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December 16th 2011
Published: December 16th 2011
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Since many peoples and religions have a celebration this time of year, we want to wish everyone, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Bahai, etc., peace and good will this holiday season.

As you know, we returned from Germany in October 2010 - glad to be back in the warmth and in our own bed. We love traveling and living in
Merry ChristmasMerry ChristmasMerry Christmas

Yeah, scary stocking stuffers - wouldn't want to wake up to this Christmas morning!
other countries, but it is always a pleasure to come home.

I started immediately with a refresher course (Oct. - Dec. - much longer for new docents) to *continue being a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I started to work again in January.

*I had worked at the Desert Museum as a docent for over a year before moving to Germany.

Mid-January Bernard and I went to Dublin, Ireland for a week - Bernie to teach with his colleague and our good friend, Heike, and me to tour. For more about that trip, go to: http://www.travelblog.org/fred.php?id=562341 - Ireland

The end of January we had a reunion in Costa Rica with our foreign exchange students and their families, my sister and her husband, and daughter JJ and her partner Kelly (see blog entry: http://www.travelblog.org/fred.php?id=586060 - Costa Rica January 2011).

In February a friend from the Netherlands, Marcel, came for three weeks. We did EVERYTHING: Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Canyon De Chelly, Mesa Verde and tons of things, including a rodeo, in and around Tucson. While Marcel was still in town a friend from Oregon, Toni, came to Tucson to play golf and we
Costa RicaCosta RicaCosta Rica

The gang - all 15 of us - in Costa Rica, January 2011. See the blog (link in this blog) for more details and photos
managed a nice evening with her and a friend.

March brought many **snowbirds, including John & Alice Berninghausen from Vermont. John was Bernie's niece Adrienne's Chinese professor. They spend about a month in AZ every year and we've become good friends.

**Don't be offended snowbirds George, Pat & John, Kent & Linda, and Pat & Mick - I'm not mentioning those of you who own houses here.

In March while Bernard was being a judge at a moot court competition in France, I went with friends Leo & Mary (fellow docents) to California. They had a timeshare in Newport Beach (beautiful!), then we went to the Living Desert in Palm Desert (with many other docents from AZ) and drove home via The Salton Sea.

April and spring break brought niece Marie Gould and family to Tucson, again - they spent spring break here a few years ago and visited us in Berlin too. Intrepid hikers/adventurers one and all.

May-August. In May Bernard was off and running again, this time to Lima, Peru to teach for a week.

Soon after Bernie returned from Peru (May 22nd to be exact) we started our drive to Alaska
Glendalough, IrelandGlendalough, IrelandGlendalough, Ireland

The ONE day we had crappy weather Heike, Bernard & I toured County Wicklow and surrounding areas. The rest of the time was sunny and warm, but only I got to enjoy that as they were teaching while I was out touring
visiting friends and family in California and Washington along the way. For details and LOTS of photos, go to that blog entry: http://www.travelblog.org/fred.php?id=652688 - Alaska 2011 (With a Bit of Canada & Washington)

While in Alaska we hopped over to Germany for two weeks. Bernard lectured at the German Red Cross summer school in Berlin. When that was finished, we went with his colleague, Heike, and friend Philipp, to Rügen Island on the Baltic Sea. We rented an apartment in a quaint village and toured the area - all the beautiful coastal towns, beach areas, lake resorts. Very, very nice.

We flew back to Alaska from Berlin on August 7. On our drive south (left Alaska August 16), we stopped to visit my sister, Mary Jean, and her husband, Buzz, in Gig Harbor again. We also spent a weekend with friends Stuart & Susan at their beach house in Port Orchard. We then drove to the Olympic Peninsula to visit my brother, Cliff, and his wife, Terri, and old friends of my mom's, Nora & Harry, in Sequim. Then had a nice visit with my Aunt Betty in Port Angeles. Just before leaving Washington, we got together with
Sunset in Patagonia, AZSunset in Patagonia, AZSunset in Patagonia, AZ

John & Alice shared a favorite drive of theirs: through the grasslands of Patagonia at sunset, and it truly was fantastic
friends, the Cohn family, from El Paso who were delivering daughter Alicia to college near Tacoma.

We arrived in Tucson on August 26th to 106˚ F. (42˚ C.) temperatures and a broken air-conditioner. Fortunately it was fixed early the following day.

September found Bernard in Ireland again, again teaching with Heike, but this time the audience was the Irish Red Cross instead of the graduate students they normally lecture there.

In October good friends from Alaska, Jack & Sherri Hayden, visited on their way to South Carolina where they keep their sailboat - they'll spend the winter in the Bahamas.

My cousin BJ's daughter, Phyllis, was in town briefly to celebrate BJ's birthday; had a nice evening with everyone.

Later that month we went to a much cooler destination, Connecticut, for the wedding of Bernie's cousin Mary's daughter, Jackie. Lovely wedding and always fun to get together with family. We flew in and out of New Jersey to enable us to visit with Bernie's sister Claudia and her family.

