Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 2006: Feliz Navidad y buenas fiestas a nuestros amigos y familia

Just a quick note for us to wish all our family and friends a Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a wonderful New Year in 2007!

We had a very nice 2006 and there was one special thing that I wanted to be able to say … that 2006 was the year the entire Phoenix Ryan family has Spanish as a second language ... I can’t say that … but at least one person in our family did add Spanish to her skills!

Julie (20) spent this semester in Spain at the University of Alicante studying Spanish, Spanish culture and Spanish history as part of the ASU international studies program. It was a wonderful opportunity for her to experience life and school in a different culture and it turned out pretty well for Fran and me because it gave us a place to visit for our 25th anniversary in November J All things considered … it was a great experience for Julie but homesickness can be a powerful emotion and Julie experienced it strongly. The good news for Fran and I was that it seems like we communicated more with Julie these past three months than we have in several years!

Matt (23) is working for Lockheed and has moved to Gaithersburg, MD as part of his second year of a three year training program. They are also putting him through George Washington University for his MBA. He is doing well at work and school and is a very doting boyfriend to a wonderful young lady “Bri” who is studying to be a theater manager in St Louis. Her studies and internships take her all over the U.S. and Europe and it is fascinating to listen and read about her travels.

Fran and I are doing great and enjoying the western lifestyle going out and about on one thing or another every week. Big treat … we saw the “Rolling Stones” a few weeks ago … I wanted to see them before they or I were dead! We are also enjoying watching our Matt and Julie grow into fine young people as well as watching all our other family and friends progress through their own lives. And while we have been watching everyone progress … 25 years of marriage went by! And the 25th year is one of those special anniversary years so I thought I had better get Fran something better than the cheeseboard and the food processor I bought her during our first year of marriage … Julie bailed me out and gave us a great reason to travel to Spain for our anniversary. We spent a week in Marbella in a time share resort we traded for and then two days in Alicante. Julie’s host family Ana and Luis Sanmillan and their two daughters Ana and Bea invited us over for dinner one night and we were just so pleased to be able to spend time with them and thank them for taking care of Julie for us.

We had a special treat this past summer having Joe and Karen Fortuin give us a call on a Friday evening when they were passing through Phoenix on their way back to Albuquerque. We were able to stay up past our normal 9PM J bed time and actually stayed out until 1AM with Joe and Karen catching up on over 15 years of not seeing each other! It was like we just picked up from where we left off in Utica, NY. Awesome seeing you two!

See my blog http://djrryan.blogspot.com/ for more stories and plenty of pictures. Feel free to leave a message or two on the blog. We would love to hear from you!

Dave and Fran Ryan