I can't believe I'm writing another post about the past year's events. Can the years go any faster?! Anyway, it is indeed another year and if I don't stop and write this post today, it may be July before I get around to it.
The year started off with breaking ground on our daughter & son-in-law's new house that Ken built. The framing started on our daughter's birthday in February, which was pretty cool. This, along with our regular jobs, kept us busy until the end of June. Nirvana was in the boatyard, being ignored since being placed "on the hard" the end of December, 2014.
February in Louisiana means Mardi Gras season. Although we've grown up with Mardi Gras, we never get tired of celebrating in the French Quarter ...
or eating King Cake!
As Mardi Gras season came to an end, it was time for the St. Patrick's Day parades in March ... lots of cabbage, potatoes, and carrots to catch.
April brought the French Quarter Festival ... our favorite with bands playing throughout the French Quarter and tons of booths with great New Orleans food!
Good thing we squeezed in some fun on the weekends while we could, because when it rains it pours ... and our rental that we had just finished renovating two months earlier (February) flooded ... again! The next few months were really hectic, with "renovating our rental" added to the list of projects.
We found a pretty good way to let off some steam ... enjoying the day at an annual crawfish cook-off that Ken competes in. He won first prize in 2014, and took second this time around. So good!
Our daughter made this cute t-shirt that tells the story of Ken's "D" team .. the first year we were "Disqualified" for not having our boil ready on time. Um, that's because Ken was asked to enter at the very last minute, and boiling a great pot of crawfish requires patience! In fact, after the judges tasted Ken's batch, they admitted that he would have won if his batch of bugs had been ready for the judging. That year and the next, Ken's crawfish were "Devoured" and they "Dominated" by taking first place. Love the shirt!
In May, the USS Wasp came to the port of New Orleans for a visit, and free tours! It was a huge ship, with tons of tanks and ammo on board ... impressive.
June was a very stressful month, and I felt like I was on auto-pilot. My mom had a sudden illness and really gave us a scare ... another reminder that life can change in an instant. Luckily, Mom pulled through after a couple of tough months .. whew!
At the end of July we were in the Dominican Republic with our daughter & son-in-law, celebrating the completion of their house. We had an amazing time and did a ton of fun things that you can read about here.
While there, we spent a day riding "conchos" with a bunch of other cruisers and locals. We had a great time talking to people that are living our dream while enjoying cocktails on the beach.
The day was made possible by Kat & Johnny, owners of Putula's Bar in Luperon. Kat has done a lot of cruising herself, but loved the Dominican Republic so much that she never left. She recently married Johnny, a native of the Dominican Republic and so kind. Everyone on the island was so friendly, and I really appreciated their efforts in getting this together for us! If you're ever in Luperon, you gotta visit Putula's and look for Kat & Johnny (in pic with me below).
In August, we were finally able to start giving some serious attention to Nirvana. Ken painted Nirvana's boot stripe and removed all of the deck hardware ... a ton for a 30 ft boat! Lots of repairs and prep work were done, and everything was protected in order to spray Interlux paint on the deck.
Ken sprayed the deck in October, and this was no joke ... a monumental task that we never want to do again!
During all of this, we downsized again ... selling all sorts of furniture and making many trips to Goodwill throughout the month of October. On Halloween, we turned over the keys to the landlord of our 2-bedroom condo and settled into a smaller one-bedroom condo that we're enjoying.
November and December were spent enjoying the holidays and tackling more projects on Nirvana which included painting the bottom, cutting out the old prop shaft and installing a new shaft, coupling, stuffing box with packing, hose and clamps. Considering this all started with the simple task of installing new packing, we were glad to finally get enough done to put Nirvana back in the water. We had hoped to "splash" before New Year's Eve, but constant rain throughout Christmas and the end of the year made it impossible. We figured the first week of January wouldn't be so bad ... it'd be a great way to start 2016. So, did we kick off the new year with a splash? You'll have to stay tuned (or check out our Facebook page), but I'll give you a hint ... does anything go smoothly for us?!
Anyway, we did have a great Christmas with family and we're always thankful for them and the blessings that we have. We hope that 2016 is our year for leaving the dock ... it should be if everything goes as planned. The journey to cruising seems pretty difficult, and like cruising, all plans are written in sand and flexibility and patience are required. We often get frustrated, but looking back over the years we're definitely making progress. You can check out our prior "Yearly Reviews" here ... we've got a few of them.
My last fortune cookie for 2015 ... I hope this isn't some kind of morbid warning. We're going as fast as we can!
Ken and I hope that 2016 is a fantastic year for us, and for all of you too! We really appreciate all of the support and motivation that you guys provide by following along with us on our journey. Thanks for hanging with us!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!