Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Year 2011

We have been blessed with another year of travels.  We are truly grateful for this lifestyle we so enjoy which allows us to visit beautiful places, meet up with dear friends, and make many new ones along the way. 

This year started out in the Anza Borrego Desert in southern California, where we retreat after the holidays, following the sun and meeting up with fellow snowbirds around the southwest; Sharon and Rodger in Tucson, the Panys in Yuma.

By the time April rolls around it's time for us to head for the coast and turn north toward Pismo Beach and some quality time with best friends, Edna and Allen (please hold thoughts and prayers for Allen).  We were delighted when 8 mo. pregnant daughter Terri, Clint, and Liliana decide to drive down from Half Moon Bay.  More Family Time in Petaluma as we all gather for Easter at Norm and Wendy's. In May, the 16th to be precise, we welcomed our newest grandbaby Damien.

June is anniversary month and we celebrated our 17th in Calistoga, the heart of the Napa Valley wine country.  We also enjoyed time with new friends Bruce and Phyllis, whom we in Petaluma, and "old" friends from Half Moon Bay days, Don and Joan, at their beautiful property in the Gold Country.  Our world-traveling grandson Rob just happened to be in Sacramento for a visit with his mom/our daugher Stephanie, with now wife Helga from Romania, where they are currently residing.

After the 4th of July we start out on our summer migration to the northwest.  The motorhome always needs maintenance or repairs so a stop in Eugene, one of our favorite towns, is in order.  The Willamette Valley is home to some choice wineries so we have our first introduction to Harvest Hosts at Emerson Vineyards.

August is our month in and around the Port Townsend, WA area, probably our favorite summer location, with its beautiful views of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  The Evergreen Coho Park, provides a perfect location for sightseeing the Olympic Peninsula, especially Hurricane Ridge, and meet new friends, John and Bonnie.  But the Main Attraction was our two weeks parked right on the water at the Pt. Hudson Marina in downtown Port Townsend with a bonus visit from Steph, Gary and friends, Laura and Jim!  A ferry ride and drive to nearby Bellingham and we enjoy a wonderful day with long-time friends from Mexico days, Hazel and Dick.

The month of September brought us to a new destination, Caldwell, ID, near Boise, and soon to be new "summer home" for our good friends Beth and Chris.  Of course, they couldn't have endured without our help and support!  We enjoyed so many good meals and great sight-seeing trips; some that were really, really long days, but provided beautiful scenery.  Check out Weeks 2 through 4 as well.  Perhaps we've found another "favorite" late summer location.

The absolute best and highlight of October was our time in Medford, OR where we celebrated my sister-in-law Gay's Surprise 80th Birthday party, hosted and perfectly planned by my nephews and nieces.  All my family came from Half Moon Bay and Petaluma for the first family re-union in way too many years.  I am honored to share the same birth day with Gay!  Also, while in Medford we met up, but had precious little time with dear friends John and Babs, who had just relocated from Clarkston, WA.

So now it's time to return to Petaluma where we gladly accepted an opportunity to babysit our 5-year old granddaughter, Christina aka The Bean, have special bonding time with Annie, our grandlab, and enjoy cooking and hanging out with son, Norm, while d-i-l Wendy was on vacation a business trip.  Petaluma is a great town, centrally located, with so many fantastic Day Trip opportunities. The Marin County coast is not to be missed, and of course, a Dog Day with Annie in San Francisco...priceless!

By now you surely know we have a Really Big Trip coming up so must get our motorhome in storage mode with the help of our family and friends near Sacramento!  We fly from Sacramento, via Chicago, via Toronto, to..ta-da...Barbados, on November 3rd.  After two wonderful days seeing Barbados with friends Paul and Dalya, we boarded The Star Flyer for 22 days of sailing to beautiful islands, like the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

After 2 days at sea we arrived in the beautiful, old colonial city of Cartagena, Colombia, a truly magnificent experience; then another day at sea before anchoring off the San Blas Islands, home of the indigenous Kuna People.  Our trip to one of their villages, seeing their beautiful crafts and molas, was special indeed.  The piece de resistance, the grand culmination, the top of our bucket list, our Panama Canal Transit was more than our combined imaginations could conjure, even after reading  McCullough's The Path Between the Seas.

The Third Week takes us into the Pacific as we sail from Panama to Costa Rica, anchoring off beautiful, uninhabited islands with stops in Golfito and Quepos, before disembarking in Puerta Caldera.  We end our month-long journey in Jaco, Costa Rica for a much-needed 4 days of quiet decompression, before returning home to the Bay Area on December 1st.

Now and through Christmas once again is family time as we make our circle tour; Petaluma, Half Moon Bay, Citrus Heights, counting our blessings and counting the days until we once again start the New Year 2012 in our beautiful Anza Borrego Desert....and so it goes!  What will this New Year bring?  We so look forward to meeting up with you along the way, on Facebook, or in this wonderful blogging community.

May you and your families be blessed with an abundance of peace, prosperity, health, and happiness in this New Year 2012! 

Lynda & Howard


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