Friday, December 17, 2010

Best of 2010 (continued)

2010 was a busy year. I've been thinking over the past few weeks about the things I enjoyed, milestones that were passed and memories that will warm my heart over the coming winter months.

I returned to Germany (made two trips there this year actually). A couple of my associates took me to a hometown beer festival in Forchheim outside Nuremberg. It's called Annafest and celebrates the famed beer kellers (cellars) burrowed into the massive hillside where the festival takes place.

Of course there is the beautiful scenery of Bavaria. Although it was late July the evenings were cool and the days sunny and warm. Perfect for riding and we got to do some of that, too. It's a bonus that my work travel doesn't consist of landing in a country and going straight to a convention center or conference to be locked indoors the entire time. Riding bikes is part of the job.

Also this summer we went north to our friends' cabin. Charlie and Kathy are the girls' adopted grandparents. Our family is lucky to have them in our lives. They have a very impressive little getaway perched on a rock outcrop overlooking Lake Superior. I'm not much for the MN "cabin culture" but in my opinion this is doing it right. Their place had an amazingly settling energy about it. The structure is sustainable and fits with the landscape, literally built into the bedrock of the hillside.

We broke away for an overnight trip into the BWCAW. It was our first canoe trip in 5 years. That's far too long between adventures. Even though the Boundary Waters is in the same state, it's a big commitment in time and planning to make a trip happen. Here April looks a little soggy. We'd just emerged from sheltering beneath some trees while an impressive thunderstorm blew threw.

After camping we ventured to Grand Marais with the girls. The town was hopping in honor of the Fourth of July holiday. We fled the packed sidewalks to wander on the rocks sheltering the bay. Grand Marais is a special place. If you've never been and you get the chance to go, don't pass it up.

More on 2010 later, I'm sure. For now, forget Christmas -- have you made solstice plans for Tuesday? This year it's a full moon and an eclipse. Fortuitous indeed.

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