Greetings, friends. As I did last year, I thought I would write a recap of the year to close it out (and at least have two blog entries for the year). It has been a year of mostly ups and few downs and here are the highlights, snippets meets holiday letter style.
* It has certainly been a big travel year. I started things out by going down to Ecuador in January for a few weeks and collecting the accumulated interest (8%) from our CD. As always the friends, food and temps were perfect and it felt so short that I scouted out and found an apartment to rent for 10 and half weeks this upcoming January for a total of $1300 USD. This will be the longest period we will have escaped winter and I suspect this trend will continue. Ten blissful weeks with no freezing nor shoveling. And one-dollar tacos and twenty-five-cent cokes.
* Shorty after returning from Ecuador, we went on the camp camper cruise which I organized and got about 20 people to go on from Camp. It was a big success, everyone had a great time and it was fun seeing the first-time cruisers' reactions. I got roped into organizing another one this year which we weren't going to go on, but after going to Camp and being ground down by our friends, we are going to fly back from Ecuador for a week this Feb to go on another camper cruise out of Brooklyn and then fly back to Ecuador. (I'm exhausted just writing that sentence, let alone living it.) The things we do for our friends. (wink)
* A few weeks after the Caribbean cruise, we embarked on the trip of our lifetime, a six-week cruise out of Auckland, New Zealand. This was to celebrate our 30 years together. And celebrate we did. We gathered another crop of Facebook friends from the trip and also decided that six weeks is too long for us to cruise. If you are connected to us on FB, you've seen more than enough on this trip since we both posted lots of pics along the way.
* After we got back from our amazing journey across the globe, we flew out to Grant's Pass, Oregon for a family gathering to say farewell to my grandmother who had died during the lockdowns of COVID. I honestly have no idea what I said at the memorial, but I'm sure Serge got it on tape. (wait, can we say that anymore?) It had been a long time (too long) since we had a gathering, but as is the nature with families, it was like little time had passed. What better thing is there in life than to have those who are always glad to see you, and you feel the same way?
* To continue with that vibe, our next door neighbors, as I know I've mentioned, have become a really important element in our lives. I don't know if I've ever had relationships where we arrive at each other's house unannounced, any time, to bring treats or ask favors or because the dog feels like getting a cookie. Sometimes family shows up in the most unexpected places. It feels like we have always been friends but we only moved here in 2021. It's like that. Would we dress up ridiculously like this for ourselves? Reasonably questionable.
* This photo has special meaning for me. It was taken at this year's Campcamp. Earlier in the week I had choked on a banana in front of hundreds of people and had to be heimlicked. It was terrifying. I didn't announce that on social media, but all the secrets come out on the blog. I can't watch it anymore, but you can. I will never look at bananas the same way again. Nor eat them while alone.
* Finally, we have to say goodbye to George, our best friend. We have already taken the appointment, which we made four weeks in advance but has not arrived yet. Each day is a mixture of sadness, love and quiet confirmation that we are making the right decision. But it is so hard. It is also hard to watch him decline, slowly but surely. We will always, always have him in our hearts like we still do Sara.
* This holiday season, Serge will stay here in Quebec and visit with his family while I go to California to visit mine. I will also make a quick trip to Palm Springs for a few days to see friends (it seems like everyone is moving to Palm Springs these days). I'm sure you will see all that play out on social media. Here is wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season and health and happiness in the new year. Thanks for stopping by :)