Oakes Holiday Newsletter 2017

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Bill and Carrie Headed Up

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 Hello again to all of our friends and family...
 Another year has gone by, and we appreciated the time
we got to spend with many of you. Below you'll find some of
the stories of those visits.

As always, scroll down if interested...
(and note that pictures are behind many of the
underlined links)

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As always, click on a link to see the image.

2016 ended with Delilah turning four on Christmas Day. The morning was about Christmas, the evening was about Delilah! Delilah is thoroughly enjoying her role as big sister to Savannah! Delilah and Savannah joined Austin, Shayee, mom and dad, and Bill and Carrie at a Harlem Globetrotters game - Shaylee got a ball signed by almost every player.

February brought a couple of birthdays, Austin turned eleven, while another birthday boy, Nathan, turned 25 this year. He's still in Flagstaff, and while still working as a Pharmacy Technician, he's gone back to ASU to finish his degree! Nathan joined a business fraternity, and is excited about Economics and Accounting. He also started dating a new friend in his life, Retta.

Bill and Carrie joined friends Laurie and George Becker on a cruise mid-February - but not just any cruise. Sail Across the Sun is an immersive five days at sea - live concerts from 10am to 2am on five stages. Musicians included Train (headed by Pat Monahan), Matt Nathanson, Michael Franti and the Spearheads (Michael often wandered the crowds as he sang), Natasha Bedingfield, Arrested Development, Lolo, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, Pat McGee, Genevieve, Todd Carey, and many many more. Also on board was one of the better comedians Bill and Carrie have seen, Jim Breuer (Goat Boy from SNL). HIs stories were long, involved, and hysterical...definitely worth youtubing. The destination of the cruise was Costa Maya and the temples of Chacchoben (very overgrown in a tropical forest), but music was definitely the main draw. Cute animals awaited the return to their stateroom every evening, and touring Ybor City and Tampa before the cruise was also a ton of fun. If you're interested in seeing more pictures from the SATS trip, you can see them here.

April brought Easter, and the required Easter picture, to the Pardini's. Shaylee and Delilah spent their Spring Break in Half Moon Bay, and even got to visit the Elephant Seals (although turns out playing in the sand was more intriguing than the seals were).

June was a busy month. It started with Breezy's wedding shower, along with Shaylee turning nine! Bill had to go back to Prague for work, and took a new lens with him to capture more of the magic of Prague, Bill walked to the the city's tallest structure, TV Tower, to capture David Cerny's babies, to the Dancing House, and finished his tour at Prague Castle and its amazing colors. For the complete set of pictures, click here.

Unfortunately, immediately after Bill's return to the states, the family suffered a tragic loss - Brian, Carrie's youngest brother, passed away. The family gathered in Colorado to celebrate his life.

Bill and Carrie ended June with a trip to San Diego to visit good friends Steve and Lisa for the pre-Broadway show, Escape to Margaritaville. Absolutely a stunner, it's sure to do well on Broadway when it opens in February 2018.

July brought the matrimony of Ryan and Breezy. Bill's mom and sister Sandy flew to San Diego for the celebration, joining Nate and the rest of the family to celebrate their marriage. The wedding and reception were flawless, with the couple leaving the following morning to honeymoon in Cuba and Costa Rica. The Pardini kids and Carrie's dad took advantage of the SoCal trip to hit Disneyland, with Austin even convincing his grampa to ride a roller coaster! Carrie's dad also got his first iPad while the family was together in San Diego, and can now join the FaceTime crowd, while Bill's mom debated running off with a California surfer dude.

In August, Bill celebrated another trip around the sun with Carrie kidnapping him for the day. While they've lived in NorCal for eighteen plus years, they'd never visited Golden Gate Park. They visited the infamous carousel, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the de Young Museum, which was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. After a cigar at a local cigar lounge, the two headed off to cap the evening with Beach Blanket Babylon, an incredible funny,and campy musical that's been running longer than any other musical revue in history - what's amazing is that the show is updated weekly to reflect current events...(and again, funny). More pictures of Golden Gate Park can be found here.

In September, Savannah turned one year old and celebrated with style, while Austin, Shaylee, and Delilah all started a new year of school. Shaylee culminated the month with her team winning 1st place at the Monteca Soccer Tournament.

October was a very crazy month - Bill spent the first week of the month working at an event in Orlando. He returned to the correct coast for the weekend, and early the next Monday for the top of Long Island for the week. That same Monday, October 9th, brought another tragedy to the family - Amy, Danny, and the kids were chased out of their home by one of the raging fires that NorCal was suffering. Unfortunately, some of their neighbors didn't make it, but thanks to one of Danny's friends, they were able to make it down the hill safely - with only what they were wearing - they lost everything else in the fire, including their home (and Austin, of course, saved his iPhone). One of Danny's good friends helped out by giving Austin a truck (he can't drive it for four more years, but that's a nit) - incredibly generous - needless to say, Austin was quite excited.

And one of Amy's good friends set up a funding site for the family. If you're feeling in the Christmas spirit, literally anything will help them get back on their feet.

Bill gave Carrie an early birthday gift - friends Steve and Lisa joined Bill's sister Sandy and her husband Ben for a weekend in NYC. Bill and Carrie did the mandatory carriage ride in Central Park, and checked out the Central Park Carousel. They also did a cruise around Long Island, getting incredible city vistas, including the Empire State Building, as well as visiting Ms Liberty. Later in the day, they joined Steve and Lisa at the somber, yet stunning, 9/11 Memorial, World Trade Center, and of course, Wall Street. To wrap up the weekend, they went to everyone's favorite children's musical, Ave Q. After the show, they went backstage to get autographs, pose with Trekkie Monster (with Steve and Ben of course posing with Lucy), and getting a stage tour. Awesome way to end a birthday weekend! For more pictures of their trip to NYC, click here.

A week later, Bill and Carrie enjoyed phenom seats at Jimmy Buffett's concert, and October wrapped up with Halloween, with the Pardini kids carving pumpkins, then picking some very interesting, humorous outfits...even Savannah got in on the fun.

In November, Carrie spent the first weekend in Phoenix, doing a joint birthday celebration with her friend Vickie. Austin went to his first school dance, As a Zumba Instructor, Carrie gets some cool opportunities, and this month was a mid-month Monterey Jam. Bill and Carrie spent Thanksgiving in Auburn, a beautiful gold country town in the Sierras, with Ryan, Breezy, her parents, and Amy/Danny and the kids. They were kind enough to spend a day being tour guides, including taking the group to Sutter Mill (the start of the gold rush). More photos of Auburn and Sutter Mill can be found here.

December brought the end of a very trying time for Danny. He was in police academy for twenty weeks (including when the fire took their home). On December 15, he graduated, and is now an Officer of the Ukiah Police Department (with Deputy Delilah assisting as appropriate). Ryan received an award for his year of salesmanship at AbacusNext.

December of course, also brings the holidays. Santa once again sent a personal video to Austin, Shaylee, and Delilah. They learned from the videos that they once again made the Nice List, and a few days later, received their official Nice List Certificate. Rumor has it that Santa himself will be calling each of them just before Christmas to remind them to continue to be good. And Delilah has her fifth birthday to look forward to after Santa leaves!

And that about wraps up the year...Bill and Carrie wish all of you the best for 2018!

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 This page last modified on December 18, 2017
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