Not surprisingly, this month was when people began asking questions about 'when will I get the vaccine'? For our immediate family, vaccinations started quickly and by March 4 of our 8 family members had been vaccinated.
Since we were wintering in NH this year, we committed to getting outside every day regardless of the temperature. Luckily, we have a 3-mile loop walk within the development, that provides a traffic and snow hassle free path. Most days we've either completed this loop,
or weather permitting we've continued going for runs in the neighborhoods, or
when all else fails we've used the bike trainer we purchased back in November.
Although we aren't crazy about birdhouses positioned so close to the house, since they also attract mice, we have enjoyed watching the birds from the breakfast table each morning.
The weather warmed up and the snow melted so we went for a walk at Benson Park in Hudson, NH. This 166-acre recreational area has a long and interesting story. Benson’s Wild Animal Farm was a New England landmark attraction established by John T. Benson. Benson purchased the property in 1922 as a place to quarantine imported animals before they were sold to zoos and circuses. Most circuses and animal trainers at that time obtained their wild animals from Benson, who served as a dealership for the Hagenbeck Company of Hamburg, Germany, the largest dealer in wild animals during that time. In 1927, Benson's Wild Animal Farm opened to the public for a small admission fee. Until his death in 1943, John T. Benson developed the property into a renowned regional attraction celebrated as "the strangest farm on earth". Financed largely by Benson's success as an animal merchant, the facilities were constantly expanded during the 1930s. During the 1950s, Benson's was one of New Hampshire's top attractions, second only to Rockingham Racetrack, with approximately 500,000 visitors annually. The 80s were not an easy for time for the Farm. The owners filed for bankruptcy in 1985 and permanently closed their doors in 1987.
There's a simple but impressive 911 memorial near the entrance to the old Farm.
The gorilla house has been renovated and returned to its previous state.
The 'Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe' play area is in great shape.
We followed the 2.5-mile Haselton Farm Trail through the park and the adjacent woods.
A little muddy but worth the effort.
It was a big day. After spending a stressful 90 minutes online, we were able to schedule our first vaccine appointment for March 31st. One down...one to go!
If April showers bring May flowers, what do you do after it snows 3 inches on April 16th bring? Tulips for inside the house.
Sears is closed but the New Hampshire used the site to dispense vaccine. Happy days walking into the mall for Pfizer #2. Now the 2-week wait before full vaccine efficacy is acheived
The start of our travel to visit family and have fun. The 8-week trip included stops on both coasts. Click the hyperlinked text to navigate to separate blogs.
Tampa to visit Debbie, Rob and Rojo
Everglades National Park
Naples to celebrate with Pam, Paula and Mom
California: Palm Desert to check on the house after 14 months
Seattle to visit Weston and MacKenzie and explore the surrounding areas
Mt Hood region
Columbia River Gorge
We joined Nashua Area Pickleball Organization and begun playing some competitive pickleball. They have 2 sets of courts: Fields Grove and Greeley Park. The Park is a much more competitive environment and we've initially struggled to play competitively. Time will tell if we adjust.
Meg and Brad's big wedding day including an outdoor ceremony was under the threat of rain all day long, but never underestimate the power of a bride-to-be. Less than hour before the ceremony, the storms suddenly turned North; the sun came out and staff began drying the chairs.
The ceremony took place without a hitch. A somewhat nervous bride made her entrance.
One of my favorite photos and the look of happiness on their faces.
Chris and Meg enjoying the reception.
Nana and Meg sharing a moment.
And just like that we were flying back to California for 5 weeks.
It's been a fast 5 years.
COVID vaccines have become such a normal part of life that we didn't even bother taking a photo when we got our first booster. The Omicron variant was wreaking havoc in New England so a dinner with Chris in Cambridge was definitely an outdoor seating event.
Whos said we only get great sunsets in California. This phot was taken along the Nashua River, a short walk from the house.
Thanksgiving returned after a non appearance in 2020. Everyone enjoyed the family as a family celebration in Rhode Island at Pam and Pat's home. It was Grant's first holiday spent with everyone; let's just say he received just a little bit of attention.
XMAS Eve began with everyone searching for COVID test kits. With Omicron cases rapidly increasing since October, we agreed that everyone should do a rapid at-home test and then agree to wear a mask indoors in order to provide some additional protection especially for Mom and Grant. Getting test kits was incredibly challenging. Just to make matters worse, two family members had close contact with people who later tested positive but fortunately they both tested negative.
What great pics to make up for last year's celebration in the garage and over Zoom.
Cousins were celebrating together again.
The 'new' Nana and Grant. Too bad he wouldn't remember his first XMAS Eve.
A great reminder that our friends were celebrating XMAS at Park Palms in California.