Our Travels

Our retirement began February 3rd, 2006. This is an account of our travels. We hope you enjoy them. You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge the picture. Please leave a comment for us...we love to read them.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Merry Christmas, 2015, Travel Blog for the Year

Christmas, 2015,

To see interesting web pages click on links.  To better see pictures, double click on them.

As I begin to write the yearly Christmas letter and travel blog, the weather here is rainy with snow predicted for tomorrow….certainly a reason that we are packing the motor home and cargo trailer to take off the day after Christmas and head for our near Yuma home to meet up with our friends from Washington (Mark and Cindy; Bill and Rosa); Oregon (Larry and Darlene; Tammy and Steve; Patty and John); California (Vern; Dan and Jeanne; Danny and Bonnie; Sandy and Gary; James); Minnesota (Sheryl and John), Idaho (Karol); and Nevada (Nancy and Randy).  Panoramic picture shows a lot of our RV friends during one of our "happy hours" last season.

January was filled with fun in the desert ~ ATV riding, beautiful sunsets, happy hours, fires in the evening, and card playing in the “casino” (our cargo trailer).  We also included a car trip to Phoenix area to see Aunt Bernadine, brother Dick and Cindy, granddaughter Cally, friends Suzy and Robert and classmate Cheryl and Todd.  Picture taken from above of Tony and I on our ATV with the UK flag flying. 

Mark and Cindy introduced us to a fun Italian restaurant, Da Boyz, in Yuma.  Several of us moved our RVs to Lake Havasu for the city's yearly balloon festival.  One of the fun pictures I took was this semi-truck with beer taps.  We also got to hook up with friends Penny and Arnie every day we were in Lake Havasu. 

Later in the month we went to a Chinese acrobatic show in old town Yuma.  (not a very good picture, but this girl was using six hula hoops).

February the special events included going to watch the paratroopers practice jumping and on to Fishers Landing at Martinez Lake for lunch.

Our friends from Moscow arrived to spend a week with us in our motorhome (they brought their ATV with them, Teresa and Jim).  We showed them the highlights of our life in the desert (including a trip to Mexico).  The picture shows a very cool painting we saw in Mexico (do you see just the man with a beard, or a man and a horse?)  (Other picture is of the resident turtle at the restaurant we eat at in Mexico).  We met friends in Yuma for an afternoon visit (Cindy and Jerry from Alliance, Nebraska).  Brother Ray and Judi were our next visitors.  Cally visited us again this year on her way to move from Phoenix to San Diego.  

March brought cousin Janice and Archie from Alliance, Nebraska, to visit for a few days.  We left our winter home early in March to head back to Moscow to work on selling Mom’s home (all paperwork etc. finished by August 31, much to my relief).   When we arrived home, we had to dig out our Minnie Winnie motor home.  So much moisture during the winter season...kept Tony busy for a few days.  :-)

In April we managed to start a very nice tradition this year ~ eating lunch at DWilly’s every Monday with Dennis and Jeanna.  They went to a food show in Vegas and we kept Caily and Cody for a few days.  Tony did a little bit of catch up work for Dennis and Jeanna during our short stay at home for the pizza stores.  During the year we went to several sporting events for the grand kids (soccer, baseball, volleyball, football, and most recently basketball)(picture is the serious football player, Cody in September).

In May we took off again for about six weeks in the Minnie Winnie (our small motor home that will go everywhere and anywhere except out of soggy grass).  Our first night was at brother Bill and Janet’s.  Their daughter Karla and her daughter Mae were there from Seattle in preparation for Bloomsday.  (picture is of Janet and Karla at the Little Free Library in Cheney ~ these are popping up everywhere in the USA ~ so much fun),  Tony and I left to watch Bloomsday in Spokane and then had lunch with an old family friend, Ray Stroud, in Spokane.  Our next night was spent with Jon and Joyce in Coeur d’Alene.

Two days later after a scenic side trip, we were in Riverton, Wyoming at brother Dick and Cindy’s (we helped out there by painting one of their walls to show off a picture they had just gotten).   On the way we noticed this "used cow lot" ~ amusing.  Someone even did a page on their blog about this place

Next stop was brother Jim and Kathie’s in Green River, Wyoming.  We spent our time there trying to help design their new home to be built next year.  Picture is Green River, Wyoming’s answer to Stonehenge (notice the size compared to the fork laying in front). 

