Dear friends and family December, 2011

It's that time of year again when the dark, wet days remind us that the cheer of the Christmas season is approaching
and we take the opportunity to send you our greetings and news.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

from the


CeremonyThe most exciting news is about the wedding
 of Jeremy and Ginny in October.
It was a truly beautiful and meaningful occasion
 witnessed by
over 100 of family and friends.

Besides those from nearby, Mary's sister and brother's family came from England and Gene's sisters from Ontario. The beautiful time and place were Thanksgiving weekend at a Lodge on the Sunshine Coast of BC, north of Vancouver. The sun shone, not all the time but at the right times. Jeremy's family

Ginny and Jeremy planned a weekend of activities including a philosophical scavenger hunt in the forest behind their house, yoga on the beach, a dinner and dance reception, a bonfire to close off the evening (early morning) and a breakfast for all on the next morning. Each "station" of the scavenger hunt had a special theme such as feelings or wisdom and each of the participants were asked what thoughts the stations evoked. At intervals throughout the reception, instead of the traditional toasts and speeches, the station "keepers" spoke briefly of what was expressed at their location. It was a memorable and wonderful weekend for all of us.Tree of Wisdom

Now that our feet are firmly regrounded, Jeremy and Ginny are busy at work (now based in Vancouver) and are renovating their house in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. Gene and Mary are once again involved in lots of meetings, not a few of which are connected with our efforts to create a home for Elinor for the future. Sometimes it seems to be a case of one step forward and one step backward but overall we think we are making progress.
In the winter we decided (after a particularly wet - inside and outside - trip the previous fall) to sell our very old, motor home and replace it with a less old, larger and more comfortable vehicle. In September, we took it to the Okanagan Valley in the interior of BC. This is a very well known wine producing area and we enjoyed the lovely scenery, sampling the wine and eating at some of the bistros. During the summer, Gene installed an electric motor on his bike to make towing Elinor in her buggy a little easier now that he has turned 70 (and can legitimately be a grumpy old man). We cycled the Myra canyon trestles, which are mostly wooden structures and provide a 20 km ride along the edge of the canyon. They were destroyed in 2004 by a forest fire which raced through the canyon but have been restored because  of their historical significance. The ride was quite spectacular.

Myra Canyon

Puerto Vallarta
In February we surprised even ourselves by taking a last minute trip to an all inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. Gene had just removed himself from a stressful situation on a volunteer Board; we decided to go on Wednesday and were in the air by Friday. This was most out of character for us - we don't usually do trips without some planning and we have never before been to this type of resort. It was lovely, relaxing and..... addictive! Besides working on our tans, Gene worked on his Spanish and we walked or took local buses everywhere.

The only other family travels this year were trips to Gibsons or on Vancouver Island and to a couple of Conferences on the mainland. Gene made a brief trip to Guelph and visited family but the main purpose was to continue the struggle with the City to retain some control over his family's property there.

At various times during the year we have enjoyed the visits of family and friends and are always happy to have any of you visit us in this beautiful part of the world.  We look forward to hearing from you in the new year and we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2012.


Gene, Mary and Elinor Valeriote 

5495 Parker AvenueVictoria, B.C.V8Y 2N2250-727-7636
For more Wedding photos use these URLs in your browser:
Jeremy's and Ginny's PhotosMary's Family's PhotosGene's Sister's Photos