Our Summer 2012 Catch Up Letter

Hello Family & Friends,

We have been out of touch, but you have not been out of mind.  Life just seems to fly away taking us with it, especially in this last year or so.

The last year saw MaryAnne’s Brother and family located to Singapore to work for the next few years.  Meaning her Mom Jean is now on her own in Boise ID.  So, we spent much of last summer there keeping company and participating with Mom in some of her activities.

In addition, Ray has had a couple of long bouts of bronchitis.  Each lasting 5 to 6 weeks.  It slowed him down quite a bit.  He sure hopes for better health in the upcoming year!!

Travel wise, we wintered last and this year in the same NW Phoenix area, still enjoying our resort.  Ray is able to play and compete in Billiards tournaments.  And MaryAnne is active with her Unitarian Universalist Church.  We also participated in winter RV club rallies in the desert of Quartzsite Arizona, which we very much enjoy.  Getting together with friends and making new ones there is always a treat.  Then there are the endless outdoor shopping opportunities!

Last spring, we made our way back north to Colorado for visits with old hometown friends and those yearly medical appointments; then up to Idaho for the summer.  We did enjoy a couple of get-aways, one we left the RV in Boise and spent a wonderful very long weekend in McCall Idaho on Payette Lake.  A beautiful mountain lake area.  Next, we took the RV and drove to the Bend Oregon area, visiting friends in communities both north and south of the city.  Visited the John Day Fossil Beds area along the way as well.  Again, fabulous scenery.  Central Oregon is very desolate, with starkly beautiful mountain ranges and canyons.

Just after Labor Day we left Boise and traveled south through Utah.  We visited the City of Rocks area in Southern Idaho.  An area of strange erosions incredibly old.  We also stopped in at the Golden Spike Monument.  The location of the meeting of the west and east bound railroad.  Terrific history for train buffs in such an unlikely out of the way barren area.

We visited friends along the Salt Lake City corridor.  And took in the Binghamton Open Pit Mine.  The mine has over 500 miles of roads in it!  Enormous!!

After all the city activity, we enjoyed the incredible peace and beauty of some of the National Parks of Utah.  We visited Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zion.  Wow!  While in Southern Utah, we also visited a dinosaur track museum in St. George.

From that area, we entered Northern Arizona.  We visited some of the natural wonders in the Arizona strip country then headed for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Double Wow!!  Neither of us has been there before.  We camped at Jacob Lake and drove to the rim for daily visits.  The raw beauty there is so different from the South Rim.  We very much enjoyed our time there.  Heading South to Flagstaff we also stopped to drive along the Grand Canyon of the Little Colorado River on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  As well as a visit to the Wapatki Indian Ruins.

Ray dropped MaryAnne off in Flagstaff for a nice weekend with a gathering of some of her high school day’s girlfriend group.  It was a terrific reunion.  The ‘girls’ toured some of the area and included a trip up the chairlift at the Arizona Snow Bowl ski area north of Flagstaff.  Now that was some high altitude fun!

In December, MaryAnne flew to Boise to visit with Mom Jean, and help coordinate an 85th Birthday party for her.  It was a wonderful time of family and friends!  An extra wonderful happening, her Brother and family were in town a while from Singapore taking care of family business, visiting and stocking up on provisions that are unavailable or priced outrageously in Singapore.  It was great to see them and hear more of their adventures.

From April 12 to May 6th, MaryAnne was on another type of travel adventure.  She traveled with girlfriend Sue and Sue’s family on an Atlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale Florida, stopping in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Barcelona, Majorca, Provance, Florence and ending in Rome.  The group remained in Rome for a couple of days.  Then fly to London for five days.  Touring all of those beautiful places was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of MaryAnne’s.  It was even more than she ever expected.  In addition, the ocean cruise included a balcony suite for just sitting and watching the Atlantic Ocean go by!  And then an early morning up to watch as they sailed thru the Straits of Gibraltar.  Wow!

In England, Sue and family spent their time with their British family in Oxford, outside London.  MaryAnne enjoyed another set of new adventures, this time on her own.  Besides enjoying the London city area, she toured some of the West Country visiting Stonehenge, Bath and Salisbury Cathedral (the home of one of the editions of the Magna Carta).  An unexpected bonus was the ability to travel to Paris for a very long day via the Eurostar train under the English Channel—the ‘Chunnel’ train!!  What an awesome day she experienced visiting the Eiffel Tower, enjoying a boat ride on the Seine River and seeing master works of art at the Louvre.  Wow!

While MaryAnne was away enjoying her first cruise, Ray enjoyed riding his dirt bike in the desert and then flying to Salt Lake City to spend some time with guy friend Jan.  The two then road tripped back to Phoenix in time for MaryAnne’s return.  Ray was not along on the cruise; he much prefers dry land.

We left Arizona soon after MaryAnne’s return.  This summer may bring a trip to South Dakota.  We are examining the possibility of changing our state of residence to that good State.  It has many advantages for folks like us who travel full time and have no permanent location.  We will keep you posted on that.

In the mean time, we are enjoying visiting with MaryAnne’s Mom in Boise, ID after a very enjoyable drive north thru eastern Nevada.  We visited a bit of the so-called extra-terrestrial areas and watched the amazing eclipse while in Cathedral Gorge State Park.

Life is great, full and productive.  We wish you all the best and look forward to hearing of your travels too.  Much love and hugs to all.