We've got to label this the "Bicycing Year" for the French's. We've seen more of central Texas than either of us ever saw of our old homes in Kentucky, Wisconsin, or Ohio. We went to 13 different, organized bicycle rides this year, Possum Pedal 100, Bluebonnet, Germanfest, Great Bicycle Train Race, Collin Classic, Tour D'Italy (pronounced "ditly" around these parts), Peach Pedal, Ride for Life, Hot Rocks, Hotter'n Hell, Grand Prairie Grand Prix, MS World Tour, Waco Wild West 100 (sponsored by M&M Mars...great chocolate laden rest stops). For those that were more than about 100 miles away we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts near the starting lines. Some were wonderful Victorian homes converted to B&Bs, others were rustic cabins in the east Texas piney woods. It was quite an experience that we hope to continue next year and into the future. In May, we did a bicycling vacation along the Outer Banks of North Carolina with our friends Alan & Maria. It was balmy and flat (except for the bridges over the Intercoastal Waterways) so the biking was as good as the fresh seafood at the "raw" bars afterward.
In April, Kath brought her kids Tom, Ben, and Brenda for a spring break visit. Once we could tear the guys away from Stewart's latest obsession, the computer game Descent, we got some Texas into them by heading out to a dude ranch for some Bar-B-Que and horseback riding. Way cool, right, pardners?
Summer brought the usual amount of heat and lots of pool parties. They are a hoot when you throw in lots of friends' and relatives' kids and plenty of Mina-supplied popsicles. It's amazing what a timid child will try when faced with a younger one that is outdoing them (hmmmm... that seems to apply to the adults too).
In October we visited Stewart's parents, Morgan and Maxine, in Kentucky. Anne met Teresa in Louisville and they drove over to visit Kath's family and Esther in Missouri. It was a very quick trip, but very nice. Fall is a wonderful time in Kentucky and Missouri.
In November we headed to Houston to visit Anne's sister Trina and her family, Steve, her husband, and the kids, Doug, Russell, Melanie, and Brandi. We all bundled up and went to a football game. It was coooold! Yes, we've both gotten thin blooded living in Texas. It was way down in the 40's!
We had a family Thanksgiving planned at Glenn and Mina's house in Frisco. However, Anne's uncle, Les Paul, dies just before Thanksgiving and Anne, Glenn, and Andrew (Glenn's son), drove down to Houston for the funeral. A very sad event. However, they all got to touch base with relatives on the Paul side that they hadn't seen in a long time, like Aunt Nell and cousin Pete and his wife Betty. Despite the traffic back to Dallas that evening, they managed to return from their whirlwind trip in time for a fine Thanksgiving. Anne's brother Tom, his wife Joyce and their kids Emily and Amelia came over from Forth Worth. We ate too much and took a walk to see the nearby horses which Emily made sure were stuffed with carrots before we left. It was good to see everyone there. Even though we all live close by, we don't take as much time as we should to visit.
Along with our house-mates, Murky & Louie, we hope you have a wonderful holiday!