Gina and Paul's Blog

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friends & Family,

Welcome to the first edition of our annual Christmas Letter. This year, we decided to go with the environmentally friendly option by publishing this online. We'll see how this works, and may do it again next year. If you're interested in visiting our site throughout the year to see what we're up to, please make sure to bookmark this webpage. Now onto the updates.

What a year! If you don't already know, we both love to travel. We have been to many different cities, states, and even islands together. Things started off this year with a business trip to Las Vegas for Paul, followed by a day trip to Jamaica for Gina's birthday! It actually was a Sandals Resorts sales trip, but it gave us 1 day of fun in the sun on the Jamaican beach in the middle of winter. After that, it was off to New Orleans for one of Paul's business trips. Gina got to tag along and have fun in the French Quarter, as well as take advantage of Paul's business team's crazy excursions on Bourbon Street! What a way to start off the year!

A few more business trips later, followed by a ton of wedding planning, and we quickly found ourselves at the beginning of May, just 10 days away from our wedding. Most people reading this letter probably attended the wedding, but if you didn't, please make sure to check out our wedding pictures here. We got married on May 10, 2008 at Toftrees Resort in State College, PA. It was wonderful to have our family and friends in town for this momentous occasion! Just 48 hours after our wedding, we were laying on a beach in St. Lucia. You can see our honeymoon pictures here. Our honeymoon was the best vacation we have ever had! On the last day, we were doing the mental math to figure out how much it would cost to stay for another 2-3 days. We just didn't want it to end! On our honeymoon, we got to take a rainforest tour, go whale watching, take a helicopter ride, have a romantic candle-lit dinner for 2 on the beach, as well as soak up some sun! Sandals is all-inclusive, so it was a great experience showing up to dinner with your drink in-hand, and being able to get up and leave at any point during the meal. We could also order as much food as we wanted, so if we wanted to try something new on the menu, there was no risk. We both probably gained 10 pounds with all the great food and drink!

The summer showed up quickly for us, and for once, Paul didn't have business trip after business trip. We were able to spend the first 8 weeks as a married couple together 100% of the time. Paul had a few business trips in July, following by Gina and Paul taking a trip out west in September. We had the opportunity to visit family in Las Vegas for a weekend, on our way to San Diego for Paul's business meetings. This was Gina's first trip to San Diego, so fortunately we had one of the nicest hotels in the area, the Hotel del Coronado. Now Gina thinks that Paul stays in nice hotels everywhere he goes! Far from the truth! :-)

While we were in Las Vegas, we stayed with Paul's Aunt and Uncle, and they have some dogs, including a little white Westie. Gina immediately fell in love with her, and within 3 days of getting home from San Diego, we got a little Westie puppy named Dafne. We have some pictures of Dafne here. She's a handful, but she's an adorable little puppy. The cats (Google and Yahoo) haven't quite figured her out, but we're making progress!

Somehow, in the middle of all of this, we managed to buy some new furniture - a new large L-shaped couch, china cabinet, and bar. We are pretty sure we have hit all of the checkboxes on the newlyweds list of things to do within the first year of marriage!

A few business trips later, we ended up in New York City the week of Thanksgiving for one of Paul's business trips, and Gina came along. Once again, we had a nice hotel in Time Square, so Gina thinks Paul travels in style all the time (one of these days she'll see the standard courtyard by marriot that Paul stays in on a regular basis :-) ). After NYC, we drove to upstate New York for Thanksgiving with Gina's family, which was very enjoyable. It was our first time both being at Gina's family's Thanksgiving gathering.

This Christmas Season, we hope this letter finds you well, and that you and your family have a happy and safe holiday! Eat well, drink well (responsibly!), and be merry!

Gina, Paul, Google, Yahoo, & Dafne Horn