Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Time flies.  Ushering in a new year is a lot like having another birthday... time to reflect about the past year and looking forward to what's ahead.

We started this past year in Phoenix, moved on to San Diego for a couple weeks, Palm Springs, Laughlin, Nevada, then back to Phoenix.  Home for a month, then off to the San Juan Islands, via Phoenix (to see our sweet girl and son-in-law again). 

A busy season with the whale watch company again.  That makes five years.  I hadn't intended the "fun summer job" to turn into a second career.

Leaving the Pacific Northwest, it was east to the Black Hills for a few weeks, then meandering our way to Texas, spending some time in the Hill Country before coming back home.

We changed our traveling conveyances just a bit, when a Honda CR-V replaced Big Red (the diesel pickup)... with no heavy boat or 5th wheel to haul, it was time to move on.  We are truly enjoying being able to park in any ol' parking space; and, the CR-V is comfortable and spacious - the back cargo area holds our folding e-bikes with room to spare.

Joan and I discussed another boat while traveling towards Texas in the motorhome - it's a long ways to the Tropical Tip, so we had plenty of time.  We each put in what we wanted from another boat and decided that a small pontoon would fit our current needs... those "needs" being all about day-tripping and dolphin watching rather than coast to coast adventure cruising.

We found exactly what we were looking for near our home, after doing a pretty exhaustive search; we actually informed the boat dealer that the national brand website said they had one in stock.  They checked, confirmed they had it, and we bought it.  It was kind of a leap of faith, since neither of us had ever been on a pontoon.  Turns out, it is another boat; shaped a bit different, very comfortable, and a great stable platform for viewing the dolphins and sight-seeing.  We are having a lot of fun with "Cool Change," a name that reflects our feeling about it, after owning boats with cabins (and sleeping accommodations).  I'll have to really be in trouble to consider an over-night on this boat.  ;-)

As has been our motus operandi, we spent more time in the motorhome than the sticks and bricks house again this past year.  It is comfortable... and very convenient for the traveling luxury that Izzy is accustomed to.

Speaking of Izzy, she is now 8 years old.  If it is possible, even sweeter with each year.  Pretty sure she gets that from me.

We had Steph and Dan here for their Christmas break.  Winter storm Stephanie timed it for their arrival, but they did get to see things closer to our typical sub-tropical weather before they flew back home.  Speaking of Steph and Dan: they added another bundle of joy to their family: a male Siberian Forest Cat named Alfie.  That makes 3 cats; not sure how Steph convinced Dan to amend his "4 critter rule" (including humans) in their household... but, we are looking forward to meeting Alfie in person next month.

What's ahead?  No firm plans, beyond spending a couple months in the Phoenix area.  The motorhome will hopefully take us on some fun adventures once again.  Before we head out, some time on the boat... because: dolphins!

Hoping for the best for all of us for 2017.  Happy New Year!

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