Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year in Review

January 2018

Another year and another move...but first our annual WDW trip. 

As we had to wait at least a week to solve the power problem on Monticello and were driving down to Walt Disney World before that, we left early to spend a couple days in Myrtle Beach (and watch Nora who ended up with snow days). We then headed down to Florida together for our annual trip, which included Mom, Andrew, and Tammy this year. We enjoyed checking out the new Avatar-themed land, the Festival of Arts again (sad, it's not going to be during for our 2019 trip), and a special DVC Moonlight Magic night at the Magic Kingdom.

We mainly stayed in a treehouse villa at Saratoga Springs. It was fun to have tried, but never again due to how transportation to the parks works. As I had points that I had to use by end of January due to the hurricane canceling our September 2017 trip, we also all stayed another night at the Grand Floridian. It was better than the treehouse villas, but also a never again due to transportation to Magic Kingdom only being monorail for wheelchairs. Mik, Mom, and I also stayed one night at Boulder Ridge. We loved it, and that's where staying for our whole 2019 trip.

As much as we loved the marina, the power problem made us realize we just couldn't handle boat maintenance (or at least not having to rely on Dad when he should only have to worry about their boat). When we returned from WDW, Mik and I moved into an apartment just a few blocks away. Thus, we're still close enough for Mom and Dad to help out with Mik and Mik can still easily enjoys the social aspect of the marina. Mik can also use his powerchair and go to PT and such on his own again.

Mik, Mom, and Dad went to the POWYC change of watch. Mik's wearing the tux Dad wore for their first wedding anniversary in 1985.

February 2018

We slowly moved our stuff into our apartment and got new furniture since we got rid of my bed and bookshelves when we moved onto Monticello. I was happy to be able to get the piano back out of storage.

March 2018

Kirsten invited me to hang out with her during a work trip in Elizabeth City, NC. We decided to meet up in Richmond and Mom and I went down early in the day to be able to visit Black Swan Books (found a Rivers of America book for my collection). Mom and I also visited the Tredegar Iron Works part of Richmond National Battlefield Park and also Petersburg National Battlefield.

I enjoyed discovering some different restaurants in Elizabeth City in the evenings with Kirsten. We immediately found a favorite that we ended up at twice that was in a 1905 house. And of course, we had to get some pies to celebrate Pi Day on March 14.

Mik and Dad picked me up in Elizabeth City and we visited the Yorktown Battlefield part of Colonial National Historical Park (Ranger Dan post here).

Mik, Mom, and I went to the Blake Shelton concert in Baltimore. We disliked the venue, but Mik was glad to finally get a chance to see him live, especially since he also really liked the openers (Carly Pearce and Brett Eldredge). I, of course, would've rather have seen The Oak Ridge Boys at The Birchmere that night...

April 2018

We all went to Opening Day. Dad accidentally didn't buy wheelchair seats. We luckily were able to exchange two to a wheelchair section for Mom and Mik, but in the end, it was freezing cold and we all left early.

Mom and Dad slip over.

May 2018

Dad and I finally checked out the East Potomac Park Miniature Golf Course.

Mik and I spent a week in Hollywood. We saw Avengers at the El Capitan Theatre, visited various museums (Hollywood Wax Museum, Madame Tussaud's, Hollywood Museum, Guiness World Records), and, of course, did the whole Hollywood Walk of Fame.

June 2018

I spent most of June at the cottage on the island in Michigan.

July 2018

I had originally considered returning home from the cottage after the 4th of July weekend, but then Mom and Dad's boat back porch roof collapsed and we decided that while it was being repaired it made the most sense for me to remain mostly out of town so they could live in our apartment with Mik. Thus, I also spent most of July at the cottage.

August 2018

I spent August in Mom's Chicago condo until Mom, Dad, and Mik came for Grandpa's 90th birthday celebration.

September 2018

I spent most of September staying with Kirsten, Josh, and Nora in Myrtle Beach. Kirsten and I made lefse over Labor Day weekend. I got out of Myrtle Beach right before the hurricane evacuation to go on a Cuba cruise with my godmother.



Santiago de Cuba

October 2018

Mom, Mik, and I took a Baja Mexico Disney Cruise out of San Diego. We flew in a few days early to allow for flight delays (good thing, too, as I ended up having to make two connections to get there instead of just meeting Mom and Mik in Charlotte due to another hurricane canceling flights). Mom and I visited Cabrillo National Monument and also some used bookstores (found the American Guide series books for New Mexico and Iowa and a  Rivers of America book). And of course, went to Del Taco (twice, actually, so we could bring it back fresh for Mik, who didn't want to go to Cabrillo).

Cabo San Lucas was a tendering port. Thus, Mik couldn't get off the ship, but he still got to enjoy the view. Mom and I got off and walked around a little (mainly, to go to Cabo Wabo Cantina for drumsticks for Mik's collection and Starbucks for a mug for Mom's collection).

