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Christmas

Merry Christmas 2011

It is hard to believe that we are heading into our third year of living aboard our 46 foot sailboat here in Kemah, Texas. This area is called the "Third Coast" because it is home to the third largest population of boats in the country. There are more than six good sized marinas with hundreds of boats in each. Our marina has over 800 boat slips and there are many "live a boards".

It is an easy lifestyle and we love it. We have met many fun boaters and are busy every weekend with boating-related activities. (Can you say PARTY??)

Last Christmas (2010) found us with the whole French Clan in Chicago. We ate pizza, met Erika (Kevin's wife) and enjoyed each other's company. We will miss the Fureys and Bobos this year, but we are heading to the wintery north once again to get our annual taste of snow.

January was a busy month as Deedy got up to speed in her new role on the TMCA (Texas Mariners Cruising Association) Board of Directors. Every weekend there seemed to be something with TMCA happening. It was chilly but we stayed warm, even getting out on the water a few times.

In February Bridget and Nancy came back to visit and present at a conference in Houston. They almost didn't make it due to a rare ice storm down here. They were delayed a day, but made the most of their time here. Bridget presented to the students at my school and inspired them to be a champion for someone else and to thank the person who is a champion for them.

Spring Break we found ourselves in Dallas by way of Austin. Betsy and Olav were there for South by Southwest, an Austin tech and music extravaganza. We were lucky enough to have dinner with them. We also got in a sail at the end of that week. Easter weekend found us sailing down to Galveston to party once again at the Moody Gardens Marina with a whole group of boaters....we hunted Easter Eggs and shared libations and Easter brunch.

Last November Doug had this great idea over island drinks in the BVI's. It was to host a huge boating event here on the Gulf Coast. TMCA jumped on board and Spring Fling 2011 was born. Over 100 boats headed down to Freeport in mid May and stayed the weekend. There were vendors, great food and drink and music. It was a hit!! We have already started planning for the 2012 version. His ability to bring people together and perform is amazing!

Memorial Day we headed to Lake Geneva to open up the cottage and in June we sailed down the coast to the Annual Rockport Shrimp Boil. We got out in the Gulf and for once the wind was in our favor! We actually sailed more than we motored. This is always a good thing and made this trip even better.

Deedy spent the summer in Lake Geneva. Doug made it there a few times and we hosted DJ and Betsy as well as getting to see Cliff quite a few times. DJ is still working to build his salt water aquarium business. Betsy has recently taken a new job working for a large media company in NYC. She will combine her advertising expertise and digital marketing experience to be on the cutting edge of product development. She still seems to fit in a lot of running, participating in the Marine Corps Marathon in October in Washington, DC. Olav continues to work on developing his visual consulting business, bringing patented hologram technology to companies. Cliff continues to enjoy the lifestyle of downtown Chicago and is doing a lot of traveling to South America for his work. He surprised us by chartering a sailboat with a few friends and sailing Croatia in September. (Can you say "jealous"??)

Nancy, Bridget and Deedy hit the road in late July and drove to Missoula to help Susy with the wedding celebration for Kevin and Erika. We traversed the upper plains in 100+ degrees, stopping at Mt Rushmore and the Corn Palace. (Yes, it is a whole palace dedicated to corn!!) We had a fabulous time in Missoula "doing" the party in the Furey's back yard. It was stunning and so much fun to see the happy couple amongst friends and family. Susy joined us on the way back and I had a new experience - sleeping at a rest stop in North Dakota! There were no hotel rooms available and when you are with Nancy and Susy anything can happen!!

In August school started up again, as it always does for me! I am still teaching a contained classroom of 5th graders and loving it. Our class was visited by the superintendent and we were a featured video on the district website. You can see the video on You Tube at http://youtu.be/2HD00Y3C8GQ

Doug is busy with his new business, Newport Board Group. The first partners are ready to go and the team continues to be enthusiastic. To find out what is up, here is the website.    http://newportboardgroup.com/  Doug gets to travel again and is enjoying putting this project together. He is still brokering boats part time and has "delivered" for a few friends. They are now happily enjoying their new sailboats and two of them are even docked very close by.

In October Deedy headed to New York to visit Betsy, Olav and Jack (their sweet beagle/jack russell mix). We saw a show on Broadway, went to SPA CASTLE, and ate some delicious food! Doug and Deedy headed back there again for Thanksgiving (We drove and took Beau to meet his "nephew" Jack!). We had a great trip and listened to the Steve Jobs book as we drove. It an amazing book and we highly recommend it. We were able to stop by Philadelphia to see Aunt Sally (97) and Uncle Walt (98) in Philadelphia and on Thanksgiving we drove up to Farmington, CT and had a great feast with Bobo and family. The weather was spectacular and being with family is always something for which to give thanks.

We once again headed to Chicago for Christmas. Cliff is hosting us at his fabulous condo in River North and we are awaiting the arrival of DJ, Betsy and Olav. We are busy seeing family and friends and are enjoying the Chicago chill (with NO snow - so that is good!!).

We wish you the best holiday season ever and a blessed 2012. Come see us on the Gulf Coast! We would love to take you for a sail!

Merry Christmas to you!
Deedy and Doug
and
Beau, the Boat Dog
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