflect just a bit on the past year and share with you the highlights.  Last year, I did this by way of a photo album on Facebook.  Grabbed the best/most important pictures, captioned them, and lumped them together.  This year, I feel like my blog is the better venue for that!  

So, off we go!

January 2011 - Hmmm...what to say about January?!?  Not much!  Judging by my January pictures folder on my laptop, there wasn't much going on!  Chris went away the first weekend of the month for the annual ST.N Winter Meet.  Oscar and I stayed home and de-Christmas-tized the house.  Oh, and I shoveled snow!  It snowed the Saturday while Chris was gone and I got to shovel the driveway by myself so he could get the motorcycle back into the garage when he returned on Sunday.  That and Oscar had a lot of toys in January.  (He still does!).

It only took me about an hour to shovel the whole driveway.

Oscar and his MANY toys.  (And that's not all of them!)

February 2011 - In February, I went to Pittsburgh with the ERAPPA 2010 Host Committee one last time for our wrap-up meeting and celebration.  Following our wrap-up meeting at the hotel, we had a lovely dinner at the Capital Grille before going to the Consol Energy Center for a Pittsburgh Penguins game!  Beyond that, we had some snow and ice in February.  And one evening, we managed to capture a sunset in our backyard that made it look like the sky was on fire!

ERAPPA 2010 Host Committee "Last Supper"

Marc-Andre Fleury...swoon!!!

With Phillip at the Pens' game.

Ice, ice baby!

More ice around the Homestead.

Fire sky!

March 2011 - In March, my sister-in-law Casie turned 30 and my brother had a big party for her, so off to Baltimore I went!  While I was there, I got to see my brother and Casie's new house for the first time.  After that visit to Baltimore, it was back home to pack another suitcase because I was off to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the ERAPPA Mid-Year Meeting.  We had more snow in March, which always makes the Homestead look so pretty!

Casie - the birthday girl - in the center with Amanda (l), Kim (r), and me (back). 

Bill and Casie on the steps of their new home.

My hotel room in Halifax.

Enjoying a lobster feast on the last night of the Mid-Year Meeting in Halifax.

Signal Hill performs at the Lower Deck in Halifax.

Walking along the waterfront in Halifax.

Snow at the Homestead.

Oscar checks out the Winter Wonderland in the front yard.

April 2011 - Now it's getting good!  Alyssa and I went to Jim Thorpe to the Burlesque Festival to learn some basic burlesque dance moves.  It was so much fun!  The following weekend, Chris and I did our first motorcycle ride together for the year.  Mom, Dad, Bill, and Casie came up to visit for Easter and we hit up the local wineries.  And the last weekend of the month was the ST.N "Burger Run" up in Clearfield, PA.

The quaint town of Jim Thorpe, PA.

Ready to roll for our first ride of 2011.

Casie is a great winery touring partner!

Riding with Chris during the ST.N Burger Run.

Our riding group for the day at the ST.N Burger Run.

May 2011 - At the beginning of May, Alyssa and I went to Walt Disney World for a few days; it was awesome!  May also brought "more better" weather so Chris and I got out on the motorcycle a few times, including to the now annual ST.N Ride to the Rides.  I started this blog in May and began sharing with you the happenings around the Homestead, our two-wheeled adventures, and whatever else I felt like writing about.

AP and me at the Polynesian for our dinner at Kona.

AP and me in Italy at EPCOT.

Chris checks out the map for the ST.N Ride to the Rides.
Riding a roller coaster at Knoebel's with Chris, David (the one with his finger in my ear), and Jerry.
Chris, Ken, Ed, and Matt wait in line for the Flyers at Knoebel's during the ST.N Ride to the Rides.

June 2011 - Pretty much from June on, if it happened and it was blogworthy, it wound up here on Pineapple Ponderings.  In June, Chris and I did several rides, including my favorite one for the year - a weekend ride for his birthday!  I traveled to Connecticut for the ERAPPA June Board meeting and I rode up to Erie, PA to do a site visit for a hotel for a KAPPA meeting in 2012.  

Heading out from Kissell's on a Nittany Road Riders (NRR) ride.

Having lunch with the NRR crew.

Coming home from the NRR ride on Marengo Road.

Entering Shenandoah NP on Chris' birthday.

The birthday boy enjoys some gelato on the walk back to the hotel.

It's funny.  Still.  Six months later.

Chris' birthday cake.

Lighthouse Park in New Haven, CT.

The beach at the park in CT.

All smiles on the beach at Presque Isle in Erie, PA.

House boats in Erie.

The one of the lighthouses in Erie.

July 2011 - At the beginning of July, AP and I went to Pittsburgh for the Billy Currington/Zac Brown Band/Kenny Chesney concert at Heinz Field.  Hours after returning from Pittsburgh, Chris and I hosted several of our friends for a Fourth of July cookout, sleepover (LOL), and motorcycle ride.  We took several other rides, including a ride to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation summer picnic.  I changed the rear tire on the Concours.  And I ended the month with a vacation at the beach in Ocean City, MD with my parents, Bill, and Casie.

Going' coastal, baby!
Setting off some fireworks with our friends FOJ weekend.

Taking a stretch break on our FOJ ride.
Riding with Dan & Ann, Jim, and Kris to the MSF picnic.
New rubber ---> mounted!
At the beach!!!
August 2011 - In August, Chris and I did a one dinner ride before I did a bit of travel with my friends Karen and Rachel.  We went to San Francisco for our friend Katie's weddingChris sold his Suzuki V-Strom.  We went to Aviation Awareness Day at the University Park Airport and to the Centre County Grange Fair.

A Thursday night dinner ride with Chris.

With Rachel and Karen at Katie's wedding.

Katie and Alex exchange vows.
Karen and Rachel in Ghirardelli Square.

