Happy Holidays and thank you for following our adventures this year. After writing so copiously on our blog during our trip, we thought you would like an update.
We returned to the States from our global wanderings in mid-July, arriving home on Bainbridge Island on August 1st by way of the Bay Area, Lake Tahoe, the California and Oregon Coasts and a visit to Redwoods. (Phew!) We hit the ground running.
Starting in late August, Ben embarked on a challenging two-year MBA degree in Sustainable Business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. Camped out at his grandfather's desk in our basement, he participates in virtual classes and team meetings via the Web at least three nights per week. Just about once a month, he and his classmates also attend an "Intensive" weekend at Islandwood, an environmental learning center located next door to Tica and Ian's old elementary school. The work has been challenging to say the least. (Imagine hitting the books again after nearly a 25 year hiatus!) Our newest student did spectacularly well though, and he is already gearing up for the start of winter quarter on January 3rd.
Surprisingly soon after our return, Brooke found a job working for The Traveler, a travel shop and bookstore on the main drag in downtown Winslow. Having begun much of research for our big trip in the store's well-stocked library, it seemed fitting. In addition to working retail for the first time ever, Brooke has taken on the challenge of being the store's face on the web. Current projects include a revamp of The Traveler’s website and ongoing updates to a new store blog and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Tica turned 12 this past August. She was delighted to pick up with her neighborhood pals, and loved returning to play soccer. Her team, The Mighty Blue Wave, had a very successful season, holding their own against players a grade ahead of them. School was a bit of a shock at first. Going from homeschool to six periods and five teachers per day at Woodward Middle School was a big adjustment, but Tica managed to figure out the system within a few weeks. She has joined the skinny jeans and Uggs set, fashion wise, but always seems to manage to put together outfits as uniquely individual and beautiful as we know her to be inside.
Ian (10) had a rather quiet autumn. Like his sister, he started a new school, Sakai, which houses the Island's (public school) fifth and sixth graders. He has reported that being back with his friends is fun, but he sometimes misses the flexibility of homeschool. Back in Sydney, Ian decided not to pursue fall soccer, something he grew to regret. Instead he spent the fall attending his sister's games. What a trooper! Needless to say, he is all the more excited to resume Little League in early spring.
"Hippies from France" (Halloween 2010)
Ian has also enjoyed catching up with his friends, attending his first dance and taking a stab at paint ball. He and Brooke signed up for a Spanish class two mornings a week before school so our household has been filled of late with a whole slew of new, mostly un-contextual phrases like, "Ian lleva pantalones pequenos." We are making progress though.
Nala the dog is still with us after spending the year in the capable and indulging hands of Brooke’s parents in California. It took a while for her to forgive us for being gone, but she is happy to be home. At nearly 14 years old, our little queen is slowing down, but she still revels in chasing the neighborhood wildlife when she can. She still sneezes for treats.
We have spent the holidays at home this year. We are having an excellent snow year, which will translate into as many trips to Crystal Mountain Ski Area as we can muster. We will likely continue our adventures in the mountains this summer and, if we can pull it off, spend part of the vacation honing our Family Scuba skills on Hawaii’s Kona Coast. Other than that, we’ll be home working, awaiting visitors and planning our 4th of July BBQ.
Being back in the States has had its upsides and downsides. I will pontificate on that in a later post though. Long story short, 2010, like its predecessor, will go down as a wildly successful year in the history of the Bainbridge Island Drury’s. 2011 will be a little more ho hum, but a great chance to continue broadening our skills sets and reintegrating back into our wonderful community.
Happy New Year to All. Come and visit. We’d love to see you!
Brooke, Ben, Tica and Ian