Our Travels (part 0)
Since the "travels" articles are in reverse time order, this set appears before 2018 (part 1). After 2022, don't know what I'll do.

2021 -- Oh well, ANOTHER 'transition' year for us. Our "plans" to have two apartments (summer and winter) were destroyed by the Valentine Day snow/ice storms in Texas. Our apartment in New Braunfels was "electric only". We weren't allowed to have ANY open flame. So, when the electricity failed, with 10 degrees (F) outside, we just got colder and colder. After a day or two, the blackouts became "rolling" and we could try to cook some food and run the heat. After that experience, we said "no more", and decided to move permanently to South Dakota.

What, you way, that cold place? Yes. And the reason is simple: they know how to deal with cold weather in SD, and Texas is just not prepared for it. We did NOT want a repeat of that experience. Sadly, the Texas authorities were "sold" on the "green" hoax, and had become too dependent on wind and solar. Both of those systems failed utterly in February 2021.

Our "usual" return to South Dakota took place a little sooner than planned. We already had some leads on houses to purchase there. Yes, back to a house. We left the last one in 2009.

After settling things with a new house (being built), we drove back to Texas, joined up with a POD, and emptied the apartment there. By Memorial Day, we were back in SD. Well, at least we were making a groove in the highways between the two locations (I35 and I29).

Now, during this virus thing, we took "sanity drives", easy day trips from SD to some interesting destination, with lunch included. Well, we found out that the Union Pacific 4014 steam locomotive was making a run across the country in August 2021, so we HAD to see it again. We indeed made it a day trip, but drove from SD to southern Nebraska, saw the train, and drove home to SD, a very long day (but worth it).

The other "sanity drive" was a family affair. Sandi's siblings from New Jersey drove to SD, and visited for a few days. Then we all drove to Yellowstone National Park. Once we all had enjoyed that remarkable experience, the NJ group headed back East and we continued west to visit Bob's niece in Ogden, Utah. So, that's TWO "sanity" trips for the year.

Ah, but there was one more trip planned. Just before Thanksgiving, we drove from SD to eastern Ohio, where the NJ family had set up at a hotel. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving get-together with 50+ people. Nearly half were small folk, so the noise level was pretty high. Someone smart set up a side trip to the Toy Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia, just across the river. Everyone, young and old, enjoyed that experience.

2020 -- This turned out to be another 'transition' year. We were not ready for it in January 2020, but things were about to change, and in a big way (not just for us).

In March, we enjoyed a special "inside" day tour of the missions of San Antonio. Our bus trip group was hosted by some neighbors who had spent most of their adult lives in the big city. This kind of trip is what we like, an inside tour and no driving. Unfortunately, the enjoyment of this type of travel (and, really, all travel) was soon to be dashed.

Meanwhile, we had decided that it was too hot in TX for the summer, so we cooked up the idea of setting up with an apartment in South Dakota (for summer). Everything was arranged and planned, and we rented a UHaul trailer for our furniture....

And then the virus mess intervened. We realized that we might be locked in our own home, unable to travel, and we needed to move fast. So, in late April, we hit the road and traveled the empty highways north to SD. We were especially worried that the rest areas would be closed (some were), and we would have trouble getting food and fuel (not so bad). Anyway we did get settled in South Dakota in apartment #2.

At this point, we were in "lock down" so little travel beyond those "sanity drives". Some were to the small towns of Iowa where no one was wearing a mask, and we could enjoy the interesting landmarks, such as the Freedom Rocks.

Being restricted in our travels, there were no cruises this year. The cruise at the end of 2019 may be our last. We had a cruise scheduled for July of 2020, had to cancel. Same cruise July of 2021, had to cancel. You get the idea.

2019 -- This was a 'transition' year for us. We moved into a fixed apartment in Texas, and sold our motorhome. It was 11 years of amazing travel experiences, and we don't regret a thing.

We managed to enjoy 2 cruises this year. Figuring that we were living in Texas, we took a Caribbean cruise out of Galveston, TX. The ship was much too large and noisy for us, but we did get some "vitamine SEA". In December, we took an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Oceania Riviera, leaving from Miami. After a 10-day cruise, we stayed aboard and Sandi's siblings joined us for a 7-day continuation to the Mexican Coast, and other spots. Little did we realize that it would probably be our last cruise (see 2020!)

We bought a new Ford Expedition, and made that our 'road trip' car. First off, we visited family in New Jersey and Ohio. On our way back from the East Coast, we stopped in Iowa to see the amazing Union Pacific 4014 Steam Locomotive. This remarkable work of engineering was revived from a static display and ran on the rails throughout the season of 2019. We saw it in Iowa, and later in the year in Texas.

Early in 2019, we bade farewell to our RV parking spot in Arizona. On the way to Texas, we stopped in New Mexico, so we could visit the Trinity Site, the location of the first atom bomb test. This special location is only open to the public 2 times a year. During our visit to New Mexico, we could not miss an opportunity for New Mexican food, our favorite.

1 comment

Pat Del said:

You are a great traveller, Robert !
2 months ago