Even Bogart is going stare crazy while KR and I get through a mild case of COVID

Is it still too early to hope for an end to the COVID Life?  I’ve thought we were done with this at least three times before.  Are we entering a new, lingering, “Age of Despair? ” or can we hope that we’re about to emerge.

I don’t know.

Getting on with it post-COVID life is going to be different from pre-COVID days.  We’ll  be carrying masks for the foreseeable future.  Maybe forever (does it really matter?) Ditto for hand sanitizers and signs on the floor marking 6 ft separation. We’re not embarrassed to ask someone if they’ve been vaccinated and if the answer is “no,” we tend not to hang together.  Working from home is here to stay, even though home for some of us is a transitory concept.

There’s so much we don’t know about this virus and its various mutants.  For example, why is it statistically safer to be in Mexico, India, or even Brazil than it is to be in the U.S. and most of Europe?   Is it because populations from poor nations can’t afford to move around?  Is it because they live a more outdoor life style?  Is it because they know that if they get sick, their health systems won’t help them so they take extra care?  This is more than an intellectual exercise for us as we plan on going to Australia, South Africa, India and most of Europe in the next six months.  How do we mitigate the risks?  All I will say is that staying home isn’t an option.

As I write this, KR and I are in our regular RV park in Puerto Vallarta riding out mild cases of COVID (and/or the flu).  I’m starting to come out of it while KR is about midway through.  This is easy stuff compared to others, but its still painful, energy-draining, and time-consuming.  I try to think about the other 326M cases and 5.5M deaths (and counting) globally, and tell myself to shut up, smile and get on with it.

Which is what we’re trying to do.

We’ve been in PV for about two months.  It was sad leaving NoHo ( North of the Border Home) but at the same time we were anxious to get to SoHo (South of the Border Home), driving our MoHo (Mobile Home).  I went through my first winterization with the Laguna house and feel like an old hand now.  It’s now prepped for winter.  I traded my Mountain Man boots for flip flops.  I miss the boots, but there’s something to be said about flip flops: ).

We haven’t found our rhythm here yet. It’s tough to settle in because we rent often –  and therefore have to leave — as I’m loath to turn down the extra money.  We’ve spent half our SoHo stay either at friends homes or in Thor as a result.  We have another month or so and then we’re out of here again, so maybe feeling displaced is our new norm?

We’re Triple-Vac’d, masked up and ready to go!  First stop is LA followed by an NGIN trip to Australia and surrounds.  Then I need to be in West Bengal India for NGIN.  In June KR and I are off to Africa for a bike tour and in mid-July we leave for a TWO AND A HALF MONTH BIKE TRIP THROUGH EUROPE.   We’re back in New Mexico early October and then to PV in January ’23.  ISH: )

There’s been something really good about the last couple of months that I appreciate anew– hanging with friends.  Our best times have been with new and old (as in meeting them, not chronologically) friends.  We’ve met some great new friends in Sandia Park (Curtis/Laurie, Chuck/George, Arthur/Joze) and feel really lucky to have met each.  We’ve spent some really really good times in each other’s homes over a glass of wine or two.  We had a great great three day weekend with Cindy/Petey  at the El Rancho Hotel in… Gallup NM.  We haven’t seen each other for months and months so it was good to catch up.   No sooner had we put our bags down in Corona and Steve/Rita came for a visit.  Steve and Rita were our neighbors in Hollyridge and this was the first time we got a chance to spend time together in years…maybe a decade?  Anyway, we picked up like we were still next door.  Then, on a whim, we caught a plane to Florida and spent a couple of weeks with Sammy/Jill in Bradenton. Just a great great time. We even found a little time to see my sister Judi in Titusville.

