Saturday, December 25, 2010


No, that’s not this year’s beachwear in the Hamptons, but it is de rigeur in the Sahara.  We spent two terrific weeks in Morocco last March, on a walking tour that covered Casablanca (there are as many Rick’s Cafés there as there are Original Ray’s Pizza parlors in New York), Fez, Ourzazate, Marrakesh, the Atlas mountains and of course, the desert (spent a night in a tent, and Dick got to jam on drums with the Berbers).   We made lifelong friends whose names we have already forgotten – or never knew, like this guy.

Other trips:  the annual pilgrimage to Utila, the gem of the Caribbean, to visit to the kids, where we participated in a variety of activities above and below the water – diving, picnicking on Water Key, drinking with 30-somethings in ramshackle bars.  Nice to trade New York taxis for water taxis for a few weeks each year, though the drivers are, if anything, even more reckless:

And of course, like many little boys, Maxim is fascinated by airplanes, and has a large collection of model and toy aircraft.  Not too many 3-year-olds, however, get to fly real ones:

Then there was Las Vegas in November, where DEMA – the SCUBA convention that Benoit attends every year – was held, and where we spent a lot of time gawking like the tourists we were at the Strip.  Here’s Maxim (who loves hotels) contemplating Steve Wynn’s latest from the monorail. . . .

. . . and even more fun, having room-service breakfast with Papa.

(Nancy made a video of the Las Vegas sojourn which can be viewed on YouTube at:

The big news, though, is that Danielle is expecting a daughter next March.  She and Ben have a name picked out but they won’t tell us.  And, as if another baby wasn’t enough life-change for one year, they’re building a house, which has been said by many of their friends (who hope to freeload meals) to be the nicest on the island:.  As you can see below, it’s almost finished.  It will have a thoughtfully-designed soundproof room for grandparents, though we don’t know why the door locks from the outside.  Here’s an aerial view:

Danielle puts the finishing touches to the porch:

Everything else remains pretty much the same:  Nancy is still potting, and enjoying a certain vogue among fanciers of bowl and vase; Dick is still teaching at NYU, and just has finished one of his most satisfying semesters ever.  In short, life is good. Plans for 2011 include a trip to Utila in March for the birth of our granddaughter and a possible African sojourn next winter.

So, from all of us to all of you, here’s to a great 2011!

Nancy, Dick, Danielle,Benoit and  

1 comment:

  1. if I may borrow a phrase from a movie, you lead a pretty wonderful life - although really, I think you should have a camel for getting around easthampton town! The Utila house looks magnifique and I hope that grandparents' room is available for readers of your blog (perhaps you could develop a frequent readers card that would entitle the holder of said card to a stay at chez bellenoue?)