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Pictures and More - The Real World Strikes: 2005

In January, Kristen, Jennifer, JoAnna (3 ex-Bieleks), and I made the trip down to Florida to visit Mike and Jenn (1 ex-Leake). The first couple days were used to drive to Homosassa Springs to visit the manatees that reside at the nearby hot springs during the winter months. The West Indian Manatee is an endangered species, made all the more sad by the fact that they are the most docile creatures you could imagine. You can find information and opportunities to help the manatee at Save the Manatee Club. We also spent some time in Mike and Jenn's hometown of Destin, FL.
Hard to believe it's been an entire year, but February of 2005 meant the arrival of the 4th Annual Seven Springs Trip. A total of 21 people made the trip from various points in Ohio and Pennsylvania, many of which were OU grads. Debbie took the helm this time in orchestrating the whole event and did an excellent job. She and I came to realize that we are the only two who have yet to miss at least one year. My camera spent a day and couple nights out in the snow, so most of these pictures are compliments of Shannon.
On March 5, Tim had a party at his place on the west side of Chicago. I've come to know Tim through the Bobeczkos and Liz. All in all, a good guy...just misunderstood, at times. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was an 80s party. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who didn't realize.
Irish or not, you're Irish on this day. I actually happen to have a wee bit o' Irish in me, so I'm not a complete fake. This year the weather was pretty cooperative; it was cool but not too bad. I met up with the usual suspects to watch the parade and frequent various fine establishments in the downtown area.
Here are some pictures spanning a couple months, including a trip to Fresno, CA in February to visit Kelly and Bisous the cat. Also, pictures from Liz's last visit home before shipping off to Germany with the USAF. We'll miss you, Lizzy.
The Cleveland Chapter of the OU Alumni organized a Greenery party in downtown Cleveland at Traffic nightclub on West 6th. This one I simply could not pass up. Any of you that have experienced the Greenery know what a hallowed place it holds in OU's history and why. The whole affair ended up having a great turnout, and I think some of the original spirit of that place was captured on this night. You know, it's that little Greenery in each and every one of us that truly keeps the spirit alive...
Crystal came to visit from NYC for a few days. We had a couple things on the agenda, the first of which was Jill's wedding on May 14, 2005 in Akron, OH. It was quite the affair (who's surprised...it IS a Radanoff, after all). The wedding/reception was fantastic and saw the reunification of some Bobcats. Sunday after the wedding we drove to Albuquerque, NM, to surprise Crystal's sister, who was graduating from high school. All-in-all, a great time.
In June, Maile organized the rafting trip to end all rafting trips: 44 people from 8 different states. We descended upon the New River Gorge in West Virginia, an area known not only for its beautiful views but also prime whitewater. The trip was a raging success; I don't think we lost even one person. Thanks, Maile...job well done.
In June of 2005, the Bieleks and Leakes made another trip to Topsail Island, NC. We have been there a few times previously; it's a great spot. A total of 19 people made the trip down from places including Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Florida, and California. Kelly (an adopted Bielek for the trip and winner of "traveling the farthest for the occasion" award) and Jeff drove down in the Jetta, visiting some friends along the way. Upon returning to Cleveland on July 3rd, Kelly's Aunt Kim and Uncle Al threw a party at their place. All-in-all, a good time.
This set of pictures covers a couple of things. In June, the Dave Mathews Band once again played Blossom. Though I never really plan on going, it seems like I end up going at the last minute (this year it was thanks to Suzanne). Also, a Tribe game in July at Jacobs Field with some Columbus visitors, and the ensuing night downtown. 2005 was a good summer in C-Town.
Kelly was in Ohio visiting for a while during the month of August. These pictures cover a night out while G was in town with Cher and Kristi. The next weekend we went on the Goodtime III (my first time ever on it, actually) with her brother Adam (recently back from Iraq) and Aunt Kim and Uncle Al. We also met up with some of the OU crowd that weekend and, of course, spent some time at Kim and Al's place. The weekend after that found us out in downtown Cleveland on Friday and attending the Coffee-Dials Wedding in Lakeside, OH on Saturday. I went to school with the bride (Melissa) at CSU. And finally, later that Saturday, one more get-together at Kim and Al's.
A few times a year, a friend of a guy I work with rents out Norwalk Raceway and charges friends and associates a small amount to use the track that day. The nice thing about it is that you can about as many runs as you want in. So Mike took the Mustang, Jim took the WS6, Dave took the Cobra replica, and I took the F3 out to Norwalk for the day. Vehicles there ran the gammet from ordinary commuters to professional dragsters. All-in-all, a good day, with gorgeous weather and plenty of track time.
Over Labor Day weekend, Lou and I traveled to Florida to visit our ex-colleague, Jane, as she and Debi committed themselves to one another (finally!). Sara, Jane's friend from high school, also made the trip from Cleveland. It was typical Florida weather for this time of year: hot and humid. Theirs was not the only relationship taken to the next level that weekend, for I finally ate an omelette prepared for me by Lou, thus (hopefully) burying a hatchet that had sprung forth long ago. In addition to the occasion itself, we were able to spend some time site-seeing in nearby Venice Beach and Siesta Key.
The Pietons had their annual wine party in Youngstown in August. Jeff, Amy, and Andrea made the trip down from Cleveland. Later in the month, Kyle and Stacey had a get-together at their place. Finally, in September, The Pietons (Columbus Branch) had a party at their place for the Pitt-OU game before we all tailgated for the Texas-OSU game the next day. One solid football weekend...if only OSU had won.
Just a few pictures from a trip to the zoo. I hadn't been there in years. You ought to have seen the monk...
Pictures from a Halloween party we had at our place on Hathaway on October 29th. Jeff may have won the prize for most disturbing costume...
A couple of swing dancing events. In October, some fellow Clevelanders and I attended some workshops at Jammin' on the James in Richmond, VA. Each night there was also a dance or two. In November, a group of us made a road trip to D.C. and Philly to follow the Boilermakers (it was Greg's birthday and they're his favorite band). Unfortunately, car trouble kept us from getting to D.C. on time (we arrived about 10 minutes after the dance ended), but we did make it to Philly without issue. Moral of the story from this trip: never...NEVER go to Pep Boys.
In November, I headed to Harrisburg for Isabella's birthday; a token picture from that event. Also, tailgating for an Ohio State game in Columbus and visiting Amy and Dominic.
In December, another trip to Harrisburg to help G move. Also, some pictures from nights out in Cleveland (and Lakewood).
New Years weekend. Cherise was in town visiting from Arizona with her fiance, Jerry. On Friday night, her folks had a get together at their place so that we might all meet the elusive lad. We also got the chance to visit with Liz, who was back from service overseas. The next day, some of us Clevelanders headed to York, PA for a New Years Eve dinner/dance featuring the Boilermakers (of course, the trip was spearheaded by Greg).