After putting the boat to bed for the summer season to avoid hurricanes and hot muggy weather, we flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico and rented a small SUV for the summer. We drove to my parent’s house near Roy and hung out for a week.
Then we started driving to California for some serious “Couch Surfing.” We stopped in at Flagstaff, and took a day trip to Sedona. That day we received word that Lisa’s long-time friend, Page had passed away after years of battling Lupus. So we diverted to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport so that Lisa could fly to the memorial in Oregon, while I continued to drive to the Bay Area.
Along the way I stopped in Fullerton to have dinner with Sandy’s Mom, Jeanette, at Morningside, spending the night in one of the guest rooms there. If you need to go to the “Home” this is the one.
The next day I drove to Oakland stopping for Lisa at Oakland International. Our first “couch” (beautiful room) was with our old neighbors Michael and Carolyn in their freshly remodeled home overlooking the bay. We had a sail on Michael’s beautiful Jeanneau “Santa Fe”, and saw a lot of Alameda friends at a great party they hosted.
After almost a week we moved across the way to another old neighbor’s house, Andy and Elise, where we again enjoyed a water front view and had the chance to sail on Andy’s Wyliecat ,a sweet sailing 30-footer with an unstayed mast and wishbone rig…. Much Fun.
Then off to Felicia and Paul’s to enjoy a stay on Bay street in Felicia’s cozy new Yoga Studio and the annual 4th of July festivities. We had a great time cooking together and catching up. The fourth of July parade, a longstanding Alameda tradition was one of the best, and a real celebration of diversity.
Then off to the Northbay. While we were in La Paz, My friend Dennis recommended we have dinner with Jim and Honora. We had a great dinner out and at the end of the evening, perhaps under the influence of the wine, they offered us the use of their Casita when we were back in California. We took them up on the offer and the Casita was wonderful. We enjoyed several days lazing under the Redwoods. Across the way, hundreds of acres of Bolleto grapes were ripening in the sun. We enjoyed a stunning morning walk through the vineyards, and had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Honora’s chickens, even to the extent of enjoying a few fresh eggs!
A few days later— our next stop was in Petaluma with Rich and Laura, members of our Baja HaHa crew last year. We got a tour of their families’ ranch along the Petaluma River, had drinks at the Petaluma Yacht Club (Who Knew) and kayaked on the Petaluma River.
One evening I met with the Marconi Cove Yacht Club, Me, Mark, Doug, and Dennis. We’ve been sailing together for years. With much regret, I missed the annual Bachelor party and the Labor Day regatta.
In the meantime, a couple of other options cropped up. House sitting for Allison and Jerry meant a week in Pt Richmond in a great artful house with a view straight down Raccoon Straits—to the Golden Gate Bridge. Wow. Enjoyed the Brazillian restaurant. Interesting one time experience… A lot of food, MEAT.
Then another to spend time at Dennis and Sharon’s house in Santa Rosa. Great video/Sound system for movies at night, beautiful garden for watching the sun go down and miles of walking path along the nearby Piner Creek.
Along the way, we dined with: Dana, Matt, Owen, Shelly, Barry, Christy, Patrick, Peggy, Deirdre, Angie, Sandy, Jacqueline, Dennis, Mary, Allison, Jerry, Doug, Rose, Mia, Anna, Lynda, Norman, Carol, Charlie, Joann, Rick, Ed, Heidi, Earl, Janis, Colleen, Dennis, Sharon, Rich, Laura, Mary Jo, Scott, Shana, Andy, Artie, Sam, Joe, and… wow, I’m sure we missed a few.
After almost two months, it was time to leave the Bay Area to drive to Farmington, New Mexico where my brother & his family live, via Nevada and highway 50, coined the loneliest highway. It may be a lonely desolate highway, but it was stunningly beautiful as we wove our way through Nevada-Utah on into New Mexico.
We spent 4 days with my brother and his family camping in the mountains of Southern Colorado. Amazing fly fishing at 9000 feet.
We like to bother realtors wherever we go. It’s a great way to learn about a place and get a feel for the area. My brother just bought a house in Farmington and introduced us to his realtor, Leah Thomas.
