Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back in Fiji - yeah!

It was wonderful to tour the states and see so many of our family and friends, but it is sure good to be back on Moondance!
Doug working and sweating!
View from the Sunset Bar
We have been back two weeks already and we have been busy.

Getting Moondance ready to sail the islands and get us back in shape - tough jobs!

Plus visiting with cruising buddies and goofing off.  Of course!

I know we have lots to work on, but we decided to rent a car and take a road trip to Suva - the capital of Fiji.  Why not?

Cheryl and Michael and their new boat -
Ebb Tide
Our good friends, Michael and Cheryl, from Hawaii/Fiji were there and we just wanted to see them.

Plus, do some site seeing and provisioning - there was nothing to eat or drink on Moondance!

While in Suva, we visited the Fiji Museum.

It was wonderful to read about the history of the islands, plus see the old artifacts.

Our favorite - the Drua - a double canoe that the islanders used to cross the Pacific. 
Fijian Drua Canoe
This is a small one - the large ones could carry 200 people.

These guys were brave!
Gardens around the museum

We only stayed one night in Suva, but had a great time.

We stayed at the 2-room Fiji Club, plus fine dining at Tandoori Heights and the Food Court - yum.

Be sure to check'em out if you are in the area.
Octopus Orchid
We had one more day with the car, so invited Cheryl and Karen (s/v Interlude) to see some of the local sites.

First stop - the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
Beautiful orchids

Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) founded the gardens back in the 70's.

Now, there is over 2000 varieties - amazing.  A very pleasant place to wander around.
WWII cannon

Next, the search for the elusive WWII cannon and pill boxes.

Clearing our path
After lots of wrong turns and asking lots of questions, we found the right hill.

A very nice machete-wielding gentlemen took us the rest of the way.

Hard to imagine these beautiful islands ever involved in war.  But, what a view from the hill - amazing.

View of the Manamuca islands
As you can see, we have definitely enjoyed being back in Fiji.  It truly is an amazing place.

Potluck - big success
Our plans this year, finish our Moondance projects by the end of April and then sail off to explore the islands to the West - the Manamuca and Yasawa islands.

That should keep us busy for the next 6 months for sure!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Texas - it really is like a whole other country!

I am not making it up - that's the line from the TravelTex page.  Too funny!
Whoa - the Alamo

We have been traveling thru Texas for the last two weeks.

Just too weird!
Our goal, to see as many family and friends as possible.

We did our best, plus got to see some of Texas highlights!
Checking out the Buddy Holly museum

Our stops:  Lubbock, Austin (twice), San Antonio, Houston, Plano, Granbury and a couple of trips to Oklahoma.

It's a lot of ground to cover!

But, it was worth it. We loved seeing everyone!
The Capital of Texas - Austin

Like the rest of the southwest, Texas has been in a drought for years.

But, we just happen to catch it when a snow storm flew thru.
San Antonio's Riverwalk

First place we have run into snow since leaving Oregon!

Hanging with the Carson's

San Antonio - Bill and Barb - lots of laughs - always!
We are going to be in Texas for 2 more weeks, then back to Fiji we go.

We have been missing ol' Moondance... 

But, our friends in Fiji have been keeping a good eye on her - she is doing just fine without us.

Enjoy all of the wonderful photos of our family and friends below.  So grateful to spend time with all of them!
Besties - Fern and Brian

Wonderful evening with David, Beth, and the family

Beautiful Katy and sweet Levi

Aunt Wanda and Cousins - what a treat!

Hanging with the Warren Family - so fun!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Enjoying time with the family...

And we are!  We have been in Ruidoso, New Mexico, ten days all ready - where does the time go?

The Collins Clan!
My sister Anessa and her husband Eric have taken such good care of us and we have had such a wonderful visit.
Gavin and Nevin

Gavin too - of course.

He has grown up so much since we saw him last year.

What a great kid, plus the Best Cat Ever - Nevin!

Cub Scout Leader and her Cub
The Collins have such a wonderfully full life.

Relaxing in Lincoln
We enjoyed being part of it - even for a short time.

We spent a day exploring historic Lincoln, which was made famous by the Lincoln Country Wars in the late 1800's.
Enjoying the wild wild west

We walked the streets where Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and all those wild cowboys fought and died.

We learned so much and we were all very happy we weren't around when all that fighting was going on!

Lots of Corvettes

A special treat was getting a private tour of a fabulous collection of antique cars and motorcycles - hundreds of them.

We were all dazzled by the cars, plus learning so much about their history. Amazing!
Eric showing us how we are supposed to swing!

Eric treated us to a round of golf at Rainmakers - what a course!

Beautiful views and challenging holes.
Pooped after so much golf

It has been a very long time since we swung a golf club, so we were very rusty.

But, we had a great time. Can't believe we are golfing in February.

Rainmakers Clubhouse has excellent food - we have eaten there twice. Ribeye steak, shrimp nachos, and more.  We highly recommend it!
What a view
We also gave a presentation to Gavin's school about our crazy life.  Showed them lots of pictures of  Moondance, the islands, and the wildlife we have seen.

Lesson - don't mention the Booby Birds.  Got lucks of snickers from the kids!

Southwest sunset - spectacular
Bowling, hiking, and lots of laughter.  So nice to be surrounded by family again. 

