1747 Somerset Circle    Charleston, SC    Christmas 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Ginny & Eric   Once again, the Dillon family had an amazing year!  We have decided that this year’s highlight was Ginny’s marriage to Eric Bouillerot, an addition to our family for whom we feel truly blessed!  Rob and I flew to Marseille to visit the couple in March, and then we all drove west together to Mouchan, the village where Eric’s father lives.  Alain and Lucile were the most gracious of hosts, and the civil ceremony – officiated by the mayor – seemed straight out of the movies.  We got to meet many of Eric’s family members and are now “Facebook friends” with quite a few. 

In April, we celebrated a church wedding here in Charleston.  Once again, the day (the whole weekend in fact) was incredible.  Aunt Isca co-officiated, which made it even more special.  The Kirk Choir sang, and the couple was celebrated by many family members and friends from both sides of the Atlantic and Australia. 

In June we enjoyed a second reunion with the Dillon-side family at Cousin Tyler Carter's wedding in Northern Virginia, which was quite lovely as well!

Ginny continues working on her dissertation while living in France.  She and Eric have been in Marseille for the past year, and are relocating back to Paris after the holidays.  They spent their summer hiking around Provence, visiting Rome and Vienna, and attending friends’ weddings in Oxford and Normandy.

Bryan has finished up his certification requirements in graphic design and continues to work at Office Depot.  In his spare time, he is working on several script ideas and trying to write a book.  This is where his interests have been for many years, and it will be fun to watch his progress.  It is amazing how much writing the other three members of the family do, while I usually limit my “pen to paper” moments to this letter!

Rob stays busy with a great variety of singing groups (barbershop, shape note, old folks home) as well as his Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa society duties.  We enjoyed a special treat in August, when he was called to serve as a delegate to the Phi Beta Kappa triennial at "The Breakers" in Palm Beach, Florida!  Rob organized the Mitchell Elementary Science outreach again in January, and preached his first sermon in February, as a part of the (twelfth annual!) Darwin Week in Charleston, heaven help us.

My restless husband spent most of the summer on the road, surveying the freshwater snails of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  And in August he began a one-year sabbatical from The College, which means that his wanderings have continued through the fall as well.  Could it have been a coincidence that Rob was collecting snails near Dover in late September, on the weekend of a NASCAR race? I think not.

Eric Rob and I had out first completely fun vacation this year.  I won two travel vouchers to anywhere Southwest Airlines travels so we headed as far northeast as we could go!  We spent four days in Bar Harbor, Maine at a delightful bed and breakfast called Anne’s White Column Inn.  We explored Acadia National Park, ate lots of lobster, went out into the ocean on a huge catamaran to look for whales, and watched the fireworks on the Fourth of July through a light fog.  On the drive from the Manchester airport to Bar Harbor, we stopped by every map lover’s pilgrimage site – the Delorme Map Company and store.  We explored L.L. Bean’s flagship store and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s birthplace in Portland.

We also attended our 35th Waynesboro High School Reunion during the Fall Foliage festival weekend.  It was fun to see beautiful fall colors, reacquaint ourselves with old friends and get to visit with family. We have been lucky to have Ginny home since Thanksgiving as she was Matron of Honor at her best friend’s wedding.  Eric will join her for his first Charleston Christmas. We will return to Virginia for the end of the year, where we will celebrate the remainder of the holidays with our family from Virginia and Michigan.

We have been blessed with health and happiness this year.  We hope the New Year brings you and yours the same. 

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