Friday, January 17, 2020

Cascada Caliente (Hot Waterfall ) Trip

Our cruising friends in the launcha ready for our trip to the
Cascada Caliente (minus me as I was taking the picture)

And now the group is complete!

Our launcha dropped us off at the Public Dock where our
driver waited. The 11 passenger van brought us to the
start of the trail into the waterfall.
 It's been work, work, work here on the Rio getting our boats ready to start this season's cruise. Five couples decided to take an afternoon off and I organized a trip into the Cascada Caliente on the way to El Estor. Besides ourselves, there was Renate & Jim from Emerald Seas, John & Sharon from Sunsation , Steve & Sam from Wanderlust, and Scott & Tamara from Kookie Dance. A launcha from Tortugal Marina took us to the Public Dock and then our driver Ottolei drove us to the start of the trail into the waterfall. It was a 15 Q entrance fee each and a guide led us that we just had to tip later. The van ride took about 45 minutes each way from Fronteras and cost 200Q a couple, including a tip.
Looking down from the trail before we descended to the river.

Steep stairs were built down to the river bank.

The waterfall is indeed hot and only a few of us could stand
being right in it. I preferred standing just far away to be in
the mist.
Renate and our guide
Jim and Scott enjoyed chatting in the lake formed at the bottom
Steve was able to stand the heat directly
underneath and John managed to climb
up onto top of the falls.
Sharon, Heather, Renate, Tamara, Sam and Steve
Renate, Sharon & Heather
The day was actually sunny but we were really in the shade
of the trees so it was very comfortable.
We brought snacks and drinks - here Sam, Heather and Renate enjoy some vino tinto. Sharon got the award for best appetizer -  tiny French goat cheese rounds.
John, Tamara and Scott 
Enormous trees towered overhead and sunlight filtered through. We really lucked out on the
weather. Every other day since we arrived, it rained but this time it didn't!
It was a lovely walk back through the forest.
We met a young boy who was gathering wood for his
family's cookfire. He used a tourniquet to tighten the big
bundle of branches with a strap that went onto his forehead.
Mayan children have to work hard to help
their families.
But after the day's work is done, the boys can at least play
 in the river. 
Scott, Jim, Renate, John, Sharon, Sam, Steve, Scott, Heather and Tamara line up in front of our van.
Several of us bought young coconuts from a woman at
the start of the trail
These two boys were fascinated by watching us foreigners
and the wood didn't get home until we had left. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

From Vermont to Guatemala

We had a lot of snow early in November and
it continued until we left on January 1. We flew
 from Rutland on Cape Air's 9 passenger
plane to Boston. They had to deice it just
before we left.
We had Thanksgiving with our daughter Zoe's family in
Palo Alto, CA. Here's Heather, Nick, Tommy, George,
Scott and Zoe.
That's Kyrie, Zoe's older sister and behind Heather,
Scott's second wife and Zoe & Kyrie's mother Nancy.
In the back with Nick & Tommy are Kyrie's two sons.

The cross country tracks weren't ours. We just enjoyed a
leisurely walk up to the AT/LT.

We visited the Silversteins at their home in
Vermont while Scott was visiting and met
his new son Calvin - what a doll!
A group of our old friends meet each year on the Friday before our Holiday Open House, which is held alternatively at the Wolfs and the Martins. This year we met for lunch in Braintree - left to right: Bill Fonvielle, Marty Wolf, Karen & Ted
Martin, Carole Sharoff, Scott & Heather, Leslie Silverstein, Dick Bond, Deb D'Arpa, Russ Wolf and David Silverstein.
Each year our Bridge Club has a Pot Luck Dinner at our house. We had 20 this year. Following the excellent dinner we
have a Yankee Swap exchange of gifts. You can't see everyone in this photo, unfortunately. 
We cut our tree down at Paxton Greens right in our
town and it was a beauty.
Our youngest son Sean & grandson Kolya
Sean and his husband Will in their new scarfs
we bought in Scotland.
Our daughter-in-law Morgen opens gifts.
Our son James and his son Kolya
Gary, our son-in-law Will's father joined us for Christmas
this year.
Kolya got his own computer but that doesn't stop him from
wanting our's.
OK so you'll have to forgive me but I'm going
to include a lot of Kolya!
Our old friend Larry Barns often joins us for the holidays
And his son Luke as well
Grandpa and Kolya
Bird's eye view of our Cape Air plane
landing at Logan Airport, Boston
Kayaking in Bonita Springs
Scott and I at the beach in Bonita Springs, FL
We spent four days with our great friend Barbara at her
lovely home in Pelican Landing. 
And then a wonderful night with our other great friends
Uli & Thomas on their boat in Ft. Lauderdale.
We had a miserable time at the FLL airport trying to
fly to Guatemala on Spirit Airlines. The baggage
conveyor failed and the line to try and drop off your bags
stretched out onto the sidewalk. No one at Spirit tried
to help the situation and we, along with many others,
missed our flight. It took 3 hours to actually talk to someone
and reschedule for the next day. Happily everything went
well then.

Scott Free with her "winter cover" on at the dock at Tortugal
 marina on the Rio Dulce.
And next to her our cruising buddies
Jim & Rentate on Emerald Seas.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Shrewsbury Day

The loudspeaker system was set up in front of Smith Maple
Crest Farm
Sunday, September 15 was the second annual Shrewsbury Day and a rousing success. It didn't hurt that it was perfect weather. The whole town turned out either in the parade or watching it!  Afterward, there was a BBQ lunch, lots of activities for the kids and live music. It was a perfect day to celebrate community - and we have a fantastic one here in Shrewsbury.
You can see one section of the crowds here in front of the Shrewsbury Church.


That's Ann Vanneman marching for the Historical Society
on the right.

Next came our Veterans. That's Gerry Martin in the middle.

The local farms were represented by a wonderful Cornocopia
float and pulled by, of course, a John Deere Tractor.

Many of our farmers were represented on board.


Most everyone was there from the Shrewsbury Elementary
 School 

The kids carried their animal sculptures.

Alana and Lavinia represented Pierce's Store,
 established in 1865!

The Shrewsbury Bocce Club featured a working Bocce court.

The Shriners retinue included a drum corps and...

a CAMEL. The kids loved this float!!

Next was our award-winning Volunteer Fire Department.

Along with a variety of fire engines, came this vintage
winter "passenger van"

Michael Wells sported a top hat.

Heather is joined by 4 students from her 2019 Cooking Class: Sharon, Linda, Carol and Jo

All the kids stood in line for the face painting

There were games of all kinds

And music

Here's a view from the back of the church 

 Picnic tables provided space for the great BBQ

There was a big line to get lunch

Inside the Town meeting room were local artisans displaying
their wares. Here are Chryl and Gerry with their wooden bowls
with Jolly looking on. 

Meg Mellor spun wool for a rapt group of kids.

The Shrewsbury Singers performed as well.

And then the band continued playing all afternoon.