November and Thanksgiving was strange for me as Bernie was in Ecuador that week. I fixed him the full turkey dinner the Saturday before he
Kathy and SnakeKathy and SnakeKathy and Snake

I'm holding a Mexican Black King Snake whose head is in my forehand and his tail is going over my shoulder. Salazar is big and when he decided it was time to go home, I couldn't hold on to him any longer
left, but it wasn't really the same. Thank goodness friends Mara & Larry (see photo of them in Tacoma) have a cousin in Tucson. They are often in AZ for Thanksgiving and invited me for dinner, which was fun. My cousin BJ, whom we often spend Thanksgiving with, was in New Mexico this year with one of her daughters.

December saw the beginning of the Junior Docent program at the Desert Museum and I'm one of the mentors. Wow, was really impressed with these smart, dedicated (for some this is their 3rd year) high school volunteers.

This month also brought friends Linda & Tim MacMillan from Alaska to Tucson for a much needed two-week sun break.

To cap a truly marvelous year we spent last weekend in Rosarito, Mexico with Susan and Stuart (Port Orchard, Seattle). They have a 3-bedroom condo on the beach there - gorgeous location and views. Cannot complain about the food either as I gained 3 pounds!!! Susan & Stu are great at ferreting out the best restaurants wherever they are, so it was no surprise that we ate out every evening and hadn't exhausted their "favorite" places.
Marcel in Monument ValleyMarcel in Monument ValleyMarcel in Monument Valley

We had cool but sunny weather all through Marcel's visit in February. Being from the Netherlands, he appreciated the sunshine very much

Brief Update on Christina & Family & JJ: Everyone is fine, although Christina has her foot in a full cast (to the knee) from complications from the neuroma operation she had LAST Christmas; she, husband Mark (works for Intuit) and son Evan are staying put in California for the holidays. JJ (still working at Coots) & partner Kelly (just started a new job with an Alaska Native Corp. - I think - she is a technical writer) are staying in Alaska for Christmas, but in January are headed to Thailand and Cambodia for a month. They arranged to stay a few days in San Francisco on their way to Asia, and we might (depending on Bernard's teaching schedule - still up in the air for January) meet them there. Hopefully we'd be able to rendezvous with Christina and family then too as they live nearby in Fremont.

Brief Update on Exchange Students: Everyone seems to be doing great. Victoria (Argentina) is still living and working as a masseuse in Ibiza, Spain; spends the "off" season with brothers in Valencia, with twin Marcela in Florida, or with family in Argentina or, commonly, a combination of all three. Marcela
Palm Grove OasisPalm Grove OasisPalm Grove Oasis

Look closely to see Mary at the bottom middle and then you can appreciate how huge these California palms are - old too
(Argentina) with husband Tim and son Cal are still enjoying Boca Raton, Florida where Tim works as a flight instructor at Lynn University and Marcela continues to work as a translator for a bilingual publication. Jaqueline (Guatemala) is back from working in Spain (where she was during our Costa Rica reunion last January - she was sorely missed) and pursuing her catering business with the help of her mom and sister Mercedes. Camila (Brazil) continues to work for the non-profit organization (education in renewable resources in, for example, the rain forest) where she has been No. 2 for about 18 years now (I know, seems impossible). She, husband Nielsen and the three kids (see lots of photos of all of them in the Costa Rica blog) are doing great; live in Brasilia. Marysia (Poland) and long-time boyfriend and career manager, Maciek, have been busy with Marysia's singing and acting career. She prefers singing and has been performing all over Poland with her band, Elektrolot. Marysia takes the occasional acting part and was shooting a movie at the time of our reunion in January, bummer for all of us. If you Google "Maria Peszek" her Wikipedia entry plus much more pops
Gould Family Gould Family Gould Family

Marie, Chris, Elise and Griffin visited the Grand Canyon, the kids' first time. They drove our VW camper van and planned to camp several nights, but the 1st night was so cold they found a motel for the 2nd

2012 Plans:

Bernard and Heike might be teaching in Ireland again in January and if that comes to pass, I'll go too as we'd take some extra days to visit family on the west coast of Ireland.

Recently Bernie was asked to do a course through the University of Arizona http://www.olli.arizona.edu (click on Course Catalog, then Tucson Campus, then on International Law; Individual Responsibility . . . .) It will be one class per week, 2 hours per class, for 10 weeks, which he is very jazzed about.

In February, while Bernard is busy teaching herein Tucson, I'm going to spend a week in Maui, Hawaii with friend Almarene. Together we are going to Santa Fe, New Mexico to meet with friends Mara & Larry (El Paso) for a long weekend.

In March we'll fly to Philadelphia for the wedding of Stuart & Susan's (Seattle) youngest son, David. We'll then drive to Massachusetts to visit Tom and Janet, Bernie's brother and his wife.

In April Bernard is going to be a judge at a moot court competition in South Africa (not too far outside of Jo'burg). I'll also be
Mary Jean & BuzzMary Jean & BuzzMary Jean & Buzz

Gig Harbor is one of our favorite places in the world - aren't I lucky to have a sister who lives there?
helping at the competition - doing whatever needs done, which of course means copying, making coffee, etc. When we are finished with the competition, Stuart & Susan will meet us and we'll all go to Kruger National Park for a week. We are in the process of arranging a 3-day camping/hiking adventure through the park service (fingers crossed!). After Kruger, Stuart & Susan are continuing on to Namibia; we'll go to Pretoria to visit friends before flying home.