A little freaked out in a jail cell at Alcatraz.  (This photo was taken during my TAN phase this summer.  I had no idea how much sun I got at the beach until I saw pictures from this trip and how tan I was compared to my friends!)

With Rachel on windy Angel Island.

With Rachel on a San Francisco cable car.
Chris checks out one of the planes at Aviation Awareness Day.
Enjoying Sunset Ice Cream milkshakes at the Grange Fair.
September 2011 - My "baby" brother turned 30 and my mom turned 60.  I went to Baltimore for my mom's birthday weekend.  Chris and I did a ride over to the Piper Aviation Museum in Lock Haven.  And I dyed my hair before packing my bags at the end of the month and taking my mom with me to Halifax, Nova Scotia for the ERAPPA 2011 Annual Meeting.

With Baby Billy on the day Mom & Dad brought him home...over 30 years ago!
Mom got a Kindle for her birthday.
Arriving at the Piper Museum in Lock Haven.

Enjoying the exhibits at the Piper Museum.
Chocolate-cherry hair for the fall/winter.
October 2011 - Boy, oh boy...October flew by in a flash!  I spent a good bit of the month living out of a suitcase or a sidecase.  I was in Halifax for a week with my mom for my conference.  Twelve hours after Mom and I landed at University Park, Chris and I set out on a five-day motorcycle trip with our friends Shane and Andrea (2nd best trip of the year!).  Later that month, Chris and I went on the ST.N Fall Camping Trip.  Following that, I traveled to Gettysburg for the KAPPA Fall Meeting.

With Mom at the President's Reception in Halifax.

With Mom at the Casino in Halifax.

With the new ERAPPA board.
Riding the Dragon with Chris on our October five-day trip.

Chris, Shane, Andrea, and me at the Dragon (Deal's Gap, NC).
With Chris, Jeremy, Rachel, and Sara at Spruce Knob during the ST.N Camping Trip.

With Chris at Blackwater Falls on our way home from the camping trip.
With James Getty as Abraham Lincoln - our featured speaker for the Fall KAPPA Meeting in Gettysburg.
November 2011 - November was nice.  Most of my travel was over...well, work travel, that is.  Chris, Oscar, and I took a weekend trip to Ohio to Iron Pony Motorsports to check out some winter and heated gear for me.  Oscar celebrated his 10th birthday.  We went to Baltimore for Thanksgiving with our families.  And we did a motorcycle ride on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

Oscar is waiting for his daddy to come back to the car during a rest stop in West Virginia.

Iron Pony Motorsports in's huge!!!

Oscar, Chris, and I all got a good night's sleep in the king size bed!

Oscar's birthday cake
Oscar waits for his birthday cake and ice cream.
Oscar dives into the shopping bag for his birthday presents.

Chris enjoys Thanksgiving Dinner at his parents' house.

Various members of Chris' family around the dining room table.

Chris' family in his parents' living room.
Our November ride to the Marion E. Brooks Natural Area.

Enjoying the birch tree scenery on a lovely Saturday afternoon in late November.
December 2011 - December was another nice month.  The only travel I did this month was a day trip to NYC with AP as chaperones for the PSU Blue Band tuba players so they could perform in the Tuba Christmas concert.  Chris and I started the month with a motorcycle ride on the first Sunday of the month.  I am going to try to ride at least once a month EVERY month.  Chris says February will probably be the biggest challenge.  The day before AP and I went to NYC, Chris and I rode over to Mifflinburg to the Christkindl Market - lots and lots of German Christmas goodness!  The Sunday before Christmas, we hosted a Christmas Open House here at the Homestead.  Many of our friends stopped by throughout the day, including our friends Jerry & Leisa all the way from Pottstown and our friend David all the way from York.  My last day of work for 2011 was Friday, December 16th, so Chris and I had two weeks together, which was wonderful!  We visited Chris' uncle Denny and went shopping over at Lycoming Mall one day.  We went to see a model train garden in Castanea one evening.  We took a ride to Cabela's over in Hamburg, PA and stopped by Hershey's Chocolate World on our way home.  We drove to Johnstown to visit the Flood Museum and the Heritage Discover Center.  We made the best of our two weeks together (and it's not over yet!).  Our Christmas Day was a "Christmas for two" as we did not travel this year.  Tonight, New Year's Eve, we're watching the rebroadcast of the Penguins' hockey game from this afternoon after enjoying a nice dinner of grilled bison steaks, basil pesto couscous, and veggies.  It's going to be a low-key NYE for us, and that's A-OK!

Heading out on our December ride.

It was a lovely December day for a motorcycle ride!
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market 2011

Even the carriage horses were decked out for Christmas!
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in the background as the PSU tuba players make their way over to Radio City Music Hall.

502 musicians participated in Tuba Christmas for 2011.

After the "big" concert, the PSU students put on a few wandering concerts of their own on the streets of New York!
Lots of yummy food in the kitchen for our Christmas Open House.

Even more out in the dining room, including...

A big ol' platter of Christmas cookies!
The model train garden in Castanea, PA.
The Johnstown Flood Museum

The Heritage Discovery Center
Our 2011 Christmas tree.

Chris shows off his new pork pie hat.

Merry Christmas for Two!

My boys on Christmas Day 2011.
Finally, here are a few of my favorite pictures of Oscar from 2011. 

Oh, woe is life is so ruff!

Just like when he was a puppy - snuggling in the chair in his daddy's lap.

Snuggling with Mommy on a snowy Saturday morning in October.
Handsome boy!

Oscar's 2011 Christmas picture.
In a seemingly ordinary year, it turns out I have a lot of great memories and a "whole lotta" people and things to be grateful for - most notably my two boys, Chris and Oscar! 

Good bye, 2011.  Hello, 2012!  Happy New Year!!!

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