My daughter, Kari, and I will leave Oakland to fly to Cozumel, Mexico on Saturday, November 22nd, where we will get the rental house ready for other family members who will be flying in the following day. The reason for this family jaunt is that Kari and her older brother, Jeff, will be competing in the Cozumel Ironman on Sunday, November 30th. I've shared some stories about both Jeff and Kari and their fetes of considerable athletic competition. This Ironman will be the 4th for each of them, but will be the first they'll do together as a brother - sister team.
|Ironman Cozumel Logo|
|The entire Ironman event will take place in the waters off the island and on the island itself|
|A water paradise - we'll surely do some snorkeling|
The week before the race we're hoping to take in some of the sites and attractions; although, the main event will dictate how much galavanting we all do. Jeff and Kari will be saving their enthusiasm and energy for the big day; I'll be the chief chef; David and Alice will be chief kid-managers; and you can bet the five cousins will be into having a ball the entire time. It should be quite a party!
I'm thrilled to see my children wanting to take on this a wonderful experience and fabulous memory-maker, together. Not only is it an incredible accomplishment for them, but it sends such an important message to those five young people [twins and triplets] who are all Freshmen in high school this year. Both Jeff and Kari are avid about their dedication to health and the sport of triathlon; they set the bar high for their kids, who all seem to be interested in sports and fitness. For those who aren't too familiar, the Ironman competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim in the ocean, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and finally a marathon run of 26.2 miles - in one day! They are NOT competing with one another, but are planning to be a support for each other; is all goes well, they'll cross the finish line hand-in-hand. Jeff is the elder, who, on race day, will be 53 years, 7 months, and 14 days old. Kari will be 52 years, 7 months, and 5 days of age - pretty impressive to be an Ironman at any age, but I'm a very proud mama of these two.
I'll post more about Kari and Jeff in future posts. This post is meant to share my upcoming travel plans . . .
On December 1st, the day after the race, I'll board a flight from Cozumel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I'll meet up with a friend and the two of us will hop on a Celebrity cruise ship December 4th for a 16-day cruise through the Caribbean, traversing the Panama Canal from East to West, and then South to Valparaiso, Chile. There will be lots of stops for interesting visits to fascinating locales all along the way. We'll arrive in Chile on December 20th, just in time to take part in yet another country's Christmas and holiday season. As you know, I'm a people person. I love to study cultures and learn as much as I can about how others live, love, laugh and enjoy life on this planet.
|Departing from: Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
Sailing to: Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Panama Canal, Panama; Manta, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Arica, Chile; Valparaiso, Chile
|Valparaiso, Chile skyline|
|More Latin American music, dancing and fun|
|Can't wait to see the colors, taste the food, meet the people|
Sometime after the first of the new year I'll jump on another flight and head to Guatemala for a long-awaited visit to my cousin, Linda, who lives there, and all the wonderful friends I made while I was living there in 2011 and 2012. I can't wait to see my Spanish teachers and their families, my knitting / crocheting students, both adults and children, and all the wonderful kids and adults in the various foundations I grew to love. And, I have three very important, to me, young people who are continuing to work / study very diligently to possibly be able to head to the United States for further education, after which they'll return to their Guatemalan homes and families with skills to really make a difference in their communities and families' lives. I'm very excited to see them again: Isai, Shirli and Hazel - be ready for me!
|Oh, how I love this country, the land of the eternal Spring, the home of the Maya and volcanoes|
|Cobblestone streets, flowers, colors, lovely people|
So, that's the plan for Winter this year. I'm already giving thought to next Spring, too. More about that as it materializes . . .