In January 2005 we went to Bangkok with our friends Patty Ruth and Margie Ehrlichmann (Patty and Margie are sisters).
Here we are in Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok.
In February 2005 we went to Cancun, Mexico with our friend Jackie Battipaglia.
We went not for the Spring Break craziness, but to see the Mayan ruins and do some snorkeling.
Unfortunately, the snorkeling sucked, but the ruins were fantastic, albeit hot. Here we are at the Observatory at Chichen Itza.
There's a clown in every group, isn't there?
Here's Sara playing around with one of the serpents decorating the edges of the walls of the ball court.
She's one of the few people tall enough to do this!
We've all heard of Chichen Itza (or "chicken pizza" as the locals jokingly call it).
Here we are atop the pyramid at Coba, which is even older and taller than its neighbor, Chichen Itza.
The complex is still being uncovered in the jungle. Who knows what mysteries will be revealed in the coming years?
Here we are with Jackie Battipaglia at one of the Coba ruins. It really is in the middle of the jungle and unless you knew it was here, you couldn't find it.
The archeologists are working to not only uncover the ruins, but restore and preserve them for future generations.
Ah, the crystal blue waters of the sea at Tulum!
If you bring your bathing suit, there is a great beach just off to our left...heaven!
In March 2005 we went to Paris to attend the Salon de l'Agriculture with our friend Gilles (from Tahiti) and his father, Lucien Grouiller.
Here's Sara with a new bovine friend.
Sara, Dan and Lucien have a taste of a local rum from the Caribbean Islands of Martinique and Guadalupe.
It was like no rum we've ever tasted before. Lucien thought it tasted a lot like lighter fluid!
In April 2005 we took a driving trip from Marina del Rey, CA to Takoma Park, MD.
Along the way we spent about a week in southern Utah visiting Zion, Bryce Canyon and Arches National Parks.
Here's Dan at about 6,000 ft at Bryce Canyon NP. There was still a lot of snow in the park, so hiking opportunities were pretty limited.
Dan and Sara under the famous Delicate Arch in Arches NP near Moab, UT.
We had a nice short hike to the arch, which wasn't very crowded this day. I wouldn't want to be here during the summer, though. Temperatures climb well into the 90s and there isn't much shade.
On our way to Cave City, KY we stopped at the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home. Sara & Natalie pose with Sara's moose Duffles in front of a period cabin on the spot of the Lincoln home.
Lincoln was born just down the road. We toured that site on our way back to Indy. There was a "Name the National Park" photo contest there and we won a lapel pin!
In August 2005 Jeremy and Natalie came to visit us for a few days. We took the kids down to Mammoth Cave National Park in Cave City, KY.
We went on the Historic Cave tour where we went down a looong way into the caves on a two mile walk. It was really interesting and we saw a few bats as well!
This cave system has very few stalagmites & stalactites due to the cave's caprock.
Here we are at Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. We went to Puyallup, WA to visit our friend Darrell Houmes and his family. While we were there we took a drive out to Snoqualmie Falls.
You're probably thinking you don't see a falls behind us. You don't. It's around the bend in the river that we're standing next to here.
The weather could not have been better!
In Seattle we couldn't resist a visit to the new Museum of Flight at Boeing Field (BFI). Their newest acquisition is a former British Airways Concorde. It is open to the public and we really enjoyed walking through it.
Check in Dan's Photos for another interesting photo from the Museum of Flight!
Our next stop on the trip was Maui, Hawaii. We spent six nights with our friends Steve and Ellen Bowen in South Kihei.
While we were there we went snorkeling and did several hikes. Here's Sara at the Dragon's Teeth near DT Flemming Beach Park on the northwest coast of Maui. It was a gnarly hike over sand, rocks and lava to the "teeth" but it was awesome!
Another hike we did was up to the top of Pu'u Olai Hill in Makena. It's located atop Big and Little Beaches at Makena Beach State Park. The views from the top were great very early in the morning.
You might recognize Pu'u Olai as the proper name for "Little Beach" which is known as Maui's only nude beach. And yes, it was already pretty crowded at 8:00am!
Over the last two weeks of September we went on a camping trip to the Four Corners area (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado).
Here's Dan at our campsite in the Canyonview Campground at Navajo National Monument near Tsegi, Arizona. The weather and stargazing were aweseome. Dan's favorite part: listing to planes overhead on our airband radio!
This is the famed Monument Valley in northeast Arizona/ southeast Utah. You can see many of the natural formations in this photo that draw thousands of people each year.
There are daily flight- seeing trips offered by Grand Canyon Airways bringing visitors to the park where they board busesto tour the valley. We had a picnic at the airport and watched the Twin Otter depart!
Here we are at the Four Corners Monument (administered by the Navajo Nation). It's essentially a tourist trap!
Admission is $3/person and it's surrounded by stalls offering any number of gift items, but where else in the United States and you be in four states at once?
Sara's perfecting her marshmallow-roasting skill while camping at Mesa Verde.
Just after we set up camp, a family of five mule deer and a cottontail rabbit ran behind our tent!
On the trip Sara learned of the National Park's Junior Ranger program and earned badges or patches from many of the parks.
The famous Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde!
This is a very interesting tour to take, but not for those with any health problems! The altitude is about 8,000 feet and several ladders must be climbed to access it.
