Beach exercise

Beach exercise

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!





















We have returned from our journey to attend the funeral of Anneke’s mother. It was a long journey with a sad purpose, but within the context, it was a good trip. The funeral was well attended and Anneke was able to visit with family that in some cases she had not seen in a very long time. Her father is holding up as well as can be expected and he was supported through the process by his children and grandchildren.

We did spend Christmas with Anneke’s sister and her family. This was a good time and they prepared a gourmet meal in the bargain, as well. We were able to use the Dutch version of a camping park model owned by her BIL’s parents. It was very nice of them to let us use it and it was very comfortable.

While there was really no time to visit some of our favorite places, we did manage to hit a couple of places in the province of Friesland in the north. The towns of Lemmer and Urk are associated with the historic tradition of the Dutch as seafarers.

Lemmer was where her parents lived after they retired for many years and is famous for its boating activities. From the town, you can access the huge inland waterway system and the IJsselmeer, which was for most of its history completely open to the sea. This area is also famous for racing of the traditional Dutch sailing vessels that is seen in many of the Dutch Masters’ paintings. While in Lemmer we managed to take in a Dutch style Indonesian/Chinese meal.

On one of our north/south trips, we stopped in the traditional fishing village of Urk. From here, before the IJsselmeer was dammed, fishermen braved the elements to bring home the fish to meet the constant demand of the region. The water’s edge memorial demonstrates the hazards of this occupation from the earliest of times until the present. This town is also well known for its kibling (a deep fried fish) and we were able to have some for a quick lunch stop.

We are working on getting ourselves back into the swing of things here and are looking forward to the New Year.

We want to wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A passing and Christmas plans that look like scrambled eggs








Yesterday Anneke’s mother passed away peacefully in the Netherlands at the age of 88. She enjoyed a long life and passed with family at her side. Since we had extensive plans for the holiday with our daughter Katie and her husband coming for the holiday and long with Victoria’s first Christmas, it was a difficult situation. In the end, we are heading early tomorrow to the airport for the long trek to Amsterdam. I have spent much of my life traveling the world, often in commercial planes. For many years it did not bother me, now I dread it. At the Christmas rush, I am sure it will be a trip to remember.

Making plans for such a immediate departure are a lot simpler with the internet, but certainly not inexpensive when you want to leave –like now. Then there is the packing and making sure you have all the credentials necessary to travel, can actually get a rental car and hotels, as needed. Surprisingly one of the hardest is the packing. After all, we have no luggage or other items normally used in such endeavors. So we are borrowing what we can and then went shopping for some clothes appropriate for the occasion. I do not even own any regular shoes! The last time I wore a tie and dress jacket was several years ago and I had to buy them for the occasion. Living in an RV is definitely a casual affair.

So we are nearly ready for an early AM departure for a week in the cold and windy North Sea country of the Netherlands-oh, I do not own a real winter coat anymore either.

We will have a small early Christmas with Victoria tonight.

I am also taking the daring step of not taking a computer, so my usual lackadaisical updates may be even more so. If we do not post again before Christmas, we want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Destin boat parade




















It has been a busy week, but little that could be called exciting. It started out with some fun. One of the fellow teachers at our daughter’s school also operates a couple of charter sailing boats. We were invited to go along to take part in the Destin boat parade and decorating competition. Since the weather promised to be good, we jumped at the chance. Last May we went on one of their boats for a sunset wine cruise had a great time.

We arrived early so we look at some of the decorations on the boats while there was enough light to see how they had decorated. We knew that pictures taken during the event, in the dark, were definitely going to be tricky. Clearly some of the boats had gone all out for the competition and others just enough to justify being in the parade.

It was a great night on the water and we had a great time. Our major plan for the completion was for the invited guests to form a caroling group that was going to WOW the judges as we motored by. It was a lot of fun, but apparently the judges did not feel that our singing was more impressive than some of the over the top decorations on other vessels. Among the competition was the oldest schooner in the United States, the Governor Stone, all decorated in white rope lights.

After the parade, we headed out in the inlet entrance area and hovered around waiting for the fireworks display. We could not have had a better location for the fireworks. We were literally on top of the barge that was launching the rockets. If it were my sailboat, I would have been sweating hot residue landing in my sails. We had to look straight up for some of the explosions.

The rest of the week was spend playing with our granddaughter, who we are pretty sure is only days away from walking, and carrying out our study of lifestyle change in the form of looking at houses we might like to live in. This is always been a stress factor in our many moves over the years, but now includes changing a lifestyle we still enjoy and dealing with the wild housing market that exists in this area and indeed, around the country. At this early stage, nothing has been decided.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Happy Anniversary











Today is our daughter Heather’s and SIL Ryan’s 7th anniversary. This is a special one since it is the first with their daughter Victoria, who is 10 months old today.

This was a great reason to look back on that fun day.

Happy Anniversary!