Sunday, December 31, 2017

All Around the Town

Bristol, Vermont, USA

We are visiting Deb's sister Virginia who is restoring a nineteenth century house in Bristol and works at Middlebury College in the town of ?  You guessed it: Middlebury.  As we are here for more than two months, we are trying to get the full small town experience.  Deb joined the gym, Gregg joined the church and the Old Farts that gather for coffee at he the Café every morning.  Virginia indulges us by taking us as far as Plymouth, MA and Platteville, NY.  We attend music productions, dance performances, shopping, movies and good restaurants.  Here is a walking tour of downtown Bristol.

This is the view from the morning coffee venue.

Morning coffee venue as seen from the bank.

Baptist Church seen from Central Park.

Home of the historical society.

Typical Main Street scene.

This place even has linen on the tables.
If we ever go we will post a review.

OK, so this one is not in Bristol but
it is a cool example of the architecture.

An example of the buildings
found on Middlebury College campus.

So, we are having a grand time, making new friends, learning the local history, gaining weight, freezing our toes in minus five degree temperatures, attending potlucks, checking out the local bakeries. Yum, wish you were here.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Plymouth, MA

In late November 2017 Deb and Gregg fly to Burlington and meet Deb's sister Virginia who lives in Bristol, VT and works at nearby Middlebury College.

Moorings in the Plymouth harbor.

American Indians interpret the artifacts at Old Plymouth Village.

And no visit to Plymouth is complete
without admiring Plymouth Rock.

Visit USA - Houston

In November 2017 Deb and Gregg leave the boat in Tonga and fly to Houston to visit Gregg's sister Cathy.  Younger sister Victoria arrives from Italy via California to join the reunion.

L to R: Victoria, Cathy's son Mark,
Cathy and Gregg at a sport field where Mark's
son is playing football.  Mark's wife and
daughter are nearby.  Sorry, no photo.

We spend many happy hours at Cathy's house
cooperating on meals and reminiscing.

During this time we also see nearby homes with hurricane damaged sheet rock piled in the front yard for disposal.  Fortunately Cathy's home escapes without damage.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A day of Snorkeling and exploring the Kingdom of Tonga

Deb persuades Gregg to join her in the water and here is some of what we see.

Sea urchins and some
funny little fish.

More fish - still little.

Colorful scenery

This rascal is called  Crown of 
Thorns and is blamed for eating and
destroying corals.   I'm no scientist
but I believe it is a starfish.

We sail for Vakaeitu Island

Seeing psychedelic rocks along the way

Meeting David as he prepares to host
a group of tourists for dinner.

No this is next week's Tongan feast.
We don't touch her,

But paddle home into a special sunset.

Drive thru Tonga Oct. 2017

We team up with Marisa and Bavo to rent a car and explore the "wrong side of the shore" on the islands of Vava'u and Pangaimotu.


October and November are Spring in Tonga and pineapple season.  Though the fruit is small, it is the sweetest you've ever tasted, promise.

Marisa and Bavo are Kiwis from the South Island.
They were originally from Belgium and now live
on the ocean and develop software on their boat


Marisa is the designated driver with a definite preference for BAD roads

and beautiful overlooks.

We are delighted they choose to spend a few hours with us and brighten our days.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

South Island, New Zealand

Along with friends Lorraine and Kellye, occasionally of Denver, Colorado, we drive to Wellington, stopping at many attractions along the way.  The Ferry takes us from Wellington to The South Island where we find penguins, seals, ruins of recent earthquakes, majestic fiords, glaciers and more.  It is a grueling drive with occasional rain but we find much to enjoy.

With a guide and a 'mother ship' we tackle the
Able Tazman Track for a day.  We are cooled
by the rain . . .

and warmed by the exercise.

We are awed by the view of Cape Foulwind,

impressed by Doubtful Sound

and the view of Fox Glacier.

we track down the elusive yellow-eye penguin.

Bay of Islands, Take II

So, we take it easy, moving our base of operations at a whim, anchoring in the shelter of the islands.

Otehi Bay hides a lodge area with paddle board
rentals and a café.  We are anchored a mile away
over the hill so we work off the ice cream.

The ladies explore the rocks of the anchorage.

Gregg admires R. Tucker Thompson which takes
tourists on day trips in Bay of Islands.

Kalliope remains in the Bay of Islands Marina at the town of Opua while her crew explore the many attractions of New Zealand.