Happy Holidays from the Prators!

Corey’s News in 2014

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The most notable moments in 2014 have been all the travel. My lifestyle business has allowed me to travel for fun about one week a month.

 

In January I flew out to Atlanta after Alison finished her sales training with AT&T and helped her with driving to move back to Houston, stopping in New Orleans along the way.

 

I was able to get to Arizona several times this year.  I hiked in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, located on the Arizona / Utah border just north of the Grand Canyon. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument has vivid rust-colored petrified sand dunes eroded into waves. Only 20 people a day are allowed by permit to hike the protected area. Here are some of the photos I took hiking Vermillion Cliffs and a nearby slot canyon, Wire Pass. On another trip, Dad and I drove the Apache Trail, a beautiful trip I haven’t done since I was a kid. I know this sounds like a Pepperidge Farm Remembers moment, but the Apache Trail and the Salt River Canyon were much more treacherous driving back in the day. Now, road improvements have straightened out and widen the road so that you’re not driving a one-lane road along a sheer cliff with your heart in your throat.  On another trip to Arizona, I helped my dad with a garage sale to sell all his “valuable stuff” and transition him from his home in hot Phoenix to his new retirement home in cool pines of Prescott Arizona.  The entire family went to Arizona again in May for Sarah’s (our niece) wedding. After the wedding, I took my dad on another boondoggle through the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Telluride Colorado, New Mexico, and the White Mountains, with photos here. And, on another boondoggle, dad and I spent the weekend in our family’s cabin. Photos are here.

 

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

 

Gladys and I also made several local trips less than one hour from our home to bird watch and sightsee in the wildlife refuges and parks that are a migratory flyways between North and South America. During the right time of year you can see millions of birds, reptiles and such. Here is what we saw this year at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Brazos Bend State Park, and Barker Reservoir.

 

Cardinal-Barker Reservoir Houston, TX

This last spring, Charlie, his girlfriend Elesa and I drove out to West Texas to debunk the ministries of the Marfa lights, explore Big Bend national Park, and the towns along the Rio Grande Texas / Mexico border, such as Terlingua, TX. I’m glad I was finally able to make out to West Texas. Wow, Texas is huge! It took us over 12 hours to drive out to West Texas from Houston.

Gladys and I spent two weeks in June exploring Costa Rica with friends, Tina and Eric. We did some guided tours, but mostly explored on our own in our rented SUV through rain forests, clouds forests and beach towns. We get lost more times than I can count, but part of the fun of exploring is the serendipity that you find along the way and back.

Later in June, Charlie, a business partner Brian, and I spent a week in Reno Nevada at the Peppermill Reno resort on “business” at the invitation of a friend Daniel, the food and beverage director, discussing the possibilities of a mobile app for his business. Under Daniel’s insistence, we tried out all 12 restaurants, nightclubs, bars and cafés in the resort to make sure we understood what the place had to offer. It was a tough job but we were up to :-).

 

Corey & Gladys - Costa Rica June 18, 2014

In August, Charlie, his girlfriend Elisa and I spent a week in Alaska, checking off a bucket list item I’ve had for many years. Alaska is amazing! We started in Seward, exploring glaciers, kayaking and hiking and then went to Denali National Park. We saw all kinds of fauna and flora; 4 bear settings, Moose, caribou, spawning salmon, bald eagles, and believe it or not, no mosquitoes.

Denali

This year, Gladys and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We went to New England to see the fall colors change, spent the weekend in Manhattan visiting with friends and went on a jazz crawl going to three separate jazz at separate clubs finishing up with Chick Corea at the Blue Note. It was a very memorable way to celebrate our 30th.

 

Celebrating 30 years @ Birdland

In November, my lead developer Mike, and I flew in and out of New York City for a quick 24-hour boondoggle to join our Costa Rica partners for a business networking cocktail party they hosted in The City. We later went to Birdland jazz club with a buddy and jazz fan, Keith. We finished the evening doing a pub crawl, discussing business strategy for 2015, doing an “OJ-styled” dash through the airport to barely make our Oh-dark 30 flight back to Houston.