In May Bernie will be in Germany again on the Polish border doing a week-long seminar (international criminal law again) at a university there. He may also teach at a different location, Witten/Herdecke, which has the only private university in Germany.

So now you are caught up on all of our goings and doings, we'd love to hear about your year.

May this holiday season be full of joy, laughter and harmony.

Love, Kathy & Bernard


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 26


Alaska Alaska

Me, Christina, JJ, Bernie with Evan in front. We had such a great time in Alaska this summer, especially spending time with our daughters and grandson. See that blog entry (link in this blog) for details and oodles of photos.
Fairbanks, AlaskaFairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska

While in Alaska we naturally visited my sisters in Fairbanks (Diana and husband Gary in this photo) and Central. Fairbanks has a world-class antique car museum; we didn't want to leave!
Central, AlaskaCentral, Alaska
Central, Alaska

With my sister Donna and her husband Larry in Central we went to a different kind of museum, one of gold mining; it is a well-done and very interesting venue
Rügen Island, GermanyRügen Island, Germany
Rügen Island, Germany

Bernard, me, Heike and Philipp on Rügen Island in August. We biked to this lovely peninsula that had several very old light houses. Had head-winds going, thought we were going to die; with tail-winds it took half the time to return
Ostbadsee Binz, GermanyOstbadsee Binz, Germany
Ostbadsee Binz, Germany

This is one of the beach towns on Rügen Island; we ate there several times, took a boat tour, etc., but preferred our quiet village accommodations
Stuart & SusanStuart & Susan
Stuart & Susan

Their main residence is in Seattle, but their beach house is so beautifully situated - we could see Mt. Rainier across the water
Aunt BettyAunt Betty
Aunt Betty

My mom's sister, Betty, lives in Port Angeles, WA. She is in her mid-80s and still going strong. She did have to quit mountain hiking after a fall and pins in her ankle, but she still walks every day
Sequim, WASequim, WA
Sequim, WA

In Sequim I got to see my brother Cliff and his wife Terri, plus some old friends of my mom, Nora & Harry
The Cohn FamilyThe Cohn Family
The Cohn Family

We had a fun evening with Mara and Larry who were in Tacoma delivering daughter Alicia to university; son Josh, who is in his last year of college in Oregon, came along too. Mara & Larry came to Tucson for Thanksgiving, so I got to see them again.
Jackie Fontaine's WeddingJackie Fontaine's Wedding
Jackie Fontaine's Wedding

Jackie with new husband and her siblings. The wedding was in Dansbury, Connecticut - lovely area. The leaves at not reached full color yet, but it was still a beautiful drive from New Jersey to Connecticut.
Family at Connecticut WeddingFamily at Connecticut Wedding
Family at Connecticut Wedding

Front: Bernie's cousin Frank, niece Denise, cousin Ed's girlfriend Kathleen, Frank's wife Dottie. Standing: Kathy, Bernie and Bernie's sister Claudia
More FamilyMore Family
More Family

Cousin Ed's longtime girlfriend Kathleen, Bernie's sister Claudia, and cousin Ed
McKayla, Denise's DaughterMcKayla, Denise's Daughter
McKayla, Denise's Daughter

Grand-niece Mac didn't get to come to the wedding with us, but we had such a great time with her in New Jersey, I needed to include a photo of her
Jr. Docent ProgramJr. Docent Program
Jr. Docent Program

To take out animals for the first time, the Jr. Docents need a mentor to supervise. Here I am with Holly and our salamander
Susan & Stu in Wine Country, MexicoSusan & Stu in Wine Country, Mexico
Susan & Stu in Wine Country, Mexico

Who'd a thunk it - vineyards and great wine in Mexico? Well, it exists and we spent a great day wine tasting, touring Ensenada and then having dinner at a resort where the waves were breaking over the rocks directly outside the window - sometimes splashing the windows
Rosarto, MexicoRosarto, Mexico
Rosarto, Mexico

Bernard & Susan on the patio of condo in Mexico. We had lovely weather until the morning we left when a huge winter storm blew in and brought record amounts of rain to CA and also AZ; we drove home (6 1/2 hours) just ahead of the worst of it.

16th December 2011

looks like you had a lovely year with lots of loving friend and family. wishing you and Bernie many more of the same.
16th December 2011

What a YEAR you guys had! I'm exhausted just READING about it all! Thanks for sharing your adventures! hugs, Jenna
16th December 2011

still in ecuador....
bummed I didn't know Bernie was back in Ecuador again -- I'm sure he was very busy, but I would have moved mountains to be able to see him while he was here at the equator.....
21st December 2011

Love reading about your adventures and viewing your pictures. What an interesting life you lead! Wondering where in Philly the wedding will be?
2nd January 2012

Jan. 1st 2012
Always love your blogs. It's also great to put faces to the family and friends in all your travels and adventures.

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