Happy Holidays and A Look Back at 2017


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December 4th 2017
Published: December 4th 2017
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Happy Holidays!!Happy Holidays!!Happy Holidays!!

Bernie had to teach in Germany this summer and so we never were together as a family; JJ didn't arrive until the day B left. The closest I have to a 'family shot' is this one (me, Christina & JJ)
YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT, THEN GO BACK TO THE BLOG OR GO THROUGH THE PHOTOS (27 TOTAL - CLICK ON NEXT OR PREVIOUS) IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT. I PUT LOTS OF INFORMATION IN THE PHOTO CAPTIONS SO YOU CAN SKIP THE NARRATIVE, JUST LOOK AT THE ENLARGED PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS AND YOU'LL STILL GET MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU EVER WANTED. TO RETURN TO THE BLOG ENTRY, JUST CLICK YOUR BACK BUTTON OR ON THE NAME OF THE BLOG, BELOW THE NUMBERS ON THE LEFT.



As you have probably figured out, these travel blogs are a way for Bernard and me to keep track of our adventures. I can't tell you how many times we've referred back to one of our over 60 travel blogs looking for various details, maps, dates, etc. That said, feel free to enjoy the photos and just skim or ignore the text.




To those we love and see each day and other loved ones far away, to all good friends who mean so much and those with whom we’re out of touch… Wishing you every happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming year.




I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating in this atmosphere of division, we say 'happy holidays' (and Merry Christmas too) to be inclusive of all our friends and family - **Jews, Muslims, Christians and any other religion, including those who celebrate this time of year as simply a winter holiday.



**Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian) 11/26; Ascension of Abdul Baha (Baha'i) 11/28; Mawlid an Nabi (Islam) 12/1; Bodhi Day (Buddhist) 12/8; Chanukah (Jewish) 12/12 - 20; Guru Gobindh Singh's birthday (Sikh) - to name only a few.



2017 was a busy and fun year for us. We added nine new countries (Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and the UAE) to our list of countries visited, which put us over 100.


January - February





We started out the new year with a long weekend in Rosarito, Mexico with friends Stuart and Susan at their condo and with another couple, Donna & Mark. Stuart, Bernie and Mark went to Georgetown Law together oh-so-many years ago, so this was a mini-reunion. Bringing in the new year with old friends was exceptionally wonderful.



JJ arrived in Arizona towards the end of January and stayed until after her birthday (1/28 - 2/7). A friend of hers who lives in Phoenix now, Alana, drove down and the two of them had ball 'doing' the Tucson Gem Show. The four
New Year's Eve in Rosarito, MXNew Year's Eve in Rosarito, MXNew Year's Eve in Rosarito, MX

Stuart & Susan (middle) invited us to spend the weekend at their condo in MX with mutual friends Donna & Mark. Stu, Mark & Bernie went to Georgetown Law together, so this was a mini-reunion - very fun.
of us drove to Mexico, this time to Puerto Peñasco for a long weekend.



A few days after JJ left Bernardo flew to Colorado Springs to the Air Force Academy where he lectures every year, along with his colleague from Germany, Heike. Heike didn't have time to stay in Colorado when they were finished, so I didn't join them. In 2018 Heike is coming again and will have more time, so I'll drive up with Bernie so we can all do something fun when they are finished at the AFA. One year we tried to go to the Grand Canyon, but a snow storm ruined that; we ended up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Have to say, with the amount of jewelry Heike bought, she was quite happy with the Santa Fe detour.


March - April




Bernie is one of the founders of the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Competition (patterned on Pictet) that takes place in the USA every year now. This is their 5th year and the third wherein Georgetown Law in D.C. has hosted it. Last year it was in early March, so we flew to D.C for the
Rosarito sunsetRosarito sunsetRosarito sunset

New Year's weekend in Rosarito, MX at Stu and Susan's beach condo where the sunsets were magnificent
Clara Barton IHL competition and flew from there to the Pictet IHL Competition (my sixth and Bernie's ninth year of participation) in Borjomi, Georgia. It is in a different country every year. We took the opportunity after the competition to tour in Georgia and Armenia. In 2018 the Pictet competition will be held in Macedonia - another new country for us.



Borjomi, Georgia is wonderful old spa town not too far from the capital of Tbilisi. We flew into Tbilisi a few days early to acclimate and see the city. The law competition is a full week - Saturday to Saturday - and we are incredibly busy the whole week.



In Pictet there are 48 teams of 3/144 students. Two-thirds/32 teams compete in English; one-third/16 teams in French. The English teams are split in two with 16 teams in each group. Bernie is a judge/juror and works primarily with one 16-team English-speaking group; there is cross-over of jurors/judges when it comes to the semi-finals.



