Our Time in the US

We arrived back in the US two days before Thanksgiving and less than two weeks after I broke my leg. My sister graciously changed her Thanksgiving plans and cooked a wonderful dinner for us. Also, I’m not ashamed to say that we really missed football, so we spent plenty of time watching the games on Thanksgiving weekend. A good time was had by all.

Here’s how we spent our time

So as not to overstay our welcome, we left after one week and set off toward the Bay Area. Moving on after a brief wine tasting stop in Paso Robles, we encountered a wall of water from the sky as we approached Salinas. Google Maps showed a large backup ahead on Highway 101, so we tried to go around on a side road. Since we were in a large Ford Explorer with All Wheel Drive, we confidently drove past a “Road Flooded” sign.

The Flood

After managing several sections with some water and mud flowing across the road, we encountered a much larger flooded section, with dozens of cars waiting for the flow to subside. Again, confidently, we moved to the front of the line and stopped short when we grasped what was ahead. For 20 minutes, we sat studying the crossing.

For Mike, it was like there was a little dude on each shoulder. One said, “Go for it, be a hero!”. The other said “Go for it, make it on the news. Be an idiot!” Finally, a couple of pickup trucks went through carefully, and we decided to go through too. But before we could proceed, a little Honda Accord raced by and went through without issue, so much for being a hero.

In the Bay Area and beyond

Primarily, we had an appointment with the 3rd-party agency that does the coordination and submission of the paperwork for the French visas. One of the reasons we came back to the US was to get our French long-term stay visas because the application has to be done in the US.

Most of you know that we are big skiers, so we spent a week in Lake Tahoe at Christmas with our kids and a week and a half in Utah. We also spent the night in San Francisco and saw Hamilton, went wine tasting with friends in Sonoma and had lots of lunches and dinners with friends and managed a short visit to Austin Texas on our way to Mexico.

Seeing our family and friends

We spent loads of time visiting with our many friends and blog followers, learning that more people than we thought are actually reading about our adventures. Knowing that has been really motivational, especially on days like today. I’m writing this article from our patio in Playa del Carmen Mexico when I would rather be sitting by the pool doing nothing. But we know our loyal readers look forward to our emails on Friday mornings, so we press on.

On the work front, we are still working on honing our craft, both writing and making the web site work well for everyone. As such, we have an ask for all of you. Your comments are greatly appreciated whether through the site or privately. Feel free to tell us what is and isn’t working for you. We know everyone really liked our travel tales and you can be sure there will be plenty more of those. In the meantime, we are trying to come up with interesting content and some in-depth articles about Playa del Carmen. Please let us know if you have any content ideas or things you want to hear about and we will try to make it happen.

Couch Surfing – Sort of

We want to thank everyone who offered their guest room, other room, and couch to us while we were in California, it helped us to not always have to stay in a hotel or a condo. Contrary to what you might be thinking, it isn’t “all” about the money. Well, it’s a little bit about the money, but we really enjoy staying with people not just because of the run of the house privileges but we also enjoy spending more quality time with our hosts.

It’s definitely time to get on the road again

Coming back to the US after being gone so long to a place that was familiar and comfortable and honestly less work than traveling abroad made us happy. The ease was even more keenly felt because I was hurt and dealing with my own personal adversity. Even though we always planned to stay until the end of January, we arrived three weeks earlier than originally planned making our time in the US much longer than we expected.

Now we know we are officially addicted to our nomadic lifestyle. By the time we left the Bay Area, we had been in the US for a little over two months and we were definitely ready for a new adventure. I have to admit that we were both really happy when we boarded the plane to Mexico and our next adventure.

playa del carmen
Our digs in Playa del Carmen

Any suggestions on where we should visit?


  1. Mikey/Diana: Jeff and I love reading your posts, since they give us ideas what to do during our retirement life in not so distant future. A suggestion to improve your blog is a link called “Where are the Gobles?” which would take us to your latest blog entry, along with a local map with a “pin” on the country/city you are currently at. Give us a jingle next time you are back in the Bay Area so we could grab a meal and catch up.

  2. Hi guys! So glad you made it to Playa Del Carmen! I’m curious about the feel there? When we were there 10 years ago it still felt like a small community. But I know it’s grown in population. Does it feel crowded on the playa? Are there enough local restaurants or are they mostly Americanized? I have fond memories of just snorkeling from the beach and seeing sea turtles. Enjoy! Enjoy! 💕

    • It doesn’t exactly feel small, but certainly manageable. The beach itself is fairly narrow. I know there was a lot erosion from recent hurricanes. The only American restaurant franchise we have seen is Starbucks. The place we went last night had grasshopper tacos on the menu. Much fun!

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