December 14, 2010

‘Tis Holiday Season, New Year 2011 Ahead!

                 IT’S HOLIDAY TIME AGAIN!
Celebrations are underway! This post is our way of sending…
to all of our family and friends from coast to coast, and in Hawaii, Mexico and Canada (and to anyone else out there reading). We’re feeling high optimism for a very fine 2011, and wishing the same to you, as well!
Many experiences and contrasts have filled our year. Our trailer has traveled 11,605 miles – not a record, but way far enough! We’ve met great people, experienced diverse cultures and learned something about the history and lifestyles of three countries. We’ve stayed in 70 campsites, two-thirds of them from July to the end of December.
January 2010 found us settled down in one of our favorite campgrounds, Roca Azul in Jocotepec, Mexico. In February we wound our way south through Queretaro, Mexico City and Puebla to Oaxaca, a fascinating city we’ve wanted to see for some time.

Like so many of Mexico’s oldest cities, beautiful Queretaro has a rich history. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Our Mexico City hotel was just $25 a night, within walking distance of many sights. This is Mexico City’s cathedral and an indigenous ceremony outside. This area of the City, built atop the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site also! Below, a prehistoric painting at the incredible Museum of Anthropology.

We stayed a too brief two weeks in Oaxaca, where Mexico cultures intermingle and the Monte Alban ruins stand on the heights above. The ruins are a World Heritage site, too. We like to visit them, and keep a list to check them off!

On our way back north, we visited Cuernavaca and Patzcuaro. 

Roca Team Truck RepairAgain we stopped in Jocotepec, where the campers are a collaborative bunch, then made a straight run to cross into the US at Brownsville in May, getting full use of our six-month Mexico visa.

Visiting friends along the way, we went to Austin, New Orleans, Champaign, IL and then to Michigan. There we spent time with Chuck’s family from Temperance to the Upper Peninsula. We also spent an afternoon with Jan & Tom, sailing friends we’d not seen for 20+ years! What fun to see everyone.
In mid-July we crossed from Michigan into Ontario, Canada at Sioux-St-Marie. We sped across the piney province to lovely St. Sauveur, Quebec and the old city of Quebec (previous blog posts) then circled the beautiful Gaspe Peninsula shoreline with its dozens of small towns and fishing harbours (note Canadian spelling!)

Then off through New Brunswick to Nova Scotia to see Paula & Jerry – more fine Canadian camper-folk (earlier blog)! With their good advice and our ongoing fascination for the sea we circled the northern Cape Breton coast, stopping at Judique, Cheticamp, Cape Breton Highlands National Park and Baddeck - just to mention a few of the welcoming, fascinating towns. Once fishing guaranteed a hard but decent living here, but now large scale fish harvests are gone, save for lobster in season for those holding permits. Tourism is a growing industry, building upon outdoor activities and the welcoming nature of residents, their fascinating history, artistic talents and unique cultures.


Propelled by coming fall – beautiful leaves but chilly weather – we crossed into Maine at the end of September. And gladly began to slow down! We still followed the coast, but our stops were a whole week at a time. This is the Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, which overlooks Bar Harbor.

East coast stops included Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and more sailing pals in Virginia Beach and Washington, NC. In Quakertown, PA we found Sines 5 & 10, a friendly place that would be great for  last minute stocking stuffers.

We’ve enjoyed being with New Orleans friends for a too short visit, chores and good music. Below, the New Orleans Strathspey and Reel Society, then NO Quarter Shanty Krewe (find Gigi) and Hazel and the Delta Ramblers performing at the New Orleans Preservation Resource Society Holiday Home Tour.  

We’ll be sorry to say hasta la vista to everyone here, but soon we’re rushing off to spend Christmas with nephew Marc in Bastrop, TX! This winter we’re skipping Mexico (we both agree, haven’t we driven enough for awhile, dear?) to hang around the Southwestern states, just to see how they measure up as a potential future home base area.


barb said...

gigi and chuck, i'm sorry that you won't be here in mexico this winter, but understand where you're coming from....if not going to!

you had a great 2010 and hope that 2011 is equally good for you.

i miss you!


C and G Taylor said...

Barb, if we could be in two places at once we would (I'd pick your place as #1, tho!)

Donna said...

Hi Chuck and Gigi! Merry Christmas to you guys! Hope to catch you down the road sometime!

Donna, Silkie and Cappy