I do administration work, which includes helping the 144 student competitors; I have primary responsibility for one group of 16 teams (48 students), 4 juror/judges and 4
JJ, Bernardo & KathyJJ, Bernardo & KathyJJ, Bernardo & Kathy

Watching the sunset at a beach bar, Wrecked on the Reef, in Puerto Peñasco, MX
student tutors (past participants who mentor the competing students). I also work with approx. 10 additional administrative staff.



It is always an exciting, exhilarating and exhausting week with all the hustle and bustle , interacting with students from all over the world, getting to spend time with our Pictet family that we see only once a year. We are always cheering for all the teams, but alas a winner must prevail and this year it was the team from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Latin America had a great showing, in addition to Argentina's win, the teams from Ecuador and Peru made it to the semi-finals. Also in the semi-finals were teams from the UK, Switzerland, Australia, France, Belgium, two teams from Canada, and two teams from the USA: NYU and Harvard. Argentina, NYU and Belgium were the finalists. I hate to brag, but the Argentine team was one that I took care of, so perhaps that little TLC helped give them the edge? Just saying.



After the Pictet competition concluded Bernie and I hired a car and driver/tour guide to see more of Georgia and a bit of Armenia. We drove all
Puerto Peñasco SunsetPuerto Peñasco SunsetPuerto Peñasco Sunset

I could have posted about 10 more photos from this evening - some of the most beautiful skies we'd ever seen.
over the country; west from Borjimi to Kutaisi, into a nature preserve toward Zugdidi; from Zugdidi we headed north and east into the mountains to the village of Mestia where we got snowed in; back tracked to Kutaisi then to Gori (Stalin's home town); next to the Uplistsikhe caves (date to 1st millennium BC) and back to Tbilisi; then east into the wine country; returned to Tbilisi and drove to the border with Armenia for transfer to our Armenian car driver/tour guide for our trip to the capital of Yerevan; we flew home from Yerevan. The map I've included doesn't have all the little wineries or culural villages we visited, and those were some of our favorites. The map just gives an overview of our route.



We were not home from Georgia/Armenia very many days before B had to fly off to Frankfurt Oder, Germany to teach at Viadrina University - on the German/Polish border. Every year he teaches a week-long module and throughout the year he oversees theses and grades exams.


May - August




We spent the month of May in Tucson. June first we packed up our VW van and headed
JJ's BirthdayJJ's BirthdayJJ's Birthday

Back in Tucson to celebrate JJ's birthday with Tim & Linda
out for the summer: Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Canada and Colorado. We spent our time before reaching Washington camping, an Airbnb or motel here and there and visited friends along the way. When we got to Washington it was mostly family as daughter Christina lives in Seattle, sister Mary Jean in Olympia, brother Cliff in Sequim, aunt Betty in Port Angeles, plus good friends Stuart & Susan in Seattle and Pat and Mick in Birch Bay.



While Pat & Mick in Birch Bay, WA (we hopped from there into Canada twice) we got the news that Bernie's brother Tom Dougherty had passed away on July 14 after many, many years of suffering from MSA (multiple systems' atrophy - similar to Lou Gehrig's disease, but slower). It was a bitter-sweet reunion with Tom's wonderful family in Shrewsbury, MA. They had a beautiful memorial for Tom. Bernie's sister Claudia and daughter Denise drove over from New Jersey, cousin Ed from New York, cousin Mary from Connecticut, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and in-laws from all over. It was a well-attended and poignant remembrance of a truly kind man who Bernie always remembered as having been a loving brother, even to
Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsColorado Springs

Bernard with colleagues Chad and Heike; Chad's wife Erica beside Heike. After they finished with lecturing at the Air Force Academy, they went for brunch at the gorgeous Broadmoor Hotel and had to send me a photo to rub it in - also sent a photo of the all-you-could eat seafood tower
a bratty little brother 10 years younger.

We flew to Shrewsbury from my sister's home in Olympia, WA and so flew back there on the 21st. On July 29 Bernie flew to Berlin, Germany to lecture at the German Red Cross Summer School as he has for 12 years. I didn't go this year, but stayed in Olympia with my sister Mary Jean and husband Buzz.

Bernie returned on August 3 and shortly thereafter we packed up the VW van and headed east to Glacier National Park and then south toward home. We wanted to explore a bit of Colorado for next summer, which we did and plan to spent most of next summer in and around Durango, CO.

August - November






We drove from Durango, CO to Tucson arriving home August 14, so on the road for 2 1/2 months; it was nice to stay in one place for a while, even if it was ungodly hot. Tucson had record-breaking heat all summer and August and September continued the same.



