We started out, as we usually do, in January, with great plans to travel up the eastern coastline, with extended visits to the Georgian Gold Coast Islands (something I've wanted to do for years). I was so excited to finally make this trip...
Things continued "as normal" at home. Our show in the Resort went on as usual, and was a great success and a whole lot of fun.
Then... news started coming in about this "virus" coming in from China, so we did a "wait and see". As March turned into April and then May, it started to look like our trip wasn't going to happen at all. A few of us (6) started to get together for morning coffee & treats, rotating between each other's homes, trying to keep ourselves company while the rest of the Resort buttoned up.
As the months started passing along, Jack and I got busy working on "home projects", as it was pretty evident that we weren't going anywhere (far) this year. COVID was here to stay, at least for the better part of the year, it seemed. News that campgrounds, restaurants, public places like museums, etc. were all closing made travel hopeless. Some whole states were even closed to "outsiders"! So, we broke out the paint and wood, and whatever and got creative as best we could. Turned the air conditioner on full-blast and worked inside during the heat of the day and only came out during the early morning or late afternoon.
By July though, I was getting "stir-crazy" and needed to get away! So, we booked a week at our Time Share in Sedona AZ. It was an easy drive and somewhere we've been to before so no need to feel like we had to play tourist. Enough of a difference to give us a break, swim in a different pool, eat in a different restaurant, etc. It worked.
The following week we were able to book 5 days in a campground in Payson AZ, about 4 hours from here. It hadn't been easy to find any availability around here as just about everybody from the valley was camping in the mountains! Many own or reserve spots a year in advance because of the summer heat here. We were lucky to get the 5 days!
Finally, in August, with diligence, I was able to get another reservation in Flagstaff as well. Our friends joined us too, which made it even more enjoyable. We only planned on the one week, but after spending the week, I went to the host and begged her to see if there was any way at all she could find us a spot for another week....and she did! Yea! The trees, the peace, the pure loveliness was wonderful. I had to really stretch our food supply as we hadn't planned on being there that long and hadn't even brought the toad, but there was a little cafe across the street that we ran to for a couple of extra meals ;-)
By mid September I was ready for another break though, so we headed to California to another Time Share room in Dana Point for a week. A couple of friends joined us for the weekend, which was super nice and then later in the week my nieces and family joined us for dinner one night making our trip that much more special. The Time Share hosts treated us to a really nice dinner one night too, so all in all it was a great trip.
After we got back, a few days later, my niece and nephew from Washington came for a quick 2 day visit (they had been visiting Sedona). It was fun showing them all around our Resort on my new golf cart and then going out to dinner. I had to laugh at how my nephew complained at how "hot" it was...and it was only around 90! I just told him he was a wimp....should have come a month ago when it was in the triple digits!!
In October, we finally got to go "real camping"! I say "real" because it took more that a couple of hours to get to our destination! Our RV Club had planned a group camping trip months and months ago to Lone Pine CA. Originally, 23 rigs were scheduled to go...because of COVID and then the CA fires, only 3 rigs ended up going. Sad. BUT, we all had a GREAT time!! In some ways, maybe a better time than we (I) would have had if everyone would have made it...who knows?
November, our Resort tried to bring back some normalcy...as much as they could. We held an Arts and Crafts Fair (for residents only) of which I decided to participate, not that I sold much, but it was fun to get out a bit and mingle.
December, the RV Club had it's winter campout at the Lost Dutchman Campground in AZ. Once again, it originally had about 23 rigs signed up, but this time we did have 11 rigs come. Beautiful campground with a great view of the Superstition Mountain. Nice campfires, with good company and fun outings. A great way to end the year.
Although we didn't camp much, or even travel much, it wasn't a bad year, just a different one. We are lucky, we have our health, a good warm roof over our head, food on our table and our bills are paid. I pray that the coming year will be better for all of us, that this awful virus will be knocked out and that life as we knew it will go back to some sort of "normal" for all of us. As I write this, I, once again am planning on that "eastern coastline trip"...as I am, and will always be, an optimist!
To you, my fellow travelers and friends, stay safe, and hopefully, we shall see you once again on the road!
...kicking back in Arizona, Marie
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos