Tomorrow we head to Martinique! The low temperature in Minnesota tonight is expected to be 0 degrees F! Can you imagine how excited we are to arrive at 85 degree F daily temperatures!
We had an amazing time visiting with family and friends over Christmas! We were able to spend valuable time with my daughter Sheena and her family (and 2 granddaughters), my mom, sis and brother in law, Gregs mom and dad, special friends in Illinois, Gregs son Kenny and his new fiancé. We were also able to meet up with friends for lunch. It was an amazing Christmas time this year sharing special memories with special people. I wish we could have met up with so many more friends, but the time was short and busy for everybody.
I also appreciate being able to “experience” the cold and snow this time of year. For me, it just wouldn’t be Christmas in warmer tropical climates. So the next blog will be from a warm sunny tropical location! Until next time!
Had a wonderful sunny time spent while in Florida. Spent many afternoons either at the beaches of the area, the community pool, or the lanai where there is a pool and hot tub. Temperatures were anywhere from 70-82degrees F for highs. We had a few 49degree F mornings, so those were pretty chilly. When it got that cool in the evening, it made great weather for the hot tub, under the stars. It was a good time.
We had a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving with Minnesota friends, Lloyd and Carolyn. They also have a live aboard sailboat, located in Florida, and were able to join us for Thanksgiving, enjoyed the hot tub and stayed overnight. We had a good time. It was a treat for them to have nice hot showers and sleep in a real bed (since they “live” on their sailboat while in Florida).
After Thanksgiving, Gregs brother Steve joined us for a week (this is his home we stay at). We bought tickets to Irving Berlins White Christmas and the three of us had a wonderful night.
We also had the pleasure of having our grandson, Lane, join us for a few days from Denver. We made the most of beach time while he was there, and he totally enjoyed being buried in the sandy beaches on Naples!
We took an Everglades airboat ride while he was there and saw Everglade raccoons among the mangroves! Didn’t think there was such a thing, but there is!
We spent an afternoon with Lane before he left at the Community Center pool.
There are numerous alligators in Florida, and while Lane was with us, we found a spot near a rest area type pull-off, and there were quite a few! Here is a photo of a big guy sunning himself across the water! Lane really enjoyed seeing these guys!
One of the more interesting grocery stores that we found in Naples was “Lucky’s”, where they had a cafe to one side when you first walk in where you could buy a beer or a wine, then go shop for groceries! SWEET! We found this to be our favorite grocery store!
We put up Steves Christmas tree while he was with us. It was just too weird while we were there, to get into the Christmas spirit! Being 80degrees F and sunny. So it wasn’t until I got to Minnesota a few days ago, before I felt like it is truly Christmas!
So we are now back in Minnesota for Christmas with family and catching up with as many friends as we can. It IS good to be back in the cold for Christmas, but glad it’s a short stay since it’s been overcast, foggy and cold since we arrived. But I don’t think I could truly feel like it’s Christmas without experiencing this. Glad to be back in Minnesota, even if just for a short while! Looking forward to Christmas activities with family!
OH! One last thing! A few days before we left Florida we both decided to get MORE tattoos! Yep, we both got tattoo’d again! Those photos are coming, we will just keep you guessing for now! But let me warn you, they aren’t very small (don’t worry, they aren’t huge either).
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my blog followers! I love you all!
Since the last blog post, we spent much of our time in White Rock, BC, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, and to Portland, and some long driving days back to Minnesota and finally to Florida. We had beautiful weather much of our time in BC as well as in Portland.
So we follow a sailing couple, Malin and Johan, on YouTube (they make video blogs of their travels). They are from Sweden, and started their sailing adventures in January 2016 when they sailed from Sweden, south. We met them in Martinique last year. This past year, they sailed from the Caribbean, to the Panama Canal, to Hawaii and up to Alaska. If you get a chance, watch some of their videos on YouTube (link to their videos are below on the right). From Alaska, they sailed down the Canadian coast and were in Vancouver while we were in BC! So as we have been in communication with them through out this past year and we were able to meet them while they were in BC. We hiked with them to the 2nd peak for Chief Stawamus near Squamish, BC. We had a great hike and lunch at the top.
Malin and Johan arranged a “meet and greet” at a local restaurant in Vancouver, where they invited their “Followers” of their YouTube channel. The way this all works, is when you have a “YouTube” channel, you get followers. And those followers can donate to them each month to support their endeavors (ie-$5 or $10/month), through a “Patreon” site, and then become a “Patron”. So, through their FaceBook and YouTube channel, they invited their Followers in the Vancouver area, to come meet them where they made a short presentation and answered questions. They must have had at least 80 Followers attend at this local restaurant! It was a good time for them.
