Happy New Year 2008!
In reflecting on the past twelve months, we think the best way to characterize them may be as “the year of travel” for the Wood family.
The highlight was definitely our ten day trip to Europe in July. We split our time between London and Rome with a day trip by train to Bath. In London we took in historic sites, more than a few pubs, walked through Notting Hill, visited Abbey Road studios, saw the West End production of the musical WICKED and read the UK release of the final Harry Potter novel. In Rome we took in even older historic sites, visited the Iowa State studios, and ate a lot of meat-free pizza (and we thought pepperoni was Italian). In Bath, we took in – well - the baths (if you’re ever there don’t try the water). In each city we took trolley/bus tours which we recommend to everyone.As usual we spent several weekends road-tripping to see the Iowa State Cyclones football team play. There were highs and lows in this first season under new head coach Gene Chizik and we were fortunate to see another win over the rival Hawkeyes along with a few unfortunate losses. We hosted each of our parents for a game which was a lot of fun. It’s just our luck that as we were planning our schedule at the beginning of the season we decided not to go back for the typically cold weather November games, that turned out to be not so cold and wins as well. We also had the good fortune to take in the Cyclones game at Toledo which was a tremendous time and only half the distance of driving back to Ames for a game. It did end in what must be a statistically improbable loss but otherwise was a great day trip.
Thanksgiving was a bit of a whirlwind. From Wednesday to Sunday, we spent twenty-four hours on the road between driving from Indianapolis to Arkansas for a visit with Geoff’s family, then to Cedar Rapids for Geoff’s ten year high school reunion (almost eleven years to the day from his last high school class – don’t ask) where we also were able to visit with Hope’s family and then back to Indianapolis.
Hope’s work kept her on the move as usual, with visits to Charlotte, Dallas, Orlando, San Francisco, New Orleans, San Diego, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Portland, Hershey, and Providence. Geoff joined her at the end of the trip to Florida and we stayed over for the weekend with Geoff’s Aunt Sarah and Uncle Louis and had a good visit with his grandparents Davis and Alma. Hope’s last work trip of the year was a big one – she spent five days in Tokyo, Japan.
Geoff started graduate work this summer after he was accepted into the evening MBA program at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. The program is two nights a week for five semesters (and two summers) and he did well enough in the first semester that they’re willing to let him back for more. It’s a big commitment of time on top of his full time job but Hope and his employer are supportive of it.
For the first time in several years we didn’t have any family weddings in 2007. Sadly, we lost Geoff’s grandmother Betty Gilbert late last Spring. The circumstances were unfortunate but it was good to reconnect with a part of the family that we had not seen in several years. In better news, we did welcome our first nephew this year when Hope’s brother Heath and his wife Amy gave birth to Austin Seegers.
When we’re not traveling, at work, or in school we’ve enjoyed getting closer with our bible study group and playing in another season in the kickball league with our friends. We were able to take part in a Hoosier tradition for the first time this year by attending races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We made it to two, taking in the Indy 500 from the “infield” and US Grand Prix from a skybox. It’s a contrast in styles but both were good times none-the-less.
We look to stay a little closer to home in 2008. However, we have already determined that we will be among the riders in the RAGBRAI 2008. Hope has ridden twice but Geoff never has and we figure 2008 is as good a year as any for that Iowan rite of passage.
Happy New Year!
Hope and Geoff