Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 was a very good year filled with much joy & memory making for the 
Pavone Family. 

 Alex, Micah-3, Angelina, Seth, Hallee-2, Brody-3, Karen, Nick, Gigi-6, Nicole, David & Sydney

The biggest joy of the year was the birth of our 5th granbaby,
Seth Robert Pavone, born June 3rd!

We enjoyed RV trips that took us from Arizona for Spring training; to Fort Bragg
for Ab Diving; on a 5 week trip from SD to Sisters, OR to Sequim & Seattle, WA,  
with a day trip to Victoria, BC; to Julian for apple picking; to Lake Havasu with Gigi;
and our annual beach camping for Thanksgiving week.
  We also had a fun filled year of travels with friends, spending a week in Cancun,
and a two-week driving trip from Gettysburg, VA thru the Amish Country of PA,
NJ, NY, Conn, Newport, RI, Cape Cod and Boston, MA.
The highlight of our travels was an 18 day adventure & cruise to
Australia and New Zealand!  The people of these countries were so friendly.
We loved the beauty and awe of "Down Under'!
We are definitely loving retirement!

We are so thankful for how God has blessed us with our wonderful family.

We hope your Christmas was a special one.

May 2014 be extra happy and healthy filled with wonderful memory making moments!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Travel Bug Part IV

The Highlight of Our Travels in 2013 has to be Our Adventure Down Under!

We spent 19 days exploring some of Australia and New Zealand, 13 days aboard the
Celebrity Solstice Cruise ship, traveling with our friends, Cara, Andy, Nancee and Marc.

Except for the very long flights (a grueling 14 1/2 hours in coach) from and back to LA, 
the trip was fantastic! 
We spent 3 days exploring Sydney prior to boarding the cruise ship, touring the city sights, which of course, included the iconic Sydney Opera House 
and a harbor cruise around the Sydney Harbor.  
Nick, Nancee and Marc "climbed" the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge! (It's way too high above the harbor waters for me!)

Sydney is a beautiful city, an easy city to walk around,
with lots of pubs, cafes, water fountains, and shopping malls all over downtown.
Due to the Bush Fires near and in the Blue Mountains, however, we weren't able to see any of the Outback of Australia. We also toured the beautiful capital city of Melbourne, pronounced "Melbun," and visited the Melbourne Zoo. 

We sailed through the Milford and Doubtful Sounds of New Zealand, with breathtaking views of the  fjords and many waterfalls, despite the heavy fog and some rain.
We visited 5 ports of call in New Zealand where we took excursions to see much more of the country.
 We visited the Lanark Castle, toured the Speight's Brewery and tasted the local brew, visited a Sheep Farm and watched a herding dog named, Jack bring the sheep herd down the mountainside where the sheep were grazing, watched a sheep shearing demo, took a Jet Boat Ride, saw Kiwi farms, walked the mud trail at Hell's Gate Mineral Hot Springs and Mud Pools, and took a wine tour of 3 NZ Wineries.

The scenery was spectacular, especially in New Zealand, where 
all the hills and valleys were covered with greenery and sheep. We enjoyed this beautiful country so much and would love to return someday.
Both the Aussies and Kiwis are such welcoming, friendly people, always willing to 
chat with us or give directions on occasion to sometimes lost American tourists!

Pictures tell the story better than words, so hop on over to my flickr page to see many of the sights we saw!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

We've Got the Travel Bug, Part III

July-August 2013

We were gone on our Summer Vacation RV Road Trip for five weeks, visiting three states and British Columbia's Vancouver Island in Canada! We returned to Bend, Oregon, for a week of camping with our friends Lynn and Rick. While the boys went fishing for a few days, Lynn and I sewed outside on the patio of our site at Crown Villa RV Resort. The weather was a beautiful 80 degrees with a nice breeze! She and I also took a quilting class at the local shop, BJ's Quilt Basket.
We spent a day at the 38th Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt (and it wasn't rained out this year!)! admiring thousands of beautiful quilts (pics from the Sisters Quilt Show).

From Bend Nick and I headed northwest to Portland for a few days. We visited the famous Multnomah Falls, 611 ft high,

and the Wahkeena Falls, 242 ft high, both east of Portland. located in a tropical rainforest area. We toured little big city of Portland on the Big Pink Trolley, for a day.

Next, we drove up the Olympic Peninsula of Washington on Hwy 101 and stayed at  John Wayne's Waterfront Resort in Sequim (pronounced SQWIM), on Sequim Bay. Once we arrived we soon realized we were just in time for the Annual Sequim Lavender Festival! Lavender grows everywhere in this region and the lavender fields were beautiful.

