Joy and Ray on the Move 
Redwood Country
In March we dragged out our trusty 25 year old motor home and traveled up to the Redwood Country in Garberville for a relaxing weekend with friends.  Took some of those corny pictures in the big trees and had a great dinner out on Saturday night.  We use “Camelot,” our motor home, primarily for square dance weekends, but it was a nice change to just mosey on up north after the winter rains of El Nino. 

Trans-Atlantic Cruise and Europe
Mid-April we departed on our 1998 adventure, a trans-Atlantic crossing from Miami to Barcelona with thirteen days aboard ship, followed by two weeks in Spain, France and Italy.  We cruised with fourteen friends and barely rested the entire trip.  We participated in every possible shipboard activity, regardless of how foolish.  I even learned how to juggle!   Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas was truly splendid, the crossing was calm and beautiful, the shows were fantastic, the food was to die for, and the company was outstanding.  Ports of call included St. Thomas, V.I., Funchal, Madeira; Tangier, Morocco; Gibraltar; and finally Barcelona, Spain.  We couldn’t have improved it in any way.

Following the cruise, we stayed with our group a few days in Barcelona and went to the monastery at Montserrat nearby.  Most folks headed back to the U.S. and we picked up our little Peugeot and headed into France.  Traveled along the southern coast and visited Arles and Avignon (remember your papal history?).  Then along the coast to Nice and the Chagall Museum, then to Monaco and the palace and cathedral where Princess Grace is buried.  Twenty-five years ago we visited most of these spots, and some things haven’t changed very much in that time.

Continued to Italy and saw Columbus’ house in Genoa, stopped at Pisa and  Florence (even though I had been there in 1997). The weather was much nicer this trip, and we enjoyed the richness of the museums and architecture. 

From Florence we drove through small towns like Padua (St. Anthony’s home town) and Verona (Romeo and Juliet’s home town) making our way to the bright lights of Venice.  I enjoyed the city so much when Gail and I visited just a few months earlier, that I had to return with Ray.  We rode the canals, trekked the narrow streets and loitered in the churches and museums.  We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and mystique of this city. 

Venice's  waterways enticed us to seek out Lake Como just north of Milan before heading to that city for our final days.  DaVinci’s Last Supper in Milan  along with the fascinating Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel and LaScala were a fitting finale to a great vacation. 

A trip to San Diego in August with a quick return to Los Angeles in September were two weekend getaways we enjoyed.  The August trip was for a surprise birthday party for a high school friend, and the September trip was a gift from some of the kids to theater and “fancy-schmantzy” living.  We attended a Picasso exhibit and the Los Angeles County Fair while there.

Western U.S.
A brief but enjoyable trip to Denver in October allowed us to revisit a restaurant we enjoy, and I visited the Mint.  Then in November we made a quick trip to Arizona where we dined with family and some square dance friends - caller and dancers in Tucson and Phoenix.  Later in November we were in Calistoga for overnight and dinner.

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