Merry Christmas!
December 24, 2003
Wishing you the best this holiday season!

I hope you had a good year! My year had some highlights. Here is what I've been up to...

My year of travel started in March. A friend and I drove to Florida and visited his family who lives north of Tampa. We went to the NHRA drag race in Gainesville and searched the junkyards for car parts. My quest in finding good doors for my Malibu was not fulfilled. It would take several thousand miles later as you will soon read.

In May, I joined some friends on the train from Chicago to New Orleans. There we celebrated his bachelor party, which also was the same weekend as JazzFest.

Like last year in July, I drove again to New York City and Philadelphia. I visited my customers on Long Island and watched the fireworks in Manhattan. I then swung down to Philadelphia to visit some friends and their new baby on the way back to Naperville.

In early September, I was paid money to drive a car out to Sedona, AZ. This was my opportunity to search for my elusive Malibu doors. So the first night, I left Naperville with my Grandma and dropped her off at her home in Missouri. I left the next morning on my own for a 13 hour drive to Austin, TX. It was raining there, so I left the next day for El Paso, TX.

El Paso was the magic spot. I was 10 miles from the Mexican border. I searched several junkyards and found good doors at for an incredible $65/piece. I stuffed the doors into the car and headed for Phoenix. While staying over night there, I packaged the doors and mailed them back to Chicago by the Greyhound bus. I finished my drive from Phoenix to Sedona with a stop-off near Flagstaff to visit the Grand Canyon Railway. By the time I made it to Sedona, I drove myself 1700 miles over 5 days. It was a great experience being out so far away on my own. Yes, I did fly back to Chicago.

In late September, my brother and I went to Europe for two weeks. We first went to Oktoberfest in Munich, then took a train to Sweden, then after a few days came back down to Berlin. We met up with some friends and then drove 6 hours to Ulm to attend my cousin's party. It was my first time driving on the Autobahn! I drove almost the entire time. After that weekend, Sweden was still on my mind, so I went on my own and flew up to Stockholm for a couple days. I came back to Heidelberg, Germany where I met up with my brother to fly back to Chicago.

My most recent trip was to Ft. Lauderdale, FL in November where I exhibited my website at a trade show. Wow the nice weather was nice and so were the beaches, but I did actually work too. The show generated a lot of new business, and since then I have been overwhelmed. My company is growing faster than I can keep up with it, which feels great but is quite stressful at the same time.

It has been a good year. I am thankful to have these opportunities to travel. I feel blessed to have family and friends to go see. I have met new people and sorted out old relationships. I look forward to 2004, and I hope you do too!


(and about those Malibu doors I found? Well, I have not even taken them out of their boxes! But it sure was fun finding them ;-)