Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Holidays and News from the USA: 2016

To our good friends and close family,

Apologies for late news, but better late than never!  :)

I hope you all received our thank you notes for the wedding, and If you haven't we will hand them to you personally this December or when we see you early next year.

We are extremely grateful to have had so many close friends and family at the wedding. And If you made the first one or not at all we still remembered you on the day in Grayton. Can you believe yesterday marks it at over a year ago already!!

So this year has been a rollercoaster for Stacie and myself. We moved to a new Country, new city, new house (built in the 1920s), and have been trying to make new friends along the way. 

Still miss all of you like crazy and cannot wait to fly back to South Africa this weekend (Stacie follows in about a week) and catch up with all of you again. Thanks to those of you that spent time with Taitum while I was gone, it means the world to me. I miss her more than anything.

It's been tough adjusting to the different seasons, ice cold winter - check the photos of the house and our car in 5 feet of snow! Although I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to try out snow boarding, and see real snow (as Stacie calls it; "this is ice snow, real snow is in Colorado"). I got hammered snow boarding for the first time, even broke a rib!! But was a fun experience, see the photos. Stacie is a bad ass snowboarder.. who would have known :)  The weekend after this trip, we celebrated our first year wedding anniversary in upstate NewYork, at the special Mohonk Mountain House. Beautiful! 

Following all the fun we had through winter, I was lucky enough to work on a two-week Geotechnical site in Pennsylvania. After this I had a longer term contract in Mississippi. This was interesting and an opportunity to see more of the county (Trump loving country). I worked hard in super hot conditions, and during off time Stacie and I got to check out some beautiful destinations nearby. We spent a few days celebrating the 4th of July in fine American style all over different parts on Chattanooga Tennessee. What a beautiful place... Climbing was set in some of the most amazing locations, in large wooded forests or on the side of steep hillsides, and next to massive waterfalls and swimming holes. We explored Ruby falls, the boulders, narrow passageways and waterfalls. Had the real Americana experience at a drive-in for the 4th, saw fireworks, and threw blankets in the back of my pickup truck and watched an outdoor movie in rural Tennessee. The next few days followed brewery tours, tasty food, and hill top views.

Since then we have had some adventures in DC, checking out the local comedy shows, trying out new food spots, and a mixing pot of cuisine around DC and Virginia. The New river gorge has been my ultimate favorite place so far. The best climbing,  majestic views, quaint coffee shops, and easy to get along with the climbers living in the town (Fayetteville). If you haven't been, I highly suggest coming to visit for summer climbing between April and September, or even better to see the fall colors on the trees between October and end of November (great friction weather).

So I just got back from a work stint in Alaska.. 6 words:  Intense, cold, Denali, frostbite, & northern lights. Wow. Have never been so cold in my life. Saw the northern lights dance across the sky, some nights they changed color. Made being there even more worth it. 

We have just spent thanksgiving in California with Stacie's sister Kate, and boyfriend, Ray. The trip consisted of a Turkey the size of a medium breed dog, lots of stuffing and sides. Plenty more foodie spots like ice cream and rattle snake wors rolls! Did some hiking on the nearby San Gabriel mountains and went climbing at Stoney point park.

The biggest news last .. Watch out world, another Theron is on his way! He should be making his way into this world sometime in April! Stacie found out right before her trip to Kazakhstan (where we visited grandma!), so the little tike is already a world traveler!
We will share more news with all of you on a more regular basis now that we are more settled in the US :)

Looking forwards to some time in JHB from the 4th / 5th Dec and then leaving to CT around mid Dec, hope to see most of you at some point.

Lots of Love and Happy Christmas!

Jahne and Stacie