We spent the last days of our time in BC hiking and walking, and enjoying the exceptional beautiful weather that we had. Very abnormal for this time of year, but we were loving it!
Stanley Park is located in Vancouver, BC, and it’s a walking/biking path that borders Vancouver, pretty much all next to the waters edge. It was a nice bike ride on one of our last days in BC.
While in BC we also met a fellow sailor I met on Facebook, another steel sailboat owner! Ed, on Ocean Angel showed us a good time in Ladysmith, a good warm dinner in a quaint local English pub, despite a cold rainy day (one of the rare rainy days!).
We also met a new friend, Mira, the owner or the AirB&B we stayed at in White Rock. We had a very pleasant time visiting throughout the month, and she fell in love with Toto, as she had a Yorkie as well. She spent a few times “babysitting” him when we were out on some of the long days of activities. A new found friend we are so happy to have met!
We typically stay at AirB&Bs during our “land” time, and on our way down to Portland, Greg found a house boat in a Marina in Brinnon, Washington. It was so nice being back on the water, if only for 2 nights!
While in this area, we visited Mt. Ranier, and the place where we scattered Geoffs ashes (Gregs brother). He passed away at a young age in 2012, and this is the place he wanted to be rested at. So every time we make it to the area, we visit Geoff.
We also were interested in visiting Port Angeles, Squim and Port Townsend, Washington, as potential areas to purchase a home when that time comes. We really liked the area, but it was a very short stay. Perhaps another time, we will spend a month or two in this area, to see how it feels!
So we made it to Portland were able to do some hiking. One spot was the Mount Hood National Forest, and the Mirror Lake Trail. It was quite busy, which I’m glad of because this is cougar country, and just last month a woman was killed by a cougar in the Mount Hood area! SCARY! I was pretty apprehensive at first, but once we got on the trail, and were in the company of so many people, I relaxed. The views were amazing! We hiked up the Tom Dick and Harry trail, and at the top, on a clear day, can see 4 mountain peaks! This day was a bit hazy, but can still see some of those peaks!
On our way down the trail, we hiked around Mirror Lake. It was just beautiful! Beautiful fall colors!
During our time in Portland, we went to the Farmers Market both in Portland and in Vancouver, WA, we ate oyster shooters-they were amazing!
And of course, we couldn’t visit Portland and the Willamette Valley area without doing some wine tasting! In the middle of our wine tasting, I get a very opportune text from a friend, asking for some unique Oregon wines for gifts! Talk about timeliness! So, I got some great Willamette Pinot Noir wines for her, that she most likely won’t find any where else!
Then the LONG trek back to Minnesota, and some long-driving days. The last day of driving we decided to tough it out and drove 12 hours to my daughters home, where we stayed. It really felt like a LONG day!
While back in Minnesota, we visited with family, although the time there was very short. We brought all our clothes out of the storage shed, and sorted through everything: Things that go to Florida with us, things that go to Aquataurus in January, and things that will be donated to a charity! Yep, we downsized yet again, and had quite a nice little pile to be donated. It’s amazing what you really don’t need! AND things that go BACK in to the storage shed! It was a quick trip, and we were on the road again, to visit my mom, and then on to Gregs parents.
Last weekend when we visited with my mom she asks “So, Lynda Jo, how long are you going to do this?” Well, I answered, we can really only take one day, or week, or month at a time. We know circumstances and our desires can change at any time. So for now, this is what we are doing.
While visiting Gregs parents, we were able to spend a short visit and lunch with our good friends Dave and Carol. It was good to catch up, and we look forward to a longer stay in Minnesota in December when we fly back for Christmas, to catch up with our Minnesota friends!
But for now, we are enjoying the warm sunny Florida weather! We’ll stay until mid-December, then to Minnesota for Christmas, then to our Aquataurus in Martinique!
First off, Isaac came ashore in Martinique as a Tropical Depression, so it broke up as it crossed the island, thank goodness. No damage and hoping the remainder of the hurricane season is without incident.
AND…WELCOME TO CANADA!
While here in BC, we took the ferry and spent a week on Vancouver Island in the town of Sidney. While there, we drove up island a ways to Ladysmith, BC and we met with another sailor that I met on Facebook, with another steel sailboat. It was fun to meet him, share dinner and stories with him and compare notes. A new friend was made! If you have an interest, his FaceBook page is “S/V Ocean Angel” (the name of his boat) and he posts some amazing photos of his sailing here in the BC area.
Also while on the island, we took walks, and biked and explored the town of Sidney, a beautiful little harbor town with a marina:
and drove down to Victoria to view sunsets.
