Welcome to the 2012 installment of the Traveling Roths' Microsoft Word Christmas Letter. If you received a card from us, or if you saw a post on Facebook pointing you here, thanks for clicking through, and taking the time to see what we've been up to this year, and what all those pictures in the collage are all about.
JanuaryWe took a trip up north to the Peaks of Otter along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia with a pile of Mebanites to celebrate our friend Rebecca B.'s 40th birthday. There was lots of strenuous activity and exercise, and also a lot of good food and drink (these are the three major Mebanite themes, as you'll probably see throughout the year.) We also ate a lot of oysters.
January is also a great time to resolve to get fit. Jennifer and Dave both started running three days a week at 5 am, and even got the chance to run in the snow (such as it is in North Carolina.)
Of course, all that running makes Jennifer hungry for crepes. An in addition to 2012 being the Year of the Mebanite, is was also the year of the food truck.
FebruaryWhat is February known for? The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, and in the spirit of the massacre, Zoe ran in the Massacre Marathon Relay with a bunch of other kids from Mebane out in chilly Greensboro.
While Jennifer was out at the National Whitewater Center for Teacher Day (not pictured), Dave, Tristan and Zoe got pizza (pictured. I needed decent portraits of the kids individually for the card, otherwise this would not be a newsworthy event, save the fact that Mellow Mushroom has excellent pizza, also not pictured.)
AprilDave headed back to England again, but this time got a slight added bonus of getting a side trip to Belgium via the Chunnel! (Which is, like a lot of things involving trains, is a lot less fun than it sounds.)
(me in Belgium, as far as you know)
Dave met up with our Moroccan/Belgian friends Salah and Martine in the short time he was there, and may or may not have imported things back into the US that perhaps were not strictly legal.
We spent a great weekend up in the Northern Neck of Virginia to see Cousin Holly get married to Dave C.
And like every Memorial Day weekend, we had our Pig Pickin'. This was number 7, and like the six before it, we were too busy cooking a pig to get proper photos of our endeavor. If you're really curious what it looks like, come to our house for Memorial Day weekend next year. Seriously. We have plenty of food.
A bunch of Mebanites trekked out to the North Carolina mountains near Boone to spend Fathers' Day tubing down the . . . . river. (Honestly, most of the day is kind of a blur.) School's Out! Tristan finished 7th grade, Zoe finished 6th, and Jennifer finished her 18th year of teaching. The month was quiet in a way the rest of the summer was not.
We started off the month by spending a week at a huge house right on the beach in Hatteras on the Outer Banks. In addition to the four of us we had five more Roths and eight more Saias. And this time, for a change, no one experienced a life-ending medical condition.
The cottage has quickly become one of the highlights of our summer. Swimming, hiking, biking, eating, drinking, and just a short drive away: Cedar Point!
And what's also becoming a tradition, spending Dave W.'s birthday with him and his wife Michelle (and a bunch more of Jennifer's high school friends) in Georgia. This time we had a sweet cabin right on a creek in the mountains near Ellijay. There was dam building, tubing, floating hors d'oeuvres, ribs, eating, drinking, etc. Maybe there should've been more photography.
AugustReviving a family tradition from Jennifer's childhood, we headed out to Southampton, Long Island, to spend the week with Jennifer's cousin Jeanine (and a quick visit with cousin Bill) and Jeanine's family, Sean, Eliza, and Finn. We had lots of beach time, sightseeing, and eating great food. It was the first time Dave and the kids got to see how Jennifer spent all of her early summers.
And the very next week, Jennifer took Zoe to her first real concert: Duran Duran!
Zoe started 7th grade and Tristan 8th
Tristan finally got to go to a Bar Mitzvah (not his)
OctoberWe made our second trip to State College / University Park, Pennsylvania for the Penn State homecoming football game, and stayed with our friends Cricket and Dave H. Dave (R.) and his dad played with the Penn State Alumni Blue Band and the kids saw their first game in Beaver Stadium. Of course we visited the Lion Shrine
And the Lion
We finished out the month with (surprise) more Mebanites up at Watoga State Park in West Virginia. Thanks to Greg and Beth P., we had some sweet cabins up in the mountains where we hiked, ate, drank, and even saw a bear and snow.
NovemberWe actually stayed home, ate, drank, ran in the Turkey Trot, and spent a lot of time with our neighborhood friends.
DecemberCardstore.com was atypically efficient in getting our Christmas cards printed and mailed out, so much so that we hadn't even thought about creating our now once per year blog post until we received our own card in the mail this afternoon.
Other than that, we're heading out to South Lake Tahoe for a proper white Christmas this year with Jennifer's family. Watch Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for those posts. Here's a teaser from Nellie S.
So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to you.
See you in 2013 if not before.
Dave, Jennifer, Tristan, and Zoe
Mebane, North Carolina, USA