Happy New Year 2012 – Year-in-Review Letter to family & friends

Nevis W.I., December 14th, 2011

Dear Friends,

In 2011 we stayed in Nevis till late March  when we flew over to St Martin and spent 3 wonderful days at the Radisson Beach Resort at Anse Marcel in the North of the Island  before flying home to Geneva. That was a very relaxed way of taking the evening AF flight, without the hassle of changing planes at the busy Princess Juliana Airport.

While in Nevis, Uschi’s mother Hilde passed away quite suddenly on Feb.20th. She was 96 ½ and still living by herself until 2 weeks before. There was no way that we could get a flight home via St Marten  or via Miami or New York in time to see her before her cremation which according to German law has to take place within 72 hours of death! Therefore, we decided to have her real funeral, and then have a proper church service with the burial of her urn on April 6th when everybody could attend.

In early May, Willi went to Japan despite the 3/11 9.0 earthquake followed  by a devastating tsunami which led to the terrible Fukushima catastrophe. Many people had pleaded with him not to go, but after spending 28 happy years in that wonderful country, Willi felt he owed it to his many Japanese friends and colleagues to show them respect in their most difficult time. And I felt their gratitude and happiness for my visit this time, especially as most foreign personnel had left Japan for home, or at least had transferred their work place to the Osaka area right after the earthquake. The Japanese felt very upset.

Meanwhile Uschi went to clean out her mother’s apartment  in Kempten and was lucky to sell it as well.

Summer was a marvelous time at Lake Geneva, good for swimming, taking walks or naps on the terrace after a fine lunch with visitors.

In early September we left for Thailand and Chiang Mai, to get accustomed to the Western Australian time. Fortunately, we were there before the disastrous Thai flooding that happened in that country in October.

We had planned another trip to the Australian Outback in Western Australia for 2 years. The timing was done so as to coincide with the end of the rains in the desert areas, and for the flowers to be out and in full bloom. This time from Perth up  to Dongara – Kalbarri – Monkey Mia – Coral Bay –Exmouth – Tom Price (starting place for the Karijini National Park but also one of the important Iron Mining townships from where trains run to Port Headland) and returning to Perth via Newman – Cue.

This itinerary reads like a little outing but with all the side trips to see all the sights and Aboriginal cave paintings, lakes, gorges, pink lakes where natural beta carotene is being harvested, cliffs, sand dunes, dozens of flowering spring flowers, fighting red male kangaroos, etc., the trip came to a staggering 4’800 kms! We had the same comfortable Range Rover with air suspenion that we had previously used in 2007 for the trip from Perth to the South as far as Albany, expertly driven by our trusted owner-guide Arthur (‘Turi’ for his friends) Junker of Sandgroper Tours who effortlessly found even the most remote and nowhere marked   places and sights.

With the attached photos taken by Uschi, you will find a legend that explains some of the pictures and sights.

Later we took a Qantas (queer and nervous take another service!) flight to Sydney where we stayed with our friends the “Flinchens”.

We then took a SQ A-380 day flight to Singapore, a wonderful experience in both service, quietness and space. The continuation to Tokyo was another highlight because. upon landing from Australia, all in transit, they led us to their Lounge and in there to a Private dining room where we were served an exquisite à la carte pre-flight dinner. Then it was 11 pm and  time to board. No sooner were we in the air, than our beds were made up and we were asleep (we took a pill with the meal) – this till Tokyo, nearly 7 hours later.

In Japan, we stayed only in Tokyo where we met with a number of friends for lunch and dinner thus catching up with friends  as we regularly do. No sumo in October… Also, we did not go to Fukushima as I did in May.

On the way home, we overnighted in Los Angeles  where we had dinner with Pat Wanner. On to Seattle, we had a great surprise: TSA in their ‘friendliness’ had broken the locks on our Samsonite suitcase and we had to go buy new ones – of course we had nothing inadmissible in them, they are just nosy and when they want to look and a bag is locked, they break the lock. So sorry…. That’s why we avoid the US as much as we can.

We had a wonderful dinner at the Canlis Restaurant in Seattle. The owner spent some time with us chatting because his elder brother who actually had invited us and for whom we had made the trip to Seattle, could not make it that evening. Thank you Tony, sorry to have missed you and Pam.

In San Francisco, we bought some clothes for me. Also revisited some old places like the Golden Gate bridge, Sausalito, the Wharf.  Had some Italian food with Otti and Sayoko Meier. On the way home by Swiss, we were the only 2 passengers and got great service from the crew but were not really hungry, but it being a night flight, we had a great sleep on soft beds.

The latter part of October and all of November were so lovely and sunny that we were able to eat outside on the terrace every day! I had not rained in Switzerland since early October and it started to rain a little just 3 days before we left for Miami…

We arrived in Nevis on Dec.9th; after 3 days in Miami for shopping for meats and cheese, so we will not die of hunger during the Festivities and in the New Year… Of course, we also needed some hardware goods and other materials for the house which for the silly new rule introduced by quasi bankrupt American Airlines of “NO BOXES” as accompanied baggage during December, we had to leave back in Miami.

The 3 grandchildren with their parents will unfortunately not be able to join us again this holiday season but we hope to have them with us in 2013.

In closing, Uschi joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a most wonderful, happy, successful and healthy New Year of the Dragon 2012! The webpage will be updated before Christmas to include the Dragon for 2012.


                                                                                                                                    Willi & Uschi


We have safely returned to the Islands last Friday afternoon from Miami via St. Kitts, then by
power boat from Reggae Beach to Oualie Beach where our Suzuki Vitara was waiting for us.



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