2005 Year In Review
Our year-in-review letter for 2005.
FeedbackBy Preston Hunt, 19 December 2005

Happy holidays! We're thankful to say that 2005 has been happy and healthy for both of us. If we had to pick a theme for the year, we suppose it would be work and travel. Especially for Preston: The two were nearly synonymous for him.

He has been jetting across the globe for Intel. Just in the past year he's been to Tokyo (three times), Taipei (twice), Moscow, Helsinki, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, the Bay Area (three times) and Las Vegas. Fortunately, all his travel expenses -- including hotel laundry service that cost $4 for socks and $15 for pants -- were paid through work. Jam-packed busy days on the road and late-night room service have been tiring, but at least he's enjoying the work -- and the sight-seeing. He's seen some of the world's greatest sights: Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, breathtaking Hong Kong harbor, Taipei 101 (the world's tallest building), the world's fastest train (280 mph, in Shanghai), the 4,000 skyscrapers of Shanghai, Red Square, the Kremlin, Lenin's tomb and Nokia's world headquarters (Espoo, Finland).

Aimee has started a new position at The Oregonian: After four years of writing about education, she now covers crime and the court system in Clackamas County. The courthouse is a fascinating place - full of people accused ID theft, drunken driving, murder and spine-chilling sex crimes. She's seen plenty of defendants show up to court dressed inappropriately - including one woman wearing leopard print hot pants. Needless to say, the people-watching is fabulous.

Aimee also has joined Preston in his use of public transportation. Her 18-mile bus commute takes about an hour and 15 minutes each way (opposed to 30 minutes in the car), but she's feeling good inside about being earth-friendly. Her bus route travels by the courthouse, the probation office, and the jail. Needless to say, the people-watching on Tri-met also is terrific.

This year we endured five months of construction to our condo. Like a startling number of newer homes, our siding was improperly installed and had to be replaced. We grew used to the clanging of hammers at 7 a.m. -- no need for an alarm clock! Preston has been taking the $55,000 bill in stride, with a very Zen attitude (He listened to the river and it said "Om"). Hopefully, our building will win a lawsuit against the developer. And hopefully we'll survive the lawyer bills...

Our big vacation of the year was to Thailand -- two weeks of snorkeling through crystal clear ocean; scaling rock cliffs with spectacular jungle views; and exploring bustling city streets and centuries-old ruins. In southern Thailand, we visited Phi Phi, an island ravaged by the 2004 tsunami. The locals told us 40 percent of the lodging was washed away. But the island appeared to be making a strong recovery, with only a few piles of rubble strewn about. One of our favorite places in northern Thailand was Lopburi, a city full of free-roaming monkeys. One jumped on Preston's back, then started picking through Preston's hair looking for something to eat.

Thailand was hot and humid and Aimee had 66 mosquito bites at one point (the mosquitoes pretty much ignored Preston), but it was well worth the 24-hour trip to get there.

Wishing you a wonderful new year!

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