We didn’t intend to like it as much as we did, but we found a beauty on the Animas river with a main house and a sweet casita. We are certain this will be a great place to live when we get older… In the mean time we will hold the houses as rental property. The property will be managed by Independence Capital Property Management. They have already rented one of the houses. We plan to hold them as Income properties until we are ready to swallow the anchor. We spent a week camped out there and really loved sitting by the river at sundown with a glass of wine. Best of all, this will be a great place for our friends to visit once we settle there.
After three weeks in Farmington, we drive to Mom and Dad’s place in Roy. Our rental SUV,a jeep, has a service light on, so on our way back to Mom and Dad’s, we trade cars with AVIS. The new car is a Ford Edge Titanium… Wow, Very nice car.
We spent a week visiting with Mom and Dad and helping them finish a home project, then back to Farmington for some details on the new place. Next, it’s back to California to get our stuff out of storage. Did I say that the river house comes with a 4-car Garage? One for my car (Mercedes), one for the stuff and two for the tenants. Stalls are separated.
We drive the Mercedes to Albuquerque for service. The courtesy guy drives us the rest of the way to the airport, so no long-term parking. We flew to Oakland, rented a U-Haul, and emptied our storage locker. Our friend Mike helped us load the truck and then treated us to dinner at Trabocco, one of our favorite Alameda Restaurants. What a relief to be done with Public Storage. This place is really run by sharks. They just keep raising the rent no matter what. I started at $150 or so and ended at $345 per month.
We drive the Uhaul to New Mexico, 1200 miles, in 2 days. We unload and store our stuff at the River house, then return the truck to Albuquerque and drive the Mercedes back to its new home. In the last few miles, we pick up a metal thing and have a flat tire which completely tore out the side wall. But luckily things are cheaper in New Mexico. The same tires are 25% less than I paid in the Bay Area. Gas is $1.00 per Gallon cheaper. My Mercedes service was half of what it was at RAB motors in Marin…
Guess what, More driving. We drive to Guaymas to bring boat parts through customs. Turns out you can take your rental car to Mexico if you buy Avis’s exorbitant Mexico coverage. We were worried about paying 30% duty on our new propellers and other stuff we were bringing to the boat or worse getting lost in shipment… They wave us through at the border in Nogales. no problema!
We visit Footloose in the boat yard. Lisa’s hard work cleaning the boat has paid off. While the boat feels a little humid inside, there is no mold… A big win. Except for typical boatyard dirt that rinses right off, the boat is looking good. We are happy. It’s like greeting our old friend.
We meet for drinks at the Soggy Peso Bar with Scott and Laurie from Muskoka. Three days in Guaymas and we’re back to New Mexico. We stopped off at Las Cruces and tomorrow we’ll return to Mom and Dad’s in Roy. In a couple weeks, we will turn in the rental car and fly to Hermosillo, back to Footloose and Cruising, Season 2!
Lisa’s Chimes in:
Whew! Reading that make’s me somewhat weary (enough driving, done with the suitcase), but mostly filled with great memories. When choosing to go cruising, one of the “cons” is leaving your family, friends, and the fondness of the familiar. When we decided to sell our house in Alameda before going cruising, it ramped up the separation anxiety a bit. We said goodbye to our home, but more importantly, to our friends, with vows to keep in touch, we’ll be back, please join us along the way… We meant it. I still miss home and for me that has always been California. One year into cruising though, something has shifted. I miss the people, family & friends and truly think about them often and try my best to stay in touch. But, the place – the Bay Area, is no longer a stronghold. I feel happy traveling, as I always have to be honest. Perhaps that’s one reason the adventure of cruising held an appeal for me. I know that we will make a home base again, now likely in New Mexico. In the meantime, what I’ve learned this summer is that for me, home is where my family & friends are. That’s where a big chunk of my heart is. I was so happy to see all of the people we could in the time we had this summer. It does take effort to maintain friendships, and when you are traveler perhaps even more so than when you live in the same zip codes. We’ve learned that when we hear “let’s get together”, we must also nail down the where and when. Without that, the plans get lost in the complexity of busy modern life. Indeed, when you’re a traveler, the friendship time becomes even more precious. We know that not everyone will be able to join us on the boat; however, we can still stay connected by phone call, email, text, maybe even a postcard…thank goodness!