Christmas, 2017

It’s been a quiet year in Gig Harbor, our hometown. Mostly because we were here so rarely. Skiing in Snowmass January and February. Early March, a trip to California: Sebastopol, Morro Bay, and LA for Cheryl’s 50th HS reunion (Pacific Palisades version).

For three weeks at the end of March/early April we joined the first (and possibly the last) collection of Americans to bicycle Cuba, end-to-end. 1000 miles, 600 on bike, the rest on bus, in 12 days, with time at either end to enjoy Havana. Cuba is truly a socialist paradise, complete with fake economy, free education and health care, and no corporations to bring wealth and misery to people’s lives.

In May/June, another road trip down to California, staying on our old street in Venice. We got to visit with Annie who’s living in Los Angeles while she commutes to Seattle (and around the world) for her band, Chastity Belt. Cheryl attended her 50th HS reunion (Westlake School for Girls version), and Al biked & ran along the littoral. On to San Diego for brother-in-law Craig’s 70th, and through Utah to Colorado. There, several weeks of bike camps for Al with Endurance Nation team-mates. Cheryl wisely went home early, before cruising the Oregon and California coasts with lifelong friend Sylvia to celebrate her retirement.

July and August are always best in the Northwest, so we took a breather (Al did go to Lake Placid to spectate at the Ironman there). The solar eclipse drew us to Madras Oregon, where we marveled at totality for over two minutes, with 20,000 other campers. End of August found us in Penticton, BC for the ITU World Championships. September, once again back to Snowmass for more cycling.

In October, our second Latin American trip, this time to Oaxaca, Mexico (home to the scenes found in Pixar’s stellar Coco). We both tried our hand at Spanish language immersion school for five days, while Cheryl stayed on for an intensive photography workshop centered on Dia de los Muertos. Al spent the first ten days in December back in Snowmass, trying to stay out of Cody’s way while he feverishly finished his work on the family home there, preparing for winter guests. This Christmas, Shaine and Stacy, along with beloved fur-babies, are hosting the celebration in their Pioneer Square condo.

We remain optimistic for the future despite what the daily news may tell us.

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