In Ensenada, we all were able to get off and go for a walk, which, of course, was again mainly to Starbucks for Mom. Mik enjoyed going on the path along the water and playing Pokemon Go.

November 2018

Dad and I went on a fall drive on Skyline Drive and got some apples from a nearby orchard.

Mik and I visited Walt Disney World for Destination D. We enjoyed celebrating Mickey's 90th as well as checking out the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs, the last day of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and walking around the Toy Story Land for the first time (sadly, no new accessible rides, but Woody's Lunchbox is a good quick service food spot).

We only got to The Birchmere once this year and, of course, it was to see Chip.

Dad got tickets for us to go to the National Tree Lighting. It was really cold and they left after the tree was lit at the beginning of the event. So did more than half the people there, but I stayed and got to move closer and enjoy the music.

December 2018

Mom, Dad, and I got to take a White House tour (it was another cold day and also rainy, so Mik chose not to go). We enjoyed seeing it decorated for the holidays.

The rainy day we toured the White House also ended up being a great time to see the state trees around the National Tree. I took the opportunity of being pretty much the only ones there to take a photo of Ranger Dan with almost all the trees (a few were unreachable because they were still taking the stage down from the lighting).

Mom and Dad won Best Reflection on the Water in the District's Holiday Boat Parade. (In November, Mom and Dad bought another boat to live on. They're still planning to fix Third Mate, but it's going to take awhile. However, it better not take that long for Mom's shit to get out of our apartment...or the stuff might just mysteriously not be there anymore.).

As Mom's shit was still taking over most of our living room, we couldn't put a Christmas tree up this year (and still be able to get to the couch). However, Mom did take her stuff off our table and I put up Mik's village, which was a tradition we missed out on being able to do while living on Monticello.

Mom and Dad went to Hawaii.

Continuing our tradition for the fifth year, Mik and I visited Season's Greetings at the United States Botanic Gardens.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

January 2017

Mom and I drove to Ohio to visit Grandpa and Jeannie and we ended up having to stop in West Virginia overnight due to a snowstorm.

Mik and I moved again, but just to another dock in the marina as part of the ongoing construction and development.

Kirsten and Tana visited for the Women's March and we had fun visiting the National Gallery of Art East Building.

We got a little snow.

February 2017

Mik and I took our second annual trip to Disney World with Kirsten, Josh, and Nora (Tana and Kelly joined us this year). We enjoyed the new Epcot art festival and are looking forward to experiencing it again in 2018.

Sunrises & Sunsets from Monticello

March 2017

One of my favorite photos this year.

More snow.

April 2017

Mik got a new manual wheelchair and we took it for a test roll on the National Mall.

May 2017

We saw the Dbacks @ the Nats. Go Nats!

Mother's Day

June 2017

Dad and I found the Capitol Stones in Rock Creek Park.

Father's Day outing to Manassas National Battlefield Park.

July 2017

I enjoyed watching the Capitol Fourth rehearsals from the Capitol steps with Dad.

4th of July fireworks from Monticello.

I caught a catfish and woke Dad up at 5-something in the morning to come over and release it.

Mom and Dad out on Third Mate.

For Mom's birthday, we took a long weekend road trip to go see the Dbacks play at the Braves new ballpark. We also visited some national parks and the BMW Zentrum. We came home via Nashville because Chip was playing at the Grand Ole Opry.

August 2017

Dad and I went fishing in Canada with Uncle John and Uncle Tom.

September 2017

Mom, Mik, and I were supposed to go to Disney World to enjoy the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but had to cancel because of the hurricane. In the end, it worked out better for us because it allowed Mom and I to leave for my 30th Birthday road trip earlier and we still got to everything planned (30 national park units) plus a few extra things added as we went even though it ended with us driving to Illinois instead of home.

October 2017

Four generations of boots, red wine, lefse, and a double rainbow celebrating Grandma Kjos' life.

Mom and I visited Tucson and I spent most of the week finally restaining the back deck at our house.

November 2017

Mik requested pizza for Thanksgiving this year and we ended up with Giordano's when Mom found you could have it shipped to you to bake. Mik also picked a toasted marshmallow pumpkin pie recipe, which Dad ended up setting on fire and over toasting.

December 2017

Mik and I decorated Monticello with a Jingle Cruise theme for the holidays.

Mik and I enjoyed our annual visit Season's Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Gardens.

We celebrated Christmas Eve on the 23rd on Monticello after a short delay due to having to topple the 30 foot Washinton Monument on Third Mate before it fell down (Mom and Dad won Best in Slip for their Christmas on the Mall theme).

Mik and Mom spent the last day of the year going to the Bulls at Wizards game while Dad and I drove all over Maryland trying to get enough batteries to replace the ones that power our inverter so we could have heat and our fridge working again.