Hurricane update, knitting projects and fun in BC

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!

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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:

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Sidney, BC, Canada

and drove down to Victoria to view sunsets.

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Sunset at Victoria, BC, Canada

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:

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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.

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Wild Blackberries, BC, Canada

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).

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White Rock, BC, Canada Pier

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:

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Crescent Beach, BC, Canada

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:

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Finished knitted cowl on display at Local Yarn Shop (LYS)

And this is how far I’ve come in just under a week, my cowl:

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Knitted cowl in progress

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.

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My afghan with celtic cables

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!

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Shannon Falls
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Shannon Falls
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Shannon Falls

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:

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Taken while Greg was driving-yea, the windshield was a bit dirty. So ignore those spots!

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!

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Whistler Village

On our way home from Whistler we stopped at the Tantalus Lookout:

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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!
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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.

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Prayers for Aquataurus and all in the Caribbean

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.

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So say a few prayers for Aquataurus, and for our friends and all in that area. Thank you!

Tattoos – and on the road again…destination BC, Canada

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.

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Grand Lake, 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.

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Rocky Mountain National Park

We enjoyed sunsets over the mountains as well. Below is one taken at North Table Mesa trailhead outside of Golden:

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Sunset from North Table Mesa trailhead

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.

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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!

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Cowl done!

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!

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Lap blanket-in progress

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!

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Lastly, I can’t forget about the Tattoos! Here are mine (yes, plural):

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Left ankle: The lotus flower and sanskrit “Om Mani Padi Hum (compassion, in Sanskrit) are the old tattoos. The new is the silhouette and the sanskrit “OM”. Nice job Kidd!
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Right ankle: The “Mitak’ Oyas’in” is old (means “we are all connected” in the Lakotah language) and the Native Medicine Wheel is new.
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Left forearm

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 :-).

 

 

Beautiful Colorado

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!!!!!!,

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Hail damage: car was totaled!

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.

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Royal Gorge at Canon City, Colorado
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Campground: KOA cabins at Royal Gorge

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.

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Hike to the Royal Arch in Boulder, Colorado

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!

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MY FEET HURT!

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.

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Knitting a cowl for Gregs daughter

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.

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Sunset dinner at Lookout Mountain, Golden, Colorado

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!

So…until next time…we will have new tattoos!

 

Our time in MN is coming to an end

Our time here has just flown! During our time, we were able to “race” the J30 sailboat (Winsome) that we raced years ago, in a “fun race” one Saturday, with our friends Lloyd and Carolyn. And get this, WE WON! Just like the old days when we won each race about 20 years ago. While on the docks in Lake City, we saw the previous boat we owned before Aquataurus, “Second Wind”. She is docked right next to Lloyd and Carolyns slip, so as we were coming in, I was able to get this shot of her.

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She is for sale again! Maybe we should buy her back? Naw–I don’t think so.

During our time in MN, we were able to enjoy my youngest granddaughters 8th birthday with a picnic in a park. It was a fun time, with my daughters family, Gregs son and girlfriend, my daughters husbands mom and her boyfriend, and the 2 grandkids, and the 2 dogs (Toto and Lily-Gregs sons).

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We’ve been able to get together with parents and have some good times. Here is a photo from a fun crazy Friday night with my mom and her good neighbors!

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And we were able to visit Gregs parents and grill out.

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While in Minnesota, I was able to get together with good friends…

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…and spend more quality time with my daughter and her husband out on the town in Minneapolis.

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We spent time hiking at Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and was able to spend a night in St. Cloud with Gregs son and girlfriend, working to get his house ready to put on the market to sell, and while there, after a day of manual labor, was able to enjoyed a night of jazz with them at a local cocktail bar called “The Veranda”.

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Our “home” has a fire pit, so we were able to spend some cooler evenings enjoying it, but the mosquitos were quite aggressive this year, so probably didn’t spend as much time at the bonfire as we would have liked.

I was also able to spend time with my oldest granddaughter for her 11th birthday (these kids are getting so big so fast!), taking her out to sushi and then saw the movie “Mama Mia; Here We Go Again” with her. We will miss her real birthday in August, so it was a very special time with just her and her Nana. A night to remember!

Afton has a nice little wine bar called “Swirl”, so we spent some quality time there, as well, over the past 2 months.

Despite the rain, mosquitoes and frequent storms, it has been a great 2 months visiting family and friends and getting to know this part of Minnesota. There hasn’t been a day that goes by that we don’t see Mrs. Doe and her 2 fawns. They are getting big!

