Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Year in Review–Part 2…

Editor’s Note: No pictures today since the Mrs. is rather wordy and the blog was long enough as it was…

As the Mrs I was delegated to outline the best/worst of our travel perhaps because of the two of us I tend to offer the most opinions along the way (smile).  Starting with our favorite places visited John was very concise and of course listed his 5 favorite places whereas I offered a much larger list because they are all places I could enjoy again and again.

John’s favorite places we visited:

  • Key West - There will be no better place to be than Key West especially in the winter months
  • Crater Lake – There are only a handful of places that will completely take your breath away and Crater Lake is one of them
  • Portland, Oregon – Never thought a big city would show up on my list but the Portland Oregon area is full of life and energy and a fantastic place to spend a summer month
  • San Diego – Yet another city on the list but the area around Mission Bay has got to be one the top locales to spend time at with all the things to do in and around the area
  • Anywhere there are Saguaros as I simply love the Sonoran desert and all that it has to offer

Sharon’s favorite places we visited:

  • 1. San Diego/Mission Bay/Coronado Island-beautiful, fun, perfect weather
  • Key West-beautiful and I always have the most fun there than anywhere I have ever had in my life
  • Portland Oregon-best crafted beer and best city to hike around finding quirky fun bars with an amazing forest and rose park right inside the city
  • Crater Lake-A must-see…words can’t express the majestic beauty
  • Bonita Springs/Naples, Fl- possible retirement home…love the beaches and markets
  • Yuma/Phoenix- Great weather, beautiful sunsets, unreal desert sights to savor and FANTASTIC RESORTS
  • Las Vegas great resort there and amazing man made adult playground
  • Lake Tahoe offers such splendid beauty and would be a wonderful vacation spot.

John also offered some 2012  facts about our Travels:

  • We traveled through 12 states and drove the motorhome some 7,679 miles
  • We visited all four deserts in the USA (Chihuahuan Desert, Sonoran Desert, Great Basin Desert and the Mojave Desert)
  • My contribution is our highest priced diesel was in California (4.89) and the best roadways are in Texas

We were surprised to be able to meet some wonderful bloggers along the way:

  • Merikay's Dream Has Ten Wheels:  what a great lunch date we had
  • The Oasis of My Soul: what a pleasure it was to finally meet Ara and Spirit since we have followed their blog long before we started our travels. His oasis in the desert offers such wonderful place for solitude.
  • R-V Crazy Travel Journal: One of my favorite happy hour gatherings ever. I was blown away that they recognized me from blog pics when unbelievably we pulled into a space right next door to them in NM
  • Travel With Whippets What a gorgeous and cozy winter haven they have created and they are so welcoming!
  • Travelin' In The Big EZ - we have been fortunate to forge a great friendship with this ultra fun couple and luckily have visited in three different states to share great food, wine and laughter. Pam is the most amazing cook and hostess!
  • Dunn Gone Travels- super fun couple from Arkansas...Mrs. is super fun to shop with!
  • Carolyn's and Wally's Journal- graciously showed John birds, butterflies and their favorite sites in the RG-

Reconnections made:

Our friends in Washington from college days and before kids Marshall and Debbie (picked up right where we left off...fantastic!), John's professor friend Merrill and his wife Sonia in New Mexico (like family) and Martin in California (delightful and so interesting). CeCe and Bret (friends from our hometown who live in Portland Oregon---they were the best travel guides EVER! My dear friend Vicki in Albuquerque who is like a sister to me. We always love to see her and her large loving Italian family. We have been lucky to stay in touch with friends from last year BJ and Mike, Diane and Steve, Sabra and Mark, and last but not least Jerry and Kathleen who will be lifelong friends we will cherish forever. Our son, his wife and the grandkids we were able to visit twice this year. We also saw Katie twice, once in Florida and happily she came to spend her Christmas holiday with us this year in Texas. Visiting John’s mom, sister and our nephew makes us feel happy when we see them doing well (my parents are deceased). These family visits fill my cup and sustain us while we depart to new sights often very far away from family. Beth and Eduardo of Texas that we spent Thanksgiving with having fun 24-7 playing new games, eating great food amongst old and new friends. Lastly, my favorite reconnect was with my cousin John and his wife Penny. We enjoyed a fantastic lunch and conversation in San Diego. It was such a delight to finally see him in person after all these years and we to see them again this summer.

New friends:

Blake and Dawnderee: Had to add this energetic and always funny couple from California who we are already making plans with to meet up again either in California or Arizona next year.

My year was blessed by the sights we’ve seen and by the people we visited who made the experiences even more fun. I feel the year 2012 very joyful indeed.

The worst of 2012 (thankfully it is a short list)

  • · The fateful fall, the broken wrist and the huge bills as a result of surgical repair
  • Travel days still stress me out, especially back in sites. I still struggle with guiding us in perfectly the first try (ie: reading John’s mind…we think so differently) . However I will say at least I seem to have stopped leaving things behind like the 50/30 amp cord and the doubler to the outside water faucet
  • The steps not retracting properly was a royal pain, but are now fixed
  • Unexpected cold weather this winter and underestimating the fact that for long stays we should be closer to the ocean

Gosh…since this is a really wordy blog I will pass the buck back to John for the next blog ……


  1. Have a great 2013! What are you near-term and year-long travel plans?

    1. Short term: headed east to the Carolinas then unsure after that....

  2. What a year you had! We also found ourselves in Crater Lake, Portland, Lake Tahoe, and are currently in San Diego, heading to Phoenix next month. Safe travels to you both this year and many great adventures.

  3. Great reviews. Thanks to both of you for taking the time.
    To answer your question, "What is a Birder?" you must get your hands on a copy of "The Big Year"

    Not a particularly good movie, nor is it that funny, but if you have the slightest interest in Birding. Worth seeing.
    Have a fantastic 2013.

  4. Glad to see two places in Oregon make your best list--in spite of that being the location of the "fateful fall." We are, of course, prejudiced toward our home state. Hope to have many more ocassions to maintain our "ultra fun" reputation. Can't wait til our paths cross again--sometime soon I hope!

  5. One of our traveling highlights this year was meeting y'all. We enjoy your blog immensely, and wish you the best in your future travels. Perhaps we'll meet again in the UP this summer.

  6. Great summary. Seems like the two of you for the most part liked the same places. That's always good! :-)
    A broken anything really puts a damper on both the spirit and the pocket book. But glad it is all fixed up and you are back to 100%.

    I too think very differently from the usual driver and have found that walkie talkies help a great deal in backing in. Wishing you the best in 2013

  7. Great summary, its so nice just to explore all these new places and meet new faces. Enjoy the rest of your winter and prepare for the spring journeys.

  8. We really enjoyed your summary ... thank you, as we have not been to the majority of your list, so we are making notes.

    Sure wish you could have added us to your list of bloggers met, but we missed each other by only a couple of days in Phoenix.

    Take care and safe travels ... TnT

  9. Thanks for the shout-out, cuz. We hope to see you soon too. Don't worry about backing in a campsite. Just remember, John is always right and you should do exactly the opposite of what he says! Happy New Year!

  10. All in all it sounds like 2012 was a pretty spectacular year, broken wrist or not!

  11. Hi John and Sharon, thanks for mentioning us on your blog. Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend much time together what with grandkids, holidays, and being under the weather...maybe next time!!! Have a wonderful year with safe travels.