2014 is fading and 2015 is right around the corner. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since we took off on this crazy journey. This year we rounded our total number of visited states is now up to about 36! Though we are not certain how many more we’ll add, it looks like there will be at least one more year on the road, since there are still people to see and places that need to be visited at least one more time.
In January we finished up our trip to Florida and made our way to Texas, where we played several great shows for the winter Texans through the month of March. After our time in the Rio Grande Valley we headed towards Rockport where the Trinity Church graciously opened their doors to us for three weeks so we could work on new music for a needed new CD project. It had been 2 ½ years since our last CD and we’re not the band we were back then, so our sound needed some updates.
In late April we headed up to north Texas for a few weeks before returning to Colorado for a couple of months. While there we successfully raised the money we needed in a Kickstart campaign to complete our CD at Sawtelle Studio in Denver. There must have been enough people that were also rather tired of the old CD, this web because we were thrilled by the support we received!
After the work was complete we took a break to explore some of our favorite spots in Colorado, including Celestial Seasoning, a wildlife refuge, the Denver Museum, and an opportunity to catch up with family and some dearly missed friends. By mid-July it was time to head head out again, this time on our first trip to the west coast.
As providence would have it, a friend from our Colorado church home had moved to Seattle a few years earlier and thanks to the hospitality of the Lee family, we were able to enjoy a unique tour of Seattle on a boat!
The twins and Sean took turns driving it and we’re proud to say that the Space Needle is still standing. No Seattle landmarks were harmed on the tour, but the boat did overheat and stall on Lake Washington. We blame Sean. Sean protests this, but he was driving at the time…
Between July and August, playing opportunities took us to even more beautiful sites, including Port Ludlow and Olympia’s Harbor Days. A brief time in northern Washington gave us a chance to head up to Vancouver, BC to visit Grandville Island and the second largest Chinatown in North America. A later trip to the southern end of the state brought us to Mount St. Helen. Much to the twins’ dismay, it did not explode while we were there.
Through all of this excitement, a vacation at the Lees’ beach house out shined it all! We spent a couple of weeks total enjoying a peaceful get-away, relaxing, collecting sand dollars, playing on the beach, and enjoying good company. It’s impossible to put into words the blessing of that time after a few years of often heavy travel and a hectic schedule.
Though we were sad to leave Washington, one of our first stops when we hit California was at an old growth Redwood forest near San Jose where everyone enjoyed climbing around the beautiful trees. Southern California was a shock to our system when we started playing at the College of the Desert Street Fair.
The first weekend we played for hours in temperatures over 100 degrees. There’s nothing like coming off a beautiful summer full of oceans, boats, and 60 degree temperatures to the heat and working for a living to inspire a world class pity party, but once the temperatures cooled, the Palm Desert area was fantastic. We met some new friends, enjoyed some great audiences, and were even gifted some tickets to the San Diego Zoo!
If you’ve never heard one of Mary’s “cute attacks”, you are missing out. The baby panda cute attack was absolutely epic.
When it was time to leave we headed through Arizona briefly for a couple of weeks on our way back to Texas. At one of the parks the residents took a shining to the kids and invited everyone on a ride through the desert on their quads. Yes, Sean was given permission to drive one just a short while, and all nearby saguaro cacti survived.
A great horned owl posed for Sean so he could take this wonderful picture. Cheryl was slightly less amused by the scorpion she found her her shower. It did not survive.
December found us back in south Texas for Christmas shows. Grandma and Papa are here at the park with us, as is Grandma Susan so everyone has had a chance to enjoy the Christmas music and fun. We are currently babysitting Papa and Grandma’s dog, Boots, so after too many years of dog withdrawals, we have a temporary friendly furry companion to enjoy. (Alex pointed out that we do have a cat, but her furriness comes with sharp, poky side-effects and lacks the “friendly” qualification unless hungry. She is thankfully at least tolerating the dog.)
2015 promises more adventures with a coming trip to Florida, a final east coast loop to hit a few more states, a return to Colorado for a time, and Lord willing, a productive fall season in Palm Desert.
As usual, our blessings are overflowing again this year and we pray bountiful blessings in the year to come for all of our family and friends!
Much love from the Costello Family