Laurel and Mark continued work on the barn throughout the summer and managed to complete it. Mostly, anyway! Klein Plaas, or "Little Farm" in Afrikaans, has many more projects to be done as soon as the weather dries out a bit! The family is already busy planning their next travel adventures and projects for after tax season. Tickets to South Africa have been on a steady rise so they are considering trying to meet Mark's parents somewhere again. Ireland perhaps?
During 2019, Nancy first visited Iceland. The main event was to help local farmers round up the wild horses in the mountains of Staðarfjöll before the Icelandic winter hits and bring them down to safety. The riders involved had to leave at 3:00 AM and ride about 50km riding one horse and "ponying" (leading) another horse so that they may switch between them. This event took place in September in the chilly rain but it was lots of fun and a once in a lifetime experience. She also had the opportunity to visit the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world.
Nancy and the Zeemans traveled together to Cancun, Mexico for a mini family vacation at an Eco Resort. The experience was magical! Between water slides, delicious food, monkeys swinging through the trees, and peacocks perching on the sun loungers all around, it was a dreamy vacation! There were multiple natural pools, or Cenotes, to snorkel in and observe the little turtles swimming about. In fact, it was so much fun, there may be a repeat visit in the future!
Porter has now been at Swan School for over a year and looks forward to it every day. He is in the Discoverer's class (preschool) with teachers Loida and Nicole. He is a natural reader and his parents struggle to keep one step ahead of him. His ambitions surpassed that of his pony, Crackers, and so he has moved up to a larger and more enthusiastic pony called Pancakes. He rides without assistance and is working on fine tuning and controlling his body. It takes focus and dedication, not to mention persistence!
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Certified Public Accountants
Laurel and Mark met up with Mark's parents in Thailand. They spent time in Bangkok and Koh Tao, the island where Laurel and Mark first met all those years ago. Between the swimming pools, watermelon juice, Pad Thai, and markets, Porter absolutely loved it there! He continues to ask when he can go back to Thailand nearly a year later. Public transportation made getting around Bangkok easy but the family piled onto a scooter while on Koh Tao, Thai style! The summer also provided opportunities for a couple of semi-local camping trips, both out to the west coast and to B.C..
In December, Nancy traveled to Portugal with her sister and brother in-law. They visited the bewildering Quinta da Regaleira, a romantic palace whose grounds boast a variety of tunnels and grottoes, the purpose of which are to confuse and delight. There are twisting towers, ponds with stepping stones to cross, and enchanting gardens. Nancy recommends Portugal as one of the most enjoyable (and affordable) places to visit in Europe! From Portugal, she traveled to her sister, Leslie's, home in Pietresanta, Italy. Leslie is a talented artist with an amazing cottage high up the nearby mountain of marble quarries. They enjoyed a few days together there before she returned home in time to spend Christmas with the Zeemans. Several examples of Leslie's artwork can be viewed in the office as well as at http://www.lesliehartnett.com.