Our next visit was in Colorado with cousin Don and Verlene; brother Paul; and nephew Mike  (a little problem with Mike's workplace elevators ~ the elevator quit working while we were in it for about five minutes ~ I thought it was something else to cross off my bucket list, but Tony didn't see anything funny about it).  A few tourist spots we hit were the LeftHand Brewing Company, Hammond’s Candies, and the Leanin’ Tree greeting cards and Western art sculpture garden (picture with Tony viewing the horse designed from scrap iron).   We managed to be at nephew Cody’s graduation dinner in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and then on to niece Brit and Mark’s home in Torrington, Wyoming before heading to Alliance, Nebraska to visit friends and relatives.  We continued on our trek to the east side of Nebraska to visit my high school friends (Charlie and Glenda), and cousins Steve, Dean and Becky.

We finally made it into Iowa to see Paul and Allene and Kristen and her family.  Our ultimate goal on this trip was to go to nephew Nick and Katrina’s wedding in Des Moines.  The picture is of the hall tree Tony made as a wedding gift ~ notice the coat pegs, made from railroad spikes that Tony scavenged from the California desert.  The event was super (all five brothers attended plus Uncle Bob). 

Unfortunately in June, our next family get together was for Uncle Leo’s memorial service back in western Nebraska.  And another memorial service for a camping friend in Potlatch.  The rest of June was spent working ~ Tony in his shop and me in the yard.

After our 4th of July celebration at Dennis’ with all the kids (Cally had come back home from California), July brought another trip back to Nebraska for Aunt Maxine’s funeral.

On one of our Nebraska visits, the sport seemed to be "let's throw Sharon in the pool" (picture shows Jared accomplishing just that).  

In August I took the Minnie Winnie motor home and three granddaughters to San Diego (Cally, Caily, Kierra), stopping at the Redwoods, San Francisco and Hollywood for site seeing with the girls.  Later in the month, Tony and I took Kierra back to Seattle (spending a short time with Kenny).  Another few trips in Minnie Winnie to Bill and Janet’s and another trip to Coeur d’Alene for a housewarming party at Joyce and Jon’s.

September brought UK visitors (Tony’s brother Terry and Jacqueline).  Picture looks as if this was our favorite past time...  We spent nearly three weeks exploring in and around the area before their return to UK, with one trip down to Lewiston to see Terry and Tony’s cousin, Audrey and her friend, Dick.  

One funny incident during this visit was when Tony bent over to get something out of the refrigerator in the Minnie Winnie and got too close to the "lit" propane stove burner.  Wish I had a good picture to show you, but he appreciated that I put out the fire on the jacket he was wearing instead of grabbing my camera.  With Terry and Jacqueline we took day trips ~ went to Coeur d'Alene casino, Cold Stone Creamery, saw floating golf "green", watched cheese being made and had Ferdinand's ice cream as well as doing odd jobs around our home,  
All summer and fall, grandson Casey came over for visits in the evening to entertain the "old folks".

One more funeral was attended for Larry Colburn, a life long family friend.

October we took a short trip in Minnie Winnie to Oregon to visit Larry and Darlene after California friends visited us in Moscow (Dan and Jeanne).  Then our activities came to a halt with me falling down the stairs and cracking a couple of ribs (I can’t figure out how I managed to do this, so assume Tony pushed me, but he denies this).  Just when I thought I would have six weeks of sympathy, Tony had dental problems ~ two days later and a lot of dentist visits, one emergency room visit, and a late night (midnight) trip to dentist for stitches, I believe he is going to survive.  We spent the whole month around the house, laying low.  I typed up all of Mom’s diaries to send to all my brothers. 

Later in November we took Minnie Winnie out one last time to go to Thanksgiving in Wyoming.  After spending one night in Spokane at Cally’s new apartment, we caravaned with Bill and Janet (they had just gotten a new mini motor home also) and took three days to go 800 miles…stopping for coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and before dark.  Because of snow, coming home was much quicker, just to get out of the 18 inches of snow that had fallen in Riverton at Dick and Cindy’s.  Two unexpected visitors showed up the day before Thanksgiving in unexpected costumes (cousin Judy and Larry Mann) to add fun to the family event for the week-end.

Cute pictures not included in this blog are how a Coeur d'Alene business treats it's patrons with dogs; 

and how they decorate their stop signs near Hollywood, 

plus one of Terry having fun in a local hardware store.

Our year ends with attending more sporting events for the grand kids and getting ready for Christmas.

We are extremely grateful for all our friends and family in the USA and UK.  Our hope is that we will be able to travel to UK in 2016.  We welcome anyone who would like to visit in Moscow (April ~ December) or in our “snowbird” location during January ~ March.

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

~~Tony and Sharon

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