Happy New Year

Wow, can’t believe that I haven’t posted in 2 months.  It’s already mid-Janurary 2016!

November went by so quickly with activities with friends, Pickleball and Cheryl’s Ukulele practice and jam sessions.  We had some beautiful weather in Southern California and are looking forward to El Nino this winter.

We left home on December 1, driving to Texas.  We spent 4 nights on the road, the first being with new friends Suzanne and John in Arizona.  We got to know them on the 10 day cruise on the Crown, in September.  Also saw them briefly in Texas, the night before our Carnival Freedom Cruise on December 5.  We stayed on the ship for two 7-day cruises (Back2back) and had the same mini-suite cabin all 14 days.  We stayed healthy this time, mostly, anyway.  Jim had congestion starting after 3 or 4 hours in the very smokey casino.  He coughed a lot during the day, but was able to sleep at night.  It lingered for weeks, but didn’t interfere with activities, for the most part.  Our cabin steward, Tony was great.  He was from Roatan, Honduras, which was a first for us.  He made a towel animal every night and let us keep them on display; even made a special Yoda one with light stick.  I decorated the cabin for Christmas and we had our laser light.  He loved that, so we left it with him at the end.

The cruise was enjoyable, visited ports we had been to before, so didn’t do much on shore.  The ship docked at Cozumel both weeks.  Other ports were Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Grand Cayman.  This was our first time on the Freedom and we did like the ship.  It was decorated for Christmas and also had Dr. Seuss themes (no more Funship Freddy).  On the second week, some friends from previous cruise (Spirit to Australia), Jackie and Mike were onboard.  They had their cute 5 year old granddaughter with them, Dylan.  Mike got sicker than Jim and had to miss meals and events, so we spent quite a bit of time with Jackie and Dylan.  That was fun.  We even ate the special Dr. Seuss breakfast:  “Green Eggs and Ham.”  Dylan had that meal and was not impressed!  Lots of photos, will post a few.

 

After the cruises, we spent 3 nights in the Rockport/Fulton area of south Texas, just north of Corpus Christi and Padre Island.  Very pretty area on the gulf, with a great Wildlife Refuge:  Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  We saw whooping cranes, roseate spoonbills, herons and many egrets.

We went to the local movie theatre to see “Star Wars, the Force Awakens.”  The price was only $5 and it was run by a mom and pop.  Prior to the previews there were no ads or features, so everyone talked with their neighbors.  We had 3 people visit with us (recognizable as “not from around here”).  Before they started the previews, the owner/manager walked the aisle and shouted out the announcement to silence our cell phones!!  Really funny.

On December 22, we went to Jim’s sister’s house and spent Christmas with JoAnn and John.  It was mostly a laid back time with plenty of food.  We brought shrimp from the coast for shrimp gumbo and she cooked a big Christmas dinner.  We all went to another movie, “The Big Short.”  It was good.  We saw a couple of their friends, but otherwise it was just the four of us.  Very nice visit.

On December 26, we headed home and spent 3 nights on the road.  Between Sonora, TX (first night) and El Paso (2nd night), we ran into that bad ice/snow/wind storm that came across the country.  Luckily I-10 didn’t close down on the day we were driving through it, but it was close.  The temperature never got over 28 degrees so all the snow froze on the highway and we never saw a snowplow.  The eastbound side was stopped in several places; but westbound kept open, although slow at times.  Jim did a great job of driving, but it was tense and exhausting!20151227_113109

We arrived home safely on December 29; in time to spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with friends.  We traveled almost 4000 miles and Jim did all the driving.  I don’t mind driving, but he enjoys it and says that my driving the speed limit slows us down!  Anyway, I’d rather ride!

Happy New Year to everyone and hope your holidays were bright!

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