Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2013 Having just returned from 20 days of cruising in the Caribbean, we did not have time to get a Christmas letter prepared and sent, so this is a New Year greeting. Since most holiday letters are a synopsis of what has transpired during the year, perhaps this genre is more appropriate. Thank you everyone who sent us a greeting already; we appreciate it that you remember us and want to share your news and experiences with us. Throughout the year we do a lot of that with friends on Facebook, although we do not post as often as others. It enables us to keep up with family, RV friends, and cruise friends. So, if you would like to be a “friend” on Facebook, send a friend request to Mary Lane. There are lots of Mary Lanes, so look for the one with a picture of both me and Elaine. Additionally, I try to post periodically to a blog online, especially when we have returned from a long trip. So far I haven’t managed to get one done about this last cruise, but it will be there in the next week. If you would like to check it out, (and it often has pictures), go to As always, our year has been filled with travel. We just don’t know when an unexpected “left turn” in the road is coming, so we are doing everything we want to do, and still are able to do, now. January found us enjoying our RV friends and groups in the desert near Quartzsite, AZ. In Feb. we camped with the Boomers near Lake Havasu City for the annual Winterblast, a spectacular week of fireworks displays, and more socializing. Luckily, we usually do a lot of walking while we are in these areas, to work off the Happy Hour calories! Then we started our year-long trek around the USA. Visits with family and friends in Tucson, Las Cruces and El Paso were followed by a stay a the Hondo SKP park in TX. San Antonio was delightful, then Corpus Christi. Had a long stay at SKP headquarters in Livingston, TX to get our fridge repaired, visit some family and friends, and pack. On April 14 we flew to New Orleans for a 31 day transatlantic cruise first to Barcelona, then through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal to Dubai. After 3 very interesting days there, we flew back, picked up our rig and continued East. After a visit with friends in LA, we drove the Natchez trace, which was an old trail used by riverboat people who had to walk back up to the north after floating cargo down the Mississippi River. This ended in Nashville, TN, where we saw the Grand Ole Opry. Our journey continued to Asheville, NC to see friends, and tour the Biltmore Estate. RV friends hosted us in Greensboro, NC, and in the Outer Banks. Continuing north, we stayed in Lancaster, PA with family for the 4th of July. This was followed by a nephew’s wedding in Gettysburg. Had a great visit with RV friends in PA and Vermont before hitting Maine for a lobster fest. First we had a reunion with several RV friends at their home. Lobster was so plentiful it was $3.79/lb directly from the fishermen, so we cooked and ate LOTS of it! Working our way west again, we greatly enjoyed the Women’s Rights National Park in Seneca Falls, NY, and the Erie Canal in Lockport. In Michigan and Joliet, IL we visited more friends. Then the intense family time started because we parked our rig on the old Cannell family farm, now the Daly family farm, near Rockford, IL. Lots of family still lives here and we saw all of them. Left the rig there while we flew to Copenhagen in early Sept. First we stayed three days in an apartment, then we did a 5 day cruise in the Norwegian fjords. Changing ships, we did a 13 day transatlantic cruise from Copenhagen to NJ, stopping at the Shetland Islands, and Reykjavik, Iceland. We missed stops in the Faroe Islands and St. John’s, Newfoundland due to Hurricane Leslie. Our 2 days in Iceland were magical, since we did the Golden Circle tour, which visited glaciers, waterfalls, and thermal features, and we also spent a day at the Blue Lagoon. Returning to the farm in IL, all 5 of Elaine’s older sisters came and it was a great reunion. Oct. we started the sprint back to CA, stopping in Denver to see my twin, Marsha, and her family. My daughter, Laura lives in Sparks, NV so we stopped there to help her and her partner, Dennis, celebrate her 40th BD. Tarra, Elaine’s daughter had her birthday next, and we celebrated with her and Alonzo & family in Fremont, and my son Thomas came from SF to join us. All the kids are doing well. Back at Park Sierra in Oct., we had medical appointments, cleaned and fixed the RV, and made more travel plans. Nov. we headed south again and stayed at Jojoba SKP park, then shared Thanksgiving with Elaine’s son, Darran, his wife Marielle, and her family in San Diego. Wanting to avoid cold weather, we drove to Phoenix and left our rig there while we flew to NJ on Dec. 3 and did the previously mentioned Caribbean cruises with friends. Our plan worked, we had warm weather and fun times. Christmas found us back in our RV and in Yuma, where we are staying at the home of Ron & Carol Leonard, and enjoying social times with many friends here in the Foothills. Sometime in January we will relocate to Quartzsite for the annual RV events there. In 2013 we have made plans for a Feb & March land trip to Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. April we will do a transatlantic cruise from New Orleans to Rome, and stay for some sightseeing and hiking. Summer we will be RVing on the West coast and Pacific northwest. We want to send a special thank you to everyone who either hosted us last year or who made the effort to socialize with us on our travels. Thanks also to all who have kept in touch, and shared the events of your lives with us. It is the caring of friends and family which enriches our lives the most. If you see on Facebook, or by e-mail that we are going to be in your area, and you would like a visit with us, please contact us – we would LOVE that! As always, we are sending big hugs and hoping that this finds you all happy and healthy, and that you have a rewarding and satisfying year in 2013. Love, Mary & Elaine

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