We also visited Burchart Garden while we were there on the island. A beautiful garden and very interesting story that I’ll share via these photo’s from their website:
The gardens were amazing, and they had a beautiful rose garden that I just couldn’t get enough of!
Besides “work” (yes, we do work while on the road-helps to pay the bills), we’ve explored the White Rock BC area. OH! And here in BC, blackberries are wild! When I say wild, I mean WILD! They are ALL OVER! So we just had to spend a few hours one day, and pick 2 bowls full! So much that by the end of the week, we had almost finished them, but not quite, and gave them to the owner of the AirB&B, a real sweet woman.
White Rock is on the mainland, and has been good as well. It has REALLY expensive homes here, like the cheapest is $1Million CAD! It’s unbelievable. They are beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but I keep thinking, what do you DO with all that space (5000-6000 sqft!). I’m so glad I live the life that we do.
White Rock has a beautiful Promenade and Pier that we take walks on (when it’s not cloudy, foggy and raining).
White Rock faces south, so we don’t get sunsets here. A short 15 minute drive away is a town called Crescent Beach which faces west. Spent one afternoon there:
AND I FOUND A YARN SHOP! Only 5 minutes from us, and I bought some amazing yarn from South Africa called Louet. There was a finished knitted cowl at the yarn shop, and I had to get enough yarn to make 2!
Finished cowl at the yarn shop:
And this is how far I’ve come in just under a week, my cowl:
And I must update the afghan that I’m making (since put on hold until I finish these 2 cowls), it has a beautiful celtic cable in the middle of it.
The last few days we had amazing weather, so we took a road trip to Squamish and Whistler. We stopped and hiked Shannon Falls in Squamish. They were amazing cascading waterfalls!
Our drive to Whistler was on a clear beautiful sunny day. These are some of the mountain peaks covered in snow that we saw as we were driving there:
Upon arriving at Whistler Village, we missed the ride to the top of the ski hill on the Gondola. They had closed during weekdays for the season, only last Friday! Shoot, they are now only running the Gondola on weekends. So, we walked around the Village, then took a short walk to Lost Lake. There are bear sightings here, and Greg was anxious to see one! But I sure wasn’t. And we didn’t, there were quite a few people around so they were probably staying away. But there is an area very near Whistler Village where Grizzly bears have been seen. Needless to say, those trails have been closed to hikers!
On our way home from Whistler we stopped at the Tantalus Lookout:
And this is a photo of what the local “parks” are like, from our hike this afternoon. So very lush and thick foliage! Just beautiful!
And finally I leave you with an amazing sunset view from our “home” where we are staying. Even facing south, the sunset colors are beautiful.
As we enjoy our time here in BC, Canada, we have been watching this hurricane season, which has been relatively quiet…until now. We are now closely watching “Invest 92L”, which is currently off the African coast, moving westward. This is how they name tropical depressions before they become storms or hurricanes.
Chris Parker is an accurate and widely known meteorologist who monitors weather in the Caribbean. This was posted on FaceBook today by him:
“Chris Parker’s SSB net this morning warns E Caribbean about Invest 92 ( currently 35°W-14°N)
His prediction? 70% Tropical storm or Hurricane makes a landfall St Lucia or Dominica or somewhat Northward around Wed Sept 12 or Thurs 13
However, that’s 5 days from now and predictions can change. It could strike anywhere!”
Martinique is between St. Lucia and Dominica. Some we know in Martinique are sailing south to Grenada this weekend.
This is a future prediction image, of what it could look like by next Thursday, Sept 13. We hope it takes a more northerly route. You can see “Castries” in the yellow/green area, that’s in St. Lucia, 23 miles south or Martinique.
So say a few prayers for Aquataurus, and for our friends and all in that area. Thank you!
This weekend we left beautiful Colorado and are heading to British Columbia, Canada. We stopped in Ogden, Utah and are currently in Kennewick, Washington before spending tonight in Canada, and tomorrow on to our AirB&B in Canada.
The past few weeks have been packed with visiting kids and grandkids and friends (Quinn and Ben, and 3 month old Caleb from S/Y Wanderlust-met in Martinique, now living in Colorado-it’s a small world!), and exploring Golden, Boulder, Morrison and discovering Grand Lake, Colorado in the mountains. Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado. Keep in mind that there are numerous man-made large reservoirs in Colorado.
After leaving Grand Lake we drove a longer route home through the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) on our way back to Golden that afternoon. The road is twisty and curvy, and rises to over 12,000 feet. Amazing views.
We enjoyed sunsets over the mountains as well. Below is one taken at North Table Mesa trailhead outside of Golden:
There is a creek running through Golden, named Clear Creek. And a local tube renting business alongside it! So last Monday, on a hot 90F day, we rented a tube each and spent the afternoon floating down Clear Creek (twice). It was a lot of fun! But of course, I couldn’t bring my phone into the creek, so unfortunately couldn’t get any photos. But here is photo of the creek. Made for a really enjoyable afternoon.
