Weissler Holiday Gazette

Hereford Arizona
December 2011

It's holiday time again ... time to wind down the year and get ready for the next.

It's been a busy year for us. The defining moment of 2011 had to be the Monument Fire, which roared through charring our oak trees in June, but luckily skipping the house. Still we had a few months of recovery (replacing parts of split rail fence, rainwater storage, etc.), and many of the trees that looked completely dead are now sprouting from the roots. So things are looking better, but it will be some time before we forget the sound of exploding propane tanks (not ours, thankfully) and fire-fighting helicopters/aircraft as we raced to evacuate.

We had more fun trips this past year, including a return to Croatia, southern Ecuador, and New Zealand. Croatia this year was partly a birding trip and partly a chance to do more exploring on our own that we had started last year when we cycled there with VBT. Southern Ecuador was once again with local friend and nature guide Mark Pretti; and New Zealand was a fun cycling trip (again with VBT) on the south island. (It was tough coming home in mid-December from their near-summer to our rain and cold.) We also had nice visits with both our families in Los Angeles, in May for niece Maureen's graduation from USC, and at Thanksgiving (when we also attended the USC-UCLA football game - yay!). Liza's mom Alpha visited Arizona in the summer. And Liza had some other friend/family and work related trips, to Brooklyn (on St Patrick's Day, no less!) to see cycling buddies Joanne and Mark Guranlick, Virginia for her Aunt Maureen, Arkansas for the 50th wedding anniversary of her Uncle Melvin and Aunt Pat, and El Paso / Ft Bliss for work (where the highlight actually was walking the UTEP campus and setting foot on the field of the Sun Bowl).

We've already been planning next year's travels, even more in advance than usual. Our plans include returns to Panama and to Brazil, both with Mark Pretti for birding, and a cycling trip with much of our "Downhill to Breakfast" club - not to mention my sister Luci! - to Burgundy, France.

If your travel plans bring you out this general way, let us know! The guest room awaits. :-)

Wishing you a terrific holiday season and a marvelous 2012.

By the way, if you hover your mouse over the photos, captions should appear...unless you're on an iPad, in which case I can't help you. :-0

Visit also:
- Liza's blog: My Outside Voice
- Our Kiva page: http://www.kiva.org/lender/robertandliza2455
- And find us on facebook!