If I remember correctly when we last wrote we were still dealing with the ongoing saga of engine woes. Unfortunately that has yet to be corrected; a subject I’ll get to shortly, but in the meantime, here are the dazzling details about our amazing adventures. Well, amazing might not be the right word, but they were certainly fun! We put a few more air miles on the tally, and added another total to the ongoing list of how many beds we slept in during one month.
Having traveled east last Christmas looking for snow in the mountains of Bavaria, this year we decided to head west and revisit the sunny shores of Hawaii. We rendezvoused with part of the McDaniel and Johnson clans and spent a week or so enjoying some winter storms on the island of Maui. There was plenty of rain and wind, but that only made for more rainbows than usual! It was a busy week with plenty of laughs, beaches, luaus, whales, feasts, and Zachary! Zach is our 20-month-old grandnephew and was of course the life of the party.
Marty and I also fit in a few adventures on our own. One day we went up to see the sunrise from 10,000’ on the cold summit of Haleakala, and then rode bikes down the mountain. It was quite a wild ride and a tad bit unnerving when I started smelling my brakes smoking!
We also spent a few days in Hana, where we rented a little cottage perched above the ocean. It was totally quiet and totally spectacular; kind of like being in a solitary anchorage only we were tethered to shore. We took some spectacular hikes through bamboo forests and banyan trees to see the many overflowing waterfalls and spent a couple of quiet days watching the ocean. Hana is truly magical.
Once home from our Hawaiian sojourn, we drove up to San Luis Obispo to visit Kyle and Rachael in their Prefumo Canyon hideaway. They’ve been working hard on completely remodeling two 70’s era homes in the canyon and the place looks amazing! The rain that had been with us in Hawaii was still pouring down everyday during our visit to SLO, making the hills look like a scene from the Sound of Music…with oak trees!
From SLO we then flew to Phoenix to celebrate the incredible life of Marty’s Grandmother who had recently passed away at age 103. It was a heartfelt gathering of family that came together; something I’m happy to be a part of. Grandmom, Ina Stalnaker Dresser, was quite a lady and it’s amazing to think of all that she experienced and all the people she touched in her 103 years on earth.
We flew back home to Happy Dance, where we’re currently moored in Marina Nayarit, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. With the intention of finally resolving our engine issues, we brought a new part home with us after our stateside travels. Unfortunately that part turned out to function exactly opposite to the one we have. In other words, when installed, the resting position of the valve was closed rather than open, so it would only open to let fuel through when pushing the kill switch, which is actually used to close off the supply of fuel…ARGH! Needless to say we have reinstalled the old part and will try again to find the correct part on our next foray into Yanmar land.
While here in La Cruz, a special event was just celebrated called the festival of Our Lady of Peace, patron Saint of Bucerias. One of the events during the week of celebrations is the blessing of the fleet. Crowds start gathering mid-morning in Bucerias to see the local riders on horseback in their traditional costumes, the ladies dresses spread out over the horses’ backs, and the local Mayan dancers. The fishermen gather in La Cruz to decorate their boats with palm leaves, paper flowers, balloons, and flags. There is plenty of live music and a few bottle rockets, and then the fishermen and villagers all pile into the pangas to travel the 6 or 7 miles from La Cruz to Bucerias, where they will make dramatic surf landings on the beach and the priest will bless them. As they approach Bucerias, the pangueros form a sign of the cross with their boats. This is a tradition that occurs in many seaside villages and its intention is to bless the fishermen and their boats for safety in the coming year.
So there you have it; the latest episode in the lifestyle of the retired and not so famous!