Dec '09 to Feb '10

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We left the boat in Italy and spent two and a half months in California with our family.  Soooooo fun!

They're growing up so fast!  Garrett is 9, Kailyn 5, Brady 1, Paige 6, and Blake will be 12 in a couple of weeks!  What personalities!


We've gone 5 years without a dog, and couldn't wait any longer.  Our previous bichon frise brought us great joy for 13 years, so we stayed with a breed we know and love.  Lucy already owns our hearts.

Linda and Kimberly took a trip to Texas to visit Linda's mom, Marion (age 84), aunt Nola and sister Valarie.


Mike's mom, Eleanor (age 87) and his sister Diane came to visit from Arizona.

Snow fell in the nearby mountains, so everyone drove up to enjoy playing in it for a few hours.  All the kids had fun sliding down the slopes on disks and inner tubes (the big kids, too!).  Lance even taught Blake and Garrett a little bit about snow boarding.

Lucy had Ruby to play with for 2 months while we were at Kimberly's house.  Then Sally (Kimberly's close friend) bought Maddie, a golden retriever puppy, and the game was on!  It was a riot watching them play together.

Lucy got lots of love all the time.  We were worried that back on the boat she would be bored with us as her only entertainment, but Mike plays with her all day so I don't think that's going to be her problem!

We loved being there for the grandkids special events and sports activities.  Paige and Kailyn both sing in their school's chorus programs.  Kailyn signed up for basketball and T-ball this year through the Community Recreation Center.  Paige plays fast-pitch softball for the Moorpark Girls Softball League.  Garrett plays Little League baseball and also plays on a traveling team. In addition, Garrett plays AYSO soccer and played on the All Stars team this year.  Blake plays Club Soccer and just started Track this season (which he loves).  The track coach saw him playing soccer and recruited him for track, targeting him as a sprinter.  We attended everything we could, and regret how much we miss when we're away sailing.  We were able to help out by babysitting on several occasions so the big kids could take a break.  I also volunteered to work in the school library, graded papers in Garrett's class, and helped with a science experiment in Paige's classroom on science day.  Mike was busy with carpool duties, X-box and Wii competitions, supervising the kids' household chores, and taking them out for ice cream.  Being a grandparent is a full-time job!


Mike summoned the courage to attend Kimberly's work out class one morning.  He was gasping for air and grimacing in pain but he hung in there like a trooper for the entire class.  He was sore for several days.  Even so, Kimberly's trainer said that Mike was in pretty good shape.  I'm not sure if that day or the day they went for lunch, pedicures and massages was better (but I think I know).

We visited some of our best friends before returning to Italy, and put many miles on our rental car. Love you all and miss you like crazy!


Fellow cruisers, former next door neighbors, and good friends Larry & Mary were in California for a brief visit.  We hope to meet them this summer for a little buddy-boating in the Balearic Islands.  Mike and Marquise have their boat in Spain and we also hope to meet up with them this summer.

Mike made some lifelong friends during his working career, who are like family to us now.  We got to spend a little time with a some of them.  Mike saw a bunch of the guys when he went in the office a couple of times.  He had breakfast with his friends Ken Tomlinson and Dean Caputo.  On another day, Mike had breakfast with the entire SRT team.  He really enjoyed seeing the guys and catching up on all the latest BS.


The drummer in Journey cover band "Don't Stop Believing" is in Kimberly and Sally's work out class.  He gave us passes to see them play at the Canyon Club.  It was jam packed, standing room only, but what a blast!  I forgot how much fun Journey music is.  Everyone, including us, was singing along and getting our groove on.  Scotty is also the drummer in the TV game show "The Singing Bee".


 It will be a year, maybe more, before we see our little munchkins again.  This is definitely the hardest part about cruising.

p.s.  Where is Brady's hair?  Those golden locks are gone!  I'm told that Keni gave Brady a haircut which didn't turn out so good.  Mike was teasing them saying that he could hear the music from Deliverance when he looked at that haircut.  So Sean buzzed him!  It's a good thing he's got a perfectly shaped head and a gorgeous face.


Click here to read my letter for this update.

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