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Hiking with Toto in Taylors Falls, MN
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A hot air balloon above our “home”
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Swirl Wine Bar

Tomorrow we start heading toward Colorado, where we will stay for the next month. While driving there, we will be staying with family each night until we arrive next Monday at an AirB&B in Boulder. A very special time indeed, being able to see family as much as we have.

From the sea…to the woods

Since arriving back on land, we’ve driven from Florida to Minnesota, visiting family on the way. We found a cute old farmhouse just East of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) on AirB&B and we will be staying here until the end of July when we drive to Colorado.

I couldn’t figure out what seemed so strange to me. Lately I’ve figured it out…the stillness. We are situated between 2 bluffs on the St. Croix River, in a heavily wooded area. So, it is very quiet, and STILL! Very tranquil. And after blowing winds almost constantly over the last 4 months, the (what I’ve discovered) stillness was just SO STILL. But I am getting my land legs back under me, and am enjoying this change.

Unfortunately it seems like since we’ve arrived in the U.S., we’ve had clouds and rain! I miss my sun! So we had plans to do some hiking and biking, but it’s been so rainy, it’s just not possible! Our “home” is close to a State Park, but we haven’t had a chance to get there because of the weather! And because of all of the recent rains, both the St. Croix and the Mississippi Rivers have flood warnings! They are really high!

We have experienced some great nature while here, we have resident does (deer) that we see at least once a day, and Greg saw a pair of fawn twins in our yard last week (sorry about the poor quality, he took it through the screen).

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Mother doe and her twin fawns

We’ve also had some nice long walks as well bike rides despite the weather (dodging the rain showers), enjoying the nature on land.

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Afton bike trail between Afton, MN and Hudson, WI
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Canadian geese and their goslings, while on my daily walk
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Summer butterfly on a flowering plant in our yard.

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Hoping that we get more normal summer weather while here in Minnesota!

 

 

 

A busy 3 weeks but finally back in the good ole U.S. of A.

After a long day yesterday, we finally arrived at Gregs brothers home in Florida late last night, to the first tropical storm of the season, Alberto! It’s been windy (mostly) with occasional showers since we arrived.

But since the last entry, we have been busy cleaning, putting away and securing AT on the hard. The last thing we did on Friday morning, was haul the dinghy up from the docks to AT (we had a cover template made for the tubes-will be ready when we return January 2019), cleaned the bottom, used a halyard to pull it up to the foredeck, deflate it and secure it with lines for a potential hurricane. I was exhausted. It’s been an emotional and physically draining 3 weeks. We felt everything was done, what could be done, by about 12:30pm, so headed back to the AirB&B to visit a beach one last time.

Over the past week, we ate out a lot, found some great restaurants and exceptional food in St. Anne, and enjoyed the last of our Caribbean sea sunsets.

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Caribbean sunset, St. Anne, May 2018

Right after our return to our AirB&B, our neighbor, Julie (from France), came over and brought us each a type of “Mango Ti Punch” with mango’s and rhum. What a nice treat with lunch! We returned the glasses and they invited us to stay for a bit and visit. Jean-Claude speaks some English, where the others (Julie and another couple from France-just arrived) spoke French. Greg did really well with his french conversation! But for my sake, Jean-Claude spoke some English. It was a nice visit, with nice French folks. Guess I may just have to brush up, seriously, on some French!

Then we headed to the last beach visit. We went to one of our favorite beaches called “Basilica Beach”, just a short 10 minutes drive from our unit. It felt fabulous to be in the sea again (and yes, that is a sailboat ashore, from the hurricanes last year-might just be a permanent fixture on the beach?).

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Yesterday morning, we met a good friend, Kenn (just met early this year-has a boat on the docks) for coffee. And another Frenchman we met last year-2017 (Gwendel-who plans to sail this year yet, to Guatemala) also coincidentally came to the restaurant we were at with Kenn. It was good to visit, and say one last good bye to both of them. With this lifestyle, I’m not sure when or if, we will ever see either of them again. But we do have contact information and will keep in touch via email.

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Kenn (left), Gwendel (middle) and Greg at L’Anexxe for one last visit and good-bye

It has been a great year with AT, we met numerous friends over the past 4 months, that we hope to keep in touch with and perhaps meet again next sailing season.

Our 4 hour flight got us in to Miami about 7:30pm. It is really strange being able to read all the signage, and hear “English” being spoken. AND to have good internet access again! I think that was probably the toughest part of the last 4 months!

So, what does the next chapter look like? Who knows! Our plans are to return to Minnesota until the end of July 2018. Visiting family and friends. So, stay tuned for the next chapter in this crazy gypsy life!