During the festival there's a street fair, a craft fair, a quilt show, and each of the lavender farm shad more craft vendors, music and food, and lavender inspired items.We drove all around the quaint community and visited several of the local lavender farms!

We took the Black Ball Ferry from Port Angeles, WA, USA to Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada and visited the world famous Butchart Gardens. It brought back some fond memories of my childhood as I had visited the gardens with my mom, dad, and sister many years earlier. The gardens were even more exquisite and beautiful than I had remembered!! My favorite garden was the rose garden and the walkways with the rose covered trellises!

From Sequim we drove to the Seattle area, staying about 20 min out of Seattle.  We walked around the Wharf, took the monorail from the '62 World's Fair, the Seattle Space Needle and rode the elevator to the Observation Deck.
From the Observation Deck the views of the area were amazing and we even saw a Fire Boat doing a pump exercise.
We walked all through the amazing Pike's Place Market! We also took a Ferry to Bainbrige Island, where I visited Mckenna Ryan's quilt studio and shop!

From San Marcos, we drove north through central California, through Oregon, Washington, Vancouver Island, back to Cali , on to Lake Almanor, and home again: 2856 miles in all!

Here's more pics from our summer vacay!

We've Got the Travel Bug, Part II

Mid June 2013  Road Trip: Virginia to Massachusetts

In mid-June we flew toVirginia. From Virginia, we drove through West Virginia to Maryland, then to Pennsylvania, through NJ, NY and Connecticut to Rhode Island with our final destination in Boston, Massachusetts.

First we drove with friends to The Wisp Resort in McHenry, Maryland, at Deep Creek Lake, for their son's "destination wedding!" This resort has summer and winter activities, including, snow skiing, golf, and an adventure park. The happy couple were married on the top of the mountain overlooking the valley and lake, and the reception had a picturesque view looking up the green mountain! It was a beautiful wedding in a beautiful setting.

Following the wedding, we ventured on our road trip with friends, Marc and Nancee. Our first stop was Emmitsburg, PA, where we walked the grounds of the National Fire Academy, (our first visit to this prestigious campus), where there's the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and a replica sculpture of the firefighters raising the flag at the WTC site, entitled "To Lift a Nation."

Our next stop was Gettysburg, PA. We visited the Gettysburg National Museum, and marveled at the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting, "a breathtaking canvas that measures 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet high;" then we took a "CD Guided Auto Tour" of the battlegrounds, which spanned miles of open fields. [awesome!] This year marked the 150th anniversary of the famous battle. It's hard to describe the feelings that stir when you walk on historical grounds such as these.

From a couple of days in the Gettysburg area, we drove through Lancaster County, the Amish countryside of Pennsylvania, and stopped in a couple of small towns.  Of course, I found a couple of wonderful quilt shops to browse the beautiful made quilts and fabrics. I bought just a few pieces of fabric (as a quilter, I just couldn't go to Amish country and not, right!?!).  While we were walking around an outdoor plaza, suddenly we were pelted with rain. Due to the rain we only saw one Amish buggy. The rain lasted the rest of our drive to Newport, RI. The scenery all along the way was so green and pretty (except while we were driving through the big city of NY).

We stayed a couple of nights in Newport, RI and toured several of the famous Mansions of Newport. They reminded me of an American version of Downton Abbey!
This is "Marble House."
We also walked and eat on the beautiful waterfront of Newport, celebrating my birthday!

Next up, West Yarmouth for a few days. One day we took the pretty drive all the way to the end of Cape Cod. (Found another cute quilt shop on the way!)
We took a "fast ferry" to the island of Nantucket where we went on an informative walking tour of the old buildings in the town. We enjoyed the quaintness of Nantucket, despite the pricey stores!!

From Cape Cod, we drove to Boston and returned the rental car. We then used the "T"(the Metro) to get around Boston for a few days, took a "Boston Old Town Trolley Tour," walked part of "The Freedom Trail," visited Cheers (of course), and walked on the campus of Harvard University [Mark that off my bucket list!!]; we visited the Fire Museum of the First Fire Department of the United States, explored a lot of history, visited the JFK Museum, enjoyed 'Lobsta' Rolls, and didn't much like the 90% humidity, but we love visiting Boston! We had toured Fenway Park when we stopped in Boston on our New England cruise in 2011, and had hoped to go to a Red Sox game. But it wasn't to be as the Sox were out of town.  For sure we will go there on our next trip to Boston!

Our two week Road Trip took us about 3,000 miles from Virginia to Massachusetts, and we saw so many amazing sights and soaked up the history!  We look forward to more travels like this!

More pictures of our  Road Trip from Virginia to Boston here.