The pandemic is still with us but that’s not holding us back! Welcome to the 2022 (and 30th overall!) edition of the Weissler Holiday Gazette, our annual year in review.
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Certainly we all thought we’d be past the pandemic by now, but with shots in arms and tests in hand, we’re fully back into our traveling habits. First up was birding in Trinidad and Tobago in March with Naturalist Journeys/Caligo Ventures. We’ve wanted to go there for years, and although a prime locale, the Asa Wright Nature Center, was closed, it was nevertheless a wonderful chance to escape our Arizona wintery weather for warmer climes and see great birds in the process.
Sadly in April Robert’s mother Claire passed away at the age of 92. She had a difficult last few years with dementia but was well cared for at the LA Jewish Home, and we had a last good visit with her alongside his brother Rod and wife Kathy, and niece Rachel via video call. She is now interred in Santa Monica next to Robert’s father Gerhard and near her sister Alla.
In May we returned to California to sing with our old singing group, the Mansfield Chamber Singers, in their spring concert. We’d managed pretty decently rehearsing via zoom for a couple of months, but nothing compares to being there in person. So nice to put on the fancy attire and perform with such talented individuals. (Still wonder sometimes how we got into the group.)
In June we were off to Portugal as “regular tourists”, after two years of trying unsuccessfully to plan a cycling tour there. Instead we made our way south to Sagres in the Algarve, then later met up with Robert’s cousins Rob and Linda Wanerman, and their friends, both in Lisbon and in Porto. Unsurprisingly we have developed a taste for very good port! We also met up with niece Margaret and partner Micah our last couple of days in Lisbon, and all six of us enjoyed a fun cooking class together.
In August our schedules all aligned so we could do a “tour of two nieces” – San Francisco to visit with Margaret and Micah, and Eugene, Oregon to visit with Rachel (that’s our Ph.D. Dr Weissler to you :-). Margaret, Micah, and Rachel all went out of their way to show us a great time in their respective cities, plus we also got in visits to a couple of national monuments and wineries as we drove from SF to Eugene and back.
Another driving trip took us up to Prescott, Arizona to visit with Liza’s Virginia cousins Bob and Pam Deichmeister. We hadn’t been there since the pandemic started (grrr) so it was nice to finally return.
The Ursich family trip tradition continued (year 2! lol) with a week in Palm Springs … okay, Indio, nearby, which allowed our “large group” in the AirBnB (PS has more restrictions). Great weather, food, games made for a fun time.
In November we made a long-anticipated return (26 years in the making) to Australia, this time to the Red Centre (southern Northern Territory), the Top End in Darwin and Kakadu National Park (northern Northern Territory), and all the way south to Tasmania. We returned to the US in time for Thanksgiving at Liza’s mom’s house in San Pedro, California.
Then despite just being there at Thanksgiving, we returned at Christmas, because we could. 🙂 A great time was had by all with plenty of food, drink, laughter, and music. (Well, almost all, Southwest Airlines kept Micah from joining us.) We even had a wine-tasting day out in Temecula where Robert’s brother Rod joined us. Oh, and if you’re wondering about Yogi Bear below, he’s the same age as Liza, sister Luci received him the Christmas Liza was born.
Robert continues his activities with the Friends of the San Pedro River, not to mention working on his mother’s estate finances. Liza is still occupying herself with cooking classes. Birding and cycling of course too, and Liza finally (after 22 years) bought a new road bike, this time an e-bike. (Largely it can be ridden without the power on, but it sure is nice to have the assistance when required! We will see how long Robert lasts before he decides to get one, too.)
Next year there are a couple of trips planned already, to Morocco and Spain in the spring (with Wild Andalucia), and Scotland (with Birding Ecosse). More chances for Liza’s bird photography! And another family trip, location/time TBD. Scottsdale, maybe?
We hope everyone had a marvelous holiday season, whatever you celebrate, and we wish you all a safe and healthy 2023.
A couple other websites you may want to browse as well:
The Adventures of Buddy Bison!
Liza’s food blog, Liza’s World Kitchen
Niece Maureen’s articles for Entertainment Weekly
Brother Lee’s Notes on a Pac 12 Scorecard blog
Follow us on Instagram! lizaweissler, rweissler, and bbisonw
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