If you can believe it, plane travel has gotten worse!   Additional fees for everything are the new norm;  checked bags, carry-on bags, picking one’s own seats, boarding before Group 8, electrical sockets, food beyond a bag of peanuts and we’re not even into the “Main cabin,” Economy Cabin,” “Premium Economy”, etc.  People are downright grumpy elbow to elbow, all masked up.  The only light is that someone must have gotten the memo about airports — they are on the rise.  Houston is our latest discovery.  I don’t mind hang’n in Houston’s airport for a couple of hours as there’s food, drink, wi-fi, electrical outlets and shops with everything you need, even if way over priced.

We’ll keep you abreast of how things unfold.   Here’s our world in pictures

 

Cindy and Petey met us for a three day weekend in Galllup NM. Great great time. Why Gallup?

The El Rancho Hotel is worth the trip.

Hanging in our room before dinner, drinking some champagne. We liked the room so much, Cindy is looking up where we can buy the bed cover:)

Art shot of Laguna’s fireplace. I think I have potential as professional photographer.

Until one gets to this shot. Neighbors Laurie and Curtis are barely visible.

PV is not waiting for the return of normalcy to start celebrating Christmas and New Years.  I don’t think I’ve seen PV this crowded before.

It was tough figuring out what to get the dozen or so neighborhood kids for Xmas as they come in all shapes and sizes. We decided money was the best option:). Here KR visits with some of the kids at Edwardo’s place

Steve and Rita visited us during December. Since Steve is such a Francophile, we went to PV’s best (only) French Bistro

We went for a day trip up to San Sebastian in the mountains. Took 3+hours to get there, about 15 minutes to see everything: ).

Many good nights eating, drinking and talking on the deck.  Bogart is listening closely: )

Pretty stylish crew. We’re in PV’s Botanical Garden, which is perhaps the best one I’ve seen

Karen is looking toward the future, in this case from the Gardens.

This is my typical outlook post when looking to the future. This one is called Baracuda and is a 20 min walk from Corona.

We visited Sam and Jill in Bradenton for almost two weeks.  Surprisingly, we were all speaking to each other at the end: ) Had a great time. Here we’re having dinner with friends on a rooftop bar

They like their boats big and fast in Florida. I was a little disappointed that Sam didn’t offer to take us out on his cigarette boat: )

This could be my all time favorite photo as I’m just crushing Sam in some kind  gin rummy game. I might frame this one: )

Karen yearns for the golden age of air travel. Personal service.  Luxury seating.  Smiling attendants. Yah right. This is at PV airport in the 50s.

This is what air travel is today — the good part. Houston airport is now a favorite. All food/drink is ordered and paid for via iPad. Plenty of electric sockets.

The new uniform for travel– masking up. I know I’m crazy, but I want to do more of this. Soon.

6 replies
  1. Ryland Owen says:

    Fred and Karen,
    My thoughts on numbers from almost any country, Covid or otherwise, recalls the well-known saying, “There are lies, damn lies and then statistics.”
    Sissy (the seasoned player, ask Jill) advised that your “crushing” Sam at Rummikub had much more to do with the luck of your drawing the tiles than skill or ignorance. Sorry.
    When you visit Sam and Jill in NC you are invited to our place. Somewhat different view from our front porch. Nice pictures, BTW
    Ryland

  2. FHW says:

    Please tell Sissy that luck may have played a small part in crushing Sam, but crush Sam I did none the less: )

  3. Steve Owens says:

    It was really great to see you two in PV! We had a great time. I’m sorry to hear that you guys got sick! I canceled my annual ski trip to Val d’Isere at the last minute because some French friends here in LA got COVID after being double vaccinated and boosted. The wife and daughter got through it OK, but it hit the father, who was much older than his wife, pretty hard. So my better judgment took over.
    Anyway, I see you are planning to come to LA. Of course you are more than welcome to stay in our apartment. We have lots of Felsina Rancia Riserva in the cellar!

  4. LDee Collins says:

    Hello Karen and Fred:
    Your adventures are pure enjoyment to read about. Charlene wants to know if you could swing by the diamond mines in Africa and pick up a few samples for her while you are there. Hope you both get over COVID soon. You should have built up a whole bunch of antibodies by now, and should be protected from future attacks.

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