Some of our favorite eating places include Barrels and Bottles Brewery in Golden. We’ve spent frequent evenings there, having a pint of home brewed beer or glass of wine, dinner and playing Mexican Train Dominoes. A fun place to hang out! Another favorite, beautifully classic restaurant is the Sherpa House Restaurant which is run by Sherpas of Nepal and the Himalayas. Take a tour through the photo gallery on that link, it was an amazing place, with amazing food.
But among all of our wonderful time spent here, we needed to deal with some medical issues as well. This time, it was Gregs turn. As previously posted, he had a skin cancer removed, and a tooth extracted by an oral surgeon. Both are healing nicely. We are hoping that will be the extent of any medical care we need this year!
While in Colorado, I was also able to finish Krisi’s knitted cowl that Mike had bought the yarn for. It turned out really nice!
Now that I’ve finished the cowl, I have restarted on the lap blanket that I began while in Minnesota (you know, I HAVE to have something to knit!). It’s a seed stitch pattern on the outside of a beautiful celtic cable stitch running down the middle of the blanket. My goal is to finish before we leave for Aquataurus in January 2019. A good project for those driving in the car days!
Also while we were in Colorado, Gregs daughter discovered that her mare was pregnant! She rescued her in about January this year, and a pregnancy test was negative. Yes, a FALSE negative, and while we were there, she discovered that she was going to have a baby in the next 2 weeks! Yep, one day she didn’t know her Annie was pregnant, the next day, she would be dropping a foal in the next 2 weeks! What a surprise! So we had the joy of meeting “August Surprise”, or “Gus” for short, a little colt, and here he is at 3 weeks old. What a cutie pie!
Lastly, I can’t forget about the Tattoos! Here are mine (yes, plural):
Because I cannot download the photos of Gregs tattoos, I will let him show and explain his, on his blog (link is on the right). So go there and see what he got, or just keep guessing :-).
Colorado has been full of adventures! Since arriving, we have experienced a damaging hailstorm right when we arrived, that totaled our son-in-laws car!!!!!!,
have had some amazing hikes, visited with kids and grandkids.
After first arriving in Colorado, we were in an AirB&B in Boulder. Gregs son and his girlfriend flew in from Minnesota, so we were able to visit with all 3 of Gregs kids and families, as the girls both live here. We rented cabins in a KOA campground and visited Royal Gorge with the whole family and grandkids.
While Gregs son and his girlfriend were here, we also had a great 3 mile aggressive hike up to the Royal Arch at Chataqua outside of Boulder.
My feet hurt so bad after that hike! But it was an amazing hike nevertheless. After hiking, I’m always wanting a foot massage but never get around to scheduling it!
After a few days in the Boulder AirB&B, we moved to a Colorado Springs AirB&B. While there, we mostly visited with Gregs daughter, who lives there, and her family. I taught my 12 year old granddaughter how to knit! And bought her circular knitting needles and yarn, and she is off to knitting herself a headband! And Gregs daughters husband bought her yarn and a cowl pattern, knowing she doesn’t knit, but that I would make the cowl for her! So yes, I’ll probably have it finished for her before we leave here.
After Colorado Springs, we moved to our longer term AirB&B in Golden. A beautiful little home with a nice fenced in yard (so I can let Toto out without being on a leash). We will be here now until the end of August (we’ve been here over a week already).
Over the past week, we have done some hiking, drove up to Lookout Mountain and had dinner with the sun setting over the mountains.
We’ve also found some amazing places to eat! Including a small brewery called Barrels and Bottles, a Nepalese restaurant owned and run by Sherpas from Nepal and the Himalaya area, amazing place with amazing food.
One day Greg wanted to hike, so I found that the Annual Colorado Springs Intertribal Powwow was taking place in Colorado Springs. I dropped Greg off at the hiking trail, and spent the next few hours at the Powwow. I’ve always loved these events, even when I lived in Minnesota, so this was a real treat for me.
Forthcoming plans include beach time at a local lake beach area with family (kids and grandkids), more hiking…and more tattoos!!!!
Unfortunately since we’ve been here, Greg has had a skin biopsy which showed basal cell cancer, so he needs to have that removed next week, and he’s had a sensitive tooth, which needs to be extracted, probably next week as well. Better here than in the Caribbean! We leave for Canada (BC) on August 31, so we need to have all these medical issues taken care of before then.
And I’ve found a local Yoga studio, and have attended yoga classes 3 times this week, and will continue this until we leave. It has felt so good!