The round structures you see are kivas, rooms used for ceremonial and religious purposes. They represent the womb of Earth Mother and are entered through a hole in the roof.
Dan on the 15-foot ladder leaving Mesa Verde's Balcony House.
It was a gnarly place to get in and out of, but the views from there were great. The worst part was inching along a path on a rock face with a 600-foot drop off on the other side of the chain! Slipping would have ensured you're mountain lion food, among other possible outcomes.
This is Wijiji Ruins at Chaco Culture National Historic Site (near Nageezi, New Mexico).
Sara hiked three miles round trip to this site dating from the 14th century. It appears the buildings at Chaco were not used as a large village, but more of a ceremonial/religious center inhabited by the "upper eschelon" of the Ancestral Puebloan people. People made pilgrimages to Chaco from many miles away.
In the past, the people living in this area were called Anasazi which is a Navajo word meaning ancient enemy or foreigner. That term is no longer used and instead the more appropriate term is Ancestral Peubloan. Decendants of the Ancestral Puebloans are many in the Southwest and include the Hopis and many of the tribes along the Rio Grande River.
National Park units we visited on this trip: El Malpais, El Morro, Canyon de Chelly, Hubbell Trading Post, Navajo, Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Mesa Verde, Aztec Ruins, Chaco Culture, Bandelier, Pecos, and Petroglyph.
We've look another trip in mid-October spending a few days visiting our friend Mike Adkins in Tucson, Arizona. We visited Fort Bowie National Historic Site and Chiricahua National Monument.
Scottie's Castle, a Death Valley landmark. We took a very interesting tour of the buildings and enjoyed a picnic lunch under the shade trees.
October is a great time to visit Death Valley National Park. The temperatures are much more comfortable. We camped during our stay in the park.
Sara near Manly Beacon in Death Valley's Golden Canyon.
The temperature in Death Valley was pleasant, but it did start to get a little hot on our hike at 9am!
On a hike in Death Valley's Golden Canyon. We took this four mile hike and enjoyed the views of Manly Beacon.
Our favorite part was climbing down the dry waterfalls and walking through the wash.
Dan hanging out 282 feet below sea level at Badwater in Death Valley National Park.
It was so cool out here! He's standing in very shallow, very briney water making it look like a mirage.
One of the 20-mule team wagons at the Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley National Park.
Dan of Arabia at Kelso Dunes in Mojave National Preserve.
While Dan was looking photogenic, Sara busied herself making sand angels!
Not exactly the side you want to put forward, but here's Sara on the rings at Banshee Canyon in Mojave National Preserve.
These rings are one of two sets providing access to the canyon below. Not for the faint of heart, they were quite an adventure. It was easier going up than down, and having long legs really came in handy!
A namesake Joshua Tree at our campsite in Joshua Tree National Park.
We spotted a tartantula in the campground earlier in the evening!
Sara gets up close and personal with a "cuddly" Teddy Bear Cholla. This is one cactus you shouldn't get too friendly with as it's also known as a jumping cactus...it jumps out and gets you!
One of my favorite photos is of this dead ironwood tree at Joshua Tree National Park.
At New York's JFK Int'l Airport while we were waiting in line at Turkish Airlines (Turk Hava Yollari), we met our new friend, Yigit. He was very helpful with our trip planning for Istanbul.
If you're ever in the Bahamas, he's a sous chef at the Great Exuma at Emerald Bay/Four Seasons Resort.
Merhaba from Istanbul! In December we spent four days in this beautiful city before heading on to Vienna, Austria. If there's one place you should visit, it's Istanbul. The people are very friendly and the food is fantastic!
Our first meal in Istanbul was a typical sandwich washed down with a cup of ayran, a sort of thin yogurt drink. The taste is an aquired one, but we can say we've tried it. Turks drink ayran like Americans drink Coke. It's certainly better for you!
Dan at the mouth of the Bosphorus looking out at the Black Sea. We're on the Asia-side of Turkey.
The temperature was near 50F degrees and was actually quite pleasant. We took a ferry up the Bosphorus and had a very relaxing day. On the way back south to Istanbul we met a northbound submarine from the Turkish Navy!
Sara and Dan with a monument to Attaturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. This statue is in Anadolu Kavagi, a small village at the mouth of the Bosphorus on the Asia-side of Turkey. There were no crowds to speak of during our visit (unlike summers, we hear) and had a wonderful trip. We especially enjoyed meeting so many new and friendly people.
Dan's a multi-millionaire with his ten million Turkish Lira. In January 2005 the goverment issued "New Lira" to replace these bills. The new lira exchange rate to the US dollar is about 1.3 lira/$1. These old bills became worthless on January 1, 2006.
Here we are at the Gloriette at Schoenbrunn in Vienna, Austria. Yes, it was as cold as we look! It was "snowing" ice pellets that day. Not too fun, but the scenery was beautiful!
While climbing up here from the Palace down below, we met a group of Chinese men. Although they spoke very little English and our Chinese is limited to "Ni hao ma" we became friends and they insisted on having their photos taken with us. We assume our photo is now on someone's website in China. If you find it, be sure and let us know!
We hope you have enjoyed our travels this year as much as we have enjoyed sharing them!