This New Years Eve Gladys and I will be in Costa Rica. This time we are going to check out the Caribbean side, which we have not seen yet. Trip report to follow…

 

Happy holidays and happy trails to you, Corey

 

 

Monument Valley, AZ

Gladys’ News in 2014

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Corey & Gladys @ La Bodegita del Medio, San Jose, Costa Rica

 

Dear Family and friend , this year has been great. My health is better, I  have lost 15 pounds , I am enjoying going to a Kundalini Yoga class and  I feel great. I continue working as an Esthetician in my a little spa. It is doing fine.

In October, Corey and I  celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this. We drove from Boston to New York to see the color change. It was beautiful scenery. We also we went on a Jazz crawl in Manhattan We had a lot of fun .

Earlier in the year, I made a goal to run a 5k with my family. On Thanksgiving I achieved this goal, and I ran my first 5k, with the support of Corey, Alison, Charlie, and Elisa. I plan to keep this active and healthy-eating lifestyle in 2015.

I wish you all the best Holiday!!

 

Charlie’s News in 2014

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Hey, you.

Thanks for checking our page out.

This year I decided to make my update short-and-sweet. Hope you enjoy it.

2014 By the Numbers

Hours Worked

Concerts Seen

Evernotes Written

Photos Taken

In February, my girlfriend, Elisa, and I hosted an outdoor field-day event with friends here in Houston.  Two teams: Blue Barracuda’s and the Red Jaguars

 

‘Cuda’s won.

Was lucky enough to take trips to Costa Rica, Marfa & Big Bend, and Reno/Lake Tahoe

Had an awesome roadtrip through Arizona

 

Starting off with Sarah and Colin’s Wedding

Took Elisa to see the Grand Canyon for her first time.

Then, we darted off for more adventures around Arizona, Utah, and Vegas.

Then, there’s Alaska.

Video Highlights

Have you ever seen Salmon spawn?

Elisa found out I was the 1998 World Stone Skipping Champ.

On the way to Denali, we found Prator Lake…near Houston, AK.

Oh, Alaska.

Capped the year off with one last trip

Hiking/Snowboarding in Boulder, CO with Elisa and friends

 

Wishing you, your family, friends, everyone a wonderful 2015.

 

Alison’s News in 2014

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Love and kisses to you all! xoxo

Look, I know last year I said I was finally an adult or something, but that was a lie. I mean shoot, I was still in college back then. But now, *cue fanfare* I AM AN OFFICIAL ADULT. Filled with complaints, too many happy hours, and bad knees. As the story of Alison continues, you’ll be happy to find out that I did in fact get placed in an account manager position with AT&T right back in Houston, Texas. To be honest, I was a little sour about moving back to the same city I has spent my previous 22 years, but now that I’ve officially spent a year back in Houston, its charm is finally starting to grow on me.

My year has been somewhat uneventful and happy, sprinkled with some pretty sweet vacations. I’ve continued on with my goal in life to “Never Say No” to adventures and I’ve been doing some small trips like visiting my best friend in Austin for my birthday, went to middle-of-no-where Texas for a sorority sister’s wedding, flew to Prescott for my beautiful cousin’s wedding, and had a girl’s weekend in Galveston on the beach.

When that wasn’t feeding my travel appetite, my best friend and I decided to pack our bags and flew to Peru for a 5 night hiking trek with the final stop at Machu Picchu. I have been bitten by the hiking and travel bug and I wanted to have an adventure that could top Phantom Ranch at the Grand Canyon from last year. Not only was our hike breath-takingly beautiful, but climbing up at 15,000 ft whooped my butt. Machu Picchu has been on my bucket list for a while now, and I’m incredibly grateful to have completed that so early in my twenties!

Not wanting my highlight of the year to happen so early, I also went to Austin City Limits for the first time this year. Some of my favorite artists and bands made appearances (including my cousins, Kongos!) and the hippie in me was alive at my first music festival. (Seriously I planned my hippie outfits a week in advance). Austin is also the greatest city in all of the USA by the way.

Last month I still had a few vacation days left so I booked a sweet deal on a cruise to Mexico, Honduras, and Belize with my boyfriend. –Yes, I said boyfriend. Grandma you can finally relax now. One of the best parts of the cruise was having zero access to either my work or personal phones or internet in general. I think every few months I need a week to disconnect from everything going on in the world every now and then. It also helps to go snorkeling and drink piña coladas on a private beach.

As the year comes to a close, I’m focusing on myself, my career, and my skills. I plan to spend these next few weeks developing my design portfolio as well as continue with studying for the CCNA certification. I suppose that’s my modern steps to be a renaissance woman.

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