Happy Holidays to our Friends and Relatives
Need we say that this has been another busy year for the Bickerdikes? We are going to change from our usual chronological order to give you the biggest event of the year, our first grandchild. Kaitlyn Lillyanna Moore was born to Katie's daughter, Karen and John Moore, on August 5th. Here is one of her first pictures with her mother. Of course, we have a ton of pictures, some of which you can see on our website (if you want to see more, just let Katie know). Katie was a full-time grandma during the first couple of weeks to help Karen recover.
We started our 2004 travel adventures with our now annual trek to Orlando. We had a nice three-bedroom condominium just outside of Disney World. Bob and Charlotte Kuhn (see picture on the left) took time out from refitting their home, a 65' power "ship", to drive up and enjoy Epcot (especially the fireworks) with us. It was great to see them again and we hope to be able to visit them in 2005 during their present yearlong cruise around the Caribbean.
After the Kuhns left, we spent a day at Disney's Animal Kingdom (picture on the right shows us riding the train there) and another at the Magic Kingdom. We finished the land portion by spending a day at Universal Studios, Orlando. We then boarded the Carnival Glory at Port Canaveral (we could see the launch pads at Cape Canaveral) for a seven day Western Caribbean cruise that included Key West, Florida where we again rode our favorite, the Conch Train. During the stop in Belize we rented a car and driver for a personal tour. Also made stops in Progresso and Cozumel Mexico.
Chris, Heather, and Lucia, Heather’s daughter, visited us in April (escaping those warm Minnesota winters?). Five-month-old Lucia is showing off her Hollywood look at the bottom left of the previous page.
We managed to squeeze in a couple of Sea-Doo (PWC) trips to Laughlin where we met up with Mike Toft and his daughters.
In October we took a seven day cruise out of Los Angeles to Mexico on the Diamond Princess. It was really different driving from home to the ship without having a day of jet lag!
On that cruise, we did something that has looked interesting for a long time, a Dolphin Adventure at Puerto Vallarta, see picture bottom right of the previous page. We took the usual shopping and city tour at Mazatlan and snorkeled at Lover's beach in Cabo San Lucas. The ship dining experience was very different in that we had no dining room seating - at all. Every night we made reservations for one of the free specialty restaurants on board, steak, Italian, or South Western. Each restaurant offered the same menu as the dining rooms but with the added specialty items. We enjoyed the variety, but missed sharing our adventures with tablemates (although the tables were close enough to each other we had no problems talking with our varied neighbors).
We spent a November week at the Sands of Kahana on the island of Maui. We were really worried as we arrived, it was raining like mad and we thought that we had picked the wrong week. We did not need to worry, the weather was great after that first night. Liberty and her husband, Kevin, joined Mike Toft, his daughter, Lisa and us. It was Kevin and Lisa's first visit to Hawaii and Liberty's second. We had a great time watching their enjoyment at discovering the island’s adventures. They managed to include mandatory shopping trips, luau, trip to Hana, helicopter ride, sliding down a cable during an "Eco-adventure", snorkeling at Molokini and Lanai, surfboarding and lots of eating. Liberty has become quite a Tiki collector and found a really neat one that now resides at their Simi Valley home after brightening up our Maui dining room table during our vacation.
Kaitlyn, at almost four months, is growing and changing constantly. Here she is on the left while modeling her Poodle skirt (Beau was jealous). She will make our Christmas very special this year.
Kevin moved out of our house this May and is living in Buena Park. He is doing well as the information technology person for a skateboard distributor. He also is event bartending on many weekends. He stops by to visit us most Sunday afternoons.
Jennifer received a major promotion at Ryland homes and is traveling almost two weeks a month. She is helping her boyfriend, Hugo, rebuild a fixer-upper house in Thousand Oaks.
We are having Christmas in California this year. Katie’s sister Chris and her daughter, Lisa, are flying out to San Francisco where we will join them for a few days touring the "city". On our way home, we will drop them off in Santa Barbara to help bring Katie's parents down to our house for Christmas festivities.
There are some more changes due in 2005 for the Bickerdikes, but you will have to wait for next year's letter to find them out! We hope you are all in good health. Maybe we will have a chance to get together! We wish you and your families the best for the New Year.
See the following pages for the pictures that were in the letter