September 27 we left the heat of Arizona behind us and began our five-week Central Asia/Silk Road/The Stans trip
Clara Barton IHL CompetitionClara Barton IHL CompetitionClara Barton IHL Competition

B with Katja, his German colleague, in D.C. role playing in the Clara Barton international humanitarian law competition
with Road Scholar (formerly Elder Hostel). This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip so I am going to do a full, separate blog on that trip and the add-on to Iran we did, plus the short stop in Dubai, UAE on the way home. I have too many outrageously wonderful photos to try and limit them for this holiday blog.



We hope you all had a fun and filling Thanksgiving - we did. Three friends from Alaska (Tim, Linda & Almarene) and a friend of mine from my gym, Suellen, joined us. We had the hottest Thanksgiving on record, but we still had appetizers on the patio. Chris and family were together in Seattle, JJ in AK - she has a trip to Costa Rica coming up and needs to conserve leave time and money; we'll see her in February and maybe get Chris and Evan to come down too - lovely time in AZ and cold in AK; wet and dreary in WA.



Just another reminder, as I mentioned in a previous blog, the UPS store where we had gotten our mail for about 22 years closed and we've had to arrange for another PMB
Pictet International Humanitarian Law CompetitionPictet International Humanitarian Law CompetitionPictet International Humanitarian Law Competition

Borjomi, Georgia - group shot of almost all of the 200 people participating in the 29th Concours Jean-Pictet. Bernie is in there somewhere; I'm in front because among my many duties I am the official photographer and had to get this group situated, then run down and squat in front while someone from the hotel took the shot
(private mail box). Below is our new mailing address:

7739 E. Broadway Blvd., PMB 246, Tucson, AZ 85710



Whatever is beautiful, whatever is meaningful, whatever brings happiness, may it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.



Happy Holidays and may 2018 bring you whatever your hearts desire.



Love, Kathy & Bernie



DON'T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE PHOTOS BELOW (VERY BOTTOM, BELOW THE AD, OUR PROFILE, THE BLOG OPTIONS, NORTH AMERICA, TRVELBLOG AWARDS, TOP PHOTOS - YES, RIDICULOUS!!) AND GO TO THE OTHER PAGES - 27 TOTAL - (CLICK ON 'NEXT' AT BOTTOM OF EACH PAGE).





THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS AT THE BOTTOMS OF THE PAGES - MORE FAMILY SHOTS.


Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 27


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Winners!!Winners!!
Winners!!

The team from the University of Buenos Aires won the Pictet competition: Jimena, Alan & Juan did a fantastic job, obviously.
American University College of Law TeamAmerican University College of Law Team
American University College of Law Team

We met this team in D.C. at the Clara Barton competition just before the Pictet competition, so bonded with Laura, Cynthia & Victoria even before reaching Georgia - they are total foodies and I had much to learn from them.
Tbilisi at NightTbilisi at Night
Tbilisi at Night

We found this amazing restaurant overlooking the city - was worth the hike; the name of the restaurant is 144 Stairs and they were NOT fibbing by even one step
Georgia MapGeorgia Map
Georgia Map

Click on the map to enlarge so you can see our route which I've added in red
Mestia, GeorgiaMestia, Georgia
Mestia, Georgia

Near the border with Russia - got a foot of snow and couldn't get to a village on our itinerary even with 4-wheel drive
Uplistsikhe caves, GeorgiaUplistsikhe caves, Georgia
Uplistsikhe caves, Georgia

This cave complex dates to the 1st millennium BC
Yerevan, ArmeniaYerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

We only had a few days in Armenia and spent them exploring the capital, Yerevan. A lovely, modern city with great museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, and pedestrian malls
Summer CampingSummer Camping
Summer Camping

One of our many lovely, idyllic camp sites - this one in Oregon on a river near the Gorge
Mt. Rainier viewMt. Rainier view
Mt. Rainier view

Entering Washington from Oregon
Susan & Stuart (foreground)Susan & Stuart (foreground)
Susan & Stuart (foreground)

We stayed several days with friends Stuart and Susan in West Seattle. One of Susan's cousins and her family was in town and we all had dinner together
Christina & EvanChristina & Evan
Christina & Evan

Chris and Evan moved from California back to Seattle a few months ago. Mark and Chris lived in Seattle before moving to California for work, but kept their home in Seattle (rented out).


5th December 2017

All this took place in just one year?!!!??? Wow!
The warmth and excitement of your lives shines in your travel blog. You two live lives worth admiring. Thank you for sharing so many great memories.

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