Goodbye 2016 and Hello New Year

Happy Holidays!

For me, there’s so much peace and tranquility that comes along with the sounds of Christmas music, the bright and cheery decorations and twinkling lights, and the great culinary treats, especially the cookies and desserts.

While this is my favorite time of the year, I know it also brings sadness to those missing loved ones or going through hard times.  For those friends, I’ll say a special prayer this holiday season.


We’re all doing well.  I’m still the morning meteorologist for the CBS affiliate in the Quad Cities, Ray is the Economic Development and Planning Director for the city of Moline, and Gretel is now a sophomore and just finished “Mary Poppins” at school.  Also, my sister, Tammy, is still in Moline.  Her family lives locally, too.

We travel as much as work (and our budget) allows.

Since my last update, we kicked off our adventures with Tammy in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, last December.

For Christmas last year, we gave Gretel a “Spring Break” trip to New York City in March.


While in the “Big Apple”, we saw the amazing Carly Rae Jepsen in concert.

We also saw the off-Broadway show, “Disaster”, which was very funny.  We also went to the Empire State Building, Madame Tussauds, and cruised around the Statue of Liberty.

In April, Ray and I took a two-week trip to China.  We arrived in Beijing and departed from Shanghai (stunning harbor).


While there, we walked the Great Wall of China, visited Tiananmen Square, the Terra Cotta Soldiers Excavation Site, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, the Three Gorges Dam, and took a cruise on the Yangtze River.  This was just part of all that we did. While we don’t plan on returning to China, we’d highly recommend this trip of a lifetime!

We made our annual jaunt out to Las Vegas in July, one of the hottest month of the year in the desert!  What were we thinking?

AP Ray Night View Vegas

We ate at the Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas again and it was amazing, just as we remembered.  This time, we experienced the incredible Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, too.

In early September, I went with Ray to a work conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  We went down a few days early and checked out Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina (during Hurricane Hermine) and Savannah, Georgia.


Savannah was amazing and I could see us living there.  We ate some amazing food including down-home southern cooking at Paula Deen’s restaurant.



In Atlanta, while Ray was at his conference, I went to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Together, we visited the Atlanta Zoo and “Chihuly in the Park” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.


Ray also had a conference in Cleveland, Ohio, in late September and I got to spend a few days with Betty (“Mom”), who lives nearby.

This year, we saw four other concerts. Ellie Goulding and Years & Years in Rosemont, Duran Duran and Chic in Las Vegas, the Dixie Chicks in Moline, and the Pet Shop Boys in Chicago.

Let me share these memories from our shows.


The highlight of the year, if I had to choose only one, came in January.

I’ll never forgot the cold winter day in Davenport, Iowa, when I met Hillary Clinton. I wished her good luck and she placed her hand on my shoulder during the selfie.

Hillary AP

Sadly, we all know how that turned out in November!  Regardless of how you voted, I was very dismayed.  But, I hope for the best for the U.S. and the world over the next four years.

That was our 2016 and I can’t wait to see where the road of life takes us in 2017!

May hope and faith conquer fear and hate!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Donna Libby on December 26, 2016 at 11:08 am

    What an exciting read! Sounded like a travelogue! Always a pleasure when you share your adventures with us. Praying for only the best for us in 2017. World peace would be primary, but I know that isn’t even realistic. With the change in White House leadership we can expect LOTS of surprises!


    • Donna,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my year in review.

      I wish the very best for all of us in 2017. We’re going to need all the help we can get over the next four years!

      Happy New Year!



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