Plus, Anessa spoiled me by treating me to my first facial and massage.  It was wonderful!

But, as always, it is time to get going - sorry to say. We are heading to Texas next where we have 8 stops and lots of miles to cover.

We are looking forward to seeing all of our Texan relatives and friends, but we are wearing down.  A lot of time on the road for a couple of old folks!

PS:  Hope the Southwest gets rain soon - it is soooo dry.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Enjoying the Southwest - again!

We have been back in the States one week and have covered some ground!

       Joshua Tree (and Doug)
After spending two weeks in Mexico, we have been traveling fast on the highways - zoom zoom.

Much easier when you don't have to dodge potholes!

Our first stop was Tuscon.  Good place to relax and enjoy the USA and watch some UofA basketball with the locals.

With Alameda boat buddies Kim and Kevin 

Then on to Scottsdale.  Kim and Kevin, our fabulous marina neighbors in Alameda, let us crash at their beautiful home.

We had such a great time catching up with them.

They are so easy and fun to be with - just like old times.

Me and Vijay

Plus, we got to stroll around the Phoenix Open on practice day.

Kevin convinced me to grab Vijay Singh for a photo op.  He is from Fiji too.

He was very nice. Hope he does well in the Open!

ABQ friends - Bill and Rise

Then a short hop to Anthem to see Bill and Rise.

We have known these wonderful people since the softball days at Sandia (Go Gunrunners!)

We enjoyed a yummy steak dinner and great conversation.

They have figured out retirement. Summer at their cabin in Chama; winter in Arizona enjoying the weather and all those sports teams.

We will be back to visit for sure!

Cousins Dick and Elaine and their Shelby!

Cousins Dick and Elaine live in Sandy Valley, Nevada. It is a great small town where almost everyone owns a plane or two.

It was fun to catch up on all the family stories, plus hear about Dick's adventures flying down to Mexico.  And lots of great food - yum

Plus, meeting more of Doug's family - Marian, Brian, and Chris. Always special. Wish we could have spent more time...

Hoover Dam
On the way to Albuquerque, we had to stop and check out Hoover Dam.

 We haven't been there since they finished the new bridge.

It is an impressive piece of engineering and sure speeds up the trip, but not as cool as driving over the dam.

 Scary to see the water so low...
Sunset in Anthem

We are in Flagstaff tonight and it is cold and SNOWING - yikes.

Hope we can make it to Albuquerque tomorrow.

 We have friends to see and a Big Game to watch!

Looking forward to seeing everyone and eating lots of New Mexican food!

Doug and Kevin enjoying the day

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Viva La Paz!

We have been in La Paz almost 2 weeks all ready and had such a wonderful time and seen so many of our friends.  Time has gone by way too fast! 
Our La Paz Amigos!

Ana and Doug - happy to be together!
Our best friend,  Ana, opened up her home and heart to us - as always.

La Paz sunset - amazing

We have spent so much time at Casa Ana in the past, it feels like our home.

Can't believe we have been away for 3 years...  We had lots of catching up to do!
Fern and me sipping Cazuelas

We have squeezed so much into our visit, it is a wonderful blur.

Good thing I took pictures!  Here are some of the highlights:

Buddies since Alameda - Judy and Michael
  • Ana throwing a potluck and inviting our amigos - so wonderful to see everyone again!
  • Lots of Mexican food and margaritas - yum
  • Strolling along the Malecon and visiting old haunts
  • Road trip to Todos Santos - shopping - yeah
  • Dinner at Los Molcajetes - so good and so fun to experience it all with Brian, Fern, and Robin
  • Spirited matches of Rummikub (I won - hah) and other games
  • And so much more...
Dining out at Otra Vez
Lots of laughter, some tears, and so many new memories were made.
Darrell, Sarah, and Sparky
And for the grand finale, Sarah and Darrell taking us out on their sailboat El Tiburon.

Our goal - to track down the whale sharks.

And we were successful!  Darrel and Doug got a close up.  Way cool!
Enjoying the day on El Tiburon - it was a beauty
Unfortunately, the whale shark swam faster than they did, but pretty exciting all the same.
Ana Cutie and her noodle!

It felt so good to be back in the Sea of Cortez again.

So much wild life and what a view - just can't beat it. 

Captain Doug at sea again
We enjoyed being back on a sailboat again - we have been missing ol' Moondance so this was a real treat.

Doug and Brian enjoying the view
Plus, Darrel and Sarah whipped up some great fish tacos for lunch.

Thanks for sharing your boat and your Wahoo with us!

Now, it is time to get moving again.

Tomorrow,  we load us and our car onto the ferry heading to Topolobampo on the mainland.

Hammerhead statue
We decided to take the shortcut to the USA.  No reason to drive Highway 1 again if we don't have to!

Plus, we get to visit our friends Dot and Brian (s/v Rainshadow) in San Carlos - yeah!

Then, onto Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and ending up in Texas.

Lots of jalapenos
What a great road trip so far.  Thanks to everyone for making us feel so welcome!

But, as always, it is difficult saying goodbye...

Our view in Santa Rosalia
Hopefully, we will be returning to wonderful La Paz and our amigos again soon.

Or, they will come and see us in Fiji.

We would love that!