MERRY CHRISTMAS/HAPPY HOLIDAYS/HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!
WOW, 2012... what a year. It started in China where we continued to work/travel/take in all that the Chinese culture had to offer. After a year working in China we returned to Canada in July and had an awesome homecoming in Whistler for a Canada Day mountain biking extravaganza (in the rain). It was amazing to be back with friends, on bikes, and in BC. As we were still renting our apparent until the end of August, we kept moving and landed ourselves in Ontario visiting the Augaitis gang. While enjoying family time, a stand-up-paddleboard race, and the Augaitis cottage, we managed to sneak in an awesome five day back-country canoe/SUP adventure in Algonquin Park. We still had some time to kill before moving back into Vancouver life, so at the end of July we packed the car (which miraculously survived a year languishing in the parking garage) and headed south on a road trip with mountain bikes and SUPs. We rolled through WA and OR with stops to check out some trails along the way toward out target of Stanley Idaho. We spent a week in Idaho and just loved everything about Stanley and surrounding areas. The scenery, the people, the weather, the lakes, the rivers, and most of all the trails. Fast, smooth, long, alpine style mountain bike trails. On the "way home" we ended up in Moab, Utah in the unbelievably hot off-season. There was still great biking to be had, but only in the early hours of the morning. A few brief detours in California and Oregon on the way home (really this time) saw us back in Vancouver and moving back into our place.
As our stuff was all in storage we took the opportunity to tear the place apart and make use of the ideas that have been rattling around in Andrew's head for the four years since he moved in. We're really pleased with the results and are enjoying having a bit more space to move around (and Andrew's enjoying his workshop). Lina has had the chance to travel to Mexico (twice!) since we've been back to paddle and race SUP and enjoy the beach lifestyle. Paddling back in Vancouver is a little less warm, but still possible even if you don't drive standard and your car is a standard...
Something we missed in China was a real winter. Some may argue that Vancouver doesn't have a real Canadian winter (and they'd probably win that argument), but a couple of hours up the road we can find all the snow you could possible want for a day exploring the mountains on skis, which has again brought us back together with all our outdoorsy friends and should keep us entertained until the spring comes and the trails start to dry out.
Our best wishes for 2012, whatever it brings you. May your trail be dry and your snow be crisp.